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

Award-winning NH-U12 series

The NH-U12S is the latest version of Noctua's award-winning NH-U12 coolers. First introduced in 2005, the NH-U series has become a standard choice for premium quality quiet CPU coolers and won more than 400 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware websites and magazines.
100% RAM compatibility

100% RAM compatibility

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

Classic 120mm tower size for excellent overall compatibility

Standing 158mm tall, the NH-U12S is short enough to fit most modern mid- or high-end tower cases. Measuring 125mm wide (including fan and fan clips), the cooler stays clear of the top PCIe slot on standard ATX or Micro-ATX motherboards, ensuring best compatibility with SLI and CrossFire setups.
NF-F12 120mm Focused Flow™ fan

NF-F12 120mm Focused Flow™ fan

Recommended by more than 150 hardware publications and thousands of enthusiasts world-wide, the Noctua's premium quality NF-F12 Focused Flow™ 120mm fan is renowned to combine superb static pressure, excellent heatsink performance and surprising quietness of operation.
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-F12 120mm fan supplied with the NH-U12S supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the mainboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 1500 to 1200rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation.
Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12 (optional)

Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12 (optional)

For users who want to achieve even better performance by adding a second, optional NF-F12 fan to create a push/pull setup, the NH-U12S includes fan clips and an extra set of custom-designed anti-vibration pads that allow to off-set the rear fan by 5mm to improve acoustics in dual-fan mode.
SecuFirm2™ mounting system

SecuFirm2™ mounting system

Noctua's SecuFirm2™ mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety and ease of use. Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156), LGA2011, LGA2066 and AMD (AM3+, AM2+, FM1, FM2, FM2+), the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-U12S guarantees perfect contact pressure and maximum convenience on all current sockets.
Compatibility with past and future sockets

Compatibility with past and future sockets

Complying with the open SecuFirm™ standard, the NH-U12S can be made compatible with the older LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets using the optional NM-I3 mounting kit, which is provided by Noctua free of charge. If technically possible, Noctua will also provide upgrade kits for future sockets.
NT-H1 thermal compound

NT-H1 thermal compound

Having received more than 100 awards and recommendations from hardware journalists around the world, Noctua's NT-H1 is a proven professional grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease of use and outstanding reliability.
6-year manufacturer’s warranty

6-year manufacturer’s warranty

Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-F12 features an MTTF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-U12S package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
* Some AMD mainboards violate the 96x114mm keep-out zone specified by AMD, so the NH-U12S can only be used with RAM modules of up to 40mm height on these boards. Please consult our compatibility list for details.
NH-U12S
Cooler Specification
Intel LGA2066, LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required), AM4 with NM-AM4-UxS
Height (without fan)
158 mm
Width (without fan)
125 mm
Depth (without fan)
45 mm
Height (with fan)
158 mm
Width (with fan)
125 mm
Depth (with fan)
95 mm
Weight (without fan)
580 g
Weight (with fan/s)
755 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP
see TDP guide
Fan compatibility
120x120x25
Scope of delivery
  • NF-F12 PWM premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Bearing
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1500 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
300 RPM
Max. Acoustical Noise
22,4 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
18,6 dB(A)
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-U12S
NH-U12S
NH-U12S
SecuFirm2™ AMD installation (NM-AMB3)
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA115x installation
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA2011 installation
Video Reviews
The following video reviews have not been created by Noctua. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the videos lies entirely with the authors.
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03.06.2013 // techPowerUp.com
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NH-U12S Review

