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Noctua NH-U12F

 
 
Howard Goldstein
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      11-23-2007, 01:15 AM
A very short commentary on the Noctua NH-U12F I picked up off of ebay
to replace an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 pro for my striker.

The first thing I noticed about this was how heavy the box was, and
that Noctua's taken a different packaging decoration strategy than
Thermalright. The package touts the Austrian design, quietness, and
features a picture of a very attractive redhead who must have helped
engineer the product. Does the carpet match the drapes? Noctua has a
pretty good grasp of the audience.

The NH-U12F comes with the heatsink, a 120mm three pin fan, and
mounting brackets for the LGA 775 two AMD styles. The heatsink feels
as heavy as the Ultra 120 eXtreme and resembles it in its lateral
dimensions. The base is flat but machine-grooved.

The mounting system is terrific. There's the familiar 'X' bracket on
the rear. For the 775 and AMD forms you screw two other brackets on
the top of the motherboard into the X. The heatsink then attaches to
those bracket with two spring loaded screws. This configuration
allows removing the heat sink to access the CPU socket without having
to pull the motherboard. Nice.


There is no comparison to the push pins as you might expect; the
screwons aren't flimsy. It seems superior to the 120x, too. Unlike
that heat sink when one attached the sink to those brackets the result
is an attachment that has absolutely no flex or movement at all.

The fan attachment was similar to the 120x with brackets that were
puzzling to install but once figured out they're easier to attach
fitting in a groove down the sides and fix the fan firmly onto the
anti-vibration strips. I can't hear the fan at high speed with the
case closed.

Thermal: Lapped Q6600, MX-2, 1.325v, 300x9, ambient 28C, side panels
off the antec P182B case


hottest core CPU case
AC7 NH-U12F AC7 NH-U12F
Idle 47 40 39 24*
Loaded 61 55 43 38


*obviously wrong, ambient is 28C, I wrote down the wrong number from
mbmon



Conclusion: Best darned $34 I've spent on a CPU cooler, and my case
ventilation is still awful

 
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Howard Goldstein
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      11-23-2007, 01:20 AM
On Fri, 23 Nov 2007 01:15:27 GMT, Howard Goldstein <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: A very short commentary on the Noctua NH-U12F I picked up off of ebay
: to replace an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 pro for my striker.
:
: The first thing I noticed about this was how heavy the box was, and
: that Noctua's taken a different packaging decoration strategy than
: Thermalright. The package touts the Austrian design, quietness, and
: features a picture of a very attractive redhead who must have helped
: engineer the product. Does the carpet match the drapes? Noctua has a
: pretty good grasp of the audience.
:
: The NH-U12F comes with the heatsink, a 120mm three pin fan, and
: mounting brackets for the LGA 775 two AMD styles. The heatsink feels
: as heavy as the Ultra 120 eXtreme and resembles it in its lateral
: dimensions. The base is flat but machine-grooved.
:
: The mounting system is terrific. There's the familiar 'X' bracket on
: the rear. For the 775 and AMD forms you screw two other brackets on
: the top of the motherboard into the X. The heatsink then attaches to
: those bracket with two spring loaded screws. This configuration
: allows removing the heat sink to access the CPU socket without having
: to pull the motherboard. Nice.
:
:
: There is no comparison to the push pins as you might expect; the
: screwons aren't flimsy. It seems superior to the 120x, too. Unlike
: that heat sink when one attached the sink to those brackets the result
: is an attachment that has absolutely no flex or movement at all.
:
: The fan attachment was similar to the 120x with brackets that were
: puzzling to install but once figured out they're easier to attach
: fitting in a groove down the sides and fix the fan firmly onto the
: anti-vibration strips. I can't hear the fan at high speed with the
: case closed.
:
: Thermal: Lapped Q6600, MX-2, 1.325v, 300x9, ambient 28C, side panels
: off the antec P182B case
:
:
: hottest core CPU case
: AC7 NH-U12F AC7 NH-U12F
: Idle 47 40 39 24*
: Loaded 61 55 43 38
:
:
: *obviously wrong, ambient is 28C, I wrote down the wrong number from
: mbmon
:
:
:
: Conclusion: Best darned $34 I've spent on a CPU cooler, and my case
: ventilation is still awful
:


Forgot: Interference around the CPU area is a potential problem. The
120x fins start a lot higher than does the NH-U12F. I had to replace
my NB cooler with a Thermalright SLI HR-05 that offsets the heatsink
from the base, and I had to replace one (but I did both) of the
pushpin-based mosfet heatsinks I was using with glue-on heatsinks. I
think the stock heat pipes come up almost as high as the pushpin
things I was using...
 
