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The NH-U12S chromax.black is an all-black version of Noctua’s award-winning NH-U12S premium-quality quiet CPU cooler. Thanks to the same proven slim-tower heatsink design and NF-F12 PWM fan, it stays true to the NH-U12S’s successful formula of fusing excellent cooling performance with superb quietness of operation and outstanding RAM, case and PCIe compatibility. At the same time, the chromax.black version with its black fan and black coated heatsink combines these assets with a sleek stealth look. Topped off with the renowned SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s enthusiast-grade NT-H1 thermal compound and a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-U12S chromax.black is a premium choice for customers who seek a highly compatible 120mm heatsink that looks just as great as it cools.
Details
Award-winning NH-U12S cooler

Award-winning NH-U12S cooler

Tens of thousands of enthusiast users all over the world swear by the NH-U12S’s quality and performance. Recommended by more than 200 international hardware websites and magazines, it is renowned as being one of the best 120mm coolers on the market.
chromax.black design

chromax.black design

The NH-U12S chromax.black is black from head to toe: Featuring a black coated heatsink, black fans with black anti-vibration-pads, black fan clips and black mounting parts, it’s right at home in all-black builds and easy to integrate with other colour schemes.
Colour-customisable

Colour-customisable

Using the optional NA-HC1 and NA-HC2 heatsink covers as well as the NA-SAVP1 anti-vibration pads (available in black, blue, green, red, yellow, white), the NH-U12S chromax.black can be fully customised to fit popular build colour schemes such as black and red or black and white.
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 most standard ATX or Micro-ATX motherboards, ensuring optimum compatibility with multi-GPU 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 motherboard. 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 PWM chromax.black.swap 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™ multi-socket mounting system

SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system

Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety and easy installation. Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156) and LGA20xx (LGA2066, LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3), as well as AMD AM4, AM3(+), AM2(+), FM2(+) and FM1, the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-U12S is straightforward to install, provides perfect contact pressure and will stand the test of time even under heavy use.
Compatibility with past and future sockets

Compatibility with past and future sockets

Thanks to Noctua’s SecuFirm™ ecosystem, the NH-U12S can be made compatible with the older LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets using the optional NM-I3 mounting kit, which is provided free of charge. If technically possible, Noctua will also provide upgrade kits for future sockets, which makes the NH-U12S a safe long-term investment.
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. Chosen again and again by overclockers and enthusiast users worldwide, it has established itself as a benchmark for premium-quality thermal compounds.
Soldered interface between heatpipes and fins

Soldered interface between heatpipes and fins

With many heatsinks, the fins are press-fitted to the heatpipes. Due to the different thermal expansion coefficients of copper and aluminium, this fit can loosen over years of thermal cycling, which may lead to reduced performance. By contrast, the NH-U12S’s fins are soldered to the heatpipes in order to guarantee a superior thermal interface that doesn’t deteriorate even after many years of usage.
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 chromax.black
Cooler Specification
Intel LGA2066, LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required), AM4
Height (without fan)
158 mm
Width (without fan)
125 mm
Depth (without fan)
45 mm
Weight (without fan)
580 g
Height (with fan)
158 mm
Width (with fan)
125 mm
Depth (with fan)
71 mm
Weight (with fan)
755 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP
Fan compatibility
120x120x25
Scope of delivery
  • Black NH-U12S heatsink
  • NF-F12 PWM chromax.black premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • Black SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Black anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
6 Years
FAN Specification
Model
Noctua NF-F12 PWM chromax.black
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 chromax.black
27.11.2019 // EnosTech.com
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

Noctua has released the all-black chromax edition of their award-winning CPU coolers i.e NH-L9i, NH-U12S, and NH-D15. Since Noctua is soldering the copper heat pipes with the fins, they were on the lookout for the coating material that will not impede the thermal performance over the longer period of time as well as the new production process for this coating. The chromax edition of these coolers is identical to the original coolers with one exception which is the all-black color. All-Black here refers to literally every component/accessory being in the black color be it the heatsink or the fans or the mounting hardware. These coolers from head-to-toe are black.
Test verdict: "With just $10 above the user can get a cooler with the same footprint and thermal performance but with better aesthetics and neutral color that can be used in any themed build." (Nauman Siddique, EnosTech.com)
19.11.2019 // modding.fr
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

