The NF-F12 at first looks pretty standard, without anything different but when you take a closer look, this fan has some interesting features.
To start is the impeller itself. Noctua call this a Heptaperf Impeller, its custom designed to work in tandem with the frame and has been optimised to achieve a perfect balance between power and quietness.
In the fan its frame at the corners you will see a stepped area, this is the Stepped inlet design.
It is designed to add turbulence to the influx in order to facilitate the transition from laminar flow to turbulent flow, which reduces tonal intake noise, improves flow attachment and increases suction capacity, especially in space restricted environments. This means compared to a normal design of fan, this should have a quieter intake noise and should do better in a pull configuration on a heatsink.
On each corner of the heatsink you will find the extra-soft silicone anti-vibrational pads which are there to minimise the amount of vibrations that leave the fan while still keeping full compatibility.
To the rear of the fan we see some pretty large changes when compared to a normal fan.
First off are the eleven Stator guide vanes that straighten, channel and focus the airflow. This should allow the NF-F12 to rival the performance of a normal design fan running at much faster speeds.
In the center of things is the new SS02 Bearing, Noctua’s second generation of this renowned and tested bearing. The improvement is the placement of the rear magnet; it’s placed closer to the axis to improve stability and durability of the fan.
The bearing also features a metal bearing shell which is said to be made with the highest possible degree of manufacturing precision and is made entirely of Brass.
The last two of the features are the custom designed PWM circuitry and Ultra-low power consumption. The PWM circuitry uses Noctua’s custom designed NE-FD1 PWM IC that integrates Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology which by smoother torque impulses reduces the ticking noise you often hear from PWM fans when running slowly.
With this fan its Ultra-Low Power Consumption, it only draws 0.6W which is 50% lower than many fans in the same speed range. Compare it to a typical 2W fan and you could save half the price of the cost of the fan after five years of continuous use.
The NF-F12 mounted on a Cooler Master Hyper 412S heatsink.