< BackMay 25, 2022
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Noctua NF-S12B Redux Review

Introduction

Noctua's Redux series of fans combines their excellent performance in build quality with an excellent price. In this review, we'll find out how the NF-S12B fits into this category, and how it performs compared to their usual and fairly more expensive regular lineup.

 

 

Positive

  • Performance
  • Price
  • 40cm PWM
  • Noise

Neutral

  • No Anti-Vibration Rubber

Negative

  • No Daisychain

 

What's in the Box?

noctua-nf-s12b-box

 

Unlike Noctua's regular lineup of fans, their Redux line focuses primarily on getting the price down while trying to uphold the same level of performance.
One of the ways Noctua manages to achieve this goal is by removing any unnecessary additions and extras that keep the price high.

Therefore, the content of a Noctua NF-S12B Redux Fan will solely contain the Fan itself and a 4-Pack of Fan screws.

 

noctua-nf-s12b-installed

 

However, the Package itself does still come in the usual Noctua fashion using the usual Noctua design, including the spec sheet we summarized down below:

Name Noctua NF-S12B Redux
Size 120x120x25mm
Speed 1200RPM
Airflow 58CFM
Static Pressure 1.31mm/H20
Connection PWM
Bearing SSO

Installation

noctua-nf-s12b-installed2

 

As 99.9% of fans out there, the Noctua NF-S12B Redux needs to be installed using the 4 included screws. Put it into position, screw it down, done.

 

noctua-nf-s12b-ow

 

Unlike most Noctua Fans, however, the PWM connection will not be provided using a 1cm extension on the Fan end and a 30cm extension.
On the NF-S12B, there is a 40cm long PWM cable directly connected to the fan, a method that we surely prefer.

Appearance

noctua-nf-s12b-design1

 

Compared to any other Noctua Fan, the Redux lines clearly follow a completely different design guideline.

 

The Frame of the Fan is painted in a lighter grey color while the Fan Wing part comes in a darker tone.
But that's not all. Due to the cost measuring methods, Noctua had to apply to keep the price low, they obtained from adjusting the littlest aspects of the fan which would potentially increase performance. Stepped Inlet Design, Inner Surface Structures just to name a few.

 

noctua-nf-s12b-design2

 

These little do heavily impact how the fan ended up looking.

Instead of the usual Noctua Product where you see tons of little mini gimmicks like indentations and weird-shaped pieces of plastic, the best word to describe the S12B is: Simple. A simple fan, in Grey, doing what a fan should be doing.

Benchmark

We tested the Noctua NF-S12B in our usual testbench.

 

noctua-nf-s12b-benchmnark2

 

While letting the Fans spin at 100% of their max 1200RPM speed, they managed to keep the 3700x at 56°C.

Surprising as this is, Noctua's "Budget" lineup of cases managed to outperform the regular NF-S12A's at their max speed. We do attribute this to the -generally- higher stats. As unlogical as all of this sounds.

 

noctua-nf-s12b-benchmark2

 

On a Noise-to-Performance front, the NF-S12B's slightly started to lose track with their non-budget-oriented counterparts. while they managed to keep up at higher speeds, the little adjustments that were not done to keep the price low started to win over, allowing the S12A's to gain traction and outperform the S12B's in the end.

That being said we do want to point out how ridiculously silent both of these fan sets are.

Conclusion

noctua-nf-s12b-design2

 

Unline our expectations, we do absolutely not believe Noctua's Redux NF-S12B's to be the inferior fans compared to regular NF-S12A's. Although the more expensive alternative wins the battle of noise-to-performance, it was surprising to witness that a "budget version" outperformed the pricer alternative at full blast.

That being said, it is undoubtedly true that the little adjustments that Noctua generally makes to make their regular lineup stand out and outperform the competition is a great thing. Having these things missing in their budget line is definitely noticeable, however, so is the price.

 

noctua-nf-s12b-design4

 

At around a 5€ cheaper price tag, we can quickly math-out that for the price of 3x regular S12's we can get 4x S12B's. And considering the minimalistic differences in noise-to-performance, we do believe this to be a perfectly acceptable tradeoff.

Therefore, in our opinion, if you are looking for a great Case fan that doesn't break the bank, we can definitely recommend Noctua's NF-S12B.

strumace
Introduction
What's in the Box?
Installation
Appearance
Benchmark
Conclusion
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