Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler Review


At Technology X, we test our CPU coolers slightly different depending upon the cooler’s marketed purpose, whether it be for a silent operation or extreme overclocking.  Our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, however, CPU C State alteration may or may not have occurred depending on the motherboard and BIOS configurations. Additionally, we also try to include links to the benchmarks used in our report so that you as the reader can replicate our tests to confirm that your cooler performs the way it should.

Z170 Test Bench Photo 5


This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchases; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project. All of the components we use for testing and evaluation can be easily purchased at a relatively affordable price. The links provided below can assist in pricing, as well as availability for those of you who may find interest in our equipment.

PC Chassis: In Win 805 Mid Tower Chassis
Motherboard: ASRock Z170 OC Formula
CPU: Intel i5-6600K
CPU Cooler: N/A
Memory: Crucial 64GB DDR4-2133 Memory
Power Supply: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 850W
Graphics Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Amp! Edition 4GB
System Cooling: be quiet! Silent Wings 2 Chassis Fan
Keyboard: Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum
Mouse: i-rocks M20E Illuminated Gaming Mouse
Storage: Intel 750 Series NVMe PCIe SSD (1.2TB)


In order to test our CPU cooler, we’ll be running a CPU stress test and monitoring our temperatures using AIDA64, which is a great utility for benchmarking, testing the stability of, and monitoring your system.


To test our cooler, we ran AIDA64’s ‘System Stability Test’ for one hour and recorded the highest temperature reached on any core. We did so at both the stock core frequency of our Intel Core i5 6600K, as well as overclocked to 4.4GHz, and 4.6GHz.

During all tests our ambient temperature was approximately 23C while the cooler’s intake temperature was a slightly warmer 29C.

NH-U12S Performance

Above you can see that two fans sorta makes a difference, but nothing to write home about. The performance from this rather small sized CPU cooler is quite exceptional. We would feel comfortable running this cooler on many and most intensive processes.


The Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler is a basic CPU cooler that packs a punch! The punch doesn’t impact your pocket book either. There is no reason why you shouldn’t ditch that stock cooler that comes with your CPU cooler, as this is an extremely simple upgrade for massive performance gains!

Noctua NH-U12S-11

There is nothing we don’t like about the NH-U12S, this is one solid CPU Cooler! For this and more, we proudly award Noctua, the NH-U12S with our Editors Choice Award!


Check Out Noctua CPU Cooler Pricing On Amazon!

As summer rolls in, one can finds various ways to stay cool. For us, it's all about keeping that gaming rig and test bench as cool as possible. Today, we are taking an in-depth look at the Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler! If you are looking to compare the NH-U12S to other Noctua CPU coolers, please head on over to here where you read up on Noctua’s excellent CPU cooling line up! PACKAGING, PRICING AND SPECIFICATIONS Taking a look at the exterior of the packaging, the front shows us Noctua’s simple glance of the cooler in the background, followed by all the details…

Review Overview

CPU Cooler Build
Pricing and Warranty


The Noctua NH-U12S is a great option for any starter build or upgrade from a stock CPU Cooler!

User Rating: 3.43 ( 13 votes)

One comment

  1. I’m considering this as replacement for Zalman Performa.

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