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NZXT Aer 120mm vs Noctua NF-A12x25

Hello. 

First of all, sorry if my english is bad! 

 

I have recently build a new computer, spec is:

Case: NZXT H710 (non i version). 

Motherboard: ASUS B500 -F Gaming WiFi

CPU: Ryzen 3700X (due to shortage of 5600X and 5800X)

CPU Cooler: NZXT X73 top mounted in the case, and the fans is on the top of the rad as exhaust. 

Memory: 16GB (2x8) HyperX 3200MHz CL18 (planning to upgrade to 32GB (2x16GB) 3200mhz or 3600mhz CL18,17,16,). 

GPU: MSI GeForce 970 4GB Gaming (from my old computer, due to shortage of gpu's). 

PSU: Corsair AX 760 (from my old computer). 

 

So to my question:

  • Radiator fans: 3x120mm NZXT AER 120mm PWM fans. These are pretty noisy and I hear them good from about 1150/ 1200rpm and more, and that is kind of frustrating. 
    I thinking about to change these 3 fans to start with, and I thinking about to change to Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM fans. Will this be a good choice? Or should I go for Noctua NF-P12 PWM instead?
    The fans is going to be placed on the top of the rad as exhaust, I think. I don't want to place the rad in the front of the case..  

I also consider to change the 3 120mm case versions in the front, also with Noctua, but I am not sure if I am going to change those 3 fans with 2 140mm fans, or 3 120mm. 
Also here I thinking about Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM or Noctua NF-A14 PWM or NF-P12 PWM. But this change may be later, as the noise from the case fans is not to bad. 

  • Front case fans is original: 3 of NZXT AER 120 case version (non pwm I think, they are 3.pin so I have set DC in BIOS) in front. Don't think this is to noisy. (yet)
  • Back case is original: 1 of NZXT AER 140 case version (non pwm, I think, they are 3.pin so I have set DC in BIOS) in the back. Don't think this is to noisy. (yet)

I'm happy if anyone will help me to a decision about which Noctua fans I should buy. 

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19 hours ago, LazyTurtle1990 said:

Hello. 

First of all, sorry if my english is bad! 

 

I have recently build a new computer, spec is:

Case: NZXT H710 (non i version). 

Motherboard: ASUS B500 -F Gaming WiFi

CPU: Ryzen 3700X (due to shortage of 5600X and 5800X)

CPU Cooler: NZXT X73 top mounted in the case, and the fans is on the top of the rad as exhaust. 

Memory: 16GB (2x8) HyperX 3200MHz CL18 (planning to upgrade to 32GB (2x16GB) 3200mhz or 3600mhz CL18,17,16,). 

GPU: MSI GeForce 970 4GB Gaming (from my old computer, due to shortage of gpu's). 

PSU: Corsair AX 760 (from my old computer). 

 

So to my question:

  • Radiator fans: 3x120mm NZXT AER 120mm PWM fans. These are pretty noisy and I hear them good from about 1150/ 1200rpm and more, and that is kind of frustrating. 
    I thinking about to change these 3 fans to start with, and I thinking about to change to Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM fans. Will this be a good choice? Or should I go for Noctua NF-P12 PWM instead?
    The fans is going to be placed on the top of the rad as exhaust, I think. I don't want to place the rad in the front of the case..  

I also consider to change the 3 120mm case versions in the front, also with Noctua, but I am not sure if I am going to change those 3 fans with 2 140mm fans, or 3 120mm. 
Also here I thinking about Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM or Noctua NF-A14 PWM or NF-P12 PWM. But this change may be later, as the noise from the case fans is not to bad. 

  • Front case fans is original: 3 of NZXT AER 120 case version (non pwm I think, they are 3.pin so I have set DC in BIOS) in front. Don't think this is to noisy. (yet)
  • Back case is original: 1 of NZXT AER 140 case version (non pwm, I think, they are 3.pin so I have set DC in BIOS) in the back. Don't think this is to noisy. (yet)

I'm happy if anyone will help me to a decision about which Noctua fans I should buy. 

