jasonargoargo

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Jul 1, 2020
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New PC build (Asus ROG VIII Extreme, Asus ROG Thor 1200w, Ryzen 3900x, EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti) with 6 Noctua NF-F12 PWMs (which I can run anywhere from 200 to 1200 RPM with my Asus Fan Controller connected to the mobo).

Luckily for me the whine noise source was easily found, as when I disconnected the fans and booted the computer, the noise was non-existent. Even running a few fans (not all 6) produced the noise, so I know it's likely all 6 of them. In BIOS I adjusted fan RPMs as low as 200 and as high as 1200, still no difference in the pitched noise. And I know it's not the way I installed the fans as no cables are touching and putting pressure on each of the screws produced no audible difference. Finally, I am well within the 1 amp max that my chassis fan header allows for.

I'm not sure what else to do other than repackage these dudes, sell them (or refund them), and buy 6 of something else, but I'd really rather not put in that effort unless there's no other way. So, my question: is there anything else I can do to salvage what are supposed to be "quiet" fans?
 

junglist724

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Apr 10, 2017
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New PC build (Asus ROG VIII Extreme, Asus ROG Thor 1200w, Ryzen 3900x, EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti) with 6 Noctua NF-F12 PWMs (which I can run anywhere from 200 to 1200 RPM with my Asus Fan Controller connected to the mobo).

Luckily for me the whine noise source was easily found, as when I disconnected the fans and booted the computer, the noise was non-existent. Even running a few fans (not all 6) produced the noise, so I know it's likely all 6 of them. In BIOS I adjusted fan RPMs as low as 200 and as high as 1200, still no difference in the pitched noise. And I know it's not the way I installed the fans as no cables are touching and putting pressure on each of the screws produced no audible difference. Finally, I am well within the 1 amp max that my chassis fan header allows for.

I'm not sure what else to do other than repackage these dudes, sell them (or refund them), and buy 6 of something else, but I'd really rather not put in that effort unless there's no other way. So, my question: is there anything else I can do to salvage what are supposed to be "quiet" fans?
What case? You can often block out very high pitched sound with an air filter.

Everyone loves to recommend Noctua but NF-F12s are actually not very good when it comes to airflow/noise, especially on radiators. It's getting to be a fairly old design and was really meant for use with their heatsinks. Just look at the most recent fan review on techpowerup to see how poorly they compare to the majority of fans out there. Their warranty and minimum time before failure is really good though. The NF-A12X25 is their only exceptionally good fan, and the NF-A14 is relatively good.
 

junglist724

Reputable
Apr 10, 2017
94
21
4,565
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New PC build (Asus ROG VIII Extreme, Asus ROG Thor 1200w, Ryzen 3900x, EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti) with 6 Noctua NF-F12 PWMs (which I can run anywhere from 200 to 1200 RPM with my Asus Fan Controller connected to the mobo).

Luckily for me the whine noise source was easily found, as when I disconnected the fans and booted the computer, the noise was non-existent. Even running a few fans (not all 6) produced the noise, so I know it's likely all 6 of them. In BIOS I adjusted fan RPMs as low as 200 and as high as 1200, still no difference in the pitched noise. And I know it's not the way I installed the fans as no cables are touching and putting pressure on each of the screws produced no audible difference. Finally, I am well within the 1 amp max that my chassis fan header allows for.

I'm not sure what else to do other than repackage these dudes, sell them (or refund them), and buy 6 of something else, but I'd really rather not put in that effort unless there's no other way. So, my question: is there anything else I can do to salvage what are supposed to be "quiet" fans?
What case? You can often block out very high pitched sound with an air filter.

Everyone loves to recommend Noctua but NF-F12s are actually not very good when it comes to airflow/noise, especially on radiators. It's getting to be a fairly old design and was really meant for use with their heatsinks. Just look at the most recent fan review on techpowerup to see how poorly they compare to the majority of fans out there. Their warranty and minimum time before failure is really good though. The NF-A12X25 is their only exceptionally good fan, and the NF-A14 is relatively good.
 

jasonargoargo

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Jul 1, 2020
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"What case? You can often block out very high pitched sound with an air filter. "

Thermaltake 71 TG, for E-ATX mobos. It comes with air filters that work great at collecting dust but not much else. The tower itself is really built for space and not so much creating an air / noise vacuum, as each side is sligtly exposed to the air outside the tower.

I've tested each fan and, yep, they all produce that whine. Where I am now is searching for another set of fans. Junglist, you mentioned the A12x25 and I see the RPM for that is 2000. This coincides with what I've heard from others saying that higher RPM fans can (though not all of them) run quieter at lower levels. Should I be narrowing my search for fans that run around 2000 RPM?
 

Phaaze88

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Can confirm, the NF-F12s are buzzy little things. A14s are definitely better in that department.

If at all possible, I'd suggest rolling with 140mm fans - unless this is for a radiator, 'cause obviously, you'd have ones that only support 120mm fans.
They can move more air while having a more pleasant sound profile. It does not have to be NF-A14s specifically.
 

junglist724

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Apr 10, 2017
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I've tested each fan and, yep, they all produce that whine. Where I am now is searching for another set of fans. Junglist, you mentioned the A12x25 and I see the RPM for that is 2000. This coincides with what I've heard from others saying that higher RPM fans can (though not all of them) run quieter at lower levels. Should I be narrowing my search for fans that run around 2000 RPM?
I wouldn't say you have to get 2000 RPM fans, it just so happens that a lot of good fans spin that fast. Compared to NF-F12s NF-A12x25s are quieter at the same RPM and even at the same noise level they're less irritating to listen to just due to the frequencies of sound they make. Thermaltake toughfan 12s are a similar design but seem to be more prone to failure. Phanteks T30-120s perform better than NF-A12X25s but they're 5mm thicker. Arctic P12s and P120s perform almost as well and are very cheap, but definitely have a higher failure rate.
 

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