Results & Final Thoughts
I’ve got to ask, even if it is a silly question… do the fans perform? Well, let me elaborate on my findings and let you in on them.
Silly question, am I right? Well, I mean, sort of! Whenever you’re buying premium components, whether it be fans or anything else for that matter, you come to expect certain levels of performance in its various forms. So, there are a few things that we can measure ‘performance’ on, which to me would comprise of airflow and acoustics. Being a Noctua fan, we expect the best of both worlds, without fail. I spent a lot of time trying to get the smaller 40 mm fans to produce reliable results, but they just didn’t have the power to shift the air required in our setup. If you’ve read Josh’s previous review, you’ll know how he set his up. I copied him and tried to do the same thing, but the numbers were so far off of the specs that I didn’t feel happy to post them. They do shift air, of course, but the setup wasn’t right. I will absolutely retest this in the future with slightly more sophisticated gear.
(Editor’s Note: I’ve used Nocuta’s 40mm to drastically lower temps on a Raspberry Pi with very little noise as well.)
Another issue that I ran into is the fact that these fans are so incredibly quiet that I was not able to pick them up with my dB meter. The ambient noise in my condo is above that of the fans, and the only one I can audibly hear over anything else any more than a foot away is the 120 mm fan. At 70% speed (thanks again for the awesome tool, Noctua!), I was only able to hear it at the same distance as the other fans. It becomes audible above 70%, but not intrusively. I have an absolutely maddening obsession when it comes to rig silence, so for me to say this, it tells you something. Even the 40 mm fans did me very proud indeed. I was able to hear them a very small amount, but given that they are spinning at 5000 RPM (I may or may not have tried to stick my finger in to slow it down…), it blew me away with its noise level. Simply phenomenal acoustic levels.
At the end of the day, there is ultimately a single question and multiple answers to said question that spring to mind when reviewing – overview, in this case – such a product. The million dollar question that I always get asked and want to ask is … drum roll, please … “is it worth my money?”
If you can afford the premium price that comes attached with Noctua products, and you don’t mind their browny-beige color scheme, then they are absolutely one of the best fan makers in the world. I honestly forgot how quiet and premium their fans were until I got my hands on the care package that they sent over. I thought my EK Vardar fans were good, which they are, but Noctua is on another level with their fans. It’s only right that I award them with the appropriate award… which without saying is:
One final thing to say is a huge thanks to Noctua for sending the fans over for us to look at. Hopefully we will have a more sophisticated testing procedure in the next round of fans, and then we will be able to revisit these fans with more accurate results that aren’t flawed by my condo’s ambient noise.
Noctua Official Site
Noctua at Amazon
Noctua at Newegg