Pc Fans with active noise cancellation will soon become reality

Martin Brinkmann
May 30, 2012
Updated • May 30, 2012

Before I buy new computer hardware, and it does not really matter if it is a complete PC, laptop, or single component, I look at all important factors and lots of reviews and tests before I make a buying decision. Many factors play an important role in the decision: price, performance, stability, or storage size need to be mentioned in this regard. While those are all important factors, I tend to look at a device's or component's noise generation even more.

I have a sensitive hearing, which means that I often become iirritated by noise when others do not even hear it in first place. That's why I prefer products that are silent, or near silent over products that may be cheaper or more powerful if they are also louder.

Fans can be particularly noisy. I'm not only talking about the cpu fan or fan of the video card, but also fans that you may have installed in the case to suck air in and out of it. While it is necessary to use fans in many systems, I tend to underclock them and select larger fans over smaller ones as they usually make less noise as they are not rotating that fast.

noctua active noise cancellation
Ncotua NF-F12 prototype

Noctua and RotoSub have announced a partnership that could reduce the noise generation of PC fans significantly. How does it work? It seems to work similar to white noise techniques, as the fans emit a "sound signal that cancels out the original sound" that the fan makes while the computer is turned on.While this could be used to make fans quieter, it can also be used to improve the performance of existing fans while keeping the original noise level.

The joint-venture targets an 80% increase in airflow and a 120% increase in static pressure while keeping the noise level at that of the original NF-F12 model that will be the first PC fan model available with the active noise cancellation technology included.

According to the press release, the fan will be exhibited at next week's Computex in Taipei. (via Mike)

Closing Words

It will be interesting to see how this technology evolves in the coming months. I personally would prefer the same airflow capabilities and a reduced overall noise of the fan over an increase in airflow. Price could also be a issue, as it is likely priced higher than standard PC fans.


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  1. KRS said on June 1, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I use SpeedFan to control my one fan. It defaults to 45% of top speed, but if I leave it that way, my CPU Core 0 and GPU quickly hit 60 degrees Celsius. Running the fan speed up to 100% brings them down to 55. Is this still too hot for hardware health?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 1, 2012 at 7:22 am

      KRS it depends on your CPU. I’d search the Internet for that, e.g. cpu name max temperature, or recommended temperature.

  2. Gonzo said on May 31, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Noisy fans are bothersome to me as well but I have my case fans 7v and hard drives suspension mounted. I think hard drive “grinding” and spinning sound is the loudest thing in my PC these days and the CPU fan is the loudest thing in my laptop.

    I hope these fans find their way into power supplies and CPU fans too.

  3. gpuser said on May 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    the noise also bothers me
    same airflow and even less noise (than normal fans) would be better for me

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