A few weeks ago I took a look at the NH-U12P from Noctua. I was very impressed with the performance of the NH-U12P. In fact it was one of our best performing heatsinks to date. Noctua also makes a different design that is a little more low profile called the NH-C12P. Today we are going to see how the NH-C12P compares to the NH-U12P along with other heatsinks we have tested. In the past we have had trouble finding problems with Noctua; will the NH-C12P perform the same?

Review Sample Provided by: Noctua

Review by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes


Socket compatibility Intel Socket LGA 775, AMD AM2 & AM2+, AMD K8 (754, 939, 940) on request
Height (without fan) 158 mm
Width (without fan) 126 mm
Depth (without fan) 71 mm
Height (with fan) 158 mm
Width (with fan) 126 mm
Depth (with fan) 95 mm
Weight (without fan) 600 g
Weight (with fan) 770 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Application Intel all frequencies, AMD all frequencies
Fan compatibility 120x120x25mm / 120x120x38mm (2 fans can be installed)
Scope of Delivery NF-P12 premium fan Mounting-clips for 2 fans Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptor (U.L.N.A.) NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound SecuFirmTM mounting kits for LGA & AM2(+)
Warranty 6 Years
Fan specifications
Model Noctua NF-P12
Bearing SSO-Bearing
Blade geometry Nine Blade Design
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1300 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1100 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 900 RPM
Airflow 92,3 m³/h
Airflow with L.N.A. 78,5 m³/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A. 63,4 m³/h
Acoustical Noise 19,8 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. 12,6 dB(A)
Input Power 1,08 W
Voltage Range 12 VMTBF> 150.000 h


The NH-C12P came in typical Noctua packaging. In fact without looking closely you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the packaging of the NH-C12P and the NH-U12P. The heatsink and fan where secure and protected but still visible through two windows in the box. Inside the box all of the parts where packed inside of a box. Inside that box I found all of the clips, screws, and brackets organized, labled, and color coded. Of course with Noctua's attention to detail I expected none less.

Our Test Rig

Abit IN9 32X-MAX 680i motherboard
Intel Q6600 Quad core CPU B3 stepping at stock clock speed
4 gigs of A-Data G Series Ram
EVGA 8800GTS Video Card 640MB
Antec Twelve Hundred Case
Antec Quadro 850 Watt Power Supply
Lite-On DVD Burner
Running Vista Ultimate and XP
Tuniq TX-2 thermal paste is used on all of our heatsink tests for consistency
*all of the case fans are run on high speed during testing


The installation of the NH-C12P was the same as the NH-U12P, which means that it went easy and I had no hiccups. Noctua's manual is well layed out and easy to read. It even does a great job of showing you how to install the fan clips. The great organization of the parts also contributed to making the installation go smoothly. Even though the heatsink is designed to have a lower profile and is wider because of this Noctua left openings on each side to be able to give easy access to the screws when needed.


Once again, I find myself running the same tests that we have done on all of our heatsinks in the past. Our standard test consists of letting the pc idle with nothing but realtemp 2.5 running and recording the lowest average temperature reached. For our load testing, we ran prime95 for an hour on all four CPU cores. The highest average temperature reached is our result. While doing all of our testing no matter the time of the year we make sure the ambient temperature is at 70 degrees. Our CPU clock is set to stock settings and all of the fans on our Antec Twelve Hundred are turned on the max setting. Because of the case, some of our results may be lower than tests run in cases with less airflow.


As always with Noctua, I am very impressed with the NH-C12P. There is a feeling of quality when you work with their product's that is hard to find in computer parts. You can tell that every detail has been engineered over and over until it's perfect. That same attention to detail was even shown on the packaging while sticking with a traditional Noctua style. The installation went smoothly because of great instructions, organized parts, and an attention to details like access to the hold down screws. The performance was top not notch, just a step below our top performers. The NH-C12P is a great idea for people who have low profile or smaller cases that taller heatsinks won't fit. Add that too Noctua's amazing quality and you have a heatsink that I would highly recommend to anyone!

Author Bio
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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