Tuesday, October 12th 2021

Noctua Presents Chromax Line NF-A12x25 Fan, NH-U12A Cooler and Heatsink Covers

Noctua today presented the much anticipated black versions of its award-winning NF-A12x25 120 mm fan and NH-U12A CPU cooler as well as the matching NA-HC7 and NA-HC8 heatsink covers. Staying true to the successful formula of the original models, the new NF-A12x25 PWM chromax.black.swap and NH-U12A chromax.black combine the same signature quiet cooling performance with a sleek stealth look. The black NH-U12A already supports Intel's upcoming LGA1700 platform.

"We are aware of how eagerly our customers have been waiting for these products and we would have loved to get them out earlier, but first we had to spend some extra time in order to make sure that we can exactly match the performance of the brown fans, and then things were further delayed by various supply chain issues due to the global pandemic", explains Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "With products that have been fine-tuned to the most minute details, seemingly simple things like creating a different colour version can end being surprisingly tricky, but now with all of that out of the way, we're excited to finally be able to offer these long-awaited products to our customers."
Having received more than 100 awards and recommendations from international hardware websites and magazines, Noctua's flagship model NF-A12x25 has established itself as a true deluxe choice when it comes to premium-quality quiet 120 mm fans. The new chromax.black.swap edition combines the NF-A12x25's signature quiet cooling performance with an attractive black design and a bundle of swappable red, white, blue, green, grey, yellow and black anti-vibration pads that allow for the fan to be colour-customised to match individual build colour schemes. For further customisation, a wide range of accessories such as coloured cables and anti-vibration mounts are available separately.

The NH-U12A has proven in countless tests that it can match or even outperform many 140 mm sized coolers while offering 120 mm class case, RAM and PCIe compatibility. Thanks to the same proven asymmetrical single-tower heatsink design and state-of-the-art NF-A12x25 PWM fans, the new chromax.black variant stays true to the NH-U12A's successful formula of fusing best-in-class cooling performance with superb quietness of operation and outstanding compatibility. The NH-U12A chromax.black includes the latest SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system that not only supports AMD AM4 and Intel LGA1200, but also Intel's upcoming 12th generation Core CPUs (code name Alder Lake-S, socket LGA1700).

In addition to the new fan and heatsink, Noctua also launched the new NA-HC7 and NA-HC8 heatsink covers for the NH-U12A and NH-U12A chromax.black. While the chromax.black and chromax.white variants of the NA-HC8 are ideal for all-black or black-and-white builds, the NA-HC7 chromax.black.swap with its swappable colour inlays in black, blue, green, red, yellow and white allows the cooler to be colour-coordinated with various build colour schemes.


Suggested retail prices
The manufacturer's suggested retail prices are as follows:
  • NH-U12A chromax.black: EUR/USD 119.90
  • NF-A12x25 PWM chromax.black.swap: EUR/USD 32.90
  • NA-HC7 chromax.black.swap: EUR/USD 19.90
  • NA-HC8 chromax.black: EUR/USD 19.90
  • NA-HC8 chromax.white: EUR/USD 19.90
Availability
All the new products are available as of today via Noctua's official Amazon stores.
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44 Comments on Noctua Presents Chromax Line NF-A12x25 Fan, NH-U12A Cooler and Heatsink Covers

#1
nguyen
Looks good, but I'm afraid the fans of choice for my next build is phanteks T30 :D
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#2
Synthwave
nguyenLooks good, but I'm afraid the fans of choice for my next build is phanteks T30 :D
It's slightly better because it's not 25, but 30 mm thick though.
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#3
Valantar
Looks good! Also impressed at how even and dark their black lcp is - definitely speaks to there being actual materials engineering going on all this time. Compared to the Thermaltake rip-off or the new Phanteks fans, these are actually black. Not that big a fan of the closed hub with that nub in the middle though. I understand that it's needed to clear the mount for the bearing shaft, but I prefer the 'open' look of the non-chromax model.
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#4
Mysteoa
They finally did it, the impossible black NF-A12x25 and I don't think I need it anymore.
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#5
Solid State Soul ( SSS )
Chromax line is Noctua strategy to double dip their customers.

First release a good cooler that looks ugly for the first year's, then when sales goes flat, rekindle the hype with a more expensive Chromax versions that everyone wanted from the start.
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#6
Synthwave
Solid State Soul ( SSS )Chromax line is Noctua strategy to double dip their customers.

First release a good cooler that looks ugly for the first year's, then when sales goes flat, rekindle the hype with a more expensive Chromax versions that everyone wanted from the start.
Or they just bend themselves a bit towards a certain crowd, because many people are crying for bland, twelve is a dozen colors instead of the yummy beige/brown owl-goodness.
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#7
TheDeeGee
I wonder if the new 140 Fans will take 5 years to come out in black now that they figured out the formula.
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#8
demian_vi
Solid State Soul ( SSS )Chromax line is Noctua strategy to double dip their customers.

