heading

The NH-U12S is the latest 12cm model of Noctua’s classic U-series single tower CPU coolers, which have received more than 400 awards and recommendations from the international press. The S-version’s 45mm slim shape guarantees 100% compatibility with tall RAM modules and at the same time, its fine-tuned design and the class-leading NF-F12 FocusedFlow™ fan with PWM support for fully automatic speed control allow it to further improve its predecessor’s renowned quiet cooling performance. Topped off with the trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s proven NT-H1 thermal compound and full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-U12S is a complete premium quality solution that combines outstanding performance, quiet operation and excellent compatibility.
Details
Award-winning NH-U12 series

Award-winning NH-U12 series

The NH-U12S is 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.
100% RAM compatibility

100% RAM compatibility

Thanks to its slim design with only 45mm fin depth, the NH-U12S will not overhang the RAM slots even with two fans installed. This gives the user full access to the memory modules on all current CPU sockets and guarantees 100% compatibility with tall heatspreaders or optional memory fans.*
Classic 120mm tower size for excellent overall compatibility

Classic 120mm tower size for excellent overall compatibility

Standing 158mm tall, the NH-U12S is short enough to fit most modern mid- or high-end tower cases. Measuring 125mm wide (including fan and fan clips), the cooler stays clear of the top PCIe slot on standard ATX or Micro-ATX motherboards, ensuring best compatibility with SLI and CrossFire setups.
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-U12S 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-U12S 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 LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156), LGA2011 and AMD (AM3+, AM2+, FM1, FM2, FM2+), the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-U12S guarantees perfect contact pressure and maximum convenience on all current sockets.
Compatibility with past and future sockets

Compatibility with past and future sockets

Complying with the open SecuFirm™ standard, the NH-U12S can be made compatible with the older LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets using the optional NM-I3 mounting kit, which is provided by Noctua free of charge. If technically possible, Noctua will also provide upgrade kits for future 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 MTTF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-U12S package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
* Some AMD mainboards violate the 96x114mm keep-out zone specified by AMD, so the NH-U12S can only be used with RAM modules of up to 40mm height on these boards. Please consult our compatibility list for details.
NH-U12S
Cooler Specification
Intel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)
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
Max. TDP
see TDP guide
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
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
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)
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-U12S
NH-U12S
NH-U12S
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA115x installation
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA2011 installation
SecuFirm2™ AMD installation (NM-AMB3)
Video Reviews
The following video reviews have not been created by Noctua. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the videos lies entirely with the authors.
language
language
language
language
30.03.2017 // DigitalPortal.sk
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

Chladiče rakúskeho výrobcu Noctua patria rozhodne medzi tie najlepšie. Otestovali sme modely NH-U12S a NH-C14S, ktoré sú vhodné najmä pre menšie zostavy, ktoré obsahujú výkonné procesory a vyžadujú kvalitné chladenie.
Test verdict: "Obaja ventilátory vo svojich kategóriách podávajú veľmi dobré výsledky. Vďaka použitým chladičom bola predovšetkým hlučnosť na veľmi dobrej úrovni, ktorú možno viac zlepšiť použitím stišovacieho člena." (Martin Tuček, DigitalPortal.sk)
17.03.2017 // MacFay Hardware
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

Nous avons donc effectué des prises de mesures en lançant OCCT pendant 30 minutes en utilisant le processeur à 100% et Core Temp. La première est faite avec un kit all in one, le deuxième avec le NH-U12S. Comme vous pouvez le constater, la différence en termes de degrés n’est pas énorme mais elle est bien présente. En revanche, la différence au niveau du bruit est tout simplement hallucinante. En utilisation modérée elle a baissé de 20%, mais en utilisation intensive, elle a baissé de 50%.
Test verdict: "[L]e NH-U12S est un ventirad performant, qui possède une grande durée de vie, un entretien facile, une facilité d’installation grâce à une notice détaillée et personnalisée, une merveille." (Julien Goncalves, MacFay Hardware)
02.03.2017 // PC-Gaming.it
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

Il Noctua NH-U12S è un dissipatore eccezionale sotto molti aspetti, dalla qualità costruttiva al bundle. Le prestazioni pure sono ottime per le sue dimensioni, rivaleggiando senza problemi anche proposte più costose sul mercato e distaccandosi di poco dal fratello maggiore NH-D15s. Altro punto forte è la rumorosità, l’NH-U12S è completamente silenzioso anche in configurazione dual ventola e grazie alle sue dimensioni contenute non crea problemi ai sistemi con RAM ad alto profilo, perfino sulle piattaforme Intel LGA 2011. La possibilità di installae una seconda ventola (al costo di 19,99€), migliora di qualche grado le prestazioni ma risulta poco conveniente. L’NH-U12S costa 59,90€, leggermente superiore alla media ma in parte giustificato dall’eccellente qualità complessiva e una garanzia Noctua di 6 anni, che offre un supporto immediato e kit gratuiti per tutti i futuri socket compreso quello AM4.
Test verdict: "Questo Noctua NH-U12S punta molto sulle dimensioni contenute senza pregiudicare troppo le prestazioni, un dissipatore estremamente silenzioso, facile da installare e con una qualità costruttiva impeccabile." (Matteo Carrara, PC-Gaming.it)
10.01.2017 // HardManiacos.com
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

