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


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

The Noctua NF-S12A's will be tested on the Corsair Hydro H60 water cooler. The water cooler will be installed according to the recommended installation method given in the Corsair Hydro's included manual. More specifically, the Corsair cooler will be mounted to the back of the computer case with a fan between the back wall and the radiator. The fan being tested will be pulling air from outside of the case and pushing it through the radiator. The load tests will be run in two hour intervals with a one hour break in between each load test. Idle tests will be each run 45 minutes and have 15 minute breaks in between. All System Hardware will remain the same during each of the tests and the ambient temperature will be kept as close to 21 degrees Celsius as possible for all tests to be as fair as possible. The fans will all be tested at all of their speed settings except for the Corsair Stock fan and the Noctua PWM, these two will each run at whatever pace the motherboard wishes based on temperatures.




  • Corsair Stock fan
  • Thermaltake Thunderblade 




The Noctua NF-S12A’s performed very well. At idle, the highest two speed settings for the FLX kept the CPU running essentially as cool as its competition, with the temperatures going up as fan speeds went down. This trend continues for all of the Noctua fans; lower RPMs means higher temperatures. Except for the PWM fan, right? Wrong. The fan controller just kept the RPMs so low that the speed settings didn’t affect the outcome. The Load results were more interesting and surprising.  ALL of the Noctua NF-S12A fans kept my i5-2500K in check @ 4.5 GHz under full load. The highest temperature reading was achieved while using the 600 RPM settings for the ULN model and those were just above 70 °C. The Noctua’s have proven to me that they can compete with the best because of the well thought out design and not the sheer speed of the fans.

  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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