heading

Product discontinued. Successor model: NH-L12

Building on the proven basis of the successful NH-C12P, which has received more than 100 awards and recommendations from the international press, the NH-C12P SE14 now comes with Noctua's new NF-P14 140mm fan for further improved quiet cooling performance as well as the new SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system. Topped off with Noctua's pro-grade NT-H1 thermal compound and adding support for both LGA1366 and LGA1156/1155/1150, the NH-C12P SE14 is a premium quality quiet cooler that provides lots of airflow for near-socket mainboard components and excellent case compatibility at a height of only 114mm.
Details
Proven 6 heatpipe design

Proven 6 heatpipe design

Recommended by more than 100 international hardware websites and magazines, the NH-C12P heatsink is renowned for its excellent quality and thermal performance.
C-type design with Airflow-Gaps

C-type design with Airflow-Gaps

Due to the down-facing design, two large Airflow-Gaps and the oversize 140mm fan, the NH-C12P SE14 provides superior cooling for near-socket motherboard components.
NF-P14 140mm premium fan

NF-P14 140mm premium fan

Further improving the original NH-C12P's much acclaimed quiet cooling performance, the NF-P14 is a highly optimised, premium quality 140mm fan with Vortex-Control Notches for superb quietness and outstanding aerodynamic efficiency.
High compatibility

High compatibility

The down-facing c-type design allows for low height as well as excellent motherboard and case compatibility, making the NH-C12P SE14 suitable for many smaller or desktop style cases.
SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system

SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system

Noctua's enthusiast grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting provides broad socket compatibility (LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1150, LGA775, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+) and meets the highest demands in safety, performance and ease-of-use.
Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound

Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound

Noctua's much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a well proven pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding reliability.
NH-C12P SE14
Cooler Specification
Intel LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1150, LGA775, LGA2011 on request, Asus X-socket™ & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)
Height (without fan)
90 mm
Width (without fan)
126 mm
Depth (without fan)
152 mm
Height (with fan)
114 mm
Width (with fan)
140 mm
Depth (with fan)
152 mm
Weight (without fan)
550 g
Weight (with fan/s)
730 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility
140x140x25mm / 120x120x25mm
Scope of Delivery
  • NF-P14 premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kits
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Bearing
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
900 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
750 RPM
Acoustical Noise
19,6 dB(A)
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-C12P SE14
28.02.2015 // ComputerForum.de
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

Kühler der österreichischen Kühlerspezialisten mit dem Steinkauz im Logo sind in unserer Redaktion stets gern gesehene Testprobanden. Noctua-Kühler wissen im Gegensatz zu Kühlern diverser anderer Hersteller schon vom ersten Moment an zu begeistern. Wie bisher alle Produkte der Österreicher zuvor auch, besticht der NH-C12P SE14 mit herausragend guter Verarbeitung, die bis ins Detail schlicht makellos ist. Die Materialien sind hochwertig, der Kühlerfuß ist penibelst poliert, die Heatpipes sauber gebogen, die Kühlfinnen mit ihren Sägezähnen präzise entgratet. Auch der als Lüfter zum Einsatz kommende NF-P14 ist aus wertigem Kunststoff gefertigt, die Materialstärke ist überzeugend, die Haptik ausgezeichnet. Im Schatten des großen Bruders NH-C14, dem mächtigen Top-Blower mit zwei NF-P14, zeigt der NH-C12P SE14, dass er, obwohl im Spätherbst seines Produktionszyklus angelangt, eine ernstzunehmende Alternative darstellt - nicht nur zu besagtem, größeren und teureren Bruder, nicht nur zu den konkurrierenden kleinen, sondern auch zu vielen ausgewachsenen, ausladenden Tower-Kühlern, zu denen er per Definition nicht einmal in Konkurrenz steht. Die Kühlleistung allein ist als sehr gut zu bezeichnen, egal ob die automatische Lüftersteuerung des Mainboards eingreift oder wir die Drehzahl fixieren - und das in jeder Lebenslage unhörbar bis leise. Um das noch einmal herauszustreichen: Unhörbar ist der NH-C12P SE14 nur nicht, wenn wir seine Lüfterdrehzahl manuell in eine Region schieben, die wir mit unserer 125W-CPU unter automatischer Lüftersteuerung nicht in der Lage waren zu provozieren! Und selbst dann, selbst auf 1200rpm fixiert, entsteht nicht mehr als ein wahrnehmbares, aber nicht störendes Luftrauschen.
Test verdict: "Mit dem Noctua NH-C12P SE14 runden die Kühlerspezialisten aus Österreich ihr Portfolio großer Top-Blower zwischen NH-C14 und NH-L12 mehr als gelungen ab. Der in seiner Urform NH-C12P bereits mehr als sieben Jahre am Markt befindliche Kühler aus der Alpenrepublik weiß durch seine herausragende Verarbeitung, beste Materialien und schiere Liebe zum Detail ebenso zu begeistern, wie durch seine für einen Top-Blower sehr guten Kühlwerte, die er durchweg unter geringster Geräuschentwicklung erreicht." (Benedikt Weiß, ComputerForum.de)
25.02.2014 // Conseil Config
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

