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[https://noctua.at Noctua] of Austria makes some boss-ass fans and tower coolers. When I first saw the magnificent [https://noctua.at/en/home-product/nh-d15-chromax-black NH-D15 chromax.black] in 2019, I wept. I have used Noctua tower coolers and fans for all my [[Machines|builds]] since 2011. They have no peer in air cooling, and can hold their own with smaller liquid cooling solutions.
[[File:startseite_produkt_nh_d15_chromax_black.jpg|right|thumb|The NH-D15 chromax.black, a thing of great beauty]]
[https://noctua.at Noctua] of Austria makes some boss-ass fans and tower coolers. When I first saw the magnificent [https://noctua.at/en/home-product/nh-d15-chromax-black NH-D15 chromax.black] in 2019, I wept. They have no peer in air cooling (well, they [[Phanteks|*had* no peer]]), and their tower coolers can hold their own with AIO liquid cooling solutions.
 
NA-AVP1 anti-vibration corner pads come in various colors, and can be swapped. Round form factors are wider than their nominal size (150mm vs 140mm) with the mounting holes of a smaller form factor (120mm vs 140mm), and intended for use on tower coolers. NA-SAVP1 is a pack of NA-AVP1s.
 
I have similar tables for [[EK-Vardar]] and [[Phanteks]]. Disclaimers: data were taken from Noctua's site, and generally refer to maximum levels. Power, noise, pressure, and airflow are not generally linearly related. Performance curves were taken from wherever I could find them; I cannot speak to their accuracy, and they probably do not reflect equal testing conditions.
 
<i>"Beherrscht dich ein Gedanke, so findest du ihn überall ausgedrückt, du riechst ihn sogar im Winde."</i> (If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere.)<br/>
—Thomas Mann, <i>Tonio Kröger</i> (1901)
 
==120mm fans==
{|class="wikitable sortable"
! Model !! RPM !! dB(A) !! m³/h !! mm H₂O !! Color !! Power(W) !! Comments !! Curves
|-
| NF-A12x25 PWM || 450–2000 || 22.6 || 102.1 || 2.34 || Brown || 1.68 || 4-pin PWM || [[File:Nf-a12x25-pwm.jpg|100px]]
|-
| NF-A12x25 FLX || 1350–2000 || 22.6 || 102.1 || 2.34 || Brown || 1.68 || 3-pin ||
|-
| NF-A12x25 ULN || 1200 || 12.1 || 55.7 || 0.82 || Brown || 0.6 || 3-pin<br/>No speed control ||
|-
| NF-A12x25 5V PWM || 450–1900 || 21.4 || 96.2 || 2.07 || Brown || 1.75 || 4-pin PWM ||
|-
| NF-A12x25 5V || 1900 || 21.4 || 96.2 || 2.07 || Brown || 1.75 || 3-pin<br/>Single speed ||
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-A12x25 chromax || 450–2000 || 22.6 || 102.1 || 2.34 || Black || 1.68 || 4-pin PWM<br/>NA-AVP1 corners || [[File:Nf-a12x25-pwm.jpg|100px]]
|-
| NF-A12x15 PWM || 1850 || 23.9 || 94.2 || 1.53 || Brown || 1.56 || 4-pin PWM ||
|-
| NF-A12x15 FLX || 1400–1850 || 23.9 || 94.2 || 1.53 || Brown || 1.56 || 3-pin ||
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-A12x15 chromax || 450–1850 || 23.9 || 94.2 || 1.53 || Black || 1.56 || 4-pin PWM<br/>NA-AVP1 corners ||
|-
| NF-F12 PWM || 1500 || 22.4 || 93.4 || 2.61 || Brown || 0.6 || 4-pin PWM ||
|-
| NF-F12 5V PWM || 1500 || 22.4 || 93.4 || 2.61 || Brown || 0.75 || 4-pin PWM ||
|-
| NF-F12 5V || 1500 || 22.4 || 93.4 || 2.61 || Brown || 0.75 || 3-pin ||
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-F12 PWM chromax || 300–1500 || 22.4 || 93.4 || 2.61 || Black || 0.6 || 4-pin PWM<br/>NA-AVP1 corners ||
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-F12 iPPC-2000 || 450–2000 || 29.7 || 121.8 || 3.94 || Black || 1.2 || 3-pin molex ||
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-F12 iPPC-3000 PWM || 750–3000 || 43.5 || 186.7 || 7.63 || Black || 3.6 || 4-pin PWM || [[File:Nf-f12-3000.jpg|100px]]
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-S12A PWM chromax || 300–1200 || 17.8 || 107.5 || 1.19 || Black || 1.44 || 4-pin PWM<br/>NA-AVP1 corners ||
|-
| NF-S12A PWM || 1200 || 17.8 || 107.5 || 1.19 || Brown || 1.44 || 4-pin PWM ||
|-
| NF-S12A FLX || 1200 || 17.8 || 107.5 || 1.19 || Brown || 1.44 || 3-pin ||
|-
| NF-S12A ULN || 800 || 8.6 || 74.3 || 0.62 || Brown || 0.72 || 3-pin ||
|- style="color:#101010;background-color:#b0b0b0;"
| NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM || 450–1700 || 25.1 || 120.2 || 2.83 || Grey || 1.08 || 4-pin PWM || [[File:Nf-p12-redux-1700-pwm.jpg|100px]]
|- style="color:#101010;background-color:#b0b0b0;"
| NF-S12 redux-1200 PWM || 400–1200 || 18.1 || 100.6 || 1.31 || Grey || 0.9 || 4-pin PWM ||
|-
| NF-P12 PWM || 300–1300 || 19.8 || 92.3 || 1.68 || Brown || 0.6 || 4-pin PWM ||
|-
|}
 
