Coolers are necessary for keeping your computer cool. If you need one from a trusted brand, our Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition review will help you with this.
This review will focus on the latest product from Noctua, which is the NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition. We’ll provide all the essentials you’ll need to know about the product. Plus, it will help you decide if the cooler’s something that’ll work for your preferences.
We know that Noctua is one of the biggest, most respected, and trusted names when it comes to air coolers. They’ve been providing the market with high-quality coolers with excellent designs and functions.
A lot of people today may lean towards the AIO coolers. However, Noctua is a company you can greatly trust when it comes to these products.
So today, we’ll focus on this specific cooler in this Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition review. But first, let’s check out how Noctua presented it and what they included in the package.
Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition Packaging
Our Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition review will first discuss the cooler’s packaging and contents.
The NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition comes in your regular-sized cardboard box. We liked that it’s tough enough to keep the cooler protected while in transit.
When looking at the box’s front, it features an abstract, close-up image of the heatpipe and heatsink assembly. All the key features are listed on the left section, while the product’s name is on the upper corner.
The sides of the package feature detailed information about the NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition, as well as the original NH-L12. Turning the box, the other section displays a complete list of the technical specs of both the fan and cooler.
On the box’s rear, you’ll be presented with the primary features of the cooler. There are monochrome diagrams too, to give you a better understanding of these.
Inside, you’ll find the NFB9 PWM premium fan, NA-RC7 Low Noise Adaptor, and NT-H2 thermal compound. Aside from these, you’ll find the SecuFirm2 mounting kit and a metallic case badge.
Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition Review – Design and Functionality
Now, we will look at the design and functions in our Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition review.
The Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition sports a clean and straightforward design. It’s made to function with small form-factor enclosures and boards.
The cooler’s name is a reference to the Ghost S1 enclosure that’s manufactured by Louqe. It’s a company that Noctua partnered with to produce this specific cooler.
It makes use of four heatpipes organised in a certain C-shape, plus an aluminium-made heatsink with a 92mm fan. The differing designs aren’t extremely out of the ordinary for such a cooler. However, one of the aspects that you’ll immediately notice is the fan mounted beneath the radiator.
In other words, the fans are concealed when you install them.
The NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition’s heatsink comes with a high-fin density design and utilises about 60 aluminium-made cooling fins. These are necessary since the cooler uses a 92mm fan, allowing adequate clearance along the socket area of the CPU.
With that, several cooling fins are utilised to boost its cooling performance. The aluminium cooling fins plus copper heatpipes are neatly soldered – a method of contact that offers optimal heat transfers.
There are a total of four heatpipes for the cooler, and each features a standard outer diameter of 6mm.
These heatpipes are made using nickel-plated copper and are formed to take a C-shape. They’re directly soldered to the aluminium-made cooling fins and the rear of its baseplate.
Ends of the heatpipes are machined symmetrically and are visible on the heatsink’s side. At the centre, you’ll find the engraved logo of Noctua on the top aluminium plate’s surface.
The cooler’s base is made using the same kind of nickel-plated copper like its heatpipes. Its base plate’s surface is smooth with a circular sun-burst pattern engraved into it.
The marks are left from the production process, yet they’re incredibly smooth that the thermal compound’s evenness shouldn’t be affected.
The top part of the heatsink comes with square spaces that are cut into the aluminium fins. It’s a necessary process to allow easier access of screwdrivers to the spring-loaded screws on the mounting system’s lower plate.
Underneath the heatsink is a stable and efficient base for the fan to sit on. It takes the shape of two rubber strips that are applied on its edges.
This is to prevent vibrations from reaching the heatsink’s structure. Additionally, but the presence of a rubber base prevents unnecessary movements of the fan, and scratches on the fins.
For active cooling, the NH-L12 Ghost S1 has a Noctua NFB9 PWM 92mm fan that’s 92 x 92 x 25mm. The fan has a minimum speed of 300 RPM while 1,600 RPM is its maximum.
The top speed can decrease to 1,300 RPM with the cooler’s included low-noise adapter.
This time, you’ll learn about the key features of the cooler in our Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition review.
Key Features of the Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition
Noctua’s Popular NH-L12 Heatsink
The cooler comes with Noctua’s NH-L12 popular heatsink. It was one of the most successful CPU coolers for low-profile systems on the market.
The heatsink can become more silent by removing the 120mm fan. Doing so makes the cooler ideal for low-noise setups.
Special Design Made for the Ghost S1 Chassis
This cooler comes with a 92mm fan, the company’s second-gen NT-H2 thermal compound, and the newest SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system. It’s customised for high-end, quiet-performing builds in Louqe’s prizewinning Ghost S1 case.