The Noctua NH-U12S simply blows me away when it comes to noise levels. At lower fan speeds, this cooler will be impossible to hear over other parts in the average user's case. This cooler is insanely quiet in its default single-fan setup. Noise levels are extremely low even with a second fan. Users can, should they be able to justify the price of a second Noctua fan, look forward to great cooling at nearly silent noise levels. The Noctua NH-U12S is an exceptional cooler. It might not be the best in terms of pure cooling performance, but it still gets the job done. At stock clocks, the cooler is simply fantastic for its size, doing extremely well against much more expensive competitors, such as the Corsair H90. The fact that it performs as well as it does is astonishing when you look at the noise it creates, or the lack thereof. This cooler is for the most part utterly silent. If a user needs a traditional cooler that keeps noise levels down, the NH-U12S is the best choice. It simply dominates the noise-level charts, being the quietest cooler I have tested thus far. Noctua is mostly competing against itself in that category. The ability to add a second fan to improve cooling performance is also a welcome sight as another fan increases the NH-U12S's cooling ability even more. Best yet, noise levels hardly suffer with a second fan, increasing by just 1-2 dBA at worst. The easy-to-use mounting hardware makes for an easy install, and the exceptional build quality really gives the cooler some extra value. The quality itself is something pictures cannot convey—holding the cooler in your hands and seeing it for yourself is the only way to really grasp the difference between a Noctua NH-U12S and its competition. The warranty is a nice treat as well.
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-U12S is ultimately an exceptionally quiet cooler with performance that is great for its size. If you are in the market for a cooler that needs to perform well while being quiet, this is the choice for you." (Raymond Lemar, techPowerUp.com)
06.05.2013 // TweakTown.com
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NH-U12S Review

The NH-U12S from Noctua brought me back to the days of my past. It just goes to show that you don't have to go and spend $80 to $100 to get something that can hold its own in our charts, and still be dead silent while doing it. I am sort of at a tossup at this moment thinking back to the Thermaltake NiC C5 that proved that a single tower cooled with 120mm fans can hang up there with the best of them, and may be slightly better, but the noise levels of that cooler are not something I am prepared to deal with every day. The NH-U12S offers similar features to what Thermaltake was showing with allowing users to have room to actually access everything without having to remove the cooler, but the Tt cooler had those ingenious fan shrouds. In defense of Noctua, they have never had to use a shroud, and with the line they have taken this far, I doubt they ever will. I like all of the new features found here as well. The hardware is easier to install for Intel users now that the screws are mounted into the back plate, where before you had to insert them all into the proper holes, and keep the heads from spinning. Since they dropped LGA775 and LGA1366 support, it allowed them to simplify and improve it. Another thing I liked was that the top bracket seemed much tougher to screw in because of the resistance from the springs, and I do believe this also increased the socket pressure being applied. Also something as simple as allowing the wire fan clips to just clip onto the fans without the use of the plastic inserts makes life easier, as well. I know it is sort of cheesy, but I even liked the way all of the hardware is in separated boxes now. It used to be that the cellophane bags would break in the larger box and sometimes spill their contents. Packaged as it is, there was none of that, and it keeps parts from rubbing against each other, and makes it easier to find later, if you keep the box. What I really like about this improved trip down memory lane is that the pricing seems to be a throwback as well. We have seen some really great air coolers over the last year, but in reality, most of the better performers, even some of the not so great ones, will cost you in excess of $100, and that doesn't sit well with the average buyer. Noctua delivering the NH-U12S with an MSRP of $64.90 puts this cooler in reach of most looking for better than average performance, and excellence in the limitation of noise level. A simpler look of yesteryear, and a cooler that allows you to have complete access to screws, memory, and connectivity for wiring, the NH-U12S is definitely a cooler you should spend some time pondering. I for one really like it and Noctua has shown you don't need a huge cooler, fancy shrouds, or anything "outside of the box" to contend. You just design and build a great cooler, and hopefully more people can get past the colors to enjoy what Noctua has offered for years, and I am glad to say, continues to do today.
Test verdict: "Noctua did not disappoint with this new NH-U12S cooler. It is dead silent, doeas really well for its size, and leaves users with room all around it, no matter what socket CPU you use." (Chad Sebring, TweakTown.com)
05.12.2013 // OverclockersClub.com
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NH-U12S Review

