Noctua NH-C12P SE14 Reviewccokeman - February 15, 2010
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The NH-C12P SE 14 is another solid offering from Noctua. When it was compared to the other high-end heatsinks tested, it performed well by comparison, falling between the NH-U9B SE2 and the Thermalright TRUE. This is an accomplishment in itself, because when overclocked, the temperature differential between the NH-C12P SE14 and the TRUE was only four degrees Celsius. At stock speeds, the differential between the two maintained the same four degree span. This shows that as the thermal load grows, the NH-C12P SE14 keeps pace with the tower-style heatsinks.
Noctua is a company that puts plenty of thought and good, solid engineering into the products they make. A fan is just a fan, right? Wrong! Noctua takes the concept and makes it better. You get the 'Vortex Control Notches' on the fan blades, the use of SSO bearings and CNC machined brass reinforcements in the hub and bearing shell, to give the fan a longer life. Not to mention it runs quieter, with reduced vibration and higher static pressure, which kills the myth that air cooling has to be noisy. By using a 140mm fan, Noctua has upped the ante on their tried and true NH-C12P heatsink and allowed it to perform almost up to the level of some of the top-end tower-style heatsinks, while coming in at a significantly lower height. While the NH-C12P SE14 is a large heatsink, it does seem to fit well without a lot of the difficulties with mounting or memory, that can arise with tall heatsinks. Although, if you populate all six DIMM slots on an X58 platform, you might run into an issue, depending on the orientation of the heatsink.
However you mount it and whatever platform you use, the SecuFirm2 mounting system is well designed and takes the guesswork out of how tight to tighten the screws. By using spacers under the thumb screws, you just tighten until you reach the spacer and screw them down for an even mount each and every time. At $72, the NH-C12P SE14 is not going to come in as an inexpensive addition to your shopping list, but excellent build quality and comparable performance come with a price tag attached. The NH-C12P SE14 delivers great performance, has great looks and would be a solid alternative to the tower-style heatsinks with its low profile design that can be used where a tower style heatsink just won't fit.
- Good looks
- Excellent cooling
- Peripheral cooling
- SecuFirm2 mounting
- Included thermal paste