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Product discontinued. Successor model: NH-U12F

Thanks to the 4 Dual-Heat-Pipes, 38 aluminium cooling fins with a total surface area of more than 5000cm² and soldered joints for optimal heat-transfer, the Noctua NH-U12 achieves superior cooling performance with a 120mm fan of your choice - no matter whether used for super-silent or ultra-high-performance cooling!

4 Dual-Heatpipes for optimal heat absorption
The 4 u-shaped Dual-Heat-Pipes have a huge contact area with the copper base to efficiently absorb the CPU's heat. They form 8 risers to spread the heat throughout the fins.

38 aluminium cooling fins for optimal heat dissipation
Thanks to a surface area of more than 5000cm², the cooling fins dissipate the heat extremely fast. Both the choice of aluminium and the fins' shape and spacing allow for outstanding cooling performance even with silent fans.

Soldered joints for optimal heat-transfer
Unlike many other coolers, whose heatpipes are stuck to the base and the fins, the Noctua NH-U12 possesses high-grade soldered joints to ensure optimal heat transfer.

Screwless fan-mount including anti-vibration strips
The choice of fan is all yours: 120mm fans provide excellent results regardless of whether silence or performance is your primary concern. Attaching the fan with the steel clips is a child's play and doesn't even require a screwdriver. The supplied anti-vibration strips minimize vibrations transmitted to the cooler and hence allows for extra quietness.

Universal fit for socket 478, LGA, K8, easy installation, thermal paste
The NH-U12 fits Intel socket 478 and LGA 775 as well as AMD K8. The mounting mechanism using a backplate and spring-loaded screws is as easy as it is secure thanks to the detailed step-by-step installation guide. In addition to the mounting hardware, the package contains a syringe of high-grade thermal paste.
NH-U12
Cooler Specification
Intel Socket 478 & LGA 775, AMD K8
Height (without fan)
155 mm
Width (without fan)
124 mm
Depth (without fan)
70 mm
Height (with fan)
155 mm
Width (with fan)
124 mm
Depth (with fan)
95 mm
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints
Application
P4 all frequencies, AMD all frequencies
NH-U12
12.03.2007 // DarkHardware.com
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NH-U12 Review

Noctua, "havayla soğutmada bir numarayız" diye ortaya çıktı, görünüşe göre iddialarında çok haksız da değiller. Gerçekten bir numara oldukları tartışılır, çünkü bu ürünlerden sonra piyasaya çıkan Titan Amanda gibi bazı soğutucular, Peltier yardımıyla soğutma çizgisini daha da düşürmeyi başardılar. Öte yandan, Noctua NH-U9 ve U12'nin hiç bir rakibinden büyük farkla geride kalmayacağı da açık. Soğutucular bekleme durumunda işlemciyi oda sıcaklığına kadar düşürebiliyorlar, yük altındaysa sıcaklık bizim test sistemi için 40 dereceyi geçmiyor. Sistemimizde eğer Core 2 Duo gibi yeni nesil bir işlemci kullansaydık, herhalde en ağır yükleme sırasında bile 35 derecenin altında sıcaklıklar okuyacaktık.
Test verdict: "Özetlemek gerekirse, havayla soğutma alanında piyasaya çok iyi bir marka daha girmiş durumda. Özellikle Thermalright müşterileri, bu yeni ve iddialı markayı da görmeden karar vermemeliler." (Levent Pekcan, DarkHardware.com)
01.03.2007 // PC Games Hardware
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NH-U12 Review

Scheuen Sie den Aufwand nicht und haben sie genug Platz im Gehäuse, so erhalten Sie mit dem Noctua NH-U12 einen Kühlkörper, der sich je nach verbautem Lüfter auch für den leisen Wohnzimmer-PC oder für den übertakteten Spiele-Rechner eignet.
Test verdict: "Das Top-Produkt aus unserem letzten Vergleich in PCGH 10/2006 hat nichts an Qualität eingebüßt;" (Henner Schröder, PC Games Hardware)
19.01.2007 // Media-Planet.org
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NH-U12 Review

