Page 3 - Performance Tests
While these tests are not the most objective method for fan testing, they do give us some information of important fan attributes, such as airflow, airflow consistency, and the amount of static pressure generated. The fans are set at the edge of a desk to prevent air from bouncing back, which could hide the true characteristics of the fan. I ran the test comparing the two 140mm with each other, and the two 120mm with each other. The top two pictures are of the 120mm, and the two below are of the 140mm fans.
To help with distinguishing the different fans used in the tests. I put the white anti-vibration pads on the 3000 RPM versions of the 120mm and 140mm fans. The first picture is of the Noctua NF-F12 IndustrialPPC PWM fans. Both of them were tested at the maximum 12V speed, and they provided similar results. Airflow consistency was good with minimal flutter in the tissue paper. The 3000 RPM version produced more flutter, but I think just because it has better airflow. The inner part of the tissue paper floated thanks to the static pressure generated. On the left is the 2000 RPM version, and with the lower RPM, there was less static pressure to keep the tissue paper floating. The Noctua NF-A14 IndustrialPPC PWM fans in the third and fourth picture produced quite a bit more static pressure and raised the tissue paper more. However, the 3000 RPM version's tissue paper fluttered more significantly than the lower RPM version. I had a bit of an issue testing the higher RPM version, since I had to build a little tower to prevent it from moving back and falling over. In all the tests across the 120mm and 140mm fans, the static pressure was excellent, and the airflow was consistent.
When it comes to testing the perceived sound, it was a little harder to pinpoint exactly where it would be, especially because some could be more sensitive to sound than others. I always attempt to keep the noise of my computer system as low as possible, but sometimes, it takes quite a bit of time tweaking the fan speeds to do a joint optimization of sound emissions and cooling performance. The noise levels of these fans were tested independently with no other noise source in the room. They were also tested at their maximum 12V speeds. On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is silent and 10 is a jet taking off, the Noctua NF-F12 IndustrialPPC 2000 RPM fan came in at 3.0/10, while the 3000 RPM version came in at 4.5/10 in my personal opinion. The Noctua NF-A14 IndustrialPPC 2000 RPM came in at 4.0/10, while the 3000 RPM version came in at 6.0/10, again in my personal opinion. The sound output is similar to what we have come to expect from Noctua, especially for a high speed fan, and with just a few adjustments in rotational speed, they should run very quietly.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware
3. Performance Tests