Les NH-C12 étant le petit frère du NH-C14 les performances sont donc en deçà mais il reste tout à fait apte à refroidir le core i7 tout en étant plus compact, il faudra cependant faire attention aux températures en 5v dans un boitier qui n'a pas un bon flux d'air.
Test verdict: "Est-ce que le petit frère du NH-C14 tient la route lorsqu'il s'agit de refroidir un Core i7 ? Je vous dirais que oui! Il faut prendre en compte l'usage de ce ventirad, qui est plutôt censé être utilisé dans un boitier HTPC et qui a donc des dimensions réduites par rapport aux ventirads de type Tour. Dans cet environnement là il remplira parfaitement son rôle et permettra même de refroidir les composants autour du socket." (Christian Marchini, Conseil Config)
22.02.2014 // RelaxedTech.com
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

People recognize Noctua products when they see one because of the color scheme that they use on their fans and that's what makes Noctua unique from different manufactures. Noctua has gained a lot of positive recognition in the cooling market because of their exceptional CPU coolers and amazing fans. Their outstanding customer service is what sets them apart from every other manufacture. Noctua's innovation with the NH-C12P SE14 and NH-C14 is exactly what the PC enthusiast industry needs and while these coolers might not hold the performance crown in our bench tests, they weren't designed to handle extreme overclocks in the first place. Like we said earlier, these coolers are designed for small enclosures and HTPC applications and that's where they shine. The NH-C14 was able to handle the 3770K at 4.6Ghz relatively well (under 80c) and that says a lot for a cooler that's specifically designed for small enclosures with little airflow.
Test verdict: "Overall, both the NH-C14 and the NH-C12P SE14 come packed with whisper quiet fans and come loaded with a ton of useful accessories. The NH-C14 with two fans running at full speed was inaudible while we were running the 3770K at 4.6Ghz and the same goes for its little brother. Another great thing about Noctua's products is that they come with SecuFirm2 which makes the installation process so easy that it's not even funny." (Henry Peshkepija, RelaxedTech.com)
18.05.2013 // PCTechReview
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

Obydwa coolery w wykonaniu Noctua znów nas nie zawiodły. Recenzowane konstrukcje są bardzo dobrze wykonane, a także wydajne. Chłodzenia prezentują się fantastycznie a sama jakość wykonania jest nienaganna, a do tego można je zainstalować na praktycznie wszystkich dostępnych podstawkach
Test verdict: "Obydwa coolery otrzymują zasłużoną ocenę 4,5/5 oraz naszą rekomendacje!" (Rafał Dryjer, PCTechReview.pl)
17.05.2013 // ElektronikTest.dk
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

Noctua's NH-C12P SE14 ser ret aggressiv ud, og virker ved første øjekast lidt vild med kølevinger der går helt ned til selve kølehovedet. Der er kun plads til én enkelt 120/140mm blæser, og der medfølger én 140mm som levere godt med luft til køleren. Selvom den ligger et par grader over NH-C14 er det stadig super flot klaret, og den slår stadig nogle at de andre store kølere som vi har testet.
Test verdict: "God og solid køler som levere rigtig god køling uden at støje for meget. Derudover ser den også flot ud, hvis man altså kan lide den måde den er bygget op på." (John Thorn, ElektronikTest.dk)
03.12.2012 // ITNetwork.rs
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

