heading

The NF-A14 is a premium quality quiet 140mm fan with a square frame that complies with Noctua’s AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation) standard. Its square shape and 140mm mounting holes (124.5mm spacing) make it ideal for use on watercooling radiators or as an upgrade for 140mm case fans. Featuring sophisticated aerodynamic design measures such as Flow Acceleration Channels, the NF-A14 further improves the renowned quiet cooling performance of the award-winning NF-P14. The PWM version sports Noctua’s custom designed NE-FD1 IC for fully automatic speed control via 4-pin fan headers and comes with a Low-Noise-Adaptor to reduce the maximum speed during PWM control from 1500rpm to 1200rpm. Its performance-oriented 1500rpm top speed and comprehensive speed control options make the NF-A14 PWM an elite choice for users who strive to strike a perfect balance between excellent cooling capacity and superb quietness of operation, be it on watercooling radiators, on heatsinks or in case ventilation.
Details
Succeeding the award-winning NF-P14

Succeeding the award-winning NF-P14

Noctua's NF-P14 fan has become a default-choice among PC enthusiasts looking for a premium quality quiet 140mm fan. Thanks to its thoroughgoing aerodynamic optimisations, the NF-A14 provides higher static pressure and an even better airflow/noise ratio than its much acclaimed predecessor.
Square 140mm frame

Square 140mm frame

The NF-A14's square 140mm frame with 140mm mounting holes (124.5mm spacing) makes it a premium grade replacement for common 140mm case fans and perfect for use on 140mm water cooling radiators, where its square shape will ensure full coverage and best pressure performance.
Flow Acceleration Channels

Flow Acceleration Channels

The NF-A14 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.
Integrated anti-vibration pads

Integrated anti-vibration pads

Integrated anti-vibration pads made from extra-soft silicone minimise the transmission of minute vibrations while maintaining full compatibility with all standard screws and other mounting systems.
SSO2 Bearing

SSO2 Bearing

The NF-A14 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.
Metal bearing shell

Metal bearing shell

In order to guarantee the highest possible degree of manufacturing precision, minimum tolerance and excellent long-term stability, the NF-A14 sports a CNC milled bearing shell made entirely from brass.
Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Supporting fully automatic PWM speed control, the NF-A14 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.
Low-Noise Adaptor

Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-A14 PWM is supplied with a (L.N.A.) that reduces the maximum fan speed from 1500 to 1200rpm. The L.N.A. can be used either to run the fan at a fixed speed of 1200rpm or to cap the maximum speed when using automatic PWM control.
Extensive cabling options

Extensive cabling options

The fan's short 20cm primary cable minimises cable clutter in typical applications while the supplied 30cm extension provides extended reach when necessary. Both cables are fully sleeved and a 4-pin y-cable allows the connection of a second NF-A14 PWM fan to the same PWM fan header for automatic control.
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-A14 features an MTTF of more than 150.000 hours rating and comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
NF-A14 PWM
FAN Specification
Size
140x140x25 mm
Mounting hole spacing
124,5x124,5 mm
Connector
4-pin PWM
Bearing
Blade Geometry
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1500 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
300 RPM
Acoustical Noise
24,6 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
19,2 dB(A)
Static Pressure
2,08 mm H₂O
Static Pressure with L.N.A.
1,51 mm H₂O
Max. Input Power
1,56 W
Max. Input Current
0,13 A
Voltage
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
Scope of delivery
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • 4-Pin Y-Cable
  • 30cm Extension Cable
  • 4 Vibration-Compensators
  • 4 Fan Screws
Warranty
6 years
NF-A14 PWM
A-Series fans
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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19.06.2017 // TechUniverse.it
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NF-A14 PWM Review

La Noctua NF-A14 PWM è una ventola premium di altissima qualità e ad alte prestazioni, e fin qui, credo proprio che nessuno possa affermare il contrario. Viene offerta in vendita ad un ottimo prezzo davvero molto interessante tenendo conto della sua qualità e del corredo di accessori. I livelli sonori massimi dichiarati da casa Noctua di questa ventola sono di 24,6 dBA. Secondo i miei “gusti”, fino a 35 dBA una ventola è estremamente silenziosa, intorno ai 25 dBA come per questa ventola, siamo a livelli sonori praticamente appena percettibili. I livelli di Airflow e di pressione statica sono davvero ottimi, un ottimo prodotto che viene venduto con una dichiarazione di aspettativa di vita della ventola di ben 150.000 ore (MTBF). Un prodotto che viene offerto anche con ben 6 anni di garanzia, non vedo che cosa si possa pretendere di più da una ventola da 140mm ad alte prestazioni e di altissima qualità come questa.
Test verdict: "Se cercate il “Top” tra le ventole da 140mm, la Noctua NF-A14 PWM è proprio quella che state cercando, inoltre, può essere utilizzata per sostituire la ventola di un dispositivo di raffreddamento a liquido per processori aumentandone ancor di più le prestazioni di raffreddamento. Davvero consigliata, è il TOP." (TechUniverse.it)
12.06.2017 // PC nadšenci
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NF-A14 PWM Review

