Arctic P12 Max (Black – Double Ball Bearing) Fan Review

The Arctic P12 Max is a high speed and highly affordable fan, focusing on performance, and this is why the word “Max” is into its model title. This is one of the best 120mm fans that you can find in today’s market, even among products costing 2-3x more! Read the full review to find out more about this product. 

The Arctic P12 Max is sold at 10 dollars, making it one of the most affordable 120mm fans in today’s market. It uses a double-ball bearing, which is superior to FDB and HDB at high operating temperatures but is typically noisier. With its maximum speed reaching 3300RPM, the P12 Max promises up to 81.04 CFM and up to 4.35 mmAq static pressure. The maximum airflow doesn’t look that impressive, given the fans’ high speed, but the static pressure is pretty high; if it is true, it is something that I will check in this review.

With over 500.000 hours of mean time to failure (MTTF), without Arctic specifying the operating temperature, though, this is among the most reliable fans I have ever encountered, on paper at least. This is why Arctic also provides a six-year warranty.


Cybenetics Fans Database


Official Technical Specifications:
  • Model Name: Arctic P12 Max
  • Material (Frame & Impeller): Plastic
  • Connectors: 4-pin PWM
  • Fan Speed PWM: 200–3300 rpm PWM Controlled (0 rpm below 5% PWM)
  • Fan Airflow (Max): 81.04 cfm | 137.69 m³/h
  • Operating Ambient Temperature: 0–40 °C
  • Static Pressure (Max): 4.35 mm-H2O
  • Fan Noise Level (Max): 37.5 dBA
  • Fan Bearing Type: Dual Ball Bearing
  • Bearing durability: > 500.000 Hours
  • Fan Rated Voltage: 12 VDC
  • Fan Rated Amperage: 0.29A
  • Fan Rated Wattage: 3.48W
  • Fan Weight: 184 gr
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 120 x 120 x 25mm
  • Daisy-Chain Capable: Yes
  • Power Cable length: 400mm
  • Price (excluding VAT): $10
  • Warranty: 6-year
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14 thoughts on “Arctic P12 Max (Black – Double Ball Bearing) Fan Review

  1. Thanks, I am appreciating it.
    one note: „my internal DB-meter, which is located in/on my head“ …was kind of a joke … I meant my brain/ears :-D, and I noted the sound only from your and other recordings. I have no PC fan with dual-ball bearings (my PC fan portfolio consist of FDB/HDB … P12, TF 12 PRO, NF-A14 and Zephyr 50)
    (there was no Replay button, hence the new thread … this message can be deleted)

  2. Great review! Did you mean to say ”superior” here?:
    ”It uses a double-ball bearing, which is inferior to FDB and HDB at high operating temperatures but is typically noisier.”

        1. Noted! I don’t have the FDB P12 Max, but I can ask to send them.
          I actually have it, just checked the samples they sent me. Same RPM, noise looks similar, so I don’t expect any tremendous differences in performance.

          1. I can’t help myself, but my internal DB-meter, which is located in/on my head can clearly hears sound of the dual-ball bearings (I believe it’s somewhere around 4.5 to 5 kHz) in your recordings even/or especially on low RPM levels (10% and 25%) or here:
   or here:
   (similar to TL-B12 Extreme)
            And Arctic lists the exact same characteristics for 2 products with different bearings, which is strange. It would be easiest for the producent to use a cheaper type of bearings if that was the case.

            But I understand your point.

          2. Having a DB meter so close to the fan means that you get part of the airflow’s friction into account. This is why there is a specific quideline available on how you measure IT equipment.
            I comment the YT vids you mention.

            The same looks strange to me, too. Exactly the same performance etc, although different bearings.

            This is what I will do next, I will take another Black P12 Max (DBB) and compare it with a White P12 Max (FDB). Because also from fan to fan sample there can be notable variations.

        2. All P12 Max fans from ARCTIC are now equipped with fluid dynamic bearing. Some resellers may still be selling old inventory so best to double check if you have dual ball bearing.

  3. about daisy chain options. This is what they say about this on their subreddit:
    “We decided against the PST function for this fan due to the higher current.
    Each fan is taking around 0,3A.
    Most Motherboard-headers offer 1A. If you combine these fans with a Liquid Freezer you’re hitting the 1A pretty fast.
    Alternatively, we recommend our 4-pin PWM Fan Splitter Cable or the Case Fan Hub.”

    1. The Super MegaCool requires even more current but it has a daisy-chain option thanks to a special adapter it has, to draw power from a SATA connector, so everything is possible 🙂

  4. For the readers, i had Arctic 4× P12 Max and replaced them all with thermaltake toughfan 12 pro (45€ for 2×120mm and they exist in 140mm too). The build quality is really good and i would say same motor noise as noctua. Arctic it was an unpleasant experience ! Check the Nomalized Noise Tests on the recent 29/12/2023 Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM, the toughfan 12 pro are in the charts. Btw i’m curious, you include the 3×Phanteks T30 at 90€ why not the rest of your data ? I prefer to have the big list to peruse.
    Anyway thanks for the excellent review like always. It is a good budget fan.

    1. Hi, did you replace the P12 Max? For the Phanteks, I have the full review in the link, and they are included in the charts. I am curious, though, to hear what were the problems you had with the P12 Max.

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