With the system running at the stock speed the NH-U12P SE2 is in second overall to the Titan Fenrir. Running at 56.25*C the NH-U12P was 13.25 degrees cooler then the stock Intel heat sink.
With the system overclocked to 3.5GHz the NH-U12P SE2 is third overall behind the monster Cooler Master V10 and the Titan Fenrir. Running at 67.5*C the NH-U12P SE2 is still within a degree of the Titan Fenrir and 10.25 degrees ahead of the stock Intel heat sink.
We first tested the NH-U12P on the E6300 CPU almost 2 years ago, then again later on the Q6600, then with the release of the Core i7-920. Each time it was at the top of our charts. If you bought one in 2008 it could have served you across 3 different systems and performed very well on each. To me that is a good investment, and makes paying the $74.99 plus shipping price tag a little easier to swallow.
You will notice that I did not test the cooler with the low noise adapters. I don’t see the point. The fans run at 19dBA; that is quieter than a whisper. The other case fans (if they are not Noctua as well), along with the video card, will be more of a concern for noise than making the cooler quieter.
The new configuration of the NH-U12P SE2 can be found online for $70 to $75 plus shipping. This may seem steep for an air cooler, but for that you get the NH-U12P and two NF-12P fans. The fans themselves, if bought separately, are $20 plus shipping each.
Legit Bottom Line: Noctua NH-U12P, 2 years of great performance and great service and counting.