First release a good cooler that looks ugly for the first year's, then when sales goes flat, rekindle the hype with a more expensive Chromax versions that everyone wanted from the start.
sure if they had done it since the first product they releases, but they didn't. and NF-A12x25 was released 3.5 years ago. and they already have industrial,chromax and redux fans, so you don't technically have to buy brown fans
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#9
Valantar
TheDeeGeeI wonder if the new 140 Fans will take 5 years to come out in black now that they figured out the formula.
One might hope that they could do a simultaneous launch given that the materials science should be mostly done (unless the 140mm, god forbid, somehow requires a different formulation of sterrox?). That sounds rather utopian though.
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#10
Sihastru
Yeah, and the only proverbial kick in the derrière needed was Phanteks coming up with the T30. They dodged a bullet with the whole TT is a clone thing.

I plastered all my builds with beige/brown A12x25 fans. And I know I don't really need to replace them with these black ones... and yet... But... the T30.

This is how conspiracy theories are born, Noctua!
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#11
Valantar
SihastruYeah, and the only proverbial kick in the derrière needed was Phanteks coming up with the T30. They dodged a bullet with the whole TT is a clone thing.

I plastered all my builds with beige/brown A12x25 fans. And I know I don't really need to replace them with these black ones... and yet... But... the T30.

This is how conspiracy theories are born, Noctua!
Given that this has been in development for several years and delayed several times, assuming its actual launch has anything to do with the Phanteks launch is already plenty conspiratorial. Things are done when they are done. No conspiracy needed.
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#12
MDWiley
By god, they finally did it. They’re just as gorgeous as I imagined. I’d get these in a heartbeat if I didn’t already have T30’s in my build lol
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#13
Oberon
It's sad when my painted NF-A12s look better than the official Chromax versions...
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#14
AnarchoPrimitiv
Noctua should make an RGB version. I could see one with the corners, where the colored pads are, having diffused LEDs in the shape of the pads instead, simple and tasteful, maybe 8 LEDs in the central hub too, though I'm not sure if LCPs are available in a translucent form, and unless the performance and material characteristics can be kept identical to the original, there'd be no point... It would completely dominate the top tier market. If they could keep it around $35-40/each it'd definitely take Corsair's and Thermaltake's overpriced $40+/each fans down a notch as their top tier RGB fans don't have the performance of Noctua's. If Noctua could do an RGB version of one of their older redux fans as a budget/cheaper option as well, I'm sure that'd sell extremely well too. I never buy big brand name, expensive fans (I have 9x Montech white RGB fans in my PC right now that cost $88 for all of them and don't even have PWM control, just a high/low setting and my CPU and GPU Temps rarely get over 60° and literally never get over 70° so I honestly don't see a point to spending more), but I'd be willing to change that if Noctua offered an RGB fan as long as it had no proprietary connectors and didn't require a hub to operate and control.

To the naysayers who will undoubtedly, and aggressively attack this idea, NO, this doesn't go against Noctua's "ethos", there's nothing wrong with more options, and we've heard all the reasons why you hate RGB before, from its lack of necessity to accusations of it being effeminate to the "I only care about performance" flag planting, we get it, so there's no need to go over it again.
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#15
delshay
TheDeeGeeI wonder if the new 140 Fans will take 5 years to come out in black now that they figured out the formula.
It's supposed to be this year. I just hope there are no delays.
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#16
Valantar
OberonIt's sad when my painted NF-A12s look better than the official Chromax versions...
A liquid crystal polymer will never have a perfectly uniform color, so ... meh. Also, I'd be pretty surprised if that paint layer is thin enough to not affect airflow and noise at all while also being durable enough to stay on for the useful lifetime of the fan. You're also pretty lucky if the paint didn't unbalance the rotor or increase the weight sufficiently to cause long-term wear. It's possible to avoid all of this, but it takes some luck and some skill, and definitely isn't feasible at scale.
AnarchoPrimitivNoctua should make an RGB version. I could see one with the corners, where the colored pads are, having diffused LEDs in the shape of the pads instead, simple and tasteful, maybe 8 LEDs in the central hub too, though I'm not sure if LCPs are available in a translucent form, and unless the performance and material characteristics can be kept identical to the original, there'd be no point... It would completely dominate the top tier market. If they could keep it around $35-40/each it'd definitely take Corsair's and Thermaltake's overpriced $40+/each fans down a notch as their top tier RGB fans don't have the performance of Noctua's. If Noctua could do an RGB version of one of their older redux fans as a budget/cheaper option as well, I'm sure that'd sell extremely well too. I never buy big brand name, expensive fans (I have 9x Montech white RGB fans in my PC right now that cost $88 for all of them and don't even have PWM control, just a high/low setting and my CPU and GPU Temps rarely get over 60° and literally never get over 70° so I honestly don't see a point to spending more), but I'd be willing to change that if Noctua offered an RGB fan as long as it had no proprietary connectors and didn't require a hub to operate and control.

