heading NH-U12P SPECIFICATIONS REVIEWS SERVICE 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, soldered joints and widely-spaced aluminium cooling fins guarantee optimal heat dissipation even at low fan speeds. 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 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 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 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 Noctua's NT-H1 is a pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and long-term stability. See all 171 reviews for this product See all 161 reviews for this product Cooler Specification Socket compatibility Intel Socket LGA 775, AMD AM2, AM2+ & AM3 Height (without fan) 158 mm Width (without fan) 126 mm Depth (without fan) 71 mm Weight (without fan) 600 g Height (with fan) 158 mm Width (with fan) 126 mm Depth (with fan) 95 mm Weight (with fan) 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 fanMounting-clips for 2 fansUltra-Low-Noise-Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)NT-H1 high-grade thermal compoundSecuFirm™ mounting kits for LGA & AM2(+) Warranty 6 Years FAN Specification Model Noctua NF-P12 Bearing SSO-Bearing Blade geometry Nine Blade Design Rotational speed (+/- 10%) 1300 RPM Rotational speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1100 RPM Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 900 RPM Airflow 92,3 m³/h Airflow with L.N.A. 78,5 m³/h Airflow with U.L.N.A. 63,4 m³/h Acoustical noise 19,8 dB(A) Voltage range 12 V MTTF > 150.000 h 01.02.2008 // Computerbase.de NH-U12P Review Alles in allem muss man Noctua zugestehen, eine der am besten abgestimmten und komplettesten Kühlerofferten des Marktes anzubieten. Kühlkörper, Lüfter, Wärmeleitpaste und Zubehör sind keine abgespeckten Bundle-Versionen, sondern das Beste, was Noctua zur Zeit zu bieten hat. Der Kunde erhält also keine Mogelpackung, sondern eine Premium-Combo, deren üppig anmutender Verkaufspreis von über 50 Euro unter diesen Gesichtspunkten als durchaus fair angesehen werden darf. Test verdict: "Noctua bereichert den Markt mit dem NH-U12P um eine Kühlercombo höchster Güte. In allen wichtigen Belangen, vom Lieferauftritt bis hin zur Performance, weiß Österreichs Aushängeschild in Sachen Prozessorkühlung ordentlich zu punkten. So finden wir im gesamten Drehzahlspektrum eine Kühlleistung auf dem Niveau der Spitzenkühler vor, die der hochwertigen Towerkonstruktion inklusive des Heatpipe-Quartettes beste Funktionalität bescheinigt." (Martin Eckardt, Computerbase.de) 21.01.2009 // LegitReviews.com NH-U12P Review In the NH-U12P’s dual fan configuration it was clearly the winner with a 1.75*C gap between it and the closest competitor, the Monsoon III LT. The NH-U12P SE1366 cooled our i7-920 to a very nice 56.25*C under full load, and a whopping 17.75* under stock. [...] With the system overclocked to 3.5GHz and under full load the stock cooler starts to scream for mercy as the load temp climbed to 83.5*C. The Vigor Monsoon III LT dropped back 2 spots, and the NH-U12P is still in the lead, keeping our i7-920 to a toasty 67.5*C; a whole 16* cooler then stock. [...] the Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler is the winner in our testing. Either in its original single fan configuration or in its new SE1366 dual fan configuration it led the pack and did it quietly. Test verdict: "The Intel Core i7 CPUs can get very toasty so the need of a quality cooler is a must. The Noctua NH-U12P is just that and will continue to be our King of Cooling." (Shane Higgins, LegitReviews.com) 12.06.2009 // The Tech Report NH-U12P Review Compared to the other air coolers, the $55 Noctua NH-U12P is a brilliant behemoth. Not only did it produce lower noise levels than the rest, it did so without sacrificing overclocking performance. Most importantly, the Noctua kept our overclocked Phenom's load temperature more than four degrees lower than the best our water cooler could manage. Test verdict: "When you factor in the cooler's smart design, excellent craftsmanship, and impressively silent fan, Noctua's price premium looks well justified. This cooler is perfect for those who want excellent cooling performance without having to give up quiet computing." (Joshua Buss, The Tech Report) 21.03.2008 // AnandTech.com NH-U12P Review Noctua really has produced a top-performing cooler with incredibly low noise in the NH-U12P. The combination of staggered Vortex Control notches, SC Drive, and SSO bearings in a nine-blade design does the trick as promised. Paired with the venerable and continually refined Noctua heatsink, performance of the stock Noctua NH-U12P mirrors the top Thermalright all the way to 3.91GHz. Noise remains below our system noise floor throughout the entire range of testing. The Thermalright goes on to 3.94GHz with a single fan, indicating the design may be slightly more efficient. However, add a second NF-P12 to the Noctua and it also reaches 3.94GHZ and sets new records for cooling temperatures along the way. Even with two fans, noise remains below the noise floor - and you can reduce it even further with shunts if you choose. We saw no reason to do this as two fans at full speed were still as silent as we could measure in our system - with noise levels below a quiet suburban bedroom at night. Test verdict: "There is no doubt the Noctua NH-U12P has joined the ranks of the best performing coolers ever tested at AnandTech. With two NF-12P fans in push-pull, it turns in the best cooling results at the highest overclocks we have ever seen." (Wesley Fink, AnandTech.com) 18.02.2008 // Puissance-PC.net NH-U12P Review Le Noctua NH-U12P est une magnifique révision du NH-U12F. Noctua a corrigé tous les points négatifs de sa première version, avec un ventilateur enfin adapté au refroidissement de radiateurs, une pâte thermique de qualité, une troisième vitesse de rotation disponible, et cerise sur le gâteau un radiateur également amélioré. Test verdict: "Le Noctua NH-U12P est une réussite totale. Un excellent radiateur, surmonté