How do the NH-U12A, NH-U12S, and NH-U12S redux? Which one to choose?

How do the NH-U12A, NH-U12S and NH-U12S redux compare? Which one to choose.

Offering a perfect combination of strong cooling performance, outstanding quietness of operation as well as excellent case, RAM and PCIe compatibility, the NH-U12S has been among Noctua’s most popular CPU cooler models for many years. It’s a great default choice for customers who are looking for a well-rounded, signature Noctua solution and don’t require the extra performance headroom of the NH-U12A. The NH-U12S chromax.black is identical to the regular version except for its black colour.


The NH-U12S redux is a streamlined, more affordable version of the NH-U12S. As such, it is perfect for users who are looking for a highly compatible, no-frills 120mm cooler that doesn’t break the bank. Its raw cooling performance is on the same level as the regular NH-U12S with both models scoring a Noctua Standardised Performance Rating (NSPR) of 131 points. However, the NF-F12 fan of the regular NH-U12S is 2.7dB(A) quieter than the NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM fan of the NH-U12S redux (22.4 vs. 25.1 dB(A)).


Users who want the absolute best performance/noise efficiency in the 120mm class and don’t mind investing a bit more should go with the premium class NH-U12A: With an NSPR of 169 points and its dual state-of-the-art NF-A12x25 PWM fans running around 2.5dB(A) quieter than the NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM fan of the NH-U12S redux, the NH-U12A provides a significantly higher level of performance/noise efficiency that can rival many 140mm coolers.


Unlike the NH-U12S redux, the NH-U12A and regular NH-U12S feature Noctua’s premium grade soldered interface between the heatpipes and the fins. They also include Low-Noise Adaptors a tube of NT-H1 thermal paste for several applications whereas the NH-U12S redux comes with NT-H1 pre-applied. While the NH-U12A is shipped with two fans and the regular NH-U12S includes clips for installing a second fan, the NH-U12S redux can only be upgraded using the optional NA-FK1.




NH-U12A NH-U12S /
NH-U12S chromax.black
NH-U12S redux
NSPR
169 129 129
Height 158mm 158mm 158mm
Number of heatpipes 7 5 4
Soldered interface of heatpipes and cooling fins compatible compatible not_compatible
Fan(s) 2x NF-A12x25 PWM 1x NF-F12 PWM /
1x NF-F12 PWM chromax.black
1x NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM
Acoustical noise rating 22,6 dB(A) 22,4 dB(A) 25,1 dB(A)
Low-Noise Adaptor compatible compatible (optional with NA-FK1 second fan kit)
Fan clips for second fan compatible compatible (optional with NA-FK1 second fan kit)
Thermal paste NT-H1, tube (~5 applications) NT-H1, tube (~5 applications) NT-H1, pre-applied
(1 application)
Mounting ecosystem compatibility SecuFirm2™ SecuFirm2™ SecuFirm2™
Included mounting
parts
SecuFirm2™ for Intel LGA20xx, LGA1200/LGA115x, AMD AM4, AM3 SecuFirm2™ for Intel LGA20xx, LGA1200/LGA115x, AMD AM4, AM3 SecuFirm2™ for Intel LGA20xx, LGA1200/LGA115x, AMD AM4
Free of charge mounting upgrades (if technically possible) compatible compatible compatible
Warranty 6 years 6 years 6 years
MSRP 109.90 EUR / USD 69.90 EUR / USD /
79.90 EUR / USD
49.90 EUR / USD