The Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black is a new addition to the chromax.black series aiming for users who simply doesn't have the room for the bigger the mightier NH-D15 series. The press release states that this CPU cooler has almost the same performance as 140mm CPU coolers and from our tests, we cannot say that this statement is..false. The retail package is complete and will cover all your needs during its installation process, which at least for the AMD platform is very easy to do so. The package includes two 120mm fans that are very silent. The produce supports almost all currently sold CPU sockets, like the Intel LGA1700 (LGA17xx family), LGA1200, LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156) and LGA20xx (LGA2066, LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3), as well as AMD AM4, AM3 (+), AM2 (+), FM2 (+) and FM1. Noctua also offers support for the LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets with the extra (but free!) NM-I3 mounting kit, very impressive.
Users should, before buying, check the special Noctua has with supported CPUs/motherboard and of course cases. Since this a rather "compact" size CPU coolers, you shouldn't have much problems installing it. Also due to its height, memory banks won’t be much of a problem, unless you have more than 42mm height, but in case you can also move upwards the front fan. All of our tests performed at controlled environment ~25 Celsius with the AMD Ryzen 5600X processor. We tried to set all tests at similar conditions, but keep in mind your results may vary, especially with different setups and voltages.
Passing to the tests area, this CPU cooler promises high performance...and it delivers. Frankly we were surprised to see that in most tests reached closely even much bigger CPU coolers so we had those tests double checked. At normal operation (CPU Ratio Auto with Vcore 1.10V) the reported CPU temperatures were never above 60 Celsius. The noise levels are also superb for idle/full fan speed. At this test the NH-D15 performed better, due to its bigger size and volume.
Passing to overclocking, this is where things got rather interesting... The NH-U12A managed to get very close with 140mm sized CPU coolers and that surprised us in a positive way. After all Noctua advertises the produce "...The NH-U12A has proven in countless tests that it can match or even outperform many 140mm sized coolers..".
Apart from the release of the NH-U12A, Noctua also offers a variety of accessories what we listed at the previous pages. Since performance and look is a must at most users, we found those additions interesting and for sure the low price of 19.90 Euro are making them affordable for all users.
Concluding this review, we have to say that we are very much impressed from the Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black! We loved its mat back colour, the over small dimensions and of course the noise levels and its performance. The retail price reaches ~120 Euro/USD which making it with par with other "big" 140mm fans that also promise high performance. We don’t think that you won’t miss much of them and the already support for the LGA1700 series is a plus for Intel users. Don’t waste any time, buy this product now, highly recommended!
+ Excellent design and matt black finish
+ Complete retail package. includes all components, cables, Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound and screwdriver
+ Includes two x 120mm Noctua fans
+ Installation procedure is easy to perform (at least for the AMD platform)
+ Noctua has detailed compatibility information at their website
+ Noctua products support all currently sold and probably future Intel / AMD sold sockets either stock or with additional/future mounting kits
+ Excellent cooling performance with AMD Ryzen 5600X and the bequiet! Silent Base 802 case either with "normal" / "overclock" modes
+ Good noise levels even at full running speed (~46dB at 1m distance)
+ 6 Years Warranty
- Users should check compatibility before buying, since this is a big sized CPU cooler
- Price is good considering the performance and features, perhaps if you have the case space you might consider NH-D15 chromax.black
- Noctua offers many add-ons accessories for customize the NH-U12A cpu cooler