Noctua NH-U12S chromax.black CPU Cooler review (with accessories)

Computer enthusiasts and gamers were waiting for a long time to see Noctua coolers in a new color scheme. This time has come, and Noctua released the whole new line of chromax.black coolers. We will start from the NH-U12S cooler, while in the next days, we will also present the NH-L9i and the NH-D15 chromax.black CPU coolers.

The new coolers are designed to deliver the best performance to the most demanding users who also care about aesthetics.

Together with the NH-U12S cooler, we will present NA-SAVP1 anti-vibration pads available in six colors.

Let’s begin with the specifications and features, and later we take a closer look at the performance on the Ryzen 3700X CPU.

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The NH-U12S chromax.black is an all-black version of Noctua’s award-winning NH-U12S premium-quality quiet CPU cooler. Thanks to the same proven slim-tower heatsink design and NF-F12 PWM fan, it stays true to the NH-U12S’s successful formula of fusing excellent cooling performance with superb quietness of operation and outstanding RAM, case and PCIe compatibility. At the same time, the chromax.black version with its black fan and black coated heatsink combines these assets with a sleek stealth look. Topped off with the renowned SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s enthusiast-grade NT-H1 thermal compound thermal compound and a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-U12S chromax.black is a premium choice for customers who seek a highly compatible 120mm heatsink that looks just as great as it cools.
 

 

Award-winning NH-U12 series

Award-winning NH-U12S cooler

Tens of thousands of enthusiast users all over the world swear by the NH-U12S’s quality and performance. Recommended by more than 200 international hardware websites and magazines, it is renowned as being one of the best 120mm coolers on the market.
 
chromax.black design

chromax.black design

The NH-U12S chromax.black is black from head to toe: Featuring a black coated heatsink, black fans with black anti-vibration-pads, black fan clips, and black mounting parts, it’s right at home in all-black builds and easy to integrate with other color schemes.
 
100% RAM compatibility on LGA115x and AM4

100% RAM compatibility

Thanks to its slim design with only 45mm fin depth, the NH-U12S will not overhang the RAM slots even with two fans installed. This gives the user full access to the memory modules on all current CPU sockets and guarantees 100% compatibility with tall heatspreaders or optional memory fans.
 
Classic 120mm tower size for excellent overall compatibility

Classic 120mm tower size for excellent overall compatibility

Standing 158mm tall, the NH-U12S is short enough to fit most modern mid- or high-end tower cases. Measuring 125mm wide (including fan and fan clips), the cooler stays clear of the top PCIe slot on most standard ATX or Micro-ATX motherboards, ensuring optimum compatibility with multi-GPU setups.
 
Colour-customisable

Colour-customisable

Using the optional NA-HC1 and NA-HC2 heatsink covers as well as the NA-SAVP1 anti-vibration pads (available in black, blue, green, red, yellow, white), the NH-U12S chromax.black can be fully customised to fit popular build colour schemes such as black and red or black and white.
 
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptors

PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-F12 120mm fan supplied with the NH-U12S supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the motherboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 1500 to 1200rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation
 
SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system

SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system

Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety and easy installation. Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156) and LGA20xx (LGA2066, LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3), as well as AMD AM4, AM3(+), AM2(+), FM2(+) and FM1, the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-U12S is straightforward to install, provides perfect contact pressure and will stand the test of time even under heavy use.
 
Compatibility with past and future sockets

Compatibility with past and future sockets

Thanks to Noctua’s SecuFirm™ ecosystem, the NH-U12S can be made compatible with the older LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets using the optional NM-I3 mounting kit, which is provided free of charge. If technically possible, Noctua will also provide upgrade kits for future sockets, which makes the NH-U12S a safe long-term investment.
 
Soldered interface between heatpipes and fins

Soldered interface between heatpipes and fins

With many heatsinks, the fins are press-fitted to the heatpipes. Due to the different thermal expansion coefficients of copper and aluminium, this fit can loosen over years of thermal cycling, which may lead to reduced performance. By contrast, the NH-U12A’s fins are soldered to the heatpipes in order to guarantee a superior thermal interface that doesn’t deteriorate even after many years of usage.
 
6-year manufacturer’s warranty

6-year manufacturer’s warranty

Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. True to this legacy, the NH-U12A heatsink is built to last, and like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-A12x25 units feature an MTTF rating of more than 150,000 hours. The entire package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.

 

You can buy the Noctua NH-U12S chromax.black cooler for around USD $69 from Amazon – https://amzn.to/336zMQQ

 

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About Bartosz Waluk 301 Articles
Bartosz Waluk aka Woomack is from Poland. He's been interested in computer hardware and extreme overclocking for over 15 years. Bartosz has also over 12 years experience in IT what includes sales, technical support and computer building ... but not only. He joined the Funky Kit team in January 2013.