heading

Noctua's DX line of coolers has become a default choice in high performance quiet cooling solutions for Intel Xeon CPUs. The latest i4 revision supports LGA2011 (both Square ILM and Narrow ILM), LGA1356 and LGA1366 based Xeon platforms and the 12cm model NH-U12DX i4 comes equipped with Noctua’s award-winning NF-F12 Focused Flow™ fan with PWM for automatic speed control. Due to its slim design, the NH-U12DX i4 now provides easy access to the memory slots and better compatibility with tall modules. Fitted with the professional SecuFirm2™ mounting system and bundled with Noctua's industrial-grade NT-H1 thermal compound, the NH-U12DX i4 forms a complete premium quality package for quietly cooling Xeon based workstations and servers.

Details
Award-winning NH-U12 series

Award-winning NH-U12 series

The NH-U12DX i4 is based on the latest version of Noctua's award-winning NH-U12 coolers. First introduced in 2005, the NH-U series has become a standard choice for premium quality quiet CPU coolers and won more than 400 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware websites and magazines.
Easier access to RAM

Easier access to RAM

Thanks to its slim design with only 45mm fin depth, the NH-U12DX i4 ensures easy access to the RAM slots. When installed parallel to the slots, it will not overhang the memory on LGA1356, LGA1366 and LGA2011 Square ILM even with two fans installed, thus providing full compatibility with tall RAM heatsinks.
NF-F12 120mm Focused Flow™ fan

NF-F12 120mm Focused Flow™ fan

Recommended by more than 150 hardware publications and thousands of enthusiasts world-wide, the Noctua's premium quality NF-F12 Focused Flow™ 120mm fan is renowned to combine superb static pressure, excellent heatsink performance and surprising quietness of operation.
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-F12 120mm fan supplied with the NH-U12DX i4 supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the mainboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 1500 to 1200rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation.
Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12 (optional)

Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12 (optional)

For users who want to achieve even better performance by adding a second, optional NF-F12 fan to create a push/pull setup, the NH-U12DX i4 includes fan clips and an extra set of custom-designed anti-vibration pads that allow to off-set the rear fan by 5mm to improve acoustics in dual-fan mode.
SecuFirm2™ mounting system

SecuFirm2™ mounting system

Noctua's SecuFirm2™ mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety and ease of use. Supporting Intel's LGA2011 (both Square and Narrow ILM), LGA1356 and LGA1366 Xeon platforms, the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-U12DX i4 guarantees perfect contact pressure and maximum convenience on all sockets.
NT-H1 thermal compound

NT-H1 thermal compound

Having received more than 100 awards and recommendations from hardware journalists around the world, Noctua's NT-H1 is a proven professional grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease of use and outstanding reliability.
6-year manufacturer’s warranty

6-year manufacturer’s warranty

Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-F12 features an MTBF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-U12DX i4 package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
NH-U12DX i4
Cooler Specifications
Intel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM & Narrow ILM), LGA1356, LGA1366 (wtih Xeon backplate)
Height (without fan)
158 mm
Width (without fan)
125 mm
Depth (without fan)
45 mm
Height (with fan)
158 mm
Width (with fan)
125 mm
Depth (with fan)
71 mm
Weight (without fan)
580 g
Weight (with fan/s)
755 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility
120x120x25
Scope of Delivery
  • NF-F12 PWM premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Bearing
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1500 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
300 RPM
Max. Acoustical Noise
22,4 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
18,6 dB(A)
Input Power
0,6 W
Voltage Range
12 V
MTBF
> 150.000 h
NH-U12DX i4
07.09.2016 // ITNdaily.ru
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NH-U12DX i4 Review

Noctua NH-U12DX i4 лишен недостатков. Кулер прост в установке (процесс монтажа занимает меньше времени, чем в случае с любым универсальным продуктом от австрийского производителя), он дешевле мейнстрим СО, ориентированных на большее кол-во совместимых разъемов.
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-U12DX i4 еще и достаточно компактный и производительный. Профессиональное решение предлагает профессиональный подход, так и должно быть. Рекомендуем." (Евгений Никифоров, ITNdaily.ru)
22.08.2016 // Turkchip.com
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NH-U12DX i4 Review