I actually find the 3 pin NZXT fans to be slightly quieter than the 4 pin retail versions. I do like all of them though. They do get loud, but the sound is pleasant and they move a lot of air. The 4 pin retail version, I can detect a slight tick on the 140mm version (hydro-dynamic bearing). I don’t detect that in the 3 pin version (rifle bearing). 
 

The NF A12x25 are great fans. I do think you will like them and they will certainly be quieter. Another good option are the Be Quiet Silent Wings 3. Everything in the Be Quiet line is quieter and more pleasant to listen to than NZXT, even the Pure Wings. Noctua or Be Quiet, both excellent choices. 
 

A little background, I have all of the fans were are discussing and have tested all of them thoroughly. 

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4 hours ago, 1982 Original said:

I actually find the 3 pin NZXT fans to be slightly quieter than the 4 pin retail versions. I do like all of them though. They do get loud, but the sound is pleasant and they move a lot of air. The 4 pin retail version, I can detect a slight tick on the 140mm version (hydro-dynamic bearing). I don’t detect that in the 3 pin version (rifle bearing). 
 

The NF A12x25 are great fans. I do think you will like them and they will certainly be quieter. Another good option are the Be Quiet Silent Wings 3. Everything in the Be Quiet line is quieter and more pleasant to listen to than NZXT, even the Pure Wings. Noctua or Be Quiet, both excellent choices. 
 

A little background, I have all of the fans were are discussing and have tested all of them thoroughly. 

Thank you. 

It's only BeQuiet PureWings 120mm the shop where I am buying from, but they have Silent wings 3 140mm, but noen of those is in stock. 

 

I also thinking about Noctua NF-F12 (1500RPM) as intake fan/ exhaust fan, but I am not sure whether or not if these are better or worse than NF-A12x25 (2000RPM).

 

My setup in my PC case, is 3 intake fans in the front, with dust filter in front, and the radiator fans are in pull positon I think, as exhaust. If you see the PC case from the top, its first fan, and then the radiator. I see what Noctua is writing on their site: "For best results in all types of application, Noctua recommends the NF-A12x25. Alternatively, the NF-F12 is a pressure-optimised fan that excels on heatsinks and radiators" but I can't decide which one I should buy. But looking at these picture, it seems like the NF-A 12x15 is more quiet.

 

I have 4 fans of Fractal Design Dynamic GP-12 120 laying around, that I also can use, but they are not PWM, they are 3.pin DC, and I don't think they are such good as Noctua fans?? 

Noctua.png

Edited by LazyTurtle1990
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3 minutes ago, LazyTurtle1990 said:

Thank you. 

It's only BeQuiet PureWings 120mm the shop where I am buying from, but they have Silent wings 3 140mm, but noen of those is in stock. 

 

I also thinking about Noctua NF-F12 (1500RPM) as intake fan/ exhaust fan, but I am not sure whether or not if these are better or worse than NF-A12x25 (2000RPM).

 

My setup in my PC case, is 3 intake fans in the front, with dust filter in front, and the radiator fans are in pull positon I think, as exhaust. If you see the PC case from the top, its first fan, and then the radiator. I see what Noctua is writing on their site: "For best results in all types of application, Noctua recommends the NF-A12x25. Alternatively, the NF-F12 is a pressure-optimised fan that excels on heatsinks and radiators" but I can't decide which one I should buy. 

 

I have 4 fans of Fractal Design Dynamic GP-12 120 laying around, that I also can use, but they are not PWM, they are 3.pin DC, and I don't think they are such good as Noctua fans?? 

The Noctua NF-A12x25 are subjectively the best fan Noctua makes. 

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2 minutes ago, 1982 Original said:

The Noctua NF-A12x25 are subjectively the best fan Noctua makes. 

I see, so it will be a good choise either way to go for NF A-12x25? 
In the back of the case it is 140mm now as exhaust, but I can change this with a 120mm. What would you reccomend here? NF-A12x25 or NF-A 14? (I am not sure if I am going to change all the fans at once, or just the 3 rad.fans first). 

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9 minutes ago, LazyTurtle1990 said:

I see, so it will be a good choise either way to go for NF A-12x25? 
In the back of the case it is 140mm now as exhaust, but I can change this with a 120mm. What would you reccomend here? NF-A12x25 or NF-A 14? (I am not sure if I am going to change all the fans at once, or just the 3 rad.fans first). 