Testy nám potvrdzujú kvalitu ventilátorov Noctua, no príjemne prekvapilo aj SilentiumPC, hlavne model Sigma Pro 120 PWM. Sklamaním sú ale ventilátory Reeven, ktoré sú drahšie ako SilentiumPC, no v testoch dosiahli horšie výsledky.
Test verdict: "Ak hľadáte kvalitný a tichý ventilátor, Noctua je ten správny výrobca. Vo všetkých testoch ventilátory tohto výrobcu preukázali najlepšie teploty a najmenšiu hlučnosť, preto im udeľujeme zlaté ocenenie." (Tomáš Brestovanský, PC nadšenci)
31.08.2015 // SpazioiTech.it
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NF-A14 PWM Review

Il montaggio delle ventole avviene in un batter d’occhio anche se non lo si è mai fatto ed è agevolato dalla presenza di cavi di prolunga o sdoppiamento. Queste due soluzioni sono davvero silenziose, a case chiuso la loro presenza resta un vero e proprio mistero!
Test verdict: "Consiglio caldamente, o sarebbe il caso di dire freddamente (ora potete anche compatirmi per la battuta, NdR), questi due compagni delle estati italiane." (Andrea Giorgio, SpazioiTech.it)
09.02.2015 // QWERTYmag.it
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NF-A14 PWM Review

In questa recensione ci siamo realmente resi conto di quanto Noctua sia attenta ai dettagli e alla cura dei propri prodotti anche in delle “semplici” ventole che poi, in questo caso specifico, semplici non sono visto l’elevata cura nella produzione e nelle tecnologie adottate. Ci ha stupito moltissimo il fatto di ritrovare tutte le tecnologie citate nell’introduzione anche nelle ventole di dimensione ridotta come le NF-A4. Siamo decisamente soddisfatti sia dalle prestazioni in termini di efficienza/rumore, sia dal bundle che dai prezzi decisamente in linea con quelli di altri produttori ma assolutamente superiori in termini di caratteristiche e prestazioni. Attribuiamo a tutta la NF-A Series il premio Gold Award per l’innovazione tecnologica e la cura dei particolari che L’azienda ha dimostrato in questa serie di ventole super-efficienti.
Test verdict: "Ventole per ogni tipo di esigenza. Noctua con la serie NF-A ha pensato proprio a tutti e a tutto proponendo prodotti di altissima qualità e tecnologia mantenendo un ottimo rapporto qualità/prezzo. Decisamente apprezzata la cura dei dettagli e del bundle che rendoni queste ventole il TOP DI GAMMA sul mercato." (Davide Torno, QWERTYmag.it)
17.11.2014 // HWready.it
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NF-A14 PWM Review

Sleeving dei cavi e dotazione bundle sempre fantastico, l’azienda Austriaca non si smentisce mai da questo punto di vista. Facile il montaggio con i gommini rapidi in dotazione e l’utilizzo con le prolunghe e gli adattatori presenti, inoltre tutte le ventole sono munite dei gommini anti-vibrazione a gli angoli. Le ventole da 140mm e 150mm sono più efficienti e silenziose delle comuni e quasi sempre usate da 120mm, infatti le Noctua in esame di comportano benissimo! Perfette, silenziose ed adatte ad ogni utilizzo. Le versioni PWM riescono a combinare in modo fantastico silenziosità e potenza dissipante, fanno il loro dovere in ogni situazione di utilizzo: nei case per creare il flusso d’aria, sul dissipatore per CPU e sui radiatori dell’impianto a liquido, insomma versatili ed affidabili.
Test verdict: "Qualità dei materiali superba (come sempre), Noctua rimane un punto di riferimento per le ventole. Abbiamo provato 4 modelli, 3 da 140mm ed 1 da 150mm, tutti fantastici" (Santoro Luigi, HWready.it)
02.09.2014 // ActualidadHardware.com
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NF-A14 PWM Review

