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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS
The recording begins with the ambient noise of the test
room. Please set your playback volume so that the ambient noise is almost inaudible,
then don't adjust the volume control again. For best results, save the sound
file to your own PC, then listen.
NH-U12P with stock NF-P12 fan at 5V, 7V, 9V and 12V at 1m The recording
starts with 5 seconds of the ambient in the room, then goes through 5 seconds
at each of the four voltages.
"Real Silent 120mm fan" (at 5V, 7V, 9V and 12V at 1m)
The Noctua NH-U12P is possibly the best heatsink we've tested thus far, rivaling
the Thermalright HR-01 Plus for the CPU cooling crown. It excels no matter how
much airflow is applied. With our reference Nexus fan, its performance scaled
very well as the fan speed was decreased, making it a very versatile product
for silent PCs. Mounting can be somewhat tedious, but getting to the back
of the motherboard is a necessity for all through-the-board bolt-and-spring systems, which we feel is the best for large heavy heatsinks.
The improved soldering process and base "tweaking" mentioned in Noctua's email to us appears to have made a difference in reducing thermal resistance. The NH-U12P is substantially better than the original U12.
All of our current top ranked CPU heatsinks have extremely
secure/tight mounting systems comprised of spring-loaded through-the-board bolts. The only exception is the Xigmatek HDT-S1283, but
it is quite light and it has direct touch heatpipes, which one can argue, makes up for its push-pin
mounting system. Scythe, once dominant in the field, has fallen from grace.
The Zipang, and Ninja Rev. B don't match the level
of cooling we've seen lately from other heatsinks with more secure mounting. Is their use of plastic pushpins for LGA775 installation
and the absence of solder on most internal joints a coincidence? We think not.
To editorialize a bit further, the highest performance low noise heatsinks today feature:
- multiple heatpipes; the more the better
- many large, thin fins with greater than 2mm spacing between them
- solder as well as tight press fit to maximize heat transfer in joints within the heatsink
- flat copper or direct heatpipe contact base
- high, even pressure on the interface between CPU and heatsink base, best achieved with through-the-board spring-loaded bolts
The NF-P12 fan is interesting. Its notched blade
design alters the acoustic profile, producing a unique sound. Whether
it is more pleasant than other fans may come down to personal preference.
We prefer our reference Nexus fan or any of the Scythe Slip Stream varieties,
which sound very smooth, benign, and consistent throughout their speed ranges. It is quite possible, however, that the higher airflow of the NF-P12 fan at 12V will be useful for hotter CPUs that are overclocked.
* Top-notch performance
* Secure mounting system
* Fan very quiet when used with supplied adapters
Our thanks to Noctua
for the NH-U12P heatsink sample.
* * *
Articles of Related Interest
NH-C12P: A Top-Down Cooler Rises Up
HR-01 Plus: 2nd Gen Killer Tower Cooler
Zipang 14cm fan "blow-down" CPU cooler
Cooler Master Hyper Z600
CPU Cooler: A Real Heavyweight
Intel's HSF for high-end
Core 2 Extreme CPU cooler
Thermaltake V1: "Peacock
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Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.
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