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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:49 am 
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looks like it might be better than the big shuriken 2 rev.B (without fans) although it's a bit taller. I wonder how much it would stick out of the new lian-li pc-q12 case (without the fan). At least the big shuriken 2 would fit without sticking out


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:18 pm 
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faugusztin wrote:
True, But Noctua's compatibility list have something to do with the cooler itself hanging over the PCI-E area, don't you think ?

Partly, it could also be other components that may cause incompatibility, like the 12 V connector.

Honestly, I don't understand your reply. I was only talking about using 120 mm fans in the bottom of the L12, something that the reviewer said would work with most mini-ITX boards, while I have yet to see one with enough clearance between connectors and RAM.
I guess we're talking about different things here.


Last edited by Mats on Thu May 03, 2012 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Pardon me for asking, but was there any commentary about the new Noctua 120 itself? It seemed like there was just a "Here's the chart for this new fan" and that was it. I've grown accustomed to the insight, buried as they are in heatsink reviews, but was disappointed, here.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 6:02 pm 
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hmp_goose wrote:
Pardon me for asking, but was there any commentary about the new Noctua 120 itself? It seemed like there was just a "Here's the chart for this new fan" and that was it. I've grown accustomed to the insight, buried as they are in heatsink reviews, but was disappointed, here.

Perhaps you need to read between the lines. It's not an exceptional fan, as the cooling comparison against other fans shows. IE, to achieve the same cooling as a Nexus 120, it needs to run a lot faster/noisier.

BTW -- I examined the performance details, and the pricing and changed by mind about the award -- it's recommended, but not an editor's choice. If the price was $20 less or the performance a bit better... The thing that really stands out with all the Noctuas (as already mentioned by others in this thread) is how complete the package is, how little anyone has to monkey around to get their products to work. Thermalright and Prolimatech are very close, but I think Noctua edges them in this regard.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Speaking of not needing to monkey around, I'm considering choosing one of these over the NH-C14 for my new Ivy Bridge build even though I've got room for either because this one comes with PWM fans. I know I could get the C14 and replace the fans with better ones, or research some other mix-and match selection of fans and heatsink, but being able to just buy one box with all the bits in that all work together ready to go is quite appealing too.

Maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on requiring PWM, but it seems to me the CPU usage will mostly be minimal, but with occasional periods of high usage, and I'd want the fans to be able to spin up or down to accommodate this.


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:07 pm 
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Some questions:

1. Is it possible to put the 120 mm fan as the bottom fan on the Noctua NH-L12 (instead of the 92 mm fan)?
2. If that is possible, will it fit on a Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini-ITX motherboard? If so, will it block e.g. any connectors?


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:03 am 
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1. Yes but not on P8Z77-I Deluxe. On P8Z77-I it would block both RAM slots.
2. Yes it will fit. No, it won't block any connectors, at least not directly. Acces to 24-pin, 8-pin, fan headers USB2 headers will be a bit harder, but not impossible. By harder i mean 24 and 8-pin cables will have to be routed at angle; fan and USB headers will be just bit harder to access due the heatpipes blocking your fingers a bit :). Pictures here : viewtopic.php?f=8&t=64395

Hope it helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:10 am 
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Thanks. Based on your answer, I'm now considering the Schythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B as an alternative, see viewtopic.php?f=8&t=64467 . I wonder what is best: Nuctua NH-L12 with somewhat larger cooling fins but only a 92 mm fan, or a Schythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B with smaller cooling fins but a 120 mm fan (the stock 120 mm fan is low profile, but it can be replaced by a full 120x120x25 mm fan).


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:29 am 
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I'd like to add Prolimatech's Samuel 17 to the list.

http://www.prolimatech.com/en/reviews/detail.asp?id=42

Cons: price, pros: comes without fan, decent cooling up to moderatly oc i5


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:53 am 
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Here's a tip: We just finished testing the new Shuriken, and it is considerably better than the last one.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:28 am 
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fjodor2000 wrote:
Thanks. Based on your answer, I'm now considering the Schythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B as an alternative, see viewtopic.php?f=8&t=64467 . I wonder what is best: Nuctua NH-L12 with somewhat larger cooling fins but only a 92 mm fan, or a Schythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B with smaller cooling fins but a 120 mm fan (the stock 120 mm fan is low profile, but it can be replaced by a full 120x120x25 mm fan).
One advantage that goes to the Noctua is that if you include breathing room requirement, it needs less headroom.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:31 am 
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MikeC wrote:
Here's a tip: We just finished testing the new Shuriken, and it is considerably better than the last one.

Nice! Do you mean the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B? Is the review online yet, or is it coming soon?

Can you please also test it when you replace the included slim profile stock fan with a 120x120x25 mm quiet reference fan?


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:39 am 
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fjodor2000 wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Here's a tip: We just finished testing the new Shuriken, and it is considerably better than the last one.

