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.
FAN Specification
120x120x25 mm
Blade Geometry
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
600 RPM
Acoustical Noise
17 dB(A)
> 150.000 h
Scope of Delivery
  • Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • 4 Vibration Compensators
  • 3:4-Pin Adaptor
  • 4 Fan Screws
6 years
20.02.2008 // LesNumeriques.com

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

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

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

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

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)
23.10.2007 // HardwareLogic.com

NF-S12-1200 Review

With an HTPC equipped with 4 total fans going, it is not hard realize that something is missing. That something missing was the Boeing 747 underneath our Plasma. By replacing the aforementioned fans with that of the 2 Noctua fans, there was a very discernible, if not dramatic difference in sound output.
Test verdict: "There's no doubt about it; the Noctua fans do a premium job at controlling airflow while maintaining low noise levels, while also carrying a premium price tag. If you can get over the sticker shock, there's a lot to like here, including a lengthy 6-year warranty." (Richard Womble, HardwareLogic.com)
22.10.2007 // Traficantes de Hardware

NF-S12-1200 Review

Una vez puestos ambos a funcionar, muestran todo lo que Noctua anunciaba con su nueva tecnología de rodamiento e innovador diseño de sus aspas. Tanto Noctua NF-S12 y Noctua NF-R8 son completamente inaudibles, ni siquiera acercando el oído a ellos. Su flujo de aire generado es excelente, sobre todo teniendo en cuenta de que estamos hablando de ventiladores de baja velocidad de trabajo. Sin duda alguna estamos ante los mejores ventiladores del mercado;
Test verdict: "Estamos seguros de que Noctua NF-S12 y Noctua NF-R8 de la nueva gama de ventiladores del fabricante austriaco, son sin duda unos de los mejores ventiladores del mercado, por no decir los mejores. Son increíblemente silenciosos, cuentan con un diseño estudiado que busca la máxima eficiencia, y que con el sistema de rodamiento SSO-Bearing, Noctua asegura una larga vida al ventilador, tanto que da hasta 6 años de garantía al producto." (Vanesa Amenedo, Traficantes de Hardware)
13.10.2007 // HardwareGeeks.com

NF-S12-1200 Review

I tested the Noctua NF-R8 and NF-S12 for over a week, and I have to say I am impressed. My internal temps dropped 8 degrees, and my CPU temp dropped 2 degrees (Internal case temp 89 degrees was now 81 and CPU temp was 102 degrees, both Fahrenheit). During times where I used my computer for gaming, the temps were still cooler with the Noctua fans than with the Antec case fans that have the exact same specs.
Test verdict: "Overall the fans were great; they cooled my system better than I expected. They cooled the system so good that I thought my temperature readings were off." (Michael J. Reyes, HardwareGeeks.com)
09.10.2007 // CDRinfo.com

NF-S12-1200 Review

We installed them on the back of our PC case, below the power supply and compared to the standard ball bearing fans (12 and 8 cm respectively), they performed much better with regards to noise level and airflow. They are very quiet, even without using any of the low noise adaptors. Their operation proved to be barely noticeable.
Test verdict: "Both products are the most silent and efficient case fans we've ever reviewed. They don't have the bells and whistles other similar products have, but they bear cutting edge technology. These fans are aimed at consumers who know what they want and want it silently." (Alex Macris, CDRinfo.com)
03.10.2007 // NextHardware.com

NF-S12-1200 Review

Poco da dire sulle prestazioni generali di queste ventole Noctua, dedicate a chi non accetta compromessi per quanto riguarda la silenziosità del proprio PC. Eccellenti nel ns. test, leggermente downvoltate producono solo un impercettibile fruscio che mai risulta fastidioso. Al massimo dei giri si sentono, ma considerando anche la fitta alettatura del radiatore, non poteva essere altrimenti.
Test verdict: "Altamente consigliate ai maniaci del silenzio." (Gennaro Caracciolo, NextHardware.com)

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.

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!