|Item model number||NF-S12A PWM|
|Item Weight||6.4 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||4.72 x 0.98 x 4.72 inches|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||4.72 x 0.98 x 4.72 inches|
|Is Discontinued By Manufacturer||No|
|Date First Available||March 15, 2013|
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Noctua NF-S12A PWM, Premium Quiet Fan, 4-Pin (120mm, Brown)
|List Price:||$23.99 Details|
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|Item Dimensions LxWxH||4.72 x 0.98 x 4.72 inches|
|Power Connector Type||4-Pin|
|Noise Level||17.8 dB|
About this item
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- Premium quiet fan, 120x120x25 mm, 12V, 4-pin PWM, max. 1200 RPM, max. 17.8 dB(A), >150,000 h MTTF
- Award-winning third-gen 120x25mm S12 fan with Anti-Stall Knobs and Advanced Acoustic Optimisation frame for superior quiet cooling performance
- Airflow-optimised design for highly efficient, near-silent ventilation of PC cases and other chassis (intake & exhaust), cabinet cooling, etc.
- 4-pin PWM version for automatic speed control via 4-pin PWM fan headers, broad 300-1200rpm speed range (900rpm max. with supplied Low-Noise Adaptor)
- Includes anti-vibration mounts, fan screws, Low-Noise Adaptor, extension cable and y-cable for running two PWM fans on the same header
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The NF-S12A marks the third generation of Noctua’s signature S12 series quiet case fans, which have received more than 250 awards and recommendations from the international press. Featuring a further refined blade design with Anti-Stall Knobs that works in tandem with the new AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation) frame, the NF-S12A improves the airflow/noise efficiency of its renowned predecessor by up to 8%. The PWM version sports Noctua’s custom designed NE-FD1 IC for fully automatic speed control via 4-pin fan headers and comes with a Low-Noise-Adaptor to reduce the maximum speed during PWM control from 1200 to 900rpm. Its superb running smoothness, SSO2 bearing and Noctua’s trusted premium quality make it an elite choice for quiet case cooling
Award-winning NF-S12A design
The NF-S12A features the third evolution of Noctua's classic Straight Blade Design that has earned its S12 series countless recommendations from hardware journalists and enthusiasts around the world. Further optimised for even better airflow/noise efficiency, it makes the NF-S12A an ideal quiet case fan.
Integrated anti-vibration pads
Integrated anti-vibration pads made from extra-soft silicone minimise the transmission of minute vibrations while maintaining full compatibility with all standard screws and other mounting systems.
The NF-S12A features the further optimised second generation of Noctua's renowned, time-tested SSO bearing. With SSO2, the rear magnet is placed closer to the axis to provide even better stabilisation, precision and durability.
Inner Surface Microstructures
With the tips of the fan blades ploughing through the boundary layer created by the Inner Surface Microstructures, flow separation from the suction side of the blades is significantly suppressed, which results in reduced blade passing noise and improved airflow and pressure efficiency.
Scope of delivery
The NF-S12A's Anti-Stall Knobs reduce flow separation phenomena in medium to high impedance situations and thereby increase the fan's stall margin. This means that the NF-S12A is even more versatile than its renowned predecessor and can achieve better performance on heatsinks and radiators.