==140mm fans==
{|class="wikitable sortable"
! Model !! RPM || dB(A) !! m³/h  !! mm H₂O !! Color !! Power(W) !! Comments
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-A14 iPPC-2000 || 500–2000 || 31.5 || 182.5 || 4.18 || Black || 2.16 || 4-pin PWM
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-A14 iPPC-3000 || 800–3000 || 41.3 || 269.3 || 6.58 || Black || 6.6 || 4-pin PWM
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-A14 chromax.Black.swap || 300–1500 || 24.6 || 140.2 || 2.08 || Black || 1.56 || NA-AVP1 corners<br/>4-pin PWM
|-
| NF-A14 PWM || 300–1500 || 24.6 || 140.2 || 2.08 || Brown || 1.56 || 4-pin PWM
|- style="color:#101010;background-color:#b0b0b0;"
| NF-P14s redux 900 || 900 || 13.2 || 83.7 || 0.77 || Grey || 0.84 || NA-AVP1 corners<br/>3-pin molex
|- style="color:#101010;background-color:#b0b0b0;"
| NF-P14s redux 1200 || 1200 || 19.6 || 110.3 || 1.29 || Grey || 1.44 || NA-AVP1 corners<br/>3-pin molex
|- style="color:#101010;background-color:#b0b0b0;"
| NF-P14s redux-1200 PWM || 350–1200 || 19.6 || 110.3 || 1.29 || Grey || 1.44 || NA-AVP1 corners<br/>4-pin PWM
|- style="color:#101010;background-color:#b0b0b0;"
| NF-P14s redux-1500 || 450–1500 || 25.8 || 133.7 || 1.91 || Grey || 2.4 || NA-AVP1 corners<br/>4-pin PWM
|- style="color:#101010;background-color:#b0b0b0;"
| NF-P14r redux-1500 || 450–1500 || 25.8 || 133.7 || 1.91 || Grey || 2.4 || Round fan<br/>4-pin PWM
|-
| NF-P14 FLX || 750–1200 || 19.6 || 110.3 || 1.29 || Brown || || Round fan<br/>3-pin molex
|-
| NF-P14 PWM || 900–1300 || 19.6 || 110.3 || || Brown || 1.2 || Round fan<br/>4-pin PWM<br/>Center fan of NH-D14
|-
| NF-A15 PWM || 300-1200 || 19.2 || 115.5 || 1.51 || Brown || 0.96 || Round fan</br>4-pin PWM<br/>Installed in NH-D15
|-
|}
 
==80mm fans==
{|class="wikitable sortable"
! Model !! RPM || dB(A) !! m³/h  !! mm H₂O !! Color !! Power(W) !! Comments
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NF-A8 chromax.Black.swap || 2200 || 17.7 || 55.5 || 2.37 || Black || 0.96 || NA-AVP5 corners<br/>4-pin PWM
|-
| NF-A8 || 2200 || 17.7 || 55.5 || 2.37 || Brown || 0.96 || 4-pin PWM
|-
|}
 
==Tower coolers==
Tower coolers typically ship with a tube of NT-H1 thermal compound and LNA (low-noise adapter) cables.
 
