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Noctua NH-U12P Special Edition SE2 Review

Rating: 9.0.

If you read Kitguru regularly, there is no chance you will have missed us singing the praises of the Noctua NH D14 cooler which we have affectionately dubbed ‘The Austrian Sandwich’. Even all this time after the initial release, competitors are still using it as the yardstick to judge cooling performance.

Thermaltake opted for a very public challenge to the D14 in recent months, but sadly, they failed to oust the Austrian Sandwich from the top spot.

At the end of the day, the only problems with the NH D14 are the price (around £70) and the gargantuan size which can cause fitting problems with a selection of supporting hardware. Enter the NH U12P which received an update in recent months to Special Edition SE2 status. This cooler can be picked up for around the £50 mark in the UK, so there are substantial savings to be made.

The big question remains to be answered however, is it enough for high end overclocking and pushing a hot running Intel processor to the limit?

The NH U12P was positively received by both critics and consumers. The Special Edition SE2 bundle includes a tube of high grade NT H1, the same thermal paste we use in many of our reviews. There are now two NF P12 fans included, and the latest SecuFirm2 multisocket mounting system. The cooler is backed by a class leading 6 year manufacturer warranty, so you can be sure that Noctua have faith in their engineering capabilities, over the long haul.

Socket compatibility Intel LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3
(backplate required)
Height (without fan) 158 mm
Width (without fan) 126 mm
Depth (without fan) 71 mm
Height (with fan) 158 mm
Width (with fan) 126 mm
Depth (with fan) 95/120* mm
Weight (without fan) 600 g
Weight (with fan) 770/940* g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminum (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility 120x120x25mm / 120x120x38mm
Scope of Delivery
  • 2x NF-P12 premium fan
  • Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kits
  • Warranty 6 Years

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    • Peter hemming

      Only problem I see is the pricing, while you can get the coolers at the prices you mention, the D14 is as cheap as £63 and the U12P SE2 as expensive as £57.

      It becomes a tougher sell thanks to the UK pricing of D14 atm.

    • John Doe

      Why do you have the heatsink pictured with a Gigabyte P67 mobo when the system specs show an Asus Rampage III Black Edition X58 mobo?

    • Sometimes we show installation on different slot configurations (especially as people want to see there no fitting problems with 1155), even though we tend to test on 1366 (to generate the most heat). Variety is the spice of life.

    • Harris

      Good coolers. expensive mind you

    • Roger

      Great coolers, my concern is the size. I prefer all in one coolers now from antec, corsair etc. they leave so much room free for an install, especially at memory slots.

      REckon Noctua will make an all in one liquid cooler sometime?

    • Francis

      Im quite happy with my Corsair H50, very quiet too 🙂

    • Skeleton Muncher

      Awesome cooler, had mine for 6 months now. ive a 2600k with it at 4.8ghz. hits 67c under load 🙂

    • Tyranade Pentifex

      I’ve had this running for five years in my Fractal Design R4 Case and it’s never missed a beat. Fantastic cooler. It’s no longer on sale here and I’m now looking at Noctua NH-U14S for my new build.