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Noctua NF-F12 & NF-A14 Industrial PPC Fan Review

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Noctua NF-F12 & NF-A14 Industrial PPC Fan Testing:

The load was simulated by running Prime95’s small FFTs and 3DMark Vantage while a FLIR thermal imaging camera was used during the testing. The purpose of the testing was not to compare the fans to other fans, but to show the effect of fan speed on the thermal performance of the cooler.

As these fans are designed to run on 24VDC at 2000RPM max for the NF-F12 and 3000RPM max for the NF-A14, the testing involved two phases. The first was to connect the fans to the motherboard fan headers. The voltage supplied by the motherboard is 12VDC max which is half of the rating for the fans, meaning that the RPM for the fans is roughly cut in half when plugged into the motherboard.  A SOLA industrial power supply was used for running the fans on 24VDC, and I had to make some custom fan connectors to get the 24 volts from the power supply to the fans.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Starting with a mild overclock for all the testing, the stock 120mm fan has the temps at just under 30°C and is at max speed (1300 rpms). The Noctua D14 actually comes with two fans - a 120mm and a 140mm, but for the testing I am only using the 120mm fan.

 

The first fan tested is the 120mm NF-F12 and this one is connected to the motherboard CPU fan header so the highest voltage the fan will see (from the motherboard) is 12 volts. While this fan is rated at a maximum of 2000 rpms, it will see around half that speed at 12 volts and the fan speed monitoring software indeed shows fan speed at close to 1000 rpms. At this speed the temps are just under 32°C. So this fan spins a little slower and we see a slightly higher temperature.  When we switch the fan power from the motherboard (12V) over to the dedicated 24V power supply, the speed jumps to the 2000 rpms maximum and of course more air is being moved through the fin stack.  The temp then drops to a little over 28°C.

 

 

Next up is the NF-A14 which is the 140mm industrial fan. This fans spins up to 1700 rpms at 12V supplied by the motherboard and delivers a temp of close to 28°C. When the switch is made to the 24V power supply, then the speed hits the max of 3000 rpms and the temp then drops to around 25°C. The NF-A14 did not really have a convenient way to attach it to the cooler, so I had to fabricate a simple strap across the top. But keep in mind that these industrial fans are often mounted in industrial electrical enclosures and typically are not directly mounted to CPU coolers.

 

 

The results were about where I figured they would be. When a fan spins faster it moves more air and provides better cooling peformance.  The increase in fan speed typically causes an increase in fan noise as it did with both fans, but industrial applications are usually more concerned with cooling performance than with fan noise. The NF-A14 was able to knock the temps down the most but it was definitely the loudest. Regardless, both fans proved to be capable of reducing temps when supplied with 24 volts. Check out the review video for the thermal imaging of these fans in action.




  1. Noctua NF-F12 & NF-A14 Industrial PPC Fan: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Noctua NF-F12 & NF-A14 Industrial PPC Fan: Specifications & Features
  3. Noctua NF-F12 & NF-A14 Industrial PPC Fan: Testing
  4. Noctua NF-F12 & NF-A14 Industrial PPC Fan: Conclusion
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