|Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler
The cooling performance of the Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler is exceptional. With the fan at full speed it produces minimal noise and excellent thermal results, and cutting the fan speed down to near silence doesn't impact the cooling at all. A heavily stressed and overclocked dual-core Intel processor was able to operate at about forty degrees Celsius without the drone of loud cooling fans!
While the performance was exceptional, achieving it took more effort than I am used to needing in order to install a CPU cooler. In addition to removing the motherboard in order to install a backplate to support the CPU cooler, the other steps in the installation required some patience and a bit of skill to complete. There were also issues with the case and the motherboard used, and potential buyers should check the Noctua website for a list of compatible components. They should also take a look at the various reviews on the Internet to gauge whether their system might present any problems with such a cooler upgrade. Noctua is listening though, and they are already working on things like a redesign of the mounting bracket in order to allow for even greater compatibility.
A search of PriceGrabber for this, or any other Noctua cooler, comes up just about empty. Looking around the elsewhere finds a few specialty stores carrying the NH-U12P for around $60 to $70 (US). While the quality and performance are superb, that is definitely on the high side for a CPU cooler.
While I did encounter more than my fair share of issues during installation, the performance made the effort almost all worth while. If the installation had not been so involved and if the compatibility seemed to be greater, the Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler would have easily earned the award of "Highly Recommended". As it stands, it is still quite worthy of the "Recommended" and "Whisper Quiet" awards.
» Excellent cooling performace, even at low speed
» Extremely quiet
» Well designed and well made
» Includes a useful bundle of accessories including fan speed adaptors
» Includes an ample supply of premium thermal paste
» Must remove motherboard to install
» Overly complicated / difficult installation
» High potential for interference with other system components
» Price and availability
Special thanks to Noctua for providing the Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler to Bigbruin.com for review!
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