Nous avons photographié chacun des trois modèles sous tous les angles, à la recherche de la moindre imperfection. Nous avons fait “chou blanc”… Le noir envahit la totalité du ventirad, jusqu’aux petits circlips maintenant les vis montées sur ressort. La finition est excellente et l’on n’en attendait pas moins de la part de Noctua. Seule la base cuivrée du radiateur revêt son placage nickelé. On constate que même les accessoires du système de fixation revêtent cette couleur. Un noir d’aspect satiné habille donc trois ventirads, Noctua ayant sélectionné trois modèles représentatifs des différents formats. Le NH-D15 chromax.black, vaisseau amiral de la flotte autrichienne, doté d’un radiateur au format double tour et accompagné de deux ventilateurs. Le NH-U12S chromax.black qui représente le ventirad doté d’un radiateur au format simple tour et accompagné par un seul ventilateur. Le NH-L9i qui représente le format Top Flow.
Test verdict: "Vous aimez les performances des ventirads issus de la marque Noctua, mais… Mais, vous ne pouvez franchir le pas en raison des couleurs spécifiques à cette marque. Cette époque est maintenant révolue !" (Bertrand Curras, modding.fr)
08.12.2019 // Hardware-Helden.de
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

Besonder gefreut hat uns, dass die neue Optik ganz ohne Nachteile daherkommt. Die Temperaturen haben sich im vergleich zum Original nicht verändert und somit ist der NH-D15 chromax.black wieder ganz vorne in unserem Ranking. Auch ist die Beschichtung offenbar sehr robust, denn trotz wiederholter Montage haben wir keine Kratzer an ihr entdecken können. Die alten Noctuastärken bleiben auch beim chromax.black erhalten: Tolle Verarbeitung, ungemein laufruhige Lüfter, üppiger Lieferumfang und lange Garantiezeiten. Noctua kombiniert also nun Funktion mit Design zu einem ungemein tollen Produkt.
Test verdict: "Der Release des schwarzen NH-D15 war lange überfällig, doch das Ergebnis kann sich sehen lassen. Der bekannte Kühler sieht in dem matten Schwarz richtig gut aus und fügt sich nun endlich harmonisch in viele Systeme ein." (Julian Brockmeier, Hardware-Helden.de)
08.12.2019 // HDR247.com
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

تلقت شركة Noctua منذ فترة انتقادات كثيرة تتعلق بألوان الخاصة بالمراوح التي تقدمها كما انها طالت اللون الفضي الذي تأتي به المشتتات الحرارية الخاصة بها ومما لا شك فيه ان اداء المراوح والمشتتات من الطراز الأول ومفضلة من قبل الكثير من مستخدمين ومع تقديم تطويرات Noctua Chromax لتقديم تخصيصات مختلفة علي مشتتات الشركة لكن بقيت المشكلة ان مشتتات الأساسية تأتي بمراوح البنيه اللون وتحتاج الي شراء مراوح Chromax وهي تكلفة أضافية أضافة الي تواجد مشتتات أخري من منافسين باللون الأسود بالكامل وهو ما يقلل الأداء بسبب الطبقة الأضافية للون الأسود، تتوافر الأن عدد من مشتتات باللون الأسود بالكامل من Noctua ومنها مشتت Noctua NH U12S Chromax الموجهة لصناديق متوسطة الحجم وسنقوم بتجربتة مقابل مشتتات أخري
Test verdict: "التغييرات التي أقدمت عليها Noctua هي تغييرات متأخرة بعض الشئ لكنها مطلوبة من قبل الكثير من محبي الشركة حيث أحتفظت بالجودة المعهودة والمراوح التي تقدم الأداء القوي مع الهدوء والعمر الطويل، مشتت Noctua NH U12S Chromax يقدم مساحة جيدة للعمل علي عكس مشتتات الهوائية كبيرة الحجم مع قابلية لكسر السرعة ومساحة جيدة لتطوير بأضافة مروحة أخري توثر علي حرارة بجعلها اقل بفارق درجتين الي ثلاث درجات، يقدم المشتت أداء قوي متفوق علي جميع مشتتات التي لدينا بمقاس 12 سم ومع تقديم تحسينات علي التصميم الأساسي لكن المشكلة هنا في السعر كونه مرتفع بعض الشئ مقابل المنافسين فمع 70 دولار فهناك عدد جيد من المشتتات الهوائية في نطاق سعري أقل ومشتتات مائية مقاربة في الأداء بنفس السعر مما يجعل أختيارك لهذه المشتت مبني علي انك تبحث عن أفضل جودة وهو ما أستحقها عن جدارة." (Ramy Mostafa, HDR247.com)
05.12.2019 // HardwareField.com
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