Sve činjenice idu u prilog od dosta sitnih dodataka koji su neophodni za montažu pa i termalne paste koju retko koji proizvođač isporučuje u paketu sa kulerom, a i najbitnija činjenica da je montaža veoma jednostavna, pa može biti dovoljan razlog da vas privuče ova kupovina. Ventilator koji se isporučuje u paketu veličine 140 mm, pri normalnom radu od 12V stvara nizak stepen buke, kako bi i to smanjili Noctua u paketu isporučuju još dva naponska adaptera od 7V i 5V čime dodatno smanjuju stepen buke a nama pružaju razlog više za kupovinu. Negativne stvari nismo našli i ako smo se trudili, tako da na kraju možemo samo doneti zaključak da je ovo izvanredan proizvod za ne tako mnogo novca.
Test verdict: "NH-C12P SE14 je još jedan odličan proizvod iz Noctua-e. Ukoliko ste tražili dovoljno jak kuler koji bi ohladio vaš procesor prilikom overklokovanja a da ne potrošite dosta novca onda je ovo možda pravi izbor." (Sasa Ristic, ITNetwork.rs)
29.02.2012 // The Overclock Hole
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

La progettazione lo rende compatibile con tantissime motherboard e Noctua è uno dei pochi produttori che ha un database di compatibilità sia con motherboard che ram che dovrebbe essere preso come riferimento da tutti i produttori di dissipatori.. è molto facile andare a controllare e capire se la scheda e le memorie che avete scelto vi daranno problemi con questo cooler. Aggiungete la silenziosità, la relativa facilità di montaggio, l'efficacia e troverete pochi punti negativi a questo dissipatore, che permette anche overclock moderati magari su CPU con TDP basso o nel caso di Intel Core, senza tecnologia Hyperthreading. Se non desiderate overcloccare difficilmente troverete un processore, anche di fascia alta, che metterà in crisi questo cooler.
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-C12P SE14 è un dissipatore efficace; considerato che è di tipo "top-down" si è ben difeso nei test, è molto silenzioso e data l'altezza contenuta si candida come una tra le soluzioni migliori per coloro che cercano un cooler poco rumoroso per sistemi HTPC o comunque da inserire in cabinet dalle dimensioni contenute soprattutto in larghezza." (Lorenzo Pasini, The Overclock Hole)
26.02.2012 // infoBIT.pl
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

W zestawie dostajemy dwa adaptery, dzięki którym możemy zredukować prędkość obrotową z 1200 RPM do 900 RPM i 750 RPM, uzyskując praktycznie bezgłośna pracę oraz wystarczającą wydajność.
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-C12P SE14 to świetnie wykonany i estetycznie wyglądający cooler. W parze idzie również bardzo wysoka wydajność" (Wojciech Braś, infoBIT.pl)
13.02.2012 // Hardware - HDblog
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

Dopo aver testato diversi dissipatori Noctua, rilevando sempre ottimi risultati, non ci stupiamo dell’ennesima prova di qualità offerta dall’NH-C12P SE14. Questo Cooler ci è piaciuto soprattutto perchè pur non avendo dimensioni esagerate risce a gestire tranquillamente CPU con TDP superiore a 130W con una ventola che anche a pieno regime risulta molto silenziosa. Caratteristica dei dissipatori orizzontali poi è senza dubbio la doppia funzionalità che permette di raffreddare non solo il processore ma anche la zona socket con buoni risultati.
Test verdict: "Anche se ormai risulta scontato quando si parla di dissipatori Noctua, ribadiamo qualora ce ne fosse bisogno, che il prodotto risulta impeccabile sotto il profilo costruttivo e del bundle." (Salvatore Gallo, Hardware - HDblog)
11.01.2012 // TechStation.it
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NH-C12P SE14 Review

