Noctua NH-C12P CPU Heatsink Review


Inside the box

In the box you`ll find the mounting brackets for Intel’s LGA775 and AMD’s AM2 and AM2+ sockets so your set for today’s standard.

The heat sink itself composes of 6 nickel-plated copper heat pipes sandwiched in between a nickel-plated copper base, with aluminum cooling fins wrapped around.
Now when I first viewed the base of the cooler I noticed it still had machining marks, they weren’t deep and you had to run your nail across it to actually feel them, worried by this being a flaw I quickly emailed our contact at Noctua, if the base is meant to be finished this way, and got a fast response.

“Yes, the base finished is supposed to be this way.  If we went for a mirror finish, the risk of uneven dispersion and air pockets would be higher when used with high-viscosity pastes, the micro grooves reduce the risk of uneven dispersion and air pockets when using high-viscosity thermal compound such as AS5 or our NT-H1”

On that side note they reassured me that there are no compatibility issues with other 3rd party’s TIM (Thermal Interface Material) then again they already supplied you with a tube of their own high quality paste, so why not use that. For more info about their NT-H1 compound check

To go with the heatsink is their NF-P12 fan, a SSO Bearing 120mm fan, which has  an RPM of 1300, pushing 92,3 cubic meters of air an hour.  This fan produces 19.8 decibels when not using the supplied LNA (Low Noise Adapter) and ULNA (Ultra Low Noise Adapter).  These adapters are a set of resistors placed on the fan’s power lead; a simple plug and play system.

So would you need the LNA? Well that’s a personal taste for me the standard fan without the use of any LNA is not even audible over the sound of the hard drives.  They make the most noise inside my case not my case fans.  Then again my case fans are also Noctua branded so no wonder there.  A nice side note it’s MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) is greater than >150.000 hours

Another nice touch is Noctua’s way to reduce noise caused by vibration of the fan itself, so they supplied you with 2 silicone strips which have a sticky backing so you can adhere them on the indentation slots along the cooler so the fan itself can’t pass any vibration into the rest of the assembly decreasing unwanted noise.

So apart of its flawless finish a nice Noctua logo stamped into the fins of the heat sink does it have the cooling performance to match its looks.

Remember when I was shocked about the size, I was about to be shocked again this time by its cooling performance, I was running my water cooling kit for over 2 years now so I do think the lines and radiator are somewhat clogged so not running at it should but still the difference in temperatures where astonishing.