Product discontinued. Successor model: NF-S12A FLX

Succeeding the vastly successful NF-S12, the NF-S12B is a next generation quiet fan featuring Noctua's advanced SCD2 technology as well as a highly optimised blade geometry with Bevelled Blade Tips that improves its award-winning predecessor's airflow efficiency by up to 10%. Topped off with Noctua's time-tested SSO-Bearing, 6 years warranty and versatile 1200/900/600 rpm speed settings, the NF-S12B FLX is a premium quality fan that offers full flexibility in quiet to ultra-quiet case cooling.

More information:
  NF-S12B Blade Design
  NF-S12B & NF-P12: Technical Backgrounds
  Which fan is right for me?

Highly optimised impeller with Bevelled Blade Tips

Highly optimised impeller with Bevelled Blade Tips

Thanks to its further refined blade geometry with extended leading edges and Bevelled Blade Tips, the NF-S12B achieves up to 10% more airflow and static pressure than its much acclaimed predecessor at the same noise level.
3 speed settings for full flexibility

3 speed settings for full flexibility

Providing 1200, 900 and 600 rpm speed settings via the supplied Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise Adapters, the FLX (Flexibility) version can be fine-tuned for superior airflow or maximum quietness.
Smooth Commutation Drive 2

Smooth Commutation Drive 2

The latest version of Noctua's advanced SCD drive system ensures superb running smoothness by eliminating torque variations and switching noises.


Noctua's time-tested SSO-Bearing technology has become synonymous with supremely quiet operation and exceptional long-term stability.
Cooler Specification
Scope of Delivery
  • Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • 4 Vibration Compensators
  • 3:4-Pin Adaptor
  • 4 Fan Screws
6 years
FAN Specification
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
900 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
600 RPM
Acoustical Noise
18,1 dB(A)
Voltage Range
12 V
> 150.000 h
10.07.2009 // LegitReviews.com

NF-S12B FLX Review

Noctua has made another very nice fan. The Noctua NF-S12B FLX fans are insanely quiet while moving a fair amount of air; aside from the color [...], I have nothing bad to say about the fans. Since we first reviewed a Noctua product they have gotten much more popular and have become one of the leaders in ultra low noise fans.
Test verdict: "If you’re in the market for some new case fans that are stupid quiet, then Noctua has you covered with the NH-S12B FLX." (Shane Higgins, LegitReviews.com)
08.05.2009 // PC INpact

NF-S12B FLX Review

Les résultats sont sans appel. Les tests ont même été refaits une seconde fois pour bien confirmer ces différences de température. L'avantage est clairement du côté du NF-S12B FLX, qui offre un flux d'air impressionnant , même à 1000 tpm. [...] Voici les spectres d'enregistrement des modèles de marque en présence, sachant que le ventilateur Noname (sans marque) fait un "cliquetis " absolument insupportable, le disqualifiant avant même la compétition. En bas, on retrouve les basses fréquences, le spectre est croissant du bleu clair au rouge vif, en passant par le bleu foncé et le rose. On voit ici clairement qu'à 1000 tpm, le S12B est clairement plus silencieux. A 1300 tpm, il est audible, mais avec un bruit finalement plus diffus que celui du Xigmatek à 1000 tpm, qui est finalement plus audible avec bruit plus concentré dans les basses fréquences.
Test verdict: "On peut clairement dire que ce nouveau ventilateur NF-S12B FLX atteint clairement son objectif de refroidissement de boîtier. Avec un flux d'air totalement hors norme et un grand silence à 1000 tpm, on ne peut pas vraiment lui reprocher grand-chose." (Bruno Cormier, PC INpact)
29.04.2009 // Vortez.co.uk

NF-S12B FLX Review

The results speak for themselves, the S12B clearly shows some improvements over the original S12 fan. This bevel obviously supports this progression. I was surprised to see that the temperatures on the CPU side also dropped lower, I didn’t expect this. The S12B has some great air pressure performance and this shows in these results as the fan draws even more heat off the CPU heatsink also. [...] Whilst the S12B does perform by giving us those reduced temperatures, it also delivers on the audible side of things too. The S12B is whisper quiet with the adaptor kits and even at the full speed of 1200RPM it isn't much bother and will not disturb most.
Test verdict: "The NF-S12B is a fantastic case fan, it offers great performance out of the box lowering the overall motherboard temperature as well as the CPU temperatures too. Noctua have created quite a liking amongst system builders and enthusiasts because of their quality fans, this new release will I am quite sure cause even more exposure." (David Mitchelson, Vortez.co.uk)
05.06.2009 // Tech-Lobby.com

