Noctua NF-S12A PWM Case Fan

Noctua is a company well-known for their superior case fans. They are super quiet and super effective. I have used many of their fans in the past and currently have five installed in my primary computer. Admittedly the colour scheme of their standard series is not appealing to everyone, but I quite like the crème/ brown combination.


The NF-12A is a 120mm fan which is designed for use for case ventilation in applications with little or no obstruction to airflow is present. I have used this fan to extract the hot air out of the back of my case, as a rear exhaust fan. This fan is perfect for the job; it can push out 107.5 cubic metres of air an hour and is barely audible when screwed on. There is the option of using the included silicon vibration absorbing pins to further quieten the fan.



Noctua offers three different fan designs in their 120mm range. These are the NF-S12A, NF-P12 and the NF-F12. The NF-S12A fans are optimised with low impedance applications in mind and are the quietest of the three designs. These are to be used in applications where there would be little or no obstruction to the airflow, for example case ventilation. On the flip side the NF-P12 fans are designed with more pressure demanding applications in mind, with some consideration given to being quiet. These fans would be ideal in CPU cooling applications in order to push the air through the tight fins of the heatsink or also as a case fan where the fan grill has small holes or to push airflow through a stack or hard drives. The NF-F12 is optimised for maximum airflow and produces focused airflow ideal for water cooling radiators and for CPU cooling (especially if overclocked). This is the loudest (but still quiet) of the three designs.


Of the NF-S12A series there are four possible voltage options: standard, PWM, FLX and ULN. This is the PWM version of the fan which means it includes a fourth pin on the connector for connecting to four-pin headers. The fourth pin is a control pin, with which the motherboard can adjust the fan speed to suit a desired profile (for example: turn on when a temperature is reached). This fan can also connect to three pin headers and function without any problems and comes with a fixed speed ULN adapter to run the fan slower (and thus quieter). The FLX and ULN are fixed speed versions of the fan, the FLX being of standard speed and the ULN of a slower and much quieter speed (lower voltage than the PWM with ULN adapter).


What is in the box:
The fan comes in a very stylish box (with a velcro shut window) which fully describes the fan technology. Included is the NF-S12A PWM, 4 fan installation screws, 4 rubber anti-vibration posts, a y-splitter cable, a 4 pin header extension cable, a ULN adapter and user manual.


Build quality:
All of Noctua’s products are of a very high build quality and they have the science to support their design choice.


Pros:
+ Very high quality
+ Super Quiet
+ Excellent performing case fan

Cons:
- Colour scheme (although I like it)


Conclusion:
This fan is exactly what I was looking for as a case fan. It is professionally designed to be very efficient and very quiet. This fan is ideal if you are looking for a 120mm case fan which runs super quiet and super efficient. I am very happy with this product (as with all my Noctua case fans) and look forward to adding more of their products to my system.



If you are seeking a CPU fan, radiator fan check out the NF-P12 and the NF-F12 fans which are designed with these applications in mind.

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