Noctua NH-C12P SE14 Top Flow CPU Cooler Review - Installation and Testing


101 3953

Here I would like to make a specific mention of Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting system.  This might be the most effortless mounting system I've used, and the spring loaded screw enables very high pressures, but it prevents the possibility of over tightening, and also prevents the pressure from bending or potentially damaging the motherboard.

Also, the design of the NH-C12P enables plenty of clearance over board components, as you can see there is plenty of room over the RAM, and the overhang will actually inadvertently cool your RAM as well.  There was no real concerns pertaining to fitting in an Antec 900.

101 3954

The fan looks impressive when you are facing all of the 140mm fan.  The lower profile of the cooler means that there will be less torque on the motherboard, which also limits stress on the board, and should ensure that the your motherboard's life shouldn't be harmed by this cooler.


Idle Testing

For idle testing, we booted up the system, allowed the CPU to stabilized at below 2% usage, and then tested for 10 minutes, and we used RealTemp to record the CPU temperatures.

Scythe Rasetsu                                                                      Noctua NH-C12P SE14

rasetsuidle  NH-C12PSE14

Load Testing

For our load tests, we used Prime95 to stress the CPU to 100%, and let it run that way for one hour, and then use RealTemp to record the temperatures

Scythe Rasetsu                                                                     Noctua NH-C12P SE14

RasetsuLoad  NH-C12PSE14Load

Overclock Testing

Using the same methods as before for idle and load except with a 25% Overclock, (3.3GHz, up from 2.66GHz stock)

Idle                                                                           Load



As with Noctua's other top end coolers the NH-C12P SE14 experiences greater efficiency compared to other coolers under greater heat loads, as they were engineered to be for overclocking.  The idle temperatures remained unchanged after the 25% overclock, and the load temperatures only increased a measly 2-3°C, which is fantastic!  We didn't test the similarly-equipped Rasetsu top flow cooler under overclock conditions, so we didn't want to compare it with a different tower cooler under overclock conditions.  You can see that it is engineered to be used under high thermal loads, as it doesn't perform as well under stock conditions against the Rasetsu.  One important thing to note is that the Rasetsu cooler has a fan that runs at 50% higher RPMS and nearly 40dB louder, so Noctua's performance-to-noise considerations should not be left without deep consideration.  The NH-C12P SE14, due to its super quiet NF-P14 fans, is whisper quiet while still moving a sizable amount of air at a relatively low operational RPM.  The efficiency when overclocked is what sets it apart, and for the overall size and compatibility of the cooler, should be a top consideration for anyone looking for top end cooling performance.

Final Thoughts

The NH-C12P SE14 is yet another superb offering from Noctua's engineering team.  High end performance with the benefits, form factor, and compatibility of a relatively low profile top flow cooler should be coveted by enthusiasts with small and mid-tower form factors everywhere.  Noctua's proven six, large heatpipes continue to be highly efficient when under substantial thermal loads, and provides impressive overclocking performance!  I'm also falling continually into a particular fondness for Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting system.  It's probably the simplest and universally easiest to install, and provides a satisfactory amount of pressure without bending your motherboard.

Noctua also packages in some nice accessories including their high end NT-H1 thermal paste, to sweeten the deal.  Anothing winning product from Noctua, plain and simple.


  • Relatively low profile, good clearance
  • Great overclocking performance
  • Easy and reliable installation
  • Great product Presentation
  • Plenty of accessories including high end NT-H1 thermal paste



  • No glaring cons


Yet another impressive product from Noctua that we can confidently recommend!



You have no rights to post comments