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Home > Hardware Reviews > Cooling Systems

Monday, September 17, 2012
Noctua NH-L12 review

1. basic features, specifications



HTPC Users

We have in our labs a new product by Noctua, designed to meet the cooling requirements of a CPU found on a typically compact in size HTPC.The NH-L12 cpu is a low-profile cooler, flexible enough to operate in a single or a dual fan configuration. Depending on your needs, the cooler can be installed as it comes out of the box with a  NF-F12 (120mm) / NF-B9 (92mm) dual PWM fan, or as an extra-low profile (66mm) cooler with the top fan removed.


The device has not been designed for demanding overclocked systems, so expect a good cooling efficiency with CPUs with up to 95W TDP. So it is advised to check the CPU compatibility list and of course whether your motherboard is compatible with the NH-L12 before you buy this product.

- Product features

  • Fan Size: Noctua NF-F12 PWM & NF-B9 PWM. Compatibility: Intel LGA 2011, LGA 1366, LGA 1156, LGA775, AMD, AMD2 AM2+, AM3, AM 3+, FM 1 (Backplate required). Bearing: SSO-Bearing (Self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing). RPM +/- 10%: 1500/1600 RPM (Max), 1200/1300 RPM(w/L.N.A).
  • Material: Copper (Base and Heat-pipes), Alum.(cooling Fins), Soldered Joints, Nickel Plated. Dimension : 5.04-Inchx5.9-Inchx 2.6-Inch (Without Fan), 5.04-Inchx5.9-Inchx 3.66-Inch (With Fan). Weight: 1.0 Lbs (Without Fan), 1.5 Lbs (With Fan)
  • Min Rotation Speed (PWM): 300/300RPM. Air Flow: 93.4/64.3m³/h (Max), 74.3/52.6 m³/h (w/L.N.A.), 63.4m³/h (W/U.L.N.A). Acoustical Noise: 22.4/17.6 dB(A) (Max), 18.6/13.1dB(A)(w/L.N.A ). Input Power: 0.6/0.96W.Voltage Range : 12V.MTBF > 150,000h.
NH-L12 120/92mm dual fan design
Thanks to its exquisite dual fan setup consisting of Noctua’s NF-F12 (120mm) and NF-B9 (92mm) premium fans, the NH-L12 pushes the bar in terms of low-profile quiet cooling performance.
NH-L12 Extra-low profile in 92mm single-fan mode
The NH-L12 can be used with the NF-B9 92mm fan only in order to reduce the overall height to 66mm. This way, the cooler is suitable for many typical µATX or Mini-ITX enclosures and ideal for whisper-quiet HTPC systems.

NH-L12 PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptors
The NH-L12’s NF-F12 and NF-B9 fans support PWM for convenient automatic speed control. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced to 1200/1300rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptors for even quieter operation.
NH-L12 SecuFirm2 mounting system
Noctua’s SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting provides broad socket compatibility (LGA 2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1) and meets the highest demands in safety, performance and ease-of-use.
NH-L12 Mini-ITX mounting without backplate
Some Intel based Mini-ITX mainboards don’t allow for the installation of backplates. The NH-L12 thus comes with an extra set of Intel mounting bolts which make it possible to install the cooler without using the SecuFirm2 backplate.
NT-H1 NT-H1 thermal compound
Noctua's NT-H1 is a well proven pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and reliability.

- Specifications

Socket compatibility   Intel LGA2011 (Square ILM), LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 (backplate required)
Height (without fan)   66 mm
Width (without fan)   128 mm
Depth (without fan)   150 mm
Height (with fan)   93 mm
Width (with fan)   128 mm
Depth (with fan)   150 mm
Weight (without fan)   415 g
Weight (with fan)   680 g
Material   Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility   120x120x25mm & 92x92x25mm
Scope of Delivery  
  • 1x NF-F12 PWM premium fan
  • 1x NF-B9 PWM premium fan
  • 2x Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Y-Split Cable
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Mini-ITX Mounting-Kit
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
  • Warranty   6 Years
    Fan specifications  
    Model   Noctua NF-F12 PWM & Noctua NF-B9 PWM
    Bearing   SSO-Bearing
    Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)   1500 / 1600 RPM
    Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)   1200 / 1300 RPM
    Min. Rotational Speed (PWM)   300 / 300 RPM
    Max. Airflow   93,4 / 64,3 m³/h
    Max. Airflow with L.N.A.   74,3 / 52,6 m³/h
    Max. Acoustical Noise   22,4 / 17,6 dB(A)
    Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.   18,6 / 13,1 dB(A)
    Input Power   0,6 / 0,96 W
    Voltage Range   12 V
    MTBF   > 150.000 h

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