Thermal Resistance VS Sound Pressure Level

During our thermal resistance vs. sound pressure level test, we maintain a steady 100W thermal load and assess the overall performance of the coolers by taking multiple temperature and sound pressure level readings within the operating range of the stock cooling fans. The result is a graph that depicts the absolute thermal resistance of the cooler in comparison to the noise generated. For both the sound pressure level and absolute thermal resistance readings, lower figures are better.

Expectedly, the performance chart of the Noctua NH-U12A lands right above that of its larger counterpart, the Noctua NH-U14S. The difference is very small (practically negligible), confirming Noctua’s claims that the NH-U12A can compete head-to-head with performance-oriented 140 mm fan coolers. For example, NH-U12A's performance advantage over a popular and significantly lower-priced tower cooler, the Cooler Master Evo 212, is momentous, partially justifying the retail price difference between the two products.

Testing Results, Low Fan Speed (7 Volts) Final Words & Conclusion
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  • beginning - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    Thank you for the article. Lives up to the level of scientific rigor that anandtech has gotten me used to. This is very helpful and the graph of average thermal resistance at 12V will be a part of my go-to reference materials. I would like to request a similar graph for AIO liquid coolers if possible. Thank you once again for this in-depth article.
  • Showtime - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    So funny reading people justifying the pricing. I think Noctua has gotten a little full of themselves. Unless this 120mm cooler equals the D15, $100 is silly. Too many options that will fit that space for half the cost.
  • Orange_Swan - Sunday, July 14, 2019 - link

    I love Noctua’s performance, but I really hate their color choice.
  • Surfacround - Monday, July 15, 2019 - link

    great, the be quiet! dark rock pro 3 is not available, and it is a copy of the noctua cooler... no wonder it beats the noctua cooler. moot point.
  • max347 - Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - link

    Ah good, I was hoping to find a review of the new Ultra 120 TRUE....oh wait...

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