Noctua işlemci soğutucuları ısı değerlerine göz attığımızda boyutlarına göre performans gösterdiklerini görüyoruz. Özellikle Noctua U12DX i4 testleri liderlikle bitirirken, D9DX ise testleri 3.üncü sırada bitirdi. Özellikle Noctua U12DX i4 işlemci soğutucusu işlemcimizi overclock yaptığımızda daha iyi performans gösterirken Thermalright Macho Zero ile başa baş sonuçlara imza atıyor.
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-U12DX i4 ve NH-D9DX i4 3U işlemci soğutucuları fiyat/performans olarak oldukça başarılı. Sunduğu bir çok özelliği, zengin kutu içeriği ile sunucu/workstationlara yeni bir çözüm getirirken Turkchip Golden Award ödülünü de hak ediyor." (Murat Yildirim, Turkchip.com)
05.02.2016 // PC Ekspert
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NH-U12DX i4 Review

Kod overclockinga nismo koristili low noise adaptere nego smo mjerenja samo izvršili pri punim brzinama ventilatora. Rezultat nije nimalo loš kada je u pitanju veći U12DX hladnjak koji očito bolje funkcionira pod većim opterećenjem jer je ovdje za 3°C bolji od i32. U9DX s oba ventilatora i u punoj brzini drži procesor na iznimno vrućih maksimalno zabilježenih 95°C. Prosjek maksimalnih temperatura za U12DX iznosi 83.13°C, za U9DX 87.1°C, za i32 86.5°C i za D15 80.33°C. Maksimalna potrošnja sistema je iznosila 275 W.
Test verdict: "Noctua već neko vrijeme vješto koristi svoje umijeće i postojeće desktop modele kako bi proširili tržište i na workstation/server segment. Dokaz tome su i ova dva modela, koji su poznate Noctuine premium kvalitete, jednostavnog načina montaže ali i dobrih performansi." (Krešimir Matanović, PC Ekspert)
02.06.2014 // GreenTechReviews.ru
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NH-U12DX i4 Review

Noctua NH-U12DX i4 продемонстрировал впечатляющие результаты и даже в абсолютно бесшумном режиме обошёл стандартные решения более, чем на 20 градусов! Кулер сочетает в себе исключительно лучшие качества и полностью оправдывает свою цену.
Test verdict: "Если остро стоит вопрос о смене штатных шумных кулеров на что-то более эффективное и тихое, то Noctua NH-U12DX i4 вне конкуренции!" (Владимир Солонин, GreenTechReviews.ru)
02.03.2014 // XtremeSystems.org
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NH-U12DX i4 Review

Mind you that i included Liquid Cooling solutions(in the same price range) as well.None of the coolers obviously have any issue whatsoever in IDLE with the Intel Xeon E5-2687W not overclocked.The Noctua NH-U12DX i4 managed to outperform the Liquid Cooling solutions in load mode. Overall fine results.
Test verdict: "Even in single fan mode, the NH-U12DX i4 performs extremely well." (Ambrosidou Nat, XtremeSystems.org)
28.05.2013 // mod-your-case.de
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NH-U12DX i4 Review

Noctua zeigt mit dem NH-U12DX i4 eindeutig, das Server und Workstations nicht laut sein müssen, um mit einem kühlen Kopf agieren zu können. Der NH-U12DX i4 setzt sich um Längen vor den BXSTS200C Kühler von Intel. Jedoch ist mit dem Noctua Kühler kein Betrieb in einem 2HE Server mehr möglich. Bei einem Einsatz in Workstation, welche meist in einem Desktop ähnlichen Case verbaut sind, kann der Kühler jedoch zeigen, was in ihm steckt.
Test verdict: "Kommt ein passendes Gehäuse zum Einsatz, so ist der NH-U12DX i4 eine echte Alternative zu dem von Intel angebotenen Kühler. Der NH-U12DX i4 bietet nicht nur eine höhere Kühlleistung, sondern ermöglicht auch einen sehr ruhigen Betrieb der Workstation, welcher für ein angenehmes Arbeiten notwendig ist. Die Montage des Kühlers ist zudem schnell und einfach zu bewerkstelligen." (Patrick Seus, mod-your-case.de)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

Is the cooler compatible with all LGA1366 mainboards?

