heading

Having received dozens of awards and recommendations from international hardware websites and magazines, the NF-A8 has established itself as a default choice when it comes to premium-quality 80mm fans. The chromax.black.swap edition combines the NF-A8’s signature quiet cooling performance with an attractive all-black design and a bundle of swappable red, white, blue, green, yellow and black anti-vibration pads that allow the colour-customisation of the fan to match individual build colour schemes. For further customisation, a wide range of accessories such as coloured cables and anti-vibration mounts are available separately. Topped off with Noctua’s trusted premium-grade SSO2 bearing, more than 150,000 hours MTTF and 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap is the perfect choice for all users who value individual, focused build aesthetics just as much as class-leading quality and performance.

Details
Award-winning NF-A8 design

Award-winning NF-A8 design

Having received dozens of recommendations from the international press, Noctua’s NF-A8 has become a proven premium choice for 80mm cooling needs. Its renowned efficiency has convinced tens of thousands of customers all over the world.
chromax.black.swap edition

chromax.black.swap edition

Maximising colour choices, Noctua’s chromax.black.swap edition fans can be colour-customised using the included swappable anti-vibration pads as well as optional anti-vibration mounts and cables. This makes them ideal for enthusiasts looking for true premium-grade fans that can be colour-coordinated with popular build themes such as all black, black & white or black & red.
Swappable anti-vibration pads in 6 colours

Swappable anti-vibration pads in 6 colours

The NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap comes with 4 white, red, blue, green and yellow as well as 8 black NA-AVP5 anti-vibration pads. By combining the various colours with black or going all black, the fan can be coordinated with most popular build colour schemes out of the box. Additional NA-SAVP5 sets for outfitting both sides in one colour can be purchased separately.
Optional coloured cables

Optional coloured cables

Noctua’s chromax line fans use a modular cabling system and come pre-fitted with a fully sleeved black NA-EC1 30cm cable. For refined colour coordination, white, red, blue, green and yellow 30cm NA-EC1 cables plus corresponding NA-YC1 y-cables are available separately.
Optional coloured anti-vibration mounts

Optional coloured anti-vibration mounts

To complement the coloured anti-vibration pads included with the fans, users can purchase chromax line NA-SAV2 anti-vibration mounts that enable the convenient, quick and vibration-free installation of fans in standard mounting holes for case fans.
Flow Acceleration Channels

Flow Acceleration Channels

The NF-A8 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.
SSO2 Bearing

SSO2 Bearing

The NF-A8 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-A8 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.
Stops at 0% PWM

Stops at 0% PWM

When the fan is set to 0% PWM duty cycle by the motherboard or PWM fan controller, it will stop. This makes it ideal for creating setups with semi-passive cooling that automatically turn the fans off and thus run completely silent at idle if thermals allow.
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-A8 features an MTTF of more than 150.000 hours rating and comes with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap
FAN Specification
Size
80x80x25 mm
Mounting hole spacing
71,5x71,5 mm
Cable length
1cm + 30cm NA-EC1 extension cable
Bearing
Blade geometry
Rotational speed (+/- 10%)
2200 RPM
Min. rotational speed (PWM, +/-20%)
450 RPM
Acoustical noise
17,7 dB(A)
Static pressure
2,37 mm H₂O
Max. input power
0,96 W
Max. input current
0,08 A
Operating voltage
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
Scope of delivery
  • 8x NA-AVP5 chromax.black anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP5 chromax.blue anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP5 chromax.green anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP5 chromax.red anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP5 chromax.white anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP5 chromax.yellow anti-vibration pads
  • 4x fan screws
6 years
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap
04.12.2019 // HWready.it
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NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Il produttore austriaco conservando la classica qualità che lo contraddistingue ha portato i colori a modo suo, nessun led ma la possibilità di scegliere il colore dei pad anti vibrazione. Anche il cambio della colorazione, dal classico marrone al nero della struttura offre la possibilità di utilizzare queste ventole in qualsiasi tipo di build.
Test verdict: "Assegniamo il massimo dei voti a queste splendide ventole e a Noctua facciamo i complimenti per la qualità di ogni prodotto." (Mauro Santoro, HWready.it)
02.12.2019 // Nördliv Podcast
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NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Noctua förser Chromax serien med mångsidighet och fortsatt kvalitet. Fläktarnas styrka ligger i att vara både bra sett till de luftflöden de styr, men även att samtidigt hålla nere ljudvolym. Allt medan du själv kan välja att förse de med det utseendet just du vill ha. Sedan att det är högst nischat, och verkligen inte något för alla förringar inte på något sätt deras kvalitet.
Test verdict: "För de som är ute efter att skapa en egen ”look” i sin dator, då kan vi bara rekommendera dessa fläktar fullt ut." (Maxx Löfström, Nördliv Podcast)
29.11.2019 // mod-your-case.de
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NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Mit einem Blick auf das Testergebnis ist schnell zu erkennen, dass sich der NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap von der Leistung her auf dem gleichen Level liegt, wie der normale NF-A8 PWM.
Test verdict: "Der Lüfter verfügt über alle Funktionen und Features, welche wir auch schon von dem NF-A8 PWM kennen, kann durch die schwarze Farbgebung jedoch deutlich besser in einen Casemod oder ein dezent schwarzes System integriert werden. Die Geräuschentwicklung lag während unseres Tests auch bei voller Drehzahl auf einem sehr guten Level." (Patrick Seus, mod-your-case.de)
28.11.2019 // PC-Gaming.it
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NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap Review

