Product discontinued. Successor model: NH-C12P SE14

Sporting 6 heat pipes and the award-winning, psycho-acoustically optimized NF-P12 120mm fan, the NH-C12P achieves excellent performance and outstanding quietness. The down-facing c-type design doesn't only allow for optimal motherboard and case compatibility, but also provides additional cooling for motherboard components through two Airflow-Gaps. Outfitted with the professional SecuFirm™ mounting system and Noctua's much acclaimed NT-H1 thermal compound, the NH-C12P is a premium-class silent cooler through and through.
6 heat pipes

6 heat pipes

6 heat pipes, excellently soldered joints and widely-spaced cooling fins guarantee optimal heat dissipation even at low fan speeds.
C-type design with Airflow-Gaps

C-type design with Airflow-Gaps

Due to the down-facing design and two large Airflow-Gaps, the NH-C12P provides additional cooling for near-socket motherboard components.
NF-P12 120mm premium fan

NF-P12 120mm premium fan

The award-winning NF-P12 has been specifically developed for high-impedance applications such as CPU coolers. Thanks to psychoacoustic optimizations and Noctua's premium-grade SSO-bearing, the NF-P12 achieves exceptional quietness and long-term stability.
Excellent compatibility

Excellent compatibility

The down-facing c-type design allows for low height as well as excellent motherboard and case compatibility.
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. K8 (939, 940, 754) kits are available on request.
Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound

Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound

Noctua's much-acclaimed NT-H1 is an pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding long-term stability.
Cooler Specification
Intel Socket LGA775, AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3, Intel LGA1156/LGA1366 on request
Height (without fan)
91 mm
Width (without fan)
126 mm
Depth (without fan)
152 mm
Height (with fan)
114 mm
Width (with fan)
126 mm
Depth (with fan)
152 mm
Weight (without fan)
550 g
Weight (with fan/s)
730 g
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints, nickel plated
Intel all frequencies, AMD all frequencies
Fan compatibility
120x120x25mm / 120x120x38mm
Scope of Delivery
  • NF-P12 premium fan
  • Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • Low-Noise-Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm™ mounting kits for LGA & AM2(+)
6 Years
FAN Specification
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
> 150.000 h
31.08.2008 // Computerbase.de

NH-C12P Review

Das gut umgesetzte Montagesystem ist zwar etwas aufwändiger, bietet aber eine sichere Verschraubung des Luxuskühlers auf allen aktuellen Plattformen und wappnet den NH-C12P in Verbindung mit dem lobenswerten Noctua-Support auch für spätere Sockel, wodurch eine Kühler-Neuanschaffung entfällt. Die Qualität des Noctua NH-C12P ist ferner über jeden Zweifel erhaben und so bleibt uns wiederum nur, auch Österreichs Top-Blow-Pendant und sein piekfein aufeinander abgestimmtes Bundle mit unserer ComputerBase-Empfehlung auszuzeichnen.
Test verdict: "Der Noctua NH-C12P konnte die hohen Erwartungen, die durch die famose Vorstellung seiner NH-U12P-Schwester entstanden, in – für den Top-Blow-Bereich – beachtlicher Weise erfüllen. Die österreichische Entwicklung wartet mit einem für Kühler dieser Bauart exzellenten Leistungscharakter auf und stellt so manchen Tower-Kontrahenten in den Schatten. Seine Lautstärkeeigenschaften überzeugen aufgrund des NF-P12-Premiumlüfters in allen Lebenslagen durch die kaum vorhandenen Motoren- und/oder Vibrationsgeräusche und den sicher geführten Luftumschlag." (Martin Eckardt, Computerbase.de)
02.04.2009 // Custom PC

NH-C12P Review

Under full load, our test CPU was 9°C cooler with the Noctua than it was with the reference HSF. The Noctua also made little audible noise. This is a great effort considering that we use an overclocked and overvolted quad-core Xeon 3210. The Noctua is a luxury product, and every component of the cooler is of a high quality.
Test verdict: "Every part of this cooler screams premium and luxury. [...] If VRM cooling is a priority and you have the cash to spare, this is an excellent cooler." (Mark Mackay, Custom PC)
05.05.2008 // DragonSteelMods.com

NH-C12P Review

The tower, 'U' style tower coolers seem to dominate when it comes to effectively cooling a CPU, but the NH-C12P changes that now and we have here something small that will fit in most any case that out performs coolers that are essentially twice its size (at least in height). Noctua proves time and time again that they know what they are doing, be it a fan or a CPU cooler, they know cooling and know how to make a quality product. The NH-C12P continues the Noctua tradition of creating and producing high quality, excellent performing products, I can easily recommend this CPU cooler to anyone looking for a quality product that not only looks great but performs exceedingly well.
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-C12P is a great choice for those looking for a small CPU cooler, it offers a nice combination of performance and silence, it could be perfect for an HTPC case or desktop style case. Considering its performance though, the NH-C12P is ideally suited for pretty much any application, and it should be able to handle anything thrown at it." (Kristofer Brozio, DragonSteelMods.com)
05.05.2008 // TT-Hardware.com