|NF-S12A PWM||NF-S12A FLX||NF-S12A ULN||NF-S12A PWM chromax.black.swap|
|Connector||4-pin PWM||3-pin||3-pin||4-pin PWM|
|RPM||Max: 1200 / Min: 300||1200||800||Max: 1200 / Min: 300|
|RPM with L.N.A.||900||900||600||-|
|RPM with U.L.N.A.||-||700||-||-|
|Acoustical Noise||17,8 dB(A)||17,8 dB(A)||8,6 dB(A)||17,8 dB(A)|
|Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.||10,7 dB(A)||10,7 dB(A)||6,7 dB(A)||-|
|Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A.||-||7,4 dB(A)||-||-|
|Voltage||12 V||12 V||12 V||12 V|
|Colour||Brown & Beige||Brown & Beige||Brown & Beige||Black with swappable coloured anti-vibration pads|
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|Sold By||Noctua Cooling Solutions||Noctua Cooling Solutions||Noctua Cooling Solutions||Noctua Cooling Solutions||Noctua Cooling Solutions||Noctua Cooling Solutions|
|Item Dimensions||4.72 x 0.98 x 4.72 inches||4.72 x 0.98 x 4.72 inches||4.72 x 0.98 x 4.72 inches||4.72 x 0.98 x 4.72 inches||4.72 x 4.72 x 0.98 inches||4.72 x 0.59 x 4.72 inches|
|Item Weight||6.40 ounces||0.66 lbs||0.79 lbs||7.05 ounces||0.50 lbs||4.41 ounces|
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Top reviews from the United States
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Edit: After extensive testing during intensive cpu & gpu loads I exchanged my NF-S12A Intake for a NF-A12. (I did keep one NF-S12A for the exhaust). The NF-A12 has a higher static pressure rating which worked considerably better on my case. I didn't think it was necessary as I don't have a radiator, dust filter, or any other obstruction for which the NF-A12 is better rated for- just the honeycomb front grate that is common on most cases. As it turns out this was enough of an impedance to make a difference for optimal airflow under load. (No difference at idle). If you're not gaming or doing any other intensive cpu/gpu activities the NF-S12A will be perfectly adequate. Also in my case it not only cooled better but was also quieter under extreme load; (tested with db meter). If you compare fans- the A12 is like a diesel compared to the S12A which is gas powered (torque vs rpm). Depending on your PC case and your objective one or the other will perform much better. I would only recommend the S12A for an intake fan if you have no obstruction whatsoever to impede airflow. In that instance it is a better performer.
They are more expensive than other fans
Cheaper fans do exist but you definitely get what you pay for. With Noctua you get a highly engineered fan that moves a lot of air quietly with no fan noise. You also get accessories like a cable splitter, extension, silicone mounting devices, and regular screws. Factor in how many extras you get and these fans become highly competitive just on price.
Like silent-but-violent kind of quiet (or silent-but-deadly but I prefer the former). I ended up using a total of five fans to cool my case (3x120mm, 2x140mm) which may be excessive to some but I was tired of hearing my old fans spin up under load and making more noise than I thought was acceptable. Now on an overclocked CPU with a current mid-range GPU in a smaller ATX case the most noise I hear is the air itself moving into the case through the magnetic dust filters. Absolutely no fan whine.
They're as easy to install as any other fan
If you've put in one you've put in a million. I ended up not using the extra silicone mounts and just the regular screws because I prefer to have an easier time removing the fans rather than a slightly quieter experience. I'm not after complete quiet in my setup, just mostly quiet, and the metal screws are enough for me.
I prefer using the PWM versions of fans since they can then be controlled by the motherboard. Auto up, auto down. These fans are great and I'm definitely going to buy more for my next computer, whenever that will be.
If you are looking for good performance and quiet operation, then this is the fan you should consider.
Top reviews from other countries
It runs at a maximum of 1200 RPM, or can be limited to no more than 800 RPM using the provided low-noise adapter. Also provided is an extension cable, screws, and rubber mounting devices that can take the place of screws, providing a mounting system guaranteed not to have any vibration noise. All provided in a stylish book-like package, with a nicely laid out instruction manual.
Performance is excellent. It's extremely quiet while still moving a good amount of air. It looks good too, if you're into that sort of thing. Makes a change from plain boring black or grey devices.
Installation is easy enough using the screws provided. The rubber mounting devices are a bit trickier, especially if you're trying to install the fan in a cramped PC case and/or where you can't get full access. You need to pull them through the screw holes, and they are a tight fit, requiring them to be wiggled around to get them fully through the holes. This is OK if you can get full access to the holes, but can be very hard if you're trying to install it in a tight place.
If you're trying to lower the noise of your PC fans, or any device that uses (or can use) a 12cm / 120mm fan, then I know of no fan better than this one.
The only downside is the price. It's definitely priced for the enthusiast market, and is packaged as such: everything about it shouts quality, high-end product. That's fine, but I likely would have bought a couple more if I didn't have to keep paying for stuff I don't need. It's a shame that they don't offer a 'bare' version that doesn't include the accessory pack. While it's well put together, and will be appreciated in many installations, there are likely many users who, like me, only need the fan, and won't use the provided screws, rubber mounts, extension cable or low noise adapter (all of which can be bought separately if the buyer later changes their mind about needing them.)
