heading

Specifically designed for pressure demanding applications such as CPU or radiator cooling, the classic NF-P12 is a long-standing favourite among enthusiast users around the world and helped to found Noctua’s reputation as a top-tier manufacturer of premium quality quiet cooling components. The new redux edition reissues this award-winning model in a streamlined, accessibly priced package that has been reduced to the essential core: the NF-P12 premium fan. Its industry grade SSO bearing, over 150.000 hours MTTF rating and full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty make the NF-P12 redux a proven premium choice that provides trusted Noctua quality at an attractive price point. The performance-oriented top speed of the 1700rpm PWM version is ideal for high efficiency case, radiator and CPU cooling as well as other applications that require both extended performance headroom and PWM for automatic speed control.
Details
Proven NF-P12 design

Proven NF-P12 design

Tens of thousands of quiet cooling enthusiasts around the globe swear by Noctua's classic NF-P12. Thanks to its impressive quietness, excellent performance and impeccable quality, the NF-P12 has become an established reference for quiet 120mm fans.
Streamlined redux edition

Streamlined redux edition

The redux product line reissues some of Noctua's most popular, award-winning models by presenting them in streamlined, accessibly priced packages. All redux edition products are industry proven, time-tested models that helped to found Noctua's reputation as a first-tier supplier of premium grade low noise cooling equipment.
Pressure-optimised Nine-Blade Design

Pressure-optimised Nine-Blade Design

Specifically developed for high-impedance applications such as CPU coolers, water-cooling radiators or cases with tight fan grills, the NF-P12's nine-blade impeller provides outstanding pressure and airflow performance.
Vortex-Control Notches

Vortex-Control Notches

Noctua's signature Vortex-Control Notches split up trailing edge vortices and thus spread the fan's noise emission over a wider range of frequencies. This measure makes the fan sound more pleasant to the human ear.
Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Supporting fully automatic PWM speed control, the fan uses Noctua's 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.
Smooth Commutation Drive 2

Smooth Commutation Drive 2

The latest version of Noctua's advanced Smooth Commutation Drive system ensures superb running smoothness by eliminating torque variations and switching noises. This makes the fan remarkably quiet even at very close distances.
SSO-Bearing

SSO-Bearing

Combining the proven concept of hydrodynamic bearing with an additional magnet that supports the self-stabilisation of the rotor axis, Noctua's time-tested technology has become synonymous with supremely quiet operation and exceptional long-term stability.
Optional accessories

Optional accessories

Users can choose from Noctua's wide range of optional accessories such as anti-vibration mounts, Low-Noise-Adaptors, y-cables, 3:4 pin adaptors or extension cables to upgrade redux edition fans according to their individual needs.
Colour-customisable with NA-SAVP1 anti-vibration pads

Colour-customisable with NA-SAVP1 anti-vibration pads

The fan’s frame can be outfitted with Noctua’s chromax line NA-SAVP1 anti-vibration pads. Available in black, red, blue, white, green and yellow, these pads not only damp minute vibrations but also allow the fan to be colour-customised in order to coordinate it with popular build colour schemes!
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 redux edition models feature an MTTF rating of more than 150.000 hours and come with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM
FAN Specification
Size
120x120x25 mm
Mounting hole spacing
105x105 mm
Connector
4-pin PWM
Bearing
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1700 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
450 RPM
Acoustical Noise
25,1 dB(A)
Static Pressure
2,83 mm H₂O
Max. Input Power
1,08 W
Max. Input Current
0,09 A
Voltage
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
Scope of delivery
  • Fan screws
Warranty
6 years
NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM
19.05.2018 // Vortez.net
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

Appearance wise, this fan should fit in with more builds than your typical Noctua, but without that same recognisable colour. Build quality is solid, as you’d expect, with the SSO bearing and magnetic stabilisation reducing noise as well as Vortex-Control Notches spreading out the unavoidable wind noise over more frequency ranges, producing a cleaner and more pleasurable sound. Cutting back the NF-P12 to the core, providing only the fan and a basic mounting system, has provided us with the essential performance without the associated cost that comes with it. Noctua have cut back all non-essential parts to reduce cost, without sacrificing on quality or performance. The NF-P12 Redux carries the torch for the ageing NF-P12.
Test verdict: "The Noctua NF-P12 Redux competes against a lot of budget-priced fans from several different brands, however, in our experience and testing, the NF-P12 Redux performs far better than most fans, and comes with that all-important 6 year warranty." (Matthew Hodgson, Vortez.net)
14.06.2018 // modding.fr
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

