Noctua NF-A15 and NF-A14 Cooling Fan Review

backside fanstack 2x NF14 UNL

Installing NF-A14

So after having tested out the fans with my scientific hand for pressure and making sure that speed was agreeable to my human ear I decided on the fan placement. I wanted one that was louder/moving more air to the back of the fan near the CPU cooler to expel hot air so the FLX had its spot.

Now for the ULN versions, I use the Asus AI suite fan speed control thingy I got with my Asus motherboard,  as it does a perfect job once set up properly.  With the FLX plugged in to the motherboard I was running out of on board fan plugs. No problem, Noctua provides extra stuff to go with your fans, such as their Low Noise Adapter, a Molex-to-3-pin lead and a 3-pin fan extension lead.  They also have two mounting option using plain old fan screws or anti-vibration pull-through silicone pins.  Where possible I use the silicone pins those things as they further decouple vibration from the case.

 

As I tested the ULN versions I quickly knew why they were called Ultra Low Noise.  I didn’t even need any fan control on them they are spinning happily on 12 volts in the front cage blowing a gentle breeze over my hard drive cage, including those two drives that are going to burn in a few days… Yes, enjoy the cool breeze while it lasts vibrating-me-insane-demon-spawn-drives!

I don’t know what came over me there.

 


Anyway for the installation I had to remove two silicone vibration dampers to have a bit better space for routing the fan leads and hook up the extension leads to be able to reach the molex plug behind the motherboard tray.  Nnow I didn’t want to plug in 2 molex connectors so I dove into my filled box o’ cables and found a 3-pin Y adapter so I could plug the fans into one connector.

I was lying I didn’t find the Y-plug in that box so I used the handy Y-splitter included with the Noctua NF-A15 PWM.  But I did have to cut some plastic away to make the 3-pin adapter fit the 4-pin splitter.  Why that is provided with the 150mm fan and not with the 140mm is beyond me.  Then again I never really needed a Y-splitter until now (perhaps add a Y connector in the 140mm versions as well).

But the Noctua fans really are inaudible compared with the rest of the system so they always run on full speed. Even though that’s only 800 rpm it moves enough air and are quieter than the stock fans included with my Fractal Design Define XL USB 3.0 case.

The NF-A14 FLX and ULN are GREAT fans they really are they have all the options you want and give you a whole bunch of leads and mounting options and even flexible anti vibration measurements for you to customize as you see fit.

Would I buy these if I needed more?  In a heartbeat.  They are by far the best fans I ever had in my hands, and they have a six-year warranty to boot!

I even replaced some older Noctua fans I still had.  Don’t worry the older fans now spin in my friend’s case who needed some extra fans.

For more/detailed information about the FLX and ULA fans check out;

ULN: http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=53&lng=en

FLX: http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=52&lng=en

I’m going to need a few of these ULN fans for an upcoming DIY Arcade cabinet project.