New face here.
First of all, thanks for a great site and thorough reviews. You've explained a lot of the harder stuff for me, and helped me in my struggles for a quiet rig. You review little but with immaculate precision, and even though your shortlists are short, they are to the point.
But allow me
to get to the point:
Is it just me, or is the Noctua
S12 range a turbine engine?
dominates the fan soundscape in my case over a CNPS7000B-AlCu
with default fan, a VF-900Cu
and a BlackSilent XL1 Rev.2
. The first is a 92mm Zalman CPU cooler, second is a retrofit 80mm Zalman GPU cooler and the last is a NoiseBlocker 120mm fan, all run at 5V via Akasa's Fan Control Pro
. The sound it makes is not intrusive -- very flat and smooth in fact -- but it is very audible and raises the overall sound levels to less-than-desirable. Also, whenever I reach down to it, there's a little whine from the motor.
Only thing that drowns out the sound the Noctua makes are my three Seagates resonating in unison... Sonata II needed better grommets. That soon gets reversed with more revs though, because that's when the real turbine action starts.
I haven't had cooling efficiency problems with the NF-S12-800, but it does need to be cranked up for the exhaust to work under load, to near-full power in fact. Pressure problems, as you stated? Left at 5V the PSU ramps up, CPU heats up and eventually the graphics card overheats. I've resorted to removing the cover plate below the card to give it a good intake, but still the exhaust jars.
The Noiseblocker Blacksilent XL1 Rev.2 on the other hand gets a fair breeze across the packed HDD bay(3 drives), highest is the bottom drive which topped out at 53'C under load(SMART "worst" reading), and it cools the cards and chipset(passive Zalman sink) well enough.
It's in a Sonata II with said other fans and the default SmartPower 2x80mm 450W PSU, and I am disappointed with it. For 20â‚¬ I expected more than a soldered resistor and a sales speech.
On a brighter note I really like the Blacksilent Rev.2s -- why aren't they on your 120mm recommended list? Maybe you haven't had the chance to test them, but the "entire range" is listed in Calling All Good Fans, so there is yet hope?
Just my two cents.