En cuanto a su estructura, como en todos los de Noctua, ésta es robusta con gran cantidad de heat pipes, mejorando así la eficiencia en la disipación de calor. Además, el disipador cuenta con un gran número de accesorios, pudiendo colocarlo fácilmente tanto en placas base Intel como AMD, además de contar con las sujeciones necesarias para otro ventilador. Por todo ello, le damos el premio de calidad-precio, recomendando su uso en equipos con procesadores de gama media en los que le queramos hacer algún OC.
Test verdict: "Después de analizar en profundidad el disipador NH-U12S, comprobamos que cumple perfectamente con su cometido, pudiendo enfriar rápidamente el procesador, manteniéndolo en unos valores aceptables si no hacemos OC ya que en este caso, necesitaríamos colocar un segundo ventilador al otro lado de las rejillas, pudiendo así enfriar mucho más y en menos tiempo." (Daniel Rey, HardManiacos.com)
24.10.2016 // JotaReviews.pt
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

O Noctua NH-U12S tratando-se de um cooler com um custo de 60€ e com pequenas dimensões pode-se afirmar que os resultados obtidos foram impressionantes, sendo que o nível de ruído com uma única ventoinha a 12V foi muito baixo e que com duas ventoinhas a 7V as temperaturas se mantiveram baixas. A qualidade de construção do mesmo é fabulosa e em nada vai deixar a desejar, claramente um cooler muito bem construído e pensado por parte da Noctua. A nível de acessórios vem muito bem equipado, com uma excelente ventoinha e todas as ferramentas necessárias para a instalação do mesmo.
Test verdict: "Tendo em conta todos estes factores, sem duvida que merece total recomendação por parte da equipa JotaReviews, se procuram um cooler silencioso e com alta performance este NH-U12S será a escolha ideal." (João Teixeira, JotaReviews.pt)
15.09.2016 // ITHardware.pl
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

Noctua NH-U12S to tracycyjny wieżowy cooler z wentylatorem 120 mm. No moze nie do końca tracycyjny, bo nie ma finów wielkości łopaty do węgla i jest od większości tego typu produktów na rynku znacznie smuklejszy (nie mylić z mniej wydajny!). Ma to zagwarantować bezproblemową instalację modułów pamięci RAM z wysokimi radiatorami oraz kompatybilność z małymi obudowami - choć dla ITXów Noctua ma inny cooler. Konstrukcja NH-U12S opiera się o pięć rurek w kształcie litery U (z małymi zawijasami). Cały cooler jest niklowany, a finy są dodatkowo przylutowane do ciepłowodów, co znacznie poprawia wydajność. Jeśli chodzi o wydajność - jak widać na wykresach jest rewelacyjna, zwłaszcza jeśli weźmiemy pod uwagę tak niewielkie rozmiary!
Test verdict: "Model U12S bez problemu pokonuje sporo znacznie większych konstrukcji, przy zachowaniu naprawdę cichej pracy. Niemniej cena studzi trochę zapał. Tak czy inaczej, NH-U12S to bardzo dobra alternatywa dla najtańszych zestawów WC AIO z chłodnicą 120 mm." (Krzysztof Opacki , ITHardware.pl)
11.08.2016 // Overclock3D.net
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

At just 158mm tall the NH-U12S will fit in most mid towers, and at just 71mm deep there's no RAM overhang to worry about. The NH-U12S also tops the 120mm fan based charts, beating some bigger units and some twin fan based coolers such as the SilverStone AR03 and the bequiet Pro3.
Test verdict: "If you're in the market for a 120mm fan based cooler, you're not bothered about aesthetics and performance is king then this is the cooler you should buy." (Gary Wain, Overclock3D.net)
08.08.2016 // Syndrome-OC.net
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

Comme d’habitude, les ventirad assez imposant chez Noctua permettent de refroidir plus que convenablement le processeur. Les performances sont au rendez-vous, avec 32°C en IDLE et 54°C en charge. Les ventilateurs sont inaudibles en IDLE avec une vitesse de rotation de 400 tours/minute et 1400 tours/minutes en OCCT.
Test verdict: "Conclusion identique face au NH-U14S. : Noctua propose encore un fois un ventirad sans faux pas. Avec cette version, Noctua propose un ventirad alliant de très bonnes performances avec compatibilité quasi illimitée. Il est donc possible avec celui-ci de monter une configuration sans compromis avec un overclock plus que satisfaisant." (Batiste Hocq, Syndrome-OC.net)
29.07.2016 // hardwareBG.com
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

