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Noctua NF-A12X25 chromax review: a great upgrade for your AIO Liquid cooler?

Recently I switched to Noctua NF-A14 Chromax fans for my setup after getting to test these out (review here). As much as I like these fans, I know in the back of my head a new version of these fans is coming up. The 120mm fans already got a successor in the form of the NF-A12X25, so let’s take a look at these in the meantime!

Specifications of the NF-A12X25 Chromax

The fan from different angles

Size: 120x120x25 mm

Mounting hole spacing: 105×105 mm

Connector & pin-configuration: 4-pin PWM

Cable length: 1cm + 30cm NA-EC1 extension cable

Bearing: SSO2

Blade geometry: A-Series with Flow Acceleration Channels

Frame technology: AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation)

Material: Sterrox® LCP

Rotational speed (+/- 10%): 2000 RPM

Min. rotational speed @ 20% PWM (+/-20%): 450 RPM

Airflow: 102,1 m³/h

Acoustical noise: 22,6 dB(A)

Static pressure: 2,34 mm H₂O

Max. input power: 1,68 W

Max. input current: 0,14 A

Operating voltage: 12 V

Voltage PWM signal: 5 V

MTTF: > 150.000 h

Scope of delivery

  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 chromax.white anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 chromax.yellow anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 grey anti-vibration pads
  • NA-AVG1 anti-vibration gasket for water cooling radiators
  • Fan screws


6 years

Unpacking the NF-A12X25 Chromax

The packaging is consistent with the rest of the products in the Chromax line-up I have seen so far. The fan sits neatly in a plastic shell inside the box with one of each included colored anti-vibration pads. In contrast to the NF-A14 thought, additional grey anti-vibration pads come pre-installed. Underneath is a little box which contains 4 screws and the rest of the colored anti vibration pads. The fan cable is detachable, this can come in handy if using a fan splitter for example like the NA-SYC1. Another included accessory is an anti vibration gasket made of silicon. Using this ensures a tighter seal when placing the fans on a radiator.

A closer look at the fan

Metal-reinforced motor hub

The first thing that catches the eye is the big motor hub in the center of the fan. It’s not just for show though. The hubs centerpiece is made from steel with a brass reinforced axle mount. This prevents the fans from wobbling around, something I already noticed being almost absent in the NF-A14 when comparing this to the P14 from Arctic which wobbled around a lot in my setup.

The NF-A12X25 center and blades up close

The NF-A12X25 is on Sterrox

Looking closely at the fan blades you can see they aren’t made of the usual solid black PBT or other plastic kind of material. Noctua used its own customized fiber-glass reinforced Liquid Crystal Polymer or LCP. The Austrian based company calls this tech Sterrox. You can check out the link to read about all the technical ins and outs. Using the Sterrox technology allowed Noctua to make a gap of just 0,5mm between the blades and the frame.

The included Anti-vibration gasket helps give the fan a tight seal to ensure optimized pressure.
Pictured above is the included anti-vibration gasket

Perfect for liquid cooling

anti-vibration gasket

Mounting is as easy as every other fan. The included anti-vibration gasket ensures the fans sit tight on the radiator and prevent air leakage. I have tried these kinds of afterparty rubber frames before but always ended up trashing them because they wouldn’t fit nicely. These actually do; Noctua already has the cutouts for their anti vibration pads, and the anti-vibration gasket makes good use of these.

Replacing my stock AIO fans with the NF-A12X25

I mounted the fans on the radiator of my Deepcool Castle 360EX RGB cooler. The Castle is a very capable liquid cooler with a beautiful infinity mirror design on the pump and some good looking rgb fans. The included fans do their job at cooling very well, but they make quite noise doing so and the build quality is not that amazing. The Noctua fans on the other hand feel very sturdy and hefty. The switch was done fast and simple and I used the Deepcool fan-splitter that came with the AIO to hook them up in sync with each other.



My 5900X is being used with PBO enabled and resides in a Phanteks P600S case. I currently use 3 Noctua NF-A14 Chromax fans as intake and one as outtake at the rear. My radiator is mounted on the top of my case. For thermal paste I used Noctua’s NT-H2.

Cooling is excellent as expected; going full out the results are absolutely great with the cpu hitting 67,3 °C max. This is with an ambient temperature of 22,5 °C.

