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Noctua NH-U12DO Workstation CPU Cooler reviewed

By: Chris Ramseyer | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Sep 30, 2008 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Noctua

Specifications, Availability and Pricing



Compared to the NH-U12P, the DO version is 3mm shorter and 6mm slimmer. It is almost like they designed the cooler to the size I needed after I broke out the digital calipers and sent over my request, but it would have taken Noctua longer to get everything ready. Or at least, I would think three days is too short of a time to come up with a name, design and then to manufacture a cooler; plus getting it to my door from halfway across the globe.


As you can imagine, putting two full sized CPU heatsinks in a system with four PCIe 16x, two PCI-X and a standard PCI slot plus eight DIMMs for memory can be quite a challenge. Not only are workstation motherboards jam packed with components, but the overall size doesn't double with the number of processor sockets. Orientation is the key; if a cooler is not able to be mounted vertically or horizontally then you alienate half of the market since motherboard manufacturers have enough trouble trying to get all of the components situated. CPU coolers are an afterthought; you just take what you get when it comes to mounting coolers on these types of motherboards.


The Noctua NH-U12DO comes with an old favorite, the NF-P12 fan. Mounting the fan is the same; Noctua has always used the wire hanger method on their coolers. The NH-C12P was the only exception but used a completely different design. The fan has proven itself many times in our test lab and has even been used on other coolers to test heatsink efficiency, comparing one cooler design against the Noctua coolers based on apples to apples fan performance.


Pricing is still up in the air since the coolers were just announced this week. When products make their way through the channel we will know more about the price and Noctua's normal group of e-tail shops should keep a few coolers on hand. I don't expect a price premium like most other workstation parts, but as what usually happens, the market will decide.


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