Noctua NF-R8 and NF-S12 Cooling Fans



I have chosen to test the Noctua NF Series fans using my Scythe Karma Meter as rheobus of choice. The fans will be initially tested using the supplied U.L.N.A 3-pin to 4-pin adapter, L.N.A adaptor and then directly onto the Karma Meter.

3-4 pin connector

Using the supplied U.N.L.A ans L.N.A adaptor made the fans totally silent.

Noctua NF-S12 Noctua NF-R8

Again running the fan straight off the Karma Meter produced pleasing results; complete silence bar the slight sound of moving air.

Let's for interest sake compare the Noctua NF Series fans with some of the other leading brands out there and see how they compare. I have taken the liberty of converting the air volume to CFM:

Noctua 120mm (1200 RPM) 1200 RPM 48.0 CFM 17.0 dB(A)
Noctua 120mm (800 RPM) 800 RPM 35.0 CFM 8.0 dB(A)
YATE LOON D12SL 120mm 1300 RPM 35.0 CFM 19.0 dB(A)
Scythe S-FLEX SFF21D 120mm 800 RPM 33.5 CFM 8.7 dB(A)

Noctua 80mm NF-R8 1800 RPM 30.0 CFM 17.0 dB(A)
Sunon 80mm Fan (BX) 3500 RPM 50.6 RPM 40.6 dB(A)
Thermaltake 80mm A1098 2900 RPM 37.0 CFM 30.0 dB(A)
Vantec 80mm Tornado 5700 RPM 84.1 CFM 55.2 dB(A)

First though, I'd like to point out that the Noctua fans have nearly the best CFM to RPM ratio of all the fans I've listed. Which in reality means that there is something special about these fans, and the R & D that has gone into them is not just technical jargon used by the manufaturer to talk up their product. It's also interesting to note that amongst the 120mm fans I have listed, the 800 RPM Noctua NF-S12 had the best ratio of CFM to dB(A). And amongst the 80mm fans, the Noctua NF-R8 is definitely the clear winner.

Let's head over to the next page to see how the Noctua NF Series fans performed as a whole.

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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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