Page 4 - Conclusion
You could say, like the jerseys from the NHL All-Star games in 2019, the NH-U12S chromax.black loses its Noctua brand identity when it comes to appearance. However, I think this is creating a new brand as the chromax.black is a response for those wanting a subtler-looking Noctua cooler, while still keeping the things we love from traditional Noctua products. The shift can be seen from the start in its physical appearance in both the product and the retail packaging. This NH-U12S is completely black, from the fan to the heatsink, to even the mounting accessories. Apart from looks, build quality lines up with Noctua's standards, which is to say it is solid. Everything is still the same aluminum and copper base with nickel plating outside. Installation is also straightforward and intuitively explained by Noctua through the included documentation. When it comes to performance, the NH-U12S chromax.black performs competitively with the newer NH-U12A. These performance numbers are also in combination with a relatively quiet experience, which is just another plus to Noctua and their fans. Overall, the Noctua NH-U12S chromax.black is an excellent 120mm class CPU heatsink. If there is anything I would want to see, it would be to have Noctua package their newer NT-H2 with the Noctua NH-U12S chromax.black. At press time, the NH-U12S chromax.black is a bit more difficult to find, but usually can be had for around $70 USD. This represents a ten-dollar increase on the standard NH-U12S. On the other hand, this is also more expensive than the larger Noctua NH-U14S, which has shown to offer better performance with its larger heatsink and fans. Even so, I think the Noctua NH-U12S chromax.black is worth the premium you pay for a compact cooler with great performance in a stealthy and sleek package.
Noctua provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH:Renewal Award | 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.
-- Final APH Networks Numeric Rating is 8.0/10
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-U12S chromax.black combines subtle and stealthy looks with a performance and installation that is every bit a Noctua experience.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results