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Noctua Announces New, More Efficient 120mm Fan

Noctua is a name well known to computer enthusiasts for its legendary 120mm fans. The NF-F12 has long been a top choice for water cooling, and the NF-S12A is a popular choice for case cooling. Noctua claimed the new fan strikes a balance between the two.

Noctua is simply calling this the next generation 120mm A-series fan (that is, there's no special product name), and it replaces the outgoing NF-P12. The company said development on the next generation fan started three years ago, with nearly a year spent simply refining manufacturing processes to accommodate the 0.5 mm gap.

This small of a gap is said to require more rigid construction of the fan blades, but Noctua claimed this is a key part of the design. The company said that the tighter fan blade clearance aids in combating back-pressure caused by radiators and heat sinks.

Noctua said the new A-series fans have been fine-tuned to provide the best balance between airflow and static pressure in mid-impedance situations, outperforming both the NF-F12s during internal tests on a closed loop radiator. The company found the next-generation fan provided a two-degree improvement in temperature, and produced 2.1 dB less than the previous flagship.

Noctua's new fan does not perform as well in high-pressure situations as the NR-F12, and an NF-S12A is still much better in low impedance applications, but the company claimed the next generation A-series is a better solution to cool your CPU cooler.

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  • merikafyeah
    Does Noctua have an NF-P12 or an NR-F12 model fan? I see these models mentioned in the article but I am beginning to suspect these are typos for "NF-F12" which makes things very confusing.
    Reply
  • dwatterworth
    The line graph is confusing regarding the static pressure plotted against air flow. Is it reversed?
    Reply
  • whiteodian
    Are they still brown?
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Based on their candy-corn themed color palette in their graphs, I'm guessing their new fans are also ugly.
    Reply
  • Shankovich
    Noctua fans are the best, they can get away with their colour scheme. I don't think most fan companies use CFD and aerodynamicists to design fans to Noctua's level
    Reply
  • Shankovich
    The line graph is confusing regarding the static pressure plotted against air flow. Is it reversed?

    Static pressure decreases when airflow rate increases. The graphs are correct.
    Reply
  • gadgety
    At Computex 2013 Noctua showed the prototype 200mm A-series fan. At Computex 2014 they showed the 200mm A-series fan to be launched in October of 2014. It never launched. No comments from Noctua, nothing on their website. At Computex 2015 they are showing, in addition to this new 120mm A-series fans, they are yet again showing the 200mm. C'mon Noctua start selling it, or if it the tests show it's not good enough, say so and abandon it, rather than keeping your customers waiting for NoctuaGodot.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    Half a millimeter may not seem like much, but you might be surprised how much difference that makes when the fans are relatively small like this as well.
    Reply