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Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM Fan

VSG

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Noctua's long awaited NF-A12x25 fan hits the market with a bang in more ways than one. With more features than I can count with my fingers, all of which have been used to optimize performance and acoustics, it is a fan that makes no excuses about the lack of RGB lighting as it puts up a great showing against the competition.

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I came to see fan performance results and i left with CFM results and a list of the accessories that Noctua sells (because we can't find it on their website).

This must be the most underwhelming review of Techpowerup.
 
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I came to see fan performance results and i left with CFM results and a list of the accessories that Noctua sells (because we can't find it on their website).

This must be the most underwhelming review of Techpowerup.
just skip the pages 1-4. Page 5 answered all my questions about this product, thx TPU for that...
btw - that is why you have a head on your shoulders - use it to judge what info do you need and what do not, dont use it only to generate crybaby comments
 
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Do they offer just the fan? Without the litter in the box? Have they thought that putting those on rads and using a modern board you do not need the fashion box, adapters etc... plain Fan and 20$...

I need 5 fans like these in my loop if I do an upgrade, putting those on, I throw out 50$ instantly in the trash bin... that's cuckoo.
 
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Do they offer just the fan? Without the litter in the box? Have they thought that putting those on rads and using a modern board you do not need the fashion box, adapters etc... plain Fan and 20$...

I need 5 fans like these in my loop if I do an upgrade, putting those on, I throw out 50$ instantly in the trash bin... that's cuckoo.


They'll no doubt come out with a redux line of fans with all the extra accessories thrown out for a lower price not to mention a more industrial colour (grey)
 
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I came to see fan performance results and i left with CFM results and a list of the accessories that Noctua sells (because we can't find it on their website).

This must be the most underwhelming review of Techpowerup.

The CFM results are measured through radiator. More air through radiator, higher the performance. One can summarize this review results versus the strongest fan listed in this review and their biggest competition respectively. CFM through radiator and performance are related with a positive skew always (means that more CFM is more performance but higher the CFM goes, the performance difference decreases).

The strongest fan listed (a 38mm thick fan at that): Silverstone FHP141 does 26.6CFM through radiator at 32.5dBA whilst Noctua does 28.9CFM at that noise level. That's near 10% more air at the same noise level as that fan in 25mm thickness. Insanity.

Next, EK Vardar EVO: at ~29dBA Vardar do 21-21.5 CFM, Noctua does 24 CFM. Again beaten by almost 15%.

So in short for you: For noise / performance, this is the best fan out of all that have been tested here. Better than ML series, Vardar, and the best in class at noise normalized tests.
 
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I just can't understand why they persist with the lack of choice in the colour scheme (yes I have read the bit in the conclusion about the polymer; but surely this applies to all fan manufacturers?). For me, performance is the most important metric and then aesthetics come a close second. But I wouldn't put these anywhere near my build.

The amount of lost sales Noctua must be swallowing by stubbornly not offering just an all-black, all-white alternative (or grey) from the start is baffling, like the Noctua management is in stasis. With this performance and quality, I am certain Noctua would totally dominate the fan market if they just made alternate colours more a part of their business.
 
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I just can't understand why they persist with the lack of choice in the colour scheme (yes I have read the bit in the conclusion about the polymer; but surely this applies to all fan manufacturers?). For me, performance is the most important metric and then aesthetics come a close second. But I wouldn't put these anywhere near my build.

The amount of lost sales Noctua must be swallowing by stubbornly not offering just an all-black, all-white alternative (or grey) from the start is baffling, like the Noctua management is in stasis. With this performance and quality, I am certain Noctua would totally dominate the fan market if they just made alternate colours more a part of their business.
I disagree, their decision to stick to an instantly recognisable fan is smart.
It's called branding.
Take fans from 20 different manufacturers and throw them as far as you can, then ask people to pick who made which fan without allowing them to get close to them.
My bet is they will all pick the Noctua fans out from the rest.
 
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So for people that want the back/grey version of this fan they will have to wait until q1 2019. They had to make a new kind of material and changing just the color isn't going to be easy. This was from their amazon page.
 
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I just can't understand why they persist with the lack of choice in the colour scheme (yes I have read the bit in the conclusion about the polymer; but surely this applies to all fan manufacturers?). For me, performance is the most important metric and then aesthetics come a close second. But I wouldn't put these anywhere near my build.

The amount of lost sales Noctua must be swallowing by stubbornly not offering just an all-black, all-white alternative (or grey) from the start is baffling, like the Noctua management is in stasis. With this performance and quality, I am certain Noctua would totally dominate the fan market if they just made alternate colours more a part of their business.
I think a lot of people massively overestimate how many people are actually buying the RGB gamer bling nonsense. It's not the entire market. It's just that as of late, it's the only direction into which the market can easily grow without massive investment into R&D.

For every RGB fan that sells, worldwide, many more "boring" or "ugly" fans are sold to go into everyday systems where aesthetics aren't a concern. They go into systems without windows, they go into handmedown systems that have become noisy and someone searches "quietest PC fans" and noctua comes right up with GLOWING PRAISE, internet-wide.

