Noctua NH-L12 Review

Noctua NH-L12 Review

Noctua NH-L12 Review  


Its not very often a review slips through the net here at OC3D, but sadly this is one of those times. It was back in March we originally tested and filmed the review for the NH-L12. It was only sent in for a quick over view as we upgraded one of our home storage servers but ended up surprising us so much we did some extra testing with it.


Socket compatibility Intel LGA2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1
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

Video Review



So we originally had the NH-L12 put sown as a HTPC or low power CPU cooler. After the let down that was the NH-C14 the smaller L12 didn't look like it would stand much chance. Oh how wrong could we have been! Considering its size the L12 is awesome. 

The i3 2120 was never really going to put up much of a fight and with load temps hovering around the 40c mark proved this, but with such good temps we felt we needed to push the cooler a little harder to try and do it some justice. So we rolled out the 2500k and at stock it was the same great temps story so we then overclocked out 2500K with a 1.3v 4.4GHz overclock and even then load temps stayed BELOW 60c with the single NF-F12 fan running at 12v. Sadly we didn't have time to test a 2600k or 2700k but we would put money on an overclocked version of this at similar volts would be well under the magic 70c threshold. Expanding on from this adding the fan speed reducer will ad between 2c and 4c to you load temperatures depending on the volts used during testing. (remember auto does NOT mean stock *wink wink*)

So we started off not really expecting much from the NH-L12 but its certainly won our respect, not only will the cooler fit in a very tight space *ahem* but it will also perform very well. Lets face it if a cooler this small keep an overclocked 2500K in check and still remain quiet we have to be on to a winner. Its been running on our i3 storage server ever since and has seen temps under normal usage of anymore than 39c (during the hot period of weather we had and some high CPU loading). Add to this a very reasonable £46 price considering the single NF-F12 retails at £18 is the reason why we think the Noctua NH-L12 deserves nothing less than the OC3D Gold Award.


Thanks to Noctua for the NH-L12 on review here today, you can discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

17-07-2012, 21:52:10

yeah, glad you found it. you'd mentioned it'd be reviewed a lil later when you were
doing the TTL home server vid. it was impressive. when i saw your server vid, i
was in the nh-c14 cooler (with stiffiner). no complaints, the MOSFETS were chilly and
the CPU stayed repectable. and it was loaded degress short of the d14 on large clocks.
but was wondering about the L12. the compactness looked like a fireball, but was
amazed on the results. that 92mm would be a deffo help on height challenged cases.
good one Tom.. glad you got it out.


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