heading

Product discontinued. Successor model: NH-U12S

Recommended by more than 150 leading international websites and magazines, Noctua’s NH-U12P series has become a benchmark in premium quality quiet cooling. The new NH-U12P SE2 now comes with two NF-P12 fans for further improved performance and adds support for LGA1156/1155/1150 as well as LGA1366 via the latest SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system. Topped off with Noctua’s award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound, the NH-U12P SE2 forms a complete quality package that continues the NH-U12P series’ legacy of superb quiet cooling performance.
Details
Award-winning NH-U12P Heatsink

Award-winning NH-U12P Heatsink

The NH-U12P SE2 is built around Noctua's premium quality NH-U12P heatsink that is renowned for its excellent quiet cooling performance and has received more than 150 awards and recommendations from leading international websites and magazines.
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.
2x NF-P12 Premium Fan

2x NF-P12 Premium Fan

Including two of Noctua's award-winning NF-P12 120mm fans with Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptors, the NH-U12P SE2 offers full flexibility in fine-tuning the cooler for supreme quietness and maximum performance in push-pull mode.
NT-H1 thermal compound

NT-H1 thermal compound

Noctua's much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding reliability.
Special Edition Premium Kit

Special Edition Premium Kit

Bundled with a tube of NT-H1, two exquisite NF-P12 fans and the new SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, the NH-U12P SE2 forms a complete premium quality package that's backed up with 6 years manufacturer's warranty and contains everything you need in order to achieve superb quiet cooling performance.
NH-U12P SE2
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)
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)
95/120* mm
Weight (without fan)
600 g
Weight (with fan/s)
770/940* g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility
120x120x25mm / 120x120x38mm
Scope of Delivery
  • 2x NF-P12 premium fan
  • Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kits
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)
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-U12P SE2
08.04.2014 // InsideHardware.it
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

Chi conosce i prodotti Noctua sa che nel suo catalogo è impossibile trovare anche una sola proposta di fascia bassa, con la diretta conseguenza che la stragrande maggioranza dei suoi dissipatori si vada a collocare nella fascia di prezzo compresa tra i 55 e i 75€. L'NH-U12P SE2 qui recensito, non fa in tal senso eccezione, essendo attualmente commercializzato a circa 65€, prezzo che per l'ennesima volta non può che essere giustificato dalla cura maniacale prestata dal produttore austriaco nella concezione di ogni dettaglio. Ci troviamo infatti dinanzi ad una massa radiante di incredibile solidità strutturale e di elevatissima qualità costruttiva, che può vantare l'impiego di materiali e di finiture di pregio assoluto.
Test verdict: "Come da tradizione Noctua, riscontriamo soluzioni progettuali, che seppur implementate ormai diversi anni fa, dimostrano di essere ancora all'avanguardia, tenendo a bada il non poco calore generato da CPU come il recente Core i7-4770K. Motivo per il quale la scelta di Noctua di aggiornare il suo NH-U12P con questa nuova versione SE2, non può che essere accolta positivamente." (Enrico Fallica, InsideHardware.it)
03.12.2013 // benchmark.pl
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

Recenzowane konstrukcje posiadają po dwa wentylatory w komplecie, co jest ogromnym plusem (koszt każdego z nich to wydatek rzędu 60-80zł). Dodatkowo z obydwoma coolerami otrzymujemy bardzo wydajną paste Noctua NT-H1, a także aż 6 lat gwarancji producenta!
Test verdict: "Obydwa coolery w wykonaniu Noctua to klasa sama w sobie. Recenzowane konstrukcje są bardzo dobrze wykonane, a także wydajne." (Rafał Dryjer, benchmark.pl)
28.10.2013 // Crazypc.ro
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

Seria soluţiilor de răcire de top continuă cu Noctua NH-U12P SE2 care a poposit pe masa noastră de teste. Noctua NH-U12P SE2 este una dintre legendele Noctua care s-a remarcat prin performanţele sale şi prin compatibilitatea sa cu memoriile RAM și cu plăcile video.
Test verdict: "Noctua îşi menţine tradiţia oferind într-un buget cinstit un cooler de top cu bundle generos. Pe toată durata testelor am fost încantat de silenţiozitatea ventilatoarelor cât şi de performanţele oferite de această implementare." (Vlad Buluta, Crazypc.ro)
03.02.2013 // PCTechReview
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