NF-S12B FLX Review

So you probably want to know how the NF-S12B performed in our tests. We can certainly testify for its quietness. Listen to this sample clip recorded with a high quality mic placed four inches away with the fan running at its maximum rpm of 1200rpm. [T]he NF-S12B is an extremely quiet fan, even at its maximum rpm.
Test verdict: "The NF-S12B from Noctua, in our opinion, is one of the best in cooling and quiet computing wrapped into one and we would highly recommend it." (Farhan Khan, Tech-Lobby.com)
12.05.2009 // XSReviews.co.uk

NF-S12B FLX Review

Noctua, yet again, have been able to come up with a top quality product that pretty much excels in all departments. The airflow to noise ratio is awesome and this added airflow allows the fan to beat the likes of the NF-P12 and the Noiseblocker Multiframe series. Amazingly, despite the increased airflow, the noise has actually decreased making the fan virtually inaudible especially using the noise adapters that allow awesome flexibility for the user.
Test verdict: "Overall, this is the best case fan I’ve seen in a long time and although many people will quibble about the high price, in my opinion it’s fully justified for the quality of the product that’s achieved." (Joe Blackmore, XSReviews.co.uk)
05.12.2012 // Games.lt

NF-S12B FLX Review

Kalbant apie ventiliatorių dizainą, Noctua spalvos vienas dviprasmiškiausių klausimų kompiuterių rinkoje. Vieni jas dievina ir vien tą spalvą laiko aukščiausios kokybės etalonu, kiti negali pernešti. Ar jų dizainas yra gėris, ar blogis paliksiu nuspręsti kiekvienam. Komplektacija tikrai džiugina. Yra viskas ko reikia ir dar truputis. O pridedami priedai stebina ne vien kiekybe, bet ir kokybe. Pats ventiliatorius pasižymi puikiu pernešamo oro bei triukšmo santykiu, kas ir yra svarbiausia renkantis tokį gaminį. Net ir naudojant Neblogą vidutinės klasės Enermax ETS T40 TA aušintuvą bei Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.5 GHz procesorių didelio skirtumo tarp pigesnio ventiliatoriaus nepajautėme. Bet jei naudotume daugiau karščio ventiliatoriams teikiančią sistemą skirtumas iškart išryškėtų. Aišku, kitas ventiliatorius skleidė didesnį triukšmą. Be to galingą ventiliatorių sukonstruoti didelio proto nereikia, o va galingą ir tylų - ne kiekvienas gali. Panaši situacija yra ir su dviejų tokių ventiliatorių naudojimu, kai sistema jų neišnaudojo. Atsiras sakančių, kad mokėti 80 litų už ventiliatorių nėra verta. Su jais visiškai nesutinku. Nė vienas pigesnis gaminys nepasiūlys tokių gerų tylos ir oro pralaidumo sąlygų, kas yra svarbu daug ventiliatorių turinčioms entuziastų sistemoms. Tačiau reikia turėti pakankamai stipriai kaistančią sistemą, kad pajaustumėt šio gaminio privalumus. Be to bėgant laikui investicija bent iš dalies atsipirks - pigiųjų ventiliatorių guoliai „sueina" labai dažnai, ir kartais juos tenka keis vos ne kiekvienais metais. Šiems ventiliatoriams tai negresia - jų gyvybingumo laikas didelis, be to suteikiama net šešių metų garantija.
Test verdict: "Noctua pagamino išties gera aušintuvą. Jis pasižymi idealiu sistemos vėsos palaikymu keliant minimalų triukšmą. Naudojant LNA ir ULNA adapterius galima tiek išlaikyti patenkinamą oro pernešimo galią, tiek pasiekti praktiškai absoliučią tylą." (Norvydas Davalga, Games.lt)
10.10.2012 // Go!GamingGiant