Going to 65% fan speed the max temperature reached 68°C, which is still very good.

NF-A12X25 performs great while still keeping noise to a minimum.
Running the NF-A12X25 At full speed the max CPU temp was 67,3°C

When adjusting the fans to a noise normalized setting at 35 dB it is clear the Noctua beats the stock fans Deepcool provides with the AIO. With a higher total package power the Noctua cooler performs better while giving no humming sounds (like the Deepcool fans do).

Noctua on the left, Deepcool on the right

Sound produced by the NF-A12X25

Let’s continue with the noise a bit here. Like I said before Deepcool included some capable fans, but they do make a lot of sound when spinning these boys up. The NF-A12X25 are something else for sure! The cooling itself was, as expected very good, but the real threat here is the silence at which these fans can do their job! I can easily run these fans at 75% which translates to +/- 1525 rpm while still barely hearing them spin at my desk. Opening up the case I could hear them do their job but this was still very respectable hearing these babies go at high speed! Running the fans to their absolute max the sound I measured on my desk was just 28dB on average and 25,6 at my ear height that is just amazing. I never would consider running fans at max speed before, but this is next level stuff.


Noctua prices are usually higher than that of its competitors. Other companies have stepped up their game in recent years and Noctua isn’t the only one making great fans anymore. The NF-A14 fans and their smaller version have gotten tough competition from brands like Arctic which offer insane value for money with their NP12 fans. The NF-A12X25 however shakes up the market once again. The cooling is outstanding, but even more is the sound, or rather the lack of it these fans put out while cooling at high speeds. Normally I avoid 120mm fans and 360 rads like the plague because of the sound, not an issue anymore with these.

The construction and build quality are also really top notch, so you really get what you pay for with these fans.

Are these worth the asking price of around €32,-? In my opinion they are, considering these come with a solid 6 years warranty and can provide years of outstanding cooling while keeping things quiet. The included silicon gasket is a nice bonus. If you are going for a high-end build components these fans can be a great investment. Personally I can’t wait for the 140mm fans to come out the gates of Noctua so I can replace my NF-A14 fans!

As for RGB, well still a big no here! But there are other ways around that. I bought a Deepcool RGB 200 PRO kit which I could connect to the hub included with my Castle 360. But there are many other options out there ofcourse. I chose this set because it can work in sync with the AIO without needing any software.

Noctua NH-D15 Chromax review – Big Black Cooler


Not having used an air cooler for a few years now, I always remained curious about the performance of the Noctua air coolers. I used to have the famous Cooler master Evo 212 which did pretty good on my 4790K. After recently taking a look at their Chromax fans, I got a chance to review a Noctua cooler. Not just any cooler, but the NH-D15 Chromax Black Swap. This is the beefiest cooler Noctua has in its line-up at the moment. Not only did they send me this big boy, they also included their NT-H2 thermal paste and two boxes of Heatsink covers, which helps you match the cooler in style with the rest of your build.

The NH-D15 Chromax, NT-h2 Cooling paste and the heatsink covers




Cooler Specification Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black

Socket compatibility

Intel LGA1700 (included since Q4 2021, older coolers require NM-i17xx-MP83), LGA1200, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150, LGA2066, LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3 (Square ILM) & AMD AM4, AM5

Height (without fan): 160 mm

Width (without fan): 150 mm

Depth (without fan): 135 mm

Weight (without fan): 980 g

Height (with fan): 165 mm

Width (with fan): 150 mm

Depth (with fan): 161 mm

Weight (with fan): 1320 g

Material: Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating

NSPR: 183

Max. TDP: see NSPR

Fan compatibility: 140x150x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 140x140x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 120x120x25

Scope of delivery

  • Black NH-D15 heatsink
  • 2x NF-A15 HS-PWM premium fan
  • 2x Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • 4-pin PWM Y-cable
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • Black SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge

Warranty: 6 Years

FAN Specification

Model: 2x Noctua NF-A15 HS-PWM

Bearing: SSO2

Max. rotational speed (+/- 10%): 1500 RPM

Max. rotational speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%): 1200 RPM

Min. rotational speed @ 20% PWM (+/-20%): 300 RPM

Max. airflow: 140,2 m³/h

Max. airflow with L.N.A.: 115,5 m³/h

Max. acoustical noise: 24,6 dB(A)