أداء مبردات Noctua معروف و لا يحتاج الى اجتهاد حتى نوضح ما الذى تقدمه تلك المبردات من أداء متميز و هى المنافس الأول و المتوفق فى عالم المبردات الهوائية و تنافس مبرداتها أيضا العديد من المبردات المائية لكن كان ذلك قبل ان يتم تطوير المبردات المائية بشكل جيد لكن مازالت تحتفظ Noctua بمكانتها
Test verdict: "اللون الأسود الجديد لمبردات Noctua قد أدخل شىء من السرور الى قلبى" (Ahmed Mohamed Elsayed, HardwareField.com)
03.12.2019 // GameIT.es
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

Como podemos observar con un uso normal del equipo tenemos unas temperaturas perfectas para este procesador, pero si le pedimos rendimiento al equipo es donde vemos el por qué de que Noctua sea una de las opciones más utilizadas si queremos montar un disipador de aire en equipos de gama alta. La sonoridad es nula y las temperaturas muy comedidas.
Test verdict: "Si no nos importa pagar un poco más por tenerlo todo de color negro... tendremos un disipador increíble con un diseño elegante. " (Miguel G. Mingorance, GameIT.es)
03.12.2019 // PAKPG.com
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

The Noctua NH-U12S Chromax Black packs a strong blow while being relatively compact. The excellent build quality shows when it is in use as it remains quite and your CPU stays cool. The NH-U12s Chromax Black is currently considered the best cooler in this size and price bracket due to its ability to tame any processor. Similarly, it removes the compatibility issues of high-profile memory modules and full height radiators. In terms of aesthetics, the NH-U12S Chromax Black looks really cool and stunning in black.
Test verdict: "The NH-U12S Chromax Black is recommended for those who admire quietness, build excellence, maximum productivity and gorgeous black look" (Zeeshan Ali Khan, PAKPG.com)
27.11.2019 // HWCooling.net
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

Všechny tři testované chladiče dopadly dle očekávání. Příjemným zjištěním je fakt, že nová povrchová úprava skutečně nijak zásadně neovlivňuje chladicí výkon a rozdíly jsou pouze v rámci běžné odchylky měření.
Test verdict: "Dílenské zpracování je perfektní, nový vzhled chladičům velice sluší a dodává jim luxusní vzhled. Chladiče jsou nyní daleko méně nápadné a lehce zapadnou do libovolné sestavy, aniž by působily rušivě. Chladící výkon je vynikající a ventilátory jsou příjemně tiché, zejména při rozumném nastavení otáček. Příslušenství je také bohaté, nadto má každý chladič šestiletou záruku." (Pavel Sekerka, HWCooling.net)
22.11.2019 // Razorman.net
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

En cuanto a sonoridad, Noctua es garantía de sonoridad muy contenido y este caso ha sido así, durante la ejecución el ventilador prácticamente ni se ha oido, ni girando a pocas rpm ni cuando lo hacia a máximas rpm. En este sentido, ha sido sencillamente ejemplar.
Test verdict: "Noctua ha dado un buen lavado de cara al conocido modelo NH-U12S original, con una decoración enteramente de color negro que le otorga una imagen mucho más moderna y fresca. La calidad de materiales y presentación como es norma en Noctua sienta cátedra, siendo imposible hacer el más mínimo reproche en este sentido – a la vista queda reflejado." (Jose Luis Fernandez, Razorman.net)
21.11.2019 // FunkyKit.com
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NH-U12S chromax.black Review

