While a stock cooler is supplied with most retail CPUs, enthusiasts often want something better; be it a more powerful cooler, a quieter cooler, a liquid cooler, etc. As a result the market for third-party coolers remains strong, providing variety against the backdrop of more limited stock coolers. And with that, there's no shortage of designs, with coolers for pretty much ever need, want, budget, and size limitation.

In today's review we are taking a look at the NH-U12A, a tower CPU air cooler made by Noctua. Noctua is a company renowned for its advanced products that usually – and deservedly – carry a premium price tag. The NH-U12A is the latest version of their family of 120 mm-based single-tower CPU coolers, which are designed to offer a balance between performance, cost, complexity, and compatibility.

Overall, the NH-U12A is designed to fit top-tier cooling performance into a more compact 120 mm cooler, as opposed to larger and more traditional 140 mm coolers. In this respect, it's especially useful for users building compact and transportable gaming systems.

Diving right in, we received the NH-U12A in an exceptionally sturdy cardboard box. Noctua is using the same simple artwork on the packaging of all their products, focusing on elegance and the provision of information rather than an eye-catching design.

 

Inside the box, we found the cooler very well protected, placed below layers upon layers of thick cardboard packaging. The supplied mounting hardware and extra items can be found in a smaller, compartmentalized cardboard box.

Aside from the typical mounting hardware necessary to mount the NH-U12A onto a CPU socket, Noctua also supplies a basic screwdriver, a fan power splitter cable, two fan “low noise” adapters that limit the speed of the cooling fans, a tube of NT-H1 thermal grease, and a metallic case badge.

The Noctua NH-U12A CPU Cooler
POST A COMMENT

73 Comments

View All Comments

  • Tunnah - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    I was on board until the price. I paid £60 for my NH-D14 and expected a price bump considering it's now 8 years old, but nearly double the price is a bit too far. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    EACH fan alone is $30. So $60 out of the $100 of the MSRP accounts just for the fans and they are the best fans on the market. Reply
  • npz - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    It's also more compact than the NH-D14 while having 1 more heatpipe (7 vs 6) Reply
  • sonny73n - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    Who gives a damn about 1 more heatpipes. These are buried under a nickel plated plate anyway. Reply
  • tamalero - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    It helps transfer heat you clown. Reply
  • SaolDan - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    This made me laugh in a crowded plane Reply
  • npz - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    I don't think you'd get anything since the dual plates of the NH-D14/D15 have more surface area but if you're running the fans at high speed, you can replace the front fan with the NF-A12x25 Reply
  • Cellar Door - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    I've been using a NH-D14 with a single fan for 10 years now. NH-A15 for last 5 years - and I have no intention to replace it.

    The upfront cost might seem high but when you realize a cooler like this will last you 10+ years, it is easily justifiable.
    Reply
  • Skeptical123 - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    It's a piece of metal... The only real reason a DIY style air cooler "dies" is because mounting hardware/form factor is out of date. The fan is another story but simple getting hit in shipping or ambient dust are big factors and are very replace able. Reply
  • sonny73n - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    $30 for a 12mm fan? I can make a fan out of scraps and sell it to you for $3000. Mine will be 100 times better than this Noctua fan, based on price. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now