Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series Review


This day and age show the importance of keeping your computer cool. And here in our Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series review, we’re going to show you just that.

Decreasing the temperature of your PC gives you better operation. Plus, it provides you with a healthier computer system. To achieve this, you’ll need a quality CPU fan or cooling fan for your rig.

There’s a lot of debate circulating the type of cooling systems to use. For some, water cooling machines are better than air-cooled ones, while others prefer vice-versa.

Generally, it depends on the user, but if we’re going to choose, we still opt for the air-cooled machines. We’ve been utilizing these machines from the beginning, and even massive servers function with air-cooled environments.

Water-cooled systems are efficient, but they tend to run the risk of leaking. Not only that, but they’re usually louder, and can let your CPU overheat. The overheating occurs when air happens to be present in the system.

However, there’s one sure thing when it comes to the choice of a lot of users. For any type of operation, they opt and recommend using high-quality grade fans from Noctua.

A lot of their CPU fans feature designs for high or low-pressure systems and quiet functions. Plus, they’re also available in every size imaginable, thus, making them the highly recommended name in the industry.

So today on our Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series review, we’re focusing on these specific fans from Noctua. We’ll give you insights on what they’re all about, what their functions are, as well as their features. This review will also provide details on how well it performs and if these cooling fans are worth adding to your rig.

What’s in the Box?

On this part of our Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series review, we’ll look at the fans’ packaging and contents.

Upon receiving our package, we got a total of five CPU fans, each packed in their hard cardboard boxes. The fan models we got include the Noctua NF-A20 PWM, NF-A12x15 PWM, NF-A9x14 HS-PWM, NF-A9 PWM, and NF-A8 PWM.

All of them displayed “Chromax” at the bottom-center, while the bottom features the names of the respective fans.

The upper left portion displays an illustration of the type of fan. It will give you an idea of how the products inside looks. Other than that, the name of the model is also listed there.

Flipping the boxes, you will find all the basic specifications of the fans. All of them are written clearly, and they come along with a QR code to the product page, respectively.

Like other products from Chromax, the fans’ packages are mostly white with a few black and brown accents. They sport a simple design which we consider pleasing to the eyes.

For the NF-A9x14 PWM and NF-A12x15 PWM fans, each of its boxes includes 8 NA-AVP anti-vibration pads in each color. Aside from these, the boxes also come with four fan screws for installation.

For the NF-A20, NF-A9, and NF-A8 fans, each model features four fan screws and eight black NA-AVP anti-vibration pads. These include four pieces of blue, red, green, yellow, and white anti-vibration pads.

Next, we’re talking more about the fans, and get in-depth details from our Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series review.

Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series Review – Style, Design, Functions

Technically, the Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series CPU fans are your standard fans painted in a solid black shade. We liked that Noctua painted them black so the fans can blend perfectly with your system’s theme. They also come with anti-vibration pads which means that the product can offer excellent cooling.

Because of the fans’ design, you won’t have to sacrifice your system’s performance, its theme, or aesthetics. When looking at the company’s comparison table, their Chromax Black Swap fans are identical to their classic beige & brown fans.

Both the fans sport the same fiberglass reinforced PBT frame and an SS02 bearing. Plus, they also have the same design and technology as the inner surface microstructures and inlet design.

Simple Differences

Aside from the performance, what makes them different from each other are the included accessories in the package. You won’t find any low-noise and ultra low-noise adaptors for the Chromax Black Swap fans. These models come with swappable colored anti-vibration pads in red, yellow, blue, green, white, and black instead.

The best thing about these anti-vibration pads is that these are self-adhesive, making installation easier. Also, it allows you to maximize your color customization.

For the SSO2 bearings inside the CPU fan, they’re the second generation of the SSO bearing. Noctua placed the internal magnet closer to the center axis to improve precision, stability, and durability. The whole bearing is self-stabilizing and oil-pressured for smoother, more effective and silent operation in the long run.


This part of our Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series review focuses on the specifications for each of the fans.

NF-A12x15 PWM

The NF-A12x15 measures 120 x 120 x 15 millimeters. It has a rotational speed of (+/-10%) 1,850 RPM and minimum rotational speed (PWM +/-20%) of 450 RPM.

Its airflow is 94.2 m³/h, 1.53 millimeter H20 static pressure, and 23.9 dBA for acoustical noise. Maximum input power reaches 1.56 Watts while the total input current is 0.13 Amperes.

The fan’s operating voltage is 12 Volts and 5 Volts for its Voltage PWM signal.


This NF-A20 PWM fan measures 200 x 200 x 30 millimeters and has an airflow of 146,9 m³/h. Its standard rotational speed (+/-10%) is 800 RPM while its minimum speed (PWM +/-20%) goes for 350 RPM.

The fan has an acoustical noise of 18.1 dBA with a static pressure that reaches 1.08 mm H₂O. Maximum input power reaches 0.96 Watts while the total input current is 0.08 Amperes. For its operating Voltage and Voltage PWM signal, the fan has 12 Volts and 5 Volts.


This specific Chromax Black Swap model is 92 x 92 x 14 millimeters with a static pressure of 2.11 millimeters H₂O. Its minimum rotational speed is 600 RPM, but the standard is 2,500 RPM.

Airflow comes in at 57.5 m³/h, acoustical noise is 23.6 dBA, while total input power reaches 2.52 Watts. Also, the NF-A9x14 uses 12 Volts for operation while 0.21 Volts for the voltage PWM signal.


