Introduction

Noctua originates from a collaboration between the Austrian Rascom Computer distribution Ges.m.b.H. and the Taiwanese cooling specialist Kolink International Corporation, pooling more than thirty years of experience in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of high-end cooling components. Established in 2005, Noctua took international silent enthusiasts’ hearts by storm and quickly developed into one of the most acclaimed suppliers of premium quality quiet cooling products. Today, Noctua is present in more than 30 countries across the globe and working with several hundred sales partners. Chosen by noise-conscious PC users, system integrators and industry clients alike, Noctua has become synonymous with impeccable quality, excellent customer service, and class-leading quiet cooling performance.

Noctua has expanded the chromax line of their accessories and the fans in addition to the coolers. This time around they have released the chromax.black version of their NF-A20, NF-A12x15, NF-A9x14, NF-A9x25, NF-A8 fans along with the supported chromax.SAVP5/6 anti-vibration pads. These fans retain the design and all the features of the regular versions yet coming in the black color instead of the beige and brown color scheme that would allow the user to better color coordinate their builds. The outlook is more towards the stealth look. In our last take, we took a look at NF-A20 PWM chromax.black.swap and NA-SAVP6 chromax anti-vibration pads. This time we will be taking a look at their NF-A12x15 PWM chromax.black.swap, NF-A8 PWM chormax.black.swap, NF-A9 PWM chromax.black.swap, and NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap fans along with some NA-SAVP5 anti-vibration pads in 6 colors which are red, green, blue, white, black, and yellow.

ProductPrice (USD/EURO)US LinkUK Link
NF-A12x15 PWM chromax.black.swap24.90AmazonAmazon
NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap19.90AmazonAmazon
NF-A9 PWM chromax.black.swap19.90AmazonAmazon
NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap19.90AmazonAmazon
NA-SAVP5 chromax.black6.90AmazonAmazon
NA-SAVP5 chromax.red6.90AmazonAmazon
NA-SAVP5 chromax.white6.90AmazonAmazon
NA-SAVP5 chromax.blue6.90AmazonAmazon
NA-SAVP5 chromax.green6.90AmazonAmazon
NA-SAVP5 chromax.yellow6.90AmazonAmazon

*Prices are the MSRP

Specifications

Packaging and Contents

Since the packing design is the same for the fans, we will show one fan’s packing box here. The fan is shipped inside the cardboard box in the chromax theme.

Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM chromax.black.swap is printed on the top left. There is a Noctua brand logo printed on the top right. A picture of the fan with a white color anti-vibration pad is printed on the main section. 6 color pads are included in the box. CHROMAX by Noctua is printed on the bottom.

A Noctua brand logo is printed on the top left. The model of the fan is printed on the top right. This is a black edition of the award-winning NF-A12x15 fan and it comes with 6 colors anti-vibration pads included in the box. Specifications are printed at the bottom. UPC and EAN stickers are printed on the bottom.

Three sides of the box have the fan’s model printed on the left side with CHROMAX printed on the right side.

Opening the box will show the fan placed inside a black color plastic made container. The anti-vibration pads are placed right next to the fan in each color (only for the NF-A8/9 PWM chromax.black.swap versions).

A paperboard box is included in all the fans’ packing boxes.

That box has the rest of the anti-vibration pads and 4x black color tap screws. Noctua has provided self-adhesive anti-vibration pads for NF-A12x15 chromax.black.swap and NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap. This is essentially done to maintain its low profile design.

NA-SAVP5 Packaging and Contents

Since the packing design is same for all the color versions, we will show the unboxing of only one here. The pads are shipped inside chromax themed cardboard box.

The model of the product is printed on the top left. There is a Noctua brand logo on the top right. CHROMAX.color name is printed in the middle indicating the color of the pads.

There is a Noctua brand logo up top. 16x pads are included in the box which will cover two fans. The pads are made in Taiwan. The EAN and UPC info labels are printed on the bottom.

There is a diagram of the pads on the left followed by the model information. CHROMAX is printed on the right side.

Opening the box will show 16x colored anti-vibration pads placed on the black color Styrofoam.

