When we speak of high performance coolers there are certain manufacturers that come to mind like Coolermaster, Thermalright and Noctua. This time we got the chance to take a look at a very interesting, low profile processor cooler from Noctua called NH-L12. It should provide good performance while being able to fit even in the small HTPC cases. Let’s take a look and see how well it performs!
Check their webpages at www.noctua.at for information about the company.
Socket compatibility Intel LGA2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 (backplate required)
Height (without fan) 66 mm
Width (without fan) 128 mm
Depth (without fan) 150 mm
Height (with fan) 93 mm
Width (with fan) 128 mm
Depth (with fan) 150 mm
Weight (without fan) 415 g
Weight (with fan) 680 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility 120x120x25mm & 92x92x25mm
Scope of Delivery
1x NF-F12 PWM premium fan
1x NF-B9 PWM premium fan
2x Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty 6 Years
Model Noctua NF-F12 PWM & Noctua NF-B9 PWM
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1500 / 1600 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1200 / 1300 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM) 300 / 300 RPM
Max. Airflow 93,4 / 64,3 m³/h
Max. Airflow with L.N.A. 74,3 / 52,6 m³/h
Max. Acoustical Noise 22,4 / 17,6 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 18,6 / 13,1 dB(A)
Input Power 0,6 / 0,96 W
Voltage Range 12 V
MTBF > 150.000 h
It is typical for Noctua to pack their coolers in a square shaped cardboard box colored in white & brown. On top of the box are the main details and specifications about the cooler along with the modelname. NH-L12 uses two fans to cool down the heatsink, one of them being 120mm and the other (beneath the heatsink) is 92mm.
NH-L12 comes with three bags of accessories. One of them is for installation on Intel based platforms, the other is for AMD platforms while the third has L.N.A adapters, Y-extension cord and a tube of thermal paste. Noctua also provides a handy long screw driver to help with the installation alongside a small installation brochure.
The top fan is held in the heatsink with two metal clips. The fan is provided with the heatsink and it has a piece of rubber on each corner to reduce the amount of vibrating noises coming from the fan.
NH-L12 is based on “push-pull” cooling design. There is a second fan located beneath the heatsink fin area. Like the upper fan, the fan below is held within the heatsink with two metal clips. Noctua decided to use a smaller 92mm fan down here. The most obvious reason for it is the shape of the heatsink. If Noctua would’ve used 120mm fan, there would have been a risk of blocking DIMM slots in some motherboards. So Noctua made a compromise to use a fan with a smaller size and therefore smaller airflow in order to maximise the compatibility with most motherboards on market.
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