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Product discontinued. Successor model: NF-S12B FLX

Sound-optimised blade geometry and profile: The NF-S12 is the first fan employing a novel rotor which was developed by the Austrian Institute for Heat-Transmission and Fan Technology (Österreichisches Institut für Wärmeübertragung und Ventilatorentechnik, ÖIWV). Thanks to the special optimisation of the blade geometry towards ultra low noise application, the NF-S12 is up to 10% more quiet than current high-end fans at the same flow rate.

Self-stabilising oil-pressure bearing (SSO bearing): The NF-S12 series are equipped with a magnetically centred, self lubricating oil-pressure bearing that provides a new level of quietness and long-term stability.
NF-S12-1200
FAN Specification
Size
120x120x25 mm
Bearing
Blade Geometry
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
600 RPM
Airflow
81 m³/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A.
41 m³/h
Acoustical Noise
17 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A.
< 6* dB(A)
MTBF
> 150.000 h
Scope of Delivery
  • Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • 4 Vibration Compensators
  • 3:4-Pin Adaptor
  • 4 Fan Screws
Warranty
6 years
NF-S12-1200
30.11.2006 // SilentPCReview.com
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NF-S12-1200 Review

Initially, we were quite skeptical that the unusually shaped fan blades could live up to their claim to provide better than usual airflow at low speeds. A similar blade design on an 80mm Mechatronics fan ended up being significantly less efficient when we compared it to more conventional designs. Additionally, the unusually wide clearance between the blade tip and the frame - intended to reduce turbulence noise - made us wonder whether the blades had enough surface area to move a significant amount of airflow.

Happily, the numbers proved Noctua's claims correct. A close analysis of the data showed that, rotation for rotation, the Noctua fans pushed about 20% more air than the rest of the fans in the test. Even better, the Noctua fans did not lose efficiency until the rotation speed dropped to ~400 RPM, while other fans typically dropped off around ~500 RPM.

So much for airflow, but what about noise? Certainly, the Noctua fans had the advantage of spinning more slowly to produce the same airflow, but we've long since learned not to judge noise on the basis of rotation speed alone. Luckily, the noise character seemed to consist mostly of the quiet, broadband whoosh of airflow, making it very easy to ignore. Close listening revealed a very slight buzz hidden underneath that gave the noise a slight edge that is absent in the Nexus fan. In contrast, the Nexus sounded more tonal, with more emphasis in the deeper frequencies.

Best of all, the better airflow efficiency meant that the Noctua was perceptibly quieter at equivalent airflow than the Nexus. The difference wasn't large, and at low speeds both were quiet enough to disappear entirely. Nevertheless, there was enough difference around ~40 CFM for this reviewer to give the Noctua the nod.
Test verdict: "The best fan of the bunch was the Noctua, which overcame our skepticism and lived up to its hype by producing more airflow at lower speeds. Its airflow-to-noise ratio is its best feature, which gives it enough of an edge to make up for its slightly rougher noise character. The Noctua has seen recommendations around the web, and we have no qualms about adding our own to the list." (Devon Cooke, SilentPCReview.com)
02.10.2006 // Bjorn3d.com
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NF-S12-1200 Review

Seriously though after reading in depth about the technology behind being used with the Noctua NF-S12 fans, I believe they have concept that will carry them to a high degree of popularity amongst Enthusiasts and the Silent PC lovers alike.
Test verdict: "I must also mention that prior to this test I was sold on the Scythe fans and firmly convinced that they had the best volume output to silence ratio on the market. This test changed my opinion completely. The Noctua S12-1200 is far quieter" (Miles Cheatham, Bjorn3d.com)
19.09.2006 // Cooling-Masters.com
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NF-S12-1200 Review

Si on se base uniquement sur la performance, on trouvera mieux que les Noctua car ils ne sont évidemment pas destinés à être des monstres. Si on se base sur un bon compromis performances/bruit, les Noctua sont par contre très bien placés. Si on se base à bruit identique par rapport un Papst 4412/FGL par exemple, les Noctua permettent un flux d'air légèrement plus élevé, donc potentiellement un peu plus de performances.
Test verdict: "...l'impression finale est vraiment excellente..." (David Derosiaux)
09.11.2006 // HW-Center.com
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NF-S12-1200 Review

