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Noctua NH-U12S

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  • Noctua NH-U12S


    • Extremely quiet
    • Great performance for its size
    • Easy to install
    • Exceptional build quality
    • Anti-vibration fan mounts
    • Can mount a second fan
    • Six-year warranty


    • Price
    • Lacks second fan
    • Colors not for everyone

    The Noctua NH-U12S is an exceptional cooler. It might not be the best in terms of pure cooling performance, but it still gets the job done. At stock clocks, the cooler is simply fantastic for its size, doing extremely well against much more expensive competitors, such as the Corsair H90. The fact that it performs as well as it does is astonishing when you look at the noise it creates, or the lack thereof. This cooler is for the most part utterly silent. If a user needs a traditional cooler that keeps noise levels down, the NH-U12S is the best choice. It simply dominates the noise-level charts, being the quietest cooler I have tested thus far. Noctua is mostly competing against itself in that category. The ability to add a second fan to improve cooling performance is also a welcome sight as another fan increases the NH-U12S's cooling ability even more. Best yet, noise levels hardly suffer with a second fan, increasing by just 1-2 dBA at worst. The easy-to-use mounting hardware makes for an easy install, and the exceptional build quality really gives the cooler some extra value. The quality itself is something pictures cannot convey—holding the cooler in your hands and seeing it for yourself is the only way to really grasp the difference between a Noctua NH-U12S and its competition. The warranty is a nice treat as well. Once the rose-tinted glasses are off, a few problems stand out. The price is the biggest issue. At $64.99, it is competing against the far cheaper Silverstone Argon AR03 at $49.99, as it cools nearly as well with a bit of extra noise. The fact that the cooler does not come with a second fan is a major concern. A second NF-F12 PWM fan will set users back another $26.99 on Newegg. Matching fans, maximum cooling performance, and great noise levels will in the end set users back by over $90. That is a hard price to justify when the Phanteks PH-TC14PE is better in most regards, and cheaper. The fact that Noctua's very own NH-D14 is available in that price range also makes the dual-fan option for this cooler much less appealing. The colors of the fans also remain a love or hate relationships. They instantly scream Noctua, but not everyone wants to put a cooler with a beige and dark brown fan that only seems to match ASUS Sabertooth motherboards into their case.

    7 år sedan
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    Noctua NH-U12S Slim Tower Heatsink

    ConclusionThe NH-U12S follows a long line of high performance heatsinks that have kept Noctua a premium brand over the years. As slimmer tower coolers go, the U12S is certainly the best choice we've encountered. It offers strong performance, a nice set of accessories focused on noise and vibration reduction, and a solid mounting system. It's yet another complete package from Noctua that's worthy of your attention. The U12S currently carries a street price of about US$60, a bit costly considering its size. However, if you're looking for a very thin 120 mm tower, the next closest competitor is the slightly thicker Prolimatech Panther, a US$50 cooler that isn't widely available and is hampered by an underperforming stock fan. There are also few HDT models to consider like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus, an old favorite of ours and an excellent value at US$30, and the US$40 TRUE Spirit 120M, but both are about a full centimeter thicker than the U12S. Whether or not the U12S is the right choice for you boils down to how thin a heatsink you truly need. The problem heatsinks like the U12S solve is memory interference — for which desktop memory with tall heatspreaders seem to be the root cause; Perhaps the best advice we can give is to avoid them altogether seeing as they offer no benefit outside of aesthetics. If you use a set of standard height DIMMs, you'll have infinitely more choices for a cooling solution, and if it hangs over a stick of memory, it's at worst, a minor inconvenience. A final factor that hangs over every consumer product is distribution and availability. We seen many reader references in the forums recently that specialist brands Thermalright and Scythe are suffering in both categories. In contrast, Noctua remains one of the best distributed, widely available heatsink brands. Easy availability trumps price and even performance: If you can't find the others, there's simply no choice.

    7 år sedan