Noctua NH-U12S

Visual inspection

The Noctua NH-U12S is identical in shape with the regular NH-U12S. The main difference between the two, is that the model is completely black, starting with the cooling fins, the heatpipes, fan clips, and ending with the fan itself. The heatsink uses a total of five copper heatpipes and 50 aluminum fins, and has a weight of 580g. The dimensions of the heatsink are: (H)158mm x (W)125mm x (D)45mm.


The heatsink has a standard design with a single tower layout. The fins are angled at the edges, to allow for the fan clips to mount securely, while also lowering the risk of injury when handling the heatsink. All 50 aluminum fins are covered by a thick matte black paint, on all sides, this paint also cover the heatpipes and part of the baseplate.


The NH-U12S uses five nickel-plated copper heatpipes, each with a diameter of 6mm. All heatpipes are painted matte black like the rest of the cooler and heatsink, and are arranged in the classic U-shape around the aluminum fins. This way, the heat transfer is done faster and efficiently. The contact between the baseplate of the cooler and the five heatpipes is done through soldering, with the heatpipes between the baseplate and a secondary metal plate.



The top plate of the cooler has a simple design, the Noctua logo and names are shaped into the actual metal of the plate. The hole at the center is present on all fins to allow for the included Phillips screwdriver to pass through the heatsink and access the lower screw that holds part of the mounting system in place. The endings of the heatpipes are not regular, this is the case for most air CPU coolers that don’t use a cap over the heatpipe ending.


The baseplate of the cooler is manufactured from nickel-plated copper and has only its sides painted in the matte black finish featured on the series. The contact surface of the base is very smooth and the reflection is almost mirror like. There are some circular marks left from the manufacturing process, however these will not hinder the spread of the thermal compound.


The NH-U12S has a single 120mm fan included, the Noctua NF-F12 PWM model, which is the variant. This fan, apart from the all-black construction, uses the Noctua SSO2 bearing system and the Focused Flow™ frame design.
The fan has a minimum speed of 300 RPM and a maximum speed of 1500 RPM. That if you don’t use the included low noise adapter, which will lower the maximum speed to just 1200RPM.


The back of the fan has Vortex Control Notches integrated within the beams that hold the motor and impeller assembly centered. The corners of the fan frame are covered by rubber pads on both  sides, to prevent any vibration from being passed into the rest of the computer. The cable used by the NF-F12 PWM is covered by high quality rubber sleeving and uses a 4-Pin Molex connector for the power, which is also PWM compatible.

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