Noctua NF-B9 Reviewhardnrg - June 23, 2008
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After having a good read about the fan, it's time to look at what you get for your money.
The inner packaging keeps the fan separate from the various accessories.
Taking a look at the fan itself, you can see that the frame of the fan is quite standard, but also the fan blades blatantly stray far from the norm.
It's not very often that fans come with "solid" corners, but I find it extremely annoying when they are, as it can limit the methods of mounting the fan with clips or screws. Nice to see that Noctua doesn't partake in such tomfoolery.
So, these fan blades are the most unique and important part of this fan design. Noctua develops its fans alongside the Austrian Institute of Heat Transmission and Fan Technology (Österreichisches Institut für Wärmeübertragung und Ventilatorentechnik, ÖIWV). Catchy name, huh?! I guess it's less of a mouthful in Austrian. Anyway, the ends of the fan blades are bevelled to give a precisely designed gap away from the fan frame, and by reducing the impedance of air right on the surface of the frame, the airflow and pressure are optimised. The trailing edge of the fan blades are notched with the intention of spreading the noise over a range of frequencies by making multiple small vortices.
Fancy a better look at them after all that techy-talk? Ok, here you go.
Noctua do a fantastic job of sleeving the fan cable, and it's not your run-of-the-mill nylon braided sleeving either, as it's like a woven fabric - flexible and doesn't snag on things like nylon sleeving.
Along with the fan, you get several accessories. In the photo below, you can see from left to right, four vibration compensators for vibration-isolating the fan from your case, four standard self tapping fan screws, an Ultra Low Noise Adaptor for the maximum reduction of noise (and speed), a Low Noise Adaptor for moderate reduction of noise (and speed), and a 4-pin "Molex" to 3-pin fan socket adaptor.
"Fine fine fine, but how does it compare to other 92mm fans?", I hear you ask. Okay, keep your hair on! Let's see how the NF-B9 does against a range of other fans, from near silent to extreme performance.