Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap Review
Without a doubt, fans from Noctua perform efficiently and remarkably at all times. Yet we can’t deny that their trademark colour scheme of beige & brown can be challenging to match with PC builds. It is mostly true when they’re inside stunning tempered glass cases. In this Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap Review, we’ll learn more about the Chromax Black Swap fans.
That is one reason why the company expanded the Chromax product line. We’ve already looked at the Chromax cables, so this time, we’re focusing on the Chromax Black Swap edition fans. Specifically, these are the NF-A14 and the NF-A15.
Although they come with an entirely new design that offers superior aesthetics, are they as efficient as other Noctua fans? If you want to know all about them, then we’ve got you covered. Today, we’re going to learn all about the Chromax Black Swap fans, their specifications, features, performance, and more.
First up on our Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap Review is the packaging of the Noctua fans.
Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap Packaging
In this section of our Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap review, you can see the fans’ new look. Both the NF-A14 and NF-A15 fans come in a clean-slate cardboard box that sports a black, brown, and white theme.
It’s sturdy and durable enough to protect the fans inside. With that, you won’t have to worry about any dents, scratches, or damages that may occur during transit.
The front part of both boxes display “Chromax” at the bottom centre. Below this is the name of the Noctua fan inside. The sides feature the fans’ name again, plus a few other details about it.
On the box’s rear, you’ll find a QR code on the lower-left area and a barcode on the right. There are other pertinent information about the fans located at the back, such as the specifications.
Inside each box, you will find the fans in their respective boxes along with other accessories as well. The boxes contain five sets of 4 anti-vibration pads in blue, green, red, black, and yellow. There are also four screws, a couple of documentations, and a fan extension cable.
Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap Review – Design & Functionality
This time on our Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap review, we’ll take a better look at the fans’ build and functions.
The NF-A14 is one of the company’s most renowned 140mm fans. Sporting a square frame, the NF-A14 makes it optimal for water cooling radiators or case fans. The structure is also beneficial to guarantee maximum coverage and perfect pressure efficiency. Its mounting holes make it a premium-grade replacement for standard 140mm case fans.
The Chromax Black Swap edition blends the NF-A14’s trademark quiet cooling performance with a stylish black-clad design. It also comes with a collection of swappable white, red, green, black, yellow, and blue anti-vibration pads. These pads allow for the fan’s colour customisation to match your build’s colour scheme.
For added personalisation, you can purchase a plethora of accessories like coloured cables, anti-vibration mounts, and extra anti-vibration pads.
The A14 is topped with Noctua’s premium SSO2 bearing, over 150,000 hours MTTF plus a 6-year warranty. With that, it’s become the perfect option for users who want focused & individual build aesthetics, plus class-leading performance and quality.
Generally, the NF-A15 fans are the same as the NF-A14. The only difference between them is that the NF-A14 comes with a square 140mm frame with 140mm mounting holes.
The NF-A15, on the other hand, comes with a round 140mm frame with a 150mm width and customised for top-notch CPU coolers. Its width matches most quality heatsinks while its 140mm height doesn’t extend too high, ensuring the best compatibility.
Its regular 120mm mounting holes make it an optimal performance boost for 120mm cases or CPU fans.
Key Features of the Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15
This time on our Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap Review, we’re focusing on the fans’ key features.
Noctua’s NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap fans have received more than a hundred awards from the international press. Because of this, these fan models have become the top choices for cooling needs. The efficiency of these two fans has convinced more than a thousand customers worldwide.
Chromax Black Swap Edition
Noctua maximises colour choices with the Chromax Black Swap models. You can colour-customise the NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap fans with the inclusive the swappable anti-vibration pads. Also, you can use optional anti-vibration mounts and cables for additional colour customisation. These make the fans ideal for enthusiasts who want to use premium fans while colour-coordinating themes in their build. With these coloured parts, you can use themes such as black & white, black & red, and or other combinations.
Six Colours of Swappable Anti-Vibration Pads
The NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap fans come with white, blue, red, green, and yellow anti-vibration pads. There are eight pieces for each colour, allowing you to customise your build and coordinate it with other components fully.
Optional Anti-Vibration Mounts
To match the coloured anti-vibration pads, Noctua offers the Chromax line NA-SAV2 anti-vibration mounts that you can purchase separately. These allow for quick, convenient, and vibration-free installation.
Optional Coloured Cables
The Chromax Black Swap fans utilise a modular cabling system with a fully sleeved black NA-EC1 cable measuring 30cm long. For more polished colour coordination, red, green, blue, yellow, black, and white cables. Also, corresponding NA-YC1 y-cables are available separately.
Flow Acceleration Channels
The NF-A14 and NF-A15’s impeller features suction-side Flow Acceleration Channels. It reduces suction side flow separation by increasing the airflow speed at critical outer blade areas. As a result, these fans deliver more efficiency and less vortex noise.
Advanced Acoustic Optimisation or AAO frames from Noctua come with integrated anti-vibration pads. It also has the company’s Inner Surface Microstructures and Stepped Inlet Design. These further enhance the fans’ performance and noise efficiency.
