heading

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.

  button  Anti-Stall Knobs 
button  AAO Frame
button  Stepped Inlet Design 
button  Inner Surface Microstructures 
button  SSO2 Bearing
button  Metal Bearing Shell 
button  NE-FD1 PWM IC 
button  Which Noctua 120mm fan should I choose?
Details
Award-winning S12 design

Award-winning S12 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.
Anti-Stall Knobs

Anti-Stall Knobs

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.
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 screws and other mounting systems.
Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Supporting fully automatic PWM speed control, the NF-S12A PWM 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 low speeds.
Low-Noise Adaptor

Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-S12A PWM is supplied with a (L.N.A.) that reduces the maximum fan speed from 1200 to 900rpm. The L.N.A. can be used either to run the fan at a fixed speed of 900rpm 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 fan to the same PWM fan header for automatic control.
SSO2 Bearing

SSO2 Bearing

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.
Metal bearing shell

Metal bearing shell

In order to guarantee the highest possible degree of manufacturing precision, minimum tolerance and excellent long-term stability, the NF-S12A sports a CNC milled bearing shell made entirely from brass.
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-S12A features an MTTF rating of more than 150.000 hours and comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
NF-S12A PWM
FAN Specification
Size
120x120x25 mm
Mounting hole spacing
105x105 mm
Connector
4-Pin PWM
Bearing
Blade Geometry
S-Series with Anti-Stall Knobs
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
900 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
300 RPM
Acoustical Noise
17,8 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
10,7 dB(A)
Static Pressure
1,19 mm H₂O
Static Pressure with L.N.A.
0,73 mm H₂O
Max. Input Power
1,44 W
Max. Input Current
0,12 A
Voltage
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
Scope of Delivery
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • 4-Pin Y-Cable
  • 30cm Extension Cable
  • 4 Vibration-Compensators
  • 4 Fan Screws
Warranty
6 years
NF-S12A PWM
NF-S12A
Video Reviews
The following video reviews have not been created by Noctua. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the videos lies entirely with the authors.
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25.06.2017 // Najdiigru.ru
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NF-S12A PWM Review

Для сравнения эффективности вентиляторов Noctua NF-S12A нами был проведен простой тест. С системы охлаждения Cooler Master MasterLiquid 120 был снят один вентилятор(всего их два), и мы сравнили температуру процессора AMD Ryzen 7 1700 в стресс-тесте AIDA64 с работающим на максимальных оборотах комплектным вентилятором работающим на 2200 об/мин и Noctua NF-S12A PWM работающим на 1400 об/мин. Как видно из графика, вентилятор Noctua при куда меньших оборотах проиграл всего 0,6ºС при гораздо меньшем уровне шума.
Test verdict: "Вентиляторы Noctua NF-S12A впечатляют своей производительностью, бесшумностью, количеством технологий, богатой комплектацией и надежностью, ведь производитель не боится давать шесть лет гарантии, что очень много для вентилятора." (Ульяна Шельдяева, Najdiigru.ru)
19.06.2017 // Top10Games.es
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NF-S12A PWM Review

La nueva gama de ventiladores Noctua NF-S12A son la solución perfecta para cualquier usuario que quiera obtener lo mejor en relación rendimiento/sonoridad. Con sus distintas alternativas de modelos podremos escoger el que mas se adapte a nuestras necesidad dependiendo si es la sonoridad, el flujo, el tamaño o la velocidad lo que queremos variar. Lo mejor es lo duro que trabaja Noctua con cada producto para proporcionar lo mejor que saben hacer, dar potencia, calidad y seguridad. Pues Noctua nos asegura que superarán las 150.000 horas de uso, que son unos 17 años de uso continuado.
Test verdict: "Noctua ha realizado un buen trabajo desarrollando estos ventiladores Noctua NF-S12A los cuales son la solución perfecta para cualquier usuario gracias a sus variantes, las prestaciones y la calidad de sus componentes." (Adrián José Pérez Toré, Top10Games.es)
12.06.2017 // PC nadšenci
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NF-S12A PWM Review

Testy nám potvrdzujú kvalitu ventilátorov Noctua, no príjemne prekvapilo aj SilentiumPC, hlavne model Sigma Pro 120 PWM. Sklamaním sú ale ventilátory Reeven, ktoré sú drahšie ako SilentiumPC, no v testoch dosiahli horšie výsledky.
Test verdict: "Ak hľadáte kvalitný a tichý ventilátor, Noctua je ten správny výrobca. Vo všetkých testoch ventilátory tohto výrobcu preukázali najlepšie teploty a najmenšiu hlučnosť, preto im udeľujeme zlaté ocenenie." (Tomáš Brestovanský, PC nadšenci)
22.05.2017 // Gizcomputer.com
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NF-S12A PWM Review

