The following system was used to test the cooler:
– Processor: Intel i9 9900K @ 5GHz
– Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X
– RAM: GOODRAM IRDM PRO 16GB DDR4-3600MHz
– GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio
– SSD: Crucial MX500
– HDD: WD 1 TB Blue
– PSU: Seasonic Snow Silent 750W Platinum
– Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe White
– Thermal compound: Noctua NT-H2
2x Fans in Push/Pull config.
Noctua NA-FK1 Redux Upgrade Pack
Software used for testing the cooler:
– AIDA64 Extreme Version: 6.32.5600
– Intel Burn Test v2.54
– Prime95 29.1
The cooler was tested with the CPU at the default turbo frequency of 4.9 GHz and overclocked to 5 GHz with a core voltage of 1.261 V.
Also, the included fans have been used at their maximum speed.
The room temperature was approximately 26°C (78°F), with 2°C margin of error.
The idle test consists of the CPU sitting idle at the desktop for 30 minutes, the temperature was measured at the end of the test.
The settings of the software used are the following:
Intel Burn Test v2.54 – Stress level: Maximum
Prime95 29.1- small FFT
AIDA64 Extreme Version – FPU Benchmark & Temperature monitoring.
Each test was conducted for 40 minutes.
Full Load – IntelBurnTestV2
Full Load – AIDA64 CPU, FPU & Cache
The noise level was measured at three different distances from the fans (10cm, 20cm, 30cm.) the noise was measured with a margin of error of ± 2 db.
The RAM clearance is very good, thanks to the reduced dimensions of the heatsink. In fact, the NH-U12S Redux does not even reach the RAM modules, let along interfere with them.
The PCIe expansion slot clearance is also very good, with approximately 34mm of space between the CPU cooler and the graphics card. This space is just enough to allow for decent access to the top mounted M.2 socket of the motherboard.
The Noctua NH-U12S Redux is available for around 50 USD or EUR, a price which makes it around 10USD cheaper than the regular NH-U12S CPU cooler. There are differences between the two coolers that are justifying the lower price tag. First of all, the NH-U12S Redux uses just 4 heatpipes instead of the usual 5. This alone will affect the overall cooling performance, and as we can see, the NH-U12S Redux is on average 2°C warmer than the regular NH-U12S CPU cooler.
In terms of the cooling performance, the NH-U12S Redux is a good cooler and has its own place into the market. It is not a direct competitor for the NH-U12S, but rather a competitor for lower priced CPU coolers. While the performance can be improved if a second fan is installed, that will also increase the price of the cooler.
The noise output is higher than the Noctua NH-U12S, this is mainly thanks to the usage of a different fan which also spins faster.
The installation procedure is very easy thanks to the fact that Noctua has worked and improved on their mounting system with each revision. This makes the Noctua SecuFirm2 mounting system one of, if not the best mounting system on the market. This cooler can be installed in less than 2 minutes from start to finish.
The build quality is good for the most part, however the lack of soldering on the heatpipes is a drawback.
The clearance offered by the cooler is very good, the same in fact, as the regular NH-U12S. With plenty of space around the PCIe slots of the motherboard.
In conclusion, the Noctua NH-U12S Redux is a good CPU cooler that offers great clearance and a good performance. The build quality is good and the Redux colors can be considered a selling point for many users.