Les performances de refroidissement sont à la hauteur de ce que l’on espérait notamment pour la version Redux 1700 qui assure son taf sur toute sa plage de vitesse de rotation. La version 1300 a pour lui son faible niveau sonore et ce même à pleine vitesse où sans être silencieux il reste nettement plus discret que son homologue Redux 1700. De plus avec ce niveau sonore contenu, il se débrouille bien face à notre i7 7700k et nous n’aurons ainsi pas besoin de trop réduire sa vitesse pour ne plus l’entendre. Le ventilateur Redux NF-P12 900 a élu domicile dans le monde du silence !!! Son but n’est pas franchement de s’attaquer à notre processeur mais plutôt à un CPU nettement plus calme en terme d’émission de chaleur comme ceux que l’on peut avoir dans les config bureautique/multimédia. Ainsi il fait son taf dans un silence royale.
Test verdict: "Comme nous l’avons suggéré en introduction, si décidément vous avez du mal avec les couleurs natives des ventilateurs Noctua, la gamme Redux NF-P12 offre une excellente alternative tant sur le plan des couleurs que de ses performances." (Bertrand Curras, modding.fr)
12.06.2018 // PC Ekspert
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

NF-A12x25 ventilatori donose neke nove tehnologije i materijale, a uz odlične radne karakteristike i zadovoljavajuće nisku radnu buku. Ovo je svakako najtiši ventilator na 2.000 okretaja koji smo čuli, a uz vrlo respektabilne brojke propusnosti i statičkog pritiska. Kao i uvijek, potrudili su se izbaciti nekoliko modela kako bi svatko pronašao opciju za sebe, a sve dolaze po istoj cijeni. Cijena kod Noctue nikada nije bila niska, a to je pogotovo tako kod premium proizvoda, pa A12x25 ventilatori koštaju preporučenih 29.99 €. Ako ih poželite ugraditi na 140-milimetarska mjesta, SFMA1 adapter s dva okvira će vas koštati 11.90 €. Za one koji ne žele izdvojiti za nove ventilatore, razveselit će činjenica kako se dobri stari P12 modeli u Redux seriji prodaju po prihvatljivih 13.90 € bez obzira na izvedbu.
Test verdict: "Neupitno je kako je Noctua oduvijek bila sinonim za kvalitetu, inovativnost i pouzdanost, a to i dalje potvrđuju novim serijama proizvoda koje izbacuju." (Krešimir Matanović, PC Ekspert)
08.06.2018 // WhatNext.pl
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

Wszystkie pokazane dzisiaj konstrukcje są godne polecenia. Wersja Redux jest głośna, ale także dosyć wydajna. Brakuje jej jednak dodatków czy nakładek na boki – trzeba wtedy dokupić nakładki Chromax. Nowe śmigła NF-A12x25 fascynują jakością wykonania oraz kulturą pracy. Sprawdzą się one świetnie w obudowie, jak i na chłodnicy. Na podobnym poziomie głośności są wydajniejsze od konkurencji, więc wynik jest znakomity. Wszystkie przedstawione dzisiaj produkty polecam, bo naprawdę warto się nimi zainteresować.
Test verdict: "Wszystkie przedstawione dzisiaj produkty polecam, bo naprawdę warto się nimi zainteresować." (Michał Andruszkiewicz, WhatNext.pl)
19.06.2018 // Tech4Gamers.com
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

The REDUX fans come very close to their top tier fan brethren in terms of real world performance, although some compromises have to be made. Construction is very similar to the A12 series with durable hard plastic and support for customization with CHROMAX anti-vibration pad compatibility. Silence is also kept in mind with the Vortex-control notches for very low noise output even on full RPM. The only compromise that has been made is the absence of any extra accessories. The box only comes with 4 screws for mounting the fan and that’s it, however at this price point, one can hardly complain.
Test verdict: "Noctua products were previously reserved for more higher end PC builds and projects due to their price, but with the REDUX line of fans, they have definitely made premium cooling performance more accessible." (Wajih Chohan, Tech4Gamers.com)
18.06.2018 // hardwarepoint.net
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

Der normale NF-P12 wurde in Rente geschickt, somit befinden sich jetzt nur noch Lagerbestände im Abverkauf. Aber keine Sorge, mit der redux Variante wurde der P12 in neuem Farbgewand und geändertem Zubehör wiederbelebt. Zu Recht, denn für einen attraktiven Preis wird hier ein potenter, für Druckanwendungen optimierter, Lüfter angeboten. Wenn wieder ins Verhältnis mit unserem NF-F12 gesetzt, kristallisiert sich der P12 redux als gute Alternative heraus. Denn dank der Zubehörreduktion ist er günstiger und bietet trotzdem gewohnte Fertigungsqualität. Im Gegenzug zu einem normalen F12 passt sich das Modell auf Grund der Farbgebung dazu noch besser dem Projekt an. Die abgegebene Leistung ist auf hohem Niveau, wobei die entstehenden Geräusche auch garantierten den Enthusiasten zufrieden stellen.
Test verdict: "Wir verleihen den hwp gold Award. Gerade wenn ein Upgrade gesucht wird und die nötigen Befestigungen und Kabel schon vorhanden sind, passt ein redux Lüfter ohne Zubehör perfekt herein. Die Kombination aus Performance, Qualität und dem Preis hat den Award eingebracht. Wer maximale Leistung sucht, ist mit dem A12x25 besser bedient, muss allerdings auch tiefer in die Tasche greifen." (Dennis Heinze, hardwarepoint.net)
17.06.2018 // hardwareinside.de
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

