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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  • 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

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