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Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile CPU Cooler Review - Test System and Thermal Results

Noctua drops into the low profile and low power CPU cooling segment with the release of the 95W capable NH-L12 CPU cooler.

| CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: May 4, 2012 7:26 am
TweakTown Rating: 91%      Manufacturer: Noctua

Test System and Thermal Results

 

TweakTown image content/4/6/4677_97_noctua_nh_l12_low_profile_cpu_cooler_review.png

 

I would like to thank HIS for supplying the video card in the test system.

 

Testing for the CPU coolers is done with the use of RealTemp to ascertain temperatures, Intel Burn Test to deliver the load to the CPU and CPU-Z to verify the CPU speed and the voltage being used in Windows.

 

For the "stock" runs, it's more of a plug and play setup where the PWM of the motherboard is in control of the fans speeds for both the idle and load results. For the overclocked runs, I load the CPU at 4.5GHz and idle results are obtained with 7.5V to the fans while the load run is set to deliver 12V to the fans.

 

For the sound testing results, I obtain those while I am controlling the voltage at 7.5V and 12V as well. Sorry for the change in the charts again, but I got the full effect of AVX support and 104 Gflops now, so the older results don't directly apply to the results I get now.

 

TweakTown image content/4/6/4677_31_noctua_nh_l12_low_profile_cpu_cooler_review.png

 

On the stock run the fans PWM was in control of the curve and it resulted in a reading of 29 degrees, this is where the fans sacrifices a bit of its speed in the silence it leaves behind. With the voltage manually set to 7.5V on the overclocked run, the results are right where I would expect it to be for this CPU.

 

TweakTown image content/4/6/4677_32_noctua_nh_l12_low_profile_cpu_cooler_review.png

 

The stock run delivered a terrific result for a cooler of this size and design. 57 degrees might be a bit higher than normal, but look at how little of a cooler is doing this job. As for the overclocked run, I think the NH-L12 did a really admirable job handling over 125 watts of power being delivered to this 95 watt cooler. Yes, 80 degrees is warm, but considering the abuse level, I am pleased with these results.

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