The Quietest 80mm Case Fan (2018)

Updated December 6th, 2018 by Headshot Jacob Tuwiner

Noctua is regarded as one of the most influential companies in the PC gaming industry. When you purchase a Noctua fan, you can rest assured knowing it will be a quiet, quality product.

Although Noctua manufactures fans of all different sizes, the Noctua NF-A8 FLX is an 80mm case fan. Despite its small form factor, it is one of the best case fans on the market, and it is also among the quietest 80mm case fans as well.

Let’s take a look at what Noctua’s NF-A8 has to offer:

The NF-A8 FLX is made with the same exceptional build quality as Noctua’s other premium case fans. It feels solid in hand, but it’s actually pretty light. This tiny 80mm case fan really packs a punch – pushing nearly 30 CFM with a maximum speed of 2,000 RPM, its performance is impressive to say the least.

It is more than capable of cooling most gaming rigs, as long as you’re not doing any intense overclocking. In that case, it would be wise to purchase a larger case fan capable of pushing more air, such as a 120mm or 140mm case fan.

Packaging & Contents

When you buy a Noctua fan, you know you’re getting high-quality packaging. The box has double flaps and a see-through window which displays the fan and its included accessories.

NF-A8 Package Contents

In the box, you’ll find:

  • 30cm cable extendor, in case your fan’s mounting location is too far away from the motherboard to use the fan’s default 20cm cable.
  • A 1,650 RPM low-noise adapter
  • A 1,200 RPM low-noise adapter
  • One 4-pin to 3-pin fan connector adapter
  • Four rubber mounting screws
  • Four regular mounting screws

Features

This 80mm case fan really packs a punch consdiering its small size. It has plenty of awesome features, including

  • Flow Accelration Channels: The NF-A8 FLX speeds up the airflow near the outer portion of the fan’s blades, reducing suction side flow separation, which results in better efficiency and lower vortex noise.

  • Anti-Vibration Padded Corners: This feature isn’t unique to the NF-A8, as most premium case fans also have padded rubber corners. Nevertheless, it’s still a nice feature – the extra-soft silicone corners dampen vibrations caused by the fan’s operation, which reduces noise even when the fan is rotating at its maximum speed of 2,000 RPM. The padded corners are compatible with all standard screws and fan mounting location in standard cases.

  • SSO2 Bearing: The fan uses an optimised second generation version of Noctua’s well-known SSO bearing. The SSO2 bearing uses a rear magnet placed closer to the axis of rotation, providing increased stability, precision, and durability. The SSO2 bearing’s lifespan is even longer than the time-tested first generation SSO bearing.

Noctua Nf-A8 FLX 80mm case fan

Noctua NF-A8 FLX 80mm case fan

  • Smooth Commutation Drive 2: Noctua’s advanced smooth commutation drive system assures outstanding stability by eliminating torque vibrations. It also helps to reuce switching noises, further minimizing the fan’s operation noise. The fan is remarkably quiet, even when you’re near the fan and it’s running full blast.

  • 3 Speed Settings (PWM): Thanks to the fan’s 4-pin fan header, you have the ability to choose between 2,000, 1,650 and 1,200 RPM fan speeds. This feature is useful because you can select the fan’s speed based on your computer’s workload. For example, if your rig is under heavy load (gaming, rendering, editing, streaming, etc.) you can increase the fan’s speed accordingly. Conversely, if you’re just surfing the web or streaming video, it’s senseless to run the fan at its maximum capacity. Turning the fan’s speed down will reduce electricity consumption and noise output.

  • Cabling Flexibility: The NF-A8 FLX’ extensive cabling options provide extended reach when necessary. It has a short 20cm primary cable to minimize clutter, but the fan also includes a 30cm extension in case the 20cm is long enough to reach your motherboard’s fan header. Both of the fan’s cables are fully sleeved.

  • 6-Year Warranty: Noctua is confident in their fan’s lifespan and reliability, as the fan ships with a 6-year manufacturer’s warranty. The fan is rated at more than 150,0000 hours!

Video Review

Performance

The NF-A8 FLX’s performance is exemplary. It is capable of moving a significant amount of air at low volumes, despite its small form factor. For full test results, check out the video review above.

More Case Fans

Here are the 3 best case fans for the money, ranging from 80mm to 140mm:

Size Name Image Benefits Buy on Amazon
80mm Noctua NF-A8 FLX Case Fan Noctua NF-A8 case fan
  • CFM
  • Silent
  • Reliable
  • Powerful
Check Price
120mm ARCTIC F12 PWM PST Case Fan Arctic F12 pwm pst case fan
  • PWM
  • Airflow
  • Quiet
  • Design
Check Price
140mm Corsair Air Series AF140 Case Fan Corsair Air Series AF140
  • Powerful
  • Efficient
  • Lifespan
  • Looks
Check Price

Is The NF-A8 FLX Worth The Money?

The NF-A8 FLX is a bit pricey. Coming in at $18 per fan, the A8 is definitely expensive compared to other 80mm case fans. However, you must remember the fan’s top-tier performance, build quality, noise levels, design, and extra accessories. The NF-A8 FLX is definitely worth the money. In fact, I’m surprised the price isn’t higher.

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