Nice! Do you mean the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B? Is the review online yet, or is it coming soon?

Can you please also test it when you replace the included slim profile stock fan with a 120x120x25 mm quiet reference fan?

Review coming soon. No other fans used for test -- we consider this fan to be an integral part of the cooler, and treat it that way. 99% of people would, because they're buying it for its low profile, specifically.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:56 am 
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MikeC wrote:
fjodor2000 wrote:
MikeC wrote:
Here's a tip: We just finished testing the new Shuriken, and it is considerably better than the last one.

Nice! Do you mean the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B? Is the review online yet, or is it coming soon?

Can you please also test it when you replace the included slim profile stock fan with a 120x120x25 mm quiet reference fan?

Review coming soon. No other fans used for test -- we consider this fan to be an integral part of the cooler, and treat it that way. 99% of people would, because they're buying it for its low profile, specifically.

Perhaps. But I still think it would be very interesting to see how much difference it would make to exchange the stock fan with a 120x120x25 mm reference fan. It would only add 13 mm in height, and possibly it could achieve much better cooling efficiency and less noise. So at least for me it is definitely an option I'm considering. If you have the possibility, I'd be very thankful if you please would consider including such a test as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:06 am 
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fjodor2000 wrote:
Perhaps. But I still think it would be very interesting to see how much difference it would make to exchange the stock fan with a 120x120x25 mm reference fan. It would only add 13 mm in height, and possibly it could achieve much better cooling efficiency and less noise. So at least for me it is definitely an option I'm considering. If you have the possibility, I'd be very thankful if you please would consider including such a test as well.

I suggest you try it and share your findings.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:09 am 
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MikeC wrote:
Review coming soon. No other fans used for test
Something you may want to consider... is that your tests are much more understandable to those looking on when you include your reference fan in the test.

You have probably developed an extremely refined matrix in your head on how all the results compare and contrast. We little folk haven't. The ability to see how well it runs with your reference fan allows us to see what options we may have in the future if we need to swap in a fan.... even a non-reference fan.

The use of your reference fans is on key distinguishing factors in your testing. It is what makes your tests more useful and more accessible to the rest of us unwashed masses. It is part of what makes your tests better than others.

If someday, heaven forbid, you were to change your reference fan, it would permit us to extrapolate back from all your results.

The reference fan results definitely have a material impact on my personal purchasing decisions, whether that is rational or not... it is true.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:29 am 
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fjodor2000 & ces --

This is nothing new: We've always limited the CPU tests to just the stock fan whenever that fan is deemed to be integral to the cooler. The raison d'etre for the Shuriken has always been its super low profile. Having said that, yeah, there's probably a handful of users who will buy this thing and swap out the fan just because they can & want to -- but for the vast majority of potential buyers, its performance as shown in our tests will be plenty good enough to accept happily without any further ado, and they will highly value the better mounting system and unchanged low profile.

ces, I don't think you can speak for all "we little folk" -- you are only one. Readers have long accepted the simple idea that there are big coolers and little coolers, and there's no point in comparing those, they are meant for somewhat different apps. They've also accepted two different HS test platforms, one hotter for the big ones, and one cooler for the little ones. In fact, we've just changed the cooler CPU HS test platform, because it's actually too hot to be representative of current CPUs used with smaller heatsinks. You'll see that article up in the next few days.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:02 am 
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@MikeC:

I'm not so sure. Those who visit this site are enthusiasts. They are ready to experiment and modify to get the best results. Exchanging the stock fan on a CPU cooler is really no big deal.

The way I think about when deciding on a CPU cooler and fan combo is this:
=> "I have X mm space for a CPU cooling in my case. How can I get the most efficient and quiet solution?"

In my case X happen to be about 70 mm on the height. So I currently have three options on the short list:

1. Noctua NH-L12, with only 92 mm fan mounted.
2. Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B, with stock fan.
3. Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B, with stock fan replaced by a full 120x120x25 mm reference fan.

I actually think option 3 would be the best. However, I have no way of knowing without testing. And I'd like to avoid buying all 3 combinations above just for trying out. That's what I was hoping to read in a review on this site. After all that's what reviews are for, gathering info to be able to make an informed buying decision... :)

I think adding a test with a reference fan would be very good. Since then you would separate "The efficiency of the CPU cooler" vs "The efficiency of the included stock fan". You might have a very efficient CPU cooler, but the included stock fan is crap, or vice versa. In that case replacing either the CPU cooler or the included stock fan with a "third party" product could yield a very good combination. A simple test with a reference fan would answer that very important question...


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:36 am 
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fjodor2000 wrote:
@MikeC:
So I currently have three options on the short list:
1. Noctua NH-L12, with only 92 mm fan mounted.
2. Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B, with stock fan.
3. Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B, with stock fan replaced by a full 120x120x25 mm reference fan.
Don't forget that on a top down you want one fan width of breathing room. Using the Noctua with just an undermount fan means you need much less breathing room on top.... maybe not much as all.

