martes, 18 de julio de 2017

Visible manufacturing differences between Noctua fans made in Taiwan vs China pc building site custom pc builder

I recently purchased three Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans from one online retailer, to add to 2 of the same fans purchased previously from another retailer. I was surprised to discover that the three NF-A14 fans I received were made in China, whereas the 2 fans purchased previously (as well as multiple other Noctua fans and CPU coolers I have purchased in the past) have all been made in Taiwan. Now the actual location made is not that critical to me so long as the products are the same high quality that Noctua is known for. So I am disappointed to find that the 3 fans that were made in China are of noticeably inferior quality to the fans made in Taiwan. I have uploaded several comparison pictures.

Noted differences:

  1. The fan blades on the Taiwan made fans are noticeably smoother and more rounded than the ones made in China, which have rough edges at points.

  2. The "Flow Acceleration Channels" on the blades of the Taiwan fans are much more defined than the channels on the made in China fans; the channels on the Chinese fans are barely raised from the blades. See detailed comparison image.

  3. The "Inner Surface Microstructures" of the made in Taiwan fans have a distinct waterdrop shape, whereas the made in China fans just have a shallow triangular cutout.

  4. The "Stepped Inlet Design" is sharp and distinct in the fans made in Taiwan, whereas the Chinese fans are rounded and less cut out.

  5. There is a noticeable difference in frame color. The problem with the difference is that the fans do not match the other Noctua case and CPU cooler fans in the 3 builds that I am putting together, as all the other fans were made in Taiwan.

  6. The made in China fans have a noticeably louder drone when spinning at the same RPM as the other fans. See this video--Chinese fan on the left, Taiwan fan on the right, though the difference is more audible in person, and isn't captured as well by my poor phone mic.

I communicated these differences with Noctua Cooling Solutions and they claim that the differences are within their manufacturing tolerances and do not affect performance. But Noctua is known for its reputation of highest quality and attention to details, and I'm sure that Noctua engineers designed all these tiny details to exacting specifications in order to obtain the best possible performance, so it concerns me to see such visually noticeable differences, even if I do not have the instrumentation to measure the impact.

The biggest issue is that with the visible difference in exterior quality, I am concerned that there is also a difference in quality in the internal motor, which I cannot see. It is not something that I want to discover down the line after the fans have been installed and used for some time.

submitted by /u/Kendalf
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