Review Noctua NH-U12A Cooler Review: Expensive Excellence

RodroX

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Aug 4, 2019
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Having identical performance (almost between the marging of error) and similar noise levels, the great winner heres is the Artctic Freezer 34 Sport Duo, with at cost of almost 1/3 of Noctuas and 1/2 of Be Quiet! one.
 
Reactions: DaveTea and JQB45
Having identical performance (almost between the marging of error) and similar noise levels, the great winner heres is the Artctic Freezer 34 Sport Duo, with at cost of almost 1/3 of Noctuas and 1/2 of Be Quiet! one.
While I see your point I have both Arctic and Noctua products and I can say 100% hands down the quality difference is staggering. Noctua is in a class of its own in build quality, reliability and noise output. You pay more for Noctua but Noctua makes better products. In this case my comparison is limited to 120mm fans.

I would still pay the Noctua tax because I would end up with a better product. In fact I am seriously considering the Noctua NH-C14S as my next CPU cooler. I would get a larger unit but my Corsair 100r is a little to thin to handle the larger tower coolers discussed in this article.
 

RodroX

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Aug 4, 2019
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While I see your point I have both Arctic and Noctua products and I can say 100% hands down the quality difference is staggering. Noctua is in a class of its own in build quality, reliability and noise output. You pay more for Noctua but Noctua makes better products. In this case my comparison is limited to 120mm fans.

I would still pay the Noctua tax because I would end up with a better product. In fact I am seriously considering the Noctua NH-C14S as my next CPU cooler. I would get a larger unit but my Corsair 100r is a little to thin to handle the larger tower coolers discussed in this article.
Got your point, and if I could spend any money on a CPU cooler of course I would go with Noctua and on second place Be Quiet! (Well also if I could get those cooler where I live, which is not the case /sob).

Then again yeah, if budget is low or tight I think is great that there are others options that, despite the somehow "simple" craftmanship can deliver almost identical performance for 1/3 of the money.

But yeah for someone with no budget limits, considering the beautiful craftmanship and the big warranty Noctua gives to their cooler, is basically an amazing product to get. (Some of those coolers can have better performance than all 120mm AIO and even some 240mm and 360mm AIO).
 
Reactions: JoBalz
Oct 10, 2019
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Perhaps but not the best. The Be Quiet! seemed to win this competition.
'The BeQuiet seemed to win'??? You need to go to the optician - The BeQuiet was the worst in this group, apart from noise, due only to it using a single fan!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Much respect to Garret, because I know he does thorough testing and I have great respect for him as a very knowledgeable cooling enthusiast, but some other reviews show the NH-U12A being within one degree of the Cryorig R1 and the same temperature as the Noctua NH-D15S so I feel like something is skewed in the test results or playing field. No way those other three coolers should even be in the same conversation with this cooler or the other two I mentioned.
 

JoBalz

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Sep 1, 2014
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If they produced Ferraris in hideous colors.
Depending on the Noctua model, this is not necessarily the case, since Noctua is now producing black coolers and fans (Chromax). I imagine if they sell well, Noctua will extend black to more of their cooler line as well as the individual fans.
 

JoBalz

Honorable
Sep 1, 2014
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Much respect to Garret, because I know he does thorough testing and I have great respect for him as a very knowledgeable cooling enthusiast, but some other reviews show the NH-U12A being within one degree of the Cryorig R1 and the same temperature as the Noctua NH-D15S so I feel like something is skewed in the test results or playing field. No way those other three coolers should even be in the same conversation with this cooler or the other two I mentioned.
Question: Are these other reviews testing with the same hardware, as any differences could slightly skew the thermal results? I'm not going to claim that Noctua is going to beat the competition 100% of the time as they help keep the competition innovating to improve their products. The reason I buy Noctua, when the other competition is close in cooling performance, is the quality of Noctua products. For my latest build, I even decided to risk buying a used Noctua cooler. The prior owner reported using it about 1.5 years. It ended up looking like it was fresh off the production line and it saved nearly $35 over the cost of a brand new one. Should lightning strike and the fan actually fail, I'd have no problem replacing it with a Noctua Redux or Chromax series fan.
 

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