For quite some time, Noctua continuously teased everyone about a passive CPU cooling solution that’s underway. The company was working on a new design for a product that can handle high-end performance without a dedicated fan. Today, we’re going to check out this product in our Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler review.
Finally, the NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler from Noctua is out. It’s a product that provides clearance for VRM heatsinks and standard-height memory of most motherboards.
The NH-P1 offers an entirely fanless cooling capacity due to the surface area for dissipating heat without requiring active airflow.
If you’ve been waiting for this passive CPU cooler and want to learn more about it, we’ve got your back. Our Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler review will give you all the important details about the product. These include its specifications, features, performance, design, and functions.
But before anything else, let’s take a look at its packaging and what Noctua included inside.
When our NH-P1 arrived, it came in your standard Noctua packaging that sports a white and brown theme.
The front displays an image of one portion of the CPU cooler, while the unit’s name is written above it. Within the image, a few texts featuring the product’s functions are displayed.
To its left, you’ll see the name of the CPU cooler again, yet it’s written sideways in a lengthwise manner. Along with it, there’s a QR code that directs you to Noctua’s official site.
The box’s rear displays a list of the NH-P1’s different features. On its sides, you’ll find the specifications, scope of delivery, and a disclaimer.
Everything inside is organised and packed neatly, so we didn’t have any problems finding what we needed. Other than the NH-P1 Passive CPU cooler, you’ll also find other inclusions in the box. These are the SecuFirm2+ multi-socket mounting system, NA-CW1 clean wipes, NT-H2 high-grade thermal compound, and an NM-SD1 screwdriver.
Additionally, you’ll find fan clips for attaching the optional 120mm fans and a Noctua metal case badge.
Let’s now move to the design and functionality section of our Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler review.
Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler Review – Design and Functionality
Since this is a passive CPU cooler, what you see is what you get. You won’t find any fans, so this is exactly what you’ll fit into your system. Given its design, there are a lot of interesting elements when it comes to its individual aspects and overall construction.
Our Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler review will look into these, and we’ll start off with the contact plate.
Coming from one side of the contact plate, the NH-P1 has six heat pipes that lead straight to the radiator. These are set nicely in place despite Noctua cramming a lot of elements into a small contact plate.
This contact plate comes in a standard size yet they made sure to polish it to a high standard. It supports all primary AMD and Intel processors, hence, it should give adequate coverage to ensure balanced heat.
To note, it isn’t TR4 (Threadripper) compatible. So if you’re planning to go passive for that CPU, it’s best to re-evaluate things first.
Generally, 90% of this CPU cooler is dominated by its radiator. To compensate for its passive style, Noctua integrated a big radiator that will readily absorb adequate heat.
When this happens, the product’s passive functionality will work perfectly.
Although it’s on the bigger side, the stainless steel used for the NH-P1 is notable and impressive. Even its air vents and the subtle Noctua branding at the top are appealing and eye-catching.
Its radiator fins are stacked high, making it a much taller CPU cooler than usual. In addition, these fins are slightly thicker compared to the other coolers from Noctua. It means that unlike the thinner-finned radiators, bending the NH-P1’s fins is impossible.
Large spaces between the fins are present, and these are necessary for air to pass easily without needed higher pressure. This is something you’d commonly see from directly mounted fans.
Simply put, the gap is huge since it requires airflow to flow continuously and smoothly. It’s to allow the CPU cooler to properly function with its passive design.
Other than its design, the NH-P1 Passive CPU cooler has a ton of notable key features present. You’ll find a list of these here in our Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler review.
Key Features of the Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler
The NH-P1 can cool high-end CPUs with low to moderate heat dissipation. Instead of using a fan, it only utilises natural convection. This cooler runs absolutely silent too, making it excellent for powerful builds with no moving parts.
Added Performance with Extra 120mm Fan
If you want to increase the NH-P1’s cooling performance, you can fit it with a 120mm cooling fan. It significantly increases its maximum dissipation capacity which is best for higher heat loads or semi-passive systems.
Quiet, Less Dust, and 100% Fail-proof
The NH-P1’s fanless cooling isn’t only completely silent. It will also accumulate less dust in the filters or the system itself. Since it has no moving parts like fans and pumps, it’s a fail-proof cooler that you can rely on.
