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Noctua NH-L12 CPU Cooler

Posted September 19, 2012 by Kenny in Cooling







Total Score


Price at time of Review: $79.99 at Newegg.com


Great cooling performance for Low Profile Cooler, PWM Fans, Easy Installation


Blocks RAM Dimms
Noctua did a great job with cooling performance for a low profile cooler and the ease of installation on both Intel and AMD platforms are second to none. The attention to details of the cooler is what make this stand out from the rest.
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by Kenny
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Specifications and Package



Socket compatibility Intel LGA2011 (Square ILM), LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 (backplate required)
Height (without fan) 66 mm
Width (without fan) 128 mm
Depth (without fan) 150 mm
Height (with fan) 93 mm
Width (with fan) 128 mm
Depth (with fan) 150 mm
Weight (without fan) 415 g
Weight (with fan) 680 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility 120x120x25mm & 92x92x25mm
Scope of Delivery
  • 1x NF-F12 PWM premium fan
  • 1x NF-B9 PWM premium fan
  • 2x Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Y-Split Cable
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Mini-ITX Mounting-Kit
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty 6 Years
Fan specifications
Model Noctua NF-F12 PWM & Noctua NF-B9 PWM
Bearing SSO-Bearing
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1500 / 1600 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1200 / 1300 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM) 300 / 300 RPM
Max. Airflow 93,4 / 64,3 m³/h
Max. Airflow with L.N.A. 74,3 / 52,6 m³/h
Max. Acoustical Noise 22,4 / 17,6 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 18,6 / 13,1 dB(A)
Input Power 0,6 / 0,96 W
Voltage Range 12 V
MTBF > 150.000 h
NH-L12 120/92mm dual fan design
Thanks to its exquisite dual fan setup consisting of Noctua’s highly optimised NF-F12 (120mm) and NF-B9 (92mm) premium fans, the NH-L12 pushes the bar in terms of low-profile quiet cooling performance.
NH-L12 Extra-low profile in 92mm single-fan mode
The NH-L12 can be used with the NF-B9 92mm fan only in order to reduce the overall height to 66mm. This way, the cooler is suitable for many typical µATX or Mini-ITX enclosures and ideal for whisper-quiet HTPC systems.
NH-L12 PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptors
The NH-L12’s NF-F12 and NF-B9 fans support PWM for convenient automatic speed control. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced to 1200/1300rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptors for even quieter operation.
NH-L12 SecuFirm2™ mounting system
Noctua’s enthusiast grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting provides broad socket compatibility (LGA 2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1) and meets the highest demands in safety, performance and ease-of-use.
NH-L12 Mini-ITX mounting without backplate
Some Intel based Mini-ITX mainboards don’t allow for the installation of backplates. The NH-L12 thus comes with an extra set of Intel mounting bolts which make it possible to install the cooler without using the SecuFirm2™ backplate.
NT-H1 NT-H1 thermal compound
Noctua’s much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a well proven pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding reliability.

Package & Hardware:

Here we take a look at the front side of the box. Noctua kept the design here simple and easy to read. They list the model # along with some specifications to get right to the point. Informative and cleanly executed, if a bit bland.

Going around to the other side of the box you can see they go a little deeper in pointing out the features of the cooler.


Once the Cooler is out of the box you can see here the cooler came with the fans already amounted. The signature color of the Noctua fans really looks unique. The typical accessories are also included, packaged in a plain white box.

With the accessories out of the box you can see Noctua did a great job labeling the contents, and have included all the mounting hardware necessary for both the Intel and AMD setup.

Taking a closer look we see that they have included a screw driver for installation. This is handy for those who don’t have the proper tools at home.

Noctua really went into detail here with the instruction manuals. They have a nice packet here that shares each of the socket set-ups. They are very descriptive and we didn’t have any problems with understanding how to install this cooler on our board.


Here’s just another quick look at more of the accessories. They included some PWM cables that control the noise level of the fans, and they also included extensions. You also find some fan screws, or you can use the anti-vibration mounting attachments along with some NT-H1 thermal compund here for the cooler. Additionally, they included enough for multiple applications in case you need to remove the cooler and make some adjustments.

Here we are take a close look at the intel installation hardware. The hardware is of solid quality and easy to use. Great job Noctua!


We removed the fans from the cooler to take a closer look at them here. They have included the NF-F12 and NF-B9 fans here which are 120mm and 92mm in size. This shows Noctua sticking to their signature color here, which in our opinion looks rather nice.

Now what you have seen what is included in the package, lets take a closer look at the cooler and point out some important details.


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