Joined: 19 Dec 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
|Posted: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 00:31:20 Post Subject: Noctua U12P - Review of a Review :)
|TestFreaks.com is running a promotion where they invited their readers to write a review about the site and post it somewhere. If they like what you say you can win a GT 240 video card. It's not a super high end video card but it would make a nice physX card. You can check out the promotion here.
I dug through their reviews and found that they had done a review on the Noctua U12P. Since I have owned the U12P for a while I though I would post some comments on the TestFreaks review.
Test Freak Review: Noctua NH-U12P-SE2 CPU Cooler
I have owned and used the Noctua NH-U12P for a while so I thought I would share my thoughts on your review.
Overall I thought TestFreaks (TF) did a good job portraying the product, performance, and the overall package that Noctua puts together for their users. I agree with their overall score (9/10). It isn’t a perfect product but it is very good and the few flaws can easily be overlooked.
Every review site has a different format and different items they choose to focus on. Here are a few thoughts and things I would consider adding to the review based on my experiences with the product:
Unboxing & Accessories:
It might be worth an extra sentence to state that Noctua provides everything you need for installation on AM2+/AM3, and Intel Socket 775/1156/1366. Noctua is also really good about making sure you have the hardware you need to install your cooler when a new socket is released. I was able to get a universal Intel mounting kit for free from Noctua after Intel released LGA 1156. Talk about standing by your product! I liked that they included a screw driver so I didn’t have to go hunt for one. The included screw driver is especially helpful if you are mounting the cooler on an AMD motherboard.
I also really liked that Noctua included a tube of their NT-H1 thermal paste. A lot of companies include a small tube of generic paste that is enough for one application. Noctua includes a full size tube of premium thermal compound which is good for numerous installations.
Another thing to note is the fin spacing on the Noctua heatsink. In general the fins are spread further apart than what you see on a lot of other coolers. This means you don’t need fans with high CFS/static pressure rating to efficiently move air through the cooler. Slower fans are typically quieter so the Noctua gives you good performance without sacrificing on decibels.
The review mentions an issue with the thickness of the backplate and the motherboard cutout. I ran into a similar situation with the back plate on my 1156 motherboard and Cooler Master ATCS 840 case. I think this is more of an issue with Cooler Master’s motherboard cut out than with the CPU cooler but it is still worth mentioning in the review.
I would consider mentioning that with the front fan installed you will be blocking the first memory slot. If you are only running two sticks of memory it is not a problem but if you plan to run memory in all the slots this could cause problems.
I like that TF included the ambient room temperature in the testing section. A lot of sites ignore this and it can have an impact on your results. I also like that TF shows the cooler with one and two fans at both stock and overclocked speeds.
In the testing setup I think it would be worth mentioning the hardware setup like the case and video cards (it is mention earlier in the review that a CM Storm Sniper is used). The choice case will impact the amount of air that the cooler receives. Having warm video cards directly under the CPU cooler will also impact temperatures.
I would have liked to have seen more coolers included in the lineup, especially another $50+ cooler that would be competing with the Noctua at the same price point. I understand TestFreaks.com does not review a lot of CPU heatsinks so this data would not be available.
Something else I would have been interested in seeing is the impact on acoustics and temperatures of using the different low noise adapters. I like that Noctua includes these in there packaging and it would be good to see how these use of these adapters impacts performance. In general I find Noctua fans extremely quiet at stock speeds so I never use the adapters.
One last thing I would mention in the review is the noise levels from the Cooler Master Hyper 212. I haven’t personally used this heatsink but my experience will Cooler Master heatsinks is that the fans they include are typically somewhat loud at full speed. I’m guessing the Noctua beats the Cooler Master heatsink in temperatures and also in acoustic performance.