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Noctua NH-L12S Low Profile Multi Socket CPU Cooler Low-Profile Solution CPU Fan
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- Compact, premium-quality low-profile CPU cooler (70mm total height)
- Further improved successor to the award-winning NH-L12, ideal for ITX and HTPC systems
- Highly optimised NF-A12x15 120mm fan with PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor for automatic speed control and ultra-quiet operation
- Includes award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound and easy-to-install SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system for Intel LGA115x, LGA2011, LGA2066 & AMD AM2(+), AM3(+), AM4, FM1, FM2(+)
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I was using a Noctua NH-L9I Low-Profile CPU Cooler prior to this setup on an i5-4670. Because that cooler was designed to have the fan blow down onto the heatsink it didn't work well in the SG13 because there's not really anywhere for the hot air exiting the heatsink to go. My CPU temps while gaming were in the mid-70's Celsius, and mid 90's after a few minutes of stress testing with Prime95. The fan was essentially recirculating the hot exhaust air back into the heatsink. I have a 140mm fan mounted at the front of the case as an intake to get some cool air to the CPU cooler, but there's still nowhere for the hot exhaust air to go.
The only effective way to air cool in this case is to have a CPU cooler that blows air up through the heatsink (or pulls it through the heatsink) into an inverted PSU that can exhaust that hot air out of the case. I did intent to try just flipping the fan on the L9I and inverting my ATX PSU, but the screws weren't long enough to flip the fan as they sit recessed in the fan in the correct orientation, but not if the fan is upside down. I didn't want to rig something up with zip-ties or go hunting at the local hardware store for longer replacement screws, and I wasn't sure the NH-L9I was going to be adequate for my "new" i7-4770 anyway, so I went looking for a larger cooler that would fit.
I was initially going to get the Scythe SCBSK-2100 BIG Shuriken 2 Rev. B, but ran across the newly released
Noctua NH-L12S in my search for comparable CPU coolers. I'm partial to Noctua products as they've always had excellent performance in my experience while being extremely quiet. This thing seems to be purpose made for my small case when used with a SFX power supply because it fits perfectly with plenty of space and no clearance issues, at least not on the board I'm using (Gigabyte GA-H81N). It was easy to install and can be placed in any orientation without issue. I installed my new processor, this cooler, new SFX PSU, bundled the cables together the best I could for good airflow from the front 140mm fan, and started testing temps.
This cooler is extremely effective in this layout. I immediately did a stress test by running Prim95 and FurMark at the same time to test worst case scenario of 100% load on the GPU and all CPU cores/threads. That's something I wouldn't ever see in regular use, but if the system is stable under those conditions it's stable under any conditions. My GPU temps (I'm using an EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING, 4GB) leveled out around 70° C after 10 minutes , and my CPU temps were stable at roughly 78° C after 15 minutes. I couldn't hear the system at all over the single air vent on the other side of my room even though my computer is about a foot away from me on top of my desk. I couldn't have asked for better performance, and it does so while being nearly silent. Noctua has another winner with this one.
I was hesitant to spend a bunch on a replacement (the Silverstone was like $15) but decided cooling was worth it for a fairly compact Mini-ITX case. *Side note, the Fractal Design Node 304 case is AMAZING for a compact file server case!* I originally purchased the Cooler Master EVO 212, thinking I had enough vertical space above the motherboard. However, after getting it fully installed, I found that the heatsink almost completely blocked off access to my drive cages. There was no room to install SATA or power cables. So...that one went back, and I decided to try my first Noctua cooler.
This cooler vastly exceeded my expectations. It does cover a large area of the motherboard, but does not extend into my drive cage area. I opted to use the included NT-H1 thermal compound rather than AS5. I had been using AS5 for 15+ years with good results, but have heard that newer TIMs have exceeded its performance. I figured the difference shouldn't be substantial, and that the cooler itself should probably make a bigger difference in my case. Granted this is a much larger cooler, the performance difference exceeded my expectations. Idle temps are comparable, but still about 5C cooler, so 28-32C average. The major difference was under load. Just after installing the cooler and letting it settle for an hour or so, I ran a Prime95 stress test. This thing peaked and just about locked in at 67C for 15 mins before I stopped the test. It never budged beyond that. That's at least a 25C difference under full wattage load! After a few days, standard (non-Prime95) loads are barely breaking 45C, where they were routinely in the 60s and 70s with the Silverstone.
So I'm highly impressed with this cooler. I love that I can re-use it for newer CPUs when I decide to rebuild this machine. So despite the high cost difference, I feel it was worth the price!
When benchmarking with my HP garbage heatsink/fan combo my cpu temp would peak between 60-65 Celsius (multiple runs)
When benchmarking with this Noctua cooler my cpu temp peaked between 50-52 Celsius (multiple runs)
After loading down the cpu this cooler dropped temps quick in comparison to my stock cooler.
These runs were all at 4Ghz. Ryzen 5 2400G spec: 3.6-3.9Ghz. 3.9Ghz being turbo mode.
I am very pleased with this Noctua cooler.
It is the perfect size for my Pavilion 590.
The build quality is excellent and I will definitely recommend Noctua products.
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G packaging with all needed parts like screws, noise suppressors, small extension cables etc... all in a sturdy box and not just a standard box but a well designed one. I have bought several different fans for varied application and they all had the same qualities.
I'll stick with that brand from now on. I especially like one of their most quiet unit (check the Db before you buy and make sure that it applies to your needs). That fan is SUPER quiet.