Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Fan - Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Article Index
Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Fan
Specifications
Testing
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

 

Noctua NF-F12 PWM Fan Final Thoughts:

After so many years of providing all of their fans with fan adapters, Noctua has decided to produce a PWM fan, the NF-F12 PWM.

Is PWM the best when it comes to case fans? Well, that all depends who you ask. In some applications it could be argued that PWM fans that regulate themselves based on system temperatures is the best way to go. There are also people who want their fans to remain at one speed no matter what (Home Theater PC's for example). Both methods of controlling your fans have their advantages and now you can get them both from Noctua. We've reviewed pretty much every product from Noctua over the years and it's nice to see them giving their customers options when it comes to their cooling.

One complaint about PWM fans in the past have been the fact that you can hear them spinning up and down quickly. Noctua has decided to use their very own circuitry in these fans called SCD (Smooth Commutation Drive) which helps provide smoother torque impulses (basically makes it spin up or down more quietly than the competition). Basically they've identified the biggest complaint about PWM and made it better.

 

If you want to go with PWM, but you don't want to be able to hear your fans ever Noctua has you covered thanks to the Low-Noise fan adapter they include with each of these fans. When this fan adapter is installed your fan will either run your fan at 1200 RPM constantly (as opposed to the maximum 1500 RPM) or it will cap the PWM from exceeding 1200RPM. As we found in our testing this fan is very quiet at full speeds (1500 RPM) but if you want silence we found that anything below 1200 RPM made it virtually impossible to hear even when it was the only fan spinning.

The quality of the NF-F12 PWM is as usual up to the high quality what we've come to expect from Noctua over the years. Noctua guarantees these fans for 6 years (more than 150,000 hours) so they are a good choice especially if you are going to leave them running for days, weeks, or even months on end.

At time of publishing we were able to find the Noctua NF-F12 PWM for $19.99 CDN online. When you factor in that you are probably going to want 2-3 of these in your system the price might start to sound a little steep when compared to cheaper fans, but with a 6 year warranty chances are good a fan like the Noctua NF-F12 PWM will be moving from cases to case and computer to computer and will probably outlast most every component inside your computer. When compared to other "high-end" fans I feel that the ~$20 dollar price tag is pretty typical and a good value for what you get.

If you are looking to upgrade the cans inside your computer and want some of the best fans money can buy, the Noctua NF-F12 PWM might just be for you. These fans have enough science behind them that you'll need a degree in engineering to understand what it all means, but all we know is thanks to this science Noctua has produced yet another amazing fan. Thanks to great performance with little or no noise, high quality construction, and now the option of PWM, the Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm fan has earned our "Editor's Choice - Gold" Award.

 

Pros:

  • Another option from Noctua for your case fan needs
  • Quiet (Just like every other Noctua Fan we've tested)
  • High Quality

 

Cons:

  • Nothing Major

 

BCCRating 

Gold 
 

I'd like to thank Noctua for sending us the NF-F12 PWM. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.