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Review: Noctua NF-A14 PWM Square Frame Fan, efficient, big and silent

Review: Noctua NF-A14 PWM Square Frame Fan, efficient, big and silent

September 13, 2013 11:59 am0 comments

“Designed in Austria, Noctua’s high-end cooling components are famous across the whole world because they are almost totally silent, their exceptional quality and great performance. With more than 3000 awards from specialized magazines and websites, Noctua’s fans and dissipaters are the choice of thousands all over the world.”

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If, like me, you happen to live in a hot place, Noctua’s NF-A14 PWM is the perfect solution for you. Some may have already noticed the how similar this model, the NF-A15 and the NH-U14S dissipater are. They’re obviously not the same model, but both have pretty much the same features except for the frame: the NF-A14’s is square-shaped, while the NF-A15 is rounded, which makes it perfect for the vast array of Noctua’s dissipaters.

The main features of these fans are the size and how silent they are.

Since a few years ago, Noctua has changed the packaging of most of their products, a very nice change. The main part shows the name of the device along with the specs and a photo in the background.

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The back describes the product in several different languages.

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The new packaging is designed for the consumer who already knows why and what he is going to buy. A transparent window below the front cover will let you see the fan, there’s a list of the features at the left and the back of the packaging has another see-through section.

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Noctua includes a small manual, four anti-vibration screws, four regular screws for the fans, one L.N.A noise reduction adapter, one extender and one Y-shaped adapter.

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Before we analyze the product, here is a list of the specs so you can get an idea about its performance.

SPECIFICATIONS
Size 140x140x25 mm
Connector 4 pin PWM
Rotation speed 1500 RPM
Rotational Speed ​​with L.N.A. 1200 RPM
Noise 24,6 dB (A)
Noise with L.N.A. 19,2 dB (A)
Extension Cable 30 cm
Voltage 12 V
Warranty 6 years

Just the name alone gives us a few details about it; this 140-mm fan can reach speeds from 300 to up to 1500 RPM, and 1200 RPM with the L.N.A adapter, producing a noise of around 24.6 dBA -19.2 with the adapter-, and a flow rate of 140,2 m^3/h and 115,5 m^3/h with the adapter.

Thanks to the exclusive design of the blades, it features something called “fast-circulation channels”, a system that speeds up the air current that comes out thanks to the unique and curious shape of the blades.

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The edges are covered in rubber which makes the fans absolutely silent, something Noctua called AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimization). All of this along with the microstructures of the internal surface (the little holes all over the frame) gives it a superior performance.

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Since it features a PWM fan, it has a 4-pin connection to control the revolutions however you like.

It also has SSO2 CNC-milled brass bearings, which makes it more durable and stable. It has a six year warrant, unusually long for an internal PC component.

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Its design adds turbulences to the input flow to improve the transition from laminar to turbulent flow, reducing the noise and improving the suction capabilities.

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It’s finally time for the tests. First of all, it’s important to note that we’ve installed both fans in a Thermalright Silver Arrow (the best air-based dissipater on the market right now).

We conducted the test in a completely closed case without any other fan installed, at an ambient temperature of 32ºC. Since this was clearly too high, we repeated the test at night, at a temperature of 26ºC approximately.

Test Equipment:

  • Intel Core i7 950 3.06Ghz
  • Corsair Vengeance 3x4GB – 12GB DDR3 1600Mhz
  • ASUS Sabertooth x58
  • I Nanoxia Deep Silence

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Excellent results, and even though I would’ve liked to conduct the test at a more stable temperature, the result left me greatly satisfied.

Thanks to this, we greatly recommend the NF-A14. They’re perfect for installing them on the case or integrate them into other components, like CPUs and graphics cards.

They’re not inexpensive (around 20 Dollars), but they’re definitely the best of their kind.

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