High Performance to Noise Ratio in Noctua's Next Generation A-Series Fans

Zarathustra[H]

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Noctua's next generation A-series fan due out this fall has, according to PC gamer, had a whole lot of engineering work go into it. We're talking 200+ prototypes, and four and a half years of development to come up with a fan that produces low noise, but also moves a lot of air, even when up against radiators and coolers, or in other applications that require a good amount of pressure. They accomplish this using a combination of new materials, and very tight tolerancing. Another interesting aspect of their claims are regarding whether it is a high airflow or a high static pressure fan. They claim it is neither, and explain that really, you don't want either of those. The standard measurement techniques for airflow and for static pressure involve airflow with no pressure at all, and pressure with no airflow at all, neither of which are particularly useful in the real world. What is more interesting is the kind of numbers the fan puts out with realistic pressure, and that's where Noctua claims this new A-series fan design is a real winner.

I found this discussion on fan design elements and performance measures rather interesting. I've been a huge fan of Noctua's fans over the years, and currently have nine of their 2000rpm Industrial PPC PWM fans in my main build. I commend them on not going the easy route and just throwing tons of RGB and "gaming design" all over their products, but instead trying to advance the performance of their fans, and look forward to giving them a try when the 140mm versions come out. That being said, they are still tan and brown, which is a bit of a bummer.

Dellinger says the 120 mm model will even outperform most 140 mm fans on the market when it's released this fall, and Noctua plans to release an adapter mount for 140 mm fittings. Which is good news, since a 140 mm model likely won't be available for at least a year. Apparently that's not as simple a matter as making everything 20 mm bigger; Noctua has to redesign the fan blade for a larger body.
 
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As I said in the other thread about these, without a doubt taking some ideas from the GT line of fans, not a bad thing as they are some of the best I have used, and Noctua tends to have very good motor/bearing noise. While they have not always been the best, they are pretty much always a good solid choice. What is talked about makes sense, and not just all marketing if true. The tip distance really gets my attention. Many fans have some really large gaps from the tips, and when used on a tight HS or rad, thats free space for air to push back out of. Looking at the photos in the link the gap is extremely small, the only down side is them talking about costs, this is probably going to be a very expensive fan. Depend on where they land, if they are $25ish, what I pay for PWM GT fans, I will grab some to test out, if they are $30ish I will get one and see, much past that and it's just not worth it to me.
 

Krazy925

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Gotta be in the $20 range and I will begin to replace my GT AP15s. I want to buy new fans. RGB was interesting to me, but after a while just didn't make any sense. Please make these in black either with or instead of the normal FUGLY color scheme.
 

rezerekted

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I use Noctua fans in my PC but have to say they really cut their profits back with that color scheme because lots will just not buy them due to the color alone. I don't have a window in my PC so don't care about the color.
 

Jim Kim

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It's great being colorblind, I can use the absolute best products and don't have to be needlessly concerned with the aesthetics.
 
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Gotta be in the $20 range and I will begin to replace my GT AP15s. I want to buy new fans. RGB was interesting to me, but after a while just didn't make any sense. Please make these in black either with or instead of the normal FUGLY color scheme.

Their fans are already in and past the $20 range, the top end stuff, which this fan is positioned to replace are already $28 a pop. If it's less than $25 a fan, I will be shocked.

I use Noctua fans in my PC but have to say they really cut their profits back with that color scheme because lots will just not buy them due to the color alone. I don't have a window in my PC so don't care about the color.

They have had black fans for a long time now sooo.....
 

sir-gold

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It's great being colorblind, I can use the absolute best products and don't have to be needlessly concerned with the aesthetics.
Yeah, but then you end up dressing like you just got run over by the clearance rack at Goodwill
 

Sovereign

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Oh good. I was wondering if I could replace the fans I have in my tower--they're quiet motor-wise but I think the airflow is what I'm hearing now.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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They have had black fans for a long time now sooo.....


True there are some fans that are black, like their Industrial series. Usually they don't have a choice of color for the fans. If tyouy want their current consumer oriented fans, most are tan/brown and some are grey.

I'm wondering if using some vinyl dye on them would do a good job, or if it would mess with the balance of the fan blades.
 

