Noctua NH-A14 FLX and NH-A14 ULN review

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About a month ago the company Noctua released 3 new models to be part of the recently announced NH-A series.

The new models are Noctua NH-A14 FLX, Noctua NH-A14 ULN and Noctua NH-A15 PWM. For this article I have the pleasure to have some fun with the first models with dimensions 140 x 25mm.

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The fans arrived with a pretty standard for the company huge carton boxes, of course painted in the standard white/black/brown colour scheme. Both of the packages offers front flap covereing a  see through cut, through which you can see the shape of the propeller and part of the frame. On the inner side of the flap there is tons of information related with the technologies used to create this product. And believe me, the list is very long.

Noctua NH-A14 FLX

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Noctua NH-A14 ULN

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Of course, there is a second flap on the back side of the main package which is holding the full technical details related with the products.

Noctua NH-A14 FLX

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Noctua NH-A14 ULN

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Now let’s check the fans one by one:

Noctua NH-A14 FLX

After I took the fan out of the box, again I saw the covering transparent plastic bed holding the fan and all of the accessories supplied with it.

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Now let’s check the fan itself:

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The model offers the new design, which we saw for first time at Noctua NF-F12 PWM made of plastic square frame with size 140 x 25mm painted entirely in pink colour and using  AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation) technology for reducing the noise level. Of course at this model we can see the included removable rubber dumpers painted in brown. According to Noctua the new model offers the option to be installed on 140mm fan slots on every modern case or at CPU coolers.

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Apart from the square frame we can see a propeller with 7 blades with not very sharp angle and with the new patented and used in A series technology called  Flow Acceleration Channels. Basicly almost at the edge of every blade there are 3 channels focusing the air so it goes to the center behind the fan. And again the propeller is painted in brown.

The connection between the frame and the propeller is done via  SSO2 bearing used in all of the latest Noctua models.

The fan is powered and regulated by a 3-pin cable and connector placed inside black sleeving and the model is working at  1200 (+/- 10%) revolutions per minute with maximum airflow level of  115,5 m³/h and static pressure 1,51 mm H2O at only  19,2 dB(A).

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The standard packge for this product offers:

  1. Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.) with black sleeving kit
  2. Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.) with black sleeving kit
  3. 30cm Extension Cable with black sleeving kit
  4. 3:4-Pin power adapter with black sleeving kit
  5. 4 rubber dumpers
  6. 4 metal screws
  7. Installation manual

Now let’s see what the slower version has to offer.

Noctua NH-A14 ULN

The model arrived inside absolutely the same semi transparent plastic bed holding it together with all of the additional accessories. After I took out the fan out of the package I noticed absolutely the same structure.

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And seen from the back:

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And seen from the side:

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Visually the model looks absolutely the same, offering the same features such as same frame, same propeller again with 7 blades and technologies. It looks the same but according to Noctua performs in totally different way with maximum airflow level of  79.8 m³/h at 800 (+/- 10%) revolutions per minute with static pressure of 0.69 mm H2O at only  11.9 dB(A).

Again the fan is powered and regulated by a 3-pin sleved in black cable and connector.

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The standard package for this product offers absolutely the same accessories which are:

  1. Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.) with black sleeving kit
  2. Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.) with black sleeving kit
  3. 30cm Extension Cable with black sleeving kit
  4. 3:4-Pin power adapter with black sleeving kit
  5. 4 rubber dumpers
  6. 4 metal screws
  7. Installation manual

Now let’s do some testing:

The tests for the 2 samples will be conducted in my standard way. I will mount both test samples together and test them at 5V/7V/9V/12V and my goal will be to check the authenticity of the technical characteristics given by the manufacturer. The products will be tested under close-to-perfect conditions, not taking into account any external factors. The results achieved during the test can in no way be the same if the fans are mounted on a cooler or on the case fan hole of any modern computer case. I will measure the amount of air going through the fans for one hour and its speed. For this I use a fan controller, a voltage meter, an anemometer and a stand made specifically for this purpose.