Siamo giunti alla fase finale della recensione in cui dobbiamo tirare le conclusioni, Noctua è sicuramente un marchio da cui ci si aspetta molto e le nostre aspettative sono state tutte rispettate, partendo dalla cura del packing, passando per la completezza degli accessori in bundle fino ad arrivare alla qualità costruttiva dei dissiaptore e degli accessori si nota la cura dei dettagli e la progettazione non basata su una logica di risparmio.
Test verdict: "Il Noctua NH-C12P SE14 viste le dimensioni più contenute si presta ad essere montato anche su case più piccoli, senza la ventola ha un altezza di 90mm, anche se il dissipatore non è stato progettato per funzionare fanless." (Pietro Pallozzi, TechStation.it)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

Is the high weight dangerous for the CPU or socket?

Is it possible to mount fans with a greater height than 25mm?

I've got 2 adapter cables with the cooler. What's the difference between these cables?

Can I use Noctua fans on my fan controller?

In which orientation should top-flow coolers (NH-C series, NH-L12) be installed?

My fan doesn’t spin when I start up the PC - is it faulty?

How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-C12P provide?

Does the cooler offer sufficient clearance for my RAM modules?

Does the cooler offer sufficient clearance for my RAM modules?

Is the cooler compatible with LGA1366 mainboards for Xeon 5500?

My mainboard has more than one set of mounting holes. Which one should I use?

I've got 2 adapter cables with the cooler. What's the difference between these cables?

Can I use Corsair Dominator RAM with the cooler?

Can I use Corsair Dominator RAM with the cooler?

The fan doesn’t start with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA)!

Is the mounting system compatible with LGA1155?

Is the cooler compatible with AMD AM3+ and FM1?

Is the cooler compatible with the Intel LGA2011 socket and Asus X-socket™?

Can use the NF-A15 fan on my Noctua CPU cooler?

The cooler's fans always run at full speed and can not be controlled by my motherboard, what's the problem?

Can I run Noctua 3-pin fans on 4-pin PWM connectors and use my mainboard’s automatic fan controller?

How can I check whether my AMD mainboard has a standard AMD backplate that’s compatible with the SecuFirm2™ mounting system and how should I proceed with the installation?

My unlocked Intel CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem?

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

What Thermal Design Power (TDP) is this cooler recommended for and how much Watt (W) of heat can it dissipate?

My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose?

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one?

How much torque should be applied when tightening the screws of a Noctua CPU cooler?

Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model?

How can I determine if the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS is overclocking my processor by default and deactivate this automatic overclocking?

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo?

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with AMD AM4 (Ryzen)?

Is the high weight dangerous for the CPU or socket?

No. Noctua coolers possess an extremely reliable SecuFirm™ mounting system. Thanks to the screw connection with the backplate on the rear side of the motherboard, the exceedance of the weight recommendations by Intel and AMD common among high-end coolers is completely unobjectionable.

Is it possible to mount fans with a greater height than 25mm?

Yes. The fan mounting clips grip to the screw holes in the lower edge of the fan frame and hence work with all fans regardless of their height. However, problems with the mounting of the fan can occur due to other parts within the case or fans with special frame designs, where the clips can't grip to the screw holes in the lower edge of the frame.

NH-U fan mounting

I've got 2 adapter cables with the cooler. What's the difference between these cables?

The Low-Noise-Adapter (L.N.A.) and Ultra-Low-Noise-Adapter (U.L.N.A.) reduce the speed of the fan to 1300 / 1000 rpm:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Can I use Noctua fans on my fan controller?

Our fans are compatible with the vast majority of fan controllers on the market. However, there is a compatibility issue with a few models such as the Zalman ZM-MFC2 and Bitfenix Recon, which apply Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) on the 12V line and use an unfavourable PWM carrier frequency. This can create an oscillation when used with certain fans, which will result in the fan speeding up and down. We therefore recommend not using the Zalman ZM-MFC2 or Bitfenix Recon with our fans.

In which orientation should top-flow coolers (NH-C series, NH-L12) be installed?

When using top-flow coolers in a tower-style case, we strongly recommend installing the cooler with the heatpipes in horizontal position or with the bends of the heatpipes pointing downwards. Please avoid installing the cooler with the bends pointing upwards as this may result in reduced cooling performance. In desktop cases, the cooler can be used in any orientation.

