Noctua NH-U12P Heatsink Review

noctua-nh-u12p

Behold the brown

It seems like everyone and their mother has a heatsink out now.  Companies known for their graphics cards, power supply moguls, and case manufacturers have all had their go at making the latest and greatest heatsink.  And most of the time, the ugliest.  And now someone else wants to put their chilly mark on the cooling industry.  Actually, it’s a whole freaking country.  They call themselves Noctua, and they want to show us that Austrians are as cool as the rest of us.

My test product this friendly afternoon is the NH-U12P from the good people at Noctua.  It boasts the quality of sound-optimized premium components, including the new NF-P12 fan which has been specially designed for high air pressure and flow.  The fan even has Vortex-Control Notches, a proclaimed psychoacoustic optimization that enables maximum airflow without sacrificing your peace and quiet.

The heatsink itself looked to me like your standard Fins N Pipes job, with the typical U-Pipes that are so widely popular today.  Here are a few specs from the manufacturer’s website that provide a little more detail behind the design.  The NH-U12P continues the legacy of Noctua’s classic NH-U coolers, which won over 150 awards and recommendations from leading international websites and magazines. While retaining the successful design and the well-proven SecuFirm™ mounting system, the newest revision has been reworked for enhanced main board compatibility and now comes with Noctua’s NT-H1 pro-grade thermal compound.


4 dual heat pipes
4 dual heat pipes, soldered joints and widely-spaced aluminum cooling fins guarantee optimal heat dissipation even at low fan speeds.

Award winning NH-U design
Noctua’s NH-U coolers allow for perfect airflow direction and have received more than 150 awards and recommendations from leading international websites and magazines.

NF-P12 premium fan
The NF-P12 has been specifically developed for applications like CPU cooling and brings the performance of the NH-U12 to a whole new level. Thanks to psycho-acoustic optimizations and Noctua’s premium-grade SSO-bearing, the NF-P12 achieves exceptional quietness and long-term stability.

Improved compatibility
Thanks to its raised fin-stack, the NH-U12P offers improved compatibility with main boards featuring very high chipset coolers.

SecuFirm™ multi-socket mounting system
Noctua’s professional SecuFirm™ mounting system for LGA 775, AM2 and AM2+ provides superior reliability and contact pressure.

Incl. Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound
Noctua’s NT-H1 is a pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and long-term stability.