Noctua NH-D12L Review (Page 4 of 4)

Page 4 - Conclusion

The Noctua NH-D12L is from the familiar D-series lineup, and it comes with many similarities as we have seen from those coolers. Starting from the top, the same Noctua design and build quality is immediately seen. This translates into a dual fin stack design with the same excellent material choices of aluminum and copper with nickel plating. The difference with the NH-D12L is primarily its shorter clearance to make it even more compatible with slimmer enclosures like 4U server rackmount cases. Not only is the heatsink reduced in height, but Noctua has also modified their successful NF-A12x25 fan into a round frame, so we have all of the excellent performance and low noise to fit in this lower profile. Thankfully, this size change has not made a difference in the installation process, as it is up to Noctua standards in ease and simplicity. In terms of performance, the Noctua NH-D12L is clearly up to standards with a strong performance despite its cutdown size. It also maintains a quiet operation while still providing enough headroom for hotter processors. Adding a second fan does help this cooler perform even better, knocking a few more degrees off the load temperatures. It is hard to find any faults with the Noctua NH-D12L, but I still would have liked to see the newer NT-H2 thermal compound included with all of their heatsinks, as it has been out for quite a while now. At the time of the review, the vanilla Noctua NH-D12L is available for $90, while the additional NF-A12x25r fan is $30. At this price, it sits in between the NH-U12A and NH-U12S in terms of pricing, which is a bit pricey, but backed up by the Noctua experience and lengthy six-year warranty. All in all, the NH-D12L may be an off-the-board addition to the Noctua family, but it provides the performance while increasing the compatibility, making it a solid option for those with more constraints in their cases.

Noctua provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

APH Networks Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that are not likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks, but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Networks Numeric Rating is 7.7/10
Please note that the APH Networks Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other publications.

The Noctua NH-D12L offers solid cooling performance and excellent compatibility to deal with physical constraints.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results
4. Conclusion