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Product discontinued. Successor model: NH-U12P SE2

The NH-U12P continues the legacy of Noctua's classic NH-U coolers, which won over 150 awards and recommendations from leading international websites and magazines. While retaining the successful design and the well-proven SecuFirm™ mounting system, the newest revision has been reworked for enhanced main board compatibility and now comes with Noctua's NT-H1 pro-grade thermal compound. Fitted with the new NF-P12 premium fan, the NH-U12P brings its predecessors' much-acclaimed quiet cooling performance to a whole new level!
Details
4 dual heat pipes

4 dual heat pipes

4 dual heat pipes, soldered joints and widely-spaced aluminium cooling fins guarantee optimal heat dissipation even at low fan speeds.
Award winning NH-U design

Award winning NH-U design

Noctua's NH-U coolers allow for perfect airflow direction and have received more than 150 awards and recommendations from leading international websites and magazines.
NF-P12 premium fan

NF-P12 premium fan

The NF-P12 has been specifically developed for applications like CPU cooling and brings the performance of the NH-U12 to a whole new level. Thanks to psycho-acoustic optimizations and Noctua's premium-grade SSO-bearing, the NF-P12 achieves exceptional quietness and long-term stability.
Improved compatibility

Improved compatibility

Thanks to its raised fin-stack, the NH-U12P offers improved compatibility with main boards featuring very high chipset coolers.
SecuFirm™ multi-socket mounting system

SecuFirm™ multi-socket mounting system

Noctua's professional SecuFirm™ mounting system for LGA 775, AM2, AM2+ and AM3 provides superior reliability and contact pressure.
Incl. Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound

Incl. Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound

Noctua's NT-H1 is a pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and long-term stability.
NH-U12P
Cooler Specification
Intel Socket LGA 775, AMD AM2, AM2+ & AM3
Height (without fan)
158 mm
Width (without fan)
126 mm
Depth (without fan)
71 mm
Height (with fan)
158 mm
Width (with fan)
126 mm
Depth (with fan)
95 mm
Weight (without fan)
600 g
Weight (with fan/s)
770 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Application
Intel all frequencies, AMD all frequencies
Fan compatibility
120x120x25mm / 120x120x38mm (2 fans can be installed)
Scope of Delivery
  • NF-P12 premium fan
  • Mounting-clips for 2 fans
  • Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm™ mounting kits for LGA & AM2(+)
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Bearing
Blade Geometry
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1300 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1100 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
900 RPM
Acoustical Noise
19,8 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
16,9 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A.
12,6 dB(A)
Input Power
1,08 W
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-U12P
07.10.2009 // Lab501.ro
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NH-U12P Review

Noctua NH-U12P – un cooler complet ce arata calitatea si eficienta Noctua, el reuseste sa se claseze foarte sus in ciuda faptului ca nu dispune de o arhitectura dusa la extrem. Cu doar patru conducte de caldura, cu lamele putine si greutate mica el reuseste sa tina piept cu bine monstrilor racirii cu aer, demonstrand ca o arhitectura bine gandita alaturi de o calitate a constructiei foarte buna au o influenta hotaratoare in obtinerea unei performante de top. Bravo Noctua [...].
Test verdict: "Calitatea si performanta foarte buna de care au dat dovada produsele Noctua au facut ca numele companiei sa fie sinonim cu cel de calitate. Noctua NH-U12P nu face exceptie de la regula" (Tudor Badica, Lab501.ro)
21.09.2009 // PCSilenzioso.it
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NH-U12P Review

La ventola a corredo del dissipatore è semplicemente una delle migliori ventole attualmente in circolazione. Caratteristica di questa ventola è il fatto che la stessa è stata costruita appositamente per il raffreddamento dei dissipatori. Essa ha una notevole pressione statica, caratteristica necessaria per passare attraverso le fitte maglie dei dissipatori, dei radiatori per liquido e delle fitte griglie dei case.
Test verdict: "L'NH-U12P si è dimostrato eccellente e le prestazioni lo pongono tra i migliori dissipatori attualmente in commercio. La dotazione è completa e la ventola in dotazione insieme alla pasta aumentano il valore di tale prodotto." (Luca Forresu, PCSilenzioso.it)
16.09.2009 // PCLab.pl
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NH-U12P Review

