Noctua NH-U12A Dual Fan Air Cooler Review
Mike Sanders / 1 month ago
We are often accused here at eTeknix of occasionally having a touch of ‘fanboy-ism’. The accusations generally tend to rotate between AMD and Intel depending on seemingly the day, weather and shoe size of the person in question. We’d say the subject, but that doesn’t seem to come into it.
If there is brand that we do love, however, it is almost certainly Noctua. Yes, admittedly, their beige branding isn’t the most attractive to look it, but there’s more than a few reasons why my own personal system has 5 of their system fans and one of their coolers installed.
As such, when I heard that Noctua was releasing an update to their highly-popular U12, I was more than a little curious. You see, Noctua sets exceptionally high standards for themselves. Put simply, if it isn’t fantastic, they don’t release it.
So, with more than a little curiosity, we take a look at the Noctua NH-U12A and see just how good this new upgrade has been!
- Award-winning NH-U12 series
- 140mm performance in 120mm size
- 100% RAM compatibility on LGA115x and AM4
- Classic 120mm tower size for excellent case and PCIe compatibility
- Dual NF-A12 120mm fans
- PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptors
- SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system
- Compatibility with past and future sockets
- Soldered interface between heatpipes and fins
- NT-H1 thermal compound included.
- 6-year manufacturer’s warranty
What Does Noctua Have To Say?
The NH-U12A is the latest, 5th generation of Noctua’s award-winning NH-U12 series of 120mm size premium-quality quiet CPU coolers. Conceived to push the envelope of the 120mm form factor, it combines two of Noctua’s flagship model NF-A12x25 PWM 120mm fans with a completely redesigned heatsink featuring 7 heat pipes and an increased fin surface area for superior heat dissipation. This way, the NH-U12A can rival the performance of many 140mm size coolers while offering 120mm class case and PCIe compatibility. Topped off with the trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s proven NT-H1 thermal compound and a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-U12A is a deluxe choice that combines top-tier performance with excellent compatibility and outstanding quietness of operation. – Official product page.
For more in-depth specifications, please visit the official product page via the link here!
As you might have expected from a Noctua product, the branding used is a fairly solid reflection of the product itself. Namely, white and brown.
While this might come across as a little boring (and it does) remember that Noctua is designed with performance as a priority. I have always liked the idea that is someone mentioned RGB at Noctua HQ they’d get thrown out of the highest window.
As you might expect, the packaging is absolutely crammed with all the key features the NH-U12A has. While these are a little cramped, it’s a great amount of information to have.
If you are looking for a little ‘razmatazz’ then the closest you’ll get is in a sticker. Promising 140mm performance in a 120mm size is a nice promotional tool, but I suspect that any other brand might have had this emblazoned on the box rather than almost as an after thought.
Out of the packaging you basically have two things. You have the cooler itself (with the fans pre-attached) and a box with all the parts. It’s certainly nice and simple and, compared to most coolers, is very well organised for what is essentially a rather small box.
A singular box contains all of the parts necessary to help you install your brand new cooler. It is, however, a nice touch to see a bit of instructional details on there.
The accessories themselves are exceptionally well presented and with the assistance of two manuals (for differing socket installations) you should have no difficulty getting this fitted onto your system.
As a nice added touch, you are provided with Noctua thermal paste, the ‘low-noise’ cable adaptors as well as a screw driver (which will be more than helpful as you’ll find out later).