I usually find the rear case fan to be in the most forgiving location. Because of the location and direction of the fan, I usually don’t notice the noise from that fan as much. It’s also unrestricted, so I don’t think you would notice a difference as much. They would all be good choices.  There is also the NF-S12A. That is a high airflow fan made for unrestricted locations. Also has a very quiet rating.  That might be my pick. Unfortunately, Noctuas 140mm line-up doesn’t offer a lot. I wish they made a 140mm variant of all of their 120mm models, but they don’t. 

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The NF-A12x25 beat the NZXT fans hard - for a price. Very good alternative: Arctic P12. 3 cost about as much as one Noctua NF-A12x25

 

If you can fit 140 fansand if there are no restrictions like radiators or awfully designed vents in the way, go 140. The Arctic P14 are superb.

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1 minute ago, bowrilla said:

The NF-A12x25 beat the NZXT fans hard - for a price. Very good alternative: Arctic P12. 3 cost about as much as one Noctua NF-A12x25

 

If you can fit 140 fansand if there are no restrictions like radiators or awfully designed vents in the way, go 140. The Arctic P14 are superb.

Thank you, I will take a look at that, but it does'nt seems like they are easy to get in Norway. Noctua is verry high in price, it's around 35-36 USD, for one NF-A12x25. I have found some webshop's in Norway that sell Artic fans, but they seems a little bit shady 😛 

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1 minute ago, LazyTurtle1990 said:

Thank you, I will take a look at that, but it does'nt seems like they are easy to get in Norway. Noctua is verry high in price, it's around 35-36 USD, for one NF-A12x25. I have found some webshop's in Norway that sell Artic fans, but they seems a little bit shady 😛 

Pay with PayPal and don't bother if they are shady or not. And you could always import from the EU or buy on ebay shops. One P12 is like 10-12 bucks.

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p12 pwm pst 5-pack is usually about 30€ with all taxes.

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17 hours ago, LazyTurtle1990 said:

Thank you, I will take a look at that, but it does'nt seems like they are easy to get in Norway. Noctua is verry high in price, it's around 35-36 USD, for one NF-A12x25. I have found some webshop's in Norway that sell Artic fans, but they seems a little bit shady 😛 

Can you find Be Quiet fans in Norway?  They are also subjectively better than NZXT Aer fans and are usually cheaper than Noctua.  Many people do recommend the Arctic because they are affordable.  A middle ground is the Be Quiet Pure Wings (if they are available).  Here in the US they are less than half the price of the premium Noctua, but are a good deal better than Arctic fans.

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6 minutes ago, 1982 Original said:

Can you find Be Quiet fans in Norway?  They are also subjectively better than NZXT Aer fans and are usually cheaper than Noctua.  Many people do recommend the Arctic because they are affordable.  A middle ground is the Be Quiet Pure Wings (if they are available).  Here in the US they are less than half the price of the premium Noctua, but are a good deal better than Arctic fans.

No, the Arctic P series is not just recommended because they are affordable but also because they are just pretty good: quiet, good RPM range, good static pressure, good airflow. It's true, that they are not the best fans available (just go straight to Noctua then). The difference between the P12 and the Pure Wings 2 however makes the P12 a no-brainer. P12 has an RPM range of 200-1800RPM, max 95.7m³/h airflow and a max pressure of 2.2mm H2O while the Pure Wings 2 High Speed has a max RPM of 2000RPM with 2.23mm H2o and 111.3m³/h. P12 is said to have 0.3 Sone which is ~30dB max, while the Pure Wings 2 has a max of 36.9dB (that's ~4x as loud). Warranty is 10 years vs 3 years in favor of the P12 and the Pure Wings 2 has a sleeve bearing while the P12 has a hydrodynamic bearing. Absolute no brainer in favor of the Arctic fans. The Silen Wings 3 have a hydrodynamic bearing and the P12's performance sits in between the regular Silent Wings 3 (1450RPM max, 80.47m³/h, 1.79mm H2O, 16.4dB) and the high speed version (2200RPM max, 124.58m³/h, 3.37mm H2O, 28.6dB) while costing only half to even just a third.

