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Noctua 120mm NF-S12A (ULN, FLX, PWM) Fan Review


Noctua 120mm NF-S12A (ULN, FLX, PWM) Fan Specifications:

120x120x25 mm
4-pin (PWM) 3-pin(ULN, FLX)
Blade Geometry
S-Series with Anti-Stall Knobs
Frame Technology
AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimization)
Rotational Speed (+/-10%)
1200 RPM (PWM and FLX no adapters only)
Rotational Speed (+/-10%)
900 RPM (PWM and FLX with L.N.A. Only)
Rotational Speed (+/-10%)
800 RPM (ULN standard Speed only)
Rotational Speed (+/-10%)
700 RPM (FLX with its U.L.N.A. adapter only)
Rotational Speed (+/-10%)
600 RPM (ULN with U.L.N.A. adapter only)
Min. Rotational Speed PWM only (+/-10%)
300 RPM (PWM only)
Airflow 1200 RPM (PWM, FLX)
107.5 m3/h
Airflow with L.N.A. 900 RPM (PWM, FLX)
83.2 m33/h
Airflow 800 RPM (ULN)
74.3 m3/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A 700RPM (FLX)
65.8 m3/h
Airflow with L.N.A. 600RPM (ULN)
57.5 m3/h
Acoustical Noise 1200 RPM (PWM, FLX)
17.8 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise 900 RPM (PWM, FLX)
10.7 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise 800 RPM (ULN)
8.6 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise 700 RPM (FLX)
7.4 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise 600 RPM (ULN)
6.7 dB(A)
Static Pressure 1200 RPM (PWM, FLX)
1.19 mm H20
Static Pressure 900 RPM (PWM, FLX)
0.73 mm H20
Static Pressure 800 RPM (ULN)
0.62 mm H20
Static Pressure 700 RPM (FLX)
0.51 mm H20
Static Pressure 600 RPM (ULN)
0.44 mm H20
Max Input Power (PWM, FLX)
1.44 W
Max Input Power (ULN)
0.72 W
Max Input Current (PWM, FLX)
0.12 W
Max Input Current (ULN)
0.6 W
Voltage (All)
12 V
Scope of Delivery
Low-Noise Adapter (L.N.A.)
Ultra-Low-Noise Adapter (U.L.N.A.)
        **only applies to the FLX model**
4-Pin Y-Cable
        **only applies to the PWM**
3:4 Pin Adapter
        **applies only to the ULN, FLX**
30 cm Extension Cable
4 Vibration Compensators
4 Fan Screws
6 years


Noctua 120mm NF-S12A (ULN, FLX, PWM) Fan Features:

  • Award-winning S12 design: The NF-S12A features the third evolution of Noctua’s classic Straight Blade Design that has earned its S12 series countless recommendations from hardware journalists and enthusiasts around the world. Further optimized for even better airflow/noise efficiency, it makes the NF-S12A an ideal quiet case fan.
  • Anti-Stall Knobs: The NF-S12A’s Anti-Stall Knobs reduce flow separation phenomena in medium to high impedance situations and thereby increase the fan’s stall margin. This means that the NF-S12A is even more versatile than its renowned predecessor and can achieve better performance on heatsinks and radiators.
  • AAO Frame: Noctua’s AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimization) frames feature integrated anti-vibration pads as well as Noctua’s proprietary Stepped Inlet Design and Inner Surface Microstructures, both of which further refine the fan’s performance/noise efficiency.
  • Stepped Inlet Design: Noctua’s Stepped Inlet Design adds turbulence to the influx in order to facilitate the transition from laminar flow to turbulent flow, which reduces tonal intake noise, improves flow attachment and increases suction capacity, especially in space restricted environments.
  • Inner Surface Microstructures: With the tips of the fan blades ploughing through the boundary layer created by the Inner Surface Microstructures, flow separation from the suction side of the blades is significantly suppressed, which results in reduced blade passing noise and improved airflow and pressure efficiency.
  • Integrated Anti-Vibration Pads: Integrated Anti-Vibration Pads made from extra-soft silicone minimize the transmission of minute vibrations while maintaining full compatibility with all standard screws and other mounting systems.
  • Smooth Commutation Drive 2 (FLX, ULN): The latest version of Noctua’s advanced Smooth Commutation Drive system ensures superb running smoothness by eliminating torque variations and switching noises. This makes the NF-S12A remarkably quiet even at very close distance.
  • Custom designed PWM IC with SCD (PWM): Supporting fully automatic PWM speed control, the NF-S12A PWM uses Noctua’s novel, custom designed NE-FD1 PWM IC that integrates Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology. By providing smoother torque impulses, SCD suppresses PWM switching noises and thus makes the fan quieter at low speeds.
  • 3 speed settings for full flexibility (FLX): Providing 1200, 900 and 700 rpm speed settings via the supplied Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise Adapters, the NF-S12A FLX (Flexibility) can be fine-tuned for superior airflow or maximum quietness.
  • Extensive Cabling Options: The fan’s short 20cm primary cable minimizes cable clutter in typical applications while the supplied 30cm extension provides extended reach when necessary. Both cables are fully sleeved.
  • SSO2 Bearing: The NF-S12A features the further optimized second generation of Noctua’s renowned, time-tested SSO bearing. With SSO2, the rear magnet is placed closer to the axis to provide even better stabilization, precision and durability.
  • Metal bearing shell: In order to guarantee the highest possible degree of manufacturing precision, minimum tolerance and excellent long-term stability, the NF-S12A sports a CNC milled bearing shell made entirely from brass.
  • 6 years manufacturer’s warranty: Noctua fans are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the NF-S12A features an MTBF rating of more than 150.000 hours and comes with a full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty.


All information courtesy of Noctua @ http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=56&lng=en

  1. Noctua 120mm NF-S12A (ULN, FLX, PWM) Fans: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Noctua 120mm NF-S12A (ULN, FLX, PWM) Fans: Specifications & Features
  3. Noctua 120mm NF-S12A (ULN, FLX, PWM) Fans: Testing
  4. Noctua 120mm NF-S12A (ULN, FLX, PWM) Fans: Conclusion
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