Pasamos ahora a repasar lo que tienen en común estos ventiladores, además de su aspecto y forma. Lo primero y mi juicio más importante es la garantía de 6 años que nos ofrece el fabricante. Además Noctua nos asegura que superarán las 150.000 horas de uso, que son unos 17 años de uso continuado. Los cojinetes SSO2 están diseñados para conseguir la mejor estabilización. Además está recubierto en metal mejorando la durabilidad y resistencia. Por otra parte, las pequeñas protuberancias en las aspas de los ventiladores permiten mejorar el flujo de aire. Además tenemos los pads antivibracioón antes comentados.
Test verdict: "Pueden no ser los ventiladores más bonitos y no, no tienen LEDs, pero si buscas ventiladores silenciosos, fiables y muy bien construidos, estos son perfectos para ti." (Diego Egido, Gizcomputer.com)
19.04.2017 // Gamepur.com
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NF-S12A PWM Review

Noctua NF-S12A series is ideal for case fans, you can apply multiple fans on the front, top or on the back of a case. As we had said already having a decent CPU cooler matters a lot to get maximum from the case fans. For Air Coolers on CPU, these fans help a lot to draw out heat and push more and more cooler air. This maintains a decent CPU temperature on long run.
Test verdict: "Through our test we can conclude these fans are really designed for sheer performance. They are quite silent on high rpm and durable." (Joey S, Gamepur.com)
08.04.2017 // deviron.ru
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NF-S12A PWM Review

Во время проведения тестирования, шум данных вентиляторов практически не был слышен, поскольку был полностью заглушен корпусными вентиляторами.
Test verdict: "Несмотря на то, что данная серия была выпущена в начале 2013 года, она всё ещё не потеряла свою актуальность и предоставляет потребителю бескомпромиссное решение, обеспечивающее высокую производительности при низком шуме." (Vasily Klokov, deviron.ru)
07.04.2017 // TechLipton.pl
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NF-S12A PWM Review

Wydajność przy zastosowaniu radiatora powodującego jednak opór powietrza stoi na dobrym poziomie. Trzeba pamiętać, że ten model Noctuy nie jest produktem przeznaczonym typowo na chłodzenia, lecz do wentylacji obudowy. Mimo tego – jest naprawdę dobrze, niewiele gorzej niż w testowanych poprzednio Corsairach ML120.
Test verdict: "Wentylatory Noctua NF-S12A ULN, FLX oraz PWM nikogo nie pozostawią obojętnym. Albo się je lubi, albo nie – głównie ze względu na kolorystykę. Sama jakość wykonania, kultura pracy, wydajność oraz bogate wyposażenie to niewątpliwe plusy." (Krzysztof Hukałowicz, TechLipton.pl)
15.02.2017 // PcGaming.games
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NF-S12A PWM Review

Estos ventiladores tiene una calidad desde que tienes el producto en tus manos hasta que lo montas, impresionante. La capacidad de refrigeración de estos ventiladores resulta muy importante en mi caso, vivo en una zona muy cálida de España y llegamos en verano a temperaturas de hasta 38 grados en la sombra. Todos los años mi pc alcanza altas temperaturas por culpa del verano y unos ventiladores con estas capacidades mi PC lo agradecerá.
Test verdict: "Realmente lo que más me ha sorprendido son los niveles de ruido que genera, son prácticamente inapreciables incluso en el modelo ” que más ruido genera”." (Carlos Carraveo, PcGaming.games)
09.02.2017 // TechHardware.it
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NF-S12A PWM Review

A pieno regime risultano essere quasi inudibili, risultando più silenziose delle standard Cooler Master, migliorando ulteriormente la quantità di aria immessa, abbassando le temperature. Le ULN invece, sono assolutamente silenziosissime ed inudibili anche a case aperto.
Test verdict: "Le ventole si sono dimostrate eccellenti in tutto, c’è poco da dire. Packaging perfetto, prestazioni molto buone per la silenziosità offerta e ben sei anni di garanzia." (Tommaso Biallo, TechHardware.it)
25.01.2017 // GamesGuru.org
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NF-S12A PWM Review

Nie ma co się sprzeczać odnośnie do tych elementów. Jednakże premium oznacza również wysoką cenę. Pomimo upływu lat, NF-S12A nadal kosztuje niemało – około 81-85zł w zależności od wersji. Rekompensację takiej ceny możemy upatrzyć w, chociażby 6-letniej gwarancji.
Test verdict: "Wentylatory Noctua z serii NF-S12A to prawdziwy sprzęt premium, nie tylko z nazwy, ale również jakości wykonania, działania, długoletniej gwarancji czy obiecanej żywotności." (Filip Ciemiński, GamesGuru.org)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

Can I disassemble my fan for cleaning (or other purposes, e.g. painting)?

In order to ensure flawless operation over many years of usage, all Noctua fans come with a premium grade SSO bearing, which is fully sealed to prevent the entering of fine dust particles. Please note that the fan is not designed to be taken apart by the user. Removing the impeller from the frame will break the sealing of the bearing and results in a loss of warranty.

It is thus recommended to clean your fans using a duster, slightly moist tissue or canned air. Please be careful not to use too much force in order to prevent any damage to the fan. Please don’t use a vacuum cleaner as this may apply excessive force to the fan.

Can I paint my Noctua fan in order to change its color?

