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Product discontinued. Successor model: NH-U12P

The NH-U12F is the newest version of the NH-U12, which won over 100 awards and recommendations from leading international web sites and magazines. The NH-U12F can be rotated by 90° on all sockets, boasts full compatibility with AMD's new AM2 socket and comes equipped with a Noctua NF-S12 120mm fan, which has a minimum noise rating of only 8dB(A). 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-U12F achieves superior cooling performance at minimum noise levels.
NH-U12F
Cooler Specifications
Intel Socket LGA 775, AMD K8 (754, 939, 940) & AM2; Intel Xeon on request
Height (without fan)
155 mm
Width (without fan)
126 mm
Depth (without fan)
70 mm
Height (with fan)
155 mm
Width (with fan)
126 mm
Depth (with fan)
95 mm
Weight (without fan)
640 g
Weight (with fan/s)
790 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints
Application
Intel all frequencies, AMD all frequencies
Scope of Delivery
  • NH-U12F
  • NF-S12-1200
  • Complete mounting hardware
  • Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • Thermal Paste
  • Anti-Vibration-Strips
Warranty
6 years
FAN Specification
Bearing
Blade Geometry
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
800 RPM
Acoustical Noise
17 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A.
8 dB(A)
Input Power
1,44 W
Voltage Range
4-13 V
MTBF
> 150.000 h
NH-U12F
18.02.2008 // HardwareBase.net
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NH-U12F Review

Kao što smo i očekivali, do značajnijih razlika između coolera (ako izuzmemo Intelov) došlo je tek nakon overclockinga popularnog Q6600 G0 procesor na 3.6GHz pa je stock HSF tu otpao iz igre, dok je Noctua NH-U12F postigao sasvim solidne rezultate.
Test verdict: "Noctua je bez ikakve sumnje ponudila jedan od najboljih coolera koji za hlađenje koji koriste zrak. Osim što je cooler uspio da temperaturu testnog četverojezgrenog procesora zadrži u prihvatljivim granicama, nivo buke je također bio u prihvatljivim granicama, čak i za entuzijaste koji su obično spremni "žrtvovati tišinu" za koji MHz više. U recenziji smo već spomenuli da je na NH-U12F moguće dodati i dodatni ventilator te ostvariti tzv. push-pull kombinaciju u kojoj jedan ventilator puše prema hladnjaku, dok drugi odvlači topli zrak, što u praksi znači još bolje performanse prilikom hlađenja." (Enis Šahinović, HardwareBase.net)
19.10.2007 // FrazPC.pl
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NH-U12F Review

Tu wyraźnym liderem okazuje się Noctua NH-U12F, która oferuje świetną wydajność przy naprawdę niskim poziomie hałasu. Przy wentylatorze pracującym z prędkością 700RPM okazuje się ona praktycznie bezgłośna. Drugim z wyróżniających się produktów w tej klasyfikacji jest radiator SilverStone a, który współpracował podczas testów z wentylatorem Noctua S12-1200, identycznym jak w przypadku coolera NH-U12F - hałas towarzyszący pracy Nitrogona NT-06 i Noctuy NH-U12F w tym przypadku jest więc identyczny.
Test verdict: "Najwydajniejszym chłodzeniem dzisiejszego porównania została Noctua NH-U12F, która może się poszczycić również bardzo cichą pracą i łatwym montażem a bogate wyposażenie dodatkowo zwiększa jego atrakcyjność." (Marcin Wilczak, FrazPC.pl)
19.09.2007 // o.v.e.r.clockers.at
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NH-U12F Review