NH-C12P Review

En effet, le NH-C12H déploie une surface d'un peu plus de 2000 cm² contre approximativement 3100 cm² pour le NH-U12P. Ce dernier dispose donc d'une surface d'échange 50% plus grand... Etant donné que les NH-U12P et NH-C12P maintiennent le processeur à une température comparable, on ne peut être qu'impressionné par le travail accompli.
Test verdict: "Que penser de ce NH-C12P ? Les performances brutes, c'est-à-dire les capacités de refroidissement du processeur, sont excellentes et comparables à celles du récent NH-U12P. Les deux heatpipes supplémentaires permettent donc de compenser la surface d'échange réduite de 33%... Mais le grand point fort du NH-C12P est sa hauteur inférieure à celle d’un NH-U9 moins efficace. Noctua a donc bien conçu son nouveau radiateur." (Pascal Thevenier, TT-Hardware.com)
01.04.2011 // BayReviews.com

NH-C12P Review

The cooler performed very well in all our tests and it beat the AMD stock and Evercool Transformer 4 coolers without any issues.
Test verdict: "Overall, the Noctua NH-C12P is a smaller cooler which is also ultra-quiet and provides very good cooling. I would highly recommend this CPU cooler for anyone looking to replace their stock heatsink with something that can handle a lot more." (Vikram Chand, BayReviews.com)
22.09.2010 // Tech-Reviews.co.uk

NH-C12P Review

The Noctua NH-C12P has proven to be a worthy competitor. Knocking a good 21 degrees off of the load temperature of the stock cooler, the NH-C12P definitely gives you some extra overclocking headroom. When compared with the Gelid Silent Spirit the Noctua also manages to score slightly better temperatures than this cooler.
Test verdict: "Overall the Noctua NH-C12P is a worthy replacement for your stock cooler. It’s not going to perform like a water-cooling setup or a more expensive cooler, but it’s an ideal choice for lower temperatures and more overclocking potential." (Rhys Sloman-Brown, Tech-Reviews.co.uk)
20.05.2010 // PCLabs.com.tr

NH-C12P Review

Peki hangisi? Aynı fiyata, eğer klasik kule tipi kasanız varsa -yani içine sığıyorsa- NH-U12P daha iyi soğutma performansı ya da alternatif olarak daha düşük gürültüye benzer soğutma performansı demek. Eğer HTPC tipi, yüksekliği kurtarmayacak bir kasaya sahipseniz ya da bu tip bir şeyler edinmeyi düşünüyorsanız NH-C12P.
Test verdict: "Eğer bir HTPC tipi, ufak tefek bir kasaya soğutucu arıyorsanız aklınızda bulunması gereken bir seçenek. Özel sessiz fanı düşük devirde de iyi bir soğutma sağlamanın yanısıra sessiz olmasını istediğiniz HTPC tipi sisteminizde varlığını hissettirmeyecektir." (Haluk Sekendiz, PCLabs.com.tr)
25.12.2009 // Gamereactor.no

NH-C12P Review

Ved full load nådde den varmeste kjerne (#1) en temp på 59 grader, mens Gigabyte X fikk en temp på 76 grader på samme operasjon. Temperaturen på chipset er også viktig og denne var 38 grader med Noctua NH-C12P og 47 for Gigabyte X. Her er det altså snakk om 10 grader forskjell. Og det i et kabinett som er helt åpent. Her kvitter alle kjølere seg med varm luft fort! Ytelsen er enormt bra. Det er ikke mye mer å si. Viften spinner også med 1400 rpm hele tiden og den høres ikke i det hele tatt på det turtallet. Noctua sender med flere adaptere for å senke viftehastighet hvis man ønsker dette. På en mindre hissig CPU er nok dette et godt valg. Spesielt i et HTPC kabinett. Viften på Gigabyte X spant med et maksturtall på 2700 rpm ved full load og dette ble veldig plagsomt etterhvert.
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-C12P er en meget god kjøler. Den har en passform som gjør den til en av de mest kompatible kjølerne på markedet i dag. Kjøleytelsen er fenomenal og det er en bra bundle som er med i esken. Kjølepasta, vifteadaptere og fester til de soklene som er aktive i dag. Utformingen gjør at den også kjøler chipset og RAM-brikker noe som bare gjør den enda et hakk bedre. Noctua befinner seg helt på topp av dagens kjølermarked og dette er et produkt som får de varmeste anbefalinger fra en hardwarenerd." (Thor Stokke, Gamereactor.no)
01.11.2009 // PC-CM.com

