Truth be told, I put a lot of time into reading up on Noctua’s technology and really trying to wrap my head around it. Before putting this fan on the bench, and before checking out any numbers, I was fairly impressed by the design as it seemed to be a well thought out and well engineered fan. Noctua has been known to be one of the premium brands here in the US and their price tag definitely shows it, as this fan comes in at $23.95 with a 6 year warranty. No worries, even though this company is based in Austria they do have a US service center for RMA needs.
Noctua has always had both a soft spot and a negative point in my heart. On the one hand, I still can’t wrap my head around the color scheme that they use, but on the other hand, I am a man that enjoys silence. This fan did come to my bench with high expectations, and I was very eager to see how well it performed.
Straight off, the airflow numbers looked fairly low based on the fact that it’s only a 1500 RPM fan, which is why I think Noctua chose to rate its fans’ airflow in M3/h, but when you compare the airflow numbers to the rest of the fan, it’s understandable why it’s rated that way.
Throughout all RPM levels & voltage levels, this fan did very well in regards to airflow, with a fairly constant and standard airflow coming out. More so, I was greatly impressed with the focused flow (pardon the pun) of the air when it left the fan. You could easily feel the airflow of the fan from almost 3 feet away! This isn’t a metric of performance, but it does show Noctua’s technology hard at work.
When you move onto the static pressure results, I again came away pleasantly surprised, as the static pressure on this fan was definitely higher than Noctua’s previous offerings. Likewise, this fan does have enough static pressure for me to recommend it for cooling enthusiasts to use on their Heatsinks or Radiators. I don’t think I have much else to say, as the voltage & PWM results were fairly equal.
Now onto Noctua’s trademark style: the sound of this fan is fairly unimpressive in some regards. Noctua made some bold claims about frequency control and low noise operations of this fan, which just did not pan out. The overall sound signature of this fan was quiet, but not once did it fade into the background or become unnoticeable besides when it was on the threshold for human ears’ hearing range.
With all of that said, I don’t think Noctua has a bad product on their hands, and this is definitely a welcomed product to their lineup. For that, I’m going to hand Noctua the innovation award, as they did put a lot of R&D as well as engineering work into this product.
Legit Bottom Line: Noctua’s performance focused NF-F12 PWM did shine in its airflow & pressure statistics, but its sound signature always did stay noticeable.