Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler - Noctua NH-U12P Testing

Article Index
Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler Accessories
Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler Specifications
Noctua NH-U12P Testing
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler Testing and Installation:



Installation does require removal of the Motherboard from your case, but once you get the bracket installed onto your board, you're going to appreciate how easy it is to remove your cooler if you ever decide to change your CPU down the road.

As you can see below, you will need to attach a bracket onto the cooler (pictured below, left), as well as installed the brackets onto the board (pictured below).

Noctua NH-U12P - Bracket installed on Cooler
Noctua NH-U12P - Bracket installed on Motherboard

The bracket on the back of the board is pretty standard (pictured below, Left). Nothing too tricky about getting it installed. Once you get the brackets on the cooler installs very, very, very easily, two screws hold it in place, and they have springs on them so they get started nice and easy. Installation (after the board is removed) should take no more than 10 minutes.

Noctua NH-U12P - Back Bracket
Noctua NH-U12P - Installed
Noctua NH-U12P - Installed
Noctua NH-U12P - Installed (Top View)


There we go, all installed and ready to go. Let's move onto testing to see how it stacks up against some other coolers.


Test Setup:

Our testing of CPU coolers is pretty straight forward, we test them at stock clock speeds at both idle and full load speeds. For the overclocking results I took temperatures at idle and full load. All temperatures were taken after the processor had been running for 12 hours on each test to ensure a consistent result.

I have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp. CoreTemp takes a temperature from the CPU core, and allows for much more uniform results across different motherboard and CPU platforms. These temperatures may seem higher than other temperature recordings, because chances are they are taking temperature recordings using the diode underneath the CPU, which isn't able to be as accurate, and can really fluctuate between different brands of motherboards.

For stock tests the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU ran at stock speeds of 1.86Ghz, for Overclocked tests the CPU was running at 2.13Ghz.

For all tests I used Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound.

Test System




Well, I guess the testing is really the section where a CPU cooler really proves itself, most people could care less about the looks, it's all about the performance, let's see how the Noctua NH-U12P performs.



Click on Chart for Larger View


Well the results shocked me, I wasn't expecting a silent cooler to perform like it did, but even at ~950 RPM this cooler still was able to keep up with most coolers we've tested in the past. I don't know what else to say, other than the results speak for themselves, this cooler is one of the best performing air-coolers that we've tested so far. We've reviewed a ton of coolers lately (as you can see in our chart that keeps growing and growing), so it's even more impressive to see it come out ahead of some other pretty big name coolers.