Noctua NF-P12 Cooling Fan
From the very first days of the computer, fans have been a necessity for keeping components within operating temperatures. Today things are no different, while the increased availability and affordability of water based cooling solutions has improved things, the fan has still not been made redundant; just moved onto radiators. Alongside this industry-wide shift towards water-cooling, the technology employed in our fans has also been stepped up somewhat.
The heat expenditure of every day hardware has extended the need for high CFM fans into nearly all levels of the desktop PC, putting pressure on manufacturers for quieter fans. This is clearly also an attractive prospect for enthusiasts, who have possibly endured years of high pitched screeching from multiple high-end Delta level fans.
The fans being tested today are the very latest offering from a company that specialises in addressing all the problems mentioned above - Noctua. Relatively unknown to the enthusiast market until recently (with the release of fans like the NF-R8 and NF-S12 ), Noctua is an Austrian company specialising in the development of sound optimised cooling solutions. There is quite a bit to read on the background of the company on their About Noctua page, but here is a short extract detailing where the company has arisen from:
Noctua aims at establishing a new level of quality and performance "Designed in Austria" through paying attention to the users' needs in a market burdened with all kinds of frills and furbelows and providing sound-optimised premium components, which serve their purpose in a smart, precise and reliable manner.
Noctua arises from a cooperation between the Austrian Rascom Computerdistribution Ges.m.b.H and the Taiwanese Kolink International Corporation and entertains a development partnership with the Austrian Institute of Heat Transmission and Fan Technology (Österreichisches Institut für Wärmeübertragung und Ventilatorentechnik, ÖIWV). These connections form the key to the achievement of our goal: The partnership with the ÖIWV permits the application of scientific measurement instrumentation, methods of calculation and simulation technology in the R&D process. Rascom's long, customer-oriented experience in developing and distributing sound-optimised high-end products ensures a clear focus on the users' needs. The use of Kolink's advanced manufacturing technology and ultra-modern production plants allows us to efficiently implement our technical edge and provide solutions of the highest standard in quality and performance.
Looking at the background of the company it is no surprise that the fans previously reviewed were so impressive. Today we will be looking at the new NF-P12.
Being a brand new product, specifications are not available on Noctuas website so the following has been replicated from the back of the NF-P12's packaging:
As you can see the NF-P12 has a very impressive airflow to decibel ratio ( 54.31855 CFM @ 19.8dB). As well as the impressive airflow to decibel ratio, Noctua has included low noise and ultra low noise adapters, effectively taking the fan down to very low noise levels.
However as I'm sure many people have experienced, decibel measurements don't consider the pitch of the sound emitted so further into the review we will be taking a look at all the above RPM settings to get a fair idea of what sort of sound you can expect if you were to buy one.