Noctua NF-S12 and NF-R8 PC Case Fan Review


New technology, better fans?

Fans Fans Fans, we got all kinds of fans now-a-days: neon fans, aluminum fans, led fans, ccfl fans, uv fans, and even more fans, did I mention we are reviewing fans here?

The Austrian company Noctua was kind enough to send us a few of there new fans, but what makes them (s)so special….? Well they are silent, and I mean VERY silent. These fans aren’t here for the nice lights, but for the more serious system builder who wants some quality kit. And if you want quality then you’re at the right place with Noctua.

So where’s that quality come from? Strangely enough, Noctua is an Austrian company unlike the majority of the fan builders. Being close to Germany its safe to say that Austrian engineering at its best here.

Don’t believe me? How’s about the 6 yes SIX years of warranty on these fans…

Still not enough? Then pay heed to the fact that Noctua uses SSO Bearings in their fans. So what’s a SSO bearing? Well SSO stands for Self Stabilizing Oil-pressure bearing. The general idea being that the centrifugal motion of the fan sweeps the oil to the sides thus centering the fan’s rotor that drives the fan blades.

Here’s a paragraph with a more technical explanation…

SSO principle of operation
The rotary motion of the axis generates pressure upon the special oil enclosed within the bearing. This causes the build-up of a dynamic pressure field that centre’s and stabilizes the axis within the bearing shell. While conventional liquid bearings employ the principle of hydrodynamic pressure too, the SSO bearing is equipped with an additional magnet that supports the self-stabilization of the rotor axis.


This allows for a faster, more precise and more reliable centering of the rotor axis and thus increases the long-term stability and quietness of the bearing: When the fan starts, the dynamic pressure field of the liquid bearing needs to build up first, which results in an initial precession of the axis, the so called gyro effect. This amounts to an increased abrasion until the axis is stabilized through the build-up of the dynamic pressure field, which may by and by lead to increased noise emission and bearing defects. Because of this, the SSO bearing possesses a built in magnet, whose field ensures the immediate self-stabilization of the rotor and hence reduces the gyro effect. In addition to the stabilization during the start-up phase of the fan, the supporting magnet allows for a more exact centering of the axis within the bearing shell and thus further reduces bearing resistance, abrasion and noise emission.