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Noctua NH-U12P Desktop Processor Heatsink and Fan

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Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler


The Bottom Line

Those looking for a high performance or low noise CPU cooler for their desktop system should take a serious look at the Noctua NH-U12P. It offers superb cooling performance with very low noise operation that is so low it can't be heard over other components. Of course, the cooler is so large that it will be too tall for many standard desktop PC cases.
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  • Extremely Strong Performance
  • Very Low Noise Operation
  • Superb Installation Manual


  • Very Large And Won't Fit All Desktop Cases
  • Installation Requires Removal of Motherboard from Case


  • Aluminum Tower Heatsink Design with Four Heatpipes
  • Copper Heatsink Base
  • Noctua NF-P12 120mm 1300rpm Low Noise Fan Includes
  • Compatible with Intel Socket 775 and AMD Socket AM2/AM2+ Processors
  • Voltage Adapters For Low Noise (1100rpm) and Ultra Low Noise (900rpm) Fan Operation
  • Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound Included
  • 5-inch by 3.7-inch by 6.2-inch Dimensions
  • 27.2 ounce (770g) Weight

Guide Review - Noctua NH-U12P Desktop Processor Heatsink and Fan

6/30/08 - Noctua's NH-U12P is a very large tower design CPU cooler that features a 120mm cooling fan. Even though it is quite large, the aluminum construction of the tower makes it fairly lightweight for the size. Even though it only comes with a single 120mm fan, the cooler can use a second fan for additional cooling performance.

One of the outstanding features of the NH-U12P has to be the installation guide. It is by far the best written and designed guide I have seen to date. It is a small fold out poster than features the Intel Socket 775 instructions on one side and the Socket AM2/AM2+ on the other. All the steps are well documented with illustrations that should let just about anyone install it without any issue.

Testing of the Noctua NH-U12P was done with an ASUS P5K-E motherboard with Intel Core 2 Duo E8400. All of this was setup inside of a Antec P180 tower case. Idle temperatures were taken 15 minutes after the system was booted up without any active applications. Load testing was done by running Lavalys Everest System Stability test running for 45 minutes. In both cases, the highest recorded temperature was taken. All readings were taken with the fan running at the full 1300rpm speed.

Under the default clock speed of the Core 2 Duo E8400, idle temperatures were 86F while load temperatures were 108F. Ambient temps at the time were 73F. The Core 2 Duo E8400 was overclocked from 3.0Ghz to 3.6GHz to further test the NH-U12P cooler. Ambient temps for this test were at 75F. Idle readers were 90F while load was 118F. These are extremely low temperature readings that far surpass the Intel default cooler and with no perceptible noise over the rest of the system components.

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