Sircolby45

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Ugh...Noctua...How many people have to tell you the only reason they are not buying your fans is because of the color before you change them. They make some of the best fans out there, but I bet their sales would double if they weren't so damn ugly. I personally am running them in my current rig, but only where they can't be seen. (On top of the radiators in the roof of my case.) They are great fans, but oh my they are an eye sore. I really wish they would at least make them solid black or something. It doesn't have to be fancy...just not brown. (I realize they have some black fans, but they are more expensive and still have a bit of brown on them.)
 

Teenyman45

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I may look into getting these if I can find them at a good price. In all the years I've been using Noctua products, with computers running almost 24/7, I only recently had my first Noctua fan failure... right around the end of the warranty period.
 

ZeqOBpf6

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I'd buy these in a second if they were black or white or something. I am probably going to ditch the current Noctua fan in my system for something nicer looking.

It's bewildering to me that they still do this. Why, to prove that you have to be a hardcore gamer that doesn't care about looks to buy their fans? Why go out of your way to make your products less desirable to so many people?

Super frustrating.
 
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True there are some fans that are black, like their Industrial series. Usually they don't have a choice of color for the fans. If tyouy want their current consumer oriented fans, most are tan/brown and some are grey.

I'm wondering if using some vinyl dye on them would do a good job, or if it would mess with the balance of the fan blades.

All of their current lines have the "Redux" version, which are the gray fans, and all the 120-140mm fan lines have the PPC versions which are black. If people care about color matching that much, pick up some paint.

Ugh...Noctua...How many people have to tell you the only reason they are not buying your fans is because of the color before you change them. They make some of the best fans out there, but I bet their sales would double if they weren't so damn ugly. I personally am running them in my current rig, but only where they can't be seen. (On top of the radiators in the roof of my case.) They are great fans, but oh my they are an eye sore. I really wish they would at least make them solid black or something. It doesn't have to be fancy...just not brown. (I realize they have some black fans, but they are more expensive and still have a bit of brown on them.)

They have black and grey options, they have for some time now. Look for the "Redux" or "PPC" versions.
 
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I'd buy these in a second if they were black or white or something. I am probably going to ditch the current Noctua fan in my system for something nicer looking.

It's bewildering to me that they still do this. Why, to prove that you have to be a hardcore gamer that doesn't care about looks to buy their fans? Why go out of your way to make your products less desirable to so many people?

Super frustrating.

For the 4th time, they have fans in black AND grey and have had for some time. Also, people who care about performance above all could care less about looks. Those who DO want a color matching build paint stuff....All the time.
 

Sonicks

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I've got an NH-U14S on my 6700k and I don't mind the color of the fan at all. To be honest, it adds an air of 'classiness' to my build. Pun intended.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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All of their current lines have the "Redux" version, which are the gray fans, and all the 120-140mm fan lines have the PPC versions which are black. If people care about color matching that much, pick up some paint.

They have black and grey options, they have for some time now. Look for the "Redux" or "PPC" versions.

Understood. PPC are different fans though. (I have these and they are great, but they don't have the same characteristics as the regular fans)

2017-02-15_06-19-33.jpg



Redux are a good option. The light grey is still a little but unusual, but blends better with most color schemes than that brown color does.

Last I checked they only had redux versions on a small subset of their fans though, usually the older ones, and there is no guarantee this new fan will ship with a redux version available.

I would not use paint on a fan. You'd almost certainly throw off the balance and I ordered it's performance or increase noise levels.

Vinyl dye (as mentioned a few posts back) might work though. No guarantees...
 

Pieter3dnow

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Ugh...Noctua...How many people have to tell you the only reason they are not buying your fans is because of the color before you change them. They make some of the best fans out there, but I bet their sales would double if they weren't so damn ugly. I personally am running them in my current rig, but only where they can't be seen. (On top of the radiators in the roof of my case.) They are great fans, but oh my they are an eye sore. I really wish they would at least make them solid black or something. It doesn't have to be fancy...just not brown. (I realize they have some black fans, but they are more expensive and still have a bit of brown on them.)