Gegen diese Werte darf nun jeder getestete Kühler antreten und den Anfang machte der Noctua NH-U 12 in verschiedenen Betriebsmodi (passiv, 1 Lüfter, 2 Lüfter). Auch ohne jeglichen direkten Luftzug konnte er uns mit seinen erreichten Temperaturen durchaus überzeugen, 69°C bei Last (0,713 K/W) und 50°C (0,513 K/W) wenn die CPU wenig zu tun hat. Wenn man nun aber einen neuen Core2Duo verwendet oder aber auch einen HTPC so lautlos betreiben möchte, wird man sicherlich sowieso noch genauer auf die zu kühlende Verlustleistung achten, wodurch die Werte noch ein wenig besser werden. Die besten Ergebnisse erzielten wir selbstverständlich, wenn auch nur mit knappen Vorsprung, mit zwei 120mm Lüftern, die bei uns von der Firma Coolink stammten. Da wir ein unterschiedliches Pärchen geliefert bekommen haben, SWiF Fan 1202/1201 liefen diese immer jeweils bei 1200 Umdrehungen. Zum einen haben wir sie 'durchziehend' montiert und konnten mit 50°C (0,521 K/W) bei Last und einer Idle Temperatur von 37°C (0,384 K/W) sehr gute Werte erzielen. Wenn die Ventilatoren gegeneinander pusteten, stieg auch die Temperatur um jeweils 1K an (0,532 K/W bei Last und 0,395 K/W im Ruhemodus). Wenn man auf das letzte Quäntchen an Leistung verzichten kann, reicht laut unserem Test ein Lüfter völlig aus: 52°C unter Prime95 (0,542 K/W) sowie weiterhin 38°C (0,395 K/W) wenn der PC nichts bis wenig rechnen musste, sind nach wie vor sehr gute Leistungswerte.
Test verdict: "Für einen aktuelle Preis von ca. 49,99 EUR erhält man einen ausgereiften Kühlkörper für den es bereits ein Nachfolgermodell (NH-U12F) gibt. Zudem ist er für fast alle Sockeltypen einsetzbar und man kann ihn als Low-Noise Kühler (passiv) oder aber auch als High-End Produkt mit zwei 120mm Lüftern betreiben. In jedem Fall erreicht man bei geringerer Lautstärke bessere Kühlergebnisse als mit Intels-Boxed-Kühler." (René Schröter, Media-Planet.org)
21.12.2006 // Guru3D.com
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NH-U12 Review

I must say that I'm really pleased with the products from Noctua. For now I'll leave the U12 cooler with silent fan on our test system. It's actually working really well and that surely says something about the quality that is being offered here. Other then the sheer size of the product there's nothing negative to report here.
Test verdict: "Good stuff for sure, highly recommended." (Hilbert Hagedoorn, Guru3D.com)
16.12.2006 // NGOHQ.com
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NH-U12 Review

As you can see, the Noctua CPU-Coolers, especially the NH-U12, is performing really good, almost as good as the watercooling-kits we tested earlier.
Test verdict: "Both units have proven themselves to be excellent products, especially the NH-U12." (Eran Badit, NGOHQ.com)
16.10.2006 // ADSLzone.net
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NH-U12 Review

Dreadnought and his colleague Fergonar from ADSLzone.net have done an excellent Video-Review of the NH-U coolers - thanks for the great work! The video is in Spanish and 61MB in size.
Test verdict: "En resumen: Estos disipadores me han dejado completamente anonadados con sus resultados. Silencio y prestaciones, todo en un mísmo paquete... Y parecía imposible!"
09.10.2006 // MaterielPC.net
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NH-U12 Review

Une fois overclocké, le rad box nous fait un record avec 61°C (la limite d'un tel processeur étant de 65°C d'après AMD), quant à notre Noctua, il avale les watts pour dissiper un minimum de 52°C.
Test verdict: "Noctua entre directement dans la cour des grands avec un radiateur d'une qualité exemplaire, une solidité des ailettes à toutes épreuves, rien à voir avec certaines autres marques qui se contente de mettre des ailettes aussi épaisse qu'une feuille d'aluminium. Côté performances, elles sont à la hauteur de l'assemblage de ce produit, avec environs 45° à débourser, ça en fait le choix le plus intéressant du moment puisque pour toujours être comparé au xp90c, celui ci coute aussi 45°." (Anthony Alain, MaterielPC.net)
09.08.2006 // GinjFo.com
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NH-U12 Review

