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Noctua fans making high-pitch sounds at low rpm?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a bunch of Noctua fans (NF-A15 on CPU, 120mm on radiator, 140mm on case) and my motherboard is an ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming.

My new AIO radiator (EVGA Hybrid Kit) has pump noise but while I was troubleshooting I noticed that every Noctua fan I have also emits a high-pitch sound at lower RPM. (ie. 300 - 600 rpm)

Is this normal?

I'd say I could have a defective fan, but literally every one does it. They are all connected via 4-pin PWM and are configured as PWM in the BIOS.

Maybe I am expecting too much, but I thought they would be literally 100% silent except for the air movement sound.
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post #2 of 11
I've got a case full of NF-A14s and the stock fans on my D15 (which run about 350 RPM at idle). I don't notice any audible high-pitched sounds from the fans (at least when I'm sitting at my desk with the case a few feet away). But, I'll get my ear up beside the D15 when I get home and see if I can hear anything. smile.gif

Do you think it could be PWM whine? I always thought Noctua had that figured out. I had some Cougar Vortex PWM fans that were awful for PWM whine, but all the Noctuas I've used have been good. thumb.gif
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Interesting... I've never heard of PWM whine and I've only purchased Noctua fans because of their popularity.

I've been doing more research and it sounds like the Noctua iPPC series does have motor noise (from the 3-phase motor) that their regular series does not have. (but they are ugly brown!)

I'm definitely going to do more research and might end up replacing all of my case fans again frown.gif
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post #4 of 11
Could you put a recording up by any chance?

You could also forward it to Noctua support to see if it's defective.

Are you decoupling the fan from the mounting properly (with the rubber corners)? Are the fan blades glancing the radiator?

see
Edited by AlphaC - 5/5/17 at 9:58am
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I'm going to make a recording when I get home but I did already e-mail Noctua and am waiting for a response.

I'm using the rubber corners and the fans aren't hitting the radiator (and no cables are hitting the blades, etc).

The noise is coming from every fan in the case though, but they are all Noctua iPPC fans (except for the CPU which are NF-A15s). Somebody over at Linus tech tips posted a response from Noctua stating that their iPPC fans use 3-phase motors which have some noise not present in the non-iPPC line so I'm wondering if that could be the problem...
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post #6 of 11

How's your hearing? Can you hear high-pitched sounds when others do not? How old are you? Youngsters can hear sounds that old guys cannot hear. A fan -- or a guitar -- can make a noise in a range beyond "normal human hearing," which runs nominally to 20KHz. But if you can hear up to 30KHz, you might be hearing something someone else cannot hear.

 

Once I took my Gibson to a guitar shop. I wanted to get rid of a high-pitched buzz. The techs there could not hear it. That caused me to investigate hearing ranges . . .

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post #7 of 11
iPCC is a fad and known to possibly be worse in terms of acoustics compared to, well, a load of fans.
Edited by Smanci - 5/5/17 at 7:00pm
 
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofakng View Post

Thanks for the reply. I'm going to make a recording when I get home but I did already e-mail Noctua and am waiting for a response.

I'm using the rubber corners and the fans aren't hitting the radiator (and no cables are hitting the blades, etc).

The noise is coming from every fan in the case though, but they are all Noctua iPPC fans (except for the CPU which are NF-A15s). Somebody over at Linus tech tips posted a response from Noctua stating that their iPPC fans use 3-phase motors which have some noise not present in the non-iPPC line so I'm wondering if that could be the problem...

The iPPC have awful motor noise. I fell for the expectations when they first came out and stuck ten in my case. They lasted less than a week before I tore the whole loop out to get them out of there. By far the most irritating sounding fans I have ever tried that didn't have a little sailboat on them.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciarlatano View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofakng View Post

Thanks for the reply. I'm going to make a recording when I get home but I did already e-mail Noctua and am waiting for a response.

I'm using the rubber corners and the fans aren't hitting the radiator (and no cables are hitting the blades, etc).

The noise is coming from every fan in the case though, but they are all Noctua iPPC fans (except for the CPU which are NF-A15s). Somebody over at Linus tech tips posted a response from Noctua stating that their iPPC fans use 3-phase motors which have some noise not present in the non-iPPC line so I'm wondering if that could be the problem...

The iPPC have awful motor noise. I fell for the expectations when they first came out and stuck ten in my case. They lasted less than a week before I tore the whole loop out to get them out of there. By far the most irritating sounding fans I have ever tried that didn't have a little sailboat on them.


This is very  interesting, as I have been through a number of them and I cannot hear what you are complaining about. So, given that you and others can hear unpleasant sounds coming from these fans, and those of us cannot hear unpleasant noises, we come to the conclusion that we are hearing different things. I imagine that if you have a discussion with Noctua technical support they will tell you that these fans make noises above the 20,000Hz upper limit of "normal" human hearing.

 

I would say 'congratulations' to you guys except that hearing this high condemns you to a life of being "extra-sensitive" until you get older and your ability to hear really high pitches falls away.

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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehume View Post


This is very  interesting, as I have been through a number of them and I cannot hear what you are complaining about. So, given that you and others can hear unpleasant sounds coming from these fans, and those of us cannot hear unpleasant noises, we come to the conclusion that we are hearing different things. I imagine that if you have a discussion with Noctua technical support they will tell you that these fans make noises above the 20,000Hz upper limit of "normal" human hearing.

I would say 'congratulations' to you guys except that hearing this high condemns you to a life of being "extra-sensitive" until you get older and your ability to hear really high pitches falls away.

I wouldn't say it's a hearing thing completely. Ambient noise level differs. Room acoustics differ. Then there's the fact that fans don't always play nice with some more or less restrictive mesh, depending on whether the mesh in right in front or behind the fan.

I mean, while quiet, even GTs have very distinct noise character that might be of annoyance but often gets easily masked by ambient noise.
 
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