Noctua NF-P14 FLX Review

For high-end PC’s and users who want to overclock their systems, cooling always played an important factor in the system’s stability. Of course, there has to be a balance between the cooling efficiency and the noise levels produced. Today we will be taking a look at the Noctua NF-P14 FLX, a 140mm high-quality chassis fan.

 

 

Noctua was founded in 2005 and their headquarters are located in Austria. They specialize in silent PC cooling products.

Let’s take a quick look at the Noctua NF-P14 FLX main specifications:

   * Size – 140x140x25 mm
   * Bearing – SSO-Bearing
   * Blade Geometry – NF-P14 Blade Design with VCN
   * Rotational Speed – 1200 RPM (+/- 10%)
   * Rotational Speed with L.N.A. – 900 RPM (+/- 10%)
   * Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. – 750 RPM (+/- 10%)
   * Airflow – 110.3 m3/h
   * Airflow with L.N.A. – 83.7 m3/h
   * Airflow with U.L.N.A. – 71.2 m3/h
   * Acoustical Noise – 19.6 dBA
   * Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. – 13.2 dBA
   * Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. – 10.1 dBA
   * Static Pressure – 1.29 mm H20
   * Static Pressure with L.N.A. – 0.77 mm H20
   * Static Pressure with U.L.N.A. – 0.53 mm H20
   * Input Power – 1.2 W
   * Input Current – 0.1 A
   * Voltage Range – 12 V
   * MTBF – >150,000 h
   * Warranty – 6 years


Features

   * 140mm Impeller with Vortex Control Notches
     Thanks to its psycho-acoustically optimised nine blade impeller with staggered Vortex-Control Notches, the NF-P14 combines superb quietness with exceptional airflow and static pressure.
   * Metal Reinforcements
     Both the impeller hub and the bearing shell of the NF-P14 are metal reinforced in order to achieve ultimate manufacturing precision, high durability and vibration-free running.
   * Round frame with 120mm mounting holes
  
   Using a round frame with the same hole-spacing as common 120mm fans and producing more airflow due to its larger diameter, the NF-P14 is a perfect upgrade for 120mm CPU or case fans. Thanks to the supplied adaptors, the NF-P14 also fits common 140mm mounting holes.
   * 3 speed settings for full flexibility
 
    Providing 1200, 900 and 750 rpm speed settings via the supplied Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise Adapters, the NF-P14 FLX (Flexibility) can be fine-tuned for superior airflow or maximum quietness.
   * Smooth Commutation Drive 2
    The latest version of Noctua’s advanced SCD drive system ensures superb running smoothness by eliminating torque variations and switching noises.
   * SSO-Bearing
 
    Noctua’s time-tested SSO-Bearing technology has become synonymous with supremely quiet operation and exceptional long-term stability.

 

A Closer Look – The Package

The Noctua NF-P14 FLX comes in a white box. In the front of the package we find the Noctua fan with a clear plastic semi-window, with the fan’s main features illustrated at the right side.

Here is the back of the box with all the unique features of NF-P14 FLX listed.

The back side of the box opens up, revealing a more detailed feature report with diagrams and schematics.

The included hardware allows mounting in 12cm holes, 14cm holes, with noise dampening silicone inserts or threading fan screws. Also, by using the L.N.A. and U.L.N.A. cable adapters you can control the  fan’s RPM and eventually the noise it produces.

 

A Closer Look – The Fan

In the center we see the Noctua’s logo. The fan cable is covered by a nice sleeve and is long enough even for the biggest full tower cases, so there will be no problems installing the fan. Furthermore, the model follows the same colour combinations as all Noctua products. The fan design, between the blades and the bearing is phenomenal, there is no comparison with the standard sleeve bearing fans.These are fans manufactured to the highest quality, and the design is well thought out.Color is nice in our opinion, classy and different.

The weird but functional blade design allows the Noctua fan to deliver maximum airflow while spreading the noise, a feature that makes the fan ultra quiet.

 

Test Setup and Procedures

The machine on which we tested the fan is:

Processor: Intel Core i7 920
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C12P
Motherboard: Asus P6X85D Premium
RAM: Mushkin Redline 6GB-998691
VGA: Gigabyte GTX480 1536MB
HDD: Velocity Raptor 150GB
PSU: Nexus 1000W
Case: Thermaltake Armor VA8003BWS
Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit

We tested the NF-P14 FLX against two fans of the same category:
 Be Quiet silent wings 140mm
– Scythe Slip stream 1200 rpm 140mm

The tests we took included the following:

   * Motherboard Temperature in Idle Mode, fan installed on chassis
   * Motherboard Temperature in System Load Mode, fan installed on chassis
   * CPU Temperature in Idle Mode, fan on CPU heatsink
   * CPU Temperature in System Load Mode, fan on CPU heatsink
   * Noise Levels

 

Testing Results – Motherboard Temperatures

In our motherboard tests, the Noctua NF-p14 FLX was a clear winner, achieving the lowest temperatures in both Idle and Load system conditions.

 

Test Results – CPU Temperatures and Noise Levels


The Noctua NF-P14 FLX also proved to be the best among the 3 contesters, considering CPU temperature when installed on a CPU heatsink. In idle mode there was a 3 degree celsius diffrence from Be quiet silent wings and 2 from Scythe’s slip stream. In system load, Noctua’s fan achieved a 2 degree difference from the Scythe and 3 from Be quiet.

But apart from the impressive performance, what about noise? We were excited to see that the Noctua NF-P14 FLX performs well, while keeping the noise levels low. There is a 3Db drop from Scythe slip stream 1200rpm but Be Quiet’s Silent Wngs is a clear winner with only 16 db. Practically the fan was pretty silent for the extra cooling performance it provides, as we didn’t notice any noticeable noise coming out of the chassis during its operation.

Overall, the results were pretty impressive. The Noctua NF-p14 FLX delivers great air pressure performance and the noise levels are also kept very low.

 

Verdict

The fan has a good RPM/CFM/dBA balance. This is probably the best 140mm case fan you can get, there is not much else to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with this.  If you don’t have a fan controller, low noise and ultra low noise adapters are essential to use.
The rubber grommets are also recommended to use with all cases.

The Noctua NF-P14 FLX is sold across Europe for 22 euros, which is a little bit expesive for a 140mm fan, but based on the results you get what you pay for, as the fan is totally worth its money, combined withe the fact that you get an impressive 6-year warranty.

Pros

(+) Solid Design
(+) Excellent air flow
(+) Exceptional 6 years warranty

Cons

(-) Price (but you get what you pay for)

 


Thus, we give the Noctua Noctua NF-P14 FLX a rating of 
9.5/10 and our Editor’s Choice Award.

 

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