Noctua NH-D12L CPU Cooler Review

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Noctua NH-D12L Low-height 120mm Dual Tower CPU Cooler
Silent while properly cooling your processor

Noctua is back in the house, this round with a new Noctua NH-D12L CPU Cooler that we review. The L in the name is short for low height. As always the product is silent and offers proper cooling. The NH-D12L low-height dual tower CPU cooler and the NF-A12x25r round-frame 120 mm fan was introduced by Noctua. This low-profile fan is suitable for many 4U enclosures and slimmer tower cases that previously needed 92 mm fans. In terms of efficiency, it has been fitted with five heatpipes and a dual-tower design paired with an NF-A12x25r 120 mm fan allow it to exceed many full-height 120 mm variants in performance. Unlike Noctua's standard 120 mm CPU coolers, which stand 158 mm tall, the NH-D12L is just 145 mm tall. This enables it to accommodate a wide range of 4U rackmount server cases and many tower-style enclosures that are too narrow for 158 mm units and several bigger SFF and Mini-ITX chassis. Despite its lower profile, the NH-D12L beats 92 mm coolers. It can even outperform well-known 120 mm units like the NH-U12S and is frequently comparable to Noctua's award-winning 120 mm flagship model, the NH-U12A.

Because of its asymmetric design, the NH-D12L does not push against the DIMM installed in their slots on Intel LGA1700/LGA1200/LGA115x and AMD AM4/AM5-based motherboards, allowing for simple access to the modules and complete compatibility with DIMMs with tall heatspreaders or RGB lighting. The Noctua NF-A12x25, which was released in 2018, is largely regarded as the finest 120x25mm fan on the market. The round-frame type utilized on the NH-D12L delivers the same famous silent cooling performance while reducing the total cooler height without compromising compatibility with tall motherboard heatsinks or shrouds. The NH-D12L also includes an extra set of fan clamps that may be used to install a second of these NF-A12x25r PWM fans on either the front or rear fin stack. However, it should be noted that the second fan will often sit on top of either the RAM or I/O panel, raising the overall height above 145 mm.

Topped off with Noctua's NT-H1 thermal compound, a 6-year manufacturer's warranty, and the famed SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system that already supports Intel's latest LGA1700 socket as well as AMD's upcoming AM5 platform, the NH-D12L is the perfect choice for situations that require serious cooling performance but cannot fit the larger NH-U12A. Let's go onwards into our review.


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