heading

Featuring Noctua’s AAO frame and sophisticated aerodynamic design measures such as Flow Acceleration Channels, the NF-A9x14 is a highly optimised, premium quality quiet fan in 92x14mm size. Due to its thickness of only 14mm, the NF-A9x14 is a perfect match for low profile CPU coolers and all other applications that require slimmer fans. Noctua’s custom-designed PWM IC for fully automatic speed control and reference class SSO2 bearings guarantee superb running smoothness and excellent long-term stability. Topped off with modular cabling, a Low-Noise Adaptor and 6 years manufacturer’s warranty, the NF-A9x14 is a premium choice for the highest demands.
Details
14mm Low Profile Design

14mm Low Profile Design

Measuring only 14mm in thickness, the NF-A9x14 is much slimmer than standard 92x25mm fans. This makes it ideal for all applications where standard fans would take up too much space, such as low profile CPU coolers in HTPC builds or server environments.
Flow Acceleration Channels

Flow Acceleration Channels

The NF-A9x14 impeller features suction side Flow Acceleration Channels. By speeding up the airflow at the crucial outer blade regions, this measure reduces suction side flow separation and thus leads to better efficiency and lower vortex noise.
AAO Frame

AAO Frame

Noctua's AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation) frames feature integrated anti-vibration pads as well as Noctua's proprietary Stepped Inlet Design and Inner Surface Microstructures, both of which further refine the fan's performance/noise efficiency.
Stepped Inlet Design

Stepped Inlet Design

Noctua's Stepped Inlet Design adds turbulence to the influx in order to facilitate the transition from laminar flow to turbulent flow, which reduces tonal intake noise, improves flow attachment and increases suction capacity, especially in space-restricted environments.
Inner Surface Microstructures

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.
Integrated Anti-Vibration Pads

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 mounting systems and fan clips used on heatsinks.
SSO2 Bearing

SSO2 Bearing

The NF-A9x14 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.
Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Supporting fully automatic PWM speed control, the NF-A9x14 uses Noctua's novel, custom-designed NE-FD1 PWM IC that integrates Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology. By providing smoother torque impulses, SCD suppresses PWM switching noises and thus makes the fan quieter at lower speeds.
Low-Noise Adaptor

Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-A9x14 is supplied with a (L.N.A.) that reduces the maximum fan speed from 2200 to 1700rpm. The L.N.A. can be used either to run the fan at a fixed speed of 1200rpm or to cap the maximum speed when using automatic PWM control.
Extensive cabling options

Extensive cabling options

The fan's short 20cm primary cable minimises cable clutter in typical applications while the supplied 30cm extension provides extended reach when necessary. Both cables are fully sleeved and a 4-pin y-cable allows the connection of a second NF-A9x14 fan to the same PWM fan header for automatic control.
6-year manufacturer’s warranty

6-year manufacturer’s warranty

Noctua fans are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the NF-A9x14 features an MTBF rating of more than 150.000 hours and comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
NF-A9x14 PWM
FAN Specification
Size
92x92x14 mm
Mounting hole spacing
82,5x82,5 mm
Connector
4-Pin PWM
Bearing
Blade Geometry
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
2200 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1700 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
500 RPM
Acoustical Noise
19,9 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
13,5 dB(A)
Static Pressure
1,64 mm H₂O
Static Pressure with L.N.A.
0,92 mm H₂O
Max. Input Power
1,32 W
Max. Input Current
0,11 A
Voltage
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
Scope of Delivery
  • Low-Noise Adapter (L.N.A.)
  • 4-Pin Y-Cable
  • 30cm Extension Cable
  • 4 Vibration-Compensators
  • 4 Fan Screws
Warranty
6 years
NF-A9x14 PWM
09.02.2015 // QWERTYmag.it
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

