Packaging and Overview
The outer shell of the U12S is the recognizable maroon and white color scheme we see on every Noctua product and the front of the box gives us our first impressions of the cooler. Touting a 120mm tower size and “100%” ram compatibility, you can’t help but stay intrigued from the onset as the sheer size of most air coolers can sometimes cause issues with space inside a case.
The side of the case is where we find all the important details about the U12S from the specifications to its measurements. The included cooling fan this time around is an NF-F12 PWM fan known for its exceptional static pressure in combination with ultra-quiet operating noise. With the fan attached the cooler’s overall width is only a slim 71mm which should be more than enough to allow for any RAM solutions.
The other side of the box is where we find a more in-depth take on the features of the cooler from a breakdown on the NF-F12 fan to socket compatibilities through the SecuFirmTM standards.
Diving right in we first find all the included accessories that come with the U12S. Noctua is known for their high quality and included extras and this time around they do not disappoint. As always we are afforded a screwdriver for our installation which saves us the time of having to find one that fits. Also included is a full sized tube of premium NH-H1 thermal paste, a Low Noise adapter for the cooling fan and even a second installation kit for a second cooling fan should you wish it.
Two other boxes are also contained within and house the SecuFirm2TM mounting systems for the various sockets as well as brief installation guides for both Intel and AMD type sockets.
Next we find the NF-F12 fan that moves the air for our cooler. This fan is PWM controlled and already comes prefitted with its anti-vibration sound pads and clips for easy attachment to the U12S tower.
Finally we come to the star of our show, the NH-U12S. The cooler only stands 158mm at its tallest height and is quite light as far as powerful tower coolers go.
The sides of the aluminum fins are folded flat to create better channels for airflow across the entire fin achieve better cooling performance and a more even airflow. The U12S is a 5 heatpipe design with the entirety of the heatpipes running directly through the aluminum-plated copper block. The whole tower is held in place by a pair of high quality spring screws to keep constant tension on the cooler and the processor.
The block, itself, is not mirror finished this time around but instead etched with time grooves increasing the surface area the block has in contact with thermal paste and the processor.