14 - 12 - 2017
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Noctua NH-L12S Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review

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INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

noctua nh l12sa

 

    While most people i know are into "regular" sized desktop systems and thus are always interested in the latest AIO (all-in-one) liquid CPU coolers and/or the latest high-end (and quite massive) air coolers there are many who are looking to build small mini-ITX based systems (mostly for use as HTPCs) and who are in turn interested in compact coolers. Unfortunately nowadays not that many manufacturers are into such cooling solutions and although in the past that wasn't the case (far more available choices) today it's somewhat hard to find a compact CPU cooler worth of your attention. Noctua is among a handful of CPU cooler manufacturers still focusing in the development of compact models and just over 5 years since the introduction of their award winning NH-L12 they have released the NH-L12S which is here with us today.


    Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received more than 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.


    When the NH-L12 low-profile CPU cooler was launched just over 5 years ago it was the only of its kind to feature two premium fans one 120mm (NF-F12) at the top and one 92mm (NF-B9) one at the bottom so performance although not stellar was far better compared to similar compact solutions. The only tiny drawback (if you can even call it that) the NH-L12 had was its height which with the top 120mm fan mounted came up to 93mm. The easy way to resolve that was to remove the top 120mm fan (in which case the height of the cooler fell to 66mm) but the bottom 92mm fan alone was not nearly enough to produce satisfying results (at least not when tested with our test rig). Since the new NH-L12S replaces the NF-B9 fan with Noctua's latest NF-A12x15 slim 120mm premium fan however it should offer better cooling efficiency. The only question is just how the new single fan NH-L12S compares to the original dual fan NH-L12 so let's find out.