Page 4 - Conclusion
The next morning, I awoke to several notifications, including a message with a photo attached. After a quick glance, I laughed as it seemed my accomplice had accomplished their job. It turns out my smoke and mirrors paid off in distracting Esther before her surprise. One may think Noctua too were pulling smoke and mirrors with their lofty claims about the NH-U12A, but I can thankfully say these claims were substantiated with today's performance. Out of the box, you can see a lot of similar Noctua traits that we have seen through their entire cooler lineup. Its nickel plated finish and aluminum plates are matched up with the Noctua tan and burgundy fans. On closer look, we can see how Noctua has squeezed yet another heatpipe through the copper base, allowing for yet another channel for heat to leave out of. Installation is also a breeze with Noctua's SecuFirm2 system that holds everything well, but is one of the fastest installation sets we have. It runs with no interference with memory on the major consumer sockets, which is also a bonus. Finally, when we get to the performance, the Noctua NH-U12A simply starts and stays ahead of other competing heatsinks in the same size class. Considering the delta it maintains, even when we take out one of the two fans provided, the NH-U12A is designed to keep your computer cool. Really, if there was anything I wanted from this cooler, it would have been to see the newer Noctua thermal paste make its appearance. At press time, the Noctua NH-U12A is a pricey penny at just under a cost of $100 USD. This is a twenty dollar premium on the much larger NH-D15S, while only being 2mm shorter. The main tradeoff you would be making here is possible clearance issues with memory, especially for those with higher RAM heatsinks. The larger option may the economical choice without sacrificing on performance. However, for those with possible clearance issues in terms of taller memory, or just wanting a smaller cooler, the NH-U12A is there for you.
Noctua provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH:Renewal Award | APH 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 Numeric Rating is 7.7/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
Once again, with the NH-U12A, Noctua shows that compact and powerful can belong in the same sentence.
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1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results