Once again, we have reached the end of the review and test data presentation and come to the portion where we recap and I get to give my overall opinion. Starting out, the retail package of the Noctua NH-U12P is quite extensive and covers everything you could need in an HSF. Noctua includes a backplate (1366 only on the tested kit, SE2 revision for full AMD and Intel socket compatibility), NH-T1 TIM (not tested), two NF-P12 fans, 3-wire fan connectors (inline resistors to control fan speed), anti-vibration strips, oh yeah and a four 6mm copper heatpipe tower heatsink optimized for low fan speeds and low noise. In case you forgot from first page, all the copper parts are nickel plated. As I said, Noctua brings a full and quite generous retail package with the NH-U12P and as you can probably gather, I am quite pleased with all that Noctua provides in the retail package.
Of course, I do have some gripes, some slightly petty but others that you will probably encounter yourself in the normal use of the NH-U12P. First (because I need to get this off my chest), the name… you cannot fathom the number of times I mistyped/misspelled the name of this cooler, how about a word name, the fighting owl would work. In fact, I probably should have just used that name from the beginning, as it would have saved me time after realizing I misspelled the name on all the charts and had to go back and export them out from Excel. Enough of my petty little gripe, since Noctua goes through the trouble of creating these mechanical marvels they can name the cooler whatever they like. Back to the actual cooler here, the one major complaint I have is with the wire fan clips that are only compatible with open corner fans. While this works for the stock fans, if you want to change out the fans you need to make sure you select open corner or have a Dremel handy. My last little tidbit here is has more to do with the design and the optimization for low air flow, the NH-U12P houses 36 1mm fins in the fin tower and I know more performance could have been pulled from the base and heatpipe system. If Noctua would have slimmed the fins down and increased the count all while maintaining the low air flow design goal, this would have resulted in more aggressive performance scaling.
Closing thoughts on the Noctua NH-U12P, for $69.95 you get everything you could possibly need in an HSF with a great mix of performance and silence to boot. The mounting system is one of the best I have used for Air Coolers, it is simple and provides very consistent mounts. Be prepared to struggle a bit with the wire fan clips if you have a large heatsink on the northbridge/IOH, but expect this for all coolers that use the wire clip fan mounting system. All in all, the Noctua NH-U12P handled the load from our 920 D0 at 1.275V (toasty little guy to say the least) under control and kept pace with high performing coolers. The one major advantage for the Noctua was the silence of the stock NF-P12 fans, which is a welcome feature. Noctua succeeded in designing a cooler that performs and restores some silence to your machine.
As always, thanks again for reading and we hope to see you back reading another review very soon… we will keep knocking out the tests as long as you keep enjoying our efforts.