Max. acoustical noise with L.N.A.: 19,2 dB(A)

Voltage range: 12 V

MTTF: > 150.000 h

Measurements & Clearance of Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black Swap


Unboxing the Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black

Opening up the large black box reveals a nicely organised set of separate packages. There is of course a large box which houses the cooler itself. One of the two included fans comes pre-mounted whereas another is packaged separately. Lastly there is a box containing all of the included accessories. Noctua delivers a very complete package here for both Intel and AMD systems. Not only do you get all the relevant parts to mount the cooler to modern AMD and Intel sockets, you als get extra’s like a case badge, low noise adapters, and a syringe of the high quality NT-H1 thermal paste.

Taking a closer look

The NH-D15 Chromax makes a solid impression. Everything feels sturdy, no flimsy feeling fins and everything is made in a solid black color. They didn’t forget the heatpipes either which I can appreciate. It’s this attention to detail that makes Noctua set itself apart from other brands. The one thing not being painted black is the nickel plated copper baseplate. The baseplate looks very smooth and almost like a matte mirror. Nice!

I see a cooler and I want to paint it black…
The Noctua NH-D15 Chromax looks very sexy
Its one big piece of black solid beauty, except for the smooth baseplate that is!

Installing the Noctua NH-D15 Chromax on a X570 board

The right tools

Noctua included all the tools I needed for my AMD system. If you happen to buy a new cpu in the future Noctua will almost certainly be able to provide you with any needed mounting system. Just contact them and they will be happy to send out the right bracket for you. This is a great service and gives the consumer the reasurrence they make a good investment with this cooler.

Cooling Paste

Noctua included a syringe of their well knows NT-H1 thermal paste. I did however used the newer NT-H2 paste which Noctua included in the package they send to me. This is an improved version which should keep temperatures even better in check while using it on high end processors. I wiped off almost all of the thermal paste on my cpu. Using the NA-SCW1 alcohol wipes Noctua provides with their thermal paste I was able to get every last bit of residue off my cpu. The Cooling paste itself was easy to apply.

Difficulty of installation

Installing the cooler was quite easy. The hardest part was keeping the backplate from the AMD motherboard in place. In the past I had horrible experiences with installing air coolers. I couldn’t reach the screws, the fan mounting system was terrible or I cut myself on sharp fins. Installing this cooler went pretty fast. It only needed two screws to mount down on the baseplate. There was a large screwdriver included in the package which came in handy here. The fans could be easily clipped in place and I used the included Y-splitter to mount the two fans to my CPU-header.

The Noctua NF-A14 Chromax is not hard to install just remember it is quite big!
Installing the NF-A14 Chromax wasn’t that hard

Heatsink Cover

The heatsink cover was pretty easy to add to the cooler. You just choose the colored strip you want put and put at the back of the unit that clips on the cooler. Then it’s just a matter of putting the metal cover on top. Everything sits secure and well thanks to the build in magnets.


In all honesty I didn’t think an air cooler could come anything near my Arctic Liquid Freezer II , which is considered as one of the best AIO’s at the moment. Well I was very pleasantly surprised. I didn’t get the same temperatures, But I got much closer than I expected. I set all the fans in my system at which gave me very good results without being too noisy. With these settings I wasn’t bothered by the sound of my system standing under my desk.

Temperatures and results

When running Cinebench R23 the maximum temperature of my CPU got to 72°C. When doing a Timespy run the results weren’t too far off from my run with the 280mm mounted on top. After removing one of the top exhaust fans, I got even better results. The difference was only 4°C compared to the AIO. Do note that an AIO comes with the potential risk of leakage!

Final Looks

Well looks are personal and beauty isn’t everything they say. But Personally I think this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing builds I have made so far! But don’t take my word for it, take a look for yourself at the picture below. I have added the Noctua NF-A14 Chromax Black Swap fans from my other review to make the build complete.

I did eventually remove one of the top fans and moved it to the back to get even better results

Conclusion of the Noctua NH-D15 Chromax

The Noctua Chromax NH-D15 is a true beast. Not only does it look like one, it also cools like one. Keeping the temperature of my 5900x in tests like Timespy just 4°C lower than one of the best selling 280mm AIO coolers is very respectable. The cooler, despite being big is quite easy to assemble thanks to the well made manual and choices made in the design.

