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Thread: Noctua Redux Fans

  1. #1
    Xtreme Reviewer
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Noctua Redux Fans


    Aftermarket fans come in a variety of different configurations with size being the most distinctive.Larger fans tend to perform better because they can move large amounts of air without excess noise.Of course, there is also a physical limitation in how much air can be moved so the challenge is finding a balance between overall performance and noise output.Cooling enthusiasts will be familiar with the name Noctua as being one of the premier companies dedicated to creating high quality cooling gear and takes pride in knowing they are also the quietest. We have reviewed a few Noctua fans in the past and found them to be extremely well crafted but felt a little underpowered when compared to the larger and more powerful counterparts. Therein lies the compromise, you can have a powerful fan that moves a great deal of air or you can find something with a less aggressive cooling profile where noise control is a primary factor.The redux product line reissues some of Noctua's most popular, award-winning models by presenting them in streamlined, accessibly priced packages.

    Quality of Noctua products is unparalleled in terms of cooling systems, and they offer a large variety of their products. Their products fulfill the needs of most of the customers, and five models that I'am about to review confirm that.Let's look over the specs and find out.

    Packaging and Bundle

    The packaging seem fairly serious.The box design for all five models looks exactly the same, minus the information being presented.

    The boxes dont follow the typical Noctua colour scheme that we've seen over the last couple years.

    You do get a brief summary of each fan's capabilities on the back cover.

    Box contents:Only 4 Fan screws.Really spartan.

    A Closer Look

    The new colors is a matter of touch and individual preference.

    Quality of materials is very high, and fins are designed to achieve maximum efficiency and an excellent noise to air flow ratio.

    Of course, PWM model has a native 4-pin connector and can be controlled via motherboard.

    When you first go to the product page for the Redux fans on Noctua's website, you'll be bombarded with a feature list that's probably larger than any fan feature list you've seen in the past. Noctua has an incredible attention to detail when it comes to features and design choices on their fans and although it's hard to say just how much of an impact some of them have without having access to an aerodynamic test lab, they do do a great job of selling you on them. Let's take a closer look at some of the unique design features you'll see on these fans.

    The square 140mm frame of the NF-P14s features standard 140mm mounting holes (124.5mm spacing), which makes it a premium grade replacement for common 140mm case fans and perfect for use on 140mm water cooling radiators, where its square shape will ensure full coverage and best pressure performance.Using a round frame with the same hole-spacing as common 120mm fans and producing more airflow due to its larger diameter, the NF-P14r is a perfect upgrade for 120mm CPU or case fans.

    Many 140x140x25mm axial fans tend to suffer from low static pressure, making them less suitable for use on CPU coolers or watercooling radiators with tight fin spacing. The Redux fan on the other hand features a highly optimised nine blade impeller design that's following in the footsteps of Noctua's successful NF-P12 and has been carefully fine-tuned for both airflow/noise efficiency and outstanding static pressure. As a result, the Redux fan lends itself not only to use as a case fan but also to high-impedance applications like CPU cooling.

    Thanks to the use of Vortex-Control Notches, an advanced design measure first introduced with the NF-P12 fan, the Redux fan is surprisingly quiet despite of its impressive airflow and pressure performance. The two Vortex-Control Notches at the trailing edge of each blade make the flows along the suction and pressure side mix more smoothly, allowing for less turbulence and velocity loss, which leads to increased efficiency as well as a significant reduction in noise emission.

    Vortex-Control Notches not only allow the flows to join less abruptly at the trailing edge, but also serve the purpose of psychoacoustic optimisation by making the fan's acoustic profile more pleasant to the human ear: Due to the Vortex-Control Notches, trailing edge vortices are split up into several smaller vortices, each having slightly different tonal characteristics. The fan's airflow noise is thereby spread over a wider range of frequencies and, as a result, perceived as much less annoying.

    The Vortex-Control Notches' effect of psychoacoustic optimisation is further enhanced by the staggering of the notches. As the Vortex-Control Notches are staggered from blade to blade, each blade creates a different vortex pattern, which also helps to better spread the fan's noise emission over the frequency spectrum and thereby contributes to the fans unobtrusive acoustic profile that easily blends into the background noise.

    Noctua's custom-designed NE-FD1 is a next-generation PWM fan driver IC that integrates Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology for quieter operation and allows for ultra-low power consumption. Its superb linearity and security features such as locked rotor or reverse voltage protection make it an ideal driver IC for premium-class PWM fans.Most conventional PWM fan driver ICs put out square signals that cause sudden torque impulses. These impulses can cause minute deformations of the entire fan structure which lead to audible clicking noises that are especially noticeable with many common PWM fans running at slower speeds. Adopting Noctua's Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology, the custom designed NE-FD1 PWM IC slows down the slew rate of the output signal in order to give a smoother, less sudden torque impulse. This way, PWM switching noises can be effectively suppressed and the fan runs even quieter, especially at low speeds.

