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Strangely enough although the latest LGA2011 Sandy Bridge CPUs are the hottest thing currently, at least in terms of processing power there still aren't that many new cooling solutions in the market that support them and since i decided on starting over with a brand new LGA2011 based CPU Cooler database (the old LGA1366 one was way too long) this has proven to be quite the problem. Thankfully aside the huge NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler Noctua has also launched another LGA2011 compatible CPU Cooler the latest low-profile NH-L12 which although targeted towards HTPC users and not hardcore overclockers and enthusiasts still it carries quite a punch for its size as you will see later on.
Designed in Austria, Noctua's premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received more than 1000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua's fans and heatsinks are chosen by more than a hundred thousand satisfied customers around the globe. Noctua comes from a cooperation of the Austrian Rascom Computerdistribution Ges.m.b.H. with the Taiwanese cooling specialist Kolink International Corporation, pooling more than ten years of experience in the development, manufacturing and marketing of high-end cooling components. Established in 2005, Noctua took the international silent enthusiasts' hearts by storm and quickly developed into one of the most acclaimed suppliers of premium quality quiet cooling products. Today, Noctua is present in more than 30 countries across the globe and working with several hundred sales partners. Chosen by noise conscious PC users, system integrators and industry clients alike, Noctua has become synonymous with impeccable quality, excellent customer service and class leading quiet cooling performance.
Some of you may remember the large NH-C14 low profile high performance CPU Cooler again manufactured by Noctua which i had the chance to test over a year ago with quite impressive results (very close to the NH-D14). Well the NH-C14 is still the best low-profile CPU Cooler i have tested to date but aside rather expensive it's also quite large so it may not be the most ideal solution for small HTPC cases. With the NH-L12 Noctua is focusing on that exact segment of the market and although they still have the very good NH-C12SE14 the NH-L12 is not only better but also smaller. Still our overclocked Core i7 3930k CPU is pretty hot under heavy load so i was quite interested to see how well the NH-L12 would do from the very first to the very last test.