With this being my first Noctua cooler, I really didn’t know what to expect. I know that some people swear by them, and in my mind I had filed it in the “exotic” cooler class, along with a couple of other coolers that most likely would be beyond my budget.
As I would have expected, the NH-U12P is very well made. The mounting hardware is probably the best on the market.not only are there no push-pins, the mounts are designed to not allow excessive pressure on the CPU. The screws stop at the perfect place for the proper contact. Four heatpipes and soldered fins are the kind of things you’d expect for a cooler at this price, and you get them.
Again, having no comparison LGA 1366 cooler, I had to test the NH-U12P in a vacuum. But after surfing numerous forum posts about i7 temps, which normally reach the 80s and higher with a 3.6gHz-4.0gHz overclock, I feel pretty comfortable that this may be the best air cooler for the i7 on the market.
Some may complain about the lack of lapping on the cooler base, especially for a cooler at this price. Noctua feels that their thermal compound works better on bases that aren’t lapped, and with the temps I received, I have no complaint. I was a little disappointed that the fan wasn’t PWM, but it isn’t loud at full speed, and Noctua includes adapters to slow it down to silence.
The NH-U12P sells for $59.99 at my favorite online retailer. The NH-U12P SE 1366 model runs $84.99, making it the most expensive CPU air cooler they have. They didn’t have the LGA 1366 conversion kit, but I expect it to be around $20-$25. Yes, it is expensive. But if you need something to cool that highly overclocked i7, and aren’t interested in liquid cooling, you may need to look no further. ThinkComputers.org gives the Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler w/LGA 1366 kit a 9 out of 10 score.
– Highest quality construction
– Best mounting hardware I’ve seen
– Cools a highly overclocked i7 920 in the low 70s
– Fan not PWM