Noctua doesn’t need any introductions. Ever since the company was formed in 2005, they’ve been at the forefront of quality and silent gaming for the enthusiast PC market. They’re most well known for their very high quality and extremely silent fans and CPU heatsinks. They’ve recently expanded into customizable accessories for their products and thermal pastes, all of the highest standards.

Earlier this month, Noctua refreshed their existing lineup of NF-A12 and NF-P12 fans, with slight updates to build and appearance, touting them as the “next generation” of fans. Noctua has been kind enough to send us 3 versions of their NF-A12X25 and 4 versions of NF-P12 REDUX fans for review. This review will focus on the NF-P12 variants.

Introduction

In today’s market of flashy RGB fans, the NF-P12 REDUX fans are very muted. The presentation and build quality is as Noctua is famous for, premium and extremely sturdy. These fans are not meant to appeal to those who want sparkling lights in their entire setup, but to those who desire absolute performance as quiet as possible.

  • Items:
    Noctua NF-P12 REDUX 900
    Noctua NF-P12 REDUX 1300
    Noctua NF-P12 REDUX 1300 PWM
    Noctua NF-P12 REDUX 1700 PWM

Specifications: 

The complete specifications list is as follows (specifications vary according to each model)

Noctua NF-P12 REDUX 1700 PWM Specification

  • Size: 120x120x25 mm
  • Mounting hole spacing: 105×105 mm
  • Connector: 4-pin PWM
  • Bearing: SSO-Bearing
  • Blade Geometry: Pressure-optimized Nine Blade Design with Vortex-Control Notches
  • Rotational Speed (+/- 10%): 1700 RPM
  • Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%): 450 RPM
  • Airflow: 120,2 m³/h
  • Acoustical Noise: 25,1 dB(A)
  • Static Pressure: 2,83 mm H₂O
  • Max. Input Power: 1,08 W
  • Max. Input Current: 0,09 A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • MTTF: > 150.000 h
  • Scope of delivery:
    Fan screws
  • Warranty: 6 years

Noctua NF-P12 REDUX 1300 PWM Specification

  • Size: 120x120x25 mm
  • Mounting hole spacing: 105×105 mm
  • Connector: 4-pin PWM
  • Bearing: SSO-Bearing
  • Blade Geometry: Pressure-optimized Nine Blade Design with Vortex-Control Notches
  • Rotational Speed (+/- 10%): 1300 RPM
  • Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%): 300 RPM
  • Airflow: 92,3 m³/h
  • Acoustical Noise: 19,8 dB(A)
  • Static Pressure: 1,68 mm H₂O
  • Max. Input Power: 0,6 W
  • Max. Input Current: 0,05 A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • MTTF: > 150.000 h
  • Scope of delivery:
    Fan screws
  • Warranty: 6 years
Noctua NF-P12 REDUX 1300 Specification
  • Size: 120x120x25 mm
  • Mounting hole spacing: 105×105 mm
  • Connector: 3-pin
  • Bearing: SSO-Bearing
  • Blade Geometry: Pressure-optimized Nine Blade Design with Vortex-Control Notches
  • Rotational Speed (+/- 10%): 1300 RPM
  • Airflow: 92,3 m³/h
  • Acoustical Noise: 19,8 dB(A)
  • Static Pressure: 1,68 mm H₂O
  • Max. Input Power: 0,6 W
  • Max. Input Current: 0,05 A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • MTTF: > 150.000 h
  • Scope of delivery:
    Fan screws
  • Warranty: 6 years
Noctua NF-P12 REDUX 900 Specification
  • Size: 120x120x25 mm
  • Mounting hole spacing: 105×105 mm
  • Connector: 3-pin
  • Bearing: SSO-Bearing
  • Blade Geometry: Pressure-optimized Nine Blade Design with Vortex-Control Notches
  • Rotational Speed (+/- 10%): 900 RPM
  • Airflow: 63,4 m³/h
  • Acoustical Noise: 12,6 dB(A)
  • Static Pressure: 1,21 mm H₂O
  • Max. Input Power: 0,3 W
  • Max. Input Current: 0,025 A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • MTTF: > 150.000 h
  • Scope of delivery:
    Fan screws
  • Warranty: 6 years
Noctua on the NF-P12 Redux:

Specifically designed for pressure demanding applications such as CPU or radiator cooling, the classic NF-P12 is a long-standing favourite among enthusiast users around the world and helped to found Noctua’s reputation as a top-tier manufacturer of premium quality quiet cooling components. The new redux edition reissues this award-winning model in a streamlined, accessibly priced package that has been reduced to the essential core: the NF-P12 premium fan. Its industry grade SSO bearing, over 150.000 hours MTTF rating and full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty make the NF-P12 redux a proven premium choice that provides trusted Noctua quality at an attractive price point. The performance-oriented top speed of the 1700rpm PWM version is ideal for high-efficiency case, radiator and CPU cooling as well as other applications that require both extended performance headroom and PWM for automatic speed control.