NH-C12P Review

เป็นอย่างไรกันบ้างครับกับสุดยอด Heatsink จาก Austria บินไกลจากฝั่งยุโรปที่มีประสิทธิภาพเรื่องการระบายความร้อนที่ขึ้นชื่อได้ ว่า Cooling ของเค้านั้นเงียบที่สุดติดอันดับ Top 5 ซึ่งเป็นที่นิยมและได้รับการยอมรับจากเมืองนอกเป็นอย่างมาก และในวันนี้ Heatsink ในรุ่น NH-C12P ที่ทดสอบให้ชมกันกับ System ที่ใช้ CPU Intel Core i5 750 โดยได้ทดสอบถึงประสิทธิภาพในการระบายความร้อนของ CPU ที่ความเร็วเดิมๆ 2.66Ghz และการ Overclock ไปที่ควงามเร็ว 3.6Ghz นั้นสามารถแสดงประสิทธิภาพในการระบายความร้อนได้ดีกว่า Heatsink Stock ของ Intel Core i5 ขณะ CPU Full Load ด้วยโปรแกรม LinX 0.6.3 Run 15 Time ได้เย็นกว่าในระดับ 15c - 20c องศาเซลเซียสในการทดสอบ นี่ก็บอกบอกถึงประสิทธิภาพในการระบายความร้อนว่า Heatsink ตัวนี้ทำได้อยู่ในระดับใช้ได้เลยทีเดียว และที่สำคัญนะครับ อย่าลืมว่า Heatsink ตัวนี้ใช้พัดลมระบายความร้อนขนาด 12cm. ที่ใช้รอบในการระบายความร้อนเพียง 1300rpm. เท่านั้น และเสียงรบกวนในการทำงานในระดับต่ำกว่า 20dBA เสียงรบกนนั้นเทียบจะไม่ได้ยินเลยจริงๆ ครับ ด้วยการออกแบบใบพัดแบบพิเศษ ช่วยลดเสียงรบกวน แต่ได้ระบบ Air-Flow สูง ซึ่ง Noctua ได้เรียกระบบนี้ว่า Vortex-Control Notches อ่านรายละเอียดเพิ่มเติมได้ ที่นี่ ครับ
Test verdict: "วันนี้ผมก็มีข่าวสารมาแจ้ง และพร้อมกับผลการทดสอบสำหรับผู้ที่ใช้ Heatsink จาก Noctua โดยหลายๆ ท่านอาจจะคุ้นหูกันไปบ้างแล้ว และหลายๆ ท่านอาจจะไม่เคยได้ยินชื่อเสียงของยี่ห้อนี้เลยก็เป็นได้ เพราะว่าเป็น Heatsink ที่ผลิตออกมาสำหรับเน้นการใช้งานแบบเงียบๆ เป็นหลัก เนื้องานค่อนข้างพิถิพิถัน สาวยงาม และใบพัดลมนั้นได้ออกแบบมาสำหรับความเงียบโดยเฉพาะ ถึงรอบจะต่ำ แต่ได้แรงลมที่มากกว่าพัดลมรุ่นอื่นๆ ที่รอบเท่าๆ กัน และที่สำคัญเรื่องความเงียบนั้น ต้องยกให้เค้าครับ Noctua" (Krittanan Nanta, PC-CM.com)
28.10.2009 // Tech-Lobby.com

NH-C12P Review

Today we take a look at the Noctua NH-C12P. A cooler with a shorter profile making it an excellent choice for those wanting top end passive cooling in smaller system cases.
Test verdict: "Overall, like the previous Noctua products we’ve reviewed, the NH-C12P is just another awesome CPU cooler, which in our opinion keeps Noctua on top of the game." (Farhan Khan, Tech-Lobby.com Video Review)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

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

Does the cooler offer sufficient clearance for my RAM modules?

The cooler offers sufficient clearance for modules of up to 40mm in height. RAM modules with higher heatspreaders can cause compatibility issues on mainboards where the heatsink extends over the RAM slots.

RAM Clearance

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.

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.


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

In which orientation should top-flow coolers (NH-C series, NH-L12) be installed?

When using top-flow coolers in a tower-style case, we strongly recommend installing the cooler with the heatpipes in horizontal position or with the bends of the heatpipes pointing downwards. Please avoid installing the cooler with the bends pointing upwards as this may result in reduced cooling performance. In desktop cases, the cooler can be used in any orientation.


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.


How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-C12P provide?

The NH-C12P provides 44mm clearance for near-socket components:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Does the cooler offer sufficient clearance for my RAM modules?

The cooler offers sufficient clearance for modules of up to 40mm in height. RAM modules with higher heatspreaders can cause compatibility issues on mainboards where the heatsink extends over the RAM slots (Note that you can move the fan up as shown here in case only the fan hangs over the RAM slots).

RAM Clearance

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.

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.


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.

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