Noctua NH-L12 Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review

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With the height of so many CPU coolers on the market exceeding the 160 mm mark, there's always room for someone to move in and fill the void left in the compact segment. Noctua's NH-L12 is one such heatsink, offering high performance and Noctua's signature whisper quiet fans in a package of surprisingly short stature. However, the design and performance of this cooler are anything but "low-profile."

  

Overview

The NH-L12 is a low-profile quiet cooler designed for use in small form factor cases and HTPC environments. With its flexible NF-F12 (120mm) / NF-B9 (92mm) dual PWM fan setup, the NH-L12 can be configured either for full performance in dual fan mode or extra-low profile (66mm) with the top fan removed. Bundled with the award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound and Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, the NH-L12 packs everything a premium quality quiet cooler needs into a highly compact package. Caution: The NH-L12 is a low-profile quiet cooler designed for use in small form factor cases and HTPC environments. While it provides first rate performance in its class, it is not suitable for overclocking and should be used with care on CPUs with more than 95W TDP (Thermal Design Power). Please consult our TDP guidelines to find out whether the NH-L12 is recommended for your CPU.

120/92mm dual fan design

NH-L12

Thanks to its exquisite dual fan setup consisting of Noctua’s highly optimised NF-F12 (120mm) and NF-B9 (92mm) premium fans, the NH-L12 pushes the bar in terms of low-profile quiet cooling performance.

Extra-low profile in 92mm single-fan mode

NH-L12

The NH-L12 can be used with the NF-B9 92mm fan only in order to reduce the overall height to 66mm. This way, the cooler is suitable for many typical µATX or Mini-ITX enclosures and ideal for whisper-quiet HTPC systems.

PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptors

NH-L12

The NH-L12’s NF-F12 and NF-B9 fans support PWM for convenient automatic speed control. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced to 1200/1300rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptors for even quieter operation.

SecuFirm2™ mounting system

NH-L12

Noctua’s enthusiast grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting provides broad socket compatibility (LGA 2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1) and meets the highest demands in safety, performance and ease-of-use.

Mini-ITX mounting without backplate

NH-L12

Some Intel based Mini-ITX mainboards don’t allow for the installation of backplates. The NH-L12 thus comes with an extra set of Intel mounting bolts which make it possible to install the cooler without using the SecuFirm2™ backplate.

NT-H1 thermal compound

NT-H1

Noctua's much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a well proven pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding reliability.

 

Specifications

Cooler Specifications

Socket Compatibility Intel LGA2011 (Square ILM), LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 (backplate required)
Height (without fan) 66 mm
Width (without fan) 128 mm
Depth (without fan)

150 mm

Height (with fan)

93 mm

Width (with fan) 128 mm
Depth (with fan) 150 mm
Weight (without fan) 415 g
Weight (with fan) 680 g
Material Copper (base and heat pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan Compatibility 120x120x25mm & 92x92x25mm
Scope of Delivery
  • 1x NF-F12 PWM premium fan
  • 1x NF-B9 PWM premium fan
  • 2x Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Y-Split Cable
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2TM Mounting Kit
  • Mini-ITX Mounting Kit
  • Noctua Metal Case Badge
Warranty  6 Years

 

Fan Specifications

Model Noctua NF-F12 PWM & Noctua NF-B9 PWM
Bearing SSO-Bearing
Max Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1500 / 1600 RPM
Max Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1200 / 1300 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM) 300 / 300 RPM
Max. Airflow 93.4 / 64.3 m3/h
Max. Airflow with L.N.A. 74.3 / 52.6 m3/h
Max.Acoustical Noise 22.4 / 17.6 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 18.6 / 13.1 dB(A)
Input Power 0.6 / 0.96 W
Voltage Range 12 V
MTBF > 150.000 h


*Product information and specifications provided by Noctua. 

 

Packaging

Noctua NH-L12 BoxNoctua NH-L12 Box Back

Noctua NH-L12 Box Contents

The NH-L12 unpacks neatly, and in addition to the cooler itself is full mounting hardware for all modern AMD and Intel chipsets.  Noctua's premium coolers have always been good about the included accessories, and the NH-L12 is no exception.  You get a large tube of high-quality NT-H1 thermal paste, 4-pin fan splitters, and low noise cables if the already-quiet fans are still too loud for you.

 

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