Which 120mm fan is right for me?
Some Noctua 120x25mm fan models are optimised for applications with specific pressure or airflow demands. This page helps you to select the model that’s best suited for your application type. Please see our general fan buying guide for other selection criteria (size and shape, voltage, product lines, colours, connectors, RPM speeds, noise, accessories, etc.). Also note that Noctua only distinguishes between airflow-optimised and pressure-optimised models for some of its 120x25mm fans. For 120x15mm, 140mm and other sizes, there is no such distinction: e.g. both the NF-A14 and the NF-P14 redux models are true all-rounders that work excellently both for case cooling and for use on radiators and heatsinks.
For best results in all types of application, Noctua recommends the NF-A12x25. Alternatively, the NF-F12 is a pressure-optimised fan that excels on heatsinks and radiators and the NF-S12A is an airflow-optimised fan that provides excellent results as a case fan and in other low- to mid-impedance applications. Please see this page for a detailed performance comparison of NF-A12x25, NF-F12 and NF-S12A as well as further explanations why the NF-A12x25 provides best results in real-world applications, despite being neither a pressure- nor an airflow-optimised model.
The 15mm slim NF-A12x15 is only recommended for space-restricted applications where the standard 25mm thick models would not fit. In all other cases, the 120x25mm models will provide better results.
In the chromax line, Noctua recommends the pressure-optimised NF-F12 for heatsinks and radiators and the airflow-optimised NF-S12A for case fan usage.
In the redux line, Noctua recommends the pressure-optimised NF-P12 for heatsinks and radiators and the airflow-optimised NF-S12B for use as a case fan.
In the industrialPPC line, the pressure-optimised NF-F12 is the only 120mm model.
For further information about the different product lines (redux, industrialPPC and chromax), please see this page