Also one of your other options is to to undermount a 120mm fan on the Noctua. SPRC was able to do so.

Also also... The stock 12mm Scythe fan is maybe the best of its kind... but I find it difficult to believe that many here would want to tolerate it for long. It is awfully loud in my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:44 pm 
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ces wrote:
Don't forget that on a top down you want one fan width of breathing room. Using the Noctua with just an undermount fan means you need much less breathing room on top.... maybe not much as all.
When I specified that there was about 70 mm space in my case, I calculated with some breathing room.
ces wrote:
Also one of your other options is to to undermount a 120mm fan on the Noctua. SPRC was able to do so.
That won't work on an ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini-ITX motherboard (which I'll be using), since the 120 mm fan would cover the RAM slots. See comment by faugusztin above, and pictures here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=64395
ces wrote:
Also also... The stock 12mm Scythe fan is maybe the best of its kind... but I find it difficult to believe that many here would want to tolerate it for long. It is awfully loud in my opinion.
Yes, that's exactly why I'm considering replacing the low profile fan on the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B with a 120x120x25 mm fan that is more silent and also can push more air. I think that's an option lots of others also might be interested in, which is why I'm hoping Mike C will include such a test when reviewing the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B.


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:53 am 
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@Mike C / Lawrence Lee:

I just saw you added a review of the Scythe Big Shuriken with a reference fan here:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1267-page3.html

Many thanks for doing that. Based on the results it seems like cooling efficiency and noise level of the Scythe Big Shuriken really improves a lot when replacing the included 120x120x12 mm stock fan with a 120x120x25 mm reference fan. At 9V the reference fan provides about the same cooling efficiency as the stock fan, but it does so at 11-12 dBA instead of 19-20 dBA! And still the CPU cooler only increases 13 mm in height, to a total of 71 mm. Impressive!


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:04 am 
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MikeC wrote:
fjodor2000 wrote:
Perhaps. But I still think it would be very interesting to see how much difference it would make to exchange the stock fan with a 120x120x25 mm reference fan. It would only add 13 mm in height, and possibly it could achieve much better cooling efficiency and less noise. So at least for me it is definitely an option I'm considering. If you have the possibility, I'd be very thankful if you please would consider including such a test as well.

I suggest you try it and share your findings.

I was wrong :| Larry did in fact run Test the new Shuriken 2 rev B with the Nexus fan.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:56 pm 
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"With just the stock 92 mm fan, the NH-L12 is not very impressive considering its size, just edging out smaller, shorter Scythe Big Shuriken and being outperformed slightly by the Prolimatech Samuel 17 and Scythe Samurai ZZ. " Once you take into account height, these other heatsinks really don't match what the NH-L12 can do. With just the underhung 92mm fan you need very little breathing room on the top of the heat sink.

Once you take required breathing room into account, none of the other heatsinks come close to the ability of the NH-L12 to pack so much cooling into no more than 66mm.

Replacing the Big Shuriken 12mm fan with a 25mm fan brings it to 70mm high plus another 25mm for breathing room for its fan. That's 95mm high.

Prolimatech Samuel 17 (With a 25 mm thick fan, the heatsink is 71 mm tall. The bolt heads add an additional 2 mm) Effective Height with 25mm of breathing space for 25mm thick fan = 95mm

They are just not in the same ballpark as the NH-L12 if you have limited height requirements.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:57 pm 
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ces wrote:
"With just the stock 92 mm fan, the NH-L12 is not very impressive considering its size, just edging out smaller, shorter Scythe Big Shuriken and being outperformed slightly by the Prolimatech Samuel 17 and Scythe Samurai ZZ. " Once you take into account height, these other heatsinks really don't match what the NH-L12 can do. With just the underhung 92mm fan you need very little breathing room on the top of the heat sink.

Once you take required breathing room into account, none of the other heatsinks come close to the ability of the NH-L12 to pack so much cooling into no more than 66mm.

Replacing the Big Shuriken 12mm fan with a 25mm fan brings it to 70mm high plus another 25mm for breathing room for its fan. That's 95mm high.

Prolimatech Samuel 17 (With a 25 mm thick fan, the heatsink is 71 mm tall. The bolt heads add an additional 2 mm) Effective Height with 25mm of breathing space for 25mm thick fan = 95mm

They are just not in the same ballpark as the NH-L12 if you have limited height requirements.


Well, if you use the Noctua NH-L12 with a 120x120x25 mm fan, and add 25 mm breathing room on top of that, you'll reach 93 mm + 25 mm = 118 mm.