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~misfit~
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      11-23-2007, 02:08 AM
Somewhere on teh interweb Howard Goldstein typed:


<snip>

Thanks for the report/review. It's always good getting first-hand reviews
from people who actually paid for their products. I mean, Toms, Anand et al
review quite a few products but only if they don't have to pay for them.
I've seen a few 'riders' saying that they didn't review x as the suppliers
wouldn't send them one.

> Thermal: Lapped Q6600


Then:

> my case ventilation is still awful


LOL!! You lapped your CPU IHS but you won't take a nibbler to your case?
Hehee!

BTW, did you do a "before and after" when you lapped it? Do you think that
lapping it improved heat transfer? I have a Thermalright bolt-thru kit ("X"
bracket, spring-loaded screws) ordered to replace the push-pins on my
otherwise excellent Thermaltake Mini Typhoon. I've been debating whether to
lap the CPU IHS when I'm pulling the systen down to fit the bracket.

Thanks,
--
Shaun.


 
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~misfit~
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      11-23-2007, 02:11 AM
Somewhere on teh interweb Howard Goldstein typed:


Oh, forgot to mention, the very attrative redhead thing, that'd do it for
me. I have a weakness for redheads. Who gives a damn about the cooler? <g>
--
TTFN,

Shaun.


 
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bornfree
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      11-23-2007, 11:36 AM
On 23 Nov, 01:15, (E-Mail Removed) (Howard Goldstein) wrote:
> A very short commentary on the Noctua NH-U12F I picked up off of ebay
> to replace an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 pro for my striker.



Just my mileage.. I had an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 pro... and it was
rubbish. When under load CPU temp did rise a great deal.
 
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Howard Goldstein
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      11-23-2007, 01:30 PM
On Fri, 23 Nov 2007 15:08:59 +1300, ~misfit~ <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: Somewhere on teh interweb Howard Goldstein typed:
:
:
: <snip>
:
: Thanks for the report/review. It's always good getting first-hand reviews
: from people who actually paid for their products. I mean, Toms, Anand et al
: review quite a few products but only if they don't have to pay for them.
: I've seen a few 'riders' saying that they didn't review x as the suppliers
: wouldn't send them one.
:

You've got them dead to rights. Last week I was reading a review on
one of the Asus premium boards and the reviewer was whinging about
that exact problem, oh I'm not going to bother reviewing anything they
don't send me for free. That's *so frustrating*.

Besides the reports of disgruntled users from the web forums and a few
vendor sites like newegg just where does one find reliable comments?


: > Thermal: Lapped Q6600
:
: Then:
:
: > my case ventilation is still awful
:
: LOL!! You lapped your CPU IHS but you won't take a nibbler to your case?
: Hehee!

I will be an endless source of amusement on this.

1) that case with the 2 meter-diameter fan you pointed me to isn't
over here yet and 2) I'm wary anyway about increasing the noise level
from the drives. There's an array of 4 satas in here and a rotten IDE
for backups. 2+ hours next to the box and I start losing it. Yes, I
am cranky in my old age. Perhaps I should mosey on over to the silent
PC review old folks home and commiserate with them...

It does raise the question of what should be sufficient. If I have
two fans exhausting 49CFM each and assuming no meaningful intake
obstructions shouldn't that be enough to exchanging the case's sultry
warm air with still sultry but not as warm Florida ambient air a
couple of times per minute (assume 3x3x1 ft case), and solve the
problem without attaching a Lycoming or Continental driven prop plane
engine to the side?

I'm missing something or things...but what? Infrared from the hot
bits working its evil on poorly ventilated interior case bits?

: BTW, did you do a "before and after" when you lapped it? Do you think that
: lapping it improved heat transfer? I have a Thermalright bolt-thru kit ("X"
: bracket, spring-loaded screws) ordered to replace the push-pins on my
: otherwise excellent Thermaltake Mini Typhoon. I've been debating whether to
: lap the CPU IHS when I'm pulling the systen down to fit the bracket.

Yes I did do before and after but with the Arctic Cooling, not the
noctua. I only captured the coretemps. Idle and loaded with the
lapping knocked off 3C both. The heatspreader had a depression in it
deep enough I could have fed my cat from it.
 