Obydwa coolery w wykonaniu Noctua to klasa sama w sobie. Recenzowane konstrukcje są bardzo dobrze wykonane a także wydajne. Chłodzenia prezentują się fantastycznie, a co więcej można je zainstalować na praktycznie wszystkich dostępnych podstawkach AMD (AM2, AM2+, AM3, FM1, FM2) i Intela (LGA 775, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011). Dołączone do coolerów wentylatory przy maksymalnych obrotach nie należą do zbyt cichych konstrukcji, ale nie możemy zapomnieć o adapterach z rezystorem do redukcji ich obrotów – dzięki nim dostosujemy parametry ich pracy do swoich potrzeb. Nie możemy zapomnieć o przejściówce typu Y, która pozwali nam podłączyć dwa wentylatory pod jedno złącze 3-pin. Recenzowane konstrukcje posiadają po dwa wentylatory w komplecie co jest ogromnym plusem (koszt każdego z nich to wydatek rzędu 60-80zł), dodatkowo na produkty w wykonaniu Noctua otrzymujemy aż 6 lat gwarancji! Montaż obydwu coolerów do proastych nie należy – dla początkującej osoby może okazać się bardzo trudny.
Test verdict: "Nie ma co ukrywać, że coolery posiadają wygórowaną cenę spoglądając na jakość wykonania, wydajność i zarazem cisze (przy zredukowanych obrotach) – przyjdzie nam odpowiednio zapłacić. Obydwa coolery otrzymują zasłużoną maksymalną ocene 5/5!" (Rafał Dryjer, PCTechReview)
08.11.2012 // Highlab.pl
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

Pod tym względem również jest dobrze. Przy obrotach ok. 1200obr/min jest całkiem cicho, mimo, że mamy zainstalowane dwa wentylatory. W prawdzie jak się wsłuchamy to usłyszymy szmer, ale nie będzie on stanowił problemu dla osób, które nie potrzebują idealnej ciszy (zwłaszcza, że decydując się na takie chłodzenie, prawdopodobnie reszta sprzętu również jest z wyższej półki. A wiadomo, że karta graficzna z wyższej półki to również dodatkowe wentylatory).
Test verdict: "Noctua po raz kolejny dowiodła, że tworzy produkty niemal idealne. Niemal, ponieważ ich cena może skutecznie odstraszyć. Jeśli jednak mamy zasobny portfel i chcemy mieć bardzo wydajne chłodzenie procesora, to warto zainteresować się modelem U12P SE2, ponieważ jest naprawdę bardzo wydajny, a dodatkowo dostajemy porządny zestaw całkiem użytecznych gratisów (przejściówki i przedłużacze dla wentylatorów)." (Lukasz Rosicki, Highlab.pl)
20.04.2012 // The Overclock Hole
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

- estremamente silenzioso considerando due ventole in configurazione push pull, ancora di più con l'uso di una sola ventola
- efficace contenimento delle temperature in relazione alla rumorosità;
- bundle eccezionale e garanzia di 6 anni con backplate per futuri socket incompatibili spedito a gratis dal produttore: un investimento
- grande compatibilità sia a livello di piattaforme sia di clearance con la componentistica della scheda madre
- montaggio relativamente semplice e ben spiegato nel manuale
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-U12P è uno tra i primi dissipatori a torre pensati per l'utilizzo di una coppia di ventole in configurazione push-pull, cioè con una ventola anteriore a spingere l'aria attraverso il radiatore e una posteriore ad estrarla. In commercio ormai da molti anni rimane ancora un dissipatore impossibile da non consigliare soprattutto a chi cerca grandi capacità di raffreddamento con una rumorosità contenuta." (Lorenzo Pasini, The Overclock Hole)
31.01.2012 // Megahardware.info
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

