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JM21

My review on the Noctua NF-F12 (and my resolution on ML or NF)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

If you are looking to purchase Noctua fans I am sure you are well aware of their reputation, and specifically their beloved NF-F12 fans, and with good reason. You get a premium packaging and unboxing experience, and most importantly their extremely high-quality fan. All around I really love these fans but subjectively there is one reason I can’t give it a 5-star review. And that reason is the Corsair ML series fan.

 

I will begin with the subjectiveness of my review, to say the ML is better is not a fact, simply my opinion. However, I will lay out some facts as to why I prefer the ML over the NF, but every person can interpret facts a little differently, and respectfully I have no issues with the NF-F12. 

 

Anyways, for those of us that care about aesthetics the chromax edition of this fan is really the only option, I honestly could never bring myself to buying the standard puke brown version (for those of you that can look past that I applaud thee). But for your $29 (Canadian pesos) hard-earned dollars you get a nice assortment of colour swappable red, black, white, blue, yellow and green anti-vibration pads. This along with the 4-pin PWM cable extension all wrapped up in a nice large package. Out of the box performance is great, these bad boys move a lot of air and have performed excellently for my use. I have three of these as intakes against the mesh front panel of my Phanteks Enthoo Pro M TG pulling air through my four 3.5” hard drive cages. This of course restricting some air flow and causing some more fan noise (to be expected), despite this my hard drive and internal case temps are respectable. I decided on these fans as they move a lot of air despite being very well static pressure optimized, perfect for being mounted in front of hard drive cages.

 

But now I reason with the value of these fans. At $29 (at time of purchase) they represent a ‘premium’ 120mm option. At the time of this review the ML 120 2-pack is $37.50, which subjectively is just as quiet of a fan around 800ish RPM (my opinion) and looks pretty much the same, you just don’t get colour swappable anti-vibration pads. Blind math prices them at $18.75 each which is over a $10 saving per fan, so if you need four fans for your system this equals to a $40 difference. Now some of you would argue that you get what you pay for but to that, I would argue, “do you really?” and “is the price premium necessary?”.

 

Let me throw some raw numbers into the equation:

 

Corsair ML120 2-pack: (ML120 Pro series have the EXACT SAME specs)

  • Price: $37.50cad (effectively $18.75 each)
  • Speed: 400 - 2400 RPM
  • Sound level: 37 dBA @ max RPM
  • Static Pressure: 0.2 - 4.2 mmH20
  • Air flow: 75 CFM @ max RPM
  • Warranty: 5-year

 

Noctua NF-F12 PWM Chromax:

  • Price: $29cad
  • Speed: 300 - 1500 RPM
  • Sound level: 22.4 dBA @ max RPM
  • Static Pressure: 2.61 mmH20 @ max RPM
  • Air flow: 55 CFM @ max RPM
  • Warranty: 6-year

 

I will let the numbers argue for themselves, but to say one is better than the other is not entirely objective. However, I PERSONALLY find the ML fans quieter at the same RPM, and although I keep my systems as quiet as I can, the higher max RPM of the ML fans is something I am sure that appeals to some users. To be fair there are higher RPM models of the NF-F12, the industrial 2000 and 3000 RPM models, but these come at $33 each, and are not available in a chromax version. 

 

So to wrap this all up, if you still want/prefer the NF's, great! You are making a good purchase and will be very happy. But having personally bought three NF-F12s and one NF-A14 I will stick to my ML’s in the future. I own the 2-pack variant, Pro LED’s (in 120mm and 140mm), and the Pro RGB’s. When I consider the three variables of price, performance, and aesthetics, the ML’s are my favorite in all 3 categories. That said the NF chromax fans are a very close second, and I genuinely hope to see some new colours and possibly an RGB version in the future. I think this would get Noctua more customers. Anyways, to those interested, I can highly recommend Noctua products and specifically the NF-F12 chromax.

 

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Noctua NF or Corsair ML? ‖ PSU Tier List

 

NOTE TO NEWCOMERS Remember to 'Reply' to comments in order for people to see them, this can be done by clicking the arrow icon at the bottom of a comment (Quote).

 

My Builds

Blueberry Pi : R7 1700 OC@3.9GHz ‖ Asus X470 ROG Crosshair VII Hero Wi-Fi ATX ‖ Corsair Vengeance LED (Blue) 2x16GB 3000MHz ‖ EVGA GTX 1080Ti SC Black Edition 11GB ‖ EVGA 850W P2 ‖ Cryorig R1 Universal (Blue) ‖ Fractal Design Meshify C TG ATX Mid Tower

 

Server + Streaming PC : i7-8700k OC@5.0GHz (Delid) ‖ Asus Z370-G Gaming Wi-Fi mATX ‖ Corsair Vengeance RGB 2x8GB (Black) ‖ EVGA GTX 1080 SC2 Gaming iCX 8GB ‖ EVGA 750W P2 ‖ Corsair H100i Pro ‖ 4x IronWolf 8TB 7200RPM (Raid 10) ‖ Phanteks Enthoo Pro M TG ATX Mid Tower