Orientation

My fan doesn’t spin when I start up the PC - is it faulty?

If you've connected the fan directly (or using the supplied Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptors) to your mainboard, it's possible that the mainboard's automatic fan controller doesn't provide the required starting voltage due to the low CPU temperature. Please verify whether the fan starts spinning at higher CPU temperatures, remove any Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptors, deactivate your mainboard's automatic fan controller in the BIOS or connect the fan directly to the power supply using the supplied 3:4-pin adaptor.

How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-C12P provide?

The NH-C12P provides 44mm clearance for near-socket components:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Does the cooler offer sufficient clearance for my RAM modules?

The cooler offers sufficient clearance for modules of up to 40mm in height. RAM modules with higher heatspreaders can cause compatibility issues on mainboards where the heatsink extends over the RAM slots (Note that you can move the fan up as shown here in case only the fan hangs over the RAM slots).

RAM Clearance

Does the cooler offer sufficient clearance for my RAM modules?

The cooler offers sufficient clearance for modules of up to 40mm in height. RAM modules with higher heatspreaders can cause compatibility issues on mainboards where the heatsink extends over the RAM slots.

RAM Clearance

Is the cooler compatible with LGA1366 mainboards for Xeon 5500?

Due to the custom NM-I3 backplate, the cooler can not be used on mainboards that have a backplate with screw threads for CPU cooler installation (such as the Intel reference backplate for Xeon 5500). Please choose our NH-U12DX 1366 for these mainboards.

1366 compatibility

My mainboard has more than one set of mounting holes. Which one should I use?

Please always use the standard set of mounting holes that's compliant with your socket type (e.g. 75mm LGA1156 hole spacing on LGA1156 sockets) and parallel to the sides of the socket. Don't use mounting holes which are rotated in relation to the socket.

1366 compatibility

I've got 2 adapter cables with the cooler. What's the difference between these cables?

The Low-Noise-Adapter (L.N.A.) and Ultra-Low-Noise-Adapter (U.L.N.A.) reduce the speed of the fan to 900 / 750 rpm:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Can I use Corsair Dominator RAM with the cooler?

The cooler can extend over the RAM slots on some mainboards. While DDR2 Corsair Dominator don't fit underneath the cooler, DDR3 Corsair Dominator do fit when the removable top heatsink is taken off as shown below. Please also note that the NF-P12 fan can be moved upwards or taken off in order to improve RAM compatibility as shown here.

DDR3

Can I use Corsair Dominator RAM with the cooler?

The cooler can extend over the RAM slots on some mainboards. While DDR2 Corsair Dominator don't fit underneath the cooler, DDR3 Corsair Dominator do fit when the removable top heatsink is taken off as shown below.

DDR3

The fan doesn’t start with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA)!

Unfortunately, many Gigabyte mainboards use a special control circuit that can lead to start-up problems in conjunction with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA). This control circuit remains active even when automatic fan control is disabled in the BIOS. In these cases, please use the fan without the ULNA or connect it directly to the power supply (or an external fan controller) in order to ensure reliable operation with the ULNA.

Is the mounting system compatible with LGA1155?

Yes. LGA1155 uses the same hole spacing as LGA1156, so the same SecuFirm2™ mounting system can be used.

Is the cooler compatible with AMD AM3+ and FM1?

As the hole spacing for CPU cooler installation on AM3+ and FM1 is the same as on AM2, AM2+ and AM3, the cooler is fully compatible with AM3+ and FM1 out of the box and doesn’t require any modifications or upgrades.

Is the cooler compatible with the Intel LGA2011 socket and Asus X-socket™?

The cooler doesn’t come with LGA2011 mounting hardware out of the box, but it can be upgraded to support LGA2011 via the NM-I2011 mounting kit.

Please also note that the cooler is fully compatible with Asus Rampage IV series LGA2011 motherboards that feature Asus X-socket™. Asus X-socket™ models use an interchangeable backplate that makes it possible to install LGA1366 heatsinks, so the cooler is fully compatible with these mainboards out of the box and does not require any upgrades to be installed.