Е, безкрайно остарял ли е вече дизайнът на U12? Аз бих казал далеч не. Да вече не е на върха, но междувременно е завоюявал достатъчно отличия. Да, срещу съвременните охладители той изостава с няколколко градуса, но това в немалка степен се дължи на разликата в използваните вентилатори. В същото време при сходни скорости на вентилаторите, производителността по същество е идентична с тази на Corsair A70 – един отличен модел със съвременен дизайн. Заедно с това нивото на шум е повече от добро – на практика трябва да имат еизключително тиха система за да чуете вентилаторите на максимални обороти. Така че повечето от вас спокойно ще могат да използват NH-U12P SE2 без да се занимават с контрол на оборотите.
Test verdict: "В края на краищата благодарение на все още добрата му производителност, на тихите вентилатори и относително добрата съвместимост с високи памети (поне за Intel системи), си струва да обърнете внимание и на Noctua NH-U12P SE2, особено ако търсите преди всичко тих охладител." (Dimitar Chizmarov, Megahardware.info)
02.12.2011 // Freemodding.it
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

Il dissipatore è costruito con grande cura, ben rifinito e sopratutto fornito con un bundle che potremmo definire addirittura lussuoso. Le prestazioni sono di prim’ordine, in quanto 190 Watts non sono sicuramente semplici da tenere a bada, ma questo prodotto ci riesce alla perfezione, facendo segnare risultati molto simili al più grosso NH-C14. Anche per quanto concerne la silenziosità di esercizio, le ventole si comportano in modo ottimale, sopratutto se utilizzate in combinazione con l’adattatore U.L.N.A. (ma anche al massimo regime la rumorosità è più che accettabile).
Test verdict: "Come si può facilmente constatare dai grafici, il Noctua NH-U12P Special Edition SE2 si conferma un prodotto eccellente, da tutti i punti di vista." (Enrico Maria Sampietro, Freemodding.it)
27.10.2011 // The Tech Report
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

For most enthusiasts, the NH-U12P SE2 provides the best balance of acoustics, cooling performance, and overall value of the three models. $63 may sound like a lot to spend on a CPU cooler when perfectly competent alternatives can be had for half the price. I doubt those cheaper offerings will be nearly as quiet, though. They won't have six-year warranties, and good luck the next time AMD or Intel transitions to a new desktop socket.
Test verdict: "Countless CPU heatsinks have passed through our labs over the years, and the NH-U12P SE2 is easily my favorite. I like the thing so much that it's going into the new PC I'm slowly assembling for myself." (Geoff Gasior, The Tech Report)
15.09.2011 // Shay-Tech.co.uk
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NH-U12P SE2 Review

The Noctua NH-U12P SE2 is great at cooling as you will notice from the results and the noise level is very silent indeed when using the adaptors. It feels like a premium product due to the build quality and the accessories it’s bundled with including the two Noctua NF-P12 fans.
Test verdict: "Is it worth the price? I would say YES. If your in the market looking for a new cooler and you have a high end processor, planning to buy high end processor or intend to overclock then the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 is perfect for the job. Not to forget the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 comes with 6 years warranty!" (Shay Miah, Shay-Tech.co.uk)

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?

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?

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?

Help, the base of the cooler doesn’t make contact with the CPU / there is no contact pressure!

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?

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 the cooler be installed turned by 90° on AMD sockets?

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?

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

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?

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)?

Can I upgrade my existing Noctua cooler to socket TR4 or SP3?

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

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

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

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.

Help, the base of the cooler doesn’t make contact with the CPU / there is no contact pressure!

Please verify that you have installed the fastening brackets correctly:

Fastening Brackets

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

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

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 the cooler be installed turned by 90° on AMD sockets?

In order to install the cooler turned by 90° on AMD, the optional NM-A90 kit is required.

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

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 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

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

Can I upgrade my existing Noctua cooler to socket TR4 or SP3?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to upgrade existing Noctua heatsinks to support the AMD TR4 and SP3 sockets for Ryzen Threadripper (X399) and Epyc CPUs. TR4/SP3 CPUs have much bigger heatspreaders (as compared to e.g. LGA2066 or AM4 processors) and the contact surfaces of standard Noctua heatsinks would cover only about half of these heatspreaders, which would result in insufficient cooling performance. For this reason, Noctua will soon introduce new cooler models that feature bigger contact surfaces that have been tailored to fit TR4/SP3 CPUs. Please choose these models for AMD Ryzen Threadripper and Epyc systems.

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.

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