Many users were waiting for a long time on the Noctua NH-U12S chromax.black cooler, and here it is. High-performance, high-quality, quiet cooler with a long, six-year warranty that is offering full compatibility with most available desktop platforms. Now also available in black color, which seems not a big improvement but at the same time so significant for gamers and computer enthusiasts.
Test verdict: "One more FunkyKit’s Editor’s Choice Award goes to Noctua! Congratulations on another fantastic product!" (Bartosz Waluk, FunkyKit.com)

NA-HC1 chromax.black.swap

  • chromax.black.swap edition heatsink cover with swappable inlays (red, blue, green, yellow, black, white)
  • Compatible with Noctua NH-U12S, NH-U12S TR4-SP3, NH-U12S SE-AM4 and NH-U12S DX-3647 heatsinks
  • Ideal for matching with Noctua’s industrialPPC or chromax line fans and anti-vibration pads
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-HC2 chromax.black

  • chromax.black edition heatsink cover
  • Compatible with Noctua NH-U12S, NH-U12S TR4-SP3, NH-U12S SE-AM4 heatsinks and NH-U12S DX-3647
  • Ideal for matching with Noctua’s industrialPPC or chromax line fans and anti-vibration pads
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-HC2 chromax.white

  • chromax.white edition heatsink cover
  • Compatible with Noctua NH-U12S, NH-U12S TR4-SP3, NH-U12S SE-AM4 and NH-U12S DX-3647 heatsinks
  • Ideal for matching with Noctua’s industrialPPC or chromax line fans and anti-vibration pads
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SAVP1 chromax.black

  • Anti-vibration pads
  • chromax.black edition
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SAVP1 chromax.blue

  • Anti-vibration pads
  • chromax.blue edition
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SAVP1 chromax.green

  • Anti-vibration pads
  • chromax.green edition
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SAVP1 chromax.red

  • Anti-vibration pads
  • chromax.red edition
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SAVP1 chromax.white

  • Anti-vibration pads
  • chromax.white edition
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SAVP1 chromax.yellow

  • Anti-vibration pads
  • chromax.yellow edition
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SEC1 chromax.black

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.black 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Black sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SEC1 chromax.blue

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.blue 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Blue sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SEC1 chromax.green

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.green 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Green sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SEC1 chromax.red

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.red 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Red sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SEC1 chromax.white

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.white 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • White sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SEC1 chromax.yellow

  • 4x NA-EC1 chromax.yellow 30cm extension cables
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Yellow sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SYC1 chromax.black

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.black y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Black sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SYC1 chromax.blue

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.blue y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Blue sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SYC1 chromax.green

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.green y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Green sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SYC1 chromax.red

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.red y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Red sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SYC1 chromax.white

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.white y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • White sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SYC1 chromax.yellow

  • 3x NA-YC1 chromax.yellow y-cables for running two fans on one fan header
  • 4-pin connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin fans
  • Yellow sleeving: ideal for creating PC builds with neat, focused aesthetics
NH-U12S chromax.black

NF-F12 PWM chromax.black.swap

  • 120x120x25mm
  • 4-pin PWM, 1500rpm max.
  • Focused Flow™ System
  • chromax.black.swap edition
NH-U12S chromax.black

NM-I3 Mounting-Kit

  • The NM-I3 SecuFirm2™ Mounting-Kit makes Noctua CPU coolers compatible with Intel's LGA775 & LGA1366 sockets.
NH-U12S chromax.black

NT-H2 10g

  • Further improved second generation of the award-winning NT-H1 with even better thermal performance
  • Not electrically conductive and non-corroding
  • Excellent long-term stability (usage time on the CPU up to 5 years)
  • 10g pack for around 9-60 applications (depending on CPU size, e.g. ~9 applications for TR4, ~60 for LGA1151)
NH-U12S chromax.black