The cooler comes with well packed and with everything you need to install it on your favorite processor. The included NT-H1 cooling paste is one of the best on the market. If you want even better results you can buy the new NT-H2 paste.

The price is higher then some of its competitors but buying this cooler is an investment which will be sure to cool not only your current CPU but also the ones in your future builds. This is thanks to Noctua’s commitment to its customers, providing mounting plates for future sockets when needed.

I can highly recommend this cooler and to anyone looking for a high quality, maintenance free cooling solution.

Noctua NF-A14 Chromax: Still the best in 2022?

Having had my computer filled up with Arctic’s P14 fans for a while it was time for a change. I contacted Noctua If they could send me over a fan for review. My plan was to compare this fan with my current ones and see if I would upgrade to an all Noctua setup. The good folks at Noctua didn’t sent me just one fan though, they provided me with 6 of their highly populair NF-A14 PWM Chromax Black Swap fans!

The Noctua Brand

Noctua, founded in 2005 has build up a high reputation among pc enthousiasts. The company was named after Noctua Athena closely associated with the Greek goddess Athena, which represents wisdom and knowledge. The brand has become synonymous with words like silence, cooling quality and service. If someone asks on a forum which case fan or air cooler to buy, you can bet Noctua is one of the first names to pop up. Whenever a new processor comes to the market, you can be sure Noctua has the right mounting kit available. Best of all, they are known to often send these as free upgrades to their loyal customers.

Chromax edition of the NF-A14

The NF-A14 is one of the best selling fans from Noctua. It is very suitable as a radiator fan for liquid cooling systems but also does very well as a casefan.

Traditionally Noctua’s fans have always had a brow/beige color. As most cases have a black or whice chassis Noctua’s fans tend to stick out. While some people don’t mind showing off their Noctua love this way, not everyone is a fan (hah!).

So after years of people asking and pleading Noctua decided to bring out the Chromax line-up. These are for the most part the fans people love but with a black frame and various colored sound-dampening rubbers. This makes the fans a lot more versatile for people who want to show of their build.

The Chromax line-up consists of different fan series and sizes. This review covers the 140 mm NF-A14.



The NF-A14 Chromax fan comes in a bigger then expected box. On the outside the name and specs can be found. On the front the Chromax logo is present on a white background. On the sides Noctua shows off their classic brown color-scheme.

Opening the box of the NF-A14 PWM Chromax fan

When opening the box you are immediately greeted by the fan itself. The fan sits firmly in a plastic shell. On the right you see one of each included anti-vibration pads. Available options here are; white, yellow, blue, green, red and black. So it should be easy enough to match these fans with any build. Pulling the shell out of the box reveals a white box with the rest of the anti-vibration pads. The fan comes with a detachable 30 cm long 4-pin sleeved cable. Unfortunately there are no extra low noise and splitter cables included like with the standard NF-A14 fans.

First impressions

Upon first look the NF-A14 fans look like, well; fans. But looking closer there are small details like the Flow acceleration channels on the blades to help reduce noise and improve airflow. Also visible are the so-called Inner Surface Micro structures which complement the above mentioned technology. The Fans are well made, and fortunately do not have that ugly ketchup and mustard cables on them. The extension cable comes nicely sleeved and has a wrapper with its purpose on it in Noctua colors. The included anti-vibration pads are vibrant and made of a soft flexible rubber which is easy to attach to the fans. They stay in place thanks to the two pins that are pushed in the housing. It is clear Noctua takes their fans seriously. Noctua also sells extra anti-vibration pads if you ever lose one of your favorite colors or want to add some flair to your existing Noctua fan.

Specifications of the NF-A14 Chromax Black Swap

The specifications taken from the official Noctua website:


140x140x25 mm

Mounting hole spacing

124,5×124,5 mm

Connector & pin-configuration

4-pin PWM

Cable length

1cm + 30cm NA-EC1 extension cable



Blade geometry

A-Series with Flow Acceleration Channels

Frame technology

AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation)

Rotational speed (+/- 10%)

1500 RPM

Min. rotational speed @ 20% PWM (+/-20%)

300 RPM


140,2 m³/h

Acoustical noise

24,6 dB(A)