The DX models (NH-U12DX i4, NH-U9DX i4, NH-U12DX 1366, NH-U9DX 1366) can only be used on mainboards that have a backplate with screw threads for CPU cooler installation (such as the Intel reference backplate for Xeon 5500). The cooler is thus incompatible with Xeon 3500 and Core i7 mainboards that don’t have such a backplate. Please choose our normal retail models with LGA1366 support (or NM-I3 kit) for these mainboards.

1366 compatibility

Can Noctua coolers be installed on LGA2011 Narrow ILM platforms?

The NH-U12DX i4 and NH-U9DX i4 include mounting hardware for LGA2011 Narrow ILM. Other models are mechanically incompatible with the Narrow ILM mounting system and can thus not be used on this platform.

Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

Can the cooler be used in 4U cases?

Common 4U cases usually don’t provide sufficient clearance for tower coolers with 120mm fans and 158mm height. Please thus carefully check whether your case provides sufficient clearance or choose the 9cm variant, which is fully compatible with common 4U cases.

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

Yes. Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA2011-0 and 2011-3, the cooler supports both types of LGA2011-3.

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). In this case, it may occur that the mainboard reduces the voltage so much that the fan stops. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.



To resolve the issue, you can:

  1. Choose a higher fan speed profile in the BIOS (e.g. „normal“ instead of „silent“, etc.) or deactivate automatic fan speed control and use a Low-Noise Adaptor instead.

  2. Use the mainboard‘s fan speed control software or 3rd party tools like Speedfan to regulate the fan speed. Unlike BIOS based fan speed control, the supplied software usually checks whether the fan has stopped and increases voltage accordingly or at least offer more options to set up the fan properly.

  3. If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

The specified minimum speed refers to the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle. There can be several reasons why the fan doesn‘t go as low as indicated:

  1. Many mainboards do not go below 40%, 50% or even 60% PWM duty cycle on case fan headers. Please refer to your mainboard manual to verify whether the fan header actually goes down to 20% duty cycle. If that's not the case, in some cases you can use the fan speed control software supplied with your mainboard to overcome these limitations and reduce the fan speed even further. However, 3rd party tools like SpeedFan offer greater flexibility and better options to work around the limitations imposed by the mainboard vendors.

  2. Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

    4 pin fan header types

    Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

    Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

    Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


    If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

The BIOS of many motherboard models from Supermicro expects a certain minimum fan speed (usually 700rpm), which is higher than the minimum fan speed that can be achieved with Noctua's PWM fan models. The BIOS may interpret the low minimum RPM of Noctua fans as a fan error and thus try to run the fan at 100% for a short period before going back to automatic control.. This can result in oscillating fan speeds and fan speed warnings in the BIOS or the fan management console.

Unfortunately there is usually no option to set a lower minimum value that would suit the low minimum speed of Noctua PWM fans.The issue can thus only be resolved by either disabling automatic fan speed control in BIOS, which will cause the fans to run at a constant speed, or by requesting a modified BIOS file from Supermicro, which takes the minimum fan speed of Noctua fans into account (charges might apply).

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

As it is not possible to reliably calculate or control the forces that act upon a system during transport (e.g. in shipping), we generally recommend, for safety reasons, taking the fan off the heatsink in order to reduce the weight below 700g. Noctua cannot be held responsible for any damage that may arise due to excessive stress during transport if you keep the fan installed.

Does the mounting-system of the NH-U12DX i4/NH-D9DX i4 3U/NH-U9DX i4 support LGA2011 based Xeon platforms with Narrow ILM?

There are two different types of ILM (Independent Loading Mechanism) for Intel’s LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs: Square ILM with 80x80mm hole spacing and Narrow ILM with 56x94mm hole spacing. The mounting system of the NH-U12DX i4/NH-D9DX i4 3U/NH-U9DX i4 is fully compatible with both types:

Xeon Compatibility

How can I check if my 4-pin fan header supports PWM?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

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

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