Not to sure what you are doing with your PC , if you want something to look at maybe a fish tank would be better , don't even have to buy Noctua fans then :)
 
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I like Noctua's products a lot but that brown is pretty hideous. Luckily, I don't much care.
 
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Understood. PPC are different fans though. (I have these and they are great, but they don't have the same characteristics as the regular fans)

View attachment 26812


Redux are a good option. The light grey is still a little but unusual, but blends better with most color schemes than that brown color does.

Last I checked they only had redux versions on a small subset of their fans though, usually the older ones, and there is no guarantee this new fan will ship with a redux version available.

I would not use paint on a fan. You'd almost certainly throw off the balance and I ordered it's performance or increase noise levels.

Vinyl dye (as mentioned a few posts back) might work though. No guarantees...

Paint will not throw off the balance, not unless you are an idiot and apply massive amounts of paint, we are talking one mil of coating over the whole surface, give it a try, you will notice no change. If you want to use some kind of dye, have at it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Not to sure what you are doing with your PC , if you want something to look at maybe a fish tank would be better , don't even have to buy Noctua fans then :)


My window is up against a wall, so the insides of my case are not for show.

The only time anyone sees it is when I post pics in these forums.

I don't go to extremes for the sake of appearance, but that tan/brown combination is just unusually hideous to me.
 

Sonicks

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Given that everything else in my build is black, white, or red, the brown doesn't stand out much. I have no lighting in the case and with the side panel on, the brown color is a bit more subdued through the window. I'm a fan of their stuff so it's good to hear they are making better and quieter products.

jg945e98t.jpg
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Given that everything else in my build is black, white, or red, the brown doesn't stand out much. I have no lighting in the case and with the side panel on, the brown color is a bit more subdued through the window. I'm a fan of their stuff so it's good to hear they are making better and quieter fans.


Yeah, I guess my take is, I don't buy fans based on appearance, but I do NOT buy fans based on appearance :p

The tan/brown look is enough to make me NOT buy the fans :p
 

Lender

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Been running the brown fans from Noctua for as long as I can remember. Great fans. I really do look forward to replacing all of mine with the new ones.

The color never bothered me at all, but if the color bothers you, put your computer in a server case inside a rack-mount chassis and the color won't matter any more. I mean... that is what I did.
 

sutyi

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Yeah, I guess my take is, I don't buy fans based on appearance, but I do NOT buy fans based on appearance :p

The tan/brown look is enough to make me NOT buy the fans :p

Yeah, that baby diarrhea color is a huge turn off sadly. :(

Although non issue if your case comes with a solid side panel, but people whom would be willing to pay the extra for some decent case fans usually tend to have cases with see-through sides... Also since 98% of the PC market operates now with mostly black/white based PCB-s and cases the cappuccino colors stick out like a sore thumb.

If you guys want some plain looking quiet casefans Noiseblocker BlackSilent Pro series might be you cup of tea.
 

Sycraft

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I am another one that doesn't like the color scheme at all, but they are what I use to cool my system. They are some quiet fans.
 

jamesrb

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I have 6 noctua fans in my PC and don't care what they look like. Even when I had a window in my older case, I didn't find myself staring in the window enough to care. I'd rather play a game than stare I'm my PC window.

That said, the only fan I would upgrade would be the one on the NH-D15S. It sounds like it is going to be a while before they upgrade the bigger fans.
 

Submarinesailor

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For me personally, one glance at the brown/tan fans tells the knowledgeable computer geek that I've got quality components in my system.
"ooohhh, noctua fans! Awesome, dude!"

You know what I'm saying?

The down side: my wife is the only one who sees them and she doesn't give a crap about my pc hobby :(
 

M76

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Gotta be in the $20 range and I will begin to replace my GT AP15s. I want to buy new fans. RGB was interesting to me, but after a while just didn't make any sense. Please make these in black either with or instead of the normal FUGLY color scheme.
I owned a D14 before and the color scheme is not bad in real life. It only looks ugly on pictures. I had absolutely no problem with it. It looks completely unassuming in a build.

For example in my old old build. The blue aerocool fan is 1000 times uglier than the noctuas.