Asymmetrical Design for PCIe Compatibility
A lot of current motherboards feature the top PCIe x16 slot placed close to the socket. As a result, larger heatsinks tend to block it. But with the NH-P1’s asymmetrical layout, its fin-stack is offset towards the motherboard’s upper edge when installed in standard orientation.
With this design, the top PCIe x16 slot is clear on most current ATX and micro-ATX boards.
100% RAM Clearance on AM4 and LGA1200
The NH-P1’s asymmetric design prevents the RAM slots from overhanging on Intel LGA1200 and AMD AM4 motherboards. With that, you can easily access the modules and install tall heat spreaders.
However, the NH-P1 overhangs on LGA2066 boards so your RAM modules shouldn’t be taller than 45mm.
SecuFirm2+ Multiple-socket Torx-based Mounting System
Secufirm2 mounting systems are known for their safety, quality, and ease of installation. The professional Torx-based Secufirm2+ that comes with its included screwdriver offers better durability.
Future-proof and Compatible with Older Sockets
Noctua’s SecuFirm ecosystem makes the NH-P1 compatible with older LGA-775 and LGA-1366 sockets. That’s because it uses the NM-I3, an optional mounting kit that the company provides for free. Noctua also provides upgrade kits for future sockets to make the NH-P1 future-proof.
NT-H2 Thermal Compound
The NH-P1 comes with Noctua’s NT-H2 thermal compound that is even better than the older NT-H1. With this, the cooler can achieve the best passive cooling results.
The NH-P1’s features soldered fins rather than press-fitted to prolong its lifespan and prevent quick deterioration. With that, you can ensure that this passive CPU cooler will offer you excellent cooling for a long time.
Let’s look into the different specifications of the cooler in our Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler review.
The compatible Intel sockets for the NH-P1 are the LGA-2066, LGA-2011-0, and the LGA-2011-3 (square ILM). It also works with the LGA-1200, LGA-1155, LGA-1156, LGA-1150, and LGA-1151.
When it comes to AMD sockets, it works with AMD AM2, AM3, AM2+, AM3+, FM1, FM2+ (with backplate), and FM2. Additionally, the NH-P1 is also good with the AM4 socket.
The CPU cooler measures 158mm x 154mm x 152mm (H x W x D) and weighs 1,180g without the fan. The material used for its base and heat pipes is copper, while the cooling fins are made from aluminium. Additionally, there are soldered joints and nickel plating as well.
It’s compatible with fans measuring 120 x 120 x 25, and it comes with a 6-year warranty which is great.
Our Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler review won’t be complete if we don’t get hands-on with this passive CPU cooler. Next, we’ll see if it’s as good as Noctua’s claims and if there were any issues or problems encountered during our tests.
Hands-on with the Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler
When it comes to installing the NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler, it’s efficient and simple, just like other coolers from Noctua. So when it comes to setting it up, we don’t have any issues or problems with it.
To get results for our Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler review, we had it go through tests under varying loads. We then found out that the cooler does a fine job no matter what you throw at it.
You can optionally add a compatible PWM fan to further decrease the temperature without compromising much of the sound levels. However, remember that there will be other considerations to it. These include fan mounting positions and results for the overall flow of air within the case.
Based on our observation, it works a lot better with fans installed. Yet in its passive state, the NH-P1 was still able to provide outstanding levels of CPU temperature management.
We think this would work more exceptionally in a closed PC case with a good amount of exhaust/intake setup. For the top-mounted fan, it would definitely help the VRM temperatures too.
One thing to note about this cooler is that it operates at 0dB sound levels. Pretty cool, right? But that’s the magic of all other passive coolers around.
But overall, the Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler is an excellent product. It works how it should, it’s easy to install, and it works quietly despite the load. With that, we highly recommend this cooler to you.
Noctua NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler Review Summary
The Noctua NH-P1 is an excellent passive CPU cooler that delivers top-notch cooling without noise. It operates with a 0dB sound level while providing adequate cooling performance. These make it the best solution if you want a low-maintenance cooler that doesn’t accumulate dust like active cooling systems.
Additionally, the NH-P1 can be used with a fan if you want to increase its cooling capabilities. With that, you can perform various tasks without worrying about your system’s components heating up.
The Noctua NH-P1 is a quality cooler that we highly recommend. If you want this for your system, check out the company’s store locator to find authorised retailers.