Die Lautstärke der Lüfter ist schon im 12V-Betrieb sehr angenehm. Der NF-S12-800 ist flüsterleise, der große Bruder mit 1200 U/min bleibt jedoch auch auf einem geringen Geräuschpegel. Mit Ultra-Low-Noise-Adapter sind beide Lüfter nur noch aus sehr kurzer Distanz wahrnehmbar.
Test verdict: "Noctua hat mit der NF-S12-Lüfterserie ein tolles Produkt entwickelt. Die Lautstärke der Lüfter bleibt in beiden Fällen gering, während der Luftdurchsatz sich, zumindest ohne Ultra-Low-Noise-Adapter, durchaus sehen lassen kann. Ebenfalls die Lebensdauer von über 150.000 Stunden und die Garantie von 6 Jahren sind positiv zu erwähnen." (Philip Nadolski, HW-Center.com)
08.11.2006 // Tweakup.dk
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NF-S12-1200 Review

Noctua NF-S12-800 vipper Tweak'O meter op til 90 points for det anderledes og spændende design Noctua har forsøgt at lave på deres blæsere. Noctua NF-S12-800 er kendetenget ved at være uhyggelig støjsvag men det påvirker også ydelsen lidt og derfor skal denne blæser hovedsagelig vælges hvis støj er vigtigere end performance. Prisen virker ikke urealistisk når der ses på specifikationer og tilbehør til modellen.
Test verdict: "Noctua NF-S12-1200 bremser Tweak'O meter ved 95 points og dette er igen for det anderledes og spændende design Noctua har forsøgt på deres på disse blæsere. Ydelsen er absolut i top kombineret med et godt støjniveau, men kan høres mere i forhold til den langsommere model. Prisen er igen meget acceptabel når man ser på specifikationerne og det tilbehør til modellen." (Kim Christensen, Tweakup.dk)
20.02.2008 // LesNumeriques.com
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NF-S12-1200 Review

La différence entre les deux modèles se situe au niveau de la vitesse de rotation. La version 1200 tourne entre 600 et 1200 tours/minute tandis que la version 800 est plus lente avec une vitesse comprise entre 500 et 800 tours/minute. Dans les deux cas, au régime minimum, la ventilation s'effectue dans le silence absolu.
Test verdict: "Des ventilateurs véritablement silencieux ! Les 'must-have' si vous recherchez le silence absolu." (Régis Jehl, LesNumeriques.com)
21.01.2008 // Casetrace.be
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NF-S12-1200 Review

De NF-S12 is werkelijk een zeer stille fan, maar in het verleden hebben we al gemerkt, stille fans zorgen nooit voor goede koeling, dat is nu weggewerkt door Noctua. De fan is stil en heeft een redelijk grote lucht verplaatsing en dat maar op 1200rpm!
Test verdict: "De Noctua NF-S12 en de NF-R8 zijn hoge kwaliteits fans die stil en een redelijke koeling geven. De huisstijl is misschien wat appart qua kleuren, maar als je geen casemodder bent en je zoekt stille fans dan is Noctua een merk om niet over het hoofd te zien." (Dennis Eskens, Casetrace.be)
07.12.2007 // KubycSystem.com
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NF-S12-1200 Review

Después de probar este Noctua NF-S12, nos hemos quedado encantados. Si buscamos el máximo silencio en nuestro HTPC, tenemos el ventilador ideal. Pero si buscamos un ventilador que refrigere algún equipo con problemas de calor, también lo tendremos. Esto es así gracias al adaptadores de corriente que nos trae como accesorio, consiguiendo tener dos ventiladores en uno. Un ventilador que funcionará a 1200 r.p.m. y un flujo de aire my bueno y otro ventilador que irá a 600 r.p.m., con un caudal de aire aun bueno, pero con menos de 6dB de ruido.
Test verdict: "Un ventilador excelente, con un ruido extremadamente bajo, que no explica el gran caudal de aire que mueve. Imprescindible para cualquier usuario de equipos HTPC que busquen el máximo silencio pero que no quieran sacrificar la refrigeración de sus componentes." (Miguel Angel Peirats Tuzón, KubycSystem.com)
29.11.2007 // Overclock.pl
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NF-S12-1200 Review