 

New Build In Progress: R7 1700 ‖ Asus B450-I ROG STRIX Gaming ITX ‖ G.Skill Ripjaws V 2x8GB 2800MHz (Grey) ‖ Asus RX 580 Dual Series 8GB ‖ Corsair SF 450W ‖ Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB ‖ Silverstone Sugo SG13WB Mini ITX Case

 

Big White : i7-6700k OC@4.8GHz ‖ Asus Z270I ROG Gaming Wi-Fi AC ITX  ‖ Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB 3000MHz (White) ‖ Asus GTX 1060 Dual Series OC 6GB ‖ Corsair RM650i ‖ Thermaltake Frio Silent 12 (White) ‖ Thermaltake Core V1 Snow Edition Mini ITX Cube

 

Mini IPC : Pentium G4600T ‖ MSI B250I Gaming Pro Wi-Fi AC ITX ‖ Corsair Vengeance 1x8GB 2400MHz (Black) ‖ Intel Integrated Graphics ‖ Built-In 150W Inwin PSU ‖ Cryorig C7 ‖ Inwin BQ696 Mini ITX Case W/ PSU Black

 

Laptop: Dell XPS13 (2017) ‖ i7-7550U ‖ 16GB DDR3 1866Mhz RAM ‖ Intel Integrated Graphics ‖ 512GB m.2 SSD ‖ QHD+ (4K) InfinityEdge Touch Display 

 

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Those fans would look sexy on a watercooling radiator ;)

 

But nah really, good review my man.


QUOTE ME IF YOU WANT A REPLY!

 

My rigs:

PC #1: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 @4ghz | MSI Armor GTX 1080 | 16gb Corsair 3000mhz | MSI Gaming K5

PC #2: Intel Xeon X3440 @3.7ghz | Sapphire Tri-X R9 290x | 16gb Corsair Vengeance 1866mhz

Laptop: Intel Core i7 6700HQ | Nvidia GTX 1060 | 16gb Samsung DDR4

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, BigDamn said:

Those fans would look sexy on a watercooling radiator ;)

 

But nah really, good review my man.

Yeah agreed! And thanks haha.

 

This is my i7-8700k system that had a Cryorig H5, now has a H100i Pro with ML 120 RGB fans on the rad.


Noctua NF or Corsair ML? ‖ PSU Tier List

 

NOTE TO NEWCOMERS Remember to 'Reply' to comments in order for people to see them, this can be done by clicking the arrow icon at the bottom of a comment (Quote).

 

My Builds

Blueberry Pi : R7 1700 OC@3.9GHz ‖ Asus X470 ROG Crosshair VII Hero Wi-Fi ATX ‖ Corsair Vengeance LED (Blue) 2x16GB 3000MHz ‖ EVGA GTX 1080Ti SC Black Edition 11GB ‖ EVGA 850W P2 ‖ Cryorig R1 Universal (Blue) ‖ Fractal Design Meshify C TG ATX Mid Tower

 

Server + Streaming PC : i7-8700k OC@5.0GHz (Delid) ‖ Asus Z370-G Gaming Wi-Fi mATX ‖ Corsair Vengeance RGB 2x8GB (Black) ‖ EVGA GTX 1080 SC2 Gaming iCX 8GB ‖ EVGA 750W P2 ‖ Corsair H100i Pro ‖ 4x IronWolf 8TB 7200RPM (Raid 10) ‖ Phanteks Enthoo Pro M TG ATX Mid Tower

 

New Build In Progress: R7 1700 ‖ Asus B450-I ROG STRIX Gaming ITX ‖ G.Skill Ripjaws V 2x8GB 2800MHz (Grey) ‖ Asus RX 580 Dual Series 8GB ‖ Corsair SF 450W ‖ Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB ‖ Silverstone Sugo SG13WB Mini ITX Case

 

Big White : i7-6700k OC@4.8GHz ‖ Asus Z270I ROG Gaming Wi-Fi AC ITX  ‖ Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB 3000MHz (White) ‖ Asus GTX 1060 Dual Series OC 6GB ‖ Corsair RM650i ‖ Thermaltake Frio Silent 12 (White) ‖ Thermaltake Core V1 Snow Edition Mini ITX Cube

 

Mini IPC : Pentium G4600T ‖ MSI B250I Gaming Pro Wi-Fi AC ITX ‖ Corsair Vengeance 1x8GB 2400MHz (Black) ‖ Intel Integrated Graphics ‖ Built-In 150W Inwin PSU ‖ Cryorig C7 ‖ Inwin BQ696 Mini ITX Case W/ PSU Black

 

Laptop: Dell XPS13 (2017) ‖ i7-7550U ‖ 16GB DDR3 1866Mhz RAM ‖ Intel Integrated Graphics ‖ 512GB m.2 SSD ‖ QHD+ (4K) InfinityEdge Touch Display 

 

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