Noctua NH-U12S And NH-U14S CPU Coolers
WHAT WE LIKED:Great build quality, great performance, nearly silent operation even without the LNA.
WHAT WE DISLIKED:A little pricey compared to similarly-performing units, especially with a second fan added.
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Noctua clearly put a lot of time end effort into designing the NH-U12S and the NH-U14S. This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s familiar with their products though.
The NH-U12S’s RAM clearance is pretty good considering its size. Its small size does not hamper its performance at all.
The NH-U14S’s unique 150mm fan is the quietest I’ve ever tested here. At idle, the fan on the Enermax power supply was louder than the Noctua fan, and that fan is quiet.
The Noctua coolers’ setup in a push/pull configuration eeked out a few more ºC gain, so if you want maximum performance from these coolers, that’s the way to go.
Noctua did an amazing job with the NH-U12S and NH-U14S CPU coolers. They’re built extremely well and no detail was left untouched. Their performance is stellar and all the while they make the least amount of noise of any CPU cooler I’ve ever tested. Performance comes with a high price though – the NH-U12S can be had for $69.95 and a second NF-F12 PWM will set you back an additional $22.95. The NH-U14S can be found for $79.95 at the time of this writing (tack on an additional $19.98 for a second NF-A15 PWM) – putting them directly on either side of the Gelid Black Edition sans extra fans. The prices are high in comparison to the other coolers I’ve tested but that does come with the added benefit of performance. The Gelid couldn’t keep up with the heat, so the Noctua gets the nod for the recommended buy. You honestly couldn’t go wrong with either version we tested here so it really comes down to your needs. If you have 4 sticks of RAM in your LGA115x board, then the NH-U12S is for you. If you only have 2 and want max cooling performance, then scoop up the NH-U14S with an additional NF-A15 PWM and enjoy. The coolers performed amazingly well and did so with near total silence so I have no hesitations about giving them our Great Hardware award.