Noctua releases NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler and A12x25 LS-PWM 120mm Fan

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Noctua recently released the NH-P1 passive CPU cooler and NF-A12x25 LS-PWM low-speed 120mm fan. The much anticipated passive cooler is designed to cool modern high-end processors using only natural heat convection or typical case airflow using its six heat pipes and loads of engineering. The NF-A12x25 LS-PWM fan is designed to assist the cooler in a semi-passive configuration. The PWM function allows the fan to stop during lower loads or rotate up to 1200 RPM under high loads. At full speed, it produces only 12.1 dB. The NH-P1 cooler is listed for $109.90 while the A12x25 LS-PWM fan is $29.90 and is currently available through Amazon. Here is the press release for Noctua.

Noctua introduces NH-P1 passive CPU cooler and LS-PWM fan for semi-fanless systems

Vienna, June 15th 2021 – Noctua today released its much anticipated NH-P1 CPU cooler as well as the optional NF-A12x25 LS-PWM 120mm fan. Custom-designed for fanless operation from the ground up, the NH-P1 is capable of cooling modern high-end CPUs with low to moderate heat dissipation completely passively in enclosures with good natural convection. For further enhanced performance or semi-passive setups that only spin up their fans when necessary, the NH-P1 can be outfitted with a low-speed, ultra-quiet 120mm fan such as the new NF-A12x25 LS-PWM.

“The NH-P1 is our very first passive cooler, and it should be easy to see that we didn’t just take a regular heatsink and omit the fan”, says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “A lot of engineering work went into designing this unit for fanless operation from the ground up and we’re truly proud of the end result. In our completely fanless demo system, the NH-P1 cools an Intel Core i9-11900K running Prime95 at more than 3.6GHz – this is a lot of processing power and a whopping 125W kept in check with zero fan noise!”

The NH-P1 isn’t just a regular heatsink without a fan: featuring much thicker, much more widely spaced fins, it achieves both the mass and the minimal airflow resistance that are required in order to excel in natural convection cooling. In fully optimised fanless systems, the NH-P1 is capable of cooling high-end CPUs with low to moderate heat dissipation using natural convection only (see setup guidelines and CPU compatibility list). This makes it ideal for powerful builds that have no moving parts and run absolutely silent. Topped off with the new, Torx-based SecuFirm2+ mounting system, Noctua’s award-winning NT-H2 thermal compound and a 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-P1 is the ideal cornerstone for premium-grade fanless or semi-passive builds.


“While we’re very excited about the possibilities that the NH-P1 opens up, we also need to stress that building a passively cooled system is not as straightforward as building a regular system. For optimal results, components must be selected more carefully, and certain principles should be respected”, Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO) explains. “Therefore, we offer detailed setup guidelines, a build guide video tutorial, a list of recommended cases as well as an extensive CPU compatibility list that will help customers to get the best possible results.”

In addition to the NH-P1, Noctua released the optional NF-A12x25 LS-PWM 120mm fan, a low-speed, PWM-enabled variant of the award-winning NF-A12x25 that is ideal for enhancing the performance of the NH-P1 in semi-passive systems. At a maximum noise level of only 12.1dB(A), the NF-A12x25 LS-PWM is nearly inaudible but will still significantly boost the performance headroom of the cooler. As the fan stops at 0% PWM, it can easily be set up for semi-passive operation so that it will only spin up when necessary. This way, the system will work fanless most of the time but still provide the flexibility to make better use of the turbo modes of more powerful CPUs that require some extra airflow to be cooled adequately under full load conditions.

NF-A12x25 LS-PWM
Build guide video
Setup guidelines
CPU compatibility list
List of recommended cases

Suggested retail prices
The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices are EUR/USD 109.90 for the NH-P1 and EUR/USD 29.90 for the NF-A12x25 LS-PWM.

Both the CPU cooler and the fan are available as of today via Noctua’s official Amazon stores:

Buy NH-P1
Buy NF-A12x25 LS-PWM

In the UK, the products are available as of today through QuietPC. Other sales partners will receive stock shortly.

About Noctua
Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received more than 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.

-John Nester (Blaylock)


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  1. One is already standing next to me. Maybe I will start tests this weekend (depends on the time). Somehow I'm more interested in this cooler than almost everything else that was released this year :)
    I only think that the fan could be black or gray like something from the redux series. It would fit better than the brownish one. It doesn't change fact that these fans are great.
    I agree. When I saw them that was my initial thought too. It wouldn't surprise me to see them come in black at a later date.
    Did you get the fan too Woomack?
    Yes, arrived with the fan. It's still unpacked as I had no time to take photos (except that one in the new stuff thread). I just never start tests before I take photos because it's hard to get rid of fingerprints or dust from some items and I don't really want to use gloves for that ;) It's like you think it's clean but on the photos are little white dots. I bet you know what I mean as it's especially visible on black PC cases. I never edit photos in another way than resizing or adjusting brightness.
    Unpacked the monster ;)
    It's probably the first Noctua cooler that has NT-H2 thermal paste. It generally spreads better and performs better than the NT-H1.
    Some photos. With a fan, it looks weird.
    I know exactly what you mean about the fingerprints. I do the same.
    Those fins are so thick! I like that the fan can be mounted on top or on the side. That's forward-thinking right there. Looks like they even included holes for push/pull.
    Curious if horizontal vs. vertical positioning matters.
    So its a passive cooler that comes with a fan. Doesn't that make it an active cooler by default? ;)
    Interested in seeing the result of this with the big heat loads of today's CPUs.
    Yes, the fan is sold as a separate product. You can use it or not ... or use some other type of cooler. The dedicated fan is a "quiet" version that is designed to stop while other series run at 300+ RPM so, in the end, it's a semi-passive option.
    I assume that the optimal fan placement matters depends on the airflow in the case. On the Noctua website, are docs that are suggesting PC cases and other components. In short, there are not many cases that will work well with this cooler in the passive mode.
    There is also a limit of ~120W but don't count it in TDP as for example Ryzen 5000 heats up more than Intel at the same expected TDP. This is why on the recommended CPU list, Ryzen 5900X is marked as not possible to work in a passive mode while 11900K is accepted but the clock will be around its base frequency. I assume that not much better will be with the 5800X as in my older tests, it wasn't much colder than the 5900X.
    I guess I will test it with the 11700K and we will see how it works.
    I'm only not sure if the advantage of having a passive CPU cooler, in reality, changes much. I mean graphics cards make more noise recently, the same for a fully passive PC you will need a fanless PSU, no HDDs that are louder than most CPU fans, etc. In any stronger PC, I can't hear the NH-D15 with 2 fans. So the NH-P1 seems like a good option for a lower power PC with IGP but who would buy it for a cheaper CPU with IGP and install it in a quite big PC case? Just some thoughts but they don't change the fact that I want to test it in some scenarios :) Building a passive PC that can run 24/7 without any moving parts would be nice too.
    I think that to keep it quite small, can use one of the cube ITX/mATX cases with mesh all around and support for CPU coolers up to 180-190mm. Maybe Jonsbo V8 or something from Thermaltake. Just an idea but not many are on the tested cases list.