Since even small variations in the layer of paint can lead to an imbalance of the impeller, resulting in vibrations, higher noise levels, increased stress on the bearing and thus reduced lifespan, we do not recommend painting the fan. Please note that for the reasons stated above, painting the fan will void your warranty.

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).

What pin configuration do Noctua 12V fans use?

All Noctua fans feature the standard pin-configurations set out in the Intel and AMD specifications. These standard pin-configurations are used on most mainboards and fan controllers today:

pin configuration

How can I find out the direction of airflow and sense of rotation?

When looking at the fan so that the circular sticker with the Noctua logo is facing you, the direction of airflow is towards you and the sense of rotation is clockwise:

P14

How should I clean my Noctua fan?

Fans inside computer cases tend to accumulate dust over longer periods of usage. In order to maintain maximum performance, please clean your fans regularly using a duster, slightly moist tissue or canned air. Please be careful not to use too much force in order to prevent any damage to the fan. Please do not use a vacuum cleaner as this may apply excessive force to the fan and do not put the fan under running water as water residues inside the motor may lead to short circuits.
In order to ensure flawless operation over many years of usage, Noctua’s premium grade SSO bearings are fully sealed to prevent the entering of fine dust particles. Please note that the fan is not designed to be taken apart by the user. Removing the impeller from the frame will break the sealing of the bearing and results in a loss of warranty.

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

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.

Can Noctua fans be used to replace noisy stock fans in NAS devices?

Noctua fans such as the 40, 60, 80 or 92mm NF-A series models are ideal for replacing noisy stock fans in NAS devices in order to make them quieter and thousands of users have managed to significantly reduce the noise levels of their NAS units this way. However, while it is easy and straightforward to replace the fans in some cases, it can be very difficult in others, so Noctua strongly recommends that users carefully research if it is possible to easily replace the fan(s) of their NAS device before purchasing a Noctua fan for this purpose. Some of the common issues that can occur when replacing NAS fans are:

  • Different pin assignment: Whereas Noctua fans use the standardised pin assignment for PC fans (see this FAQ for details), some NAS units use different assignments. For example, some devices have the power and GND or rpm and PWM pins swapped. Therefore please carefully verify that your NAS device uses the same pin assignment as standard fans. Experienced users may also change the pin assignment by cutting and resoldering the fan cables, but please note that this will void your Noctua manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Different pin functions: Noctua fans use the standardised pin functions for PC fans (see this FAQ for details); however, some NAS units use fans where certain pins serve a different function. For example, some devices use the RPM pin for “power good” signals. Therefore please carefully verify that your NAS device uses the same pin functions.
  • Firmware speed control: Some NAS devices demand a certain maximum or minimum fan speed. If the new fan doesn’t have the same or similar maximum or minimum speed, the device may display errors or even shut down.
  • Different starting voltage: Most NAS devices use voltage-based speed control. If the new fan has a higher starting voltage than the original fan, it may not start up right away. This may lead the NAS device to display errors or even shut down because it suspects a fan failure.
  • Different power draw: Some NAS devices monitor the fan’s power draw. If the new fan has a lower power consumption than the stock fan, the device might display errors or even shut down.

Please note that most NAS manufacturers don’t provide detailed documentation regarding fan compatibility and control, so users who want to replace the fans of their devices usually have to rely on “How to” guides, blog and forum posts or video tutorials. For example, there are excellent video tutorials available for changing the fans in popular Synology NAS models (DS416j, DS1515+ and DS1812+ in English, DS416/DS415/DS916/DS216/DS214 and DS1515+ in German). Please also note that fan compatibility and control can vary from model to model and even from revision to revision even if the devices stem from the same manufacturer. As a result, it is important to make sure that the information or guidelines you rely on when replacing your NAS fan are applicable to your specific model as well as your specific hardware and firmware revision.

Due to the possible issues listed above, Noctua recommends that only experienced users attempt to replace their NAS fans. Please note that since there are so many different NAS models and most of them lack documentation for aspects such as fan compatibility and control, Noctua customer support cannot assist you with compatibility issues when replacing NAS fans. Please contact your NAS manufacturer for any questions regarding aspects such as the device’s pin alignment or fan monitoring and control.

Can I use Noctua fans in my system from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands?

Noctua 12V fans comply with the established specifications for standard PC systems issued by Intel and AMD. Systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands often deviate from these specifications e.g. by using proprietary fan headers, custom pin-alignments or pin-configurations, different methods of fan speed control, etc. This can lead to compatibility issues when using Noctua fans in systems from said brands. Some of these problems can be avoided with some technical knowledge, but especially BIOS related issues (e.g. errors or shutdowns due to low fan speed) can often not be resolved. As a result, Noctua does not officially support systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands.

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.

I get a CPU fan error despite the fan is running!

Some mainboards display a CPU fan error when the fan speed falls below a certain threshold, e.g. 900rpm. If you want to run the fan below this speed (e.g. using the supplied U.L.N.A.), please adjust the threshold in the BIOS or disable CPU fan error warning.

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).

Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model?

Not sure which Noctua product to buy? Our detailed buying guides for fans and CPU coolers help you to choose the model that works best for you.

Do you have a question concerning one of our products? Please use this form to pose a question!