Noctua NF-R8 & NF-S12, 80mm & 120mm Case Fans Review

Written by: Maxwell Anderson
Date: November 22nd, 2009
Rating: 9.3 out of 10

Most of us tend to leave out what kind of case fans we’re using when we’re telling someone the specs of our computer. There’s a good reason for that, too: no one cares. Case fans generally don’t have anything to do with the performance of your computer, unless they’re way under-performing. I know that most PC enthusiasts have at least 4 fans spinning in their case at any given time – one for air intake, one for exhaust, one for their power supply, and, of course, one on their CPU’s heatsink. Usually, this results in their PC sounding something like a quiet vacuum cleaner. Does it have to, though? Should we really have to sacrifice our hearing in order to keep our computer cool? I don’t think we should, and neither does Noctua. Who’s that, you say? From what I can tell, they’re something like an Austrian Thermaltake. They make heatsinks and fans.. that’s it. Today we’re going to view first-hand just how good they are at making case fans. They suggest that their case fans not only perform well, but are quiet, too. Let’s see if they’re telling the truth.

I’ve got in my possession 3 different case fans from Noctua. One of them is 80mm, and the other two are 120mm. The two 120mm fans look exactly the same, but they are rated at different speeds. They look to be almost identical, except for the speed, so I’m not quite sure why they didn’t make only one, and include another adapter to make it slower. Speaking of adapters, each fan comes with what they call “Low Noise Adapters.” I think they’re basically just some resistors that you hook on the fans to make ’em slower. I’m not sure why you’d need to make them slower, though, as they’re already pretty quiet. Here are the specifications of each fan, along with a list of what’s included in each:

The 80mm fan comes with two different adapters, while the 120mm fans come with only one.

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