 

Whether the difference is worth the premium depends on the buyer and the application but in all seriousness, my recommendation would be: if you are willing to pay 20-30 bucks per fan, get the Noctua fans.

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1 hour ago, bowrilla said:

No, the Arctic P series is not just recommended because they are affordable but also because they are just pretty good: quiet, good RPM range, good static pressure, good airflow. It's true, that they are not the best fans available (just go straight to Noctua then). The difference between the P12 and the Pure Wings 2 however makes the P12 a no-brainer. P12 has an RPM range of 200-1800RPM, max 95.7m³/h airflow and a max pressure of 2.2mm H2O while the Pure Wings 2 High Speed has a max RPM of 2000RPM with 2.23mm H2o and 111.3m³/h. P12 is said to have 0.3 Sone which is ~30dB max, while the Pure Wings 2 has a max of 36.9dB (that's ~4x as loud). Warranty is 10 years vs 3 years in favor of the P12 and the Pure Wings 2 has a sleeve bearing while the P12 has a hydrodynamic bearing. Absolute no brainer in favor of the Arctic fans. The Silen Wings 3 have a hydrodynamic bearing and the P12's performance sits in between the regular Silent Wings 3 (1450RPM max, 80.47m³/h, 1.79mm H2O, 16.4dB) and the high speed version (2200RPM max, 124.58m³/h, 3.37mm H2O, 28.6dB) while costing only half to even just a third.

 

Whether the difference is worth the premium depends on the buyer and the application but in all seriousness, my recommendation would be: if you are willing to pay 20-30 bucks per fan, get the Noctua fans.

Judging fans purely on specs misses a few key aspects, like build quality and quality of the noise they make.  I own, used, tested, every fan being discussed here.  Subjectively (my opinion) Arctic are good for the price.  Noctua Redux and Be Quiet Pure Wings are around $13-ish per fan, both are "subjectively" better than Arctic... the sound they make is more pleasant and the quality control is better.  $13 a fan is also a long way from $25 or $30 a fan.  My recommendation is:

 

Less than $10 per fan: Arctic if you buy a 5 pack

$10 to $15 per fan: Pure Wings or Redux

$20+ per fan: Silent Wings or Noctua Brown

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2 minutes ago, 1982 Original said:

I own, used, tested, every fan being discussed here.

Same. I have all of them (and more) here, used them, tested them. Let's agree to disagree then.

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Just now, bowrilla said:

Same. I have all of them (and more) here, used them, tested them. Let's agree to disagree then.

Fan choice is subjective, especially when it comes to noise.  I have 13 Arctic fans, two 5 packs of the P12 PWM PST and 3 P12 Silent 3 pin.  In a closed case, I didn't notice the hub growl very much, but in an open air case, it was too pronounced for me.  Several of the P12 PWM PST also have developed noticeable ticks in the hub at any speed.  I feel Arctic makes very good fans for the price and they review very well on a decibel meter.  Someone without an overly sensitive ear would find them very good.  The ones I like the best are the P12 Silent; for a fan that you would run at max rpm 24/7, they don't come much quieter than that.

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1 minute ago, 1982 Original said:

Fan choice is subjective, especially when it comes to noise.  I have 13 Arctic fans, two 5 packs of the P12 PWM PST and 3 P12 Silent 3 pin.  In a closed case, I didn't notice the hub growl very much, but in an open air case, it was too pronounced for me.  Several of the P12 PWM PST also have developed noticeable ticks in the hub at any speed.  I feel Arctic makes very good fans for the price and they review very well on a decibel meter.  Someone without an overly sensitive ear would find them very good.  The ones I like the best are the P12 Silent; for a fan that you would run at max rpm 24/7, they don't come much quieter than that.

I run 4 P14 on my radiators and my system sits at 15-17dB on idle in a case that's half open with huge gaps and no dampening. My breathing is way louder when measuring it and even during stress testing the loop doesn't exceed 20dB. During the day, street noise through closed windows is louder. I can't complain about any weird hub noises.

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15 minutes ago, bowrilla said:

I run 4 P14 on my radiators and my system sits at 15-17dB on idle in a case that's half open with huge gaps and no dampening. My breathing is way louder when measuring it and even during stress testing the loop doesn't exceed 20dB. During the day, street noise through closed windows is louder. I can't complain about any weird hub noises.

