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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 extra slow 900rpm 3-pin version is ideal for ultra-low-noise applications and highly noise sensitive users who demand near-silent operation.
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.
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-900
FAN Specification
Size
120x120x25 mm
Mounting hole spacing
105x105 mm
Connector
3-pin
Bearing
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
900 RPM
Acoustical Noise
12,6 dB(A)
Static Pressure
1,21 mm H₂O
Max. Input Power
0,3 W
Max. Input Current
0,025 A
Voltage
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
Scope of delivery
  • Fan screws
Warranty
6 years
NF-P12 redux-900
Video Reviews
The following video reviews have not been created by Noctua. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the videos lies entirely with the authors.
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19.05.2018 // Vortez.net
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NF-P12 redux-900 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)
22.06.2018 // EnosTech.com
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NF-P12 redux-900 Review

On stock clocks, under stress test, the NF-P12 1700 PWM was doing 26.67°C delta temps. Both variants of NF-P12 1300 were neck-to-neck with 29°C delta temps. The NF-P12 900 was doing 33.67°C which is on a warmer side particularly on the stock clocks but given its 900 RPM maximum speed and the aim behind it, this level of silent performance is actually good. This is a good performance overall and particularly given the low noise level on these fans, Noctua is once again delivering in the Noise-to-Performance ratio category.
Test verdict: "The low price tag on these fans makes it ideal for the budget users to have a premium cooling solution from the Noctua without much burden on their wallets. These fans come recommended by us." (Nauman Siddique, EnosTech.com)
14.06.2018 // modding.fr
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NF-P12 redux-900 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-900 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-900 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)
03.10.2018 // Tech-Review.de
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NF-P12 redux-900 Review

Die Verarbeitung ist ausgezeichnet und mit der Farbwahl hat Noctua auch Geschmack bewiesen. Zum einen stellt es die ewigen Nörgler ruhig, welche mit dem Braun-Beige bisher nichts anfangen konnten, zum anderen ist die Kombination aus zwei Grautönen auch wirklich gut gelungen. Mit dem neu entworfenen Rahmen ist zudem die Kompatibilität zu den Chromax-Eckteilen gegeben, welche dank der Entkopplung nicht nur die Lautstärke etwas reduzieren, sondern optisch mit bunten Farben aufwarten können. Technisch gesehen gefällt bei allen Modellen das sehr leise bis praktisch unhörbare Lüfterlager. Mit sechs Jahren Garantie liegen die Lüfter außerdem im absoluten Spitzenfeld und der Support ist bei Noctua typischerweise sehr kompetent.
Test verdict: "Zusammengefasst gefällt uns die Neuauflage der NF-P12 Serie mit dem Namenszusatz Redux gut. Durch die vielfältige Modellauswahl, von wirklich leisen Vertretern zu leistungsstarken Versionen, gibt es für jeden Geschmack etwas." (Simon Sternbauer, Tech-Review.de)
01.10.2018 // PadByte.com
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NF-P12 redux-900 Review

وإجماًلا، ومرةً أخرى، لا يسعني الا الاعتراف بمدى جودة واتقان شركة Noctua في انتاج هذه المراوح، الأمر الذي لا أعتبره مفاجئة بحق، فهذه المراوح هي الأنسب للمستخدمين الذين يودون الموازنة بين العناصر الثالثة السابق ذكرها، ناهيك عن الكفالة التي توفّرها الشركة والتي تمتد الى 6 أعوام.
Test verdict: "وإجماًلا، ومرةً أخرى، لا يسعني الا الاعتراف بمدى جودة واتقان شركة Noctua في انتاج هذه المراوح، الأمر الذي لا أعتبره مفاجئة بحق، فهذه المراوح هي الأنسب للمستخدمين الذين يودون الموازنة بين العناصر الثالثة السابق ذكرها، ناهيك عن الكفالة التي توفّرها الشركة والتي تمتد الى 6 أعوام." (Rami Al Aich, PadByte.com)
19.09.2018 // EnlaceHW.com
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NF-P12 redux-900 Review

Al escuchar la palabra Redux, podríamos pensar que esta es una línea de ventiladores en la que se redujeron costos gracias al recorte de prestaciones o características técnicas que se integran en los modelos anteriores. Sin embargo, los ventiladores NF-P12 redux poseen todas las cualidades que uno espera de un producto de la marca Noctua. La construcción de los modelos NF-P12 redux es simplemente sólida y no se aprecia que Noctua haya comprometido la calidad para poder ofrecer los ventiladores a un precio más asequible. A pesar de no pertenecer a familia principal, los modelos NF-P12 redux se entregan con muchas de las tecnologías renombradas del especialista de ventilación como las muescas de control de vórtice, el sistema SCD 2, Rodamientos SSO-Bearing, entre otras.
Test verdict: "Si buscas un ventilador de 120mm con la calidad y rendimiento que solamente Noctua puede ofrecer, la línea NF-P12 redux es una de las mejores opciones que encontraras en el mercado."
11.09.2018 // FunkyKit.com
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NF-P12 redux-900 Review

I will repeat myself as Noctua products are simply amazing. Both presented fans so the NF-12x25 and NF-P12 perform well and are really quiet as Noctua declares. These fans have already received multiple prizes around the Internet so it won’t be strange to see one more from our redaction.
Test verdict: "If you are searching for the best fans on the market then Noctua is the top choice." (Bartosz Waluk, FunkyKit.com)
10.09.2018 // Overclockers.com.ua
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NF-P12 redux-900 Review

Как и всегда, наилучшие показатели температур, а значит и производительности, наблюдаются у вентиляторов с более высокой скоростью вращения. Первое место между собой делят Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM (2000 об/мин) и Noctua NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM (1700 об/мин). Тем не менее, именно NF-A12x25 лидирует в плане шума, отыгрывая у NF-P12 redux без малого 4 дБ (А). Да и субъективно, новый вентилятор Noctua не имеет паразитных призвуков и звук его работы не вызывает раздражения даже на максимальной скорости. В то же время стоковый вентилятор Zalman завывает на скорости 1900 об/мин, проигрывая один градус по температуре. При той же температуре и сниженной до 1700 об/ скорости NF-A12x25 выступает с ним на равных, но уже с вполне терпимым шумом на уровне 48 дБ (А). При дальнейшем понижении скорости в направлении 1200–1350 об/мин картина сохраняется, NF-A12x25 лидирует по низкому уровню шума, NF-P12 redux показывает тот же результат, но делает это заметно громче. Общая производительность вентиляторов заметно снижается на отметке в 900–1000 об/мин, и тут себя неожиданно хорошо по температуре показывает вентилятор Zalman, однако его крыльчатка работает слишком шумно, в то время как у Noctua эти режимы работы можно считать почти бесшумными.
Test verdict: "Вполне может претендовать на звание самого тихого 120-мм вентилятора в мире." (Vasilenko Andrey, Overclockers.com.ua)

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.

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.

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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