In both the stock and overclocked idle tests, the Noctua NH-U12S was able to deliver temperatures consistent with the highest performing air coolers in this comparison field, which contains coolers costing much more. Looking at the load results, the NH-U12S does an excellent job of shedding the thermal load generated by the processor. At stock speeds it delivers cooling results on par with the best air coolers I have tested, including 140mm fans and dual-tower-equipped designs. When overclocked, its smaller size hinders performance slightly, but still outperforms all but three air-cooled heat sinks. These of course have multiple towers and a larger heat pipe matrix. When you take that into consideration, the NH-U12S performs above its weight class both stock and overclocked. Noctua continues to put together cooling solutions to meet the needs of the enthusiast market by leveraging the engineering behind the company to deliver an excellent product. That design excellence does come at a cost, but that cost is tempered by the long term cooling performance you get in return for your hard-earned dollar!
Test verdict: "When you get to the point of making a choice on your cooling solution, you really cannot go wrong with the NH-U12S. It has got enough technology built in to make your head spin, runs dead silent, looks great, fixes one of the greatest cooling challenges, and comes with a six-year warranty to make sure you are happy with your purchase in the long term. The NH-U12S does it all and does it well!" Frank Dimmick, OverclockersClub.com)
26.04.2013 // AnandTech.com
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NH-U12S Review

There's a lot of data to digest here. First, it looks like the very best air cooling has to offer is only really hugging the bottom of what closed loop cooling can do, but that's a bit deceptive. The breaking point is actually when you go beyond a 120mm radiator, and even then it's not certain: Noctua's new NH-U14S, at its fastest, is a better performer than Corsair's H100i at its quietest setting. [...] Almost all of the air coolers are relatively silent under load, while the closed loop coolers produce a tremendous amount of racket if they're not configured for silent running. [...] Also note that the two new Noctua coolers are meeting or beating their old standard, the NH-D14, and they're doing it while being quieter.
Test verdict: "What surprised me was just how well the two new Noctua coolers performed. The NH-U12S is basically at least as good as the stalwart NH-D14, but it's smaller and it's cheaper. Meanwhile, the big brother NH-U14S puts in a solid performance of its own, but losing that top PCI Express port for just a couple more degrees of performance is a major drag. These are both excellent air coolers in their own right, but if you're looking to spend premium cash on an air cooler, I'd go with the NH-U12S and then probably tack a second NF-F12 PWM fan on to the order." (Dustin Sklavos, AnandTech.com)
01.08.2014 // SvětHardware.cz
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NH-U12S Review

Co se týče výkonu, pak ten dle očekávání řadí tyto chladiče mezi nejlepší modely, přičemž vedení si získal především větší model NH-U14S, který se přinejmenším vyrovná i velkým chladičům disponujícím dvěma ventilátory. Díky tomu může pracovat tiše a zabrat menší prostor. NH-U12S pak můžeme vidět jako prostorově úspornější náhradu starého NH-U12P, jemuž se výkonnostně vyrovná. Chladiče Noctua jsou také investicí do budoucna, protože vzhledem k podpoře starších modelů ze strany této firmy můžeme očekávat, že nám vydrží i po příchodu nových socketů. Budiž to náplastí na bolístku v podobě vyšší ceny. Po zvážení pro a proti jsme se rozhodli udělit modelu NH-U14S ocenění TREFA.
Test verdict: "Dnes se podíváme na nabídku firmy Noctua, která v ní má mimo jiné 2 procesorové chladiče NH-U12S a NH-U14S, jež se liší svou velikostí, ale ne zpracováním." (Jan Vítek, SvětHardware.cz)
15.04.2014 // bit-tech.net
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NH-U12S Review

Quite simply this is one of the quietest coolers we've tested. It's inaudible outside our test rigs, even at full speed, and with the low noise adaptor, you can't even hear the fan with your ear right next to it above the din of other fans in the case. It's been a long time since we've tested a cooler this quiet and clearly what it lacks in cooling has at least beefed up its low noise credentials as a result.
Test verdict: "Where the NH-U12S excels is actually being inaudible outside a case - you literally can't make it out amongst other case fans or a graphics card. This is where the extra cash is going - not in cooling but in offering similar performance to other, cheaper air coolers but with a significantly lower noise level." (Antony Leather, bit-tech.net)
02.01.2014 // CowcotLand.com
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NH-U12S Review