In questa recensione ci siamo realmente resi conto di quanto Noctua sia attenta ai dettagli e alla cura dei propri prodotti anche in delle “semplici” ventole che poi, in questo caso specifico, semplici non sono visto l’elevata cura nella produzione e nelle tecnologie adottate. Ci ha stupito moltissimo il fatto di ritrovare tutte le tecnologie citate nell’introduzione anche nelle ventole di dimensione ridotta come le NF-A4. Siamo decisamente soddisfatti sia dalle prestazioni in termini di efficienza/rumore, sia dal bundle che dai prezzi decisamente in linea con quelli di altri produttori ma assolutamente superiori in termini di caratteristiche e prestazioni. Attribuiamo a tutta la NF-A Series il premio Gold Award per l’innovazione tecnologica e la cura dei particolari che L’azienda ha dimostrato in questa serie di ventole super-efficienti.
Test verdict: "Ventole per ogni tipo di esigenza. Noctua con la serie NF-A ha pensato proprio a tutti e a tutto proponendo prodotti di altissima qualità e tecnologia mantenendo un ottimo rapporto qualità/prezzo. Decisamente apprezzata la cura dei dettagli e del bundle che rendoni queste ventole il TOP DI GAMMA sul mercato." (Davide Torno, QWERTYmag.it)
03.11.2014 // Conseil Config
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

Malgré la taille qui présageait des nuisances sonores horribles comme nous avons tous l'habitude d'entendre venant de ventilateurs comme ceux-ci, et bien il n'en est rien! Le ventilateur qui me faisait le plus peur était le tout petit Ax410, un ventilateur de 4cm qui, tournant à 4500 RPM, me donnait mal aux oreilles avant même de le brancher, mais au final il se révèle être extrêmement silencieux, du très bon pour Noctua qui pourra enfin vous réconcilier avec vos appareils utilisant des ventilateurs de cette taille. Le A6x25 est le plus silencieux du lot, il n'y a aucun bruit parasite audible et il saura se faire discret même au maximum. Le A9x14, qui n'est autre qu'un ventilateur 92 mm au format "low profile" est un modèle qui est très intéressant si vous êtes en manque de place dans vote HTPC (ou tout autre boitier avec peu de place), il a une grande plage d'utilisation et saura se faire très discret, à noter qu'il émet un léger son aigu à plein régime.
Test verdict: "Que dire de cette série un peu spéciale de chez Noctua? Au départ un peu sceptique quant au bruit que génèrent généralement ces types de ventilateurs il faut avoué que j'ai été agréablement surpris. [...] si vous cherchez à remplacer un ventilateur criard (par exemple dans un switch, ou un NAS etc..) par un silencieux vous avez trouvé ce qu'il vous faut!" (Christian Marchini, Conseil Config)
05.06.2014 // GreenTechReviews.ru
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

Вентилятор показал высокую эффективность при низком уровне шума. Его слабо слышно даже при максимальных оборотах.
Test verdict: "Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM продемонстрировал отличную эффективность при низком уровне шума. Отметим также высочайшее качество изготовления, богатый комплект и низкопрофильный дизайн. Всё это при выборе вентилятора устремляет взгляд именно на NF-A9x14 PWM, даже несмотря на несколько высокую цену. Но он определённо стоит своих денег!" (Владимир Солонин, GreenTechReviews.ru)
01.08.2013 // islaBit.com
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

El modelo NOCTUA NF-A4x10 FLX está ampliamente Recomendado por islaBit para sustituir ventiladores del mismo tamaño en placas base y cajas de pequeñas dimensiones para PC, así como válido también para fuentes de alimentación de pequeño formato específicas. La mayoría de casos requerirán ventiladores pequeños de baja altura, principalmente por falta de espacio. En este sentido, este formato de 40×40 mm puede explotarse aún más con ventiladores más altos para ganar rendimiento. El problema es que no hay mucha variedad en el mercado de este tipo de ventilador, así que seguro que será bienvenido. El modelo NF-A6x25 FLX está ampliamente Recomendado por islaBit para cualquier colocación compatible de 60x60mm, vigilando su amplio perfil. Es posible que su altura de 25mm condicione su uso, así que habrá que vigilarlo. Su rendimiento es amplio, así que se lleva el Premio Rendimiento islaBit. Poco más se podría explotar en este formato. Por otro lado, dejamos un comentario aquí para el propio fabricante. Quizá en un futuro vendría bien ventiladores de 60×60 de bajo perfil para poder equipar en tarjetas gráficas. Las tarjetas gráficas en general tienen un problema de sonoridad en general, y Noctua podría ser el fabricante que revolucionara tímidamente este mercado, y éste formato de 60×60 junto con el ventilador de formato 90×90 podrían ser grandes protagonistas. El modelo NOCTUA NF-A9x14 PWM está ampliamente Recomendado por islaBit de igual modo que el modelo de 60mm. El hecho de ser de bajo perfil y encima PWM trae dos posibles ventajas que ayudarán a ser más servible. Hace falta señalar el gran caudal de este modelo, capaz de mover más aire que la mayoría de ventiladores del mercado de mayor tamaño (de 120×120) y de rendimiento medio, consiguiendo una sonoridad muy contenida equiparable a éstos. Por ello se lleva también pero de forja ajustada el Premio Rendimiento islaBit.
Test verdict: "Tanto el modelo NF-A410 FLX, como los modelos NF-A6x25 FLX, NF-A9x14 PWM están pensados para reunir todas estas características, alta calidad en materiales empleados, y diseño exclusivo de los mismos para obtener los mejores resultados para su función." (Raúl Planelles, islaBit.com)
08.06.2013 // PureOverclock.com
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

