Noctua NH-U14S and NH-U12S High Compatibility CPU Cooler Review

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To this day, some forty years later, I have very vivid memories of Christmas morning in 1968. I was all of four years old at the time, and the memories have been helped by a picture from that morning that is displayed in my parents’ house, but there are pieces I remember very well. The picture I mention shows my uncle and me sitting in front of the board game “Ka-Bala”, complete with its glow in the dark eye floating in its ring. Frankly, I have little memory of the game, other than taking it into the basement to play since it glowed. What I do remember well is the anticipation I had to get it; the Christmas Eve excitement that Ralphie so well projected in “A Christmas Story”.

Noctua NH-U14S NH-U12S



So, I never shot my eye out with the Ka-Bala game, and the feeling isn’t necessarily about Christmas, per se. It is really about the anticipation. Everyone has their own “Christmas” for that. Gamers get that feeling while waiting for the download of “Call of Battlefield7: The Stargate Chronicles” to begin. Others wait on the doorstep for UPS to arrive with their new processor. Being that cooling guy, it happens to me when I know something new, different and of impeccable quality is on the way to keep my CPU cool and quiet. Breaking it down that way, it’s easy to see why I see every delivery from Noctua the same way I see Christmas morning.

Noctua NH-U14S NH-U12S


Noctua has made a habit of delivering consistently top notch products without surprises, yet the NH-U14S and NH-U12S both share a very distinct one. While Noctua has outfitted the NH-U14S and NH-U12S with a very impressive array of features (6mm heatpipes with five on the 12S and six on the 14S, nickel plated copper pipes and base and aluminum fin array), it is the guaranteed RAM compatibility that surprises. Noctua has actually managed to pack all top air cooler traits into a configuration that allows for the use of taller RAM in all slots of current Intel boards without detracting from performance. Both coolers use Noctua’s latest fan designs, which boast high air movement and static pressure with very limited noise, as well as PWM control. Both the 140mm of the NH-U14S and 120mm of the NH-U12S top out at 1500rpm at only 19.2 and 18.6 dBA, respectively. The same SecuFirm 2 mounting kit is used on both, offering top quality components with easy and solid installation. All necessary hardware is included to add second fans for push/pull operation, as is a tube of top quality NT-H1 thermal interface material.