Avec son ventilateur de 120mm, le NH-U12S impressionne et vient s'approche de certaines références en 140mm. Néanmoins, les nuisances sonores sont un peu élevées à plein régime. Le passage au PWM est donc, à nos yeux, fortement recommandé, comme d'habitude. D'autant plus que le ventilateur ne souffre d'aucun bruit parasite, un vrai plaisir pour les oreilles.
Test verdict: "Encore une fois, Noctua nous propose un bon produit. Si nous préférons son grand frère, le NH-U12S reste cependant un modèle très intéressant, avec une hauteur contenue, un accès complet à la mémoire, de bonnes performances et un silence agréable une fois le PWM correctement configuré. Avec en prime une garantie de six ans, il a donc de nombreux avantages." (Sébastien Vandeborre, CowcotLand.com)
09.07.2013 // ComputerBase.de
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NH-U12S Review

Da die leistungsspezifischen Anforderungen an Prozessorkühler in den vergangenen Jahren kaum gestiegen sind, haben Kühlerhersteller bei der Pflege ihres Produkt-Portfolios ein vermeintlich leichtes Spiel. Scheinbar ohne die Bemühung gestalterischer Finesse oder revolutionärer Ideen gelingt es, ein empfehlenswertes Produkt abzuliefern. Ganz so einfach macht es sich Noctua bei den vorgestellten NH-U-Kühlern jedoch nicht, denn viele Verbesserungen stecken im Detail. Die Kühlkörper von NH-U12S und NH-U14S lassen wenig Raum zur Optimierung. Hochwertige Materialien stehen sauber verlötet in stabiler Verbindung. Die vollständige Nickel-Legierung verleiht dem metallenen Auftritt eine einheitliche Optik ohne Spielerei. Aus Sicht der Kühlleistung verzichtet man zwar aufgrund der sehr schmalen Bauform auf etwas Potential, dafür sichert Noctua die Kompatibilität auch zu hochbauenden RAM-Riegeln – ein Umstand, den viele High-End-Kühler dieser Tage außer Acht lassen. Dennoch offenbaren die Kühler im Leistungsvergleich sehr gute Werte. Insbesondere der NH-U14S überzeugt mit ausgesprochen hoher Rohleistung. Dabei harmonieren beide Kühler sowohl mit Einzel- als auch mit Doppelbelüftung.
Test verdict: "In Summe liefern sowohl der NH-U12S als auch der NH-U14S in bester Tradition sehr gute Gesamtpakete, die man so bei der Konkurrenz nur selten findet." (Martin Eckardt, ComputerBase.de)
23.06.2013 // TechSweden.org
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NH-U12S Review

Noctuas NH-U12S har levererat superb prestanda i våra olika test varianter, kylaren kommer med gått om tillbehör och den framstående byggkvalitén vittnar om en lång livslängd. För den ljudkräsne kan vi lugnt meddela att ingen dubbelfläktslösning behövs för att klara av att kyla en processor i både standardutförande eller med en lättare överklockning. För ökad livslängd kan det dock vara att rekommendera dubbla fläktar om en väldigt högpresterande processor, alternativt kraftigt överklockad processor skall användas en längre tid. Ljudnivån med en fläkt är absolut inget att klaga på, om nått vid höga varv men fortfarande tystare en många konkurrenters varianter på höga varv. Sedan har vi självklart också storebrodern av de båda. Noctua NH-U14S gjorde oss absolut inte besvikna. Byggkvalitén är lika god som syskonenheten, företaget skickar med gott om tillbehör och ljudnivån på låga varv är så gott som ohörbar. Det är just vi höga fläktvarv eller när kylaren utrustas med dubbla fläktar som ljudnivån börjar bli ett ”problem”. För den kräsne, som vanligt räcker det i detta fall mer än väl med en fläkt och vi tror inte att en högre presterande processor eller relativt högt överklockad sådan kommer att lida av några större värmeproblem med NH-U14S. Men för den nervöse, är det inga problem att peta på en extra NF-A15 PWM fläkt och njuta av den utmärkta prestandan som kylaren levererar. Det skall dock tas i beaktning att med två av dessa fläktar på 1500 RPM, är det helt klart bekvämast att koppla in ett headset när det ska spelas intensiva, koncentrationskrävande Starcraft matcher eller kollas på film.
Test verdict: "Båda kylarna lämnar oss med en trevlig magkänsla, byggkvalitén är superb som alltid hos båda enheterna. Man får med gott om tillbehör och dessa två variablar tillsammans med den utmärkta prestanda vi noterade är nog för att vi ska rekommendera dessa enheter till de som är intresserade av uppgraderad kylning till sina älskade processorer." (Emil Daunfelt, TechSweden.org)
13.06.2013 // HardwareCanucks.com
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NH-U12S Review

