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Date: May 25th, 2007
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Noctua
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PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES



At the risk of being boring, I've listed the specs for all three fans below.


Size 120x120x25 mm
Bearing SSO-Bearing
Blade Geometry Straight-Blade-Design
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1200 RPM
Rotation Speed with U.L.N.A (+/- 10%) 600 RPM
Airflow 81 m3/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A. 41 m3/h
Acoustical Noise 17 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. < 6* dB(A)
Input Power 1,44 W
Input Current 0,12 A
Voltage Range 4-13 V
MTBF > 150.000 h
Scope of Delivery Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A)
4 Vibration Compensators
3:4 -Pin Adaptor
4 Fan Screws


Warranty 6 Years


Size 120x120x25 mm
Bearing SSO-Bearing
Blade Geometry Straight-Blade-Design
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 800 RPM
Rotation Speed with U.L.N.A (+/- 10%) 500 RPM
Airflow 59 m3/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A. 34 m3/h
Acoustical Noise 8 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. < 5* dB(A)
Input Power 0,60 W
Input Current 0,05 A
Voltage Range 6-13 V
MTBF > 150.000 h
Scope of Delivery Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A)
4 Vibration Compensators
3:4-Pin Adaptor
4 Fan Screws

Warranty 6 Years


Size 80x80x25 mm
Bearing SSO-Bearing
Blade Geometry Raised-Blade-Design
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1800 RPM
Rotation Speed with L.N.A (+/- 10%) 1300 RPM
Rotation Speed with U.L.N.A (+/- 10%) 800 RPM
Airflow 53 m3/h
Airflow with L.N.A. 39 m3/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A. 26 m3/h
Acoustical Noise 17 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 10 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. 7* dB(A)
Input Power 1,32 W
Input Current 0,11 A
Voltage Range 4-13 V
MTBF > 150.000 h
Scope of Delivery Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A)
4 Vibration Compensators
3:4-Pin Adaptor
4 Fan Screws

Warranty 6 Years


Some of the specs are common among the three fans Noctua has sent us, but there are enough differences to warrant a complete listing. The two 120mm fans differ only in their speed. As we'll see later, the fans come with an Ultra-Low-Noise adaptor that cuts the fan speed in half, using a resistor in the power lead. A couple of different mounting solutions are included as well as a 3- to 4-pin power adaptor. Other fans on the market can be had with similar accessories, but I'm unaware of any that carry a six-year warranty! The specs are impressive and promise some good performance with silent to near-silent operation. Let's go over the technology Noctua uses to achieve this.



SSO Principle of Operation


According to Noctua, “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.”


Did you get all that? Well, suffice it to say that these Noctua fans possess some technology you're unlikely to see in other fans on the market today. Noctua goes on to say that…


“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. ”


If I may summarize, in comparison with conventional sleeve or ball bearing fans, these Noctua units will not only run quieter when new, they will last much longer and remain quiet throughout their considerable life expectancy.

 

 


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