Author: Frank Stroupe
A Closer Look
At first glance the NH-U12P looks like most any other tower-type 120mm heatpipe CPU cooler. It has aluminum fins and nickel plating on the copper base and heatpipes. It is pretty heavy, at 1.3 lbs it is heavier than the lower-end 120mm coolers I’ve owned.
Upon closer inspection, we see that it has four heatpipes instead of the three found on most coolers. Looking at the top of the cooler, notice the several openings, they are in all fins, and create some air turbulence within the cooler, aiding cooling efficiency.
The finish of the cooler looks good, it is well made. The fins are individually soldered to the heatpipes rather than crimped, something found only on better coolers.
The base is pretty massive, made of two pieces of copper rather than a single one like cheaper coolers. The surface is shiny but far from lapped. I guess it has been a few years since I’ve worried about a lapped cooler. Besides, Noctua recommends that their thermal compound works better without lapping.
The fan has large curved blades. Of note are the two notches in each blade. Also of note, this isn’t a PWM fan, the first non-PWM CPU cooler fan I’ve seen in probably three years.
There is a lot of hardware included with the NH-U12P. The SecuFirmT installation hardware is the best I’ve seen, much better than what has been included with the budget-priced coolers I’ve dealt with. This particular model comes with hardware for LGA 775 and AM2/AM2+.
Noctua had created a SecuFirm LGA 1366 mounting kit to allow mounting of any Noctua cooler to an LGA 1366. Be aware that Noctua has a special NH-U12P with LGA 1366 mounting hardware rather than the LGA 775/AM2 hardware, the NH-U12P SE1366.