Noctua NF-R8 and NF-S12 Cooling Fans

The Fans In Detail

The Fans In Detail

Both the NF-S12 and NF-R8 Cooling fans utilise Noctua's SSO-Bearing in order to attain silent operation. The SSO-Bearing is a magnetically centred, self lubricating oil-pressure bearing that surpasses current types of ball, sleeve and liquid bearings in long-term stability and quietness thanks to its new, improved principle of operation. It is through the use of the SSO-Bearing that Noctua are able to provide a stellar 6 year warranty and impressive 150,000h MTBF. I have included an illustration of Noctua's SSO-Bearing to further reinforce the theory.

Noctua's SSO-Bearing

To further assist with silent operation Noctua has included an Ultra-Low-Noise adaptor (U.L.N.A.) that allows for a further reduction in noise emission. The U.L.N.A is essentially a simple 12v to 5v adapter that allows consumers to under-volt the existing voltage supplied to the fan for even more quieter operation. You will notice on the red wire that it has some sleeving on the right hand side, under which there resides a resistor.

Noctua's ULNA adaptor

Another implimentation that Noctua has manufactured into their fans, is the use of Raised Blade Design (NF-R8) and Straight Blade Design (NF-S12). Essentially, both of these design features are intended to provide maximum cooling efficiency without the added drawback of higher noise emission when used at a higher rotational speed.
But don't just take my word for it, I'll let Noctua's technical information get the point across.

"In order to make their products more silent, fan manufacturers usually simply reduce RPM without adapting the rotor design to the modified fluid dynamic parameters", explains Mag. Manfred Stadler MBA of the Austrian Institute for Heat-Transmission and Fan Technology. "Using a blade geometry specifically optimised for lower speed ranges like the Noctua Straight-Blade-Design allows for much better performance than simply reducing RPM."

Noctua NF-R8 and AC 8L Noctua NF-S12 Upright

If you look closely enough at the Noctua fan blades in the images above you can see the Raised Blade and Straight Blade designs quite clearly. I have included an AC 8L fan in the first image, so you can compare the two blade structures. I must say that I'm impressed with Noctua's NF Series of fans so far; from the evident R&D work that has gone into them, the build quality and even the braiding on the cable which makes a nice well rounded product. But the proof is in the pudding...How do they perform?

Head on over to the next page to find out if they're worth outlaying your hard earned cash on.

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Most Recent Comments

18-01-2007, 06:12:05

Noctua, is a name synonymous with silent cooling solutions. Today we give their NF-R8 and NF-S12 Cooling fans a workout in the OC3D Review labs, to see if the silent types can deliver.


18-01-2007, 06:32:45

Nice job PV. Decent looking set of fans!Quote

18-01-2007, 06:41:23

Silence is golden...or was that brown Quote

18-01-2007, 06:50:35

Aye silence is brown. They are awesome fans. I know, I've got two of em Quote

18-01-2007, 06:53:25

Originally Posted by name='Ham'
Nice job PV. Decent looking set of fans!
Originally Posted by name='XMS'
Silence is golden...or was that brown
Originally Posted by name='Kempez™'
Aye silence is brown. They are awesome fans. I know, I've got two of em
Thanks lads, and like I said in the review the colours are really starting to grow on me. They really are awesome fans though Quote

18-01-2007, 07:06:09

Originally Posted by name='PV5150'
Thanks lads, and like I said in the review the colours are really starting to grow on me. They really are awesome fans though
I actually like the colors myself. Quite different. Also, great CFM for such a low noise output May have to invest in a pair of these.Quote

18-01-2007, 09:38:40

Mr. Smith
I recently read a review of these at SilentPC after Kemp recommended them to me - they came out on top.

This review confirms they are worthy of my mullah! I absolutely HATE the colours though...Quote

18-01-2007, 13:38:55

just repaint em.Quote

18-01-2007, 13:43:55

I would really like to get these fans but with a clear case and those colors... Quote

18-01-2007, 15:57:49

I like the colors . I'll stick with my yates/pana's tho.Quote

18-01-2007, 19:19:33

Look like some very nice fans, but they definitely need a paint job, imo.Quote

28-01-2007, 14:26:09

Another excellent review of a great product. At first I heard BROWN fan and changed the page thinking "what were they thinking?"

But after reading the review and really looking at them they look kind of nice. And since there is definately a lack of good engineering these days it was nice to see these fans.

I spent $30 ea. for my Silenx fans when they came out so the price seems fair for a good product.Quote

29-01-2007, 02:56:43

Thanks mate I'm glad you found the review a good read. Tbh I don't even notice the colours nowQuote

29-01-2007, 03:31:48

I have to say that these are far superior to the SilenX fans I have in noise>airflow ratioQuote

29-01-2007, 03:54:45

Originally Posted by name='Kempez™'
I have to say that these are far superior to the SilenX fans I have in noise>airflow ratio
I wish I had seen this thread a few days earlier before I ordered new fans. I could have tried these.

I do know with a little work (actually a LOT) I have quieted the Silenx fans I have (IXP-76-18) a bunch. I am using a synthetic grease with teflon spacers and I massaged the blades (I REALLY need a life) to make them smoother.

Mabye the next case Il give these a try.Quote

29-01-2007, 08:24:07

They may perform but they are ugly.. Quote

30-01-2007, 16:25:04

Thanks for the review, I seriously considered buying a few NF-S12 (1200 RPM) fans a wee while ago but didn't want to pay £18 each (at the time) just to see if the hype was true. The cheapest I can find them now is £13 so I might get the wallet out. I have a couple of questions:

The manufacturer data on page 1 of your review says "Voltage Range: 4-13 V". Did you test what minimum voltage the fan would startup & run continuously at? 4V seems a bit low to me.

Do you see any problems with me running this fan horizontally on my radiator (i.e. with the fan pointing at the ceiling)? I seem to remember someone telling me that some types of fan (possibly sleave fans) don't like being run whilst pointing upwards (not sure what SSO-Bearings are).Quote

31-01-2007, 10:25:12

It's nice to know that even the HS/F companies are making better products, but that color... wow. Martha Stewart might actually get wet between the thighs with these fans. (Can you see her doing a show on building a nice, esthetically pleasing pc?)


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