We have come to know Noctua by their continuing tradition of the tan and brown colors on their fans. While there is no denying that these colors are not everyone’s taste, this is obviously subjective. From a design stand point, Noctua hit the nail on the head. With its AAO Frame design, to its stepped housing and its anti-vibration pads, Noctua has hit every point that matters. This design helps bring down noise levels and create less turbulence like we see in many other fans. From a performance stand point, Noctua’s SSO2 bearing and metal bearing shell keep things in order. Noctua did an outstanding job with each model. The fin design for each model provides sufficient airflow for your every day needs, yet Noctua was able to provide this performance while maintaining lower then normal dB Levels across the board. This is a magnificent feat. All you have to do is select the right model for your needs. If you are looking for low speed dB level fans but still want great airflow, the ULN models will be perfect. If you need a little more flexibility with speeds, the FLX models can meet that sector. If you are just looking for something that has self control, well the PWM models are the perfect design for you. With Noctua offering a wide dynamic of options for each size, model, and design… they really covered their bases. The most outstanding feature about this series of Noctua fans is the warranty. Noctua carries a 6 year warranty! That’s RIGHT, 6 years on ALL the fans we tested today. We have not seen any other company that stands behind their products the way Noctua has.
Test verdict: "With the warranty, technology and performance behind each model, we aren’t surprised and we find that many consumers today will pay the prices to get a superior product. If you are willing to over-look the odd color of Noctua’s traditional style, and you don’t mind the slightly higher pricing (which varies from $14.99 to $29.99 per fan), we find that Noctua deserves our Great Hardware award for all of these fans." (Kenny Ha, PureOverclock.com)
26.05.2013 // FastPC.pl
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

Postanowiliśmy również zweryfikować informacje producenta dotyczące natężenia dźwięku wentylatorów. Wszystkie wentylatory wypadły dobrze, a w gruncie rzeczy, akustyka powyżej 20 dB była jedynie zawirowaniami.
Test verdict: "NF-Axx to seria bardzo solidnych wentylatorów. Wysoka jakość wykonania, w połączeniu z wydajnością i cichym działaniem sprawiają, że nowe serie wentylatorów Noctua są idealnym rozwiązaniem dla amatorów niskich temperatur i ciszy. Ciekawym akcentem jest również bardzo dobre wyposażenie dodatkowe, oraz 6 letni okres gwarancyjny." (Michał Bartoś, FastPC.pl)
24.05.2013 // ThinkComputers.org
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

Noctua is known as one of the elites in the PC cooling hardware community. They have multiple award winning products and are always at the top of the performance lists. For this grouping of fans I expected much of the same. Overall I do believe that Noctua delivers. The fans all come well packaged, with a great assortment of accessories, which is great if not a little expected. They are made of high quality plastics and their inner parts are designed to be just as nice. You can tell from the list of features just how much engineering and testing has gone into making these fans as quiet and efficient as possible. I truly do believe they deliver on that.
Test verdict: "In summary these fans are a joy to install and use." (Bob Buskirk, ThinkComputers.org)
09.05.2013 // Hardaily.com
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

