August 3, 2014

Review: Noctua Redux Line

Noctua is a renowned manufacturer of high-performance, silence optimized PC fans. Many PC enthusiasts choose Noctua fans for their performance, as well as their top notch build quality and reliability. They are easily identified by their cream and brown colour scheme, and their hefty price tag, but those are the two major complaints from consumers. Noctua has introduced the Redux line of fans to address both of these problems. Gone is the cream and brown colour scheme and instead you find a two-tone grey colour scheme. I personally liked the cream and brown colour but many others enjoy a stealthier black fan. The Redux line is Noctua’s lower cost tier of fans that are focused towards users who are on a smaller budget but still want the performance and silence from Noctua fans. They have done this by using technology from their previous generation of fans as well as omitting certain accessories from the package.

The Redux fans come in four different sizes, from 80mm all the way up to 140mm. What is disappointing is that all the fans are air flow optimized and there are no pressure optimized fans in the Redux line up, meaning that using a Redux fan on a liquid cooler may decrease performance. The fans also come in a variety configurations with different fan speeds and the choice of PWM or 3-pin models. There are a total of 11 different fans in the Redux line.

Inside the package you find the fan itself and four fan mounting screws. With the Redux line, you sacrifice the silicone fan mounts and the low-noise adapters with the price cut, but not to worry, those accessories can now be purchased separately. The brown rubber corners normally found on the newer Noctua fans are also missing, but those were not existent on the previous generation fans the Redux line is based off.

Since the Redux line of fans are based off older models, they use the same technology as well. Instead of using SSO2 bearings like the newer fans, they use SSO bearings instead which means that the magnet isn’t placed as close to the rotor axis for a more stable spin and better reliability. The frame also lacks the AAO or Advanced Acoustic Optimizations which are the small dimple things on the frame to help break up airflow. The Redux fans still have the same six year warranty so there are no worries that the less expensive fans will break faster.

Seeing that these fans are very similar to the previous generation of fans, their performance should be similar as well. The smaller fans are great as the noise they emit, compared to other fans of their size is significantly lower. The larger ones on the other hand are slightly louder, but still quieter than their competition. 

NOTE: Since these are air flow optimized fans used in non-restrictive environments such as the exhaust of a case, they were not tested on a heatsink.

Overall, the Redux line is fantastic for computer builders who want silent performance, but don’t have the money for the standard Noctua fans. The Redux line offers incredible value for its performance, and its great to know that Noctua listens to their customers and adapts their product lineups. The Redux line upholds Noctua’s standards and the only downside is the lack of accessories, that as mentioned earlier, allowing for the drop in price. I would highly recommend these fans for people looking to build a budget silent computer, or people who are looking for an upgrade from their stock case fans.

Martin Tam is an editor and the Director of Video Production at [blank]’s Universe. He is also a technology enthusiast that particularly enjoys computers and photography. He enjoys breaking things and sleeping in his spare time.