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Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Noctua
Source: Noctua
Purchase: PriceGrabber
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Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler
March 03, 2008


The thermal performance of the Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler was tested by comparing the idle and load temperatures as monitored using CoreTemp 0.96.1 in conjunction with OCCT 1.1.1b. The idle condition was established by letting the system sit at the Window's desktop with only CoreTemp running for a period of at least 30 minutes. The load condition was established by running OCCT for a period of at least 60 minutes set to stress the CPU and memory. All phases were executed with the processor overclocked from a default setting of 3.0GHz (9x333MHz) and 1.32V, to 3.6GHz (9x400MHz) and 1.35V.

For comparison purposes, the NH-U12P (with just one NF-P12 120mm fan installed) was tested head-to-head with the OCZ Technology Vendetta and the stock cooler provided with the retail packaged Intel E6850 processor.

The chart below details the results from all three coolers achieved while maintaining an ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, and with the fans all set to run at their full speeds.


The chart above shows that the Vendetta and NH-U12P perform the same in this first test. But what is not clear here is that the Vendetta is much louder while providing the same level of cooling as the extremely quiet NH-U12P. I decided to retry the tests, this time with the fan speeds reduced using the motherboard's "Fan EQ" setting in the BIOS set to "Performance". This cut the speeds of both fans to right around 1000 RPM, roughly equivalent to using something like a Noctua L.N.A. or U.L.N.A. fan speed adapter. The next chart shows how the two coolers fare in near silence.


Here we see that the temperatures on the NH-U12P don't budge from the previous test, while those on the OCZ Vendetta rise by eight degrees on each core. The NH-U12P's cooling performance and near silent operation are extremely impressive. While I wish achieving these results had been much easier, I can't complain about the end results.

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