Noctua NF-S12A FLX 120mm Cooling Fan Review

If you’ve ever built your own system you know that you need good fans and one such company that makes them is Noctua as if you’re an enthusiast you know this. If you’re looking for quiet and reliable fans that are on the cutting edge of cooling technology, then you go with Noctua plain and simple. Today for review I have one of the latest fans from Noctua, the NF-S12A FLX, the FLX means Flex or flexible meaning that you can control the fan speed and it gives you three choices 1200rpm, 900rpm or 700rpm depending on what your uses are for the fan. These make a great choice for either CPU air cooling, liquid cooling or even just case cooling. Read on to learn more…


Product Name: Noctua NF-S12A FLX 120mm Fan

Author: Kristofer Brozio


Noctua NF-S12A FLX 120mm Cooling Fan Review


Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info


Noctua NF-S12A FLX 120mm Fan

The NF-S12A marks the third generation of Noctua’s signature S12 series quiet case fans, which have received more than 250 awards and recommendations from the international press. Featuring a further refined blade design with Anti-Stall Knobs that works in tandem with the new AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimization) frame, the NF-S12A improves the airflow/noise efficiency of its renowned predecessor by up to 8%. The FLX version provides 1200/900/700rpm speed settings via the supplied Low-Noise Adaptors in order to give you full flexibility in fine-tuning the fan for maximum ventilation performance or near-silent operation. Its superb running smoothness, SSO2 bearing and Noctua’s trusted premium quality make it an elite choice for quiet case cooling.

Award-winning S12 design
The NF-S12A features the third evolution of Noctua’s classic Straight Blade Design that has earned its S12 series countless recommendations from hardware journalists and enthusiasts around the world. Further optimized for even better airflow/noise efficiency, it makes the NF-S12A an ideal quiet case fan.

Anti-Stall Knobs
The NF-S12A’s Anti-Stall Knobs reduce flow separation phenomena in medium to high impedance situations and thereby increase the fan’s stall margin. This means that the NF-S12A is even more versatile than its renowned predecessor and can achieve better performance on heatsinks and radiators.

AAO Frame
Noctua’s AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimization) frames feature integrated anti-vibration pads as well as Noctua’s proprietary Stepped Inlet Design and Inner Surface Microstructures, both of which further refine the fan’s performance/noise efficiency.

Stepped Inlet Design
Noctua’s Stepped Inlet Design adds turbulence to the influx in order to facilitate the transition from laminar flow to turbulent flow, which reduces tonal intake noise, improves flow attachment and increases suction capacity, especially in space restricted environments.

Inner Surface Microstructures
With the tips of the fan blades ploughing through the boundary layer created by the Inner Surface Microstructures, flow separation from the suction side of the blades is significantly suppressed, which results in reduced blade passing noise and improved airflow and pressure efficiency.

Integrated Anti-Vibration Pads
Integrated Anti-Vibration Pads made from extra-soft silicone minimize the transmission of minute vibrations while maintaining full compatibility with all standard screws and other mounting systems.

Smooth Commutation Drive 2
The latest version of Noctua’s advanced Smooth Commutation Drive system ensures superb running smoothness by eliminating torque variations and switching noises. This makes the NF-S12A remarkably quiet even at very close distance.

3 speed settings for full flexibility
Providing 1200, 900 and 700 rpm speed settings via the supplied Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise Adapters, the NF-S12A FLX (Flexibility) can be fine-tuned for superior airflow or maximum quietness.

Extensive Cabling Options
The fan’s short 20cm primary cable minimizes cable clutter in typical applications while the supplied 30cm extension provides extended reach when necessary. Both cables are fully sleeved.

SSO2 Bearing
The NF-S12A features the further optimized second generation of Noctua’s renowned, time-tested SSO bearing. With SSO2, the rear magnet is placed closer to the axis to provide even better stabilization, precision and durability.

Metal bearing shell
In order to guarantee the highest possible degree of manufacturing precision, minimum tolerance and excellent long-term stability, the NF-S12A sports a CNC milled bearing shell made entirely from brass.

6 years manufacturer’s warranty
Noctua fans are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the NF-S12A features an MTBF rating of more than 150.000 hours and comes with a full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty.


Size: 120x120x25 mm
Connector: 3-pin
Bearing: SSO2
Blade Geometry: S-Series with Anti-Stall Knobs
Frame Technology: AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimization)
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%): 1200 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%): 900 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%): 700 RPM
Airflow: 107,5 m³/h
Airflow with L.N.A.: 83,2 m³/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A.: 65,8 m³/h
Acoustical Noise: 17,8 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.: 10,7 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A.: 7,4 dB(A)
Static Pressure: 1,19 mm H2O
Static Pressure with L.N.A.: 0,73 mm H2O
Static Pressure with U.L.N.A.: 0,51 mm H2O
Max. Input Power: 1,44 W
Max. Input Current: 0,12 A
Voltage: 12 V
MTBF: > 150.000 h

Scope of Delivery:
-Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
-Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
-3:4-Pin Adaptor
-30cm Extension Cable
-4 Vibration-Compensators
-4 Fan Screws

Warranty: 6 years

Price: $22.49 (from Amazon at time of review)