Your P14, are they the 4 pin PWM PST or the 3 pin? I don't have any Arctic 140mm unfortunately.

 

I also saw that Arctic is now making a 15mm thick version.  Machines and More has a great video on them that he just put out today.  He also goes into some detail on the hub noise better than I could explain if you weren't familiar with the issue.  I'm going to see if I can get some to test, they look interesting.  I will link the video below.

Machines and More

 

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1 minute ago, 1982 Original said:

Your P14, are they the 4 pin PWM PST or the 3 pin? 

 

I also saw that Arctic is now making a 15mm thick version.  Machines and More has a great video on them that he just put out today.  He also goes into some detail on the hub noise better than I could explain if you weren't familiar with the issue.  I'm going to see if I can get some to test, they look interesting.  I will link the video below.

Machines and More

 

PWM PST CO version. Yep, saw the 15mm as well, interesting for small builds.

I agree that the Silent Wings 3 (regular and High Speed both 19€+) are objectively a bit better than the P12 and P14, the Pure Wings though have a sleeve bearing. That's enough to disqualify them in my book. NF-A12x25 PWM 12V is ~28€+, NF-F12 PWM is ~18€+.

 

But we're getting OT here imho. Let's agree to disagree. 

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hmm, I have actually did some comparison, most reviewers gives you graphs and will only test on physical noise. anyway it's up to you to believe these test I've done. 

I don't believe in graphs. I only believe in sight. sense and hearing.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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5 hours ago, Kleo Yan said:

hmm, I have actually did some comparison, most reviewers gives you graphs and will only test on physical noise. anyway it's up to you to believe these test I've done. 

I don't believe in graphs. I only believe in sight. sense and hearing.

 

  Hide contents

 

 

Thanks for sharing. I spent some time going through your videos. I do like the way you chose to do your testing and I do appreciate the work of another Fan addict. “Airflow, Noise, Amperage” covers the basics. I also consider quality (lifespan, defects), and tone or type of noise (completely subjective). I have fans that are technically quiet, but have a tick in the hub that I find bothersome or the fan “whirr” is at a pitch that I find unpleasant. Try a Cooler MasterFan Pro, has a 3 speed toggle on the back, I don’t believe a more unpleasant sounding fan exists anywhere. I have a 3 pack that have probably 30 minutes on them as that’s as long as I could handle it. 
 

Thanks again for sharing. 

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1 minute ago, 1982 Original said:

Thanks for sharing. I spent some time going through your videos. I do like the way you chose to do your testing and I do appreciate the work of another Fan addict. “Airflow, Noise, Amperage” covers the basics. I also consider quality (lifespan, defects), and tone or type of noise (completely subjective). I have fans that are technically quiet, but have a tick in the hub that I find bothersome or the fan “whirr” is at a pitch that I find unpleasant. Try a Cooler MasterFan Pro, has a 3 speed toggle on the back, I don’t believe a more unpleasant sounding fan exists anywhere. I have a 3 pack that have probably 30 minutes on them as that’s as long as I could handle it. 
 

Thanks again for sharing. 

You are most welcome. ok dokie. in fact not all fans I have tried. will give Cooler MasterFan Pro a try. Its a very interesting fan. Thank you for the recommendation.Well these days alot chooses aRGBs over performance fans and you are right, the pitch whirr does happened on all fans, it greatly depends on the RPM it runs. Else for myself, I never like to use aRGB nor RGB fans. 1st dawn unnecessary current, not alot but still I find it no point and these power drawn can be distributed evenly to PC component instead. 2nd they generate heat which most are not aware of, again not much but 1 to 2 degrees. 3rd cable clutter, though I do custom crimping on my fans but still lots of cable mess. 4th aRGB burn out after a few months usage, well changing off argb or rgb fans is not a big deal but still additional cost. maybe is just me, expensive does not mean they are that good. This is off topic but I have done several test on cheap equipment but does it's job like this for example below (Cheap case) 

Spoiler

 

and as for argb and rgb that generate heat.. this was the practical findings. but I doubt anyone will buy it. watch at timing 14:42 of the video below

Spoiler

 

nevertheless, still thank you for the recommendation. will test them out if I can get hold of those cooler master fans. 