d'un non moins excellent ventilateur, avec un bundle de qualité contenant des modules de régulation de vitesse et une pâte thermique à la hauteur de nos espérances." (David Sergent, Puissance-PC.net) 19.11.2007 // Overclock3D.net NH-U12P Review Here again the Noctua NH-U12P did extremely well, beating the other coolers at idle by 5°C, 4°C factoring in the change in room temperature. At load the three top performers closed in a bit, but the Noctua was still a 1°C ahead (again factoring in the 0.9°C temperature difference). That's pretty darn good results from Noctua. [...] As we have seen previously, the NF-P12 fans are pretty damn amazing and in a heatsink-fan situation this is no different. Not only does the fan produce a very good amount of airflow, it also is incredibly quiet, even when ramped up to it's top speed. On putting on one of the voltage fan extension cables provided, you quite simply could not hear any noise from the cooler. Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-U12P performs very well, even against some of the top-rated heatsinks on the market. When I pulled the cooler out of the box I was initially impressed with build quality and then once it was in use I was highly impressed with it's cooling ability, as well as the performance of the excellent NF-P12 fans. Add in the fact that Noctua include some top-end thermal paste and we're onto a winner. " (Matthew Kemp, Overclock3D.net) 02.04.2008 // [H]ard|OCP NH-U12P Review Noctua has worked their magic with a tower-design processor heatsink yet again. It is amazing to see just how far Noctua have pushed it. This newest incarnation beats its predecessor by a few degrees, and offers better compatibility thanks to its better motherboard component clearance. As with many heatsinks, it comes down to the fan used, and thankfully Noctua does not disappoint here. Bundling its kit with the premiere NF-P12 fan shows off what this heat sink can do even while being nearly silent. Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-U12P is a solid cooler that performs with the very best out there. Combine this with a strong fan that can be classified as 'silent,' and you have a complete package. For anyone in the market for a new processor cooler or if you are just looking to quiet your system down, this is one heat sink and fan combination that should be on your short list." (Marc Adams, [H]ard|OCP) 21.03.2008 // Hardwareluxx.de NH-U12P Review Mit großem Abstand kann sich der Noctua NH-U12P vor die Konkurrenz setzen und führt souverän das Feld an. Test verdict: " Das beste Komplettpaket kommt in diesem Test aus dem Hause Noctua. Der Noctua U12P zeigt keine Schwächen in der Verarbeitung, der Qualität, der Montage, dem Lieferumfang oder bei der Kühlleistung, denn in allen Bereichen ist er mit an der Spitze, oder setzt Bestmarken. Abgerundet wird das Paket durch den sehr guten Lüfter mit einer höheren Förderleistung als normale Lüfter, was sich vor allem mit einer Spannung unter 7V bemerkbar macht. Eine klare Kaufempfehlung!" (Patrick Schubert, Hardwareluxx.de) 19.03.2008 // DragonSteelMods.com NH-U12P Review An out of the box choice to cool the Q6600 would have to be the Noctua NHU-12P, offering good performance and very low noise. (It's currently in use now cooling my Q6600.) Test verdict: "As with my C2D heastsink roundup, I found that the Noctua NH-U12P offers the best choice overall for cooling performance and low noise. I personally have the NH-U12P on my C2Q at this moment as I type this." (Kristofer Brozio, DragonSteelMods.com) 27.02.2008 // techPowerUp! NH-U12P Review When the CPU is overclocked and the voltage is increased, the NH-U12P does even better than the rest of the air coolers. Amazingly, this is all done with a fan that is very quiet. Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-U12P CPU heatsink performs excellently, and it does so with a very quiet fan. The design and construction are top-notch as one would expect from Noctua." (Todd Kracinski, techPowerUp!) See all 171 reviews for this product INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION SHEETS (PDF) FAQs MAINBOARD COMPATIBILITY CASE COMPATIBILITY CPU COMPATIBILITY Installation Manual (PDF) Information Sheet (PDF) FAQs I've got 2 adapter cables with the cooler. What's the difference between these cables? My unlocked Intel CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem? Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one? Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066? Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with AMD AM4 (Ryzen)? Can I upgrade my existing Noctua cooler to socket TR4 or SP3? 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? Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo? My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose? I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help? How much torque should be applied when tightening the screws of a Noctua CPU cooler? Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model? How can I determine if the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS is overclocking my processor by default and deactivate this automatic overclocking? 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? The fan doesn’t start with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA)! Is the cooler compatible with socket AM2+ and AM3? 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! How can I connect 2 fans? 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: 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 the TDP limits are extended or disabled in the motherboards' BIOS. the motherboard applies automatic overclocking by default, e.g. by raising the supply voltage of the CPU and using higher Turbo-Mode multipliers. 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. 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. 