NT-H2 3.5g

  • Further improved second generation of the award-winning NT-H1 with even better thermal performance
  • Not electrically conductive and non-corroding
  • Excellent long-term stability (usage time on the CPU up to 5 years)
  • 3.5g pack for around 3-20 applications (depending on CPU size, e.g. ~3 applications for TR4, ~20 for LGA1151)
NH-U12S chromax.black

NA-SCW1

  • Cleaning wipes for removing thermal compounds such as Noctua NT-H2 and NT-H1
  • Ideal for cleaning the contact surface of the heatsink as well as the heat-spreader of CPUs, GPUs or other chips
  • Pre-moistened with a custom detergent mixture for easy and efficient cleaning
  • Large size (15x12cm) is usually enough to clean both the chip and the cooler
  • Pack contains 20 individually packed wipes
NH-U12S chromax.black

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Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

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

My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose?

Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo?

What Thermal Design Power (TDP) is this cooler recommended for and how much Watt (W) of heat can it dissipate?

Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

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

I’ve used all the NT-H1 thermal compound that came with the cooler, can you send me more?

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with AMD AM4 (Ryzen)?

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

How much torque should be applied when tightening the screws of a Noctua CPU cooler?

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

I get a CPU fan error despite the fan is running!

Does the coating of the chromax.black coolers affect performance?

Why is my Ryzen 3000 processor getting so hot? Why are Ryzen 3000 CPUs running hotter than previous generation Ryzen CPUs with the same TDP rating? Is there anything wrong with my cooler?

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

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

Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one?

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

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

How to remove the base protection cover?

Does the package include a backplate for AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2(+)?

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

I can't open the socket due to the mounting bars!

Why doesn't the supplied backplate fit my LGA2066 / LGA2011 motherboard?

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

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

How can I determine which backplate revision I’ve got?

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156)?

The supplied y-cable is missing a wire at one of the two connectors, is it faulty?

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

How can I check if my Noctua CPU cooler already includes AM4 mounting parts?

Is it possible to use the cooler with vertical graphic cards?

How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

Is it a problem that the CPU heatspreader is not covered completely by the heatsinkbase on LGA2011-3?

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?

Is the cooler compatible with AMD FM2+?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

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.

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.

I’ve used all the NT-H1 thermal compound that came with the cooler, can you send me more?

Please kindly note that the NT-H1 thermal compound supplied with our coolers is a consumable item so our manufacturer’s warranty does not include providing additional thermal compound. You can purchase NT-H1 from our resellers.

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

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

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

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

The BIOS of many motherboard models from Supermicro expects a certain minimum fan speed (usually 600 or 700rpm), which is higher than the minimum fan speed that can be achieved with Noctua's PWM fan models. The BIOS may interpret the low minimum RPM of Noctua fans as a fan error and thus try to run the fan at 100% for a short period before going back to automatic control. This can result in oscillating fan speeds and fan speed warnings in the BIOS or the fan management console.

Unfortunately there is usually no option to set a lower minimum value in the BIOS that would suit the low minimum speed of Noctua PWM fans. The issue can thus only be resolved by either disabling automatic fan speed control in BIOS, which will cause the fans to run at a constant speed, by using 3rd party tools like IPMItool or IPMIutil, or by requesting a modified BIOS file from Supermicro, which takes the minimum fan speed of Noctua fans into account (charges might apply). Please note that any modifications performed with 3rd party tools are done at your own risk and that Noctua can not be held responsible for any possible issues.

I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

Noctua PWM fans feature a minimum speed of 300rpm to allow for ultra quiet operation when your CPU is at idle state and doesn’t require higher cooling performance. Some mainboards display error messages such as “CPU fan error” during the booting process when the fan speed is below a certain level. If you get such error messages using your Noctua PWM fan and if such options are available in your BIOS, please either adjust the minimum fan speed monitoring limit to 200rpm or increase the minimum PWM duty cycle. If your BIOS doesn’t offer these options, please disable CPU fan errors. For detailed information on BIOS fan settings, please consult your mainoard’s manual or contact your mainboard manufacturer.

