Noctua has been teasing a brand new technology that they’ve spent years in R&D to minimize the gap between the fan blades and the fan’s frame. It was first shown off in last year’s Computex as the “next generation 120mm A-series fan”. A few weeks ago, Noctua announced that these fans are available in the market – and they’re called the NF-A12x25.
These fans are made with Noctua’s Sterrox material – a liquid-crystal polymer (LCP) that Noctua claims it will not warp and have its fan blades elongate over time. This material is the key to creating the 0.5mm gap as Noctua says fan blade elongation will shorten the longevity of the fan drastically. Check out our summary of the Noctua NF-A12x25 here.
Noctua is so confident in the Sterrox material that they’re also including a 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the review of the brand new Noctua’s latest and greatest Noctua NF-A12x25 120mm fans.
|Mounting hole spacing|
A-Series with Flow Acceleration Channels
AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimization)
|Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)|
|Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)|
|Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)|
|Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/- 20%)|
|Airflow with L.N.A.|
|Airflow with U.L.N.A.|
|Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.|
|Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A.|
2.34 mm H2O
0.82 mm H2O
|Static Pressure with L.N.A|
1.65 mm H2O
0.41 mm H2O
|Max. Input Power||1.68W||0.6W|
|Max. Input Current||0.14A||0.05A|
|Voltage PWM signal||5V||N/A|
|MTTF||> 150.000 h||>150,000 h|
|Scope of delivery|
The brand new Noctua NF-A12x35 comes with the same packaging style as before. Still with the white with black/brown color scheme throughout the front and back of the packaging.
Behind the box we can find more information of the exact fan that you’re getting. The one pictured here is the Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM version.
Opening up the flap reveals some graphs provided by Noctua themselves. Take note that the NF-A12x25 has a lower maximum airflow than the NF-S12A and also lower maximum static pressure compared to the NF-F12, but its mid-section performance is superior.
Opening up the box reveals the accessories together with the fan itself and a user guide.
Again, the NF-A12x25 we have here is the PWM version. If you’re getting the FLX or the ULN version, you’ll get slightly different accessories compared to the one in this picture.
Looking closely at the NF-A12x25, the first thing that came into many people’s mind is how different the blades look. It looks like there are random streaks going across the fan blades – and that’s because of the Sterrox material.
For those who are familiar with the high-end market of PC fans, you might remember the Gentle Typhoon AP-15. Many people have drawn comparisons between the NF-A12x25 and GT because of how similar it looks. The bearing is big and it has a total of 9 blades, and the fan blades look similar as well. Of course, we have the test scores to tell us which fan will reign supreme.
Quick note – earlier this year there was a fuss about uneven colors within the same Noctua fan models. I’ve asked what and how Noctua can address this issue – particularly with the fan blades. They said they’re getting a spectrometer to ensure the colors are in tight tolerances.
The frame of the NF-A12x25 remains the same as other Noctua fans.
This time around, Noctua has included a rubber gasket that provides an airtight seal between the fan frame and water-cooling radiators, thus increasing the static pressure even further since there is no leakage.
The tests are done with a system that’s running the Intel i7-8700K at 5GHv, 1.26V cooled by the Raijintek Orcus that we reviewed here. All of the fans tested here are running at full speed.
It’s quite mind-boggling at first since the Noctua NF-A12x25 has a lower maximum static pressure than the NF-F12 but still manages to outperform it, albeit by a small margin.
While comparing with the Gentle Typhoon, we can see that the NF-A12x25 manages to outperform the Gentle Typhoon AP-15 by only a hairline. In terms of pure performance, the NF-A12x25 reigns supreme.
As for the rubber gasket, we did not see any differences between the performance with or without them. However, we do want to highlight that the rubber gasket can absorb vibration and prevent any particles from entering within the sides. It is useful for those who have the radiator mounted directly under a fan filter.
Is this the new king of radiator fans? Yes, there are a few reasons why, even though it isn’t that much than the Gentle Typhoon AP-15 in terms of pure performance.
The Gentle Typhoon AP-15 isn’t readily available in the Malaysian market now. The Gentle Typhoon AP-15 also does not come with accessories like the rubber screw mounts or rubber gasket. Furthermore, we do have a few Gentle Typhoon AP-15 which can no longer operate because of its deformed fan blades due to prolonged usage. Noctua has specifically highlighted this back in Computex 2017 and the Sterrox material used for the NF-A12x25 is the key to overcome this issue.
If you want something that performs just as good as the Gentle Typhoon AP-15, then get the Noctua NF-A12x25. You’ll get a bunch of useful accessories alongside with Noctua’s 6 year manufacturer warranty too.
- Solid build quality
- Excellent performance
- Good acoustic performance
- Comes with a rubber gasket for vibration dampening
- 6 years warranty from Noctua
- Color scheme is difficult to match with themed builds