After putting the NH-C12P (SE14) through its paces in our thermal tests we can make an informed decision, its strenghts are definitely the included silent fan with options to reduce rotation speed even further, good platform compatability and solid mounting back plate method. Its compact size makes a prime candidate for a HTPC build; inside a mainstream ATX tower case however its easily outclassed by much cheaper tower coolers, when pushed to the limit the NH-C12P lacks the surface area to expel the heat generated by a highly overclocked Core i7. Of course this is worse case scenario, and as you can see from our results the NH-C12P holds its own when installed on a CPU with lower heat output.
Noctua's price point for their products hasn't changed much over time, their NH-U 12 was launched at ~€50, the NH-C12P SE14 is available for ~€55.
For a desktop system there are cheaper/better alternatives available, if however you're working with a compact system case and want to cool down a recent CPU silently the Noctua NH-C12P SE14 makes a good alternative, your budget allowing.
We like to thank Jakob from Noctua for allowing us to test their products.