Nell’ultimo periodo l’azienda ha capito che una parte di mercato vuole un prodotto bello esteticamente, per questo ha rilasciato la serie Chromax e sono disponibili i nuovi accessori che completano la lineup. Questi accessori comprendono ventole di colore nero e pad antivibrazioni di vari colori per adattarsi a qualsiasi configurazione. Nel dettaglio troviamo le pluripremiate ventole NF-A20, NF-A12x15, NF-A9, NF-A9x14 e NF-A8 (rispettivamente da 200mm, slim 120mm, 92mm, slim 92mm e 80mm), nonché i corrispondenti cuscinetti antivibrazioni NA-SAVP5 e NA-SAVP6. La serie Chromax non finisce qui, comprende praticamente ogni prodotto Noctua, come i più famosi dissipatori Noctua NH-U12s, Noctua NH-U14s e NH-D15.
Test verdict: "I nuovi accessori Noctua Chromax completano la lineup con prodotti neri di fascia alta. Offrono qualità premium e consentono di personalizzare a piacimento la colorazione." (Matteo Carrara, PC-Gaming.it)

NA-SAVP5 chromax.black

  • Anti-vibration pads for Noctua 92/80mm fans
  • chromax.black edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAVP5 chromax.white

  • Anti-vibration pads for Noctua 92/80mm fans
  • chromax.white edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAVP5 chromax.yellow

  • Anti-vibration pads for Noctua 92/80mm fans
  • chromax.yellow edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAVP5 chromax.green

  • Anti-vibration pads for Noctua 92/80mm fans
  • chromax.green edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAVP5 chromax.blue

  • Anti-vibration pads for Noctua 92/80mm fans
  • chromax.blue edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAVP5 chromax.red

  • Anti-vibration pads for Noctua 92/80mm fans
  • chromax.red edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.black

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.black edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.white

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.white edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.yellow

  • Anti-vibrations mounts
  • chromax.yellow edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.green

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.green edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.blue

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.blue edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAV2 chromax.red

  • Anti-Vibration mounts
  • chromax.red edition
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.black

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.black 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Black sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.white

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.white 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • White sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.yellow

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.yellow 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Yellow sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.green

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.green 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Green sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.blue

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.blue 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Blue sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1 chromax.red

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.red 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Red sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SEC1

  • 4-Pin Extension Cables
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-SAC5

  • S-ATA to 4-pin power adaptor cable for fans
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

NA-FC1

  • Compact, highly flexible controller for 4-pin PWM fans
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap

You can either buy from our local sales partners or directly from us via our official Amazon and eBay stores:



As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

eBay.com
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Information Sheet (PDF)

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.

How much torque should be used for fan screws?

Please use 0.6Nm to tighten fan screws. Make sure not to overtighten the screws as this may damage the fan frame.

Where can I find a technical documentation and specifications of the PWM speed control system of Noctua’s fans?

While using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) based fan speed control in PC environments is usually straightforward and does not require any background knowledge, it can be vital when it comes to controlling fans via PWM in other environments. Please refer to our specification white paper for a detailed technical documentation of the PWM speed control features of Noctua’s 4-pin PWM fans. Detailing aspects such as connector types, pin configuration or RPM speed signal output as well as signal specifications and circuit design questions, it enables engineers to implement PWM based speed control for Noctua fans in custom circuit designs and applications.

What pin-configuration do Noctua chromax line fans use?

All Noctua fans, fan controllers, cables and other accessories such as Low-Noise Adaptors use the same standard pin-assignment that has been specified by Intel and AMD. With chromax.black and chromax.black.swap fans that use all black cables, pin 1 can be identified by a white marking: pin configuration

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 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.

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 600 or 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 in the BIOS 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, by using 3rd party tools like IPMItool or IPMIutil, or by requesting a modified BIOS file from Supermicro, which takes the minimum fan speed of Noctua fans into account (charges might apply). Please note that any modifications performed with 3rd party tools are done at your own risk and that Noctua can not be held responsible for any possible issues.

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.

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 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 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

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 independently from the second fan’s rpm signal.

Can Noctua fans be used to replace noisy stock fans in switches, routers or other network devices?

Noctua fans such as the 40, 60, 80 or 92mm NF-A series models are ideal for replacing noisy stock fans in switches, routers and other network devices in order to make them quieter and thousands of users have managed to significantly reduce the noise levels of their 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 network device before purchasing a Noctua fan for this purpose. Some of the common issues that can occur when replacing pre-installed fans are:

  • Different pin assignment: Whereas Noctua fans use the standardised pin assignment for PC fans (see this FAQ for details), some network devices use different assignments. For example, some devices have the power and GND or rpm and PWM pins swapped. Therefore please carefully verify that your 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 network devices 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 device uses the same pin functions.
  • Firmware speed control: Some network 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 network 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 device to display errors or even shut down because it suspects a fan failure.
  • Different power draw: Some network 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 network device 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. 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 fans 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 pre-installed fans in network devices. Please note that since there are so many different devices 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 pre-installed fans. Please contact your network device manufacturer for any questions regarding aspects such as the device’s pin alignment or fan monitoring and control.

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

Noctua fans such as the 40, 60, 80, 92 or 120mm 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 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 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 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.

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.

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