Here's the spec:
Next up we have the stepped inlet design. On this fan they look a little more curved than on the previous larger designs, this gives to the overall sharp yet sleek look this fan exhibits. Creating these ridges around the curves surrounding the fan is meant to help directing the air into the blades in a direction that will reduce noise/ turbulence while increasing the rate at which it can be forced through the fan.
Starting off the review we have the adapted Advanced Acoustic Operation frame. The first piece of this feature is the anti-vibration pads. On this fan they are much firmer than we have seen before and have a much nicer feel to them. I can only think the reason they are a different material is that they are fixed to the chassis but they might be more efficient for the higher rpm fans.
Finally we have the inner surface microstructures, a small feature that wont be noticed on this fan unless you look closely. Looks wise it is like the icing on the cake, giving the fan a less bland and more interesting styling. Performance wise the design is made to create an air buffer between the chassis and fan blades to reduce noise caused by the air spinning off the blade tips.
I can't put it into words how attractive I think this fan looks. People can say about the colours all they want but they really do grow on you and after working with Noctua fans for years and years, I look at other fans and have yet to feel the same that I do about a certain of what Noctua have released over the years. I liked the F12 since I had it pre- release but this takes the top spot for me.
Featuring Noctua's well renowned SSO2 bearing system albeit a cut down version due to the size, we still see the quiet performance I have come to expect from Noctua. Unfortunately due to the size we do not see the brass bearing shell that we did on it's larger brothers. This could be seen as a negative and potentially is IF you were going to compare the fan directly to say the NF-A14 but the fan more than makes up for the things it does not feature.
With the fan being thinner than most you see a slight drop in the airflow but nothing like we would expect, pushing only 13.8cfm less than their standard depth NF-B9. Noise was dramatically lower than we expected as well which surprised us as the fan has to spin faster to push the same amount of air. At 2200rpm the fan was weirdly only noticeable from certain angles when in a noiseless and open environment.
Put this fan in a case with the L.N.A and you won't hear a thing, this coupled with the thin design is why it features on the new low profile heatsink by Noctua.
At 14mm thick it is perfect for all low-profile situations and as we don't see much of an airflow drop I would recommend this fan for use anywhere.
In regards to price, for everything that you get it receives a 10/10 and could not be more recommended. If you are looking for a low profile cooler to compliment this, Noctua have released the NH-L9i and NH-L9a which bundled with the NF-A9x14 gives you exceptional value for your money. Performance is also a 10/10 leading to this product being the first to receive our PLATINUM award, the highest award possible. It also receives our Editors Choice award which goes without saying.