Why Are Noctua Fans So Expensive? (Explained)

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Noctua fans are pretty darn pricey.

I’ve done my research over the years, and I think it’s important to understand why these fans cost so much before you go out shopping for one.

Why are Noctua fans so expensive?

Noctua fans are expensive because of their superior engineering and construction. Features like the Stepped Inlet Design, SSO2 Bearing, Low-Noise Adaptor, and Pulse-Width Modulation Control make Noctua fans the best option when you are looking for the most silent cooling fans on the market.

10 Reasons Noctua Fans Are So Expensive

PC fan—Why Are Noctua Fans So Expensive
Image by author via Canva—Why Are Noctua Fans So Expensive?

There are many good reasons why Noctua fans are so expensive.

Let’s look at ten of them.

Better Cooling Performance

It is common knowledge that Noctua moves air more efficiently than most other fans on the market.

This is due to the use of a different range of materials and shapes in their products, which they claim improves the airflow and reduces noise at the same time.

This doesn’t mean that Noctua fans will always run cooler than other brands.

Many other brands use different materials and shapes to reach their goals.

Noctua’s products are an example of this since they often sacrifice performance in some areas (cooling efficiency) for better performance (reduced noise).

Lasts Longer

Noctua fans are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity.

The self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing (SSO-bearing) mechanism has always been at the core of Noctua’s award-winning high-performance fans, making them the first fan manufacturer to receive top ratings in leading hardware publications.

It wasn’t long until their fans became so popular that they started “disappearing” from the shelves of online stores due to high demand.

Super Quiet (Even at Full Speed)

One of the most critical factors in the computer fan industry is the noise level. The faster the fan spins, the more noise it produces.

Noctua’s fans are different.

For example, the 40, 60, 80, or 92mm NF-A series fans are ideal for replacing noisy stock fans in switches, routers, and other network devices to make them quieter.

Thousands of users have been able to considerably decrease the noise levels of their units by doing so.

This makes Noctua fans perfect for cases and radiators where high airflow is required at near-silent operation.

Better Thermal Performance

Noctua fans aren’t just quiet, they’re also very efficient.

The third generation of Noctua’s award-winning hybrid thermal compound, NT-H2, is an even further improved second version.

NT-H2 is an enthusiast-grade paste for the highest demands, combining the iconic NT-H1’s renowned long-term stability with a new, fine-tuned formula of microparticles for even better thermal performance.

NT-H2 will provide outstanding performance and is as simple to use as it is to install, thanks to its high compatibility and low sensitivity.

CPU or GPU applications, overclocking, or silent systems: NT-H2 will consistently deliver excellent results and is just as simple to remove as it is to apply with the supplied cleaning swabs.

Well-Built and Beautifully Designed

There is a reason they offer you a six-year warranty: it has an outstanding build quality.

Unlike plastic, the liquid-crystal polymer is more flexible and resistant to accidents. It is also more durable than what other manufacturers utilize in their cooling fans.

Noctua fans are well-known for being extremely well built. The industrial PPC fans feature a custom rotor for the highest precision and quality.

In contrast to many other high-end fans, all Noctua’s industrial PPC models come with modular cabling as standard. This outstanding flexibility makes it easy to integrate these fans into mixed multi-fan systems.

Lower Voltage

The majority of Noctua fans are 12V, which is the standard for PC applications. Note, however, that there are 5V and 24V versions available for use in other applications.

For instance, the 5V and 24V versions of Noctua’s silent NF-A4x10 fans are ideal for home automation, thanks to their ultra-low noise emissions.

The voltage can be adjusted as needed, thanks to the Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) support.

Additionally, Noctua’s round fans (NF-A8, NF-A9, NF-A12x25) allow voltage reduction via the ULN (Ultra-Low-Noise) Adapter.

Higher-Quality Materials

They use a liquid-crystal polymer in their cooling fans that aren’t used in other manufacturers’ products.

The integrated anti-vibration pads are made from extra-soft silicone and reduce the transmission of tiny vibrations while being fully compatible with all standard screws and other mounting systems.

All materials that contact the cooling fan’s bearing are either selected to be highly corrosion-resistant or covered with an anti-corrosion protective coating.

PWM Control

PWM, or Pulse-Width Modulation, is an efficient way to control the speed of electric motors.

The controller will monitor the input briefly and determine if the motor should be turned on or off. This brief monitoring cycle is called a “sub-cycle.”

If it determines that the fan should be on, the controller will supply power for a period of time equal to one sub-cycle.

If it determines that the fan should be off, no power is provided to the motor.

Noctua’s fans and fan accessories offer fully automatic PWM control, which enables them to adapt their speed according to the CPU load for smooth quietness.

Additionally, various Low-Noise Adaptors (LNAs) are available for almost all models, so you can reduce the sound even further if needed, either by lowering the supply voltage or reducing RPM speed below 2,000 RPM.

Reliable

Noctua is reliable because they provide their customers with a variety of products and accessories for different needs. They make sure to offer the best quality and always put the customer first.

The Austrian company has managed to establish itself by focusing on the development and deployment of advanced technologies.

Their products are designed with an obsessive focus on performance.

The design department hones in on how these technologies affect the overall performance.