Asus X-socket

In order to install the cooler on Asus X-socket™ mainboards, please first remove the mainboard’s LGA2011 backplate and install the LGA1366 backplate supplied with the mainboard instead (see the mainboard manual for detailed instructions). Then install the Noctua cooler as described in the supplied installation manual for LGA1366. In case you’ve lost the printed installation manual, you can download it here.

Can use the NF-A15 fan on my Noctua CPU cooler?

The NF-A15 is fully compatible with the NH-U12P, NH-C12P and NH-C12P SE14. On the NH-D14 and NH-C14, the NF-A15 fan can only be installed using optional fan clips. For this, please contact our customer service.

The cooler's fans always run at full speed and can not be controlled by my motherboard, what's the problem?

Older, discontinued models such as the NH-D14, NH-C14, NH-U12P SE2 and NH-U9B SE2 ship with 3-pin fans that can only be controlled by means of voltage adjustment. When these models were introduced in 2009 and 2010, many motherboards supported this type of speed control, whereas today, most motherboards can only control 4-pin fans by means of PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). As indicated on the resepective product pages, these models have been discontinued and superseeded by newer models such as the NH-D15, NH-C14S, NH-U12S and NH-U9S, which, like all current Noctua CPU coolers, support speed control via PWM. If you would like to use PWM speed control, please purchase one of our current cooler models or change the fans for some of our 4-pin PWM fans. Alternatively, you can also use the supplied Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise adaptors in order to reduce the speed of the supplied fans.

Can I run Noctua 3-pin fans on 4-pin PWM connectors and use my mainboard’s automatic fan controller?

You can simply connect our fan's 3-pin connector to the 4-pin PWM sockets of today's mainboards so that the fourth pin that transmits the PWM signal is left blank (due to the shape of the connector, there's no danger of reversing polarity). Some mainboards (e.g. current Gigabyte models) are capable of controlling fans not only via PWM, but also by adjusting the supplied voltage. In some cases, this may require you to change BIOS options like "Fan Control Mode" from "PWM" to "Voltage" or "Analog". Please consult your mainboard's manual in this regard. However, some mainboards use an "auto" setting by default that automatically chooses PWM or voltage based regulation according to the connected fan. Automatically controlling the fan speed may not possible on mainboards that pulse the power rather than lowering the fan voltage.

PWM PWM

How can I check whether my AMD mainboard has a standard AMD backplate that’s compatible with the SecuFirm2™ mounting system and how should I proceed with the installation?

The SecuFirm2™ mounting system requires a standard AMD backplate (either plastic or metal) with screw threads as shown on the pictures below. These backplates are pre-installed on the rear side of most AMD mainboards (see first picture below) and fixed to the retention module with four screws (see second picture below). If your retention module is fixed with plastic bolts instead of metal screws, please contact support@noctua.at in order to obtain an appropriate backplate.

In order to proceed with the installation of your Noctua cooler, please remove the four screws and the retention module but keep the backplate in place so that you can see the screw threads from the top side of the motherboard (see third picture below). You can then proceed with the installation of the SecuFirm2™ mounting kit as described in the manual (see fourth picture below).

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate



My unlocked Intel CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem?

Intel's unlocked CPUs (K, X and C suffix) can dissipate more heat than indicated by the TDP specification if
  1. the TDP limits are extended or disabled in the motherboards' BIOS.
  2. the motherboard applies automatic overclocking by default, e.g. by raising the supply voltage of the CPU and using higher Turbo-Mode multipliers.
  3. some software creates untypical loads, e.g. Prime95 with AVX2 support and a) and/or b) apply.

This can lead to temperature issues, especially when using smaller coolers or compact cases.

The actual power draw of the processor can be monitored with software provided by the motherboard vendor or with 3rd party tools like HWInfo or HWMonitor.

If you encounter temperature issues (>90°C) and notice a higher than specified power draw, please ensure that no automatic overclocking is applied and limit the TDP to the specified value by choosing appropriate BIOS settings.