{|class="wikitable sortable"
! Model !! RPM !! dB(A) !! Color !! Fan(s)
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NH-D15 chromax.black || 300–1500 || 24.6 || Black || 2x NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black
|-
| NH-D15 || 300–1500 || 24.6 || Brown || 2x NF-A15 PWM
|-
| NH-D15 SE-AM4 || 300–1500 || 24.6 || Brown || 2x NF-A15 PWM
|-
| NH-D15S || 300–1500 || 24.6 || Brown || NF-A15 PWM
|-
| NH-D14 || 900–1300 || 19.8 || Brown || NF-P14 PWM + NF-P12 PWM
|-
| NH-U14S || 300–1500 || 24.6 || Brown || NF-A15 PWM
|-
| NH-U14S TR4-SP3 || 300–1500 || 24.6 || Brown || NF-A15 PWM
|-
| NH-U14S DX-3647 || 300–1500 || 24.6 || Brown || NF-A15 PWM
|-
| NH-U12A || 450–2000 || 22.6 || Brown || 2x NF-A12x25 PWM
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NH-U12S chromax.black || 300–1500 || 22.4 || Black || NF-F12 PWM chromax.black
|-
| NH-U12S || 300–1500 || 22.4 || Brown || NF-F12 PWM
|-
| NH-U9 TR4-SP3 || 400–2000 || 22.8 || Brown || 2x NF-A9 PWM
|- style="color:#e0e0e0;background-color:#222222;"
| NH-L9i chromax.black || 600–2500 || 23.6 || Black || NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black
|-
| NH-L9i || 600–2500 || 23.6 || Brown || NF-A9x14 PWM
|-
|}
 
==Comparison of different sizes==
I've selected a representative 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm fan (coincidentally, these are the same three sizes of Noctua fan that can be placed as designed into a [[MO-RA3]] external radiator). Note that the 200mm has less than half of the static pressure of the other two fans, though it moves more total air (at fewer RPMs, and more quietly).
 
{|class="wikitable sortable"
! Model !! Size(mm) || RPM || dB(A) !! m³/h  !! mm H₂O !! Power(W)
|-
| NF-A20 || 200 || 800 || 18.1 || 146.9 || 1.08 || 0.96
|-
| NF-A14 || 140 || 1500 || 24.6 || 140.2 || 2.08 || 1.56
|-
| NF-A12x25 || 120 || 2000 || 22.6 || 102.1 || 2.34 || 1.68
|-
|}
 
A MO-RA3 420 can equip (on both the front and back on the Pro, or just the front) 9 120mm fans, 9 140mm fans, or 4 200mm fans. Assuming we fully load it, the differences described earlier are exacerbated. The 4x200mm configuration now falls far behind in total air moved, but also requires only about 25% the power of 9x solutions (its acoustic maximum is also about half as loud as the other two; the 9x140mm configuration is exactly twice as much sound energy). Note that only the 9x140mm arrangement fully partitions the 420x420mm area of the MO-RA3.
 
{|class="wikitable sortable"
! Model !! Size(m²) || RPM || dB(A) !! m³/h  !! mm H₂O !! Power(W)
|-
| NF-A20 x4 || 0.16 || 800 || 24.1 || 587.6 || 4.32 || 3.84
|-
| NF-A14 x9 || 0.1764 || 1500 || 34.1 || 1261.8 || 18.72 || 14.04
|-
| NF-A12x25 x9 || 0.1296 || 2000 || 32.1 || 918.9 || 21.06 || 15.12
|-
|}
 
The maximum power draw is the 9x120mm setup at 15.12W of 12V power. A SATA power cable provides 3 pins of 12V power at 1.5A each, for a total of 4.5A of 12V power, 54W. A single SATA power cable at spec ought be able to more than sufficiently power even a push+pull 18-fan configuration. The calculation changes if pumps are also involved, of course. Either way, everything here ought be 12V.
 
So which configuration is best with a MO-RA3? While it depends on the installation's needs, I'll likely go with the 9x140mm. I could make an argument about it running at less than maximum speed and still moving more air, so who knows how loud it would be, but mostly I just don't want unsightly gaps in my radiator coverage lol.


[[File:startseite_produkt_nh_d15_chromax_black.jpg|right|thumb|The NH-D15 chromax.black, a thing of great beauty]]
[[Category:Hardware]]

Latest revision as of 14:38, 28 November 2022

The NH-D15 chromax.black, a thing of great beauty

Noctua of Austria makes some boss-ass fans and tower coolers. When I first saw the magnificent NH-D15 chromax.black in 2019, I wept. They have no peer in air cooling (well, they *had* no peer), and their tower coolers can hold their own with AIO liquid cooling solutions.