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

The specified minimum speed refers to the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle. There can be several reasons why the fan doesn‘t go as low as indicated:

  1. Many mainboards do not go below 40%, 50% or even 60% PWM duty cycle on case fan headers. Please refer to your mainboard manual to verify whether the fan header actually goes down to 20% duty cycle. If that's not the case, in some cases you can use the fan speed control software supplied with your mainboard to overcome these limitations and reduce the fan speed even further. However, 3rd party tools like SpeedFan offer greater flexibility and better options to work around the limitations imposed by the mainboard vendors.

  2. Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

    4 pin fan header types

    Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

    Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

    Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


    If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). In this case, it may occur that the mainboard reduces the voltage so much that the fan stops. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.



To resolve the issue, you can:

  1. Choose a higher fan speed profile in the BIOS (e.g. „normal“ instead of „silent“, etc.) or deactivate automatic fan speed control and use a Low-Noise Adaptor instead.

  2. Use the mainboard‘s fan speed control software or 3rd party tools like Speedfan to regulate the fan speed. Unlike BIOS based fan speed control, the supplied software usually checks whether the fan has stopped and increases voltage accordingly or at least offer more options to set up the fan properly.

  3. If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

I get a CPU fan error despite the fan is running!

Some mainboards display a CPU fan error when the fan speed falls below a certain threshold, e.g. 900rpm. If you want to run the fan below this speed (e.g. using the supplied U.L.N.A.), please adjust the threshold in the BIOS or disable CPU fan error warning.

Does the coating of the chromax.black coolers affect performance?

Thanks to thoroughgoing optimisations of the coating material and process, the chromax.black models provide the same, renowned quiet cooling performance as their regular, non-coated counterparts.

Why is my Ryzen 3000 processor getting so hot? Why are Ryzen 3000 CPUs running hotter than previous generation Ryzen CPUs with the same TDP rating? Is there anything wrong with my cooler?

The latest Ryzen 3000 processors (except APU models) differ from previous Ryzen generations in that they are no longer based on a single, large chip but use a multi-chip approach with smaller chips instead. Depending on the exact model there can be one (6 and 8-core models) or two (12 and 16-core models) actual CPU-Dies (CCD) on the package. Each processor also uses an I/O-Die (IOD), which contains things like the memory controller, PCIe controller, connections to the motherboard chipset and other functions.



Because of this design change and the switch to a smaller 7nm manufacturing process, the heat distribution of the overall processor is much different from older 14nm and 12nm based single-chip Ryzen processors with a similar power draw.

Depending on the exact CPU model, its specified TDP value and possibly extended power limits (precision boost overdrive), a single CPU-die can create a heatload of up to 130W easily, whereas the I/O-die usually creates a heatload of about 10W. Due to the small size of the CPU-die, the heat density (W/mm²) of this chip is very high. For example, a 120W heatload at a chip-size of 74mm² results in a heat-density of 1.62W/mm², whereas the same heatload on an older Ryzen processor with a chip-size of 212mm² gives a heat-density of just 0.57W/mm².

This large difference in heat-density is the reason why newer Ryzen 3000 processors become much warmer at similar heatloads than their predecessors.

Furthermore, Ryzen 3000 CPUs are using the rated temperature headroom (up to 95°C) quite aggressively in order to reach higher boost clocks. As a result, it is absolutely no problem and not alarming if the processor runs into this temperature limit. The clock speed and supply voltage will be adjusted automatically by the processor itself in order to remain within AMD’s specifications and to prevent overheating.

Due to the higher heat density, higher thermal limits and more aggressive boost clock usage, it is perfectly normal that Ryzen 3000 CPUs are reaching higher temperatures than previous generation Ryzen CPUs with the same TDP rating. Higher CPU temperatures are normal for Ryzen 3000 processors and not a sign of that there is anything wrong with the CPU cooler.

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

Current processors from Intel, especially the unlocked models with the suffixes C, K, X or XE (e.g. Core i7-8700K, Core i9-7900X oder Core i9-9900K) can dissipate noticeably more heat than indicated by the TDP specification.

