Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Fan Review

Product: Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm
Company: Noctua
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: April 3rd, 2012

Performance Results

For this testing, we ran Prime95 in-place FFT blends for 1 hour, recording CPU temperature, core temperature and liquid coolant temperature, as reported by HWMonitor and the supplied AMD branded Asetek software. We recorded temperatures after 20minute idle, then full load peak value, at stock and overclocked speeds. For our overlock, we ran at 215MHz bClk with x21 multi and 1.4125v vCore, 1.4v CPU-NB voltage, 1.298v vDDR. This resulted in 4571MHz core clock, 1720MHz memory, 2580MHz NB clock, and 2580MHz HT speeds.

CPU Speed   Stock   O/C  
    Idle Load Idle Load
Stock Fan CPU 35C 55C 41C 80C
Noctua Fan   35C 55C 43C 79C
Stock Fan Core 15C 48C 23C 65C
Noctua Fan   14C 37C 25C 64C
Stock Fan Liquid 38C 39C 36C 61C
Noctua Fan   35C 41C 38C 44C


What you can't tell from the graph above is the noise level. To achieve the results seen above, the stock Everflow fans fitted to the AMD FX Liquid Cooler need to run at full speed. This is not merely noisy, but loud - as loud as two people having a conversation. In your case. And their conversation consists of 'No, I do a better James Dyson impression, listen: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSHHH'. At 53dBA.

The rated noise of the Noctua NF-F12 PWM is ~23dBA, and lacking the proper test equipment to verify we can't confirm that for an absolute but our subjective testing indicates the fan is quiet - as quiet at full speed, 1500rpm, as the FX LC stock Evercool fans on 'silent' mode. There is no unseemly ramp up and British inventor impersonation, just quiet cooling performance.