Closer Look

It is time to take a closer look at the fans and the pads. Let’s start with the common design features of these fans. These fans are featuring the Noctua’s AAO frame. The Advanced Acoustic Optimization frame features integrated anti-vibration pads as well as Noctua’s proprietary Stepped Inlet Design and Inner Surface Microstructures, both of which further refine the fan’s performance/noise efficiency. The stepped inlet design adds turbulence to the influx in order to facilitate the transition from laminar flow to turbulent flow, which reduces tonal intake noise, improves flow attachment and increases suction capacity, especially in space-restricted environments.

The inner surface microstructures on the inner side of the frame which suppresses the flow separation from the suction side of the blades. This results in reduced blade passing noise while maintaining airflow and pressure. The impellers on these fans feature suction side Flow Acceleration Channels. By speeding up the airflow at the crucial outer blade regions, this measure reduces suction side flow separation and thus leads to better efficiency and lower vortex noise.

The chromax series of fans are featuring the modular cable approach and the NF-A20 PWM chromax.black.swap is no exception there. Noctua has included NA-EC1 chromax.black power cable extension in the box. It has a length of 300mm. This design allows the user to provide the NA-EC1 cables in 6 colors which allow the user to further color coordinate and customize their builds. The NA-EC1 has a 4-pin PWM connector. These fans feature the SSO2 bearing. With SSO2, the rear magnet is placed closer to the axis to provide even better stabilization, precision, and durability. The fan uses Noctua’s custom-designed NE-FD1 PWM IC that integrates Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology. By providing smoother torque impulses, SCD suppresses PWM switching noises and thus makes the fan quieter at low speeds. The chromax edition fans sport a CNC milled bearing shell made entirely from brass. These fans stop when set to 0% PWM duty cycle by the motherboard or PWM fan controller. This makes it ideal for creating setups with semi-passive cooling that automatically turns the fans off and thus runs completely silent at idle if thermals allow. All these fans carry 6 years Noctua warranty.

Now that we have taken a look at the common design features, let’s take a look at each fan starting with NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap.

The dimension of the fan is 80x80x25mm. The frame and the blades are finished in the matte black color. There are 7 impellers on this fan. In the 80mm sizing, the chromax.black version adds the aesthetics as well as the Noctua’s premium cooling. Each mounting corner has holes that are inset to the fan mounting hole area. This is where the NA-SAVP5 anti-vibration pads are inserted.

There is a 4-arms assembly holding the motor and the impellers to the frame. One of the arms has a latch to hold the wires of the PWM cable. The Length of the PWM cable is 1cm. There is a sticker pasted on the center. The Noctua brand logo is printed on the top followed by the CHROMAX brand logo. The power rating of the fan is printed at the bottom.

There are two arrow symbols on the side of the frame from where the power cable is coming out. These are there to serve a visual aid to the user in determining the direction of the airflow and the blade’s spin direction.

Noctua has included 6 NA-SAVP5 chromax.color anti-vibration pads in the box. There are 4 pads in each color. This would mean the user has to buy a dedicated NA-SAVP5 chromax box in the desired color to complete the 8 pads per fan configuration. Obviously they have done it to keep the price in check.

Noctua NF-A9/NF-A9x14HS PWM chromax.black.swap

The Noctua NF-A9 PWM chromax.black.swap has a dimension of 92x92x25mm. The Noctua NF-A9 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap has a dimension of 92x92x14mm where 14mm is the overall height of the fan making it suitable for space-constrained applications. The frame and the blades are finished in the matte black color. There are 7 impellers on the 25mm version and 9 impellers on the 14mm version. There are two holes per mounting corner in addition to the mounting hole itself on the NF-A9 PWM chromax.black.swap. These are there for the NA-SAVP5 anti-vibration pads installation.

There is a 4-arms assembly holding the motor and the impellers to the frame. One of the arms has a latch to hold the wires of the PWM cable. The Length of the PWM cable is 1cm. There is a sticker pasted on the center. The Noctua brand logo is printed on the top followed by the CHROMAX brand logo. The power rating of the fan is printed at the bottom.

There are two arrow symbols on the side of the frame from where the power cable is coming out. These are there to serve a visual aid to the user in determining the direction of the airflow and the blade’s spin direction.

Noctua has included 6 NA-SAVP5 chromax.color anti-vibration pads in the NF-A9 PWM chromax.black.swap box. There are 4 pads in each color. This would mean the user has to buy a dedicated NA-SAVP5 chromax box in the desired color to complete the 8 pads per fan configuration. Obviously they have done it to keep the price in check.