To the naysayers who will undoubtedly, and aggressively attack this idea, NO, this doesn't go against Noctua's "ethos", there's nothing wrong with more options, and we've heard all the reasons why you hate RGB before, from its lack of necessity to accusations of it being effeminate to the "I only care about performance" flag planting, we get it, so there's no need to go over it again.
Lol, given it took them >3 years to develop a sufficiently black and strong sterrox mixture I'd be shocked if it took them less than five to develop a translucent/frosted look one. It would definitely deliver a best of both worlds approach, though one has to wonder whether they could fit LEDs into the motor housing without otherwise changing the design - I kind of doubt that.
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#17
Dredi
SynthwaveIt's slightly better because it's not 25, but 30 mm thick though.
Noctua still wins at 1000 rpm and less. The thick boys dominate only past 1500rpm.
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#18
venturi
I waited so long (years) and now I'm using the Phantek T30s, which perform slightly better. Noctua.... too late.
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#19
Dredi
venturiI waited so long (years) and now I'm using the Phantek T30s, which perform slightly better. Noctua.... too late.
You run yours always at above 1500rpm?
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#20
DeeJay1001
Why bother, The A12s are good fans but the dont significantly out perform other high end fans. XPG is now selling rebranded gentle typhoons called the XPG Vento Pro. Gentle typhoons have been the king of the hill for a long time, they are quiet have a good balance of pressure and airflow and they will last for at least your next 2-4 builds without any issues. Not to mention the Vento Pro is in stock right now for $20. Can't beat them.
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#21
Valantar
DrediYou run yours always at above 1500rpm?
The recent TPU review shows the T30 significantly outperforming the Noctua (3cfm more airflow for 1dBA more noise) at 1000rpm.
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#22
Chrispy_
I mean, it's a good fan but I think if anyone was waiting on the black version, most people would have gone for other options long ago:
  • The Phanteks T30 is better and slightly cheaper, with the caveat being that you need extra space for the 30mm depth.
  • The Nidec/Scythe/Darkside) Gentle Typhoon has always been a very strong contender for half the cost of the A12x25, and they're all black.
  • The Arctic P12 is a ridiculously good fan for $10 that is also all black. It's compared by multiple reviews in noise-normalised and rpm-normalised testing to be an equal to the A12x25 in all but PWM motor noise at very low speeds - speeds I would consider to be below the average noise floor in a typical domestic environment anyway.
The only fan you shouldn't consider as an alternative to the A12x25 Chromax is the Thermaltake Toughfan T12 which is a good fan, priced and performs almost identically to the A12x25 because it's a complete rip-off and IP theft; In an interview with Niels Broekhuijsen of THG, Noctua said that they could litigate but it would be pointless because IP infringement lawsuits against Chinese companies are just a waste of funding and Noctua would rather spend that on R&D. Yet another reason to boycott Thermaltake, those thieving scumbags!
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#23
Dredi
ValantarThe recent TPU review shows the T30 significantly outperforming the Noctua (3cfm more airflow for 1dBA more noise) at 1000rpm.
Bullshit. As I posted in the relevant thead, the ”noise normalized” results are calculated incorrectly.
If we try to look at the data as @VSG measured them, and not fuck up the analysis of said measurements, it is clear that the T30 is better only at high noise levels.
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#24
venturi
DrediYou run yours always at above 1500rpm?
most of the time mine run between 600-1100 rpm, I use 4x for the dual xeons. The motherboard controls it based on temps. Idle about 22C, load about 41C for the dual Xeons. Its a TT SFF build, so I'm very keen on quiet pc and cool temps. Dual 3090FE RTX cards usually run low 30 Cs and go as high as 68C.

as for comparative performance, apples to apples, exact build to exact build, the T30s provide about 2C better cooling for Xeons at same RPM range. I'm probably one of the few folks that that can do a direct comparison on a dense build.

Noctua prior build picture included
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#25
Valantar
DrediBullshit. As I posted in the relevant thead, the ”noise normalized” results are calculated incorrectly.
If we try to look at the data as @VSG measured them, and not fuck up the analysis of said measurements, it is clear that the T30 is better only at high noise levels.
I'm not looking at noise normalized results, I'm looking at airflow and noise results at fixed fan speeds. At 1000rpm, the T30 is listed at 26CFM vs. 24.2CFM for the NF-A12x25 (I mistakenly looked at the airflow number for the NF-F12 in my previous post, but the difference isn't that huge), while the noise measurements at that speed are 30.6dBA vs. 29.1dBA. Now, this doesn't tell us anything at all about the sound signature, which is very significant, but those numbers still show that the T30 delivers noticeably more airflow at the same speed for an unnoticeable increase in noise. It's not a massive difference, but it's clearly there. As for your graph, that's a rather problematic presentation as it relies on unaligned data points that don't correspond with any of the axes - if I didn't know those data points were based on RPM, it would look like you had picked four entirely random measurement points. For a full comparison, we clearly need more data points - 100rpm intervals, for example. But it's still safe to say that the T30 delivers more airflow at 1000rpm for slightly (and not likely to be noticeably) more noise, while the NF-A12x25 still clearly wins out below 1000rpm. IMO, either fan will likely be fantastic - and I completely agree with @Chrispy_'s summary above. There are several good options out there.
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