Continuing our CPU cooler review series, today we tested Noctua NH-U12P, which uses the now standard tower design with four U-shaped heatpipes and a 120 mm fan. Will its performance be compatible to its price? Let’s see!

A detail you must keep in mind with this cooler is the fact it supports only Intel socket LGA775 and AMD sockets AM3, AM2+ and AM2 processors. For Intel socket LGA1366 CPUs there is another model, U12P-SE1366, which besides being compatible with this socket comes with two fans instead of just one. If you want to use U12P with older AMD processors (sockets 939 or 754) Noctua offers a kit with the compatible clips.

U12P’s box is nice and strong, and from a front window we can see part of its brown fan.

Noctua NH-U12PFigure 1: Box.

Inside the box we found the heatsink, the fan (that doesn’t come installed to the cooler), three plastic bags with installation hardware, an NT-H1 thermal compound tube, a Phillips screwdriver and a user manual. This manual is actually made by two folders, one explaining installation on AMD CPUs and another for Intel CPUs. There is also two adapters for connecting the fan to the motherboard, about which we will talk about later.

Noctua NH-U12PFigure 2: Box contents.

The general aspect of the U12P heatsink is excellent. The fins are thick, which gives a solid constitution to the cooler. The copper base and heatpipes and the aluminum fins are nickel-plated with a golden brown aspect.

Noctua NH-U12PFigure 3: Noctua NH-U12P heatsink.
On Figures 4 and 5 you can have a better idea of how the U12P heatsink looks like.

Noctua NH-U12PFigure 4: Side view.

Noctua NH-U12PFigure 5: Front view.