Introduction:

Adequate airflow for your newly built PC is arguably the most important aspect that most of the people tend to overlook. To keep up with your component’s needs of sufficient airflow you should install a good set of Fans to put the icing on the cake i.e on your newly built PC. And in the era where the current markets are full of ripped-off Chinese branded fans, we have a blessing on our hands today named as “Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM/ULN/FLX Fans”.

Noctua is an Austrian computer hardware maker of CPU coolers and computer fans principally for the enthusiast market. Noctua came into being in 2005 and is a joint enterprise between Austrian company Rascom Computer Distribution GmbH and the Taiwanese Kolink International Corporation.

Noctua NF-A12x25 (4)

Noctua is the pioneer of making elite-class cooling solutions for PC hardware. Almost every PC master race enthusiast knows about Noctua and indeed they make amazing products. But we won’t take the Noctua NF-A12x25 series for granted. We’ll test each and every detail about these fans topped off with our own thoughts.

So, without further ado; let’s dive straight into the review.

Special Thanks to Noctua for providing us with the review samples.

Specifications (PWM):

Size:120x120x25 mm
Mounting hole spacing:105×105 mm
Connector:4-pin PWM
Bearing: SSO2
Blade Geometry: A-Series with Flow Acceleration Channels
Material: Sterrox® LCP
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%): 2000 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%): 1700 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%): 450 RPM
Acoustical Noise: 22,6 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.: 18,8 dB(A)
Static Pressure: 2,34 mm H?O
Static Pressure with L.N.A.: 1,65 mm H?O
Max. Input Power: 1,68 W
Max. Input Current: 0,14 A
Voltage: 12 V
MTTF: > 150.000 h
Scope of delivery:
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • 4-pin y-cable
  • 30cm extension cable
  • NA-AV2 anti-vibration mounts
  • Anti-vibration gasket for water cooling radiators
  • Fan screws
Warranty: 6 years

Difference between PWM, ULN, and FLX:

PWM: Variable and controllable speed through BIOS or software.

FLX: Standard single speed fan (without lower voltage adapters or a fan controller).

ULN: Same as FLX, but essentially running at ~7v instead of the full 12v making it Ultra-Quiet.

Unboxing/Packaging:

All of the fans arrive in a very flashy yet useful packaging. The front side of the box represents the model name/number of the fan along with the type: PWM/ULN/FLX. We can also see the key features at the front side of the box.

The back side of the box isn’t much interesting, it has the basic information about the fan-written in different languages. Also, we can notice a brief spec-sheet on the left side of the back side of the box, which can be handy for some advanced users.

Noctua NF-A12x25 (2)

Our review samples came with the Noctua NA-SFMA1 140mm to 120mm fan mounting adapters as well. The box of the adapters is sleek and appealing. This mounting adapter helps you mount 120mm fans to 140mm or 280mm radiator.

The adapters come along with the rubber mounting screws as well. The rubber mounts help in decreasing noise caused by the friction between the case and the metal screws.

Unboxing the fan itself, we can see the box has an opening flap which depicts a Fan curve graph; a rather complex graph for the enthusiasts that understand electronic engineering.

Noctua NF-A12x25 (8)

Opening the lid on the back side of the box, we can see a list of features mentioned.

Noctua NF-A12x25 (14)

After unpacking the fan we can see also it comes incorporated with a number of accessories including an anti-vibration rubber gasket, four rubber mounts (NA-AV2), three cables—a 30 cm long extension cable, 4-pin Y-splitter cable, and low-noise adapter (LNA) which reduces the rated speed of the fan from 2000 RPM to 1700 RPM, probably via an in-line resistor. There is also a sharp note embedded with a peculiar message from Noctua thanking the customer for the purchase.

Noctua NF-A12x25 (11)

Closer Look:

If you are even digitally familiar with Noctua’s products, then the color pattern here shouldn’t be an eye-opener. The NF-A12x25 PWM in its prevailing monotony uses a tan and brown color with a nine-blade impeller on a squared frame. Taking a closer look on the fan we can notice the channels cut into the leading edge of each blade on the impeller, which Noctua says acts as flow-accelerators that helps speed up airflow in this region.

Noctua NF-A12x25 (13)

There quadra stator vanes on the backside of the fan with adjoining vanes upright to each other. All four corners on each side also get unified with anti-vibration silicone pads. Noctua’s logo is written on to the side of the frame, as are arrows describing the direction the impeller rotates in. Each fan is considered at 0.14 A (1.68 W) on the 12 VDC rail, which matches to the peak draw with start-up boost.

Noctua NF-A12x25 (12)

The blended rubber pads on the corners can surely be removed and replaced with the provided rubber gasket that we suggest using on the side that touches a radiator if you’re using it to cool your rad. Doing so would additionally decrease any vibrations that are passed on to the case through the fan, while also producing a continuous contact layer with the surface of the radiator. If you intend to use it even against a case, the gasket still preserves compatibility with the soft rubber mounts, which is good to see.

Noctua NF-A12x25 (1)

Testing:

For testing, we don’t have much data present in the studio right now to compare it with other fans and also we don’t we have the specific equipment that is needed to properly review a fan’s rpm. However, we have our sound & airflow meter with us. We’ll provide our personal opinion based testing.

In terms of noise: We tested this fan in our little noisy environment using a sound meter. here we are comparing with IDCooling SF-120. As you can see Noctua’s fans are staying at most on 43dBA. which is like sitting in a quiet library.

Noctua NF-A12x25 Chart1

In terms of airflow, they provided adequate airflow. Noctua NF-A12x25 Fan displayed a maximum airflow of 46.8 CFM which is better than most fans out there. Also with this much static pressure under full speed assures us that these fans are improving Chassis’s ambient temperature under load.
Noctua NF-A12x25 Chart2

Indeed, these fans are the best of the best in terms of airflow and noise. These are just perfect in every aspect.

If we talk about aesthetics, then this is where Noctua’s NF-A12x25 series will fall behind. These fans aren’t aesthetically pleasing at all and in the era of RGB and LED lighting, it just feels old to have fans in your rig without any sort of illumination. If you’re into aesthetics this isn’t for you. However, if you solely want performance then look no further because the NF-A12x25 is all you want.

Conclusion:

To wrap it up: The Noctua’s NF-A12x25 series definitely lives up to its hype and satisfied us with its pleasing airflow and overall performance. However, if you don’t care about a brown/tanned fan color scheme then this is what’s best for you. Also, you won’t get any aesthetically pleasing aspect out of these fans, but most people look for the performance when they buy Noctua fans. Overall, it does offer plenty enough to heavily outweigh alits it’s competitors and it does it well. If you’re inclined towards performance only then this is your first and last stations in terms of cooling fans. The Noctua’s NF-A12x25 series is definitely a remarkable fan and could easily be the best PC fan of the world if it wasn’t for the sort of simple and rather obscure tan/brown old-fashioned aesthetic style.