Noctua has set high standards for itself and has utilized its experience in heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and acoustic engineering to reduce noise emissions and create low-power fans.

Exceptional Support & Warranty

The majority of Noctua fans have a mean time to failure (MTTF ) of more than 150,000 hours and a whole 6-year manufacturer’s warranty. 

Wow, that’s 150,000 hours or 17 years.

This is an impressive warranty, and such a large MTTF number shows that Noctua truly believes in the quality of its products.

When you purchase one of their products, you can be sure you are making an excellent investment.

On their website, Noctua states:

In case of warranty, Noctua will replace the product in question with the same model or a succeeding model with comparable or improved specifications. The replacement will be provided in as good as new condition and will be under full warranty for the remaining warranty period.

Are Noctua Fans Really Worth the Price? (Honest Answer)

If you want the best PC performance, then Noctua fans are an excellent choice.

However, you must be prepared to pay a premium for these high-quality products.

The price tags are the first thing most people think of when it comes to Noctua products. After all, you can find similar quality fans for much less money.

Noctua fans are justified with their price because of how long they last and the many valuable features that benefit your device.

Their products are designed for extreme cooling performance, very low power consumption, and the most popular CPU cooler sizes.

They are not afraid to use or experiment with new technologies in order to produce even better results.

Watch this video on why Noctua Fans are worth the price (with demo):

YouTube video by At Tech—Why Are Noctua Fans So Expensive?

Are Noctua Fans the Best Fans?

Noctua fans are among the best computer fans, as shown by their long innovation and high-quality craftsmanship history.

Like other high-end brands, Noctua fans have a steeper price that is primarily due to less competition.

There is no other brand that offers similar quality and performance for a lower price.

If you’re willing to pay a little more upfront for fan technology that will last years longer than cheaper alternatives—without the need to replace them every six months—then you should buy Noctua fans.

For these reasons, I think Noctua fans are the best fans.

What are the Best Noctua Fans?

Here’s a list of the top models for each size that have shown to work exceptionally well for the majority of consumers:

140mm: NF-A14 PWM

The NF-A14 is a 140mm square fan that can improve case cooling.

It’s also an upgrade for water-cooling radiators.

This product has a quiet cooling system and features a sophisticated aerodynamic design.

120mm: NF-A12x25 PWM

The Noctua NF-A12x25 is a fan that has been made to be very quiet and includes some of the latest technologies.

This is a versatile all-rounder that performs well in various usage situations, whether they’re low-impedance, airflow-oriented applications like case cooling or high-impedance, pressure-demanding uses like on heatsinks water-cooling radiators.

The NF-A12x25 is an elite choice for the most discerning needs because of its superior efficiency, cutting-edge design, and revolutionary materials.

92mm: NF-A9 PWM

The NF-A9 is a fan that is high quality and quiet. It features Noctua’s AAO frame, which is an advanced way to soundproof the fan.

The NF-A9 also uses sophisticated aerodynamic design measures that help it cool better than the NF-B9.

The PWM version, which comes with a Low-Noise-Adaptor to reduce the maximum speed during PWM control from 2000 to 1550rpm, includes Noctua’s custom-built NE-FD1 IC for fully automatic speed control via 4-pin fan headers.

This fan is smooth. It has a unique bearing, and people trust it.

80mm: NF-A8 PWM

The NF-A8 improves the already good cooling performance of the NF-R8.

It has a special design with channels on it called Flow Acceleration Channels.

The PWM version features a Noctua-designed NFD1 IC for fully automatic speed control from 4-pin fan headers.

It comes with a Low-Noise Adaptor to reduce the maximum speed during PWM control from 2200 to 1750rpm.

Its outstanding running smoothness, SSO2 bearing, and Noctua’s well-regarded premium quality make it an elite choice for the most demanding applications.

60mm: NF-A6x25 PWM

The NF-A6x25 is a fan with advanced aerodynamic design measures. It has Flow Acceleration Channels and Noctua’s AAO frame. It is a high-quality, quiet fan that is 60mm x 25mm.

For the most challenging demands, there is no better choice than the Noctua NF-A6x25.

It has a superb running smoothness, SSO2 bearing, and Noctua’s trusted premium quality, making it an ideal option for high-demand use.

40mm: NF-A4x10 FLX

The NF-A4x10 is a premium choice for the most prolific users thanks to its modular cabling, low-noise adaptor, omnijoin adaptor set, and 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.

The NF-A4x10 FLX is a quiet fan in 40x10mm size. It has Flow Acceleration Channels and Noctua’s AAO frame.

Smoothing Commutation Drive technology and Noctua’s reference class SSO2 bearings make the fan work smoothly and for a long time.

Final Thoughts: Why Are Noctua Fans So Expensive?

Since its establishment in 2005, Noctua has made many important innovations in the fan industry.

Having received more than 600 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua is a proven premium-quality manufacturer.

The bottom line is that Noctua combines high performance with low noise levels to offer the best choice in class for PC cooling.

So if you’re looking for the top-of-the-shelf, best possible cooling on your PC, then you want to go with Noctua fans.

What to read next:

Sources

Noctua.com
Applied Thermal Engineering