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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:21 am 
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fjodor2000 wrote:
Well, if you use the Noctua NH-L12 with a 120x120x25 mm fan, and add 25 mm breathing room on top of that, you'll reach 93 mm + 25 mm = 118 mm.
That is very true. It doesn't take long for those top down heatsinks to gain height when you add in breathing room.

The Mini-Ninja fits into 125mm. Noctua's version of the Mini-Ninja requires 135mm.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:39 am 
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It just occurred to me...

Noctua's Active Noise Cancellation Fan
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=64449&hilit=noctua+fan

Is essentially the same 120mm fan used in the Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile CPU Heat Sink.

At low speeds this is a very very good heatsink. The best in its class.

It's problem is that it generates disproportionate noise as the fans crank up.

With the new Active Noise Cancellation Fan it will only get better. And it is not unreasonable to expect that the active noise cancellation will not only cancel noise of the 120mm fan but also that of the accompanying nearby 92mm fan.

While this will not improve the cooling capacity of the Noctua NH-L12, it will most definitely reduce its noise signature when it is operating at full capacity.

Take a look at the current charts of its strongest competitors with the current fans. It can only get better:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1270-page7.html
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1261-page6.html

I think the three way competition between Prolimatech, Thermalright, and Noctua is generating a constant stream of innovation that seems to be raising the bar every 6 months.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:49 am 
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And it is not unreasonable to expect that the active noise cancellation will not only cancel noise of the 120mm fan but also that of the accompanying nearby 92mm fan.

That is unreasonable. They do not have the same sonic signature. The use of the new ANC fan with a standard 92mm fan next to it would create unpredictable results, most notably, intermodulation effects that might be even more than what we heard & reported in our review of the NH-L12 cooler.

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:18 am 
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MikeC wrote:
That is unreasonable. They do not have the same sonic signature. The use of the new ANC fan with a standard 92mm fan next to it would create unpredictable results, most notably, intermodulation effects that might be even more than what we heard & reported in our review of the NH-L12 cooler.
Would that not depend on how they implement it? If they chose to program the signal processing circuitry to handle both sonic signatures, could they not do so?

Bose sells active noise cancelling headphones with signal processing circuits that accommodate a wide range of sounds.

I guess if they are using the fan blades to project the canceling sound waves that is a bit different and perhaps limiting.

Is that perhaps the main barrier to making one fan provide cancellation for two sources of sound? If so, is there a possible work around?

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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:45 am 
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ANC for headphones is really not that difficult. All the action happen at one point -- at your ears. The mic is positioned almost exactly where the headphone driver/diaphragm is, and it can cancel out the noise the mic picks up coming through the headphone housing. This is why the Bose headphones are so effective -- it can tackle a broad range of noise at your ear, which is where both "reception" and inverse signal generation happens. (I have a pair, I know how well they work... the sound quality is good, but not exceptional, though. Note too, that it has the added advantage of a seal around the ear.)

In contrast, for a fan, the noise needs to be cancelled at the fan, not at your ear. Which is why you'd need a minimum of 2 speakers if they were being used for ANC. Now, if you add another smaller different fan into the mix -- with a certain distance between the fans -- that's a spanner in the works. That second fan simply cannot have the same RPM as the first, especially as the voltage (or PWM signal) to the fans is varied. The complexity of the sound is so much higher than for a single fan.

I doubt very much that Noctua would customize an ANC design for this complex application. The return on that work would not be high enough. Their focus would be on the single fan -- why bother with 2 fans when one will do just as well at higher speed because of the noise reduction of ANC on the one fan?

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Mike Chin,
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 Post subject: Re: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:20 am
Posts: 148
Location: Sweden
MikeC wrote:
ANC for headphones is really not that difficult. All the action happen at one point -- at your ears. The mic is positioned almost exactly where the headphone driver/diaphragm is, and it can cancel out the noise the mic picks up coming through the headphone housing. This is why the Bose headphones are so effective -- it can tackle a broad range of noise at your ear, which is where both "reception" and inverse signal generation happens. (I have a pair, I know how well they work... the sound quality is good, but not exceptional, though. Note too, that it has the added advantage of a seal around the ear.)

In contrast, for a fan, the noise needs to be cancelled at the fan, not at your ear. Which is why you'd need a minimum of 2 speakers if they were being used for ANC. Now, if you add another smaller different fan into the mix -- with a certain distance between the fans -- that's a spanner in the works. That second fan simply cannot have the same RPM as the first, especially as the voltage (or PWM signal) to the fans is varied. The complexity of the sound is so much higher than for a single fan.

I doubt very much that Noctua would customize an ANC design for this complex application. The return on that work would not be high enough. Their focus would be on the single fan -- why bother with 2 fans when one will do just as well at higher speed because of the noise reduction of ANC on the one fan?


I so look forward to the review of this by SPCR. Imagine TJ08B-E with a 180mm Noctua ANC fan at 1400rpm! That would be pretty big game changer.


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