* Jeden z najwydajniejszych schładzaczy w teście!
* Niklowana konstrukcja
* Solidny i łatwy montaż
* Możliwość montażu w dwóch pozycjach na podstawce AM2/AM3
* Szeroko rozstawione blaszki sprzyjają cichej pracy wentylatora
* Możliwość otrzymania za darmo zapinek dla najnowszych podstawek Intela
* Dobrej jakości pasta w komplecie
* Znakomity wentylator w komplecie
* Aktualizowana lista kompatybilnych płyt głównych na stronie Noctua
Test verdict: "Schładzacz luksusowy - świetna wydajność i najwyższa jakość. Wsparcie producenta, jakiego próżno szukać u konkurencji." (Filip Straburzy?ski, PCLab.pl)
25.08.2009 // Hardware Secrets
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NH-U12P Review

Noctua NH-U12P is a CPU cooler with excellent performance, being also very quiet. Its performance was compatible to some of the best coolers we tested, like Thermaltake TMG-IA1, and does not keep it behind even to Cooler Master V10. In terms of noise level, it was also one of the quietest in our recent reviews. Its general looks is also very cool, with its solid aspect and robustness notewhorty. Its fins are thicker than in most cooler, and they are not sharp. In few words: it is a high quality cooler.
Test verdict: "So, if you are looking for a well-made CPU cooler, quiet and with excellent performance [...], Noctua NH-U12P is a nice buy." (Rafael Otto Coelho, Hardware Secrets)
23.08.2009 // Clube do Hardware
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NH-U12P Review

O Noctua NH-U12P é um cooler de excelente desempenho e muito silencioso. Seu desempenho foi compatível com alguns dos melhores já testados por nós até agora, como o Thermaltake TMG-IA1, e não ficando atrás sequer do Cooler Master V10. Em termos de nível de ruído, ele também foi um dos mais silenciosos dessa nossa série de testes. Seu aspecto geral também é muito bom, com uma firmeza e robustez dignas de nota. Suas aletas, mais grossas do que na maioria dos coolers, não são afiadas. Em suma, a qualidade geral do produto é muito boa.
Test verdict: "O U12P não é barato, mas encontra-se dentro da faixa média de preços dos seus concorrentes. Assim, se você está procurando um cooler bem construído, silencioso e de excelente desempenho [...], o Noctua NH-U12P é um a boa compra e por isso ganha o selo de Produto Recomendado do Clube do Hardware." (Rafael Otto Coelho, Clube do Hardware)
22.07.2009 // InfoHW.com
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NH-U12P Review

O Noctua NH-U12P continua a demonstrar o seu valor, apesar de ser o dissipador que á mais tempo está no mercado, este continua a demonstrar toda a sua qualidade e desempenho.
Test verdict: "A Noctua continua a dar cartas, o NH-U12P, continua a ser um dos melhores dissipadores do mercado" (Vitor Costa, InfoHW.com)
06.07.2009 // Revioo.com
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NH-U12P Review

Au niveau des nuisances sonores on est bien loin des 49dBA du Zerotherm avec 38dBA pour le Noctua et on est d’un dBA plus silencieux qu’un Mugen 2 qui obtient 39dBA.
Test verdict: "Le Noctua NH-U12P ne faillit pas à sa réputation, c’est un ventirad performant et discret. Au format tour son bundle autorise voire encourage le montage d’un deuxième ventilateur en push-pull." (Vincent Valmond, Revioo.com)
24.06.2009 // Maximum PC
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NH-U12P Review

We like Noctua's SecuFrim mounting system - two mounting brackets screw into a backplate and the cooler is fastened to the brackets via a pair of spring screws. This makes installation considerably easier than on similar models. [...] Great performance, multiple speed options, quiet at any setting.
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-U12P is one of the best coolers we've ever tested, and quite quiet at that." (Nathan Edwards, Maximum PC 08/09)
19.06.2009 // PC Magazine Bulgaria
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NH-U12P Review

Това, с което се отличава от другите модели, обаче е изключително ниското ниво на шум по време на работа.
Test verdict: "Ако сте любител на овърклока (а и не само) и търсите максимално тих въздушен охладител, то определено Noctua NH-U12P си заслужава да бъде обмислен катопотенциален вариант." (Dobril Dokov, PC Magazine Bulgaria)
16.06.2009 // Hardware-Test.dk
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NH-U12P Review

