chromax u12s Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review

Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review

Noctua coolers are excellent performers, and if these sport a black-clad exterior, then things would be even better. Today in our Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review, we’ll give you one of the best coolers to date.

Gamers and computer enthusiasts patiently waited to see if Noctua coolers would sport a different colour scheme. Finally, that time has come since Noctua released their latest coolers.

We’ll focus on the NH-U12S cooler to see how well-designed it is, and if it can deliver excellent performance.

Before that, let’s look at the cooler’s packaging in our Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review.

Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Packaging

This section of our Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review is where we’ll focus on the cooler’s packaging. The cooler comes in a sturdy cardboard box that sports a dark theme that exudes a premium and quality vibe. On the top-left corner is the name of the unit, while Chromax is on the box’s lower-right portion.

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Aside from these, you’ll also find an image of the cooler in front of the box. Specifically, it’s at the centre-left portion which only displays a part of the cooler.

When you flip the box, there’s another image present on the centre-right portion. The rear section displays more details about the product, giving customers a better idea of what it can do.

There are different items present in the package. These include the black NH-U12S heatsink, the NF-F12 PWM premium fan, and an LNA or Low Noise Adaptor.

You’ll find a high-grade NT-H1 thermal compound and a black SecuFirm mounting kit inside. Plus, there are also black anti-vibration pads, fan clips for the second NF-F12, and Noctua’s metal case-badge in the package.

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Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review – Design and Functionality

Our Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler review will now focus on the product’s design and functionality.

The Noctua NH-U12S cooler has the same shape and layout as the standard NH-U12S. The only difference between them is their colour. The model is entirely black from the cooling fins, fan clips, heatpipes, and the fan itself. The 580-gram heatsink has 50 aluminium fins and five copper heatpipes.

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The heatsink’s top layer features the company’s logo and its name printed at the centre. You’ll see the top fins and heatpipes’ fins coloured black, making the cooler even more aesthetically pleasing. Generally, the designed utilised for the NH-U12S is identical to that of the original NH-U12S.

The entire portion of the heatsink sports an all-black design. It also goes for its 50 aluminium fins which are black-coated and nickel-plated. When it comes to the heatpipes’ symmetry inside the fin stack, it’s the same design used for the original version.

The right and left sides of the heatsink are identical. The side displays its slim design, making it compatible with most socket areas. Plus, it doesn’t overhang DIMM slots, adding to its universal compatibility with RAMs when it comes to their height.

Both sides feature cut-outs that run across the entire length of the heatsink. This area is where fan clips are inserted when setting up the fans.

Overall, the design of the cooler features is identical to the original version. Here, the edges are elevated, and fins are linked at the centre. For its geometry, it sports a design that optimises airflow and improves heat dissipation.

The NH-U12S CPU Cooler has five black-coated copper heat pipes. These go inside the heatsink from different points, maximising the point of contact with the fin stack. As a result, the cooler covers a large surface area in dissipating heat.

The heat pipes have a thickness of 6mm, and the nickel-coated copper base is 38x40mm.

NF-F12 PWM fan

Included in the package is the NF-F12 PWM fan. It has seven blades and a black frame with the same stepped inlet design as the original NF-F12. At its centre, you will find the brand logo printed followed by the Chromax’s logo.

With Varying Angular Distance and Vortex Control Notches, the NF-F12 distributes noise emission over a broad frequency spectrum. As a result, these features change the fan’s sound pattern and reduce noise.

Key Features of the Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler

On this part of our Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler review we’ll focus on the product’s unique features.

Colour-Customisable Edition

The all-black design of the Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler makes it easier to integrate with black builds. Also, its premium look is excellent to match and combine with other colour schemes.

The Noctua NH-U12S is colour-customisable using the optional heatsink covers and the NA-SAVP1 anti-vibration pads. The NA-SAVP1 comes in black, white, green, blue, red, and yellow. These allow you to use popular colour schemes for your build, like black & red or black & blue.

Award-winning NH-U12S Cooler

The Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler is a trusted product by thousands of enthusiasts. It has received a lot of recommendations and is known as one of the best 120mm coolers.