Die Noctua NF-A12X25 Lüfter sind derzeit ab knapp 30 Euro und die NF-P12 Lüfter ab knapp 18 Euro im Handel erhältlich. Dabei markiert die erst genannte Lüfter-Serie die derzeitige Spitzenklasse in Sachen Leistung und Lautstärke, jedoch dicht gefolgt vom NF-P12. Beide Lüfter eignen sich hervorragend für den Einsatz auf CPU Kühlern oder Radiatoren und sind ausgezeichnet verarbeitet. Beim NF-P12 kann der interessierte Nutzer sich zwischen der für Noctua typischen Farbgebung oder für die Redux Variante in Grautönen entscheiden. Diese Wahl gibt es beim NF-A12X25 nicht.
Test verdict: "Wir empfehlen die Lüfter, wenn weder Preis noch Farbgebung stören und es vor allem auf die Lautstärke und Leistung ankommt – das sind die Stärken." (Sebastian Psotta, hardwareinside.de)
15.06.2018 // PC-Gaming.it
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

La ventola Noctua NF-P12 è una delle preferite tra gli appassionati e ha contribuito a fondare la reputazione di Noctua come produttore di prodotti di raffreddamento di alta qualità. Adesso, la ventola Noctua NF-P12 entra a far parte della gamma Redux, riproponendo un prodotto di successo in un bundle semplice ed economico, senza però compromette qualità e prestazioni.
Test verdict: "Noctua riduce il bundle così da proporre una ventola essenziale ma di qualità e con solide prestazioni. Noctua NF-P12 Redux svecchia la versione originale e conquista nuove persone con un design asettico." (Matteo Carrara, PC-Gaming.it)
13.06.2018 // Bits and Chips
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

La serie Redux, che conta di modelli da 80, 92, 120 e 140 millimetri, rappresenta il punto d'accesso più economico al mondo Noctua. La dotazione di serie è ridotta al minimo indispensabile, così come la confezione che perde la caratteristica forma a scrigno. Comprare Redux significa comprare una ventola...e basta. Ventola che fa il suo sporco lavoro nel miglior modo possibile, e senza tentennare mai. La cura dimagrante di cui sopra garantisce un taglio DRASTICO al prezzo di vendita che, se era superiore alle 30€ per i modelli Premium, qui oscilla tra le 13,90€ e le 17,90€: in pratica, al costo di una ventola Premium si acquistano due ventole Redux (situazione ottimale per chi ha un budget ristretto).
Test verdict: "L'economia del prodotto non fa sfigurare le prestazioni complessive. E' chiaro che Redux è una linea a marchio Noctua, e che il blasone deve essere rispettato! Da qui, soprese su soprese in fase di test, che ci spingono a raccomandare ogni singola ventola a seconda dell'uso che se ne intende fare." (Vincenzo Mancuso, Bits and Chips)
05.06.2018 // mod-your-case.de
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NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Review

Mit dem NF-P12 redux 1700 PWM hat Noctua einen gut verarbeiteten PWM-Lüfter in sein Sortiment aufgenommen, welcher sich in unserem Test einen guten Platz im vorderen Mittelfeld ergattern konnte. Mit der erbrachten Kühlleistung kann man den Lüfter bedenkenlos auf einem CPU-Kühler einsetzen. Dank der integrierten PWM-Funktion kann die Drehzahl und somit auch die Geräuschkulisse ganz einfach an die aktuellen Bedürfnisse angepasst werden, wodurch der Lüfter auch in einem Silent-System seinen Platz finden kann. Die Verarbeitung ist auf einem von Noctua gewohnt hohem Niveau. Käufer des NF-P12 redux 1700 PWM müssen zwar ein paar Abstriche beim Lieferumfang sowie der gebotenen Ausstattung machen und sich somit z.B. mit einem Lager aus der zurückliegenden Generation zufriedengeben, haben dafür jedoch Technik in ihrem Lüfter verbaut, welche sich viele Jahre lang bewährt hat.
Test verdict: "Mit der gebotenen Kühlleistung kann man den Lüfter bedenkenlos auf einem CPU-Kühler einsetzen." (Patrick Seus, mod-your-case.de)

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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

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 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).

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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