Noctua is always innovating with new product designs and they’ve just introduced a new tower style cooler, the NH-U12S which is what I have for review today. This cooler is a thin design, it’s only 45mm deep which makes it ideal for using with performance style ram that utilizes large style heatspreaders as it doesn’t protrude over the ram slots of the majority of motherboards made today. The cooler utilizes the Noctua NF-F12 which is a 120mm forced focus fan that’s made specifically for use with CPU coolers. The NH-U12S can use one fan or you can purchase an additional fan for even more cooling performance, with one or two fans the NH-U12S runs virtually silent like most all Noctua products. I’ve put the NH-U12S up against several other coolers for comparison, and it performs very well indeed, so read on to learn more…
Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review
Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info
The NH-U12S is the latest 12cm model of Noctua’s classic U-series single tower CPU coolers, which have received more than 400 awards and recommendations from the international press. The S-version’s 45mm slim shape guarantees 100% compatibility with tall RAM modules and at the same time, its fine-tuned design and the class-leading NF-F12 FocusedFlow fan with PWM support for fully automatic speed control allow it to further improve its predecessor’s renowned quiet cooling performance. Topped off with the trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s proven NT-H1 thermal compound and full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-U12S is a complete premium quality solution that combines outstanding performance, quiet operation and excellent compatibility.
Award-winning NH-U12 series
The NH-U12S is the latest version of Noctua’s award-winning NH-U12 coolers. First introduced in 2005, the NH-U series has become a standard choice for premium quality quiet CPU coolers and won more than 400 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware websites and magazines.
100% RAM compatibility
Thanks to its slim design with only 45mm fin depth, the NH-U12S will not overhang the RAM slots even with two fans installed. This gives the user full access to the memory modules on all current CPU sockets and guarantees 100% compatibility with tall heatspreaders or optional memory fans.*
Classic 120mm tower size for excellent overall compatibility
Standing 158mm tall, the NH-U12S is short enough to fit most modern mid- or high-end tower cases. Measuring 125mm wide (including fan and fan clips), the cooler stays clear of the top PCIe slot on standard ATX or Micro-ATX motherboards, ensuring best compatibility with SLI and CrossFire setups.
NF-F12 120mm Focused Flow fan
Recommended by more than 150 hardware publications and thousands of enthusiasts world-wide, the Noctua’s premium quality NF-F12 Focused Flow 120mm fan is renowned to combine superb static pressure, excellent heatsink performance and surprising quietness of operation.
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor
The NF-F12 120mm fan supplied with the NH-U12S supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the mainboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 1500 to 1200rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation.
Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12 (optional)
For users who want to achieve even better performance by adding a second, optional NF-F12 fan to create a push/pull setup, the NH-U12S includes fan clips and an extra set of custom-designed anti-vibration pads that allow to off-set the rear fan by 5mm to improve acoustics in dual-fan mode.
SecuFirm2 mounting system
Noctua’s SecuFirm2 mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety and ease of use. Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156), LGA2011 and AMD (AM3+, AM2+, FM1, FM2), the SecuFirm2 mounting included with the NH-U12S guarantees perfect contact pressure and maximum convenience on all current sockets.
Compatibility with past and future sockets
Complying with the open SecuFirm standard, the NH-U12S can be made compatible with the older LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets using the optional NM-I3 mounting kit, which is provided by Noctua free of charge. If technically possible, Noctua will also provide upgrade kits for future sockets.
NT-H1 thermal compound
Having received more than 100 awards and recommendations from hardware journalists around the world, Noctua’s NT-H1 is a proven professional grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease of use and outstanding reliability.
6 years warranty
Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-F12 features an MTBF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-U12S package comes with a full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty.
*Some AMD mainboards violate the 96x114mm keep-out zone specified by AMD, so the NH-U12S can only be used with RAM modules of up to 40mm height on these boards. Please consult our compatibility list for details.
Socket compatibility: Intel LGA2011 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2 (backplate required)
Height (without fan): 158 mm
Width (without fan) : 125 mm
Depth (without fan) : 45 mm
Height (with fan): 158 mm
Width (with fan): 125 mm
Depth (with fan): 71 mm
Weight (without fan): 580 g
Weight (with fan): 755 g
Material: Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminum (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility: 120x120x25
Scope of Delivery:
NF-F12 PWM premium fan
Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
SecuFirm2 Mounting Kit
Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12
Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty: 6 Years
Model: Noctua NF-F12 PWM
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%): 1500 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%): 1200 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM): 300 RPM
Max. Airflow: 93,4 m³/h
Max. Airflow with L.N.A.: 74,3 m³/h
Max. Acoustical Noise: 22,4 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.: 18,6 dB(A)
Input Power: 0,6 W
Voltage Range: 12 V
MTBF: > 150.000 h
Price: $65.95 (from Amazon at time of review)