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Scan Windows 7

Go with the flow
If you’ve recently upgraded or built you machine with the latest CPU and Graphics card you may have noticed that without adequate cooling the inside of your PC is now able to roast a small chicken, if this is the case then now maybe is the time to upgrade your cooling.

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The one problem associated with increasing airflow within the PC is noise, multiple fans running produce a fair amount of decibels and for certain PC users this can cause a problem i.e. music buffs and 2am gamers while the families asleep.

Noctua have produced a 120mm fan with a 10% reduction in noise with no inherent lose of airflow thanks to some clever designing by the people at the Austrian Institute for Heat-Transmission and Fan Technology, (Google it, there really is one!), The blades are designed to maximise airflow while reducing noise using some clever aerodynamic geometry design tweaks that we probably wouldn't understand even if they tried explaining them.

They've also left extra space between the tips of the blades and the frame in order to reduce the creation of turbulence and also employed a new self-stabilising oil-pressure bearing (SSO bearing)which they claim "surpasses current types of ball, sleeve or liquid bearings in terms of long-term stability and quietness."

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Now at first glance I know you will think “what kind of colour is that?” but to be honest it does make a refreshing change from the standard black and neon fans out there. If you are in the business of showing your PC, innards and all, then maybe this fan is not for you but for the standard home user, who cares what colour the fan is?

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Fitting the fan is easy enough, assuming your case supports fans of this side to begin with that is. Simply line it up with the pre made case holes and screw into place using the supplied screws or alternatively use the rubber anti vibration lugs that are supplied to fix it into position. The power is provided using the standard 3-pin power connector found in abundance on most newer Motherboards but multi adaptors are supplied to convert to a regular ATX power supply 4-pin Molex. There's also a 3-pin to 3-pin in-line resistor which Noctua call their U.L.N.A or Ultra Low Noise Adaptor.

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In operation the Fan is quiet, whether it is possible to differentiate a 10% reduction in noise I couldn’t say for certain but it does appear to run smoother. There was definitely no reduction in cooling compared to my existing case fan with my PC reading a steady 40-42c with both fans.

Conclusion. If noise does play an important part in your computer activities then I would consider looking out for this fan. The colour choice, will I believe reduce there appeal to a lot of people, but those that prefer performance over looks will appreciate the quieter and smoother operation of this one. I can't definitively say the fan was significantly quieter than similarly rated units without specialist measuring equipment but I can state without hesitation that it generated none of those annoyingly evident high or low frequencies that seem to grate on your nerves after a while.

Design
Quality
Performance
Overall

Specifications

Size 120x120x25 mm
Bearing SSO-Bearing
Blade Geometry Straight-Blade-Design
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1200 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 600 RPM
Airflow 47 cfm
Airflow with U.L.N.A. 24 cfm
Acoustical Noise 17 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. < 6 dB(A)
Input Power 1.44 W
Input Current 0.12 A
Voltage Range 6-13 V
MTBF > 150,000 h
Scope of Delivery
Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
4 Vibration Compensators
3:4-Pin Adapters
4 Fan Screws

Available from: http://www.quietpc.com/gb-en-gbp/products/120mmfans/nf-s12-1200