Noctua NA-FG1 fan grills
Noctua has released a product that not many fans expected, but for sure there is a market for it, fan grills. Others sell it, so Noctua naturally entered this market as well. The big question here is, how much impact the fan grills have on the overall performance of the fan.
Noctua posted online their tests and concluded that performance loss heavily varies, depend model, size and rotating speed (and with or without extra spacing).
Typically, adding NA-FG1 fan grills (without extra spacing) will impact the fan’s flow rate by 2-4%, at certain models, the impact can be as big as 6-8% and other models may not show any impact at all, but for sure the impact should be around 3%. Posted test results were only with Noctua branded fans, so using the Noctua NA-FG1 fan grills with other manufacturers may not have the same results.
Noctua continued their testing and when using the offset push-pin mounting, most fans showed a significantly lower loss in flow rate. In many cases, the impact of the grills could roughly be cut in half, and on average, the losses could be reduced to around 2%, which is great.
Apart from the performance impact, there is a noise impact from installing fan grills. Again test results will be affected by various factors. Some fans may become several decibels louder when a grill is added, others are hardly impacted. On average, the impact on sound pressure levels (SPL) when adding NA-FG1 grills is around 1.2dB(A) (without extra spacing). When installing extra spacing performance penalty comes to around 0.6dB(A) on average. Noctua notes that the extra spacing can have a positive influence on the fan’s frequency spectrum, making it sound more pleasant to the human ear.
Apart from performance penalties, there is also practical use of installing fan grills, to avoid possible injuries from accidental movements, which for some may be the most important reason as well.
Noctua for sure has made a great design and the build quality is great with a perfect finish. After all, this is what you expected from Noctua, with of course "high" retail price, since the pack of two costs ~ 14.90 USD/Euro and the pack of five costs ~24.90 USD/Euro.
For serious enthusiasts, such small additions are welcomed and in that sense, the price is OK for us. The product 6 year of warranty, we assume you wont need this after all :-)
Again no one forces you to buy this product but I am sure many of you will, after all, the Noctua badge in the middle is very appeal to the human eye. :-)