I was ordering some NoiseMagic controllers and saw they had the Noctua NF-P12 that looked like a very good design so I ordered one. Then I read this topic. Doh!
I have some S-Flex fans already so maybe I should have waited for more reviews. Oh well, it arrived so I started doing my own tests. I have an S-Flex 1200 rpm on my CPU cooler that I try to run below 800rpm because I can start to hear it above that. I was hoping the Noctua NF-P12 would give more cooling (not that I really need more cooling) without getting louder.
P182 case with no front vent door, dust filter or metal grill on front or rear (no restrictions).
S-Flex case rear at 710 rpm. No top fan and covered.
VGA exhausted out the back.
Intel E6850 stock with Thermalright 120-Ultra Extreme (with S-Flex E (1200) and for testing the NF-P12)
Prim95 (two instances of Small FFT's for 2 cores)
So I ran with the S-Flex at 774 rpm (manual with Fanmate) and Prim95 for 20 min. and then turned off the PC to let the heat sinks cool for an hour then installed the NF-P12 at 779 rpm and run Prim95 again.
S-Flex at 774rpm:CPU(Tcase)= 42c, Core0+15c=50c,Core1+15c=50c
NF-P12 at 779rpm: CPU(Tcase)= 42c, Core0+15c=50c,Core1+15c=50c
Update: tried some more tests and I get maybe one degree difference either way so I cant really say one is better than the other. It could be the difference of accuracy or ambient temp.
So they showed no difference, and thatâ€™s a bit disappointing because I wanted the Noctua to do better.
But wait, this is just the rpm vs. temp test. I want to test it some more to compare noise to temp. It sounds like the NF-P12 can run to 1000rpm and maybe 1100 (in my PC with sound acoustic foam) without being as loud or at least annoying as the S-Flex. I turned the rpms up to 1100 and it was a bit louder but more of a whoosh sound, but the temps did not come down. Maybe the pc needs to cool off again.
Need to do more testing but no time right now.
When running the fans in free air they sound like this:
Both quiet and about the same noise below 800rpm? (need to connect tach )
S-Flex above 800rpm starts to make a hum or buzz like motor sound but maybe the blades going past the motor struts. It gets louder with rpm but probably no more db's than the NF-P12, but I don't like sound compared to the NF-P12 noise. When I hold a grill to the fan outlet, the hum sound gets less.
NF-P12 above maybe 950 rpm begins to make a slight hum, but more a whoosh and whirl (slightly higher pitch) sound. The whoosh/whirl sound gets louder with rpm but not as irritating as the S-Flex IMO. Placing a grill to the outlet takes away whirl high pitch sound and leaves the whoosh sound.
Vibration test. I placed the fans on top of a cardboard box (the MB box) and the vibration that would be transferred to a case is heard if solid mounted. Rubber fan mounts would reduce most of this noise.
S-Flex has a low hum that is faint at medium speed and is then drowned by the fan noise at higher speeds.
NF-P12 has a low rumble tic-tic noise (almost like an air cooled VW bug engine) at medium speed and that is a bit louder than the S-Flex. The noise can be heard at all but the highest speeds. However, I did not hear any of this noise when it was mounted solid to the Ultra 120 cooler.
So far I have not seen the NF-P12 perform better temperature wise than the S-Flex with my testing, but if I want to run a fan above 800rpm then I like the way the NF-P12 sounds better.
Another note, with the Fanmate at its lowest setting and the fans on the CPU cooler the S-Flex was 420rpm and the NF-P12 was 574 rpm
I was wondering if the NF-P12 fan blades are too close together and creates cavitations of air when pulling the air, especially at higher speeds.
More testing needed.
And a real CFM vs. rpm and db noise like Felger Carbon's would be interesting. Hint, hint