By – John Williamson

Noctua have also created a new product line called the IndustrialPPC which sacrifices quiet operation for pure cooling ability and faultless reliability. This is an unusual move as Noctua’s raison d’etre revolves around efficiency and high performance at lower RPM speeds. Nevertheless, the IndustrialPPC range is designed to work in loud environments or locations where the PC is left to do computational equations or intensive rendering work. A server build is the most suitable use for the IndustrialPPC fans given its insane maximum 3000rpm rotation speed. The IndustrialPPC branding is “suitable for operation in challenging environments” and massively over engineered for the average end-user. As such, these fans are very expensive but they are undoubtedly the best money can buy.

Firstly, the packaging is notably similar to the Redux SKU apart from a sharp, piercing black colour on the front. This uniform and familiar box art is well thought out and creates a organised synergy within the non-standard Noctua range. These fans are coloured in a bold, black finish with brown anti-vibration pads. I love this combination of colours and feel it has a beautiful classy look. The contrast of these black fans in a white case like the Corsair Air 540 is magical and a sight to behold. If you feel the brown is a little unsightly then you can easily remove the pads and have a standard looking black fan.

The IndustrialPPC includes features which were omitted from the Redux set of fans. Each unit is built on the latest SSO2 bearing system and implements Noctua’s Advanced Acoustic Optimisation (AAO) frames with Stepped Inlet Design and Inner Surface Microstructures, both of which further refine the fan’s performance/noise efficiency. There is also a CNC milled bearing shell which maintains long term stability and keeps the fan perfectly balanced. The IndustrialPPC also utilizes the Smooth Communication Drive which comes with the standard and Redux range.

Noctua IndustrialPPC Fans 2

One major difference with the IndustrialPPC fans is their construction materials which are diametrically opposed to Noctua’s other products. The standard and Redux line are constructed from Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) which is a thermoplastic polymer. In contrast to this, the IndustrialPPC model is made from Fibreglass reinforced polyamide which provides improved resistance against extreme heat and enhanced durability. These fans can operate up to 140c which is way beyond what any user should require.

Given that most CPUs throttle and reduce clock speed around 90-100c, you shouldn’t ever have to test the limits of these fans. Despite this, it is pleasing to know that they can work under extreme conditions. The added resilience to heat is useful for non-computer usage in motor vehicles or household appliances which run quite hot. This new material is ludicrously strong and makes each fan virtually indestructible. They almost feel bulletproof and have to be the strongest fan I’ve ever tested with no flex and rock solid workmanship.

The fans are also certified for protection against dust and even water. Dust is a major cause of increased temperatures and failures on lower end components. The blades and casing’s resistance to dust maintains a steady temperature over a prolonged period of time. Often, fans within a tight space can be difficult to clean even with compressed air so this technology is a godsend and will improve the performance and reliability of your computer. Amazingly, you can run these fans in water without damage and this is a marvel of modern engineering. The majority of fans will fail very quickly with any sort of water so this is an excellent failsafe. For the average user, this feature is pretty pointless as you won’t have trailing water all around your PC. Despite this, it is useful for industrial climates and offers peace of mind if you encounter leaks in a water cooling setup.

Noctua IndustrialPPC Fans 2

A traditional axial fan uses single-phase motors with 4 slots whilst the IndustrialPPC takes this to a new level with its 3-phase motor and 6 slots. So what this actually mean? It allows for a smoother operation between individual slots which leads to greater power efficiency and reduced vibrations. For instance, the IndustrialPPC are 10% more efficient than a standard NF-A14 fan. The NF-A14 uses approximately 2.25W to run at 2000rpm whilst the IndustrialPPC only requires 2.0W at the same rotation speed. This is incredibly useful in situations where a low power draw is essential.

The IndustrialPPC fans operate at either a maximum speed 2000rpm or 3000rpm depending on the individual unit and this creates an incredible amount of airflow. The 2000rpm model’s rotational speed is between 500-2000rpm. The airflow is 182,5 m³/h and acoustic noise levels hit a limit of 31.5dbA. This is a very impressive figure and shows how efficient Noctua fans are in making even a 2000rpm fan seem relatively quiet. The 3000rpm fan has a huge range of 800-3000rpm with an acoustic level of 41.3db/A. Unbelievably, this fan can output an airflow rating of 269,3 m³/h which trounces everything I’ve benched in the past and even marks a significant step above Noctua’s standardized line of fans.

To test their performance, I decided to equip the IndustrialPPC fans on my Noctua NH-D15 as it would be a good comparison against the magnificent stock NH-A15 fans. When running OCCT and performing a stress test, the 2000rpm IndustrialPPC fan reduced my delta temperature by 3 degrees from 76c to 73c The 3000rpm fan tamed my 4770k by another 3 degrees and thus attaining a 6 degree improvement over the NH-A15. I was pleasantly surprised how quiet the 3000rpm unit was despite its operational speed. Of course, it’s far from silent as the run speed is double that of your standard Noctua fan but it isn’t ear bleedingly loud. I’ve also tested other fans on the NH-D15 in the past which performed worse than the stock ones so cooling performance will be even greater against products such as the Corsair AF140s.

Noctua IndustrialPPC Fans 3

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

The IndustrialPPC fans are primarily designed for use in extreme circumstances and achieve groundbreaking temperatures under load.  Noctua have raised the bar within the top-tier fan market and created a product which will please even the most demanding PC users. There’s no denying the expense of these fans, but the rigorous engineering process and noise/performance ratio is an attractive proposition if you can accept the high asking price.

Noctua IndustrialPPC Fans Summary:

  • Time Used – 20 Days
  • Software Used – OCCT, HWMonitor, CPU-Z, RealTemp
  • Games Played – Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Metro Last Light
  • System Specs – Intel i7 4770K, 16GB RAM, Sapphire AMD R9 290 Tri-X 4GB OC
  • Acquisition Method – Review Unit
  • Availability – Newegg, Amazon
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