The Noctua NH-U12S has a simple design, with a single tower style heatsink and just a 120mm fan preinstalled. The aesthetic of this cooler is composed out of two elements, the silver heatsink and the brown/tan fan at the front.
The main purpose of the Noctua NH-U12S is to offer a good performance with a great clearance for both the RAM and PCIe expansion slots.
The dimensions of the heatsink are: (H)158mm x (W)125mm x (D)45mm.
The heatsink has a single tower design with a total of 50 aluminum made cooling fins attached to the heatpipes. Notable design features of the heatsink include a Noctua logo placed on the top plate and a space for easy access to the mounting system screws on the underside.
The weight of the heatsink without the fan and fan clips is 580g.
The NH-U12S uses five copper made heatpipes, each has an outer diameter of 6mm and is nickel-plated. The heatpipes are attached to the baseplate of the cooler through soldering while the cooling fins are held in place by adhesive and friction.
The base of the cooler is manufactured from the same nickel-plated copper as the five heatpipes. The surface of the baseplate is smooth with subtle circular marks left from the manufacturing process. These marks will create a sunburst effect for the base, but this will not affect the evenness of the thermal compound spread.
The aluminum fins are shaped on the sides to allow the installation of two 120mm fans with the included metallic clips. This system of attaching fans to a heatsink is not new, however it has proven its reliability.
The NH-U12S uses a single 120mm fan for the active cooling. The fan is the Noctua NF-12 PWM model, and has a minimum speed of 300 RPM and a maximum speed of 1500RPM. The maximum speed can be reduced to 1200RPM with the help of the included low noise adapter.
The cable of the fan is covered by high quality sleeving and the connector used for power is a standard 4 Pin PWM.