Unboxing and impressions

The NF-P12 fans come in a very minimal grey and brown cardboard box.

The top show the Noctua logo in the top right corner and the name and specific model of the fan in the center. The sides of the box are brown in color and without any text or logos.

The back of the box carries information specific to each version and support about Noctua’s chromax inserts, along with a link to Noctua’s website and a QR code.

Getting into the box itself, you dont get a whole lot, just the fan itself and 4 screws for mounting.

Taking a closer look at the fans, if they could be described in one word, it would be “understated”. The NF-P12 REDUX have a muted color scheme, light grey frame with dark grey fan blades which result in a very clean appearance. The fan center is also without any labels or stickers.

Coming to the rear of the fans, we can spot the Noctua sticker in the center with the model for the fan and info about power draw.

The cable is sleeved in black and the material is very flexible. Length of the cable is about 2 feet which is plenty for routing and management.

Coming to the actual fans, they’re made of a sturdy plastic material that is sure to withstand rigorous use. Noctua have used a SSO bearing, which is advertised with “over 150,000 hours MTTF rating and providing supremely quiet operation and exceptional long-term stability.”

The fan unit has 9 blade, made with a similar plastic to the frame but with a darker grey color. Each blade has 2 cutouts on the outer edge which Noctua refers to as Vortex-control notches. These are designed to “split up trailing edge vortices and thus spread the fan’s noise emission over a wider range of frequencies. This measure makes the fan sound more pleasant to the human ear” according to Noctua’s website.

Overall, despite being a budget orientated option, the Redux series of fans don’t disappoint with their looks and promising design and specifications. Noctua has clearly adhered to their high quality standards even for their lower end products. We’ll see how all this translates to real world performance in our testing.

Performance Testing

The test system is setup as follows

  • AMD Ryzen R7 1700
  • Asus Prime B350 Plus
  • Corsair Vengeance LED Red 2X8GB 3200MHz
  • Sapphire Nitro RX 480 8GB
  • Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 CPU Cooler
  • WD Caviar Green 500GB
  • Toshiba 1TB
  • EVGA Supernova G2 1000W
  • NZXT S340 Elite

Fans were tested with the Noctua U12S SE-AM4 heatsink. CPU was at stock voltage, tested at stock clocks. Ambient room temperature was 35c. The system was stressed using the ASUS Realbench utility, tortured tested for 10 minutes with 4GB RAM. HW Monitor was used for observing the temperatures.

Non PWM fans were running at their max RPMs. The 1300 RPM PWM model was tested in standard fan curve and turbo. The 1700 RPM model was tested at max RPM to differentiate the performance between 1300 RPM and 1700 RPM.

Click to enlarge image

Temperature deltas are what one would expect at each RPM range. Considering that the Redux fans are supposed to be budget alternatives to Noctua’s more pricey offerings, these have performed admirably. At the end, it depends on whether you prioritize cooling or silence. It has to mentioned, though, that even the 1700 at full RPM was barely audible.

At the bottom of the graph we have the Redux 900, managing an idle delta over ambient of 3.8C and load delta of 26.7C.

Moving up to the Redux 1300, idle delta really change much but the load delta drops to 22.9C. The PWM version performs identically on the Turbo fan profile. On Standard, the RPM is still a bit conservative even on load so it performs worse, with a 4.4C idle delta and 25.6C load delta.

The 1700 Redux performs the best out of the bunch. At max RPM, it manages the lowest idle and load deltas at 1.4C and 20C respectively.

Conclusion:

Noctua products were previously reserved for more higher end PC builds and projects due to their price, but with the REDUX line of fans, they have definitely made premium cooling performance more accessible.

The REDUX fans come very close to their top tier fan brethren in terms of real world performance, although some compromises have to be made. Construction is very similar to the A12 series with durable hard plastic and support for customization with CHROMAX anti-vibration pad compatibility. Silence is also kept in mind with the Vortex-control notches for very low noise output even on full RPM. The only compromise that has been made is the absence of any extra accessories. The box only comes with 4 screws for mounting the fan and that’s it, however at this price point, one can hardly complain.

Keeping all that in mind, Noctua’s REDUX series of fans is definitely deserving of Tech4Gamers’ Value award.

 

Tech4Gamers Value Award