For Kaby Lake CPUs, it may also help to lower the CPU clock speed for applications that heavily use the AVX instruction set, which can lead to higher loads and power draw. This option is usually referred to as “AVX offset” and makes it possible to lower the multiplier specifically for AVX based applications without reducing performance when using other instruction sets. Depending on the quality of the CPU and the programs being used, a reduction of 2-3 steps usually gives very good results.

Please contact your motherboard vendor for details if you have trouble finding the appropriate settings in the BIOS.

All our TDP recommendations are based on thorough testing with the default values specified by Intel using popular applications such as Asus Realbench and prime95. Please note, however, that prime95 creates a particularly high load that goes beyond typical application scenarios and this leads to elevated temperatures. We thus recommend using other programs such as Realbench for checking the stability and temperatures of the CPU in realistic scenarios.

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

Dust: Fans and heatsinks inside computer cases tend to accumulate dust over longer periods of usage. In order to maintain maximum performance, please clean your fan and heatsink regularly. For cleaning, please first remove the fan from the heatsink and clean it using a duster, slightly moist tissue or canned air. Please be careful not to use too much force in order to prevent any damage to the fan. Please do not use a vacuum cleaner as this may apply excessive force to the fan and do not put the fan under running water as water residues inside the motor may lead to short circuits. Please also note that the fan is not designed to be taken apart by the user. Removing the impeller from the frame will break the sealing of the bearing and results in a loss of warranty. Before reinstalling the fan, clean the heatsink itself with a duster or vacuum cleaner. Do not use water to clean the cooler. Finally put the fan back on and connect it to your motherboard fan header or fan controller.
Thermal paste residues: Whenever you take off the heatsink from the CPU, we recommend to clean the CPU as well as the base of the cooler before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler. You can either just wipe the base and the CPU clean with a dry, lint-free tissue or, for more thorough cleaning, use a lint-free tissue moistened with either a mild solution of washing-up liquid or isopropyl alcohol. Do not put the cooler or CPU under running water. Note that both the base of the heatsink and the CPU should be dry, free from residues of thermal compound and free from grease before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler.

What Thermal Design Power (TDP) is this cooler recommended for and how much Watt (W) of heat can it dissipate?

Please refer to our TDP guide for information on maximum recommended TDP and heat dissipation.

My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose?

Please refer to our TDP guide in order to select the cooler that offers the best cooling performance at a given height.

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Please refer to the installation manual and our video installation guides for detailed instructions on how to install the cooler.

Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one?

Most Noctua SecuFirm™ mounting parts are cross-compatible, so if you’re replacing one Noctua cooler with another, it is usually possible to keep the original backplate and/or mounting system in place in order to re-use it for the new cooler. If you had your previous Noctua cooler installed on an Intel LGA115x (LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150), LGA2011 (LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3) or LGA1366 system and replace it with an NH-U14S, NH-U12S or NH-U9S, you only need to replace the original mounting bars with the NM-IMB3 ones supplied with the new cooler. For all other models, you can keep the entire mounting system in place on the aforementioned Intel sockets. On AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+, you only need to replace the original mounting bars with the ones supplied with the new cooler.

How much torque should be applied when tightening the screws of a Noctua CPU cooler?

All screws should be tightened gently until they stop without using excessive force. Please do not exceed the following values for maximum tightening torque:
Screw typeMax. torque
NM-SSC1 screws for fixing the fastening brackets to the base of the heatsink0.5 Nm
NM-ITS1 thumb screws for fixing Intel mounting bars0.5 Nm
NM-ALS1 screws for fixing AMD mounting bars0.6 Nm
Spring-loaded screws for fixing the heatsink to the mounting bars0.6 Nm

Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model?

Not sure which Noctua product to buy? Our detailed buying guides for fans and CPU coolers help you to choose the model that works best for you.

How can I determine if the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS is overclocking my processor by default and deactivate this automatic overclocking?

Most motherboard vendors allow their overclocking-enabled products (e.g. those with Intels X- or Z-series chipsets) to run the processor at increased clock speeds by default, without requiring any user action at all. Since TDP (Thermal Design Power) limits are usually also disabled by default, this leads to the CPU exceeding the rated TDP to a varying degree, depending on the used applications and their workloads. Due to the increased heat output of the CPU, you may see higher CPU temperatures than expected.