Tras probar las serie NF-A de 140mm podemos decir que estamos ante cuatro grandes ventiladores, en general silenciosos y con un buen caudal aire. De la serie NF-A14 tenemos el modelo FLX que es silencioso y mueve un buen caudal de aire. El modelo ULN es el más silencioso de los analizados, es inaudible aunque su caudal no es excesivamente alto pero suficiente para refrigerar nuestra torre. El modelo PWM es silencioso eso si, a máximas revoluciones empieza a sonar algo más, moviendo un gran caudal de aire. De la serie NF-A15 el modelo PWM es el que más caudal mueve de los cuatro modelos analizados, a máximas rpm ya suena algo pero es normal debido al gran flujo de aire que genera. Concluimos que son ventiladores muy similares, cuyas diferencias son la velocidad de rotación. El modelo ULN está especialmente diseñado como ventilador auxiliar por su baja sonoridad. El modelo NF-A14 FLX destaca por ser silencioso y tener un buen rendimiento, pudiendo regularle las rpm mediante los adaptadores que incluye. El modelo NF-A14 PWM destaca por ofrecer un gran rendimiento regulando las rpm forma automática. Y el modelo NF-A15 PWN que tiene la particularidad de que dispone agujeros de montaje de 120mm, destacando su gran caudal de aire y sonoridad.
Test verdict: "No hace falta decir nada más, que hemos analizados unos grandes ventiladores muy versátiles, silenciosos y con un gran rendimiento, así que no podemos dejar de recomendarlos." (Jose Maria Martinez Perdigones, ActualidadHardware.com)
01.06.2014 // Dark Tech Reviews
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NF-A14 PWM Review

تم تجربة المراوح باستخدام كل محول مرفق لتغيير السرعات تم تثبيت درجة حرارة الغرفة على درجة 29 درجة الحرارة التي تم تسجيلها في الخمول بعد وضع الجهاز على سطح المكتب دون تشغيل برامج وتركة لمدة 15 دقيقة أما فى حالة الضغط تم الضغط بأستخدام برنامج OCCT علي المعالج المستخدم PHENOM II X2 555Be @3.7 وباستخدام فولتية مقدارها 1.5v المشتت المستخدم هو CNPS10X بعد قراءتك لنتائج الاختبارات لا تنسى قراء التعليق الختامي لتجد الملاحظات الخاصة بالأداء أيضاً ستجد معدل الدوران الفعلى أثناء الأختبارات موضح لكل مروحة
Test verdict: "لن أطيل عليكم هذه تعتبر ثاني مراجعة لنا مع مراوح شركة Noctua والتي أثبت شيئاً واحداً أن الجودة والأداء والأزعاج أحد اهم عوامل نجاح الشركة فمراوح NF-A14 PWM ظهرت قوتها في برنامج الأختبار صوت المراوح لا يُذكر علي سرعة 1500 ومع سرعة 1200 لن تسمع صوت لها تفوقت علي كافة مراوح ذات القياس 120 مم" (Ahmed Mohamed, Dark Tech Reviews)
01.05.2014 // Conseil Config
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NF-A14 PWM Review

Comme d'habitude chez Noctua les nuisances sonores sont très basses, ils sont tous inaudibles à 5v et se font entendre à 12v, à part pour le ULN qui lui reste quasiment inaudible même à fond! Les ventilateurs produisent tous un son grave (comme tous ceux de la marque) qui n'est pas gênant et les moteurs sont dépourvus de bruits parasites, un très bon point.
Test verdict: "Nous voici arrivé au terme de ce test, que dire de ces Noctua NF-A14 ? On voit bien qu'ils sont de la même famille que les NF-S12A et continuent dans l'excellence, que ce soit au niveau des performances que dans le bundle en passant par un SAV au top et 6 ans de garantie. Vous ne pouvez pas vous tromper en optant pour un de ces ventilateurs" (Christian Marchini, Conseil Config)
28.11.2013 // PCElite.pl
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NF-A14 PWM Review

Wentylator jest potwornie mocny. Pod tym względem uplasował się na drugiej pozycji w teście. Osiągnął wynik 39 na 40 możliwych w teście wydajności. Łożyska nic nie słychać. Wentylator trzyma klasę. Piaskowy kolor świetnie do niego pasuje.
Test verdict: "Noctua NF-A14 PWM jest wentylatorem bezkonkurencyjnym, jeśli chodzi o stosunek poziomu dźwięku do wydajności, oraz wydajności do poziomu pobory prądu." (Arkadiusz Byś, PCElite.pl)
25.11.2013 // PCAXE.com
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NF-A14 PWM Review

