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Best CPU Cooler Performance - Q2 2008 E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling
Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Best CPU Cooler Performance - Q2 2008
Thermally Conductive Element Reference
Cooler Master Hyper Z600
Cooler Master CM Sphere
Gigabyte G-Power II Pro
GlacialTech Igloo 5750
Noctua NH-C12P
SilenX IXC-120HA2
Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer CR-CCTF
Thermaltake V1 CL-0401
Thermaltake DuOrb CL-P0464
TIM Application and Surface
Testing Methodology
Test Results: Stock Cooling Fan
Test Results: High-Output Fan
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Best of Q2-2008 Conclusion
The Aftermath: Editors Notes

Noctua NH-C12P

When I hear the name Noctua mentioned, I somehow think of the other companies that offers extremely refined high-end products and a premium price. Lian-Li computer cases are a good example; very nice, but very expensive as well.

Following up on their recent launch of the "U" designed NH-U12P cooler, Noctua returns with a "C" design... hence the NH-C12P name. Very clever Noctua, very clever indeed. Back when we tested the NH-U12P (the "U" is the shape of the heat-pipe rods in relation to the processor, just in case you missed it), we used the Noctua NF-P12 fan on all of our coolers which didn't exactly let anyone stand out as a real performer. Well, I've learned my lesson about the NF-P12; great fan for reducing noise and keeping decent performance, but certainly not a high-output solution. Even though the NH-C12P comes with a NF-P12 of its own, we test it (and re-test the NH-C12P) with the included fan and our high-output Yate Loon fan.


Sporting 6 heat pipes and the award-winning, psycho-acoustically optimized NF-P12 120mm fan, the NH-C12P achieves excellent performance and outstanding quietness. The down-facing c-type design doesn't only allow for optimal motherboard and case compatibility, but also provides additional cooling for motherboard components through two Airflow-Gaps. Outfitted with the professional SecuFirm mounting system and Noctua's much acclaimed NT-H1 thermal compound, the NH-C12P is a premium-class silent cooler through and through.

Did I just read the word "psycho" in the Noctua marketing pitch? I suppose they do things a little differently over in Austria, because psycho doesn't really sell very well here in the states.

Noctua includes everything you'll need to mount the NH-C12P on any modern motherboard available. The heatsink is rather heavy, requiring the use of a bolt-through kit (included). Additionally, Noctua includes their NH-H1 thermal paste with the kit, which performed very well in our 33-Way Thermal Interface Material Comparison.


NH-C12P Specifications

  • Noctua NH-C12P
  • Height: (without fan) 91 mm (with fan) 114 mm
  • Width: (without fan) 126 mm (with fan) 126 mm
  • Depth: (without fan) 152 mm (with fan) 152 mm
  • Weight (without fan) 550 g (with fan) 730 g
  • Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminum (cooling fins), soldered joints, nickel plated
  • Fan compatibility 120x120x25mm / 120x120x38mm

At the time of this writing, the Noctua NH-C12P was just reaching market. Prices for the NH-C12P were found near the $70 range - a bit steep in my opinion. Just because it's a product from Austria, shouldn't mean that the consumer has to pay 2-3x the amount of other coolers that perform as well (or better). Perhaps this is why you don't see many retailers stocking Noctua products?


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.noctua_logo_long.png

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.


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