Here is our reining low temp champ from our Core 2 cooler testing, the Noctua NH-U12P. This was the first cooler we looked at by the Austrian company and it became our favorite. Not only did it perform very well, its NF-P12 fan was pretty much silent at 100% speed. If its 19 dBA rating was too loud for your taste Noctua also included adaptors to throttle the fan to a very quiet (if not silent) 12.6 dBA.
Noctua says that the NH-U12P is very much compatible with Core i7 and if you already own the cooler you can go to their site and request an LGA1366 SecurFirm2 mounting kit for free, provided you can prove you own the cooler. If you don’t own one then you can purchase the NH-U12P SE1366 version. The coolers are identical except that the SE1366 model is LGA1366 only and sports two fans instead of one. Let’s take a quick look at the specifications for the NH-U12P and the NF-P12 fan.
The LGA1366 SecuFirm2™ Mounting-Kit makes all Noctua CPU coolers compatible with Intel’s LGA1366 socket for Core i7 processors. Those that have installed the original SecuFirm retention kit will instantly love the SecuFirm2; it is by far much easier to install. You will still need to loosen and remove one side to get your processor out, but it can be done with out removing the whole mounting system.
The cooler itself is built rather well. It’s one of the few coolers that I can handle and not have the thought in the back of my head that I’ve got to handle it gently or I will bend up the cooling fins. Here we have the NH-U12P in the original configuration that we first received from Noctua.
Here is what you would have in the NH-U12P SE1366 configuration. I will be testing the NH-U12P in both the configurations so those that already own a NH-U12P will know if they need to pick up a second NF-P12 fan in addition to the SecuFirm2 mounting system.