Noctua NH-U12S REDUX CPU Cooler (and Upgrade Kit) Review

/ 10 months ago

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Noctua NH-U12S REDUX

Noctua is a brand that we are unashamedly fond of here at eTeknix. While they don’t release new products often, when something does come out, it’s always really, really, good! Noctua is a brand that prefers to focus on quality rather than quantity, and, for air cooler designs, they are undoubtedly one of, if not the, biggest and best names around! With the recent release of the new NH-U12S REDUX, therefore, we couldn’t resist checking this out!

Noctua NH-U12S REDUX

Noctua NH-U12S REDUX and Upgrade Kit

The NH-U12S REDUX is effectively a totally revised update of their original (and highly popular) compact NH-U12S model. Directly comparing the two, we see a much sleeker and visually appealing aesthetic within the REDUX update while Noctua promises that not only has all the performance been kept, but that we can also (all going well) expect to see some notable improvements in both noise output and CPU temperatures.

In something that definitely adds a little spice to this review, however, Noctua has also provided us with an NA-FK1 REDUX kit. Effectively an optional second fan upgrade that allows users to opt for a ‘push/pull’ configuration. One which should help provide even better levels of cooling performance with, we expect, only a minimal trade-off in acoustic output.

As such, while we will largely be focusing on the single ‘main’ NH-U12S REDUX cooler, we will, of course, also check out how much better it gets with the optional upgrade fan kit!

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  • Based on the award-winning NH-U12S
    • The NH-U12S redux is based on Noctua’s proven, premium-grade NH-U12S, which is widely recognised as one of the best slim 120mm single-tower coolers on the market. Having received more than 200 awards and recommendations from international hardware websites and magazines, the NH-U12S has convinced tens of thousands of customers around the globe.
  • Streamlined redux edition
    • Following the idea of Noctua’s redux line, the NH-U12S redux takes the proven concept of the original NH-U12S and reduces it to its essential core: a quiet, quality-made 120mm cooler with streamlined accessories that is highly compatible and easy to install.
  • Classic 120mm tower size for excellent case and PCIe compatibility
    • Standing 158mm tall, the NH-U12S redux 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 most standard ATX or Micro-ATX motherboards, ensuring optimum compatibility with multi-GPU setups.
  • 100% RAM compatibility
    • Thanks to its slim design with only 45mm fin depth, the NH-U12S redux will not overhang the RAM slots on any current platform. This gives the user full access to the memory modules and guarantees 100% compatibility with modules that feature tall heat-spreaders or RGB lighting.
  • Proven NF-P12 fan with PWM
    • Specifically designed for pressure-demanding applications such as on heatsinks, the classic NF-P12 is a long-standing favourite among quiet cooling enthusiasts. The higher-speed 1700rpm redux line version supports PWM for automatic speed control, which allows it to run near silent most of the time and provide massive performance when necessary.
  • Optional dual-fan kit
    • The optional NA-FK1 fan kit makes it possible to upgrade the NH-U12S redux with a second fan in order to achieve even better performance. Containing a second NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM fan, fan clips, anti-vibration pads, a y-cable and Low-Noise Adaptors, it gives plenty of options to fine-tune the cooler for further improved efficiency or quietness of operation.
  • Precision-machined copper base for optimal contact and heat distribution
    • A minimally convex copper base is essential in order to guarantee optimal contact quality on today’s CPUs as well as even heat distribution across all heatpipes. While many coolers omit this key part in order to cut costs, the NH-U12S redux uses the same type of copper base as the original NH-U12S, precision-machined for ideal contact quality.
  • SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system
    • Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety and easy installation. Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156), LGA1200 and LGA20xx (LGA2066, LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3), as well as AMD AM4, the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-U12S redux is straightforward to install, provides perfect contact pressure and will stand the test of time even under heavy use.
  • Free mounting upgrade policy
    • Just like with Noctua’s more expensive coolers, mounting upgrade kits for the NH-U12S redux will be provided free of charge if technically possible, making it a safe long-term investment. Customers can also order kits for older sockets, such as LGA775 or LGA1366, free of charge on Noctua’s website.
  • Pre-applied NT-H1 thermal compound
    • Chosen again and again by overclockers and enthusiast users worldwide, Noctua’s NT-H1 has established itself as a benchmark for premium-quality thermal compounds. The NH-U12S redux comes with a thin layer of NT-H1 pre-applied to the heatsink base, which makes it even easier to install and eliminates any guesswork as to how much paste should be used.
  • 6-year manufacturer’s warranty
    • Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. True to this legacy, the NH-U12S redux cuts no corners and, like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-P12 redux features an MTTF rating of more than 150,000 hours. The entire package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
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Technical Information

For more in-depth specifications, please visit the official product website links below:

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Socket Compatibility

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What Does Noctua Have To Say?

“True to the spirit of Noctua’s redux line, the NH-U12S redux is a streamlined, accessibly priced version of the iconic NH-U12S that has established itself as a benchmark for slim, highly compatible 120mm CPU coolers. The redux version uses the same proven heatsink layout that guarantees 100% compatibility with tall RAM modules as well as excellent case and PCIe compatibility. Thanks to the popular NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM fan with automatic speed control, it provides high performance under load and runs whisper-quiet at idle. At the same time, Noctua’s renowned, professional SecuFirm2™ mounting system and the pre-applied NT-H1 thermal compound make installation child’s play. Backed up with Noctua’s trusted 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-U12S redux is a smart, affordable choice for a quiet, high-quality 120mm cooler.”

Noctua NH-U12S REDUX

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