Noctua IndustrialPPC and Redux Fan Roundup Reviewmrwooshoo -
Price: A14~$38.63, A14 PWM~$38.63, F12~$34.63, F12PWM~$36.63, P14s~$26.99, P14r~$30.63, S12B~$27.63, R8~$24.32, B9~$14.36
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Noctua Industrial and Redux Fans
Noctua is, and has been, one of the biggest names in the computer cooling industry. The Austrian-based company has always delivered some of the highest quality cooling products and has practically set the industry standard. They are very well known for creating cooling solutions that are exceedingly powerful and quiet at the same time. Noctua's newest offering to the fan universe comes in the form of two product lines and even though the pair are being released together, they are specifically targeting two different audiences.
The first, the redux line, is taking its naming very literally. The redux line is reaching to the back of the top shelf, dusting off all of the oldies but goldies, and re-releasing them as a baseline product to catch the attention of the more economically inclined. However, there is one twist. A brand new, and long overdue, color scheme update. The new redux models are all coming in a light/dark contrast gray, paying homage to the original light/dark contrast brown that was their roots. Now, I know what you're thinking, "why older, out of date fans?". My answer is simple: Though the models are older, they are also what put Noctua where they are today and should not be underestimated.
The second line, the industrialPPC, is like the redux in that it is, essentially, a reboot. However, it is a reboot of the latest models instead of the older ones and it has more than just a new face. This is where Noctua took their best fans off the front of the top shelf, took them out of their shiny new boxes and gave them a tune up. The industrialPPC fans are dressed in all black, and are geared for speed. Running on more than twice the amount of power that was trickled into the originals, these puppies fly. The hope is that, despite the much highers speeds, these fans will remain quieter and more efficient than the competition(and be enough to please Noctua's "fans," of course). These are much more expensive and are geared towards those who are running high performance systems in need of serious wind tunnel action. Now, on to see if the proof is in the pudding.
Closer Look: Noctua's Industrial and Redux Fans
The first thing I noticed about the new boxes is the lack of a mount tab on the top of the box. It is a weird thing to notice first, I know, but they are the first fan boxes that I have ever seen without one. The second thing I noticed was that the boxes are rather frugal in design. There are no depictions of the fan or any other fanciful pieces of artwork. That being said, the boxes are still aesthetically pleasing (slick and sleek comes to mind). The industrialPPC and redux boxes are all identical to their respective product lines. The industrialPPC boxes are almost all black with brown edging. This gives the boxes a very professional look, befitting of Noctua's newest top tier fan series. The redux series instead uses a gray base with brown edges. This seems to almost be a homage to the classic fan that resides inside, like a platinum hit of sorts.
Other than the very obvious color differences and the model/line name differences the industrialPPC and redux boxes are also identical. Both sets of boxes have the Noctua logo in the top right corner, have the model/line on the top, and have the model/line in the lower center of the box. This is the same for the backs of the boxes, where only the specs are listed. The center label for the redux models is a semitransparent gloss in large text. The industrialPPC center label is in a cleaner, smaller, and much more visible, white and gray. The top labels have the full model name in white on one end and the series in the same semitransparent gloss on the other end. And...that is it. There is nothing describing the features, or the awards. I, personally, believe this is a show of confidence. Noctua feels no need to brag or display what's inside, they know you will buy their fans on their reputation alone.
The box opens like a clam shell unlike the last years' boxes and the boxes of competitors. Once the box is opened the fans are front and center, encased in an all encompassing cardboard spacer. On the bottom section of the spacer is written the series again, but this is almost entirely invisible on the redux (I couldn't even get my camera to see it for a picture). Removing the fan and its spacer from the box reveals a set of four mounting screws (all of the fans from both series have these). The fans themselves are completely different colors from the old Noctua fans. Both the redux and the industrialPPC fans match their box's color scheme. The redux has dark gray blades and a light gray frame, while the industrialPPC fans are all black with the rubber sound dampers a mild brown like its predecessors. The redux and industrialPPC labels are different from each other but are essentially the same from within the same series. At this point however, the fans all start to differ from model to model. They start to follow the designs and technologies unique to them.