When it comes to choosing an aftermarket CPU cooler there are a lot of things to think about. One of the biggest concerns is if it will fit with your current memory. A lot of enthusiast memory has larger heatspreaders, which can get in the way of many CPU Coolers. Noctua knows this and guarantees 100% RAM compatibility. The heatsink part of the cooler is only 45mm thin and even with two fans installed the cooler does not overhang the RAM slots.
Another concern is how easy a cooler is to install. While most of us will only have to do it once no one wants to waste an hour trying to get a cooler installed. Noctua uses their SecuFirm2 mounting system with the NH-U12S, which makes installation extremely simple. It took us all of 5 minutes to get the cooler installed on our Intel socket 2011 system. This is a universal cooler so it will work on both Intel and AMD setups.
Of course the most important thing when it comes to a CPU cooler is the performance. The Noctua NH-U12S performs great given its size. Even with a single fan (the default setup) the cooler had no problem handling our Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition processor. I mentioned it before but the Extreme Edition processors run much hotter than your normal processors. The cooler can also be upgraded by adding a second Noctua NF-F12 fan.
When it comes to noise the NH-U12S is not very loud at all. I’m sure you’ve heard so coolers that sound like a jet engine taking off! The NH-U12S is not one of those. The fan runs at only 1500 RPM and when using the low-noise adapter it goes down to 1150 RPM. Even when you add a second fan the cooler is not loud at all.
Anothing thing that I did want to mention about this cooler and all Noctua products is that they include everything you need to get the cooler installed and extra’s as well. For example Noctua gives you a screwdriver if you don’t have one, they give you a low noise adapter for quieter operation, and extra fan clips and the Y-connector for adding a second fan.
Right now the Noctua NH-U12S is selling for around $65 online, which seems very fair as Noctua products are always quality. Now if you want to add the second fan that will cost you another $20. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler a 10 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award!
- Good performance
- Easy installation
- Quiet operation
- Quality made
- Extras included
- None that I found