Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S Coolers

Article Index
Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S Coolers
Specifications
Installation and Performance
Final Thoughts

Product(s): NH-U12S & NH-U14S CPU Coolers
Provided By: Noctua
Price: ~$79.99 and ~$89.99 respectively at time of publication

Introduction:

As I opened the box for the new NH-U14S and NH-U12S CPU coolers from Noctua I got to thinking about the past 6 years since I took a look at the Noctua NH-U12P cooler in April of 2008. I wasn't too sure what to expect from Noctua at that time. I'd heard good things about Noctua, but after hooking up that first cooler on the BCCHardware test rig I figured out very quickly what the hype was about.

Since 2008 I've had the opportunity to look at pretty much every Noctua cooler and after each review I always sit back and think, "How can they top this one?", yet somehow Noctua has been able to keep improving and this sets the bar pretty high for the NH-U14S and NH-U12s.

The CPU cooling market has really changed since we started BCCHardware. CPU's no longer require big aftermarket coolers and most people are satisfied with stock cooling, but that hasn't changed the way Noctua looks at cooling and they haven't cut corners as a result. They just keep consistently pumping out coolers that are quiet, high quality, and can offer up performance that can compete with anyone.

Now that I've said all of this, I've basically just set the bar even higher for Noctua with the NH-U14S and NH-U12S but if the past dozen or so coolers from Noctua are any indication of what we can expect, I think we are all going to be pleasantly surprised once again from Noctua.

 

First Look:

The biggest differences between the NH-U12S and the NH-U14S are the size of the heatsink and the fan size. The NH-U14S is rocking a 150mm Noctua fan and weighs in at 935 grams, while the NH-U12S is sporting at 120mm fan and weighs in at 755 grams.

The basic design of the two coolers are basically the same and are similar to previous models (why change something that works). Both the NH-U12S and the NH-U14S are capable of adding a 2nd fan on the other side (not included). Adding a 2nd fan isn't going to double performance, but chances are good you'll drop another couple degrees which might be enough to help you justify the ~$25-30 price tag of another Noctua fan.

Comparison - 1

Comparison - 1

Comparison - 2

Comparison - 2

 

You will see on both models, the fans that come with the heatsinks feature rubber corners which help reduce vibration noise.

NH-U12S

NH-U12S

MH-U14S

NH-U14S

 

Also on closer inspection it becomes very noticeable that both of these heatsinks are very well built, you aren't going to accidentally bend fins or twist something, both coolers are tanks (just like every model before from Noctua).

Noctua is still separating the AMD and Intel installation hardware. You will appreciate that during the installation. You will also notice that both coolers come with a screwdriver (something Noctua has been doing for quite some time) which is also something that makes installation just a little bit easier, especially since chances are good the first couple screwdrivers you find won't fit properly while the provided one works absolutely perfectly.

 

Mounting Hardware

 

Well, that's what the Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S look like, we will move onto the next section where we get these coolers strapped to our test rig and see what they can do.