Noctua’s NH-U12S and NH-U14S may not be genre-defining coolers, nor do they provide the absolute best performance but they boast class-leading designs which seamlessly fit the demands of today’s enthusiasts. Few, if any other heatsinks have managed to accomplish this but these two entries have proven once again that refined engineering practices can easily beat brute force approaches to cooling. The U12S and U14S aren’t chart toppers but their overall performance beggars belief. Being able to run with some of today’s best air coolers and similarly priced water-based setups is no small feat but to do so with a single fan and barely noticeable acoustics is simply astounding. Noctua’s design is so fine-tuned that switching out fans for higher performing (and louder) models amounts to very little in the way of decreased CPU temperatures. It feels like Noctua’s engineers designed the NF-F12 and NF-A15 first and then said “ok, let’s design two heatsinks to take advantage of these fans”. The end result is a pair of highly adaptable heatsinks that remain blissfully silent while retaining the capability to cool off overclocked CPUs. Aside from raw performance and quiet operation, the U12S and U14S both provide an ease of installation that’s nearly unrivaled. The SecureFirm 2’s individually boxed mounting kits, straightforward instructions and intuitive hardware all work together to create an installation process which will be a time saver for enthusiasts and a game changer for novices. It also provides excellent, even pressure without introducing the possibility of over tightening bolts. This is all accomplished without any notable compatibility issues and installation hiccups.
Test verdict: "With the NH-U12S and NH-U14S Noctua have continued a longstanding tradition of creating excellent heatsinks with a focus on quiet operation." (Anthony Garland, HardwareCanucks)

NM-I3 Mounting-Kit

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

NM-AM4-UxS mounting-kit

  • The NM-AM4-UxS SecuFirm2™ mounting-kit makes Noctua NH-U14S, NH-U12S and NH-U9S CPU coolers compatible with AMD's AM4 socket.
NH-U12S

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 and NH-U12S SE-AM4 heatsinks
  • Ideal for matching with Noctua’s industrialPPC or chromax line fans and anti-vibration pads
NH-U12S

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NA-HC2 chromax.white

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

NA-SAVP1 chromax.black

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

NA-SAVP1 chromax.white

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

NA-SAVP1 chromax.yellow

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

NA-SAVP1 chromax.green

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

NA-SAVP1 chromax.blue

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

NA-SAVP1 chromax.red

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

NA-HC2 chromax.black

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

NF-F12 PWM chromax.black.swap

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

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

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

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

Is the cooler compatible with AMD FM2+?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

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

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

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

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

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

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

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

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?

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?

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?

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?

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

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

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

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

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?

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 the LGA1151 socket?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

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

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.

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.

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’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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

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.

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 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 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.

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'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 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 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, or by requesting a modified BIOS file from Supermicro, which takes the minimum fan speed of Noctua fans into account (charges might apply).

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 TDP guide for information on maximum recommended TDP and heat dissipation.

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

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.

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?

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

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and are eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: NH-C12P, NH-U12, NH-U12F, NH-U12P, NH-U12P SE1366, NH-U9, NH-U9F, NH-U9B.

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit but are not eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: DX-Series Xeon coolers, NH-D14 SE2011.

The following coolers are mechanically incompatible with the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and can not be made compatible with LGA1150: DO-Series AMD Opteron coolers, NH-L9a.

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 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.

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 SE-AM4
NH-U12S SE-AM4
NH-L12S
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
NH-D14
NH-D14 SE2011
NH-D15
NH-D15S
NH-D9L
NH-L12
NH-L9x65
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
NH-U12S
NH-U9S

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

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.

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 the LGA1151 socket?

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

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 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.

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