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Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366 Review

ccokeman    -   February 9, 2009
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Conclusion:

The biggest thing I can bring forward here is the fact that no matter what cooler you have the I7 is going to run warm. The key is finding the combination of heatsink and fans that meet your needs. As delivered from the manufacturers, both the Noctua NH-12P 1366 and TRUE 1366 are nice pieces in their own right. The performance of the Noctua NH-U12P in this test was what I would call excellent in the face of disaster. It delivered great temperatures by comparison and did so with virtually no noise. The NF-P12 fans run at a low 1300 R.P.M. and are practically inaudible. This initially caused me some concern with temperatures creeping into the 80+ Celsius range I was sure the computer had shut down multiple times due to overheating but was pleasantly surprised each time to see the fans chugging away doing their best to help dissipate the heat load generated by the Core I7 965, both at the default and overclocked frequencies. That says something about the design of the heatsink as well as the NF-P12 fans used. While at the stock settings, the idle temperatures were not really a factor between the two heatsinks but under load at stock settings, the NH-U12P yielded a load temperature difference of 9 degrees Celsuius lower than that delivered by the competitor. That's huge! At the overclocked settings I used though, there was no difference in temperatures with both coolers sitting at the 84 Celsius mark. The point of difference is in the noise department. The combination of dual fans and a blow through unobstructed design, delivers a heatsink that does its job with a minimum of impact on your personal space. You can go lower on the noise with the supplied low noise adapters that reduce the voltage to the fans for a silent environment. The penalty is the increase in temperatures. Installing the cooler does require you to remove the motherboard if it is already installed in the chassis. Nothing new there in the world of high-end air cooling. But the method of mounting the NH-U12P is fairly simple and straight forward. The instructions are well laid out and are easy to understand. The SecureFirm2 mounting method offers repeatability of the mount so you do not have to worry about over or under tightening the screws. They feature a positive stop mounting method so there are no concerns with a funky mount. The clips to hold the fans on are easy to use, but can be a challenge in a tight chassis. When it comes to pricing, high-end heatsinks tend to have a price on the high side of the scale. The NH-U12P is not immune to this phenomena but at a price of $69.95 it does offer a $5 discount over the competitors package. All things considered the Noctua NH-U12P does what it is designed to do - dissipate heat with a minimum of noise. These two things it does quite well!

 

Pros:

  • Low Noise
  • Excellent performance
  • Dual NF-P12 Fans Included
  • Easy mounting
  • Included thermal paste
  • Excellent instructions
  • Complete Package (No bits to buy)
  • Can go silent with the adapters
  • Fit finish
  • 6 year warranty

 

Cons:

  • Price

 

 

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  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Specifications and Features
  4. Testing (Setup )
  5. Conclusion
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