The fans under the Chromax range feature the newer version of Noctua’s SSO bearing, the SSO2. With this, the rear magnet is closer to the axis, offering improved precision, durability, and stabilisation.
Metal Bearing Shell and Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD
For the highest degree of precision and long-lasting stability, the Chromax fans equip a CNC-milled brass bearing shell. These also support automatic PWM speed control by using custom NE-FD1 PWM IC, which integrate SCD (Smooth Commutation Drive) technology. It provides seamless torque impulses and suppresses PWM switching noise to keep fans quiet at low speeds.
Stops at 0% PWM
At 0% PWM, the NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap fans stop. It’s ideal for builds with semi-passive cooling that switch fans off automatically. If thermals allow, the fans can also run completely silent at idle mode.
Stepped Inlet Design
The Stepped Inlet Design increases turbulence to the influx to assist the transition from laminar to turbulent flow. As a result, there is less tonal intake noise, suction capacity increases, and flow attachment improves.
Inner Surface Microstructures
The fan blades’ tips plough through the boundary layers produced by the Inner Surface Microstructures. Because of it, flow separation coming from the blade’s suction sides encounter significant suppression. With that, it results in decreased blade passing noise, plus enhanced airflow and pressure efficiency.
6-year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Fans from Noctua are famous for having outstanding quality and longevity. Like every other fan from them, their Chromax edition fans offer an MTBF rating of over 150,000 hours. Plus, they also come with a six-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Now for the specifications section in our Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap review. The NF-A14 measures 130 x 140 x 25mm while its mounting hole spacing is 124.5 x 124.5mm. The NF-A15 is 140 x 150 x 25mm, and hole spacing is 105 x 105mm.
Both of the fans have a 4-pin PWM configuration while their NA-EC1 extension cables are 1cm + 30cm long. The two fans feature an SSO2 bearing with an A-series with flow acceleration channels for the blade geometry. In addition to these, these fans sport an AAO (advanced acoustic optimisation) frame technology.
Rotational speed (+/-10%) reaches 1,500 RPM whereas the minimum rotational speed (PWM | +/-20%) is at 300 RPM. They release 140.2 m³/h of airflow and have an acoustic noise of 24.6 dB(A). For the static pressure, it measures at 2.08mm H₂O.
Lastly, the maximum power input of the A14 and A15 are at 1.56W. 0.13A is its maximum input current. For the operating voltage, it is 12V, and their MTTF is over 150,000 hours.
Hands-on with the Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap
On this part of our Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap review, we’ll go hands-on with the fans. We’ll know if it allowed for easy installation, and if it delivered excellent performance.
Installing the Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap fans were easy. We were able to install it on different chassis and AIO coolers, proving that the company’s claims were valid. It’s compatible with any chassis and cooler, and we didn’t experience any issues during installation. The entire process was seamless, straightforward, and quick, so you’re going to enjoy setting up your rig.
The NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap fans have excellent noise levels. During normal loads, these were unnoticeable and inaudible. With its PWM support, they operated silently even under heavy loads.
For the thermal functions of the fans, they excellently pushed adequate amounts of air into our build. With that, everything was kept cooled and well-ventilated. Despite the fans being able to move a lot of air, they remained quiet even under heavy loads. You only need to fit them in front, back, and top, making them perfect for moving air and static pressure.
We’re highly satisfied with the overall performance of the A14 and A15 Noctua CPU coolers. Despite not having introduced a lot of new CPU coolers for the past few years, they’ve produced amazing fans here. We get what we paid for, and when it comes to these fans, we paid for high-quality products.
With that, we’re giving five stars for Noctua’s NF-A14 and A15 coolers. They performed well and were efficient throughout our tests. Would we recommend them? Definitely.
Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap Review Summary
First, we’re delighted that Noctua didn’t opt for the RGB lights in their coolers. We also think that they’re probably the last ones to deal with RGB-related elements.
That aside, we were thrilled that the company decided to produce their Chromax kits. And they created this for everyone to customise their Noctua coolers without impacting their timeless core designs. Plus, they also didn’t cut back on quality and performance.
Overall, the Noctua Chromax Black Swap fans are your regular fans clad in black with coloured anti-vibration pads. It means that these fans can offer top-notch cooling operation compared to the standard edition ones. With their black fan frame mixed with the six-coloured anti-vibration pads, these provide users with a subtle, customisable computer element. With that, they can easily match their overall rigs’ colour scheme. Furthermore, you won’t have to sacrifice your computer’s performance or the aesthetics with these fans.
If you want, you can still purchase the NA SAVP1 anti-vibration mounts separately. However, do note that you will need to stay with Noctua’s beige fan frames. If not, you can opt for the pricier Industrial PPC fan models available.
We also have to note that these Chromax Black Swap fans give off an adequate balance between colour customisation and price. And by costing only a couple more dollars over the standard edition, you’ll get the best of the best. Do note that Noctua still offers their usual 6-year warranty with these fans, making everything even better.
To conclude our Noctua NF-A14 and NF-A15 Chromax Black Swap review, we highly recommend these fans for their superior performance. If you want to purchase these, check out the store locator on the company’s official website. It will help you find the nearest authorised dealers available in your area.