Na prvi pogled ne vidimo ništa specijalno, ali ako iz dobijenih temperatura jezgra izračunamo proseke, stvari će biti jasnije. Kuler sa ventilatorom koji je radio na 1200 obrtaja je ostvario maksimalnu temperaturu od 83,5°C. Kada je hladnjak bio opremljen sa bržim ventilatorom na 1500 obrtaja, maksimalna zabeležena temperatura je bila 80,5°C. Dakle, cela tri stepena, što je primetna razlika u oku entuzijasta. Sad Vam je valjda jasnije zašto je NH-D14 izgubio od NH-14S. Zato što tih 'par obrtaja viška' znače puno za konačan rezultat.
Test verdict: "PWM verzija od ovog 140mm ventilatora će naravno dobiti tradicionalnu 'PCAXE Diamond' nagradu. Noctua-u ne vredi da hvalimo išta posebno, oni koji razumeju njihovu ideologiju, namenu i kvalitet, oni će prihvatiti ovaj proizvod kao i svaki drugi od Noctua-e." (Atila Gobor, PCAXE.com)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

Which Noctua 140mm fans are optimised for airflow, which are optimised for static pressure?

Noctua only distinguishes between airflow optimised and pressure optimised fans in its 120mm range (see this page for details). For 140mm fans, there is no such distinction: Both the NF-A14 and the NF-P14 redux models are true all-rounders that provide outstanding levels of airflow and static pressure. Either of them works excellent both for case cooling and for use on radiators and heatsinks.

Can I use Noctua fans in my system from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands?

Noctua 12V fans comply with the established specifications for standard PC systems issued by Intel and AMD. Systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands often deviate from these specifications e.g. by using proprietary fan headers, custom pin-alignments or pin-configurations, different methods of fan speed control, etc. This can lead to compatibility issues when using Noctua fans in systems from said brands. Some of these problems can be avoided with some technical knowledge, but especially BIOS related issues (e.g. errors or shutdowns due to low fan speed) can often not be resolved. As a result, Noctua does not officially support systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands.

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

Noctua fans such as the 40, 60, 80 or 92mm NF-A series models are ideal for replacing noisy stock fans in NAS devices in order to make them quieter and thousands of users have managed to significantly reduce the noise levels of their NAS units this way. However, while it is easy and straightforward to replace the fans in some cases, it can be very difficult in others, so Noctua strongly recommends that users carefully research if it is possible to easily replace the fan(s) of their NAS device before purchasing a Noctua fan for this purpose. Some of the common issues that can occur when replacing NAS fans are:

  • Different pin assignment: Whereas Noctua fans use the standardised pin assignment for PC fans (see this FAQ for details), some NAS units use different assignments. For example, some devices have the power and GND or rpm and PWM pins swapped. Therefore please carefully verify that your NAS device uses the same pin assignment as standard fans. Experienced users may also change the pin assignment by cutting and resoldering the fan cables, but please note that this will void your Noctua manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Different pin functions: Noctua fans use the standardised pin functions for PC fans (see this FAQ for details); however, some NAS units use fans where certain pins serve a different function. For example, some devices use the RPM pin for “power good” signals. Therefore please carefully verify that your NAS device uses the same pin functions.
  • Firmware speed control: Some NAS devices demand a certain maximum or minimum fan speed. If the new fan doesn’t have the same or similar maximum or minimum speed, the device may display errors or even shut down.
  • Different starting voltage: Most NAS devices use voltage-based speed control. If the new fan has a higher starting voltage than the original fan, it may not start up right away. This may lead the NAS device to display errors or even shut down because it suspects a fan failure.
  • Different power draw: Some NAS devices monitor the fan’s power draw. If the new fan has a lower power consumption than the stock fan, the device might display errors or even shut down.

Please note that most NAS manufacturers don’t provide detailed documentation regarding fan compatibility and control, so users who want to replace the fans of their devices usually have to rely on “How to” guides, blog and forum posts or video tutorials. For example, there are excellent video tutorials available for changing the fans in popular Synology NAS models (DS416j, DS1515+ and DS1812+ in English, DS416/DS415/DS916/DS216/DS214 and DS1515+ in German). Please also note that fan compatibility and control can vary from model to model and even from revision to revision even if the devices stem from the same manufacturer. As a result, it is important to make sure that the information or guidelines you rely on when replacing your NAS fan are applicable to your specific model as well as your specific hardware and firmware revision.

Due to the possible issues listed above, Noctua recommends that only experienced users attempt to replace their NAS fans. Please note that since there are so many different NAS models and most of them lack documentation for aspects such as fan compatibility and control, Noctua customer support cannot assist you with compatibility issues when replacing NAS fans. Please contact your NAS manufacturer for any questions regarding aspects such as the device’s pin alignment or fan monitoring and control.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 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).

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 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

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 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.

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.

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.

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