Or the same cooler later in my Raven:

 

Zarathustra[H]

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That said, the only fan I would upgrade would be the one on the NH-D15S. It sounds like it is going to be a while before they upgrade the bigger fans.

Yeah, I want to try these out as well, but I'm holding off for the 140mm versions. I don't want to use 120mm fans with adapters.

The article said it would take another year for the 140mm versions to hit, unclear if they meant another year from now (June 2018) or another year from the launch of the 120mm fans in November (so, November 2018).

My 140mm iPPC-2000 PWM's are performing well for right now though. I'll revisit this in a year to 18 months and see what things look like then.
 

Krazy925

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Their fans are already in and past the $20 range, the top end stuff, which this fan is positioned to replace are already $28 a pop. If it's less than $25 a fan, I will be shocked.



They have had black fans for a long time now sooo.....
I got 16 GT AP15s for like $14/a piece so I'll just wait until someone has a deal.
I owned a D14 before and the color scheme is not bad in real life. It only looks ugly on pictures. I had absolutely no problem with it. It looks completely unassuming in a build.

For example in my old old build. The blue aerocool fan is 1000 times uglier than the noctuas.



Or the same cooler later in my Raven:

i have a d14 in my work computer next to me. Whisper silent-- especially since I hooked it up to a fan controller, but IMO it is still ugly as sin. The window in this case is tiny though. It's a great cooler, but ugly as shit IMO.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Understood. PPC are different fans though. (I have these and they are great, but they don't have the same characteristics as the regular fans)

View attachment 26812


Redux are a good option. The light grey is still a little but unusual, but blends better with most color schemes than that brown color does.

Last I checked they only had redux versions on a small subset of their fans though, usually the older ones, and there is no guarantee this new fan will ship with a redux version available.

I would not use paint on a fan. You'd almost certainly throw off the balance and I ordered it's performance or increase noise levels.

Vinyl dye (as mentioned a few posts back) might work though. No guarantees...

I was just re-reading Noctua's spec page for the NF A14 iPPC-2000 PWM, and I remember now why I sprung for these fans in the summer of 2015, despite their relatively high cost, at $28 a piece a the time. I have 9 in total in my system (8x 140mm and 1x 120mm)

When I got them they were one of the only 140mm fans on the market that had any real static pressure.

The part I completely forgot about was that they came with 6 year warranties. I guess I have 4+ years of that left :p

They are whisper quiet at low speeds. I run them at 450rpm at the desktop using my home made PWM fan controller. At this speed I can't hear them over my pump. They are really quiet even up to about 800rpm, at which point they get a little audible in a quiet room. If I crank them all the way up to 2000rpm, they can wake the dead, but I've never had to do that, not even at full overclocked loads during the summer. The most I've needed them turned up to has been about 1,200 rpm in more intense games in the summer, and the noise level is pretty reasonable, in a white-noise whoosh kind of way that is unobtrusive.

Some people have complained about these fans ticking or starting to develop noise over time, but this seems rather rare, and in most cases is probably due to over-tightening the fan screws.

I'm really curious how the new 140mm A-series fans from this article will compare to these once they are launched. I'd imagine they probably won't out perform them at full tilt, but that they will likely move the same amount of air through my radiators but at lower speeds, making the system even quieter.
 
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I know who noctua is. You just have to know where to look. Also being patient is a blessing.

Got some links?

I have stacks of fans, have any number of dozens of PC sites and modding sites that sell fans along with having price alerts set for NE and Amazon, I have never seen any significant sales on Noctua fans.

GT fans had deals all the time, along with group buys when Scythe stopped selling their branded version of them, now outside of bulk orders, you are looking at 18-21 each, though you will see some sales from time to time.
 

Krazy925

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Got some links?

I have stacks of fans, have any number of dozens of PC sites and modding sites that sell fans along with having price alerts set for NE and Amazon, I have never seen any significant sales on Noctua fans.

GT fans had deals all the time, along with group buys when Scythe stopped selling their branded version of them, now outside of bulk orders, you are looking at 18-21 each, though you will see some sales from time to time.
They had a 20% sale last year this time. They also had a 50% sale on a big cooler a couple years ago.

Just gotta pay attention. Reddit has a post on it with google still.
 
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