We had the chance to do a round-up of the smaller Noctua fans from their Premium series and it’s great to see that the technology we liked so much in the NF-F12, NF-S12A, and NF-A14 could be scaled down for smaller form factor applications
Last year, Noctua gave us 120 and 140mm fans with a technology feature list that they struggled to fit on the back of the packaging. The designers had improved the bearings, the fan blades, the frame, mounts – basically everything about their previous (and very successful) design to further improve the efficiency to noise ratio. At the time it was great news for those looking to silence their medium to large sized PCs.
Now there is also good news for builders looking to maximise the airflow whilst minimising the noise of their mini ITX builds with the NF-A8 and NF-A9 series of fans that include all the bells and whistles of their larger siblings. We also tested a pair of 40mm fans for chipsets and other really compact applications.
Noctua has three ranges of fans on the market.
- The traditional Premium range in the beige and brown/maroon renowned for their low noise and extensive accessories
- The Redux line in the dual shades of grey. These are the previous model fans without the accessories but pitched at a more affordable price point
- The black Industrial IPPC series of high performance fans that are aimed at applications where performance is more important and a low noise profile is less important.
In this review we will look at some of the Premium fan options sized at 92mm and under. We have 2 more reviews to come that will cover products from the Redux and Industrial lines so stay tuned.
As a Premium Fan, all of the fans covered in this review came in the bi-fold packaging with a nice range of accessories such as anti-vibration mounts, fan speed reducers, instructions and extension cables. They are all in the trademark Noctua colour scheme that people seem to either like or dislike without much in between. Personally, I associate the colours with quality and they are the most recognisably branded fans on the market.
Noctua provided us with the following fans for review:
- NF-A8 FLX
- NF-A8 PWM
- NF-A8 ULN
- NF-A9 FLX
- NF-A9 PWM
- NF-A4x10 5v
- NF-A4x10 FLX
In terms of features, they all shared the same frame design, fan shape, bearing type and anti-vibration technology in what is an impressive demonstration of a company scaling their design from 150mm down to 40mm.