Im Praxistest zeigt sich der NH-U12F zu Scythes Mugen trotz etwas kleineren Maßen ebenbürtig und bietet neben der Option, einen zweiten 120mm Lüfter zu montieren, noch Reserven für absolut geräuschlosen Betrieb. Da die Ausstattung bei Noctua besser ist und die zusätzliche Halteklammern, ausführliches Handbuch in Farbe, Anti-Vibrationsstreifen und ein mitgelieferter Widerstand, der die Lüfterdrehzahl unabhängig von Software/Lüftersteuerung reduziert, geben wir dem NH-U12F trotz höheren Preises den Vorzug und somit eine uneingeschränkte Empfehlung und damit auch einen Award.
Test verdict: "Dass der NH-U12F noch immer nicht zum alten Eisen gehört, hat er in unserem Test erneut bewiesen. Da 50 € in Anbetracht der Kühlleistung und des Lieferumfangs durchaus fair sind prämieren wir ihn mit dem Value Award." (Thomas Lint, o.v.e.r.clockers.at)
04.06.2007 // DarkVision Hardware
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NH-U12F Review

As you can see the Noctua NH-U12F outperformed the other two coolers. At idle the temperature of the processor rose only 1.6°C above the room temperature with the NH-U12F. During load the processor got 10°C less hot with the NH-U12F than with the stock Intel HSF. Besides cooling much better, the NH-U12F was also a lot more silent than both other coolers. [...] Much to my surprise the Ultra Low Noise Adapter barely increased the temperatures. The processor only got 1° hotter with the U.L.N.A. and that's almost negligible if you take the higher room temperature into account. It seems the NH-U12F needs very little airflow to keep the temperatures low. The temperatures without the fan are also still OK. In fact, when you compare the results from this chart with the first chart in which I compared this cooler to the standard Intel heatsink you can see that the NH-U12F without active cooling gets 2°C less hot than the actively cooled Intel heatsink!
Test verdict: "I'm very impressed with the Noctua NH-U12F. The cooler is really big and heavy but it's build quality is excellent and it keeps the processor very cool. Additionally, the noise levels of the Noctua NH-U12F fan are exceptionally low and the package also includes anti-vibration pads and an Ultra Low Noise Adapter to further decrease the noise levels." (Thomas De Maesschalck, DarkVision Hardware)
25.05.2007 // FastSilicon.com
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NH-U12F Review

For standard clock rates, this cooler hangs with best and is probably the quietest CPU fan this test bench has ever heard. When the U.N.L.A. is attached, the fan produces almost no noise above the base line of the system. Even though it had half as much airflow, the temperatures remained the same for the stock speeds. This is a huge indication of how much capacity this cooler has. In regards to the chipset cooler, it is definitely doing its job. The motherboard temperatures did not rise above +1C from room temperature the entire time.
Test verdict: "When weighing the performance versus the noise production, the NH-U12F and NC-U6 really shine. The fan technology is amazing, the mounting systems are simple, and the cooler has extreme flexibility between audio contentment and all out performance. Hence, both the NH-U12F and the NC-U6 from Noctua earn lots of admiration from this crew." (Chris Hunter, FastSilicon.com)
25.05.2007 // PC Praxis 07/07
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NH-U12F Review

Sowohl der Kühler von Noctua als auch von Scythe unterbieten sogar die 55-Grad- Grenze (Nocta 51,3, Scythe 53) und arbeiten somit fast 15 Grad kühler als mit dem Intel Pentium 4 550.
Test verdict: "Die getesteten CPU-Kühler unterscheiden sich vom Funktionsprinzip kaum voneinander, denn alle besitzen eine Heatpipe, die die Hitze des Prozessors an die großflächigen Kühllamellen abgibt. Besonders gut gelöst hat dies der Hersteller Noctua. Neben der zwar etwas umständlichen Schraubbefestigung, die dafür aber bombenfest sitzt, ist auch die Lautstärke des verbauten 120-Millimeter-Lüfters (17 dB/A) positiv. Dieser ist kaum zu hören und kühlt unseren 'Hitzkopf' auf sehr gute 66,9 Grad." (Fabian Schusdziara, PC Praxis)
16.05.2007 // techPowerUp!
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NH-U12F Review

