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Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Noctua
Source: Noctua
Purchase: PriceGrabber
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 5 of 7 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]
Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler
March 03, 2008

Installation (continued):

The images below take a closer look down at motherboard level. The cooler clears all features, but it is close to some.

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The next set of images show how the NH-U12P can be used with either one fan or two. Rubber strips are applied to the edge of the cooler so the fans don't vibrate against the fins, and I found trimming them by about a half inch made them fit better. The spring wire clips slide into a slot on either side of the cooler and then pop into the corner hole of the fan. You can use any 120mm fan that has open corners, like the two Noctua units shown below.

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The test system's case has a removable motherboard tray, and at this point it was time to slide the tray back in with all the components installed. The image below shows the next issue encountered; that the cooler hangs far enough off the side to prevent it from sliding in fully assembled.

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With the cooler removed from the motherboard, everything else was slid in, and I then went to re-attach the cooler. I then found that even without the removable motherboard tray this cooler wasn't being installed like this since it interfered with the power supply, too. My only choice was to take everything back out and remount the cooler turned ninety degrees so that it would blow towards the power supply.

The next set of images shows the cooler installed in the other orientation, which meant repeating the balancing act of installing the mounting brackets through the board to the backplate. The below left image doesn't show it too clearly, but if you look closely you can see that the NH-U12P brackets now interfere with the fins on the edge of the northbridge cooler, and push a few of them to the side. This orientation also eliminates the possibility of using a second fan, as it will not fit between the cooler and the PSU in this case. As a final issue to report, I had to modify the vent on the case's side panel in order to get it to close.

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Compatibility with large coolers will vary from system to system, and you can not always guarantee that things will work out. While the motherboard used was listed as compatible on the Noctua website, I found that it wasn't quite the case, and it is definitely not well suited for use in the Ultra Products brand case used.

Installing this cooler was rather involved, and definitely took more time than any other I have completed in recent years. While there were several issues that may be unique to this test system, I believe some will be common across many platforms. Noctua is aware of the issues encountered in this review and elsewhere, and they are working to redesin the mounting bracket and even make the paper washer installation easier. With the installation finally completed, I am hopeful that the testing will reveal incredible results that will make it all worth while.

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