NA-AVP1 anti-vibration corner pads come in various colors, and can be swapped. Round form factors are wider than their nominal size (150mm vs 140mm) with the mounting holes of a smaller form factor (120mm vs 140mm), and intended for use on tower coolers. NA-SAVP1 is a pack of NA-AVP1s.

I have similar tables for EK-Vardar and Phanteks. Disclaimers: data were taken from Noctua's site, and generally refer to maximum levels. Power, noise, pressure, and airflow are not generally linearly related. Performance curves were taken from wherever I could find them; I cannot speak to their accuracy, and they probably do not reflect equal testing conditions.

"Beherrscht dich ein Gedanke, so findest du ihn überall ausgedrückt, du riechst ihn sogar im Winde." (If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere.)
—Thomas Mann, Tonio Kröger (1901)

120mm fans

Model RPM dB(A) m³/h mm H₂O Color Power(W) Comments Curves
NF-A12x25 PWM 450–2000 22.6 102.1 2.34 Brown 1.68 4-pin PWM Nf-a12x25-pwm.jpg
NF-A12x25 FLX 1350–2000 22.6 102.1 2.34 Brown 1.68 3-pin
NF-A12x25 ULN 1200 12.1 55.7 0.82 Brown 0.6 3-pin
No speed control
NF-A12x25 5V PWM 450–1900 21.4 96.2 2.07 Brown 1.75 4-pin PWM
NF-A12x25 5V 1900 21.4 96.2 2.07 Brown 1.75 3-pin
Single speed
NF-A12x25 chromax 450–2000 22.6 102.1 2.34 Black 1.68 4-pin PWM
NA-AVP1 corners
Nf-a12x25-pwm.jpg
NF-A12x15 PWM 1850 23.9 94.2 1.53 Brown 1.56 4-pin PWM
NF-A12x15 FLX 1400–1850 23.9 94.2 1.53 Brown 1.56 3-pin
NF-A12x15 chromax 450–1850 23.9 94.2 1.53 Black 1.56 4-pin PWM
NA-AVP1 corners
NF-F12 PWM 1500 22.4 93.4 2.61 Brown 0.6 4-pin PWM
NF-F12 5V PWM 1500 22.4 93.4 2.61 Brown 0.75 4-pin PWM
NF-F12 5V 1500 22.4 93.4 2.61 Brown 0.75 3-pin
NF-F12 PWM chromax 300–1500 22.4 93.4 2.61 Black 0.6 4-pin PWM
NA-AVP1 corners
NF-F12 iPPC-2000 450–2000 29.7 121.8 3.94 Black 1.2 3-pin molex
NF-F12 iPPC-3000 PWM 750–3000 43.5 186.7 7.63 Black 3.6 4-pin PWM Nf-f12-3000.jpg
NF-S12A PWM chromax 300–1200 17.8 107.5 1.19 Black 1.44 4-pin PWM
NA-AVP1 corners
NF-S12A PWM 1200 17.8 107.5 1.19 Brown 1.44 4-pin PWM
NF-S12A FLX 1200 17.8 107.5 1.19 Brown 1.44 3-pin
NF-S12A ULN 800 8.6 74.3 0.62 Brown 0.72 3-pin
NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM 450–1700 25.1 120.2 2.83 Grey 1.08 4-pin PWM Nf-p12-redux-1700-pwm.jpg
NF-S12 redux-1200 PWM 400–1200 18.1 100.6 1.31 Grey 0.9 4-pin PWM
NF-P12 PWM 300–1300 19.8 92.3 1.68 Brown 0.6 4-pin PWM

140mm fans

Model RPM dB(A) m³/h mm H₂O Color Power(W) Comments
NF-A14 iPPC-2000 500–2000 31.5 182.5 4.18 Black 2.16 4-pin PWM
NF-A14 iPPC-3000 800–3000 41.3 269.3 6.58 Black 6.6 4-pin PWM
NF-A14 chromax.Black.swap 300–1500 24.6 140.2 2.08 Black 1.56 NA-AVP1 corners
4-pin PWM
NF-A14 PWM 300–1500 24.6 140.2 2.08 Brown 1.56 4-pin PWM
NF-P14s redux 900 900 13.2 83.7 0.77 Grey 0.84 NA-AVP1 corners
3-pin molex
NF-P14s redux 1200 1200 19.6 110.3 1.29 Grey 1.44 NA-AVP1 corners
3-pin molex
NF-P14s redux-1200 PWM 350–1200 19.6 110.3 1.29 Grey 1.44 NA-AVP1 corners
4-pin PWM
NF-P14s redux-1500 450–1500 25.8 133.7 1.91 Grey 2.4 NA-AVP1 corners
4-pin PWM
NF-P14r redux-1500 450–1500 25.8 133.7 1.91 Grey 2.4 Round fan
4-pin PWM
NF-P14 FLX 750–1200 19.6 110.3 1.29 Brown Round fan
3-pin molex
NF-P14 PWM 900–1300 19.6 110.3 Brown 1.2 Round fan
4-pin PWM
Center fan of NH-D14
NF-A15 PWM 300-1200 19.2 115.5 1.51 Brown 0.96 Round fan
4-pin PWM
Installed in NH-D15

