Noctua NH-U12A cooler review
Silent, powerful, not too big and on Sterrox.
Today we review the latest Noctua cooler, the NH-U12A. There is no need to introduce this Austrian company, as it’s one of the most recognizable names on the market. The NH-U12A had its official launch on the 19th of March. There is not really much room for improvement in air cooler technology, and manufacturers focus mainly on AIOs now (just take a look at the Guru3D reviews section). But why not try to do something interesting, nevertheless? Sounds like a challenge, right? The Noctua NH-U12A is an evolution of the earlier NU-U12 series, and it comes with two fans included (in push/pull configuration). These are not just any ordinary fans, but the state-of-the-art NF-A12x25, which we reviewed in June 2018. Among other things, we wrote “….I knew the new NF-A12x25 series fans would be impressive, but I did not expect them to be this good…” and gave the product the “Best Hardware” award. Regarding the materials used, Hilbert wrote the following (and it still applies to the NH-U12A):
“Sterrox is what it is all about while being a marketing name for a stiff hard compound based liquid crystal polymer, now used for the fans. Sterrox is based on the raw materials used in Kevlar, and thus now end up in this particular fan series, the NF-A12x25 fans. The material used will stiffen the fan blades and casing so that they can get smaller tolerances (spacing in-between the blades and frame) of the fan housing. This not only helps in airflow, but also will serve for better acoustics.”
Additionally, you can see the following improvements here: 7-heatpipe layout, 37% bigger fin surface area (as compared with the NH-U12S), and a new design that makes the product more compatible with RAM sticks, even taller ones. The Noctua NH-U12A CPU cooler delivers exactly the cooling performance you may expect, yet remains completely silent when the processor is operating under normal conditions. The MSRP is 99.90 EUR/USD, which is quite steep for an air cooler, a 6-year warranty coverage is included though. Let’s move on to the following pages to see if the price is justified.