Las pruebas varias para el NF-A9x14 PWM básicamente pasan por probar su robustez y funcionamiento, comprobando manualmente su caudal de aire, su sonoridad y su facilidad de montaje. En primer lugar, pasa lo mismo que con su hermano mediano; este modelo es muy silencioso pese a rotar a revoluciones considerables, siendo algo destacado al experimentar con este ventilador tan pequeño, con el ventilador NF-A9x14 PWM tendréis un sonido contenido, solo apreciable si lo tenéis muy cerca de la oreja, con un caudal considerablemente alto, pudiendo provocar una circulación de aire de gran flujo en un circuito cerrado formado por dos unidades estratégicamente colocadas, uno de entrada y otro de salida, considerablemente separados, o bien en un disipador esbelto con dos unidades de ventilación, o incluso encima de un disipador de bajo perfil, con un único ventilador. Encima, este modelo es el candidato perfecto para algunos sistemas de disipación para tarjetas gráficas. De nuevo mencionar que es una lástima que Noctua no se atreva a competir en este mercado.
Test verdict: "El ventilador Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM está recomendado por Hardaily principalmente para 2 cometidos. El primero sería claramente como ventilador suplementario dentro de cajas reducidas o en torres muy esbeltas. También sería una buena solución para el lateral izquierdo de cualquier torre esbelta, para dar algo más de cabida al disipador del procesador, si el habitáculo de montaje es compatible con un marco de 90×90 mm, claro está. La segunda recomendación, siempre observando la compatibilidad en el montaje, es usarlo como ventilador principal par un disipador cometido de bajo perfil, que a su vez se monte en cajas de reducidas dimensiones. Con sus accesorios, que no son pocos, y su fácil colocación será complicado no poder instalarlo en el lugar requerido, siempre procurando que la zona de colocación sea compatible con recuadros de 90x90mm. Esto no es muy común en cajas medianas y grandes, pero ya llega a serlo en cajas reducidas. De nuevo, Noctua ofrece una solución muy decente para este tipo de necesidades." (Raul Planelles, Hardaily.com)
27.04.2013 // EasyCOM.com.ua
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

Как видно из таблицы, эффективность Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM оказалась выше родного вентилятора на 3 °С. С одной стороны это обусловлено разницей в диаметре – 92 мм против 60 мм. С другой стороны «австриец» работал с меньшей частотой вращения. Так или иначе, вентилятор показал высокую эффективность при низком уровне создаваемого шума. С применением LN-адаптера работа Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM стала практически не слышной, а температура процессора повысилась всего на 1 °С.
Test verdict: "Новый вентилятор от Noctua представляет собой пример удачного симбиоза маркетинга и инженерной мысли. С одной стороны популярный типоразмер в 92 мм и тонкий профиль, что, учитывая глобальную миниатюризацию, уже может обеспечить достаточный спрос на эту модель. С другой стороны безупречное качество исполнения, хорошее соотношение эффективность/шум и проверенные временем наработки компании, среди которых регулирование оборотов ШИМ-методом, делают Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM универсальным инструментом для охлаждения вашего ПК." (Дмитрий Ветров, EasyCOM.com.ua)
22.04.2013 // HardwareAnalisis.es
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NF-A9x14 PWM Review

Muchas veces, cuando nos encontramos un ventilador ruidoso en algún aparato comprobamos desolados que es difícil encontrar un sustituto, o que los que encontramos, no ofrecen las características que buscamos. Por suerte Noctua ha llegado al nuestro rescate, ofreciéndonos la serie de ventiladores NF-A, entre los que se incluyen los modelos NF-A4x10 FLX, NF-A6x25 FLX y NF-A9x14 PWM. Hasta el momento Noctua no había creado nada tan específico como esta serie de ventiladores. Todos ellos están concebidos para sustituir los ventiladores genéricos de baja calidad y bajas prestaciones que habitualmente encontramos preinstalados en muchos equipos. Y realmente lo consiguen, siendo unos de los ventiladores más silenciosos que hemos probado nunca! Con los nuevos ventiladores NF-A4x10 FLX, NF-A6x25 FLX y NF-A9x14 PWM, Noctua ha vuelto a demostrarnos que es el fabricante de referencia en el sector de la refrigeración por aire. Estos ventiladores no solo cubren un nicho de mercado hasta ahora poco explotado, sino que además ofrecen la más alta calidad de fabricación y las más novedosas tecnologías desarrolladas por los ingenieros de Noctua.
Test verdict: "Noctua lanza los ventiladores NF-A4x10 FLX, NF-A6x25 FLX y NF-A9x14 PWM. Soluciones especiales para problemas especiales, pero sin renunciar a la calidad ni a las mejores prestaciones." (Manuel González Fernández, HardwareAnalisis.es)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

