Noctua changed things up a little this time around by going to a down draft style cooler, but in the process they made several improvements. The biggest, and most noticeable, is the reduction of the overall height. The NH-C12P is 2.63 inches or 67mm shorter than its predecessor, the NH-U12P. At an overall height of 4.5 inches or 114mm (with the fan), it can fit in cases that the NH-U12P could never think of, such as desktop mini tower.
Looking from the side of the cooler we can get a good look at the profile. The fin sections over the base are full height running from the base to the top. These fins are also are only touching 4 of the 6 heat pipes. This is to allow access to the retention screws. You may also be looking at the S curve in the heat pipe and thinking why? It not for looks, but function; it allow for clearance of motherboard components up to 1.5 inches or 40mm tall.
Looking from the end we can see the profile of the fins themselves. We can also see that the heat pipe ends are in an arc rather than in line. This is due to the fact that all the heat pipes are identical. Having the pipes all the same causes them to all perform the same.
Going around to the back side of the cooler we can see the fins are soldered to the pipes.
Looking at the top of the cooler we can get a better look at the sections of fins that were removed to allow access to the mounting area.
Flipping the cooler over, we can get a look at the base. The base has a nice finish, not quite a mirror finish, still rather nice and most importantly, flat.