Here's the spec:
Noctua link for full spec:
4 pin PWM
4 pin PWM
4 pin PWM
Starting with the most obvious change, Noctua have opted for a sleeker more popular colour scheme of, well, black. This is tied in a way I would believe to the fact they are more premium fans as well as the fact they have changed the material used to make the products, moving from a fibreglass reinforced PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate) to a fibreglass reinforced polyamide. I am by no means anywhere near qualified enough in such compounds to provide an 'educated opinion' on this but having studied protein structures (A Polyamide) for the past few years the little I can say on the subject is that they are serious business. Protein molecules can consist of Peptide bonds, disulphide bonds, hydrogen bonds etc. all of which have different properties leading to an overall tough little molecule, this should give you a little insight into the strength of this fan.
The outcome is a matte black fan that reflects very little light in comparison to most black fans we see ranging from slightly to very glossy. It is also heat resistant up to 140 degrees celcius and apparently even more unbreakable than the original NF-F12.
Transitioning from a normal NF-F12 to the IPPC version involves internal improvements moreso than surface features. The main improvement being that they have actually received the IP52 or even IP67 certifications depending on the model you choose. Unless you have a specific application that requires the more expensive IP67 model (which we will get onto), the IP52 models will provide you with dust and water resistance to the point where no solid particles will interfere at all with the running of the fan and it can survive under an equivalent of 3mm of rainfall per minute at a 15 degree elevation. Please use wikipedia's Ingress Protection code chart to help understand what these codes mean, linked here. In summary the cheaper IP52 models are solid against dust and other such particles but not as strong a performer against water (although still impressive).
Move over to the IP67 fans and you see a top rated certification against Solid particles and about as high a rating as I can really see the IPPC fans ever needing regardless of the industry. The IP67 fans are completely dust tight and are water sealed up to a depth of 1 metre!!!
Certifications aside, the IPPC fans don't stop there and they have also been upgraded from a single pole design on the internally magnets to a 3 pole design. This is a big deal because the distance the fans need to travel before being reaching the next pole is shortened and therefore leads to a smoother running fan.
Standard NF-F12 Design Features:
Starting with the AAO frame, this stands for Advanced Acoustic Optimisation and it consists of three components. These three components are the stepped inlet design, the integrated anti-vibration pads and the inner surface microstructures.
The stepped inlet design does its job in the corners created by using a square frame for a circular spinning fan. This design is actually used to add turbulence to air as it enters the fans blades and this is because fans produce a turbulent air flow and so introducing turbulence early helps the transition for the air from laminar flow, increasing performance and also reducing the overall pitch of the noise produced. I have included some links to help some of you understand a little better.
The next feature being anti-vibration mounts is a little more self explanitory as it helps reduce the conduction of vibrations from the fan to the case or cooler its attached to, reducing noise.
Finally we have the inner surface microstructures, the coolest name possible for what are essentially the tiny little dimples in the interior of the fans frame. What this does is create a boundary layer (between the the frame and the blade tips) of turbulent air that allows for the blades to pass through the air without creating unnecessary extra turbulence that would otherwise lower airflow and vastly increase noise that we don't want.
Much of the science behind this is too complicated to try and explain in this review(plus some of it goes straight over my head) and with Noctua already describing it perfectly well on their website, please use the link above to see it described in full. On to the Performance of the fan!
The interesting thing I've found with these 2000rpm fans though is how much they improve with their capacity to handle static pressure over the original 1500rpm versions. At around 71-72CFM these are not the highest airflow fans you can get on the market but in real life tests, airflow will be shown to be of little performance in a lot of fan locations on a case, compared to it's ability to actually move that air under pressure. Most companies have the problem of increasing static pressure while not increasing noise dramatically, this is why the NF-F12 fan design has been so successful.
What I mean by this is that just like headphones, every fan design has it's own sound signature as we could call it and with all the NF-F12 variants, they all had the same underlying signature hum too them, some fans have a continuous sound, others have more of a 'cycle' they go through with changes in sound. The 1500rpm standard model was obviously barely audible anyway but with a close listen they were all the same with no exception. In other words the 3000rpm fan is too loud and too high pitched but it's bearable and you can't say that about many 3000rpm fans. Keep in mind when I say bearable I mean relatively. I wouldn't ever advise sitting with these whirring away next to you for 8 hours a day.
With all noise aside the 3000rpm fans blow a considerable amount of air through every minute and thanks to the NF-F12 design the air continues in a straight direction with only around an extra centimetre added to the radius of the flow after passing through the focused flow frame. Imagine a 140mm fans frame and picture that as the cylindrical flow of air caused by the fan, this may be a good guide to use if you plan to use these fans in a system of yours. with a rating of around 110CFM all and any cooling needs will be met with this fan.
IP52 & IP67 Certifications:
It's rated for the equivalent of 3mm of rainfall per minute at a 15 degree angle. We tested it to what we felt was the same level of testing and we noticed the fan actually seemed to repel the water without us even having to think about if the central hub was sealed or not. By the end of our tests the entire fans frame had a good coating of water that had been flung off the blades, of which were completely dry.
Thanks to the lack of friction on the surface of the fans and the fact water is a polar molecule, 99% of the water was in no position to cause damage to the fan and in any case, these fans will reject any potential damage caused by the water levels its rated for beyond what the rest of your system will so personally it's not the fans I'd be worried about, (although I might be if I paid to fill my case with these).
1500rpm NF-F12 VS
3000rpm IPPC NF-F12:
Product: (Reviews linked)
The 2000rpm models also present a good opportunity for people who want an aesthetic workhorse of a pc and are looking for a higher performance than the original NF-F12's can provide. This is down to the fact they are so closely matched yet still slightly quieter than the noise level's of most blower style graphics cards and so in any system designed for intense use that has the louder GPU's, adding these fans will not add any considerable noise to the system, however it will add an extreme increase in cooling performance over stock fans. This is with the expectation that the case you are using is designed for such high performance cooling.
As far as the 3000rpm fan is concerned, I fear it's just not and never will be a good option for most people; this is strictly a server fan and nothing less. This fan will handle any situation you put it in thanks to its extremely high static pressure and airflow ratings, the downside being it's a little attention seeker of a fan, always shouting to let you know how well it's doing. Running these IPPC fans at lower speeds produces good results but remember the 3000rpm version can't go as low bottoming out at 750rpm.
The IP52 Certs we tested showed that even the IP52 let alone the IP67 fans are idiot proof. Without considering any use outside the normal realms of a pc fan, these IPPC fans go above and beyond.
Unfortunately as far as fans go when it comes to our verdict, they have to be extremely well balanced both as the actual product and the overall package to rate highly. These fans compare on a noise level to the stock fans from SilverStone's TD02 so they don't rate highly on that but comparitively you get triple the static pressure performance coupled with an extra 10+ max cfm(3000rpm version). Collectively this is a high quality high performance fan and because of the price it is going to be a marmite fan, you know straight away you are either getting it or you aren't. We've awarded these fans as a collective, our Editor's choice award for the overall performance and innovation coupled with our Bronze Award. Sadly they missed out on a higher award due to the noise levels and overall lack of accessories for the everyday consumer.
Features & Compatibility:
Aesthetics & Packaging:
Value For Money: