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Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler

A very interesting premium-class product.

May 21, 2008



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Test results (dual-fan NH-U12P rigs)

Now let's see how our cooler performs in a dual-fan configuration with two stock NF-P12 fans.

Chart 11. Temperature readings (CPU core temperature, Noctua fans)


Chart 12. Noise characteristics (Noctua fans)


Two fans expectedly contribute to more intensive airflow through the heat sink, providing minimal thermal resistance of the cooler. However, the combination of thermal and noise results at high fan speed is disappointing rather than inspiring: there is little efficiency gained, while generated noise naturally grows, losing much of its "quality" (there appears a typical tone at the speed of 1300 rpm, its source being the second exhaust fan). The situation changes cardinally at low speed - efficiency grows much more noticeably almost without sacrificing noise characteristics. The dual-fan configuration operating at 600 rpm is the best balanced mode: when there is insufficient ventilation inside a PC case (perhaps case fans are not installed deliberately to optimize noise characteristics of a computer), this NH-U12P assembly will be a good solution to bring efficiency and noise to harmony.

And in conclusion of this section we'll have a look at another dual-fan configuration of the NH-U12P, now with stock Minebea fans.

Chart 13. Temperature readings (CPU core temperature, Minebea fans)


Chart 14. Noise characteristics (Minebea fans)


As we can see, there are only minor quantitative changes in the comparable speed range of Noctua and Minebea fans. On one hand, it illustrates a good interface between the heat sink and the stock NF-P12 fan. On the other hand, it points out some thermal "saturation" of the NH-U12P: starting from 1300 rpm, the airflow reaches the optimal level, so a further increase in static pressure by coupling fans makes no practical sense.

Conclusions

Noctua NH-U12P stands up to its High End status. Featuring a harmonic symbiosis of the highly efficient heat sink and the advanced fan, this cooler demonstrates an excellent balance of test results practically in all modes. It shows the best results in the competition of noiseless coolers, where is defeats Scythe Mugen and Zerotherm Nirvana NV120, reaching a brilliant efficiency-noise ratio. Out of doubt, computer enthusiasts should pay very close attention to Noctua NH-U12P. Considering its attractive combination of technical properties, we can safely recommend it for low-noise computers with top quad-core processors for Intel LGA775 and AMD Socket AM2 platforms.

The Noctua NH-U12P cooler gets our Original Design award for unique engineering solutions used in its heat sink and fan.

Besides, it gets our Excellent Package award for abundant accessories and high-quality thermal compound NT-H1.

We want to wish Rascom GmbH and Kolink International new achievements in the field of designing and perfecting excellent premium-class Noctua coolers. And we shall keep tabs on the situation in the top sector of cooling systems.


We express gratitude to
Noctua
for the provided cooler.

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Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, design

Page 2: Usability

Page 3: Test results

Page 4: Test results (dual-fan rigs)



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