Noctua NH-U12S Air CPU Cooler Review

/ 2 years ago

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A Closer Look

As Noctua are specifically designed for performance, the cooler itself is very imposing out of the box. The design in itself is rather simple, but it will not take you long to discover that this is an exceptionally well-made product. Everything on the Noctua NH-U12S speaks of care and attention and that should give you the confidence that even before you’ve installed this, you have made a shrewd choice.

The cooler does come with the fan pre-installed, you will, however, have to unclip this for the installation. Getting back to the design though, you will notice that this cooler has 10 cooling pipes leading to the vent. This is a lot more than you would usually expect to see from an air cooler and this should provide excellent heat dissipation.


The contact plate on the Noctua NH-U12S is nice and large which should allow for excellent coverage on your processor. In addition, you can see how the contact pipes, despite the number, are also nicely spaced to again benefit the overall heat dissipation this promises to provide.


Despite the rather imposing design, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a massive cooler. The side profile photograph below clearly shows that while this might have a lot of technical aspects going on, it’s actually quite slim. This should, therefore, present no problems in terms of fitting or RAM clearance.


As this is a Noctua product, the fan is clearly going to be as equally important (and impressive) as the cooler itself. The Noctua NH-U12S has an NF-F12 PWM fan. The design is clearly that which we are all familiar with from Noctua, however, based on the prior design some improvements have been made to improve the cooling and airflow capacity.


As the primary cooler reviewer for eTeknix, I can attest that some designs are better than others. In fact, some designs are outright awful. In these terms, while Noctua’s bracket design has more parts than others, it’s actually one of the easiest to understand and fit. The excellent instruction manual will help you with any difficulties, but overall, you can’t fault the design in the slightest.

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