    Thanks to an optimised principle of operation, the self-stabilising oil-pressure bearing (SSO bearing) surpasses current types of ball, sleeve or liquid bearings in terms of long-term stability and quietness.The rotary motion of the axis generates pressure upon the special oil enclosed within the bearing. This causes the build-up of a dynamic pressure field that centres and stabilises the axis within the bearing shell. While conventional liquid bearings employ the principle of hydrodynamic pressure too, the SSO bearing is equipped with an additional magnet that supports the self-stabilisation of the rotor axis. This allows for a faster, more precise and more reliable centring of the rotor axis and thus increases the long-term stability and quietness of the bearing: When the fan starts, the dynamic pressure field of the liquid bearing needs to build up first, which results in an initial precession of the axis, the so called gyro effect. This amounts to an increased abrasion until the axis is stabilised through the build-up of the dynamic pressure field, which may by and by lead to increased noise emission and bearing defects. Because of this, the SSO bearing possesses a built in magnet, whose field ensures the immediate self-stabilisation of the rotor and hence reduces the gyro effect. In addition to the stabilisation during the start-up phase of the fan, the supporting magnet allows for a more exact centring of the axis within the bearing shell and thus further reduces bearing resistance, abrasion and noise emission.

    The sleeve and ball bearings currently predominating the fan market exhibit major drawbacks: While conventional sleeve bearings initially have very low noise emissions, they mostly possess unsatisfying long-term stability, which leads to a short overall lifespan and increasing noise after longer operating times. High grade ball bearings, on the other hand, while providing satisfying long-term stability operate at slightly higher noise levels from the beginning. The SSO bearing not only surpasses the quietness of conventional sleeve bearings but also the long-term stability of current top-of-the-line ball bearings.

    Users can choose from Noctua's wide range of optional accessories such as anti-vibration mounts, Low-Noise-Adaptors, y-cables, 3:4 pin adaptors or extension cables to upgrade redux edition fans according to their individual needs.

    Test System and Methology

    Processor: Intel Core i7 3770k@4.6 Ghz -1.2 Volts
    Motherboard:Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H
    Cpu Cooler:Noctua NH-U14S
    Memory: 16GB Mushkin
    Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 6970
    Power Supply: Antec HCG 750W
    Chassis: Cooler Master Silencio 650 Pure
    Boot Drive: Ocz Vector
    Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda


    CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
    CPUID CPU-Z 1.65
    Prime95 v27.1

    These latest Noctua fans will be tested by comparing them with some other fans, as well as to a Noctua NF-P14 fan and a Noctua NF-A15,cooling also a Noctua cpu coolers(NH-U14S). Testing will include a comparison of fans running at 100% fan speeds. All hardware and settings will remain the same throughout each test. Ambient temperatures were 22.2 C during testing.


    Interestingly, the NF-P14r redux-1500 PWM performed the best. The NF-A15 PWM was warmer by 1.8 C, which was still cooler than the Phanteks PH-F14TS at 69.9 C. The NF-P14 FLX was 0.2 C hotter than the Phanteks PH-F14TS.

    So explaining sound is always difficult, but up-to 40 dBA with my testing methodology is considered to be silent. It may not be ground breaking in terms of noise output, but the NF-P14r redux-1500 PWM fan do utilize the very convenient 4-pin PWM header making it silent at low load situations.


    Noctua shows that there is more thought that goes into making a fan than simply taking some blades throwing them onto a powered hub and putting them into a frame. Noctua takes the technology a whole lot further and increases the performance while making the quiet. And not matter the user we all want things quieter if the performance is not sacrificed.The performance plus low-noise technology comes in the form of many. It starts by not rushing things being patience and knowing what the consumer wants. And it ends in the form of Vortex-Control Notches,Custom designed PWM IC with SCD, SSO bearings and a host of other features i can go on mentioning.The Redux fans are ideal solutions for those looking for very good static performer as a cpu cooler mounted fan.

    If you're ready to quiet down your existing 140mm fans, or simply want to add some extra cooling to your cpu cooler without having to worry about adding extra noise too, then the Redux fans are certainly worth checking out.Simply put, Noctua did a splendid job and it's clear that all five are premium products, because they can barely be heard even with an open case and they perform excellent. Each of these models has its purpose, so it's just comes down to what you need them for. Besides that, i highly suggest all five of them.I found the Redux fans at several storefronts selling for 15,90 Euro's.So,these are not cheap solutions but pretty good ones.

    Last edited by testman78; 05-27-2018 at 05:43 AM.

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