Noctua PWM fans feature a minimum speed of 300rpm to allow for ultra quiet operation when your CPU is at idle state and doesn’t require higher cooling performance. Some mainboards display error messages such as “CPU fan error” during the booting process when the fan speed is below a certain level. If you get such error messages using your Noctua PWM fan and if such options are available in your BIOS, please either adjust the minimum fan speed monitoring limit to 200rpm or increase the minimum PWM duty cycle. If your BIOS doesn’t offer these options, please disable CPU fan errors. For detailed information on BIOS fan settings, please consult your mainoard’s manual or contact your mainboard manufacturer.

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). In this case, it may occur that the mainboard reduces the voltage so much that the fan stops. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.



To resolve the issue, you can:

  1. Choose a higher fan speed profile in the BIOS (e.g. „normal“ instead of „silent“, etc.) or deactivate automatic fan speed control and use a Low-Noise Adaptor instead.

  2. Use the mainboard‘s fan speed control software or 3rd party tools like Speedfan to regulate the fan speed. Unlike BIOS based fan speed control, the supplied software usually checks whether the fan has stopped and increases voltage accordingly or at least offer more options to set up the fan properly.

  3. If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

The specified minimum speed refers to the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle. There can be several reasons why the fan doesn‘t go as low as indicated:

  1. Many mainboards do not go below 40%, 50% or even 60% PWM duty cycle on case fan headers. Please refer to your mainboard manual to verify whether the fan header actually goes down to 20% duty cycle. If that's not the case, in some cases you can use the fan speed control software supplied with your mainboard to overcome these limitations and reduce the fan speed even further. However, 3rd party tools like SpeedFan offer greater flexibility and better options to work around the limitations imposed by the mainboard vendors.

  2. Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

    4 pin fan header types

    Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

    Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

    Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


    If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

The BIOS of many motherboard models from Supermicro expects a certain minimum fan speed (usually 700rpm), which is higher than the minimum fan speed that can be achieved with Noctua's PWM fan models. The BIOS may interpret the low minimum RPM of Noctua fans as a fan error and thus try to run the fan at 100% for a short period before going back to automatic control.. This can result in oscillating fan speeds and fan speed warnings in the BIOS or the fan management console.

Unfortunately there is usually no option to set a lower minimum value that would suit the low minimum speed of Noctua PWM fans.The issue can thus only be resolved by either disabling automatic fan speed control in BIOS, which will cause the fans to run at a constant speed, or by requesting a modified BIOS file from Supermicro, which takes the minimum fan speed of Noctua fans into account (charges might apply).

Can I use Low-Noise Adaptors with y-cables / multiple fans?

Yes, Low-Noise Adaptors (L.N.A.s) can be used with y-cables, but please make sure to use one L.N.A. per fan and to place the L.N.A.s between the y-cable and the fans as shown below. Never use one L.N.A. for two (or more fans) by placing it between the mainboard and the y-cable!

D15S

Can I run 4-pin PWM fans on 3-pin fan headers?

PWM fans come with a 4-pin connectors for fully automatic speed control via your mainboard’s 4-pin PWM fan headers. Please note that 4-pin fans can also be connected to your mainboard’s 3-pin fan headers though. When connected to 3-pin fan headers, the fan will run at full speed (unless the mainboard supports voltage based speed control).

The supplied y-cable is missing a wire at one of the two connectors, is it faulty?

No. As mainboards can process only one rpm-signal per fan header, it would cause problems if the cable transmitted rpm-signals of both fans. For this reason, one of the two connectors does not have an rpm wire and only the fan on the other connector will transmit an rpm signal. Automatic speed control of both fans will work independent from the second fan’s rpm signal.

How can I check if my 4-pin fan header supports PWM?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

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