Noctua NF-B9 Reviewhardnrg - June 23, 2008
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There is a lot of discrepancy between the measured noise levels that each manufacturer specifies for their fans. So, in this section, instead of measuring a raw noise level with a microphone, I chose to observe the relative noise levels of each fan by ear in a room with near silent ambience. In this way, I could gauge the perceived intensity of the noise (volume), as well as how annoying the sound was for each fan.
Some fans spread the noise over a range of frequencies so that the resulting sound is smooth, whereas other fans have a characteristic whine or whirring sound.
In this test I have devised a noise level scaled from 1 to 10:
- Silent, inaudible
- Near silent, only just audible
- Near silent, very quiet
- Audible, soft noise
- Audible, moderate noise
- Fairly loud, moderate noise
- Fairly loud, starting to be annoying
- Fairly loud, annoying
- Loud, annoying
- Very loud, ridiculously annoying
All the fans were run at 12V, connected to the PSU rather than motherboard headers. Surprisingly, the Noctua NF-B9 was actually slightly louder than the Thermaltake TT-9025A. Both of these fans were only just audible however, and much quieter than the other fans in the test.