De l'emballage à la finition, Noctua a apporté une attention particulière afin de proposer deux produits de hautes qualité. Le NH-U9 et le NH-U12 sont sans reproche laissant une impression de satisfaction lors de leurs achats.

La mise en place ne pose pas de problème notable. Ils ont montré au cours de nos tests des capacités étonnantes, laissant derrière eux une des références en termes de performance sur le rapport refroidissement/silence. Je veux bien sur parler du CNPS 9500 LED de Zalmam.

L'usage d'un ventilateur de 120 mm pour le NH-U12 apporte un confort agréable et un potentiel important en cas de besoin (Overcloking).
Test verdict: "Le constructeur Noctua frappe un grand coup avec ces deux radiateurs." (Jérôme Gianoli, GinjFo.com)
02.08.2006 // ADSLzone.net
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NH-U12 Review

El Noctua NH-U12 mejora todavía más los registros de su hermano pequeño, el NH-U9, pero se deja en el camino el silencio, siendo apreciable el sonido de su ventilador aunque para nada molesto. Y cuando se le pone un ventilador de altas prestaciones como el Silverstone FM-121, realmente nos podemos dar cuenta de lo increible que es este disipador. Si eres fan del overclock (y tu caja lo permite), este disipador ha de estar el primero en tu lista de próximas compras. Realmente imprescindible.
Test verdict: En resumen: Estos disipadores me han dejado completamente anonadados con sus resultados. Silencio y prestaciones, todo en un mísmo paquete... Y parecía imposible!
18.07.2006 // BleedinEdge.com
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NH-U12 Review

[W]hile the Hyper 6+ beat the stock cooler temps, the Noctua NH-U12 shattered them. A six degree difference in load temps is outstanding for an out of the box configuration.
Test verdict: "The NH-U12 certainly wins this round..." (William McLaughlin, BleedinEdge.com)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

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

Is it possible to run two fans at a time?

Yes. Using the 4 supplied fan clips, you can mount two 120mm fans on the NH-U12(F/P) and two 92mm fans on the NH-U9(F/B).

Should the fan be mounted sucking away from the heat-sink or blowing onto the heat-sink?

Please install the fan blowing onto the heat-sink.

NH-U Airflow

If you're using two fans, please install them so that one blows onto the heat-sink and the other sucks the air away from the other side.

On which side of the heat-sink should the fan be installed?

Please install the fan so that the hot air can be disposed as good as possible either through the rear case fan (Airflow Option 1) or through the power supply (Airflow Option 2).

NH-U Airflow

How much space between mainboard and power supply is required when the NH-U12 is installed upright?

When installed upright (see picture below), the NH-U12 may jut out over the upper edge of the mainboard. In this case, the gap required between the upper edge of the mainboard and the power supply in the case is (depending on the position of the CPU socket on the mainboard) up to 25mm. Measured from the upper mounting holes of the CPU socket, the required distance to the power supply unit is 35mm.

NH-U PSU Gap

NH-U PSU Gap

NH-U PSU Gap

Is it possible to cool my CPU without a fan (passive) using Noctua coolers?

Noctua coolers weren't originally designed for passive operation although the cooling performance is sufficient in many cases. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to indicate whether a certain CPU can or cannot be cooled without a fan, as this depends on various factors such as case temperature, case ventilation or the orientation of the socket. Generally, we recommend using a fan in the first instance and then lowering RPM while constantly monitoring the temperature.

How to install the fan using the supplied steel clips?

First hook the clip into the notch of the heatsink:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Then hook the endings of the clips into the mounting holes of the fan:



Vibration Compensators Installation

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.

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.

Do you have a question concerning one of our products? Please use this form to pose a question!