In order to find out if your motherboard is overclocking your processor by default, please enter the UEFI BIOS and select the “advanced” or “overclocking” menu. There you should be able to find options such as “MultiCore Enhancement” (options: enabled/disabled), “CPU Ratio Apply Mode” (options: all/per core) or similar. To disable the automatic overclocking, adjust the settings either to “disabled” or “per core” and make sure that the individual multipliers match the original specifications.

In doubt, please contact your motherboard vendor for detailed instructions on how to disable this feature.

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA2011 and LGA2066, Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ mounting systems for LGA2011 also support Intel’s upcoming ‘Basin Falls’ X299 HEDT (High End Desktop) platform for ‘Skylake-X’ and ‘Kaby Lake-X’ processors. Most current Noctua coolers already include SecuFirm2™ mounting systems for LGA2011 and can thus be used on LGA2066 motherboards without any upgrades or modifications.

The following models include a mounting-kit for socket LGA2011/2066 and are thus compatible out of the box:

NH-C14S
NH-D14 SE2011
NH-D15
NH-D15S
NH-D9L
NH-L12
NH-L9x65
NH-U12S
NH-U12DX i4
NH-U14S
NH-U9DX i4
NH-U9S

The following models can be made compatible with the LGA2011/LGA2066 sockets free of charge using the NM-I2011 upgrade-kit:

NH-C12P
NH-C12P SE14
NH-C14
NH-D14
NH-D15 SE-AM4
NH-U12S SE-AM4
NH-L9x65 SE-AM4
NH-U12
NH-U12F
NH-U12P
NH-U12P SE1366
NH-U12P SE2
NH-U9
NH-U9B
NH-U9B SE2
NH-U9F

The following models can be made compatible with the LGA2011/LGA2066 sockets using the NM-I2011 upgrade-kit but are not eligible for Noctua‘s free mounting offer, so users have to purchase the kit at local resellers:

NH-U12DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)
NH-U12DX
NH-U12DX 1366
NH-U9DX 1366
NH-U9DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)

The following models are not compatible with the LGA2011/LGA2066 sockets and can not be upgraded:

NH-L9a
NH-L9i
NH-U12DO A3
NH-U9DO A3

Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo?

Systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands often use motherboards which differ slightly from the specifications issued by Intel and AMD. While those changes are usually subtle, they can lead to compatibility issues with coolers that where built to comply with these specifications.

Even in case the cooler is mechanically compatible and can be installed, other issues can occur, e.g. proprietary fan connectors, BIOS errors due to a low fan speed, shutdowns, etc. Some of these problems can be avoided with some technical knowledge, but especially BIOS related issues can often not be resolved.

Due to the large number of possible issues that cannot be resolved with different mounting parts alone, Noctua does not officially support systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands.

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with AMD AM4 (Ryzen)?

The following models include a mounting-kit for socket AM4 and are thus compatible out of the box:

NH-D15 SE-AM4
NH-U12S SE-AM4
NH-L9x65 SE-AM4

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket free of charge using the NM-AM4 upgrade-kit:

NH-C12P
NH-C12P SE14
NH-C14
NH-C14S
NH-D14
NH-D14 SE2011
NH-D15
NH-D15S
NH-D9L
NH-L12
NH-L9x65
NH-U12
NH-U12F
NH-U12P
NH-U12P SE1366
NH-U12P SE2
NH-U9
NH-U9B
NH-U9B SE2
NH-U9F

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket free of charge using the NM-AM4-UxS upgrade-kit:

NH-U14S
NH-U12S
NH-U9S

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket free of charge using the NM-AM4-L9aL9i upgrade-kit:

NH-L9a
NH-L9i

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket using the NM-AM4 upgrade-kit but are not eligible for Noctua‘s free mounting offer, so users have to purchase the kit at local resellers:

NH-U12DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)
NH-U12DX
NH-U12DX 1366
NH-U12DX i4
NH-U9DX i4
NH-U9DX 1366
NH-U9DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)

The following models are not compatible with the AM4 socket and can not be upgraded:

NH-U12DO A3
NH-U9 DO A3

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