Noctua NF-F12 PWM
The Noctua NF-F12 PWM is surely the most technologically advanced fan in this review. A detailed description of its technologies would be too long for this review, so we’ll try to give you just the basic facts here.
The packaging is a cardboard box with a flip-back cover which reveals a small window.
The cover unfolds like a booklet, telling the customer everything about the fan.
Inside the cardboard box there is additional plastic packaging with compartments for the fan and its accessories.
The Noctua NF-F12 PWM comes with three cables including a Y-shaped splitter, four silicone pins and four self-tipping screws.
The fan costs $19 and has a 6-year warranty.
Noctua stays true to its design principles, so the new fan follows the same color scheme as the company’s previous products. The beige frame with brown corners and impeller may be a questionable solution in terms of aesthetics but the fan is unmistakable among other models.
The NF-F12 PWM is indeed a new product which is considerably different from Noctua’s previous NF-S12B and NF-P12 products. Its impeller is something in-between the impellers of the mentioned fans and features seven broad blades with a sharp front edge and a thick end.
It is 113 mm in diameter. The 41mm motor is fastened on 11 broad spokes that are placed at an angle to the air flow and have notches on the exterior edge.
This solution is meant to make the air flow more focused and increase the fan’s static pressure.
The Noctua NF-F12 PWM has an impressive specified static pressure indeed. It is 2.61 mm of water at a speed of 1500 RPM, which is much higher than the specified static pressure of the faster models in this review. The picture below shows the advantage of the NF-F12 PWM over the NH-U12P:
The blades of the Noctua NF-F12 PWM are installed at an angle relative to the motor (31 to 37 degrees) in order to reduce noise.
This helps make the sound of the fan more uniform and comfortable for the ear.
Another unique solution implemented in the Noctua NF-F12 PWM is called Inner Surface Microstructures. It refers to the triangular incisions on the interior of the frame.
It helps reduce the turbulence between the blades and the frame, lowering noise and increasing air flow.
Besides the soft silicone corners that help reduce vibrations, the frame has three cutouts in that area which is also slanted.
This solution is called Stepped Inlet Design and it helps increase the air flow by increasing the turbulence at the input.
The air flow is declared to be 55 CFM at 1500 RPM. If the fan is connected via the resistor and its speed is lowered to 1200 RPM, the air flow is 43.7 CFM. The Noctua NF-F12 PWM is expected to produce 9.3 to 18 dBA of noise.
Besides the abovementioned technologies, we can tell you that the fan runs on a second-version Self-Stabilising Oil-pressure bearing.
The optimization refers to the reduced distance between the fan axis and the magnet so that the magnetic field is stronger. The motor is still covered with a metallic plaque rather than paper or film sticker as with the other products.
The bearing is expected to last longer thanks to its metallic shell.
The Noctua NF-F12 PWM has a specified service life of 150,000 hours or over 17 years. Its motor is economic, consuming no more than 0.6 watts at the maximum speed. The sleeved cables are about half a meter long.