Tuesday, August 8th 2017

Noctua's Alleged Manufacturing Discrepancies Put to the Test, Found Lacking

A recent maelstrom has hit Noctua in social forums due to a then unverified, reported issue with manufacturing differences between fans of the company that have been built on Taiwan or China factories. The issue, first brought about by Reddit user Kendalf, left open some questions on cooling and noise deltas between Taiwan and China-made Noctua fans, while admitting that the issue could be with a particular batch/testing conditions/other unidentified variables. But the Internet is fantastic, and what was posted as a legitimate question was quickly turned into a pitchfork-handling mob crying "Noctua never again" and "Down to Noctua" (which really are one of the most innovative companies in the cooling space...)

Long story short, as you can see in the above images, these claims were put to the test by Gamer Nexus' Steven Burke, and found lacking. Discounting variance that is well within the margin of error for tested hardware components, the publication was able to ascertain that differences are merely academic and well within tolerance for today's manufacturing conditions. The issue is when users are critics, without being critical. Here's hoping this serves to somewhat clear Noctua's recently stricken image - not by the company's, or its products, fault.Sources: Kendalf's Original Reddit post, Gamer's Nexus
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14 Comments on Noctua's Alleged Manufacturing Discrepancies Put to the Test, Found Lacking

#1
the54thvoid
Is it any surprise? The web (hell, planet) is full of people screaming wildly about how they 'feel' about things, regardless of facts. Social Media then serves as a megaphone for morons.
Pfft.
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#2
Chaitanya
Variations can crop up due to lot of reasons, as long as they are within tolerance set by Manufacturer there is nothing to worry about. Sometimes certain faulty batch can evade even the most stringent QC process its just the way manufacturing works.
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#3
RejZoR
While I absolutely hate Noctua's turd brown color scheme and less than stellar experience with their fans, I can't see any wrongdoing here. It's impossible to manufacture a fan that will behave identical to exact same fan model manufactured just a day later in same plant, let alone some other. Just slight differences in motor winding can result in few RPM difference at same PWM %.

To me, based on GN test, RPM seems to be well within margin of error... Doesn't Noctua also state % of difference that is acceptable? Can anyone prove it was out of spec?
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#4
Chaitanya
RejZoR said:
While I absolutely hate Noctua's turd brown color scheme and less than stellar experience with their fans, I can't see any wrongdoing here. It's impossible to manufacture a fan that will behave identical to exact same fan model manufactured just a day later in same plant, let alone some other. Just slight differences in motor winding can result in few RPM difference at same PWM %.

To me, based on GN test, RPM seems to be well within margin of error... Doesn't Noctua also state % of difference that is acceptable? Can anyone prove it was out of spec?
Generally margin of error mentioned in specs(RPM, input voltage and drawn current) is 10% only for some super niche products the margin of error is tighter to 5% value.
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#5
basco
i have a feeling in 10 to 20 years the internet will not be a place for information and education but for misinformation and disharmony.
i am loosing more interest in it every day.
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#6
R-T-B
the54thvoid said:
Is it any surprise? The web (hell, planet) is full of people screaming wildly about how they 'feel' about things, regardless of facts. Social Media then serves as a megaphone for morons.
Pfft.
There is a legitimate place for such "feelings" however scientific analysis is not one of them. People need to realize the difference between opinion and fact.
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#7
Dammeron
"It is said, that..." - I think so.
"It is commonly said, that..." - Apart from me, there are a few more people that think so.
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#8
DeathtoGnomes
RejZoR said:
While I absolutely hate Noctua's turd brown color scheme and less than stellar experience with their fans, I can't see any wrongdoing here. It's impossible to manufacture a fan that will behave identical to exact same fan model manufactured just a day later in same plant, let alone some other. Just slight differences in motor winding can result in few RPM difference at same PWM %.

To me, based on GN test, RPM seems to be well within margin of error... Doesn't Noctua also state % of difference that is acceptable? Can anyone prove it was out of spec?
I agree, Turd brown was erased from my color palette, which meant that the chances of buying anything from Noctua was slim to none.

There were some very subtle differences in the fan quality from what I read, everything was within original design specs, but it was little things, like the fan blade being thinner or the fan blade curve being less or more curved. From what I could gather, these differences add to the fan noise. Thats it just a couple decibels higher, enough to get noticed and looked into.

they made a huge mountain out of a tiny ant hill....o_O
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#9
Gasaraki
All those fancy features like "flow acceleration channels" or "stepped inlet" are all for show anyway, they don't do anything. That is why there are no discernible difference between the fans with the more pronounced channels vs the ones with shallower channels. The only thing that I can see a difference and that can't be shown in charts would be the noise profile. What the fans sound like.
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#10
RejZoR
And that's the point of all these grooves and wings and stuff. The thing is, you can have 2 fans that output 30dB and one will drive you insane where other will be hardly noticeable.

Though, biggest chunk of noise and vibrations is taken away by cleverly designed noise dampeners using rubber and higher quality bearings. The rest is finese for purists like me who don't care about the price that much, we just want best of the best, even if 5% enhancement means 10% increase in price.
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#11
DeOdView
Hmmm... Even Molding machines cared whether they are in China or Taiwan?! OK, that's new.

/sacasm
*sigh*
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#12
Camm
"which really are one of the most innovative companies in the cooling space..."

Now if only they would innovate from turd brown to black. Maybe even an RGB setup. lol.

One could dream (or maybe I'm just dirty for paying about $45 AUD a fan for a black IndustrialPPC + black ChromaMax rubber grommets).
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#13
GreiverBlade
Raevenlord said:
(which really are one of the most innovative companies in the cooling space...)
the important point is the bold one ... they are "one of" actually, not that much... since there is a lot more than Noctua in that category ... that are more innovative and, to add to the bonus, most of the time cheaper ....

Raevenlord said:
"Noctua never again" and "Down to Noctua"
i am like that, sans pitchfork .... although, way prior to that issue ... but for different reasons :p (the price being one and the fandom behind Noctua while they are nothing special worth one or the other :laugh: )

ok they are good, but not enough to warrant their prices, ok they innov... wait .... not that one ... the article linked to show their "innovation".... show what? a brown and beige Gentle Typhoon? yep 97% identical (the 3% left is for the rubber edges and the color scheme ... ) thank you Nidec/Scythe rather ...

although, concerning that news, that issue and reaction are ridiculous ....
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