People look at the colourscheme, and for the most part, don't care unless they're the kind of nerd that wants to build a show-system. How many of those nerds are there? On TPU, lots. In the wider world? Very, very few compared to everyday users.

That's Noctua's market - people who just want it to work, and work well. Their brand colours help them, rather than hurt them, in that marketplace. They only hurt Noctua in the gamer bling market - and lets be honest, those people barely care about performance. A lightloop vs a Riiing vs an Enermax RGB isn't a market where performance wins. People are buying those for the looks, performance is secondary.

That's not what Noctua is about and even if they entered that market it wouldn't benefit them unless visually, they blew away everything else completely - With a subjective thing like product aesthetics? That's not possible. With performance? You can be objectively better than the competition and as a result, clean up entirely.

Noctua are clearly not that interested in entering a market that competes on novelty and subjectivity, where they'd need to push a new visual design out the door every few months to stay relevant. I don't blame them - I wouldn't be either. Whole lot of effort to try and break into a market where the moment you stop pouring the effort in, your marketshare disappears regardless of how good your product is.
 
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Or they could just buy one of the Gentle Typhoons it's based on :p
They're not the same product, please stop contributing to misinformation.

Different materials, different frames, different tip clearance, different motors and different performance.

In fact the writer of this review has his own site where you can read his review of the Gentle Typhoon. Go compare the data.

In fact, the same data is also shown in the charts for this review - see those lines that say "Darkside GT"?

Quite a big performance Delta between the noctuas and the fans you're talking about

http://thermalbench.com/2017/05/25/darkside-gentle-typhoon-1150-rpm-120-mm-fan/
 
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I disagree, their decision to stick to an instantly recognisable fan is smart.
It's called branding.
Take fans from 20 different manufacturers and throw them as far as you can, then ask people to pick who made which fan without allowing them to get close to them.
My bet is they will all pick the Noctua fans out from the rest.

True but I can also tell Corsair, Coolermaster, Scythes , and Phantek fans apart.
 
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The Noctua color is a recognizable color. It allows their brand to stand out. There are few other fans that had this type of color recognition, the only other one that comes to mind was the 2012 era SP120 fans with the colored rings, however that was short lived with plenty of imitators and now RGB bling surpassing it. It is a smart move by Noctua and it also plays into a marketing concept where people can say "I put the performance of the fan over the aesthetics of the fan". The color choice allows an enthusiast to show his brand preference in an obvious manner. With the hefty price tag, It states "I am a discerning consumer".

I don't use Noctua myself because I think they are too expensive compared to buying other alternatives. I prefer fans that move a lot of air and don't mind a gentle hum. Plenty of cheaper alternatives for that goal.

Do they offer just the fan? Without the litter in the box? Have they thought that putting those on rads and using a modern board you do not need the fashion box, adapters etc... plain Fan and 20$...

I need 5 fans like these in my loop if I do an upgrade, putting those on, I throw out 50$ instantly in the trash bin... that's cuckoo.

Agree, for many people the fan is all that is needed, put in a cardboard box if you must, like the Thermalright TY143, but skip the other stuff (marketing fluff and splitter cables I could just make myself for pennies) and sell it for $10 less.
 
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Or they could just buy one of the Gentle Typhoons it's based on :p

Soon as I saw the fans hub, I thought of the nidec fans, which are still my favorite due to how well they are made.
 
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Soon as I saw the fans hub, I thought of the nidec fans, which are still my favorite due to how well they are made.

They perform significantly better, however.

At 1500 RPM, the GTs produce 41.3-41.4 dBA while the Noctuas produce 36.4 dBA.

Same with airflow - at 1500 RPM through a radiator, the GTs produce 33.5 CFM and the Noctuas produce 34.4 CFM.

So slightly more airflow at the same speed with 5 dB less noise - That's equivalent to the GTs producing 150% of the noise the Noctua does, if you follow the rule of thumb that 10dB increases in noise are percieved as a doubling in volume.

And that's just using the test data from this article.

True but I can also tell Corsair, Coolermaster, Scythes , and Phantek fans apart.
Remember those old snakeoil fans that got hyped for a bit, around the time Scythe S-Flex fans were the hot shit?

Name the brand:
fan.jpg
 
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Damn I've been waiting like a month for this to post. Waiting for the thermalbench review of the FLX version now.
 
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I just can't understand why they persist with the lack of choice in the colour scheme (yes I have read the bit in the conclusion about the polymer; but surely this applies to all fan manufacturers?). For me, performance is the most important metric and then aesthetics come a close second. But I wouldn't put these anywhere near my build.

The amount of lost sales Noctua must be swallowing by stubbornly not offering just an all-black, all-white alternative (or grey) from the start is baffling, like the Noctua management is in stasis. With this performance and quality, I am certain Noctua would totally dominate the fan market if they just made alternate colours more a part of their business.

While it would require more time and money on your end, you could take the fan apart and paint it to your liking. I've always liked the performance that Noctua generally has to offer, but the color of their fans is off putting enough to where I don't buy them. If I were to buy some, I'd have to resort to painting them.
 