Highly Compatible

With its 45mm fin depth, the NH-U12S cooler will not overhang RAM slots even with two fans installed. It grants full access to the memory modules on all current sockets and is entirely compatible with tall heat spreaders.

Classic 120mm Tower Size

The 158mm heatsink can fit most modern tower cases. It’s 125mm wide with the fan and fan clips. It ensures full compatibility with multiple GPU setups due to its width of 125mm with the fans and fan clips. On most standard ATX and micro-ATX motherboards, it stays clear on top of the PCIe slot.

Optional Anti-vibration pads and Fan Clips for second NF-F12

If you want better cooling performance, you can install another NF-F12 fan on the NH-U12S CPU Cooler. The cooler comes with extra fan clips and an additional set of anti-vibration pads for customising your CPU cooler. The fan clips allow you to set the rear fan by 5mm for improved acoustics in dual fan mode.

SecuFirm2 Mounting System

The SecuFirm2 mounting systems support various Intel LGA115 and LGA20xx sockets, as well as different AMD sockets. This mounting system makes installation more straightforward by providing the perfect contact pressure to stand the test of time.

With the SecuFirm ecosystem’s NM-13 mounting kit, you can use older sockets for the NH-U12S CPU Cooler. Noctua will also provide upgrade kits in the future to ensure a safe, long-term investment.

Soldered Interface between Heatpipes and Fins

The NH-U12S CPU Cooler features fins soldered into the heatpipes. These guarantee long-term durability and won’t deteriorate after years of use.

NT-H1 thermal compound

The NT-H1 thermal compound from Noctua is a TIM solution for less thermal resistance and ease of use. Since it’s highly reliable, the NT-H1 is always the first choice of thermal compound among overclockers and enthusiasts.


Now in our Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review, the focus will be on the CPU cooler’s essential specifications. Let’s begin with the heatsink.

Heatsink Specifications

The NH-U12S heatsink consists of base and heatpipes made of copper, while the cooling fins consist of aluminium. It also comes with soldered joints and nickel plating, which gives it a more premium and quality feel.

Without the fan, it measures 158 x 125 x 45mm (H x W x D) and weighs 580g. With the fan installed, the heatsink weighs a total of 755g. It also comes with 5x – Ø6mm heatpipes.

Fan Specifications

The NF-F152 PWM model from Noctua is the fan utilised with the heatsink. It features the SSO2 bearing and a 4-pin PWM connector and has an input power of 0.6W. Additionally, the fan’s voltage range is 12V.

The dimensions of each NF-F12 PWM fans are 120 x 120 x 25mm. Furthermore, its MTBF is more than 150,000 hours and comes with a six-year warranty.

Hands-On with the Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler

This time on our Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review, we’ll get more hands-on with the CPU cooler. It’s also where we get to see if it performs just as well as the original version.

First off, let’s talk about its installation process. It was generally simple and straightforward to figure out. The SecuFirm2 mounting system utilises a small number of elements and is also considered the best in the industry.

When it comes to the cooling performance, it’s very impressive and can handle overclocking at about 5GHz on all cores. If you want to optimise its performance, installing an additional fan behind the heatsink is the best option. Of course, it performed excellently when it came to cooling, and it kept temperatures low despite heavy loads.

Overall, the CPU cooler performed excellently, its entire exterior was aesthetic, and its build was durable & sturdy. With that, we’re giving the Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler 5 stars, and would highly recommend it as well.

Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review Summary

Noctua’s version of their award-winning CPU coolers is an excellent choice for your build. Like the other models, the NH-U12S CPU Cooler has everything you need – aesthetics, performance, reliability, and durability.

This CPU cooler comes with the impressive features and functions that you can find in its regular version. The only difference is its black colour scheme, which matches perfectly with almost any kind of build. Also, installing the cooler is easy, making it one of the top choices in the market today.

We were highly satisfied with the NH-U12S CPU Cooler for its efficient performance, aesthetics, and easy installation. Plus, it has that robust and sturdy build everyone loves.

To conclude our Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler review, we highly recommend this product. So if you want to get your hands on this CPU cooler, check out Noctua’s store locator for authorised sellers.