NF-S12 to już klasa sama w sobie. Wydajność na najwyższym poziomie, przy zachowaniu wzorowej wręcz kultury pracy sprawia, że jest to produkt bliski ideału, godny polecenia każdemu fanatykowi ciszy.
Test verdict: "Reasumując, użytkowanie wentylatorów Noctua to czysta przyjemność, dlatego też oba modele otrzymują od nas rekomendację! Gratulujemy!" (Tomasz Wec, Overclock.pl)
16.11.2007 // Review.cl
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NF-S12-1200 Review

En este caso solo probaremos el ventilador a forma muy simple, conectandolo y viendo como funciona, logramos comparar el ventilador conectado de forma normal y despues con el U.L.N.A. (Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor), vemos una gran diferencia en cuanto a sonido del mismo y flujo, el flujo de aire depende si se usa el adaptador o no, pero es excelente en comparacion a otros que solo son esteticos y no completamente funcionables.
Test verdict: "Estamos frente a un par de ventiladores excelentes, traen lo necesario para su conexion y estan tambien pensados para las personas que tienen problemas con el ruido al venir un adaptador especial para esto y no entrar en gastos en reguladores y aparatos para este fin, sus colores le dan un toque de elegancia y sus terminaciones son perfectas. Estos ventiladores por sus ventajas recibe el premio de Oro de nuestra pagina." (Gonzalo Avendaño Vidal, Review.cl)

Information Sheet (PDF)

Can I use Noctua fans on my fan controller?

Our fans are compatible with the vast majority of fan controllers on the market. However, there is a compatibility issue with a few models such as the Zalman ZM-MFC2 and Bitfenix Recon, which apply Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) on the 12V line and use an unfavourable PWM carrier frequency. This can create an oscillation when used with certain fans, which will result in the fan speeding up and down. We therefore recommend not using the Zalman ZM-MFC2 or Bitfenix Recon with our fans.

My fan doesn’t spin when I start up the PC - is it faulty?

If you've connected the fan directly (or using the supplied Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptors) to your mainboard, it's possible that the mainboard's automatic fan controller doesn't provide the required starting voltage due to the low CPU temperature. Please verify whether the fan starts spinning at higher CPU temperatures, remove any Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptors, deactivate your mainboard's automatic fan controller in the BIOS or connect the fan directly to the power supply using the supplied 3:4-pin adaptor.

Can I run Noctua 3-pin fans on 4-pin PWM connectors and use my mainboard’s automatic fan controller?

You can simply connect our fan's 3-pin connector to the 4-pin PWM sockets of today's mainboards so that the fourth pin that transmits the PWM signal is left blank (due to the shape of the connector, there's no danger of reversing polarity). Some mainboards (e.g. current Gigabyte models) are capable of controlling fans not only via PWM, but also by adjusting the supplied voltage. In some cases, this may require you to change BIOS options like "Fan Control Mode" from "PWM" to "Voltage" or "Analog". Please consult your mainboard's manual in this regard. However, some mainboards use an "auto" setting by default that automatically chooses PWM or voltage based regulation according to the connected fan. Automatically controlling the fan speed may not possible on mainboards that pulse the power rather than lowering the fan voltage.

PWM PWM

You specify airflow in m³/h, how can I convert to CFM?

In accordance to the International System of Units (SI system), Noctua specifies volumetric flow rate (airflow) using the SI unit of cubic metres per hour (m³/h). The SI unit can easily be converted to cubic feet per minute (CFM): One m³/h is ~0.589 CFM and one CFM is ~1.699 m³/h. For convenient conversion, online tools such as www.convertunits.com can be used.

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