Nu er der skruet op for CPU´en, og hvad syv Søren skete der lige der! Box-køleren er stået af på dette tidspunkt, hvilket jo absolut var forventet. Ellers var der jo ikke nogen grund til at investere i andre køleløsninger. Men prøv lige at se de grafer igen. Noctua NH-U12P smutter let og elegant forbi Xigmatek og NorthQ, men også V8´eren og Ultra-120 Extreme smutter den forbi. Ultra´en nærmest drøner den forbi. Det havde jeg ikke ventet, det må jeg indrømme. Jeg havde forventet at den ville mixe sig ind med V8 og TRUE, men at den slår dem begge, og næsten efterlader TRUE i støvet, det overraskede mig.
Test verdict: "Nu har jeg så haft besøg af Noctua NH-U12P. Og det var da en dejlig gæst at have. Pænt og ikke for poppet udseende, velproportioneret, godt skruet sammen, lækker-lækker finish, ikke for støjende og leverer i den grad varen, når man skruer op for varmen. Så kan jeg egentlig ikke forlange meget mere. Er der nogen der kan det? Der er faktisk ikke rigtig noget, der sådan rigtig har drillet mig eller irriteret mig, i min tid med NH-U12P." (Jakob Lund Laursen, Hardware-Test.dk)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

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

Is the cooler compatible with socket AM2+ and AM3?

Is the high weight dangerous for the CPU or socket?

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

Is it possible to run two fans at a time?

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

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

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

How to install the fan using the supplied steel clips?

How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-U12P provide?

What can I do if the fan blocks my RAM or chipset cooler?

Which mainboards are compatible with the NH-U12P?

Can I use Noctua fans on my fan controller?

I can’t spread the thermal compound by turning the cooler as described in the manual!

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

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 case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

How can I connect 2 fans?

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

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?

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

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

Why doesn't the base of Noctua coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?

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?

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 1100 / 900 rpm:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Is the cooler compatible with socket AM2+ and AM3?

Yes. As AM2, AM2+ and AM3 are mechanically identical, the cooler is compatible with all three sockets.

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

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 much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-U12P provide?

The NH-U12P provides 40mm clearance for near-socket components:

Vibration Compensators Installation

What can I do if the fan blocks my RAM or chipset cooler?

In order to increase clearance, you can easily move the fan up a few fins as show below:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Which mainboards are compatible with the NH-U12P?

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.

I can’t spread the thermal compound by turning the cooler as described in the manual!

Due to the new LGA mounting bars with screw threads that facilitate the installation process, there's little room to turn the cooler as described in step 4 of the supplied manual. There's nothing to worry about though, as you can still turn the cooler by a few millimetres in order to help the thermal compound spread. We've also made the compound slightly less viscous so that the contact pressure of mounting system is wholly sufficient to spread it.

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

How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

Most case manufacturers provide specifications for maximum CPU cooler height/clearance. Please refer to these specifications in order to verify that the cooler will fit the case. If no specifications are available, please contact the case manufactuer or measure the distance from the motherboard tray to the side panel (tower cases) or top panel (desktop cases). If this distance is bigger than the height of the cooler + 15mm (mainboard spacers + mainboard + CPU), the height/width of your case should be sufficient.

How can I connect 2 fans?

When using 2 fans, please connect one of the fans to the CPU-Fan header and the second fan to one of the Case-Fan headers of your mainboard. Alternatively, you can also use a 3-pin Y-cable in order to run both fans via the CPU-Fan header. Such cables are available in specialised retail stores.

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.

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.

Why doesn't the base of Noctua coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?

As most of today's PC enthusiasts use high-viscosity thermal compounds, the contact surface of Noctua coolers is optimised for use with this type of pastes. The micro-grooves at the contact surface ensure that high-viscosity thermal compounds are dispersed to a uniform thin layer across the whole contact area and that no air pockets remain between the cooler and the CPU. With a polished, mirror like surface, the risk of uneven dispersion is much higher. As too thick layers of thermal paste and air pockets drastically deteriorate heat transmission, the micro-grooves are is of vital importance to the overall cooling performance of Noctua coolers when used with today's high-viscosity thermal pastes.

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

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