Noctua NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Fan Review 27

Noctua NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Fan Review

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Closer Examination

The Noctua NF-P12 in its current redux form is available in different SKUs, mostly differing in rated speed and mode of fan control, be it voltage or PWM control. This specific model is the redux-1700 PWM, chosen primarily because it offers the largest range of operation as far as fan speed goes, which has it effectively encompass all others in its range of operation. The entire series of NF-P12 redux fans has an identical exterior look in that all of these use a gray frame and darker rotor of the same color, and the frame and rotor are the same as well. They are all 120 x 120 x 25 mm fans, making them ideal for 120-series radiators because of their square frame.

The rotor has nine blades designed with pressure-optimization in mind, with Noctua's "Vortex Control Notches" on the trailing edge of each individual blade, which they claim helps "spread the fan's noise emission over a wider range of frequencies" to theoretically make for a more pleasant tone that is not a quantifiable metric, but one that will go appreciated nonetheless if it works for everyone. There is a Noctua logo on the side of the frame, as well as arrows to depict the direction of rotor motion and airflow through the fan should you need it. No vibration-dampening rubber pads on the corners here, but there are places to slot in optional Noctua fan corner accessories should you wish to purchase and use them.

Noctua is using their first-generation SSO ( self-stabilizing oil-pressure) bearing for this fan (more on it here), which does make one feel like this is definitely an older product given the NF-A12x25 launched alongside gets all the new tech, including the newer SSO2 bearing. This is not to say that the older SSO bearing is bad; on the contrary, it remains one the better fan bearings in use even today and has Noctua rate this fan's operation at an MTBF >150, 000 hours and back it with a nice 6-year warranty. The fan cable is sleeved past the edge of the frame in a heatshrink-style application and terminates in a standard 4-pin fan connector.

Each fan is rated for 0.09 A (1.08 W) on the 12 VDC rail, which corresponds to the peak draw with start-up boost. I noticed a maximum operating current draw of 0.07 A here (~0.85 W on the 12 V rail), so you should be able to operate a good number of these fans off a single 1 A fan header if start-up boost can be accounted for. Alternatively, you can also get a powered PWM splitter and leave nothing to chance by powering the fans directly through the PSU. Noctua mentions that the PWM motor used is based on their own custom-designed NE-FD1 PWM IC with a zero-RPM mode at 0% PWM duty cycle and lower PWM switching noise. There were complaints about PWM "ticking" noises from customers of their older PWM fans, especially at lower RPMs, although Noctua says that this is the same IC and people may have been mistaking noise from the three-phase motor in their iPPC PWM fans for PWM switching instead.
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