Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler – The Sound of Silence

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The Results and Conclusion

The Results

Noctua NH-U12P

As one would expect from a $70 high-end air cooler, the NH-U12P spanked the stock Intel cooler quite easily. At the stock clock speed of the E6300, the NH-U12P beat the stock cooler’s idle temp by a good 3 degrees under load. The NH-U12P also beat our current “king of the hill” for air coolers – the NV-120 by a degree under load, but still neck and neck at idle. With the U.L.N.A adaptor the Nh-U12P is on par with the NV-120 but running at 900 RPM and 12.6dBA, that is quiet for an active air cooler, to get any quieter you would most likely need to go passive.

Noctua NH-U12P

Here, we have the mild over clocking temps; the NH-U12P wins out yet again beating stock cooling by 20 degrees and the NV-120 by 2 degrees under load. At idle, temps are simmilar to our earlier results with the NH-U12P and the NV-120 neck and neck at idle.

 

Conclusion

Noctua has come to the market with a very well designed air cooler coupled with an astonishingly quiet fan that performs very well. When I first turned on the test machine I had to do a double take to make sure I had remembered to plug the cooler in - that is how quiet this cooler is. I thought that the NV-120 was quiet operating under 39dBA, but the NH-U12P running at 100% is only 19dBA.

The cooler has only two drawbacks to it; its height, and the absolutely nasty color of the fan. Since the P190 case doesn’t have a side window or side screen, it means I don’t have to look at it, and another plus is that it actually fits in the case.  For the silence and the performance, I’ll live with the color of the fan.

Most are thinking, “$70 is half way to a water cooling system - just go water.” Well, I have thought about going water, that’s a big step, both in cooling and budget. Most won’t go to water as it is can be overkill for those not pushing their system for all its worth. Then, there is the all-mighty dollar, and that is where the need for high-end air comes in. You can do mild overclocking and not break the bank in the process.

 

Legit Bottom Line: The bar here at Legit Reviews has just been raised, when it comes to air cooling your CPU, we have a new king of the hill and we think its worth every penny of its $70 price tag.

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