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Howard Goldstein
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-23-2007, 01:35 PM
On Fri, 23 Nov 2007 03:36:42 -0800 (PST), bornfree <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: On 23 Nov, 01:15, (E-Mail Removed) (Howard Goldstein) wrote:
: > A very short commentary on the Noctua NH-U12F I picked up off of ebay
: > to replace an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 pro for my striker.
:
:
: Just my mileage.. I had an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 pro... and it was
: rubbish. When under load CPU temp did rise a great deal.

Good to know it wasn't just me, and not just my particular cooler. AC
does have a winner in their passive video card cooler. The series 1
is a big thing looks like it can cool your car, 12C improvement over
a stock X1950 Pro active cooler. The CPU cooler though, not so much.
 
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Fishface
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-23-2007, 03:39 PM
Howard Goldstein wrote:

> The NH-U12F comes with the heatsink, a 120mm three pin fan, and
> mounting brackets for the LGA 775 two AMD styles. The heatsink
> feels as heavy as the Ultra 120 eXtreme and resembles it in its lateral
> dimensions. The base is flat but machine-grooved.


I thought I might try one of those next time, but with a different fan. I
had purchased several 12 cm fans for my Thermalright Ultra Extreme
(whatever it's called), one of which was the Noctua. So much air was
escaping around the blade tips, I thought I had it on backwards and
actually took it off. I settled on the 1600 RPM Nexus, which required
surgery to work with the Thermalright as the mounting holes are shrouded
for the full thickness. This makes it strong but wrong for this application.

I thought the Thermalright mounting system was bogus for the amount
of weight it supported and how it allowed the assembly to twist. The
bottom was seriously not flat, so I pretty much lapped all the nickel off.
Nickel, thought non-reactive, is not a good conductor, anyway. It seems
there is a thin sheet of copper which covers the bottom and that is in effect
another thermal interface that we don't need. The fan mounting wires kept
coming out of the little holes while I was installing the fan, which made for
a very frustrating experience each time I removed and reinstalled it. Overall,
I am not impressed with thisThermalright product. Perhaps the prototypes
from China were better than the actual production models.


 
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~misfit~
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-24-2007, 12:01 AM
Somewhere on teh interweb Fishface typed:
> Howard Goldstein wrote:
>
>> The NH-U12F comes with the heatsink, a 120mm three pin fan, and
>> mounting brackets for the LGA 775 two AMD styles. The heatsink
>> feels as heavy as the Ultra 120 eXtreme and resembles it in its
>> lateral dimensions. The base is flat but machine-grooved.

>
> I thought I might try one of those next time, but with a different
> fan. I had purchased several 12 cm fans for my Thermalright Ultra Extreme
> (whatever it's called), one of which was the Noctua. So much air was
> escaping around the blade tips, I thought I had it on backwards and
> actually took it off. I settled on the 1600 RPM Nexus, which required
> surgery to work with the Thermalright as the mounting holes are
> shrouded for the full thickness. This makes it strong but wrong for this
> application.
> I thought the Thermalright mounting system was bogus for the amount
> of weight it supported and how it allowed the assembly to twist. The
> bottom was seriously not flat, so I pretty much lapped all the nickel
> off. Nickel, thought non-reactive, is not a good conductor, anyway. It
> seems there is a thin sheet of copper which covers the bottom and that is
> in effect another thermal interface that we don't need. The fan
> mounting wires kept coming out of the little holes while I was
> installing the fan, which made for a very frustrating experience each
> time I removed and reinstalled it. Overall, I am not impressed with
> thisThermalright product. Perhaps the prototypes from China were better
> than the actual production models.


I've heard a lot of reports about Thermalright's big coolers not being flat
and needing lapping. Also how damn difficult it is to lap these top-heavy
beasts. That's why I didn't get one. I got the Thermaltake Mini Typhoon
instead but that needed lapping anyway. (Yet none of the numerous reviews I
read about it said so. However, they all thanked Thermaltake so what's the
chances that they were given specially selected flat samples?)