And this is how both fans look installed on my test stand:

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The test results are shown in the following charts:

Airflow through the fans at 5V, 7V, 9V, 12V.

Noctua NF-A14 FLX and NF-A14 ULN Airflow

Propellers rpm during the tests at 5V, 7V, 9V, 12V.

Noctua NF-A14 FLX and NF-A14 ULN RPM

The anemometer showed the following air speed passing through the fans:

Noctua NF-A14 FLX and NF-A14 ULN Speed

After mounting the fans onto the stand and leaving them to run for about 30 minutes at maximum speed, it was time for the tests to begin.

As with my other tests, again I started with a gradual increase of the voltage through the Lamptron FCT starting at 0V and both of the fans made one full revolution at 7.5V. So to do the first test I had to decrease the voltage to 5V.

 

Test at 5V:

At the first test Noctua NH-A14 FLX reached maximum airflow level of 43 .2 cubic metres per hour at only 570 revolutions per minute. The fan was absolutely silent.

At same voltage Noctua NH-A14 ULN reached maximum airflow level of 23.04 cubic metres per hour at only 375 revolutions per minute. Of course the fan was absolutely silent.

Test at 7V:

At 7V Noctua NH-A14 FLX was rotating with 795 revolutions per minute and airflow level of 60.96 cubic metres per hour. The fan was absolutely silent.

Noctua NH-A14 ULN increased the airflow level to 35.52 cubic metres, rotating at only 540 revolutions per minute. The model was totally silent.

Test at 9V.

The third test conducted at 9V made Noctua NH-A14 FLX work at 1005 revolution with airflow level of 77.76 cubic metres per hour. There was no noise at all.

The second model was working at only 645 revolution, absolutely silent with airflow level of 48.96 cubic metres per hour.

Test at 12V.

The last test at 12V made Noctua NH-A14 FLX work with it’s maximum performance with airflow level of 100.8 cubic metres per hour at only 1275 revolutions per minute, while Noctua NH-A14 ULN was much slower with only 825 revolutions per minute and airflow level of 64.8 cubic metres per hour. At 12V there was a tiny noise coming from the air passing through the propeller, while there was no noise at all comming from the second model.

Conclusions:

  1. Performance: Even though both of the fans look identical, offering the same features such as shape of the propeller and count of the blades,  SSO2 bearing and frame structure, they perform in totally different ways. The first model is made to provide Airflow while cooling a CPU cooler or supporting the airflow inside a case, while the second model is made to provide Silence and supporting the airflow inside every modern case.
  2. Noise level: Both of the fans were completely silent to 9V, but Noctua NH-A14 FLX started to produce noise coming from the air passing through the propeller at 12V. Noctua NH-A14 ULN was completely silent even at 12V.
  3. Apperance:  All I can say very is: beautiful fans with the typical Noctua colour pattern offering great features and visual appearance.

I think Noctua NH-A14 FLX deserves the following reward:

Best-Perf-Silence1

And Noctua NH-A14 ULN deserves:

Best-Visual-silence

Noctua NH-A14 FLX and Noctua NH-A14 ULN have been added to the 140mm catalogue.

Official price (MSRP):

Noctua NH-A14 FLX – unknown

Warranty: 6 years

Noctua NH-A14 ULN – unknown

Warranty: 6 years

I thank Noctua for the samples.

 

Dobrin Krastev is the owner, reviewer and newsman of www.DVTests.com with more than 15 years' experience in personal computers, server and storage systems, UPS, peripheral devices and software. Passionate about testing and reviewing, AMD overclocking using AM3 990FXA and AMD FM2 A85X test systems and building modding projects.
3 Comments
  1. rumbeza 16.12.2012 at 21:17

    Similar air flow to NF-P14, but according to the design I assume that NF-A14 is more silent than its predecessor.

    Reply
  2. Dk_vr 15.12.2012 at 17:28

    To test and check the real decibels I need specially equiped and sound proof room with very precise equipment. Something that unfortunatelly I don’t have :(

    Reply
  3. geri 15.12.2012 at 16:51

    and the actual decibels ?

    Reply

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