While many motherboard models stick to the recommended power levels and clock speeds settings from Intel, there are models where the UEFI BIOS is configured in such a way that:

  1. the TDP limits are extended or disabled.
  2. the motherboard applies automatic overclocking by default, e.g. by raising the supply voltage of the CPU and using higher Turbo-Mode multipliers.

Depending on the load scenario and CPU configuration settings, the actual power draw can be 1.5-3 times as high the stated TDP value. This can lead to temperature issues, especially when using smaller coolers, compact cases or cases with poor airflow, when some applications create very high loads, e.g. Prime95 with AVX2 support, 3D-rendering or simulation software.

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. You might also want to limit the TDP to either the specified value by Intel or a value that is 5-10W below the value previously read out from the CPU. This can be done in BIOS by setting the “Long Term Duration Power” manually instead of “Auto”.

Furthermore, 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.

The option to set an AVX-offset value is usually available for the following CPU generations:

  • LGA1151:7th, 8th and 9th generation (Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake)
  • LGA2011-3: 6th generation (Broadwell-E)
  • LGA2066: 7th and 8th generation (Skylake-X)

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 most 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.

Please also note that CPUs that use thermal paste instead of soldering between the DIE and the heatspreader generally run hotter. Due to the thermal bottleneck created by the thermal paste, temperatures can be high even at the specified TDP.

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 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.

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.

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

There are two different types of ILM (Independent Loading Mechanism) for Intel’s LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs: Square ILM with 80x80mm hole spacing and Narrow ILM with 56x94mm hole spacing. The Square ILM socket is mechanically identical to the LGA2011 socket for Core i7, so the mounting-system is fully compatible, but it is not compatible with Xeon mainboards that use the Narrow ILM:

Xeon Compatibility

How to remove the base protection cover?

Noctua CPU coolers are shipped with a plastic protection cover at the bottom side of the cooler, which protects the contact surface against scratches and other damage.

The base of Noctua CPU coolers is made from hard-wearing nickel plated copper, so there's nothing to worry about if you buy a Noctua cooler from second hand or if your cooler didn't come with a protection cover. Please proceed with the installation as explained in the manual.

You can simply remove the cover as shown below:

Base Protection Cover

Does the package include a backplate for AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2(+)?

No. As most AMD mainboards come with a stock backplate preinstalled, the cooler doesn’t include an AMD backplate. If your mainboard doesn’t have a backplate, please contact our support team at support@noctua.at.

amd backplate

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

No. The new SecuFirm2™ mounting system for AM2, AM2+ and AM3 uses the same standardised hole spacing as the Intel system and thus allows for a much easier installation, but the cooler cannot be installed turned by 90°.

I can't open the socket due to the mounting bars!

Please first loosen one of the two thumbscrews that hold the mounting bars in place. Then untighten the second screw so that you can swivel the mounting bar and open the socket. Depending on the position of the mounting bars, you may need to swivel both.

Open Socket

Open Socket

Why doesn't the supplied backplate fit my LGA2066 / LGA2011 motherboard?

The supplied backplate is for LGA115x only and there is no backplate required for installation on LGA20xx (LGA2066, LGA2011-3, LGA2011-0). Please refer to the installation manual or our installation video for how to install the heatsink on LGA20xx.

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 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

How can I determine which backplate revision I’ve got?

Please refer to following drawing for how to identify the different backplate revisions:

backplate revisions

Some mainboards pose compatibility problems with the first version of the NM-IBP2 backplate included with the cooler. Please verify to use a revision 1.5 or revision 2 backplate when installing the cooler on these mainboards. All coolers manufactured since April 2013 already include the new revision backplates. Owners of coolers with rev. 1 backplates can request a new backplate from Noctua’s customer service free of charge.

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

As the Integrated Heat Spreaders (IHS) of today’s CPUs are slightly concave, the cooler’s contact surface has been deliberately designed to be slightly convex in order to ensure optimal contact. This way, more contact pressure will be applied at the centre of the IHS directly above the DIE, which results in better heat transfer and improved overall performance.

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

Yes. Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA2011-0 and 2011-3, the cooler supports both types of LGA2011-3.

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

Yes. Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155 and LGA1156, the cooler also supports LGA1151.

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156)?

