Testing & Overclocking
CPU: AMD Phenom II 1090T
GPU: ASUS Reference 5870
Memory: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 DDR3
Storage: Crucial C300 128GB
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro 850W
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Case: Corsair 700D equipped with many fans
To ensure the results were consistent, the heatsink was mounted three times and idle and load tests run each time. An average of the results is shown below.
For load testing I used Prime 95 Small FFTs and temperatures were taken after 20 minutes.
The standard thermal paste, provided with the cooler, was used.
The settings we used for our stock and overclocked tests are:
Stock – CPU 3200MHz Auto voltage at 1.325v
Overclocked – CPU 4000MHz at 1.456v
The installation procedure was the same as any fan. The four fan screws appeared to be of good quality and didn’t disintegrate when I used them to attach the fan to my case. The included silicone mounting pieces worked great too. Just running the fan alone I found very little vibration and the silicone anti-vibrational pads remove all of that. After letting the fan bed in for about 48 hours, there still were no vibrations.
Noise is a big thing when it comes to Noctua’s products. The noise is mostly air noise which is good but you still can hear some motor noise. The air sounds turbulent; you can hear the air being cut up by the eleven Stator guide vanes. Running at full speed and listening to the rear of the fan the sound is the kind of noise that won’t just blend into the background very easily.
With my metering kit I compared the NF-F12 to a Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 1850RPM.
With both fans run individually at full speed I recorded 43dB with the NF-F12 and 41dB with the Gentle Typhoon. The fans were 1 meter away and were blowing away from the dB meter.
The noise of the Gentle Typhoon is much easier on the ear, the noise is almost completely just wind noise and because the air has a much easier path, it sounds quitter to the ear even though it’s running at a higher RPM and moving more air.
I ran the fans on a Cooler Master Hyper 412S with an Overclocked CPU to compare the performance in a real life test. Both fans were connected directly to my 12V rail.
The Gentle Typhoon was 3C cooler than the NF-F12. This was expected as the Gentle Typhoon has a higher CFM rating.
The cost of the fan is around £18. This seems quite a lot considering the lacking performance and aesthetics that require a certain taste. The quality is definitely there though, I’m sure this fan will go on to work for a very long time.