This fan has a measurement of 92 x 92 x 25 millimeters. It operates at 12 Volts with a static pressure of 2.28 mm H₂O. For its airflow, it reaches 78.9 m³/h while 22.8 dBA is its standard acoustical noise.

The NF-A9’s rotational speed is 2,000 RPM though its minimum can go down to 400 RPM. For the total input power and current, the fan uses 1.2 Watts and 0.1 Amperes, respectively.


This fan operates at 12 Volts with a maximum input power of 0.96 Watts. When it comes to its maximum input current, it reaches 0.08 Amperes while airflow is 55.5 m³/h.

The NF-A8’s acoustical noise is at 17.7 dBA, and static pressure is 2.37 mm H₂O. Its standard rotational speed is 2,200 RPM while the minimum number it reaches is 450 RPM. Lastly, the fan measures 80 x 80 x 25 millimeters.

For all the fans, they feature a 4-pin PWM connector, as well as 1 + 30-centimeter NA – EC1 extension cable. There’s an SS02 bearing, 105 x 105 millimeters for the mounting hole space, plus over 150,000 hours of MTTF.

The next part of our Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series review will be about the essential features of the fans.

Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series – Product Features

Chromax Black Swap Edition

With the swappable anti-vibration pads that come in six colors, you can take advantage of color customization. These fans are also compatible with optional anti-vibration cables.

This series is perfect for enthusiasts who aim for premium-quality cooling fans that can be color-coordinated with your chassis. You can go for build themes like all black, black & white, black & red, and a lot more.

Award-winning Design

Noctua’s Chromax Black Swap Series consists of fans with award-winning designs. These have received tons of recommendations from the international press, and it’s a proven top choice for PC cooling needs. Its renowned efficiency has made it the first choice of a lot of enthusiasts around the world.

Optional Colored Cables

This line of fans utilizes a modular cabling system. They come pre-fitted with a sleeved NA-EC1 30-centimeter cable in black. For subtler color coordination, you can choose from white, blue, red, green, and yellow 30-centimeter NA-EC1 wires. Aside from this, you can also use the corresponding NA-YC1 Y-cables which are available for separate purchase.

Flow Acceleration Channels

The impeller of these Chromax Black Swap fans has suction side Flow Acceleration Channels. These speed up the flow of air at the essential external blade regions to reduce suction side flow separation. As a result, cooling is more efficient, and vortex noise is lower.

AAO frame

Noctua’s AAO or Advanced Acoustic Optimization frames come with anti-vibration pads. Also, it has the company’s exclusive Inner Surface Microstructures and Stepped Inlet Design. Both of these further enhance the fans’ performance and noise efficiency.

Stepped Inlet Design

The Stepped Inlet Design increases turbulence to the influx to enable conversion from laminar to turbulent flow. It decreases tonal intake noise while improving flow attachment and enhances suction capacity in environments that aren’t spacious.

Inner Surface Microstructures

The fan blades’ tips plough through the boundary layer formed by the Inner Surface Microstructures. It significantly suppresses flow separation from the blades’ suction side, resulting in less blade passing noise. It also improves pressure and airflow efficiency.

SSO2 Bearing

The Chromax Black Swap fans come with Noctua’s new and improved second generation SSO bearing, the SSO2. It places the rear magnet near the axis to improve stability, durability, and precision.

Custom PWM IC with SCD

The Chromax Black Swap fans support fully automatic PWM speed control with Noctua’s NE-FD1 PWM IC. It combines Smooth Commutation Drive or SCD technology to suppress PWM switching noises. It results in smoother torque impulses and low noise fans at low speeds.

Stops at 0% PWM

All fans in our Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series review, except for the NF-A20, stop at 0% PWM. It’s for semi-passive cooling for silent operation when on idle mode.

Optional Colored Anti-Vibration Mounts

For the NF-A9, Nf-A8, and NF-A20, you can purchase optional Chromax NA-SAV2 anti-vibration mounts. It allows for quick, convenient, and vibration-free cooling fan installation while matching the colors with the anti-vibration pads.


This time on our Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series review, we’re going to see how efficient these fans perform. With these Noctua CPU fans, the soft rubber corners on them effectively prevent any form of vibration on your case. So, when you switch on the system and the fans, no vibrations will travel from the fan to your chassis.

Even during heavy loads, these fans remained quiet, and they also had excellent output which was quite notable. When it comes to the speed reducers, we were glad that it still allowed PWM controls.

When we speak of PWM, its circuits didn’t click during the time of testing. They remained utterly silent, and that’s a huge plus for us.

Overall, the Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series fans performed excellently. We didn’t experience any troubles during our entire tests, and it remained silent the whole time. It kept our system cool, just like how these fans should work.

With that, these fans get two thumbs up from us, and we’d highly recommend them too.

Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series Review – Conclusion

We all know that Noctua has always been prioritizing performance over looks when it comes to their cooling fans. But a few months ago, they released something different from their usual brown color scheme – the Chromax Black Swap series. We appreciate the new look, and as expected from Noctua, these fans performed excellently.

Overall, the Chromax Black Swap cooling fans are excellent. It’s silent, delivers cooling performance, and is worth the purchase. To wrap up our Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series review, we highly recommend these cooling fans.

Where to Buy

If you want to purchase your own Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series CPU fans, simply check out Noctua’s store locator. Here, you’ll find a list of all the authorized sellers under the company.

If you need more accessories or other items to complete your rig, you can find more quality products here.

Noctua Chromax Black Swap Series Review
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