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  • Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 120mm U-Type Tower Heatsink Review
  • Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 120mm U-Type Tower Heatsink Review



    With the popularity of Ryzen there is a huge push to have plenty of cooling options on the market.  What makes Ryzen so interesting is the 65w TDP making it one of the coolest performance CPUs on the market.  This translates into systems that don’t require large CPU coolers and can finally get away with passive designs and still throw down a decent overclock.

    As always the installation hardware is extremely good and features a universal mounting system that is both easy to install and works on almost every Noctua cooler.  Keep in mind that while the AMD backplate and risers are completely universal the rails are often tweaked slightly to accommodate different coolers.  Some might bow outwards while others may be relatively straight.  In this review we tested on the X370 AM4 and unlike other AMD CPUs it uses a different mounting pattern for the first time since the Socket 754 which explains this Special Edition heatsink from Noctua.

    Overall performance was really good.  The heat tests showed that the Noctua NH-U12S SE AM4 could handle a very healthy overclock and responded well to having two fans installed in push-pull.  What was most surprising is the change in C/W showing that system started to lose efficiency even at 115w.  I attribute this to a less aggressive fan curve but am not ruling out an inaccurate thermal reading due to Ryzen reporting hotter CPU temps.

    Of course you can also consider that 3.9Ghz is also at the upper end of the Ryzen clock ceiling so there is very little need for aircooling beyond what is shown in this review. 

    Good Things

    Small Form Factor
    Excellent Performance
    Noctua Mounting System
    Five Heatpipe Configuration
    Dual Fan Options

    Bad Things

    Would have expected better overclocking performance (blame Ryzen)

    Hardware Asylum Rating
    Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 120mm U-Type Tower Heatsink Review