It's black, brown, and beige from here on out, as Noctua confirms it has ditched development on white fans and coolers

Image of Noctua NF-A12x25 fans zoomed in close.
(Image credit: Noctua)

Fans of Noctua's…umm, fans…have long bemoaned the company's firm stance on colour. The original beige/brown palette is still popular, of course, but when the Austrian company started to offer many of its coolers and fans in black, PC aestheticists were hopeful that white would soon become an option, too. Well, not anymore, as a simple reply to a post on X shows that all development has stopped and has no plans to return to it.

Admittedly, there wasn't a great deal of hope in the first place, as Noctua first announced the white-themed project back in 2019 and the dearth of any significant news of it coming to market showed that Noctua wasn't all that keen on ramping up development. White PC components are a tiny niche compared to the vast ocean of black-painted items, but vendors such as Corsair and Lian Li are more than happy to offer white versions of their regular models.

Noctua is a small firm and its portfolio of fans and coolers is equally petite, so it obviously felt that the project just wasn't worth investing in, as confirmed by the Tweet:

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For a long time, if you wanted the very best air cooler for your CPU or the quietest fans in your PC case, Noctua was pretty much the only choice, and one of its heatsink and fan combos still tops our list for the best high-end air solution.

However, Thermaltake and DeepCool also have coolers that match Noctua's best in terms of performance, and in the case of the former, their products are quite a lot cheaper. With the market being really competitive, dropping the development of white-coloured fans and coolers makes sense.

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Or does it? I mean, just how hard is it to develop a white version of a fan? While colour pigments do affect the physical characteristics of plastic, it's not by very much and Noctua's designs don't rely on ultra-high rpm to get the cooling right, so the plastic wouldn't be under any significant stress.

The fact that Noctua spent four years reaching this point suggests to me that it wasn't especially interesting in the project to begin with.

In other words, the display of white fans and coolers at the Computex show in 2019 seems to have been a marketing exercise, rather than a serious development. To my eyes, at least. If you've been waiting for a white NH-D15, then it's time to look elsewhere, as I strongly suspect that Noctua won't reboot the development in the near future.

Nick Evanson
Hardware Writer

Nick, gaming, and computers all first met in 1981, with the love affair starting on a Sinclair ZX81 in kit form and a book on ZX Basic. He ended up becoming a physics and IT teacher, but by the late 1990s decided it was time to cut his teeth writing for a long defunct UK tech site. He went on to do the same at Madonion, helping to write the help files for 3DMark and PCMark. After a short stint working at Beyond3D.com, Nick joined Futuremark (MadOnion rebranded) full-time, as editor-in-chief for its gaming and hardware section, YouGamers. After the site shutdown, he became an engineering and computing lecturer for many years, but missed the writing bug. Cue four years at TechSpot.com and over 100 long articles on anything and everything. He freely admits to being far too obsessed with GPUs and open world grindy RPGs, but who isn't these days?