There are self-adhesive anti-vibration pads included in the NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap. There are 8 pads in each color so the user does not have to buy a similar pad. These pads are pasted on the 3M sheet and are reusable though I would advise the user to take care while handling these pads from the reusability perspective.

NF-A12x15 PWM chromax.black.swap

The dimension of the fan is 120x120x15mm where 15mm is the height of the fan. This is the same which is included in the Noctua’s premium low profile CPU cooler NH-L12S. This cooler is not available in the chromax version yet. The frame and the blades are finished in the matte black color. There are 7 impellers on this fan. In the 120mm sizing with a slim profile, the chromax.black version adds the aesthetics as well as the Noctua’s premium cooling. There are cut-to-design insets on the mounting corners where the self-adhesive anti-vibration pads are pasted.

There is a 5-arms assembly holding the motor and the impellers to the frame. One of the arms has two latches to hold the wires of the PWM cable. The Length of the PWM cable is 1cm. There is a sticker pasted on the center. The Noctua brand logo is printed on the top followed by the CHROMAX brand logo. The power rating of the fan is printed at the bottom.

There are two arrow symbols on the side of the frame from where the power cable is coming out. These are there to serve a visual aid to the user in determining the direction of the airflow and the blade’s spin direction.

Noctua brand logo and name are embossed on one side of the frame.

There are self-adhesive anti-vibration pads included in the NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap. There are 8 pads in each color so the user does not have to buy a similar pad. These pads are pasted on the 3M sheet and are reusable.

Now, let’s take a look at the specifications of the fans:

VariableNF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swapNF-A9 PWM chromax.black.swapNF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swapNF-A12x15 PWM chromax.black.swap
Size80x80x25mm92x92x25mm92x92x14mm120x120x15mm
Mounting Hole Space71.5×71.5mm82.5×82.5mm82.5×82.5mm105x105mm
Connector4-pin PWM4-pin PWM4-pin PWM4-pin PWM
BearingSSO2SSO2SSO2SSO2
Speed (± 10%)2200200025001850
Min. Speed (± 20%)450400600450
Airflow55.5 m³/h78.9 m³/h57.5 m³/h94.2 m³/h
Acoustical Noise17.7 dB(A)22.8 dB(A)23.6 dB(A)23.9 dB(A)
Static Pressure2.37 mmHO2.28 mmHO2.11 mmHO1.53 mmHO
Max. Input Power0.96W1.2W2.52W1.56W
Max. Input Current0.08A0.1A0.13A
Voltage12V12V12V12V
Voltage PWM Signal0.21V5V
Cable Length1cm+30cm NA-EC11cm+30cm NA-EC11cm+30cm NA-EC11cm+30cm NA-EC1
MTTF> 150,000H> 150,000H> 150,000H> 150,000H
Warranty6 years6 years6 years6 years

 

NA-SAVP5 chromax.color

Now, it is time to take a look at the NA-SAVP5 chromax.color anti-vibration pads.

These pads are available in 6 colors:

  • NA-SAVP5 chromax.red
  • NA-SAVP5 chromax.blue
  • NA-SAVP5 chromax.green
  • NA-SAVP5 chromax.white
  • NA-SAVP5 chromax.yellow
  • NA-SAVP5 chromax.black

The pads are made of extra-soft silicone and are tear-proof. Their task is to reduce the noise from the vibration while ensuring the compatibility with the standard fan mounts.

These pads are compatible with:

  • NF-A9 PWM
  • NF-A9 PWM chromax.black swap
  • NF-A9 FLX
  • NF-A9 5V PWM
  • NF-A9 5V
  • NF-A8 PWM
  • NF-A8 PWM chromax.black swap
  • NF-A8 FLX
  • NF-A8 ULN
  • NF-A8 5V PWM
  • NF-A8 5V

Other than the above-listed fans, these pads are not compatible with any other Noctua or third party fans.

Here is a graph showing the speed of the Noctua fans at various PWM duty cycles. These cycles are mentioned as %age in the graph on the X-Axis.

These fans are near silent except maybe NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap which was louder than others though nothing disturbing.

