Noctua NH-L12Sx77 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Test Results

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
Motherboard: ASUS TUF Gaming B450M PRO-S
Graphics: PNY GeForce RTX 3070 8GB
Chassis: FSP CUT593A
Storage: Western Digital WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe SSD 1TB
Power: Corsair CX750M 750W
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home

Compared hardware:
- Noctua NH-L12Sx77
- DeepCool LD360
- DeepCool LD240
- AMD Wraith Stealth Cooler

All tests were run on our custom-built computer to best reflect real life performance. The computer remained in the same location in the same room throughout all tests. The room temperature in our testing lab was around 22c. Stock thermal paste respective to all coolers were used to rate its performance. All thermal pastes were given a proper amount of time for them to fully settle. The fans on all heatsinks were connected to the motherboard's CPU 4-pin fan header. The test computer was turned on and left idling for at least one hour for the idling tests. High CPU load results were obtained using the Prime95 in-place large FFTs test with a maximum number of worker threads for the tested CPU for a minimum of 10 minutes or until the temperature was deemed stable. Temperature results were measured with HWiNFO, which reports the CPU's integrated digital thermal sensor for maximum accuracy. Each temperature result was calculated by taking the maximum value of the cores inside the CPU.

After letting my computer sit idle for a while, I checked the temperatures of the processor under the Noctua NH-L12Sx77. It measured in at 32c. This is a few degrees higher than the two water coolers on this list, which is to be expected. It is also lower than the stock AMD cooler. Idle temperatures do not provide the whole picture, so let us put the cooler to the test with Prime95.

After placing the CPU under load and waiting for the temperatures to stabilize, we see the Noctua NH-L12Sx77 performed well. The maximum core temperature measured in at 71c, which is quite a bit warmer than the water coolers as expected. Even so, this is still over 10c cooler than the stock cooler on this list. The Noctua NH-L12Sx77 is a small air cooler that performed well in these tests. Considering that this intended in smaller form factor systems where every bit of space is coveted, it delivered as promised. There was no thermal throttling noticed during our tests, as all of the cores were able to reach their boost frequencies.

When it comes to the sound testing, on a scale where 0 is quiet and 10 is loud, the Noctua NH-L12Sx77 comes in at 2.5/10 when idling and 4.5/10 when under load in my opinion. Noctua is well-known for their excellent sound performance with coolers. Under load, the fan spun up and was spinning quite fast to keep the temperatures stable, which generated the noise. At idle, the fan was barely audible. When doing general office work or some gaming, the fan was generally unnoticeable. Overall, the Noctua NH-L12Sx77 performed well in the sound tests.

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