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Noctua NH-L12S CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Feb 18, 2018 2:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Noctua

Installation and Finished Product




The NM-IBP2 has been installed on the back of the motherboard, being mindful of the arrangement of the socket mounting screws which pass through it. We also love that the studs in the corners are press fit into the steel, so they will never loosen or complicate the mounting process.





To arrive at this point, we flipped the motherboard over, slid on the black plastic spacers, and then set the brackets on top of them. The knurled nuts lock everything into place, and with the supplied screwdriver, you can screw them in until the threads run out.




When it comes time to mount the MH-L12S, be sure to remove the plastic cover, and then apply thermal paste to the CPU. Once that is done, set the cooler on the CPU, and use the screwdriver again to access the pair of mounting screws, though the body of the cooler. Alternate screws every few turns, and again, go until it stops.




We were not able to leave the tops on the RAM sticks in low-profile mode, so we decided to show off the high-clearance mode instead. Those planning to use the NH-L12S in low-profile mode, be sure to also choose the low-profile memory to go under it.




While we have plenty of room in this arrangement for the DDR4, even enough that we can still remove and replace RAM if needed, we need to address the overhang. The NH-L12S does reach over three of the DIMM slots, and if used in low-profile mode, this will rest on most sticks, and remove any ability to remove them.




Moving away from the cooler, capturing the whole ATX motherboard for perspective, the NH-L12S is even short as it is installed now, but can also be shorter still by installing the fan below the fins. However, at the same time, it spreads out across the motherboard, yet does not block access to anything we need to get to, to complete the build.




Inside of the chassis, a view many will see every day, we can see the NF-A12x15 PWM fan mostly, with fins showing through its gaps. We see the pipes to the left, and they cleared the heat sink with ease, leaving room to connect the 8-pin EPS cable. To the right, we can see the smallest bit of the pipe tips, and the memory is also partially visible.

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