The mounting is identical on all LGA115x sockets (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156). The following coolers are thus compatible with LGA115x out of the box and don’t require any upgrades in order to be used on this platform: NH-C12P SE14, NH-C14, NH-C14S, NH-D15, NH-D15S, NH-D14, NH-L12, NH-L12S, NH-L9i, NH-L9x65, NH-U14S, NH-U12S, NH-U12P SE2, NH-U9S, NH-UD9L, NH-U9B SE2. In addition, all older models which have been upgraded with the NM-I3 kit can also be used on LGA115x without any further upgrades.

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA115x using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit: NH-C12P, NH-D15 SE-AM4, NH-L9x65 SE-AM4, NH-U12, NH-U12F, NH-U12P, NH-U12P SE1366, NH-U12S SE-AM4, NH-U9, NH-U9F, NH-U9B.

The following coolers are mechanically incompatible with the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and can not be made compatible with LGA115x: TR4-SP3 coolers, DX-3647 coolers, DO-Series AMD Opteron coolers, NH-L9a, NH-L9a-AM4.

The supplied y-cable is missing a wire at one of the two connectors, is it faulty?

No. As mainboards can process only one rpm-signal per fan header, it would cause problems if the cable transmitted rpm-signals of both fans. For this reason, one of the two connectors does not have an rpm wire and only the fan on the other connector will transmit an rpm signal. Automatic speed control of both fans will work independently from the second fan’s rpm signal.

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

The cooler does not support LGA775 and LGA1366 out of the box, but can be made compatible using the NM-I3 mounting kit. Noctua provides the NM-I3 kit free of charge if a proof of purchase (scan, photo or electronic copy of the invoice) of the cooler and an LGA775 or LGA1366 motherboard or CPU are presented. In order to install the cooler using the NM-I3 kit, please first unscrew the center screw of the original one-piece fastening bracket (you can reach through the fin stack using the long screw driver supplied with the cooler) and remove it. Then install the two fastening brackets of the NM-I3 kit as described in the NM-I3 installation manual.

How can I check if my Noctua CPU cooler already includes AM4 mounting parts?

The NH-C14S, NH-D14, NH-D15, NH-D15S, NH-D9L, NH-L9x65, NH-U12S, NH-U14S, NH-U9S include AM4 mounting parts since 2019. There are four easy ways to verify that your cooler already includes AM4 mounting parts:
  1. Check the socket compatibility specifications on the packaging. If they include AM4, AM4 parts are included.




  2. Opening the packaging, check the printing on the accessories box. If the AMD parts pictured on the box include both a white and a grey spacer, the cooler supports AM4.




  3. Opening the accessories box, check the AMD bag. If it includes both white and grey spacers, the cooler supports AM4.




  4. Check if the AMD bag contains either NM-AMB8 or NM-AMB11 mounting bars.


Is it possible to use the cooler with vertical graphic cards?

Depending on the chassis, card and motherboard being used, installing PCIe cards in a vertical position using riser cards may cause compatibility issues with CPU coolers. Whether there will be a problem or not depends on the exact position of the card (which is determined by the PC case and/or optional vertical GPU holder bracket), the width of the card as well as the position of the CPU socket on the motherboard. In order to verify that there is sufficient space for the cooler, please measure the distance between the centre of the CPU socket and the top of the PCI card in order to make sure that the cooler fits.

How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

Most case manufacturers provide specifications for maximum CPU cooler height/clearance. Please refer to these specifications in order to verify that the cooler will fit the case. If no specifications are available, please contact the case manufactuer or measure the distance from the motherboard tray to the side panel (tower cases) or top panel (desktop cases). If this distance is bigger than the height of the cooler + 15mm (mainboard spacers + mainboard + CPU), the height/width of your case should be sufficient.

Is it a problem that the CPU heatspreader is not covered completely by the heatsinkbase on LGA2011-3?

No. Depending on the orientation of the cooler, 1-2mm at the outer edge of the heatspreader may not be covered by the heatsink base. As the heat is concentrated at the center of the CPU and the outermost parts are irrelevant for heat-transfer, this is no problem at all.

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



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.

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