Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review

For testing we will be using our X79 machine, which we recently upgraded with the Intel Core i7 4960X Extreme Edition Processor!

Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler

The test system is made up of the following parts:

Processor: Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition
Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 Pro
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
Memory: 16GB Kingston 10th Anniversary
Power: Thermaltake Smart 750W
Storage: 750GB SATA II Drive
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12S
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II with 5 fans

For testing we will be using the Intel Burn Test with the AVX instruction set. We use this instead of Prime 95 as it will push the processor much harder. We have it set on the maximum setting and let it ruin through 3 passes. This gives us a realistic idea of the temperatures the processor would hit when it is under full load.

Keep in mind this is an Extreme Edition processor. These run much hotter than normal chips so keep that in mind.

We ran a few different tests with the NH-U12S. Noctua included a low-noise adapter with the cooler so we will be using that to test “low” and “high” speeds. We will also be testing with a single fan installed and the dual fan setup. Below are our results.

Noctua NH-U12S Test Results

As you can see we have some good results here, we within the i7-4960X’s threshold. Adding a second fan provided a little better results, but not by much. Using the low-noise adapter the fans were spinning at around 1150 RPM compared to the 1500 RPM normal operating speed.

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