През последните няколко години компанията Noctua създаде много сериозно име в IT средите, особено когато става дума за охладители за процесори, или пък вентилатори за монтаж в компютърните шасита. Макар конкуренцията винаги да е била много сериозна, а понякога и доста добре ценово ориентирана, с високото ниво на качество на своите предложения, Noctua съумяха да се позиционират в най-високите нива на производители на споменатите компютърни продукти. Едва ли са много хората, които не са чували за вездесъщият процесорен охладител Noctua NH-D14, който междувпрочем съвсем скоро ще е напълно съвместим с процесорите на AMD с архитектура Zen и Socket AM4, благодарение на новите крепежни елементи, които от Noctua ще раздават (за пореден път) безплатно на всеки потребител, който може чрез документ да докаже, че притежава дънна платка и процесор за Socket AM4, както и разбира се охладител Noctua. Но да не се разсейваме излишно, ами да обърнем внимание конкретно на фокуса на този материал – процесорите Skylake и тяхното охлаждане.
Test verdict: "Noctua е един от най-сериозните и постоянните производители на процесорни охладители, които присъстват на компютърният пазар и година след година радват своите потребители не само с нови модели охладители, но и с някои специфични “бонус програми”, като например безплатни монтажни елементи за поставяне на по-стари модели охладители върху нови процесорни платформи." (Тодор Богданов, hardwareBG.com)
16.06.2016 // ITNdaily.ru
test.gif

NH-U12S Review

Реальный показатель TDP у Noctua NH-U12S выше заявленных 140 Вт, потому что на 4800 МГц и вольтаже 1,392 В Intel Core i5-6600K выделяет именно столько тепла (+/- 10 Вт по данным программы мониторинга), при этом температура процессора в стресс-тесте оставалась в допустимых рабочих пределах. Noctua NH-U12S можно смело устанавливать на ЦП с TDP 150-160 Вт. Для больших значений уже понадобится второй вентилятор. К слову, для охлаждения Intel Core i5-6600K одного пропеллера вполне достаточно, лишний NF-F12 PWM снижает температуру под нагрузкой лишь на 4 Градуса (59 против 63 Градусов в режиме 4800 МГц и напряжении 1,424 В).
Test verdict: "При прочих равных пользователь почти наверняка предпочтет двенадцатой модели именно четырнадцатую, и возможно окажется прав, однако мы рекомендуем Noctua NH-U12S тем, кто разумно подходит к железному балансу внутри системного блока." (Евгений Никифоров, ITNdaily.ru)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

Is the cooler compatible with AMD FM2+?

As the hole spacing for CPU cooler installation on FM2+ is the same as on AM2, AM2, AM3(+), FM1 and FM2, the cooler is fully compatible with FM2+ out of the box and doesn’t require any modifications or upgrades.

How big is the NH-U12S and how much clearance does it provide for RAM and chipset coolers?

Please refer to the following drawing for the exact measurements and clearance for RAM and chipset coolers:

U12S

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.

How can I determine if the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS is overclocking my processor by default and deactivate this automatic overclocking?

Most motherboard vendors allow their overclocking-enabled products (e.g. those with Intels X- or Z-series chipsets) to run the processor at increased clock speeds by default, without requiring any user action at all. Since TDP (Thermal Design Power) limits are usually also disabled by default, this leads to the CPU exceeding the rated TDP to a varying degree, depending on the used applications and their workloads. Due to the increased heat output of the CPU, you may see higher CPU temperatures than expected.

In order to find out if your motherboard is overclocking your processor by default, please enter the UEFI BIOS and select the “advanced” or “overclocking” menu. There you should be able to find options such as “MultiCore Enhancement” (options: enabled/disabled), “CPU Ratio Apply Mode” (options: all/per core) or similar. To disable the automatic overclocking, adjust the settings either to “disabled” or “per core” and make sure that the individual multipliers match the original specifications.

In doubt, please contact your motherboard vendor for detailed instructions on how to disable this feature.

My unlocked Intel CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem?

Intel's unlocked CPUs (K, X and C suffix) can dissipate more heat than indicated by the TDP specification if
  1. the TDP limits are extended or disabled in the motherboards' BIOS.
  2. the motherboard applies automatic overclocking by default, e.g. by raising the supply voltage of the CPU and using higher Turbo-Mode multipliers.
  3. some software creates untypical loads, e.g. Prime95 with AVX2 support and a) and/or b) apply.

This can lead to temperature issues, especially when using smaller coolers or compact cases.

The actual power draw of the processor can be monitored with software provided by the motherboard vendor or with 3rd party tools like HWInfo or HWMonitor.

If you encounter temperature issues (>90°C) and notice a higher than specified power draw, please ensure that no automatic overclocking is applied and limit the TDP to the specified value by choosing appropriate BIOS settings.

For Kaby Lake CPUs, it may also help to lower the CPU clock speed for applications that heavily use the AVX instruction set, which can lead to higher loads and power draw. This option is usually referred to as “AVX offset” and makes it possible to lower the multiplier specifically for AVX based applications without reducing performance when using other instruction sets. Depending on the quality of the CPU and the programs being used, a reduction of 2-3 steps usually gives very good results.

Please contact your motherboard vendor for details if you have trouble finding the appropriate settings in the BIOS.

All our TDP recommendations are based on thorough testing with the default values specified by Intel using popular applications such as Asus Realbench and prime95. Please note, however, that prime95 creates a particularly high load that goes beyond typical application scenarios and this leads to elevated temperatures. We thus recommend using other programs such as Realbench for checking the stability and temperatures of the CPU in realistic scenarios.

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