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What I gather from this; if you want almost identical CFM characteristics at a slightly higher decibel output just grab a GT for -$10 bucks...

Something that would be very useful is a video comparing tone. Decibels are a more absolute form of measurement but some frequencies at any perceivable decibel are just down right annoying.

A good example is I bought a pack of NF-F12s once expecting great things on paper only to find the tone they generated at full tilt (1500rpm) was significantly worse than the GT2150s (2100rpm) at full tilt.

Edit: Where the hell are the Noctua ANC fans?
 
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"Noctua has trademarked it as "Sterrox", and the use of said material is to help reduce material expansion with temperature. This is useful for when the impeller is formed initially, but can also aid in daily operation."

I think the main property of Sterrox is that it is more rigid and doesn't stretch out as much when undergoing rotational forces. Not because of temperature.
 

VSG

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What I gather from this; if you want almost identical CFM characteristics at a slightly higher decibel output just grab a GT for -$10 bucks...

Something that would be very useful is a video comparing tone. Decibels are a more absolute form of measurement but some frequencies at any perceivable decibel are just down right annoying.

A good example is I bought a pack of NF-F12s once expecting great things on paper only to find the tone they generated at full tilt (1500rpm) was significantly worse than the GT2150s (2100rpm) at full tilt.

Edit: Where the hell are the Noctua ANC fans?

I am not really set up for video, especially since my anechoic chamber is not a well-lit environment for reasons including that a lot of lighting can affect the noise signature. You also need good video equipment to be able to record true video without having it being disrupted by in-camera or external factors.

"Noctua has trademarked it as "Sterrox", and the use of said material is to help reduce material expansion with temperature. This is useful for when the impeller is formed initially, but can also aid in daily operation."

I think the main property of Sterrox is that it is more rigid and doesn't stretch out as much when undergoing rotational forces. Not because of temperature.

Yeah, I meant to add rotational forces in there as well. Thanks for reminding me, I updated it.
 
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What I gather from this; if you want almost identical CFM characteristics at a slightly higher decibel output just grab a GT for -$10 bucks...

That isn't how decibels work.

Every 3 decibels increase in noise is a DOUBLING of sound pressure.

The human hearing system percieves this in a logarithmic way, so we perceive sounds to be twice as loud if they are 10db louder than another sound.

This is consistent throughout our range of hearing. A 30db sound compared to a 40db sound is half as loud. A 90 db sound compared to a 100 db sound is ALSO HALF AS LOUD, as we perceive it.

So sure, on paper a 5db increase from 36.4 to 41.4 is only 13.7%.

But actually, the sound pressure has increased by 333% (a doubling and then 2/3rds of a second doubling) and the perceived volume has increased by 50%.

Thats a huge difference in performance.
 
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That isn't how decibels work.

Every 3 decibels increase in noise is a DOUBLING of sound pressure.

The human hearing system percieves this in a logarithmic way, so we perceive sounds to be twice as loud if they are 10db louder than another sound.

This is consistent throughout our range of hearing. A 30db sound compared to a 40db sound is half as loud. A 90 db sound compared to a 100 db sound is ALSO HALF AS LOUD, as we perceive it.

So sure, on paper a 5db increase from 36.4 to 41.4 is only 13.7%.

But actually, the sound pressure has increased by almost 4 times (a doubling and then 2/3rds of a second doubling) and the perceived volume has increased by 50%.

Thats a huge difference in performance.

While this may be technically correct information it does not address the full picture. I have experienced many fans that are subjectively "louder" but operate at much more pleasant frequencies. What is measured as "pleasant" is subject to relative personal tastes and hearing ability. This is where a recording can "help" (nothing is better than experiencing sound characteristics first hand).
 
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While this may be technically correct information it does not address the full picture. I have experienced many fans that are subjectively "louder" but operate at much more pleasant frequencies. What is measured as "pleasant" is subject to relative personal tastes and hearing ability. This is where a recording can "help" (nothing is better than experiencing sound characteristics first hand).
What you're referring to is easily explained by equal loudness contours - lets not treat tonality like some kind of black magic nobody understands. Simply referring to "subjectivity" means nothing when everything we're discussing has been extensively researched and codified along with relevant measurements.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour

If what you're interested in is quiet, and noise levels, then its really very simple - 2-4Khz is what you want to avoid most because it is the most piercing tone, being where our ears are most sensitive.

However raw noise output is still raw noise output and a 50% increase is not all all small. Especially when you consider that the 333% increase in sound pressure will mean an equally higher ability for that same sound - regardless of tonality - to propagate through solid materials (like your case).
 
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I disagree, subjectivity in my opinion is always at play regardless of what empirical measurements or formulas represent the information we physically perceive. You apparently have a deeper understanding of the subject matter and may even be able to mentally emulate the sound characteristics based off numbers alone. I personally, can not. At the end of the day it comes down to perceived value; is 10 dollars more worth a 5.9dBA delta? I can't definitively answer that question until I sit it next to one of my GT1850s or GT2150s.

At surface value with out any other information I do lean towards the answer being "no" for me due to my own personal experiences.
 
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