80mm fans

Model RPM dB(A) m³/h mm H₂O Color Power(W) Comments
NF-A8 chromax.Black.swap 2200 17.7 55.5 2.37 Black 0.96 NA-AVP5 corners
4-pin PWM
NF-A8 2200 17.7 55.5 2.37 Brown 0.96 4-pin PWM

Tower coolers

Tower coolers typically ship with a tube of NT-H1 thermal compound and LNA (low-noise adapter) cables.

Model RPM dB(A) Color Fan(s)
NH-D15 chromax.black 300–1500 24.6 Black 2x NF-A15 HS-PWM chromax.black
NH-D15 300–1500 24.6 Brown 2x NF-A15 PWM
NH-D15 SE-AM4 300–1500 24.6 Brown 2x NF-A15 PWM
NH-D15S 300–1500 24.6 Brown NF-A15 PWM
NH-D14 900–1300 19.8 Brown NF-P14 PWM + NF-P12 PWM
NH-U14S 300–1500 24.6 Brown NF-A15 PWM
NH-U14S TR4-SP3 300–1500 24.6 Brown NF-A15 PWM
NH-U14S DX-3647 300–1500 24.6 Brown NF-A15 PWM
NH-U12A 450–2000 22.6 Brown 2x NF-A12x25 PWM
NH-U12S chromax.black 300–1500 22.4 Black NF-F12 PWM chromax.black
NH-U12S 300–1500 22.4 Brown NF-F12 PWM
NH-U9 TR4-SP3 400–2000 22.8 Brown 2x NF-A9 PWM
NH-L9i chromax.black 600–2500 23.6 Black NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black
NH-L9i 600–2500 23.6 Brown NF-A9x14 PWM

Comparison of different sizes

I've selected a representative 120mm, 140mm, and 200mm fan (coincidentally, these are the same three sizes of Noctua fan that can be placed as designed into a MO-RA3 external radiator). Note that the 200mm has less than half of the static pressure of the other two fans, though it moves more total air (at fewer RPMs, and more quietly).

Model Size(mm) RPM dB(A) m³/h mm H₂O Power(W)
NF-A20 200 800 18.1 146.9 1.08 0.96
NF-A14 140 1500 24.6 140.2 2.08 1.56
NF-A12x25 120 2000 22.6 102.1 2.34 1.68

A MO-RA3 420 can equip (on both the front and back on the Pro, or just the front) 9 120mm fans, 9 140mm fans, or 4 200mm fans. Assuming we fully load it, the differences described earlier are exacerbated. The 4x200mm configuration now falls far behind in total air moved, but also requires only about 25% the power of 9x solutions (its acoustic maximum is also about half as loud as the other two; the 9x140mm configuration is exactly twice as much sound energy). Note that only the 9x140mm arrangement fully partitions the 420x420mm area of the MO-RA3.

Model Size(m²) RPM dB(A) m³/h mm H₂O Power(W)
NF-A20 x4 0.16 800 24.1 587.6 4.32 3.84
NF-A14 x9 0.1764 1500 34.1 1261.8 18.72 14.04
NF-A12x25 x9 0.1296 2000 32.1 918.9 21.06 15.12

The maximum power draw is the 9x120mm setup at 15.12W of 12V power. A SATA power cable provides 3 pins of 12V power at 1.5A each, for a total of 4.5A of 12V power, 54W. A single SATA power cable at spec ought be able to more than sufficiently power even a push+pull 18-fan configuration. The calculation changes if pumps are also involved, of course. Either way, everything here ought be 12V.

So which configuration is best with a MO-RA3? While it depends on the installation's needs, I'll likely go with the 9x140mm. I could make an argument about it running at less than maximum speed and still moving more air, so who knows how loud it would be, but mostly I just don't want unsightly gaps in my radiator coverage lol.