Noctua really should consider also making the fan available on its own so that users who don't need all the other stuff don't have to pay for accessories and packaging they really don't need. I suppose they prefer to be seen as a luxury brand, but that's definitely costing them a few extra sales, at least from me.
Cooler Master Cosmos II Case
ASUS Rampage V Edition 10 Motherboard
EVGA SuperNova P2 1600w ATX PSU
Intel Core i7 5960X Processor
Corsair H110i GT AIO Water Cooler + Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Compound
Corsair Dominator Platinum 3000Mhz 64GB DDR4 RAM (4 sticks) + 2x Corsair Airflow RAM fans
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X GPU
Samsung NVMe SSD 950 Pro 512GB
Samsung Sata 6G SSD 850 Pro 1TB
WD Blue Sata 6G HDD 2.5" 2TB
My case came with 1x 200mm fan in the front intake. 2x 120mm fans in the bottom HDD tray. 1x 140mm fan on the top exhaust, and 1x 140mm fan on the rear exhaust. In addition to this, my water cooler came with 2x 140mm fans.
I wanted a powerful yet quiet computer, so I bought the best parts I could afford, and I bought parts with capacity to spare because I didn't want to push my machine to its maximum limits. I wanted headroom to allow the components to room cooler. Yep, it's a waste, but I can afford the waste for silence.
The PSU itself has more watts than I will ever need. But because of this, I can switch on the ECO mode and the fans will *never* run. I've been running this build for almost 9 months now and the PSU fans never needed to run even under load with an overclock (which I attempted a few hours just for fun, but returned to stock immediately after).
The Corsair fans that came with the cooler are very good, but because they can reach 2000RPM they can get pretty loud. The Cooler Master fans that came with the case are also okay, but the truth is that Noctuas command high prices for a reason: they are awesome.
I replaced the front intake with a 140mm NF-A14 PWM. Silent as a feather in a vacuum. I bought 2 more of these for the Corsair water cooler. I replaced the rear intake and the 2 HDD fans with 2 of these NF-S12A PWM fans and my computer is now silent even under load. It's amazing that I'm running this beast of a PC and it's completely silent.
The Noctuas have a much improved motor and PWM IC design, so they have no commutation noise. PWM fans usually have this ticking sound, no so these ones. While I could live with the commutation noise from the Cooler Master and the Corsair fans, the Noctuas completely eliminates the noise altogether (or the frequency is above or below what human hearing can perceive).
I have a tip: go on the Noctua website and check the product lines, they have a helpful filter and a page explaining the differences between models of 120mm fans, showing which ones are best for airflor, which are best for radiators, etc.
They are expensive but worth every single penny. The accessories are super useful, I used 2 of the splitters and all of the extension cables. I also used two sets of the rubber mounting thingies.
By the way, I made the changes about a week after I built the PC and I've been running these fans for months and they're still as good as day 1.
Run at full speed the fans inevitably aren't silent (it's mostly wind noise from the volume of air they're blowing) but once you adjust the RPM to be controlled by software the RPM drops, as low as zero (yep, they stop spinning if the case is below your target temperature).
Which software you use to control the fans will depend on your motherboard - many come with fan control software, or you can try standalone app 'speed fan'.
As the case warms up under load the fans slowly pick up speed, but as long as they stay under 1000 RPM they are literally silent from more than a few centimetres away. Mine run at about 500 RPM most of the time and are completely inaudible.
I'm in the process of swapping old case fans for 4 pin fans (PWM) so that they can be rate controlled and not constantly at a set level all the time.
This replaced a default 12cm Zalman case fan, (and I couldn't be happier), it's so quiet, I turned up the speeds for the summer and it still makes less noise than the old one at idle and at load :D
Per noctua(dot)at/en/which_fan_is_right_for_me, Noctua recommend this as the quietest and most suitable for case ventilation that is minimally obstructed. For obstructions, you should opt for something like the NF-P12 which maintains a higher static pressure.
BUT, the rubber anti-vibration mounts that come with the NF-S12A are very finicky, since they are much smaller than the ones found in the A12x25 which can be pulled through with ease. I needed to use a pliers to pull them through, and when i tried removing them I tore the rubber apart and broke one of the mounts. If you want to mount them without any trouble and lower risk of tearing the rubber, first pull all of the mounts through the fan first outside of the case, then squeeze and shuffle the mounting heads into the pc case brackets afterwards.