Noctua NF-F12 Reviewed – Part II

Test Setup

The first round of testing was undertaken on an open Cooler Master CM-Storm Stryker case. The Corsair AX-850 power supply would occasionally spin it’s fan on low RPM during the Prime 95 runs and when it did, the rpm were so low, that the unit was virtually silent.

We made some subjective notes about the noise levels. As mentioned in Part I, we don’t have a decibel reader other than an iPhone app that was pretty inconsistent so you will have to settle for a rating from ‘silent’ through ‘audible’ and ‘noticeable’, then ‘loud’.

Test Bench

The H100 test bench is the polar opposite of the heatsink testbench, using brand new gear right through.

The full system spec s below: 

  • Intel i7-3770K @ Stock Settings
  • Intel i7-3770K OC @ 4.3GHz@1.22v
  • Intel i7-3770K OC @ 4.7GHZ@1.29v
  • 16GB DDR3 1600 Corsair RAM
  • 240GB SanDISK Extreme SSD
  • ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Motherboard
  • Corsair AX-850W PSU
  • Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce3 graphics card
  • ASUS Xonar DX sound card
  • Cooler Master STORM STRYKER case with side panel removed

H100 Unit is a sealed water cooling solution with a 240mm radiator. The pump is integrated into the CPU water block with 3 settings (high/medium/low) that can be changed via a switch on the top of the water block. The pair of 120mm fans provided with the H100 can be connected via 3pin headers built into the water block itself which is then connected to a Molex power connector.



Test Subjects

We tested the standard Corsair 120mm fans and the Noctua NF-F12 fans under the following configurations:

The NF-F12 PWM 

  • 12volts / Full speed via molex connector and 3pin adapter
  • Low Noise Adapter (L.N.A) @ ~1200rpm
  • PWM mode controlled by the default ASUS Fan Xpert software

Note that the PWM mode on the ASUS board defaulted to : 

  • 15% fan up to 40 degrees
  • then ramp up to 60% fan at 60 degrees
  • then up to 100% fan at 75 degrees
  • H100 pump on high


Corsair 120mm Fans controlled via the pump unit 

  • Low Speed
  • Medium Speed
  • High Speed


We tested both fans in a “push” scenario where the fans would draw air unobstructed and then push it through the H100 radiator. This seems to be the recommended configuration from the manufacturers with the caviat that individual case setups, air pressure etc will alter results..

We also tested both fans in a “pull” scenario where are was drawn through the radiator by the fans and then pushed unobstructed away from the cooler.  


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