Static pressure

2,08 mm H₂O

Max. input power

1,56 W

Max. input current

0,13 A

Operating voltage

12 V


> 150.000 h

Scope of delivery

  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 chromax.white anti-vibration pads
  • 4x NA-AVP1 chromax.yellow anti-vibration pads
  • 4x fan screws


6 years


How I tested

I have tested the Noctua NF-A14 in a 6 fan setup. This means I had 3 fans as intake, 1 outtake and 2 on my top-mounted radiator. Ive tested the fans on full speed, 50% speed and at a 30 decibel level. Measurements were done with HWinfo64 and Cinebench R20. Pictures of the temperatures measured can be found here I have tested with a 5900x processor cooled by an Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280. The case used is the Phanteks P600s with the solid top and front panels removed, using the mesh covers.

Cooling performance and Sound

100 percent

At full speed the CPU reached a maximum of 66°C with a minimum of 34.4°C while running Cinebench R20. The average was 48.8°C. Sound measured in front of the case was 56,3 dB which according to the app I used for this equals a quiet office. I have definitely experienced far louder fans but I still would not recommend full speed for daily use.

50 percent

When setting the fans to 50% of their maximum capacity sound became much more pleasing to the ears while stay keeping things cool. The CPU reached a maximum of 66.4°C which is just 0.4°C higher then before! the minimum was 35.0°C and the average noted 51.5°C on the the CPU. Sound dropped significantly in front of the case with an average of 33.6dB in and a max of 37.4. This equals the sound of someone whispering.

NF-A14 Chromax at 30dB

At a 30db setting the cpu reached a maximum of 66.6°C (They say the Devil is in the details, right?) and a minimum of 35,9. very close to the 50% settings.

Compared to Arctic P14

When compared to the Arctic P14 the Noctua’s fall 1°C behind in my measurements on average. You could argue the Arctic is a better choice because these are quite a bit cheaper then the Noctua fans. But there are still some differences that favor the Noctua fans. The Noctua fans feel of higher quality build. The blades and frame feel more secure. I also noticed that the Noctua fans spin absolutely straight. The Arctic fans all wobble around while operating. This makes me think Noctua spend more time and effort in making a high end product that will last long. The biggest win for me is the sound though. While both fans can achieve real low sound levels while still keeping things cool, the Noctua wins for me. This might seem a bit strange as according to measurements made the Arctic produces less sound at the same speed setting. Well there is one thing that causes this for me; The Arctic fans all have a very irritating humming noise. I have to find specific settings for each fan not to produce this humming sound. For me this is a big win for Noctua and a personal argument for me to choose these over the Arctic fans.


Noctua delivers with the NF-A14 Chromax line-up what people have been asking for. The build and performance of the classic brown models in a more versatile color scheme. Performance and sound levels are both excellent. The idea of making a black fan with different colored sound dampeners is brilliant. This makes for a fan that can sit well in almost any build. The level of details like the micro-structures on the fans and the flow channels are very nice. The competition hasn’t been sitting doing nothing though. Fans like the Arctic P14 are available for a lot less then the Noctua’s and can be a great alternative for those on a budget. On max speed the Arctics are a lot quieter then the Noctua’s. But these fans come with their own downsides like a humming sound especially noticeable at the speeds you will probably use the fans in real life. All in All The NFA-14 Chromax is a high quality which is highly versatile as a case fan and radiator fan. I’m curious to see what products Noctua comes up with in the near future. Next year they will launch their desk-fan which should also be very interesting. For more on Noctua, be sure to visit their website.

For a retailer near you check here

Dutch customers can check here.


Noctua provided the fans for testing. Noctua had no prior insights on this review and my opinions are my own. This review may contain affiliate links. Using these links will help me fund this website and get products in for review.

Noctua to release the ultimate desk fan Q1 2023?

Summers are getting hotter and hotter and we can all use some extra cooling on our desk. Usually provided with by a desk fan. Unfortunately a desk fan can introduce annoying sounds around you.

What if one Noctua, a company well known for making one of the best and most silence fans stepped in the ring? Twitter user @dejayooh asked them?

Noctua quickly responded and confirmed they are planning on releasing a desk fan Q1 of 2023.

knowing Noctua though this release estimate should be taken with a grain of salt. Noctua is the kind of company that only releases something when it’s really done.

What do you think? Is this a homerun for Noctua or should they keep focussing on their desktop fans and coolers? At least it should have that love it-or hate-it brown look.