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Noctua NF-S12 and NF-R8 Cooling Fans
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Noctua
Source: Noctua
Purchase: PriceGrabber
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 3 of 4 [ 1 2 3 4 ]
Noctua NF-S12 and NF-R8 Cooling Fans
January 22, 2007

Installation:

Installing a cooling fan isn't too exciting, so we'll skip to the part where the Noctua fans may be a bit different than your typical fan. The two images below show the preparation for installing a 120mm fan using the tool-less, vibration isolating mounts. You simply push the little rubber "wand" through each hole where a screw would normally mount until it snaps into place and the head is flush with the outside of the case.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

The next step is to slide the rubber mounts into the holes in each corner of the fan, and this is where it might get a little bit tricky. I initially thought I'd be able to push the fan on with ease and it would be held into place. It turns out that you need to be able to grab the end of the "wand" and pull/wiggle it until the frame of the fan locks on at each corner. Where you have easy access to get your hands in there it is not a big deal, but in tighter corners of your case it may take some dexterity, or special tools. Using the image below as reference, I had a hard time securing the mount located in the corner by the motherboard and power supply.

Click Image For Larger View

Using the fans in a case with screws presented no problems, and successfully mounting the fans to a couple different heatsinks (that utilized screws, clips, or wires) proved that the geometry is typical and that the fans should be universally compatible.


Operation:

As discussed in the installation portion of the review, the fans were installed in a variety of locations, and tested in a few of these. No scientific data was collected in this testing, but all fans were confirmed to function properly while observing their general performance traits.

As case fans you can't go wrong with any of the Noctua units. Even at their full speeds they are all extremely quiet while still moving a decent amount of air. None of these fans are the solution for those who need to move an extreme volume of air, but for those with typical case cooling needs, these units will do quite nicely.

I would even accept two of the three fans for use on CPU coolers. The NF-R8 may not be the fastest fan available, but it is only 200 RPM slower than the fan I happen to be using to cool an AMD XP2800+ processor on a Spire brand heatsink. It may not be the latest and greatest system, but the Noctua NF-R8 managed to hold the temperature while producing less noise. It was possible to slow the speed of the fan down to 1300 RPM and still operate the CPU at a safe temperature, but the decrease in noise wasn't worth it to me. Along the same lines, the NF-S12-1200 kept an Intel Celeron 3.33 GHz processor with a Thermalright brand cooler at a safe operating temperature. It was several degrees warmer than when the cooler had a fan rated at 1800 RPM installed, but it was quieter and nowhere near a temperature high enough to be concerned about. Other than using the NF-S12-1200 at full speed, I would not recommend the NF-S12 fans for use on a CPU.

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