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 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 (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-D15 SE-AM4 NH-D15S (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-U14S (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-U12S (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-U12S SE-AM4 NH-U9S (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-D9L (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-C14S (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-L12S NH-L9x65 (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-L9x65 SE-AM4 NH-L9a-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 (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-D14 NH-D14 SE2011 NH-D15 (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-D15S (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-D9L (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-L12 NH-L9x65 (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) 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 (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-U12S (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) NH-U9S (AM4 mounting included since 2019, only older coolers require upgrade kit) 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-U14S TR4-SP3 NH-U12S TR4-SP3 NH-U9 TR4-SP3 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. On top of that, the heatpipes of bigger cooler models like the NH-D15 or NH-D15S would completely block the RAM slots on many TR4/SP3 motherboards. For this reason, Noctua has introduced the new NH-U14S TR4-SP3, NH-U12S TR4-SP3 and NH-U9 TR4-SP3 cooler models that feature bigger contact surfaces and have been tailored to fit TR4 and SP3 systems. Please choose these models for AMD Ryzen Threadripper and Epyc systems. 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 CPU compatibility list for information on maximum recommended TDP and heat dissipation. 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 were 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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 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. 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. 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). 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: Then hook the endings of the clips into the mounting holes of the fan: How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-U12P provide? The NH-U12P provides 40mm clearance for near-socket components: 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: 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. 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. Do you have a question concerning one of our products? Please use this form to pose a question! Disclaimer:We create and update our compatibility lists with the utmost care. Unfortunately, mainboard manufacturers tend to change certain components and heatsinks without pointing it out by using corresponding revision names. If you run into problems while installing our coolers on one of the mainboards listed as being compatible, please don't hesitate to contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.Please also keep in mind that other components such as narrow or small cases as well as memory modules with special (higher) heat-spreaders can cause compatibility-issues.For use in systems from Dell, HP or Lenovo, please note this FAQ. Our case compatibility list helps you to quickly identify which PC cases offer sufficient clearance for which Noctua CPU coolers. The compatibility indication is based on the height of the coolers (including fans) as well as the maximum CPU cooler height specification given by the chassis manufacturer. Caution: Please note that the fans of some tower coolers (especially larger models with 140mm fans, e.g. NH-D15 or NH-U14S TR4-SP3) may overhang the RAM slots and that this can cause compatibility issues if RAM modules taller than 32mm are used. While the fans can be moved upwards to increase RAM clearance, this will increase the total height of the cooler and thus requires additional clearance inside the chassis. As a rule of thumb, if the fan overhangs the RAM, the maximum CPU cooler height specification of the case must be at least the size of the fan plus the height of the RAM minus 7mm (accounting for the height of the socket and CPU). For example, if a cooler uses a 140mm fan that overhangs the RAM and 46mm tall RAM modules are used, the max. CPU cooler height specification should be at least 179mm (140+46-7=179). For further information and instructions on how to move up the fan for each cooler model, please click the height specification link. Disclaimer: We create and update our compatibility lists with utmost care. However, case manufacturers sometimes change parts or details of their products without prior notice or explicitly indicating a revision. Therefore, Noctua cannot accept any liability, nor in any other way be held responsible, for the following compatibility information. When modern CPUs use their turbo modes, they can (depending on the configuration of the UEFI BIOS) dissipate much more heat than indicated by the manufacturer’s TDP (Thermal Design Power) specification. Just like manual overclocking, this puts higher demands on the cooling solution. Our CPU compatibility list helps you to choose the cooler model that is best suited for a given CPU and your individual requirements as far as turbo and overclocking headroom are concerned. We classify our coolers according to the following categories: best turbo/overclocking headroom medium turbo/overclocking headroom low turbo/overclocking headroom compatible without turbo/overclocking headroom compatible with certain restrictions (see comment) incompatible (see comment) For further information on CPUs exceeding their TDP ratings and how to configure the UEFI BIOS in order to avoid excessively high temperatures, please see this FAQ. Please also see our general buying guide, motherboard compatibility list and FAQs for further help on how to select the best cooler for your configuration.