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Today, Noctua announced the latest addition to their family of cooling products, the NH-L12. Having already produced several of the top air coolers on the market, Noctua shifted their attention to the growing HTPC market.
The NH-L12 is Noctua’s first low-profile heatsink focused specifically on SFF or HTPC systems. This is a market that lacks “suitable high-quality quiet CPU coolers”, according to Noctua’s CEO. While there are several options out there, it never hurts when a top manufacturer like Noctua enters the space to create some healthy competition among the usual suspects like Thermalright and Cooler Master.
120/92mm dual fan design
Thanks to its exquisite dual fan setup consisting of Noctua’s highly optimised NF-F12 (120mm) and NF-B9 (92mm) premium fans, the NH-L12 pushes the bar in terms of low-profile quiet cooling performance.
Extra-low profile in 92mm single-fan mode
The NH-L12 can be used with the NF-B9 92mm fan only in order to reduce the overall height to 66mm. This way, the cooler is suitable for many typical µATX or Mini-ITX enclosures and ideal for whisper-quiet HTPC systems.
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptors
The NH-L12’s NF-F12 and NF-B9 fans support PWM for convenient automatic speed control. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced to 1200/1300rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptors for even quieter operation.
SecuFirm2™ mounting system
Noctua’s enthusiast grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting provides broad socket compatibility (LGA 2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA775, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1) and meets the highest demands in safety, performance and ease-of-use.
Mini-ITX mounting without backplate
Some Intel based Mini-ITX mainboards don’t allow for the installation of backplates. The NH-L12 thus comes with an extra set of Intel mounting bolts which make it possible to install the cooler without using the SecuFirm2™ backplate.
NT-H1 thermal compound
Noctua’s much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a well proven pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding reliability.
It’s tough to predict actual cooling performance of this unit, but judging by the $59.90 MSRP it should be one of the top low-profile coolers out there. The NH-L12 offers a lot of flexibility between the dual-fan setup, mini-ITX mounting kit and almost universal current generation compatibility. Not to mention, this heatsink comes equipped with high-quality fans, like the NF-F12 PWM that we looked at last week.
My biggest peeve with HTPC’s is the lack of power, but maybe this will allow users to put a strong SB under the hood. Perhaps even a bit of an overclock?
For more information check out the Noctua NH-L12 product page.