Summary: The Noctua NH-L12 is a great product that many will overlook or misunderstand. While its performance does not lead the pack, it does offer a small size and versatility. It is the smallest cooler I have reviewed thus far in terms of height and weight and offers backplate-less mounting for mini-ITX systems. The build quality is, as is usual with Noctua products, simply fantastic.
Pros: Good cooling for its size, Extremely quiet, Exceptional build quality, Versatile mounting options, Easy to install, Great warranty, Low profile option
Cons: Price, Not meant for high TDP processors, Single-fan configuration cannot handle overclock settings as tested, Single-fan configuration has limited usefulness for most users
Conclusion: In a North American culture, many of us tend to cheer for a favorite sports team, whether it is for football, hockey, basketball, soccer, or golf. Okay, maybe not golf, but you get the idea. This is especially true when teams are sent to the Summer or Winter Olympics. Whenever a team scores a touchdown, a goal, or gets the gold medal, there would be loud roars of voices over a victory.
Excerpt: Introduction Noctua recently released the NH-L12, a low profile C-shape heatpipe cooler targeting the HTPC and quiet application environment. Currently offered at an MSRP of $59.90, the NH-L12 features dual fans and four heatpipes. The two fans are asymmetrical, with the upper fan an NF-F12 and the lower fan an NF-B9. As can be inferred from their names, the NF-F12 is a 120mm fan ( read our review here ) and the NF-B9 is a 92mm fan.
Conclusion: Noctua has used its expertise to create a low-profile cooler that's able to offer good cooling performance in tight spaces while keeping suitably quiet. Squeezing a heatsink, four heatpipes and two high-quality fans into a package that measures only 93mm tall is no small feat, but Noctua's clever design works well and the end result is a cooler that's compact and able to offer a 15 per cent improvement in performance when compared to a reference Intel heatsink.
Conclusion: Our expectations on Noctua are high and rightfully so. Noctua is setting the bar high. The quality of the products is on the top of it’s class and for most part the performance is not too far behind. Noctua’s focus remains on noise reduction and performance is second. Both as well as price are usually on the top of the list for consumers but the priorities can trade places. With Noctua products you will hardly have to trade off any of those.
Excerpt: Noctua’s newest cooling product is the NH-L12 processor cooler. Unlike their D14 and many other coolers the L12 is not designed for the overclocking enthusiast but the media buffs and small form factor freaks. The group of people that have a higher chance of using a smaller than normal size PC case. And with this being the case you know we will not be see one of those famous tower designs we have been reviewing over the past few months.
Summary: The Noctua NH-L12 CPU Cooler is a perfect option for a tiny computer build. It comes with two quiet, long life fans (120mm & 92mm), copper base, heatpipes and many aluminum fins. This is truly is a super low-profile cooler as with top 120mm fan removed it's only 66mm in height.
Summary: The Noctua NH-L12 is an extremely compact, yet highly efficient cooler. Like all Noctua products we've reviewed here at OCIA.net, the NH-L12 has high quality construction, a complete set of mounting hardware for any socket Intel or AMD, several different cables and adapters and instructions and installation tool. They've even thrown in a nice-sized tube of thermal paste and an attractive case badge.
The NH-L12 functions just as well as it looks.
Summary: The NH-L12 heatpipe CPU cooler is an excellent choice for an HTPC or desktop system where space is at a premium. With the 120mm fan installed on top of the cooler it stands just 93mm (@3.7") tall, and if you can manage to run with just the lower 92mm fan installed you can get the overall height down to 66mm (@2.6"). This will fit a large number of cases, including some of the slimmer low profile units available.
Pros: » Impressive cooling performance, » Low profile and fairly small footprint makes it usable in systems of many sizes, » Extremely quiet, with or without the Low Noise Adapter installed, » Excellent bundle of accessories and installation instructions are well done
Cons: » Could not install lower 92mm fan due to interference with system memory, » Design might have greater compatibility if fins/fans were centered over CPU socket, » Fairly high priced at about $70 (US)