Is that model you have one of those that Thermalright sell a seperate
bolt-thru mounting kit for? http://www.thermalright.com/product_default.htm
(accessories) Or does it come with an "X" bracket for the back of the board
supplied? I've ordered one of those Thermalright kits for my Thermaltake
cooler as it uses those crappy little plastic pop-out retainers which might
be adequate for a squat stock Intel cooler but certainly aren't for a 500gm
cooler where most of the weight is 100mm+ off the board. (Annoyingly it
seems I'm the only person in New Zealand to ever order one, the NZ agent
doesn't have them so one is being sent out to me directly from Taiwan.)
--
TTFN,

Shaun.


 
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~misfit~
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-24-2007, 12:20 AM
Somewhere on teh interweb Howard Goldstein typed:
> On Fri, 23 Nov 2007 15:08:59 +1300, ~misfit~
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Somewhere on teh interweb Howard Goldstein typed:
>>
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>> Thanks for the report/review. It's always good getting first-hand
>> reviews from people who actually paid for their products. I mean,
>> Toms, Anand et al review quite a few products but only if they
>> don't have to pay for them. I've seen a few 'riders' saying that
>> they didn't review x as the suppliers wouldn't send them one.
>>

>
> You've got them dead to rights. Last week I was reading a review on
> one of the Asus premium boards and the reviewer was whinging about
> that exact problem, oh I'm not going to bother reviewing anything they
> don't send me for free. That's *so frustrating*.


I agree. You'd thing that, with the amount of advertising revenue these
bigger review sites pull in, and for impartiality's sake, they'd buy an
off-the-shelf unit to review huh? Yet it seems that all of them only review
what they've been 'given' by the supplier. It brings into question the
legitimacy of the reviews IMO.

> Besides the reports of disgruntled users from the web forums and a few
> vendor sites like newegg just where does one find reliable comments?


Here. :-)

>>> Thermal: Lapped Q6600

>>
>> Then:
>>
>>> my case ventilation is still awful

>>
>> LOL!! You lapped your CPU IHS but you won't take a nibbler to your
>> case? Hehee!

>
> I will be an endless source of amusement on this.
>
> 1) that case with the 2 meter-diameter fan you pointed me to isn't
> over here yet and 2) I'm wary anyway about increasing the noise level
> from the drives. There's an array of 4 satas in here and a rotten IDE
> for backups. 2+ hours next to the box and I start losing it. Yes, I
> am cranky in my old age. Perhaps I should mosey on over to the silent
> PC review old folks home and commiserate with them...


LOL. As I pointed out to another poster (?) a week or so back, overclocking
and silent PCs aren't exactly <senility sets in and the word escapes me>.

If you're pushing the limits then you're also going to have to push the hot
air away. Good case design can make this quieter but it's never going to be
whisper-quiet. My current system is a joy to sit next to compared to my
previous OC'ed Barton/Thermaltake Xaser case. That thing sounded like I was
living next door to a large office block and all their airconditioning units
were just outside my window.

> It does raise the question of what should be sufficient. If I have
> two fans exhausting 49CFM each and assuming no meaningful intake
> obstructions shouldn't that be enough to exchanging the case's sultry
> warm air with still sultry but not as warm Florida ambient air a
> couple of times per minute (assume 3x3x1 ft case), and solve the
> problem without attaching a Lycoming or Continental driven prop plane
> engine to the side?


Brute force isn't as efficient as intelligent design. Is the air in your
case flowing optimally? If you have two fans moving that much air out then
you need vents of roughly twice the size, positioned preferably in front of
the HDDs (with maybe a couple slot covers under the graphics card removed to
allow cool air egress into that area).

> I'm missing something or things...but what? Infrared from the hot
> bits working its evil on poorly ventilated interior case bits?


You have to watch out for that. ;-)

>> BTW, did you do a "before and after" when you lapped it? Do you
>> think that lapping it improved heat transfer? I have a Thermalright
>> bolt-thru kit ("X" bracket, spring-loaded screws) ordered to
>> replace the push-pins on my otherwise excellent Thermaltake Mini
>> Typhoon. I've been debating whether to lap the CPU IHS when I'm
>> pulling the systen down to fit the bracket.

>
> Yes I did do before and after but with the Arctic Cooling, not the
> noctua. I only captured the coretemps. Idle and loaded with the
> lapping knocked off 3C both. The heatspreader had a depression in it
> deep enough I could have fed my cat from it.


Hmmm, a nano-cat huh? <g> Ok, I'm convinced, I'll lap my IHS when I pull my
system down to fit the bracket.

Thanks for the benefit of your experience.
--
TTFN,

Shaun.


 
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