Conclusion

Noctua has released black versions of their fans in the chromax series along with more supported accessories. We have taken a look at their NF-A20 PWM chormax.black.swap fan and NA-SAVP6 chromax accessory in our last content. In this content we have taken a spin on the following:

  • NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap
  • NF-A9 PWM chromax.black.swap
  • NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap
  • NF-A12x15 PWM chromax.black.swap
  • NA-SAVP5 chromax.color: Red, Blue, Green, White, Black, and Yellow

All these fans are the black version of the regular edition fans and have retained all the design features of the regular version giving these a very edge over the competition as user now create truly stealth builds thanks to all black color and further the user can customize the colors by using the colored chromax accessories for color-coordinated build.

The specification table of these fans is as follow:

VariableNF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swapNF-A9 PWM chromax.black.swapNF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swapNF-A12x15 PWM chromax.black.swap
Size80x80x25mm92x92x25mm92x92x14mm120x120x15mm
Mounting Hole Space71.5×71.5mm82.5×82.5mm82.5×82.5mm105x105mm
Connector4-pin PWM4-pin PWM4-pin PWM4-pin PWM
BearingSSO2SSO2SSO2SSO2
Speed (± 10%)2200200025001850
Min. Speed (± 20%)450400600450
Airflow55.5 m³/h78.9 m³/h57.5 m³/h94.2 m³/h
Acoustical Noise17.7 dB(A)22.8 dB(A)23.6 dB(A)23.9 dB(A)
Static Pressure2.37 mmHO2.28 mmHO2.11 mmHO1.53 mmHO
Max. Input Power0.96W1.2W2.52W1.56W
Max. Input Current0.08A0.1A0.13A
Voltage12V12V12V12V
Voltage PWM Signal0.21V5V
Cable Length1cm+30cm NA-EC11cm+30cm NA-EC11cm+30cm NA-EC11cm+30cm NA-EC1
MTTF> 150,000H> 150,000H> 150,000H> 150,000H
Warranty6 years6 years6 years6 years

The fans are in total black color including the blades and frame. From the design perspective, these have flow acceleration channels on the blades to speed up the airflow at the outer edges of the blades. The frame is based on AAO (Advanced Acoustics Optimization) concept which is by using the anti-vibration pads, stepped inlet design on the frame’s edges and inner surface microstructures all factors help increase the fan’s efficiency and reducing the noise. The fan is using Noctua’s SSO2 bearing which is an advanced version of their legendary SSO bearing. In SSo2 bearing, the rear magnet is placed closer to the axis to provide even better stabilization, precision, and durability. The fan is using the custom-designed PWM IC which is using the SCD suppression for PWM switching noises.

Noctua has included 24x NA-SAVP chromax anti-vibration pads in total 6 colors (4 pads in each color) with the NF-A8 PWM chromax.black.swap and NF-A9 PWM chromax.black.swap. The 4 pads will cover one side of the fan. In order to cover both sides of the fan, the user would need to buy NA-SAVP5 in the desired color. This approach is helping Noctua keeping a check on the price tag. Noctua has included self-adhesive anti-vibration pads with NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black.swap and NF-A12x15 PWM chromax.black.swap fans. There are 8 pads in each color so the user is well covered there. The self-adhesive pads help ensure the slim profile design of these fans without losing the customization options.

These fans come with a 1x 30cm NA-EC1 extension cable. The modular approach helps the user in customizing the color of the power cable as well. The NA-EC1 is also available in 6 colors. These fans can also use NA-YC1 y cables which are also available in 6 colors. Y cables are not bundled. The single box of NA-SAVP5 packs 16x pads in the mentioned color. A single box is enough for two fans. These pads are compatible with the Noctua NF-A8/9 series of the fans as mentioned in the closer look section above. No other fan from Noctua or a third party is compatible with these.

The Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM chromax.black.swap is listed at USD/EURO 24.90 whereas NF-A8/9/9×14 versions are listed at USD/EURO 19.90 at the time of the review. A single box of NA-SAVP5 chromax.color is listed at USD/Euro 6.90. The price on the fan seems steep but given the black color coating, bundled NA-SAVP5/self-adhesive pads, and NA-EC1 makes up for it and the fan has 6 years warranty. These fans pack the same performance punch as is on the regular versions. At a low noise level, this level of performance coupled with colorful pads for color-customization makes these fans ideal for cooling solutions and come recommended by us.

We are thankful to Noctua for giving us the opportunity to review their NF-A12x15/A8/A9/A9x14HS PWM chromax.black.swap and NA-SAVP5 chromax.color.