|Noctua NH-U12P Heatpipe CPU Cooler|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 03 May 2008|
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Noctua NH-U12P Cooler
Noctua has always fascinated me with their cooling solutions. They take the concept of product refinement to a new level, and often times simply tweak key areas of an existing design rather than reinventing the wheel. A perfect example of their research and development is found in the NH-U12P CPU cooler. This new product replaces their older NH-U12F model, and now features a NF-P12 cooling fan. Through the use of four heat-pipe rods configured in a "U" design, the NH-U12P borrows from the well-established performance record of many top-level coolers. Additionally, Noctua emphasises the complete experience beyond simply cooling the processor, and optimizes their products to operate with very low noise levels.
Computer hardware is an ever-evolving industry, and since Moores law only applies to an exponentially growing transistor count then there should probably be another law for cooling. In the very recent past there have been two major trends which have accelerated the performance potential of CPU cooler. That first development was the use of heat-pipes to directly contact with the CPU surface; which resulted in the Heat-pipe Direct Touch technology. The second development is by no mean a new concept, just new to our industry in specific. For many years now heatsinks have been full of right angles, but very recently companies have begun to recognize the need to disrupt smooth airflow and reduce the laminar skin effect which allows air to travel just above the solid surface. Some manufacturers have used at least one of these new concepts in their product design, and only a few are beginning to incorporate both. Benchmark Reviews will see how much this effects the overall performance as we test a large segment of products.
Before we introduce our newest collection of CPU coolers, let's establish that our tests consist of methods we have determined to be the best for our one singular purpose. Our methodology isn't written in stone, and could very likely be changed or modified as we receive justification (and feedback from the community).
Manufacturers are not expected to enjoy this sort of comparison, since we level the playing field by replacing their included fan (whenever applicable) with a common unit which we then use for every CPU cooler we test. Manufacturers regularly include fans with their CPU cooler products, and more often than not these fans are very high RPM units which offer great airflow at the expense of an obnoxiously loud noise level. By using the same model of cooling fan throughout our testing, we can assure our results are comparable across the board. This is one of the more significant changes we have made to our test methodology, since many of the benchmark tests we have conducted in the past have compared the total package. Ultimately we're more interested in the discovering the best CPU cooler performance, and we believe that you'll feel the same way.
We encourage hardware enthusiasts to utilize the equipment available to them, and select the cooling fan that best suits their needs. Just keep in mind that exceptional cooling performance must begin with the CPU cooler, and end with the cooling fan. It's the foundation of the unit that makes a difference, which is exactly what we're after in this article.
About the company: Noctua
Noctua arises from a cooperation between the Austrian Rascom Computer distribution Ges.m.b.H and the Taiwanese Kolink International Corporation and entertains a development partnership with the Austrian Institute of Heat Transmission and Fan Technology (Österreichisches Institut für Wärmeübertragung und Ventilatorentechnik, ÖIWV). These connections form the key to the achievement of our goal: The partnership with the ÖIWV permits the application of scientific measurement instrumentation, methods of calculation and simulation technology in the R&D process. Rascom's long, customer-oriented experience in developing and distributing sound-optimised high-end products ensures a clear focus on the users' needs. The use of Kolink's advanced manufacturing technology and ultra-modern production plants allows us to efficiently implement our technical edge and provide solutions of the highest standard in quality and performance.
What does "Noctua" mean?
The little owl, Athene noctua, is the symbol of the Greek goddess Athene, who represents wisdom, science and strategy. She has a marked preference for the most clever among the Greek heroes, like Odysseus, who endure their adventures by the use of savvy consideration instead of mere force. Until today, the owl symbolises intelligence and prudence, its manlike face "emblematises" attentiveness and communication. We from Noctua follow the suit of its calm and accurate observation in the dark, its soundless flight as well as the effective, economical use of its powers and precise attack.