Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S CPU Cooler Review

Cooling/CPU Cooling by leeghoofd @ 2013-08-06

Austrian Cooler giant Noctua released a while back two new additions to their popular CPU cooling line-up. Two single slim design tower coolers in two different versions: the NH-U12S utilizing a 120mm fan and it's bigger brother the NH-U14S, sporting a bigger 140mm fan. Both coolers are designed for uncompromising performance, however not at the cost of mainboard and RAM compatibility. Unlike other cooler manufacturers Noctua isn't updating it's product range on the fly, a clear sign that the design and technology behind their products is reflected in great lasting performance and reliability. The latter statement is backed up by a 6 year warranty on the cooler and included Fan.

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Noctua NH-U12S Unpacking

We start off with the little sibbling of the new S aka Slim series. The NH-U12S is based on a classic single U shaped tower design. Being only 45mm in depth it maximizes compatibility even when filling up all the DIMM slots with tall heatspreaded RAMs. Once opening the package we can directly feel the difference between the products from the competitors.





The Cooler is pre-assembled in the box, all accessoires, thermal paste and different mounting sytems neatly packed in seperate cardboard boxes.   

The cooler is 158mm tall, ensuring adequate compatibility with most modern cases. The 125mm width will give enough clearance with the top PCIe slot for your graphics card. The cooling area has channel cutouts to maximise the airflow and to avoid creating dead zones in the air flow. The preinstalled mounting bracket, part of the SecuFirm2, got E-clipped screws. Another touch of class.







The copper nickel plated base assures equal heat distribution to all the heatpipes, unlike what sometimes happens with Direct touch Heatpipe designs. A total of five 6mm heatpipes transfer the heat from the CPU towards the multiple 45mm deep fins. 




The specifications of the Noctua NH-U12S are:

  • Intel compatibility: LGA2011, LGA1156, LGA1155 & LGA1150
  • Intel compatibility: LGA1366 & LGA775 via optional NM-I3 mounting kit ( free of charge)
  • AMD compatibility: AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 & FM2 (backplate required)
  • Dimensions: 158 x 45 x 125mm (H x D x W)
  • Copper based heatpipes and base, aluminium cooling fins, soldered joints & nickel plating
  • Weight: 580g without fan


The included fan is the Noctua  NF-F12 Focused Flow PWM. with a speed variation from 300 - 1500 RPM. Albeit rated at just 22,4 dB(A), it's max airflow is impressive at 93.4m³/h. Reviewers get spoiled as Noctua always includes a 2nd fan in the bundle to test out a push and pull configuration.




Aside the typical colour scheme this Fan looks pretty comon at first glance, However the Noctua engineers have taken the Fan design one step beyond, for example look at the multiple carved struts, thus achieving maximum static pressure and airflow at a minimum noise/vibration output.




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