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17 minutes ago, Kleo Yan said:

You are most welcome. ok dokie. in fact not all fans I have tried. will give Cooler MasterFan Pro a try. Its a very interesting fan. Thank you for the recommendation.Well these days alot chooses aRGBs over performance fans and you are right, the pitch whirr does happened on all fans, it greatly depends on the RPM it runs. Else for myself, I never like to use aRGB nor RGB fans. 1st dawn unnecessary current, not alot but still I find it no point and these power drawn can be distributed evenly to PC component instead. 2nd they generate heat which most are not aware of, again not much but 1 to 2 degrees. 3rd cable clutter, though I do custom crimping on my fans but still lots of cable mess. 4th aRGB burn out after a few months usage, well changing off argb or rgb fans is not a big deal but still additional cost. maybe is just me, expensive does not mean they are that good. This is off topic but I have done several test on cheap equipment but does it's job like this for example below (Cheap case) 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

and as for argb and rgb that generate heat.. this was the practical findings. but I doubt anyone will buy it. watch at timing 14:42 of the video below

  Reveal hidden contents

 

nevertheless, still thank you for the recommendation. will test them out if I can get hold of those cooler master fans. 

Don’t try the Cooler MasterFan. It’s the most UNpleasant fan I’ve ever heard. It’s terrible. Buying them is like burning money, only burning money doesn’t sound as bad. 

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2 hours ago, 1982 Original said:

Don’t try the Cooler MasterFan. It’s the most UNpleasant fan I’ve ever heard. It’s terrible. Buying them is like burning money, only burning money doesn’t sound as bad. 

oh ok.. i thought you asked me to try lo.. no worries. thanks for the heads up. 

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On 2/11/2021 at 5:01 PM, 1982 Original said:

Judging fans purely on specs misses a few key aspects, like build quality and quality of the noise they make.  I own, used, tested, every fan being discussed here.  Subjectively (my opinion) Arctic are good for the price.  Noctua Redux and Be Quiet Pure Wings are around $13-ish per fan, both are "subjectively" better than Arctic... the sound they make is more pleasant and the quality control is better.  $13 a fan is also a long way from $25 or $30 a fan.  My recommendation is:

 

Less than $10 per fan: Arctic if you buy a 5 pack

$10 to $15 per fan: Pure Wings or Redux

$20+ per fan: Silent Wings or Noctua Brown

I have bought 3 NF-A12x25 fans and use them as my TOP-Exhaust fans over the radiator, in 1450RPM, and it seems to work fine, and I really don't hear them, as long as I don't really listen after it, and it's totally quiet in the room. I thinking about buying a Artic 5.pack and change my 3 front intake fans (H710 stock case fans), and maybe the rear case fan. It's to pricy now to change the 4 other fans with Noctua NF-A 12x25. 

 

Temp is about 83C max on the CPU Package after 30.min with Aida 64 Extreme System Stability Test. CPU reporting max temp around 72C, so I don't think that is to bad. I also did the test with all the fans on max rpm, and it only was 1-2C difference. 

 

The setup now is: 3.intake fans is going on 1250.rpm (1350 is max), exhaust top is going on 1450.rpm (2050 is max), and the exhaust in the rear is going on 850.rpm (1000.rpm is max). I think RPM is better than fan curve, but I don't really know. I using ASUS AI Suite 3 with Fan Xpert 4 to controlling the fans. Any tip is welcome. 

 

In idle the cpu package is around 40-44C. But sometimes it jumps to 50, in a second or two before it goes down. 

 

CPU is ryzen 3700x and cooler is NZXT X73. 

On 2/11/2021 at 2:43 PM, 1982 Original said:

Can you find Be Quiet fans in Norway?  They are also subjectively better than NZXT Aer fans and are usually cheaper than Noctua.  Many people do recommend the Arctic because they are affordable.  A middle ground is the Be Quiet Pure Wings (if they are available).  Here in the US they are less than half the price of the premium Noctua, but are a good deal better than Arctic fans.

I can find some Be Quiet fans, but they are out of stock everywhere. 

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