Noctua NH-C12P SE14 CPU Cooler - Testing

Article Index
Noctua NH-C12P SE14 CPU Cooler
Specifications
Testing
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

 

Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU Cooler - Testing:

For Intel (LGA1336) testing we will be using the Intel Core i7 920 CPU, which produces 130 Watts of heat. This could be considered a mid-range processor, and while most Dual-Core processors produce ~50-80 Watts of heat, this should give you a pretty accurate estimate of what type of temperatures a cooler will provide you with.

For both AMD and Intel testing, we have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp v.0.99.4. 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 all tests we are using the Highspeed PC Top Deck Tech Station , and we are using no additional cooling in our testing. All temperatures are recorded in a controlled environment that is set to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) to provide fair results between coolers.

For all tests we use Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound (Paste), We use the same thermal paste in all our testing so that we can keep our results consistent. If a cooler is shipped with thermal paste pre-applied, it will be removed and we will re-apply it with Arctic Cooling MX-2 to provide fair results.

 

Intel Test System:


For our testing of the Noctua NH-C12P SE14 cooler we have tested the cooler at full speed (1200 RPM) as well as with the U.L.N.A fan adapter that slows the fan down to 750 RPM. Included with the Noctua NH-C12P SE14 is another fan adapter that allows you to run the fan at 900 RPM (results not included in our charts).

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At the slowest speeds the NH-C12P SE14 wasn't anything too amazing, however when you consider how slow the fan was spinning (which makes it extremely quiet) it's definitely acceptable for most people (and still a good 10+ degree performance increase over stock cooling). If your CPU is under 100 Watts chances are good that you'd be more than happy using the lowest fan speed settings.

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Once we cranked the speed up to full we started to get some pretty decent results for a "lower" profile cooler like the NH-C12P SE14. From the lowest to the highest settings we gained an extra 5 degrees of performance while running our CPU at full loads. Even at full speeds the NH-C12P SE14 isn't a very noisy cooler and unless you have other "semi-silent" components chances are good you wouldn't be able to hear any fan noise over other system noise.

Now that we've seen what the NH-C12P SE14 can do let's compare it up against all of the other coolers we've tested. 

 

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There we go, the results are in and the NH-C12P SE14 has fared very well. While the NH-C12P SE14 isn't at the top of the results, it's definitely able to outperform other coolers that we tested, and in most cases is quite a bit shorter and able to fit into cases where some of the other can't.