NF-S12B FLX Review

Coming in, I expected a certain level of quality and performance from these fans. I mean after all, they ARE Noctua fans. What I got in return is exactly what I wanted — fans that keep everything in my PC extremely cool without making a bunch of noise. In fact, I use all four fans without any of the Low Noise Adapters, and I can’t even hear them. All you can hear is the air rushing through the side panel, which happens to be a foot away from me, on my desk.
Test verdict: "These are not cheap fans, but you get what you pay for. Noctua fans only cool slightly better than any other cheap $10-15 fan, they just happen to give you that small increase in cooling, while dropping the dB level dramatically." (DJ Dixon, Go!GamingGiant)
03.06.2012 // oZeros.com

NF-S12B FLX Review

Como se puede ver, en IDLE no hubo mayor diferencia, sin embargo cuando el procesador recibía carga, el Noctua a 1200 RPM era capaz de rivalizar con el ventilador stock del TT Contac 30. Las velocidades 900 y 600 RPM son de muy baja sonoridad, sin embargo sacrifican el caudal de aire que entregan, lo que implica que las temperaturas de operación son mayores tal como se observa. Acá vemos el Delta de temperatura, el cual es la diferencia entre la temperatura ambiente (16,5°C) y la temperatura de operación. A menor Delta T°, mejor capacidad refrigerante. Se vuelve a corroborar que a 1200 RPM, el Noctua NF-S12B FLX es capaz de entregar un excelente caudal de aire y con baja sonoridad. Pero si usamos los adaptadores para bajar aun más el ruido, estaremos sacrificando temperaturas.
Test verdict: "Sinceramente antes de hacer este review, mi pensamiento era el de comprar un ventilador que simplemente cumpliera la función de tirar aire, pero después de todo una noche bebiendo café por el frio y probando este simpático producto, debo decir que mi opinión cambio bastante. Como ventilador para gabinete, puede llegar a ser inaudible si lo colocamos a la mínima velocidad, la cual de todas maneras entrega un generoso caudal de aire, lo que es excelente si consideramos colocar más de 1 ventilador en el case, cosa bastante común en la actualidad." (Jeremy Pérez Díaz, oZeros.com)
23.04.2012 // HW-Journal.de

NF-S12B FLX Review

Ein Noctua Produkt muss sich immer hohen Erwartungen stellen und in der Regel wird man auch nicht enttäuscht. Eine hervorragende Verarbeitung, viel brauchbares Zubehör und eine niedrige Lautstärke. Diese Eindrücke bleiben bei uns nach diesem Test im Gedächtnis hängen.
Test verdict: "Ein Gehäuselüfter der Extraklasse. So heißt es oftmals, wenn dieser Lüfter empfohlen wird. Diesen Eindruck konnten wir auch voll und ganz bestätigen." (Sebastian Wochnik, HW-Journal.de)
23.01.2012 // NooBTECH.at

NF-S12B FLX Review

Lediglich der Preis von durchschnittlich 17€ schränkt das Produkt auf einen enthusiastischen Käuferkreis ein. Aber wenn man die 6 Jahre Garantie betrachtet, den überkompletten Lieferumfang und wie viele Lüfter bei mir schon nach 2 Jahren das zeitliche gesegnet haben (meist Lagerschaden), wäre dies wiederum eine günstigere Option. Qualität hat nun mal ihren Preis. Lieber einmal tiefer in die Tasche greifen und für lange Zeit 'Ruhe' haben [...].
Test verdict: "Hier hat der Hersteller wahrlich nicht zu viel versprochen. Der Lüfter verhält sich extrem laufruhig und ist bei mittlerer Drehzahl von 900 U/min kaum hörbar (Lagergeräusch nahezu null). Der hohe Luftdurchsatz sorgt für frischen Wind im Gehäuse." (Herbert Mandl, NooBTECH.at)

Information Sheet (PDF)

I've got 2 adapter cables with the cooler. What's the difference between these cables?

The Low-Noise-Adapter (L.N.A.) and Ultra-Low-Noise-Adapter (U.L.N.A.) reduce the speed of the fan to 900 / 600 rpm:

Vibration Compensators Installation

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.

The fan doesn’t start with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA)!

Unfortunately, many Gigabyte mainboards use a special control circuit that can lead to start-up problems in conjunction with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA). This control circuit remains active even when automatic fan control is disabled in the BIOS. In these cases, please use the fan without the ULNA or connect it directly to the power supply (or an external fan controller) in order to ensure reliable operation with the ULNA.

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 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 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.


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

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.

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 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!


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!