Noctua NH-U9 and NH-U12 heatpipe coolers
Price NH-U9: 45 EUR
Price NH-U12: 50 EUR
A new trend that started over the past two years is heatpipe based cooling. Several advantages directly come to mind as the principle is quite simple. You move heat towards another spot other than the source. That way you can get rid of that heat not directly away from that source, yet effectively can cool it down optimally on location B. This means less resources and effort is needed at the original point of heat. The less resources I'm talking about is a direct active form of heat dissipation e.g. loud fans. More cooling these days equals more noise, and don't we all hate it ?
So here we are establishing the logic behind heatpipe based cooling. Basically if you won't go too crazy with a good heatpipe design you could passively cool a processor which in the end ensures you a silent PC. And that's what it's really about. Optimal cooling versus the noise your PC makes. PC's have become a small oven, you can literally fry an egg on your CPU when it's idling (with no cooling). You are playing a game and you are utilizing 200 to maybe 400 watts throughout your PC, and that generates heat.
High cooling performance and silence didn't belong in the same sentence. If people want performance, they usually needed to buy a cooler that would either create a Tornado in their case, and most probably sound like a jet airplane getting ready to take off.
However, this is now a thing of the past, since companies are now finally trying to make coolers that offer both high performance and are silent down to the level of actually letting a user sleep in the same room with that mini tornado rig of his or hers.
With this small introduction in mind I like to introduce to you the company Noctua. An Austrian based company who are manufacturing some pretty nifty cooling solutions for our processors. Today we'll be looking at two of their heatpipe based cooling solutions; the NH-U9 and NH-U12.
Granted not the most marketing clever names (not easy to remember) but they surely do work fine, both actively and maybe even passively cooled. Let's have a look shall we, next page please.