Promotional Video: Noctua NF-A12x25 next-generation 120mm fan
A fan that i have been waiting, it was shown on CES a long time ago (if in not mistaken like 3 years ago), what really caught my interest was that I never really liked the sonic signature of the NF-F12 (i prefer the old NF-P12), even performance wise in my own testing i found the Scythe Gentle Typhoons (now discontinued) superior both in cooling and noise, but this new fan that has been delayed for years, its now hitting retail, Noctua NF-A12x25 in multiple versions (PWM/FLX/ULN), but worth mentioning it has a lot of similarities to the Gentle Typhoons, not completely the same but close enough for me to call it a GT Clone, i leave you a picture on the bottom for you to judge.
Scythe Gentle Typhoons have been one of the favorite fans among overclockers specially among the watercooling community, the only downside imo of the GT is it uses real ball bearings (some dont like the sound it produces others like me dont mind it) and there was no PWM design for the lower RPM version, last iterations there were some PCBs that had pwm but you had to soldier them, until they were discontinued by scythe, and the OEM Nidec Servo now sells them with their brand, although i havent seen all version that Scythe used to comercialized, but there are now PWM, to what i know seems like nindec does custom for for aftermarket stores like the Darkside 3pin and Darkside PWM (dont take my word).
Even SPCR liked it on one of their reviews, Fan Roundup #6: Scythe, Noiseblocker, Antec, Nexus, Thermalright
Now comes a Noctua rival to the mighty Gentle Typhoons, no ball bearing but SSO-Bearing and in my experience noctua is the best manufacturer when it comes to PWM design, having almost all fans being able to stop and having very low PWM starting points, usually around 200rpms, although beside the Industrial line, this is the first noctua Brown/Tan reaching a max of 2000rpms, according to spec the min is 450rpm at 20% PWM, but would be interesting to see, as most noctuas i have tested on the past can reach 12-15% PWM.The GT 800 RPM model is extremely quiet, yet provides the best cooling result of all the fans in this roundup at 12 dBA@1m. No other fan provides 24°C temperature rise at this low SPL.
The GT 1450 RPM model is also very quiet for its cooling performance. The 19°C temperature rise at the 20 dBA SPL (at full speed) is comparable to what the big Thermalright 17cm can achieve at the same noise level. No other 120mm fan in this roundup does as well.
One big downside though, pricing is on the high side, Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM premium-quality quiet 120mm fan $29.99
Sadly for me the era of the 120mm has passed, most of my builds are either 140mm case fans or 140 on 120 frame for CPU coolers, but to me the appeal of this fan would be, as has been for years with the GT, for Radiators, CPU tower coolers or GPU aftermarket and probably highly restricted case opening like filters/doors, hope in time, noctua decides to release them in other colors.
I ordered one, will try to share my impressions (not a real review), the PWM range of operation under Asus FanXpert3 and if it can be stopped.