48mm RAM Clearance
Despite having a large heatsink, the cooler has a lot of space, making it ideal for 48mm-high RAM modules.
Low-Noise Adaptors and Support for PWM
The 92mm NFB9 fan supports PWM, allowing automated speed control via the motherboard. It delivers full performance under heavy load while being silent during idle mode.
Since it has Low-Noise Adaptors (L.N.A), you can reduce the speed from 1,600 RPM to 1,300 RPM.
SecuFirm2 Multiple-Socket Mounting System
Noctua’s SecuFirm2 mounting systems only offer safety, quality, and easy installation. For the NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition, it comes with the SecuFirm2 mounting system, which supports numerous AMD and Intel sockets.
Compatible to Previous and Next-Gen Sockets
With Noctua’s SecuFirm platform, the NH-L12 provides compatibility not only for the current sockets, but also for older ones. You can utilise the NM-I3 mounting kit, which Noctua provides for free.
In the future, Noctua may offer upgrade kits for next-gen sockets, making the NH-L12 a long-term investment.
Noctua’s Second-Gen Thermal Compound
Noctua packed the NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition with a tube of their NT-H2 compound. This thermal compound is better than the previous NT-H1.
6-year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Like all Noctua fans, the inclusive NFB0 has more than 150,000 hours MTTF rating. Along with that, the cooler comes with a 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Before we focus on the specifications, remember that the NH-L12 is a low-profile cooler made for small form-factor cases. It’s also for HTPC environments.
While it offers first-rate performance, the cooler isn’t ideal for overclocking, or computers that create increased heat loads. With that, it’s best to check your CPU compatibility list to see if the NH-L12 is suitable for your CPU.
Now, our Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition review will provide you with its specifications.
The cooler’s heatsink measures 66 x 128 x 150mm (H x W x D). Its weight, combined with that of the fan, gives you 500g in total.
It’s compatible with Intel and AMD sockets. Specifically, the Intel sockets are the LGA-2066, plus the LGA-2011-3 and LGA-2011-0 (square ILM). Also, it works with the LGA-1156, LGA-1151, LGA-1155, and LGA-1150.
For AMD, it’s compatible with AM2, AM3, AM2+, AM3+, AM4, FM2, FM1, and FM2+ which requires a backplate.
For the fan compatibility, it’s ideal for those measuring 92 x 92 x 25mm.
The materials used for the base and heatpipes are copper, while the cooling fins utilise aluminium. There’s also soldered nickel plating and joints present.
The fan this cooler uses is the Noctua NFB9 PWM with an SSO bearing. Its maximum rotational speed is 1,600 RPM (+/- 10%) while its minimum rotational speed is 300 RPM (PWM, +/-20%).
Airflow is at 64.3 m³/h and is 52.6 m³/h with L.N.A. The maximum acoustic noise for the fan is 17.6 dBA while it’s 13.1 dBA with L.N.A.
The fan’s input power is 0.96W, and its voltage range is 12V. For its MTTF, it reaches more than 150.000 h.
Hands on with the Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition
Now it’s time to get our hands into the NH-L12 in this section of our Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 CPU Cooler review. We’ll find out ourselves how the cooler performs when put to the test.
Before we can use and test the Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 CPU Cooler, we first have to install it. Initially, we thought at first glance that the Noctua NH-L12 would be easy to install. And we were right.
Thanks to the included screwdriver and the holes present in the heat sink. We encountered no problems mounting the Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 CPU Cooler with any PC setup. It’s due to its mounting kit and compatibility.
Moreover, the performance was great, never hitting high temperatures. Noctua stated themselves in their website that this is not meant for high-end PCs, and more for your average, low-profile PC builds.
Given that, the Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 CPU Cooler performed reliably well even under stress. And with almost inaudible noise, especially at idle and from a distance of around a foot away.
As we mentioned earlier, this is a low-profile cooler so don’t expect it to give you high-levels of performance. Also, you shouldn’t compare it to the larger AIO liquid or air design coolers.
But despite its small structure, the NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition did amazingly in our tests.
Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition Review Summary
As our Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition review comes to an end, we highly recommend this CPU cooler. For its price, it’s impressive and delivers excellent performance for small, low-profile setups.
Additionally, the NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition has an excellent build quality that is on par with Noctua’s NH-D15. Its cooling fins are straight and solid with a uniform surface and smooth edges. With that, we can claim that it’s safe to use and is long-lasting, like what the company claims.
To get your hands on the NH-12 Ghost S1 Edition, find authorised dealers via the company’s store locator.