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  • Noctua NF-F12 Focused Flow Fan Review
  • Noctua NF-F12 Focused Flow Fan Review


    Focused Flow Fan Features

    Starting from the top of the fan you will begin to notice some features of the NF-F12 starting with the steps you see along the outer lip.  These are called the Stepped Inlet Design and help to reduce air turbulence as it enters the fan reducing overall noise and increasing suction when space is limited.

    Below the steps and looking on the inner wall of the fan you'll find a series of divots at regular intervals.  These are the Inner Surface Microstructures.  Much like how a golf ball is more aerodynamic with dimples so is this fan.  As the blades spin they will hover over the boundary layer and spin with less resistance increasing overall efficiency and lowering noise.
    The fan itself is what Noctua calls the Heptaperf Impeller and is a custom design for the Focus Flow system and comes with only seven blades.  In this case odd numbers are important.

    Turning the fan over you'll find the remainder of the key features found on the NF-F12 starting with the Focused Flow Frame.  The frame is designed for heatsinks and radiators where directional airflow is important.  Each of the vanes helps to straighten the airflow channel into a perpendicular column of air and thus matching the cooling performance of more powerful fans running at faster speeds.
    Another feature of the vanes is a Varying Angular Distance and Vortex Control Notches.  You will notice three notches in each of the vanes, these act as mufflers by spreading noise emissions over a broader spectrum.  The vanes themselves are also set at irregular intervals varying between 31 and 37 degrees with no identifiable pattern.  The purpose of this is to mask the "thump" as the fan blade passes over a vane.  Remember how we said there were seven fan blades?  Well this combined with eleven guide vanes reduces any chance that a harmonic noise could be emitted from the NF-F12 focus flow system.

    The last two features are pretty subtle and deal with the fan motor bearing called the SS02 Bearing.  This bearing is a second generation design where the magnet is placed closer to the axis for better stability.  The shell of this bearing is made entirely from CNC machined brass to provide the best long term performance.

    The final feature is new to most Noctua fans and is a PWM fan control system that can not only react to system demands but is tuned to match the performance of the NF-F12 and its special features.  Of course PWM means there are four pins on this fan allowing better integration with your CPU cooling demands.