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Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Noctua
Source: Noctua
Purchase: PriceGrabber
Comment or Question: Post Here
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Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler
March 03, 2008


The Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler was installed in a system with the following key components for this review:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Dual Core processor
ASUS P5KC P35 ATX motherboard
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB hard drive
Crucial Ballistix 2GB PC3-12800 DDR3 dual channel memory
Tuniq Miniplant 950W power supply
Ultra Products m998 midtower case

To be honest, the installation was more involved and difficult than I would have anticipated with a modern CPU cooler. I was prepared for some effort to be involved since the NH-U12P bolts through the motherboard, but I really had to work to get this thing mounted. The first step (one that I never look forward to) is to remove the motherboard in order to install the Noctua backplate. When you are dealing with a cooler like this it is really the only way to go, since the typical plastic pins can't reliable support the extra mass and/or height. One backplate is provided for AMD AM2 boards and another for LGA 775, and based on the test system described above, we will be taking a look at the LGA 775 version.

The images below show the mounting brackets that attach to the top side of the motherboard by bolting through to the backplate on the other side. This step wasn't a particularly easy one... You have to hold the backplate in place with one hand, while trying to guide a bolt through the mounting bracket with a paper washer sandwiched between it and the motherboard, all while balancing the motherboard to have access to both sides. Keeping the paper washer in place was probably the trickiest part, and applying a dot of glue to hold each one to the brackets is highly recommended. As you can see, the clearance around capacitors and other motherboard features is very close, and Noctua apparently paid close attention to Intel's specifications in this area. As installed, the brackets will hold the cooler so the fan blows towards the rear of the case. To have the fan blow towards the PSU, you must reposition the brackets at ninety degrees from how they are shown.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

At this point I assumed it would be clear sailing, as removing the motherboard and installing the backplate and mounting brackets should have been the most time consuming part. The image below shows the cooler installed in my prefered orientation, with the fan aiming towards the case's exhaust fan. You just need to use two spring loaded bolts to attach the cooler to the bracket, and the included screwdriver came in very handy.

Click Image For Larger View

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