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Noctua NF-P14 FLX

The Austrian Noctua NF-P14 FLX fan, which is a default fan of the famous Noctua NH-D14 super-cooler and of Noctua NH-C12P SE14 cooler can also be purchased separately. For about $20 you can get not just a fan with accessories, but also a white-and-brown cardboard box with a cut-out window in front and a ton of information on the back:

 

You can get even more info about the Noctua NF-P14 FLX fan and technologies used in it by opening the flip-cover in the back:

Together with the fan you get two adapters with variable resistors, a PATA power adapter, four silicone shock-absorbing mounts, four metal plates with retention holes and four self-tapping screws:

There is no manual, but once you’ve read the info on the package, you won’t really need one.

Noctua NF-P14 FLX is a 140x140x25 mm fan with retention holes that should fit a 120 mm fan spot. It weighs 150 g. the fan has a round light-pink frame with contrasting dark-brown blades inside it:

 

The fan itself is 130 mm in diameter. All nine blades have “notches” on the internal edge. These notches are intended for smoothing the airflow, lowering the noise and increasing the pressure. They help split the acoustic component of the fan airflow into several different spectrums that blend in better with the background noise from the rest of the system case and are easier to perceive for the human ear.

The inside surface of the fan frame is smooth and there is a 2 mm gap between the frame and the end of the fan blades:

When the fan is connected directly to the three-pin mainboard or rheobus connector, it will rotate at 1200 RPM, but with the enclosed adapters it can be lowered to 900 RPM or 750 RPM. In this case the airflow will equal 60, 49.3 and 41.9 CFM respectively, generating 19.6, 13.2 and 10.1 dBA of noise. The respective static pressure will be 1.29, 0.77 and 0.53 mmH2O. The fan’s maximum power consumption is declared to be 1.2 W (1.32 W according to our measurement results). The fan has one of the highest startup voltages in our today’s test session of 7.9 V.

The fan rotor is only 41 mm in diameter and is covered with a metal plate instead of a plastic or paper sticker:

Since the actual impeller of a 140 mm product weighs more than the impeller of a 120 mm model, Noctua engineers used a special reinforced metal shell to ensure that the bearing will last long. As a result, NF-P14 FLX boasts the same long-term service life span as its 120 mm brother and should last at least 150,000 hours. Moreover, this fan also uses second version of Smooth Commutation Drive technology, which makes its motor run almost completely noiselessly. I am sure that you remember the details about Noctua’s self-stabilizing and self-lubricating SSO bearings from our previous review: they are used in this fan as is, without any additional modifications.

Noctua NF-P14 FLX fan is priced at about $20 and is manufactured exclusively in Austria. It is expensive, but it comes with a 6-year warranty, which is not bad at all, although definitely not a record.

Let’s check out the performance of this relatively new fan:

Despite all unique technologies employed in Noctua NF-P14 FLX, this fan doesn’t boast any record-breaking airflow readings or extremely low noise levels. In fact, it seems to be closer to the two least successful participants of our today’s test session, rather than the average runners. For example, Noctua NF-P14 FLX is acoustically comfortable up to 830 RPM and quiet at up to 710 RPM, which is not that impressive against the background of other testing participants. In my opinion, the high price of this fan is not justified by its performance at all.

 
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