The Noctua NH-U12P Cooler

Noctua has made some inroads in to the US cooler market in the past few months, but Noctua is still not a well-known brand in the US market. You won't find Noctua sold at the large US etailers like Newegg, ZipZoomFly, or mWave. You can find Noctua coolers at specialty computer enthusiast shops like Frozen CPU or Xoxide. The Noctua NH-U12P kit retails for around $69, but we have seen it selling for lower prices at a few etailers. The kit includes the Noctua NH-U12F fan, which retails for $21 by itself.

The Noctua NH-U12F continues the Noctua trademark brown and blue packaging. It seems that everything Noctua comes in packaging with variations on this corporate color scheme.

Inside the dark brown box, you will find two inner boxes with a heatpipe tower that is very reminiscent of the Thermalright Ultra-120 design and a package of mount kits and accessories. Noctua has been refining the basic design of this 120mm heatpipe tower for some time, but this heatsink is identical to the one reviewed in the NH-U12F review last year. There are fan wire channels that allow mounting of both front and rear 120mm fans on the Noctua if you choose that configuration.

You will also find an exceptionally well-protected heatsink, along with everything you need to mount the heatsink on an Intel Socket 775, or an AMD AM2/AM2+. Noctua is no longer including the AMD K8 (754/939/940) mount accessories that were part of earlier kits. The kit even includes four fan clips so there is enough hardware to mount both a front and rear fan in a push-pull configuration.

As mentioned earlier, the $21 retail S12 fan is also included and it is really the only difference from the earlier NH-U12F kit. Also included are L.N.A (Low-Noise) and U.L.N.A. (Ultra-Low Noise) adapters that fit between the fan plug and the board, which are useful for those who want to run slower speed and the lowest noise.

The included accessories abound with thoughtful little touches. Noctua includes a screwdriver that actually fits in the holes of the cooler fins to allow cooler mounting in some of the mount variations. The two included pairs of fan wire clips practically invite the buyer to try a push-pull fan setup. A clearly written installation manual with sections for both the Intel 775 and the AMD AM2/AM2+ is also in the package. Overall, the clear parts identification, abundance of mount options, and included extras make the Noctua one of the most flexible coolers we have worked with right out of the box.


The 120mm fan is new and the only thing unique in this kit. The heatsink is the same one seen in the NH-U12F and other top Noctua kits, but it has seen further refinement since our NH-U12F review. The copper is nickel-plated in this incarnation and size and weight have minor revisions. With a design very similar to the top Thermalright coolers, it will be interesting to see if the new high-performance fan pushes this combo into the top tier of cooler performance.

Noctua NH-U12P Heatsink
Dimensions 95(L) X 126(W) X 158H)mm (including fan)
Weight 600g (excluding fan); 770g with fan
Material Copper and Aluminum with soldered joints and nickel plating
Fan Configuration Supports up to two 120mm fans of any thickness with open mounting posts

Noctua Fan
Model Noctua NF-P12 (included, but also sold separately)
Fan Size 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
Bearing Type SSO Bearing
Noise Level 19.8dbA/16.9dbA/12.6dbA (stock/LNA/ULNA)
Speed 1300/1100/900 rpm (stock/LNA/ULNA)
Air Flow
92.3/78.5/63.4 cubic meters/hour (stock/LNA/ULNA)
(54.3/46.2/37.3 cubic feet/minute)
Fan Bearing SSO Bearing
Blade Geometry Nine-Blade Design with Vortex Control Notches
Input Power 1.08W at 0.12A Input Current
Voltage 12V
Fan Life >150,000 hrs (vs. 50,000 hrs for ball bearing)
Weight 170g (fan only)

The vortex control notches promise high performance and the new bearings promise long fan life. Noctua has so much confidence in the new fan design that they provide a six-year warranty with the new fan. While the fan price of $21 may seem high at first, the six-year warranty promises a much longer useful life than most competing fans.

Index Installation


View All Comments

  • Xpl1c1t - Friday, March 21, 2008 - link">
    It would be interesting to see this benched with a high quality oldschool delta fan. I think you might be surprised about the number of people who are still interested in seeing the results of a voluminously high cfm fan... apart from their criticisms...
  • poohbear - Friday, March 21, 2008 - link

    dude, deltas are a thing of the past, nobody will tolerate a helicopter 1m away from them for a few mhz more, not w/ near silent 120mm fans around. Reply
  • bigboxes - Sunday, March 23, 2008 - link

    LOL, truth. Reply
  • KainAT - Friday, March 21, 2008 - link

    I already did that when doing Noctua Review.
    What I mean, is that as the autor says, Noctua fans working on TRUE are the best but Noctua already impressed me out by far going well on results.

    Now, Im keeping TRUE with 2 fans. It was not difficult to addapt. You can put one clip in one direction and the other to the other direction.
    The, just put 2X-NF-P12 fans and tight them by zip ties and all the work is done. Then, you will have the ultimate performance air cooling with very low noises.
    I love this kit.
    The main part from noctua this time, are the fans for sure. The cooler is very good of course, compared to the top with others but still cant beat Thermalright.
  • takumsawsherman - Friday, March 21, 2008 - link

    I think we would all be interested in that result. Reply
  • PCTC2 - Friday, March 21, 2008 - link

    Now all that needs to be done is put two of these Noctua fans on a TRUE in Anandtech's test and see how well it performs... Reply
  • poohbear - Thursday, March 20, 2008 - link

    thanks for this awesome review! love to see high end cooler reviews! i gotta get me one of those noctua NF-P12 fans to use on a TRUE. i'll skip their heatsink cause u need 2 fans for best performance, but for ultra silence and best overclocking i dont think u can do any better than a noctua NF-P12 combined w/ a TRUE. gotta love progress and technology! Reply
  • trexpesto - Thursday, March 20, 2008 - link

    They Tight! Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Thursday, March 20, 2008 - link

    The "vortex control notches" remind me of the of same design in the newest jet you really are getting bleeding edge technology ;).

  • stevemedes - Thursday, March 20, 2008 - link

    Now if only they made it in something other than pink... Reply

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