Testing Results, Low Fan Speed (7 Volts)

Switching things up a bit, let's next take a look at cooler performance with the NH-U12A fans taken down to 7 Volts.

Core Temperature, Constant Thermal Load (Low Fan Speed)

With the speed of its fans reduced down to 800 RPM, the NH-U12A becomes virtually inaudible to a user that sits one meter away from it. The thermal performance still comes close to 140 mm coolers, with the NH-U12A being unable to match it but landing near them, all while outperforming most other similarly-sized cooling solutions.

Average Thermal Resistance

A closer look at the charts reveals that the NH-U12A actually is rather efficient with the handling of very heavy thermal loads even with reduced airflow. This suggests that the cooler will be able to handle overclocked processors without the thermal control of the motherboard having to shoot the speed of the fans too high, maintaining low noise levels.

Fan Speed (7 Volts)

Noise level

Testing Results, Maximum Fan Speed (12 Volts) Thermal Resistance VS Sound Pressure Level


View All Comments

  • eastcoast_pete - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    For question 1. "It refers to the 212 cooler, the Noctua is obviously already shown. Reply
  • Mil0 - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    I second the suggestion for comparing it to the wraith (spire), esp with Ryzen's PBO. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    One thing I would like to see is in addition to standard dB sound loudness, is frequency spectrum. Two fans of the same dB can sound vastly different depending on the frequencies with some fans being intolerably annoying despite not being loud. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    Note that this is already taken into account to a large degree with A-weighting, which we use. It doesn't necessary capture "annoying", but it accounts for how loud certain frequencies are perceived. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    Thanks for the info. Saw the db(A) so I see the confirmation. But A weighting emphasizes upper midrange and really de-emphasizes the lower freqs while just cutting off higher frequencies... I found sometimes some fans have a vibration that can be detected with lower freqs. And sometimes those vibrations / hums transmit through the heatsink into the case and cause weird resonances. At higher speeds I find some fans have a frequency component that permeates through most modern cases (clear sides/glass sides with gaps) Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    At that point you aren't testing the fan anymore, you are testing the whole system. So unless someone has 100% the same components and tightens the screws exactly the same etc. it is a useless test unfortunately. Reply
  • Edkiefer - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    I always liked the NH-U14S there going for low 60$ (about same as NH-U12S). You do need a case to support the height. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    I'd absolutely love to find out how the newest Noctuas (UH12A, NH-U14S NH-D15, NH-D15S) compare to the older NH-D14, NU-U12S, and the Thermalright TRUE 120.

    The results on Noctua's new gear is amazing, but I contacted Thermalright to ask about heat dissipation for my TRUE Black 120 from 2008, and found it's rated for a stunning 240 watts. I have two Noctua Redux 120mm 1300rpm fans on it and it's keeping a Core i9-9900K (running all eight cores at max turbo 4.8GHz at 100% usage in Folding@Home) stable , a bit over 80C at 160+ watts load under constant use. An eleven year old (admittedly heavy nickel-plate copper with six heat pipes) cooler. I'm still impressed.

    I'd love to know how far we've really come since the D14 and TRUE120 just to see if there's a significant difference.
  • npz - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    I have the Noctua Redux P12s and the NF-A12x25 used here. I find the NF-A12x25 much quieter at 1300 rpms with about the same airflow. If you're satisfied with that level of noise then you can run NF-A12x25 at 1600 rpms or maybe even 2000 rpms for better performance. Reply
  • Oliseo - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    I run a Corsair 115i Platinum (280mm) AIO on my i9 9900k, running at 5Ghz all cores with no AVX offset. (Uncore at 4.8)

    It never goes above 72 degrees, when running 100% rendering 3D models. (Where AVX is used heavily).

    I do have the Noctua NH-D15 on my sons i7 9700k, but it's simply not as good as my AOI.

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