Very impressive, the Noctua NH-U12F can take the lead of all the heatsinks tested here. Especially when heat load is not extremely high it gains quite a nice margin compared to the other heatsinks.
Test verdict: "Noctua's NH-U12F is a great cooler that can compete with products from much bigger well-known companies. Noctua put excellent engineering into the product, for example when you look at the installation process you can see many little details that make installation easier or safer. The manual's layout is one of the best I have ever seen. The Noctua NH-U12F will fit all common sockets on the market today, all required installation clips are included, so even if you change sockets any time soon you can continue using your cooler." (techPowerUp!)
30.04.2007 // IN4.pl
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NH-U12F Review

Po ~30 minutowym wygrzewaniu procesora wyniki ciągle na bardzo dobrym poziomie. Freezer 64 Pro dorównuje co prawda Noctui, pamiętajmy jednak, że jest to zupełnie inna klasa produktu. O wiele głośniejszy – ponad 2200RPM i gorszy jakościowo. Wychładzanie – jeden z najważniejszych parametrów. Bardzo istotne jest z jaką wydajnością radiator potrafi rozproszyć nagromadzoną energię cieplną i schłodzić rdzeń/rdzenie CPU. Także i tu Noctua nie zawodzi. Przez około ~1 minutę, zarówno w trybie standardowym jak i U.L.N.A, NH-U12F jest w stanie zmniejszyć temperaturę o jedenaście stopni. I wszystko to w otoczce głuchej ciszy ;).
Test verdict: "W przypadku NH-U12F do czynienia mamy nie tylko z bardzo dobrą wydajnością, ale także z minimalnym wręcz poziomem generowanego hałasu. Z pewnością produkt ten zadowoli wszystkich nadwrażliwych na szmery dochodzące z wnętrza komputera. Także dla tych, którym słoń nadepnął na ucho mogę bez wahania polecić ten model, dzięki bardzo dobrym parametrom pracy oraz bogatemu wyposażeniu." (Jerzy Wasiela, IN4.pl)
26.04.2007 // Anandtech.com
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NH-U12F Review

In the end the Noctua NH-U12F is a carefully balanced system of heatpipe tower and fan, which performs the designed task of cooling with silence extremely well. It is also a decent performance cooler, reaching overclock levels near the best tested.
Test verdict: "Subjectively, we could hear no noise at all from the mounted Noctua cooler. For those whose first consideration is ultra-low system noise, the Noctua should certainly be on the short list of heatpipe towers worth considering." (Wesley Fink, Anandtech.com)
21.03.2007 // Bit-Tech.net
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NH-U12F Review

Where the NH-U12F really set itself apart from the others was on the noise front - there was virtually no fan noise that we could make out above background noise levels.
Test verdict: "the Noctua NH-U12F is what I'd personally go for at the moment" (Simon Briers, Bit-Tech.net)

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

Which mainboards are compatible with the NH-U12F?

Please consult our mainboard compatibility list for information about compatible mainboards.

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.

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.

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

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?

The mounting is identical on all LGA115x sockets (LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156). The following coolers are thus compatible with LGA1150 out of the box and don’t require any upgrades in order to be used on this platform: NH-C12P SE14, NH-C14, NH-D15, NH-D14, NH-L12, NH-L9i, NH-U14S, NH-U12S, NH-U12P SE2, NH-U9B SE2. In addition, all older models which have been upgraded with the NM-I3 kit can also be used on LGA1150 without any further upgrades.

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and are eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: NH-C12P, NH-U12, NH-U12F, NH-U12P, NH-U12P SE1366, NH-U9, NH-U9F, NH-U9B.

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit but are not eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: DX-Series Xeon coolers, NH-D14 SE2011.

The following coolers are mechanically incompatible with the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and can not be made compatible with LGA1150: DO-Series AMD Opteron coolers, NH-L9a.

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

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

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.

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