Noctua NH-U12S redux Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Test Results

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X @ 3.6GHz
Motherboard: ASUS Prime X470-Pro
RAM: Patriot Viper RGB DDR4-3600 2x16GB
Graphics: MSI GeForce GTX 1070Ti Titanium
Chassis: Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN500 NVMe SSD 500GB, OCZ ARC 100 240GB, Patriot P200 512GB
Power: FSP Hydro PTM Pro 1200W
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

Compared hardware:
- Noctua NH-U12S redux
- be quiet! Pure Loop 240mm
- Cooler Master MasterAir MA624 Stealth
- Noctua NH-D15
- Noctua NH-L9a-AM4
- Noctua NH-U9S
- Noctua NH-U12A
- Noctua NH-U12S

All tests were run in 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 pastes were given a proper amount of time for them to fully settle. The fans on all heatsinks were directly connected to the motherboard's 4-pin connector. The test computer was turned on and 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 ten 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 shook my mouse to wake the computer to check the temperature. Since the Noctua sent us their NA-FK1 redux second fan kit, we tested our heatsink with both one and two fans attached. From the first graph, you can see the Noctua NH-U12S redux idled around a temperature of 37 to 38c, depending on the configuration of the attached fans. This is in line with the other 120mm based air coolers, which was a bit surprising for me considering we lost a heatpipe on this redux variant. However, idle results do not give a full representation of what CPU coolers can do, so we started up the Prime95 tests to see the important results.

After turning on Prime95 and allowing sufficient time to load the processor on all cores and threads, you can see how each of the coolers performed with the peak temperatures. Once again, the Noctua NH-U12S redux was very much in line with the other 120mm based air coolers, with a fully loaded temperature of 65c to 66c. This is slightly warmer than the NH-U12A, but I am quite happy to see this competing exactly in line with the version of this heatsink. We were able to observe the same boost frequencies throughout the test across our tower coolers with 3.8GHz across all cores. Overall, these results show the NH-U12S redux competes very well with its similar sized brethren.

As for the sound analysis section of the Noctua NH-U12S redux, on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is silence and 10 is the definition of loud, I would rate the NH-U12S redux at 3.0/10 during idle and around 5.0/10 under full load for the dual fan configuration. This is not too surprising considering the higher operating speed and older version of bearings used in these NF-P12 redux-1700 fans. They clearly do provide an adequate amount of airflow and static pressure, but they are also still louder than the fans found on the Noctua NH-U12S or the NH-U12A. On a day-to-day use, the whole solution is generally quiet, but the fan was audible under full load.

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