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Noctua NH-U12P SE2 FAQs
Is the high weight dangerous for the CPU or socket?
No. Noctua coolers possess an extremely reliable SecuFirm™ mounting system. Thanks to the screw connection with the backplate on the rear side of the motherboard, the exceedance of the weight recommendations by Intel and AMD common among high-end coolers is completely unobjectionable.
Is it possible to mount fans with a greater height than 25mm?
Yes. The fan mounting clips grip to the screw holes in the lower edge of the fan frame and hence work with all fans regardless of their height. However, problems with the mounting of the fan can occur due to other parts within the case or fans with special frame designs, where the clips can't grip to the screw holes in the lower edge of the frame.
Is it possible to run two fans at a time?
Yes. Using the 4 supplied fan clips, you can mount two 120mm fans on the NH-U12(F/P) and two 92mm fans on the NH-U9(F/B).
Should the fan be mounted sucking away from the heat-sink or blowing onto the heat-sink?
Please install the fan blowing onto the heat-sink.
If you're using two fans, please install them so that one blows onto the heat-sink and the other sucks the air away from the other side.
On which side of the heat-sink should the fan be installed?
Please install the fan so that the hot air can be disposed as good as possible either through the rear case fan (Airflow Option 1) or through the power supply (Airflow Option 2).
Is it possible to cool my CPU without a fan (passive) using Noctua coolers?
Noctua coolers weren't originally designed for passive operation although the cooling performance is sufficient in many cases. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to indicate whether a certain CPU can or cannot be cooled without a fan, as this depends on various factors such as case temperature, case ventilation or the orientation of the socket. Generally, we recommend using a fan in the first instance and then lowering RPM while constantly monitoring the temperature.
Why doesn't the base of Noctua coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?
As most of today's PC enthusiasts use high-viscosity thermal compounds, the contact surface of Noctua coolers is optimised for use with this type of pastes. The micro-grooves at the contact surface ensure that high-viscosity thermal compounds are dispersed to a uniform thin layer across the whole contact area and that no air pockets remain between the cooler and the CPU. With a polished, mirror like surface, the risk of uneven dispersion is much higher. As too thick layers of thermal paste and air pockets drastically deteriorate heat transmission, the micro-grooves are is of vital importance to the overall cooling performance of Noctua coolers when used with today's high-viscosity thermal pastes.
How to install the fan using the supplied steel clips?
First hook the clip into the notch of the heatsink:
Then hook the endings of the clips into the mounting holes of the fan:
How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-U12P provide?
The NH-U12P provides 40mm clearance for near-socket components:
What can I do if the fan blocks my RAM or chipset cooler?
In order to increase clearance, you can easily move the fan up a few fins as show below:
I've got 2 adapter cables with the cooler. What's the difference between these cables?
The Low-Noise-Adapter (L.N.A.) and Ultra-Low-Noise-Adapter (U.L.N.A.) reduce the speed of the fan to 1100 / 900 rpm:
Can I use Noctua fans on my fan controller?
In general, our fans can be used with any fan controller. There is a known compatibility issue with the Zalman ZM-MFC2 controller though: This product uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) in order to control the fan speed and the unfavourable carrier frequency of the PWM signal can create an oscillation when used with certain fans. This will result in the fan speeding up and down. We therefore recommend not using the Zalman ZM-MFC2 with our fans.
My fan doesn’t spin when I start up the PC - is it faulty?
If you've connected the fan directly (or using the supplied Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptors) to your mainboard, it's possible that the mainboard's automatic fan controller doesn't provide the required starting voltage due to the low CPU temperature. Please verify whether the fan starts spinning at higher CPU temperatures, remove any Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptors, deactivate your mainboard's automatic fan controller in the BIOS or connect the fan directly to the power supply using the supplied 3:4-pin adaptor.
Can I run Noctua fans on 4-pin PWM connectors and use my mainboard’s automatic fan controller?
You can simply connect our fan's 3-pin connector to the 4-pin PWM sockets of today's mainboards so that the fourth pin that transmits the PWM signal is left blank (due to the shape of the connector, there's no danger of reversing polarity). Some mainboards (e.g. current Gigabyte models) are capable of controlling fans not only via PWM, but also by adjusting the supplied voltage. In some cases, this may require you to change BIOS options like "Fan Control Mode" from "PWM" to "Voltage" or "Analog". Please consult your mainboard's manual in this regard. However, some mainboards use an "auto" setting by default that automatically chooses PWM or voltage based regulation according to the connected fan. Automatically controlling the fan speed may not possible on mainboards that pulse the power rather than lowering the fan voltage.
How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?
In order to check whether the cooler isn’t too high for your case, please measure the distance from the motherboard tray to the side panel (tower cases) or top panel (desktop cases). If this distance is bigger than the height of the cooler + 15mm (mainboard spacers + mainboard + CPU), the height/width of your case should be sufficient.
Help, the base of the cooler doesn’t make contact with the CPU / there is no contact pressure!
Please verify that you have installed the fastening brackets correctly:
Does the cooler offer sufficient clearance for my RAM modules?
The cooler offers sufficient clearance for modules of up to 40mm in height. RAM modules with higher heatspreaders can cause compatibility issues on mainboards where the heatsink extends over the RAM slots (Note that you can move the fan up as shown here in case only the fan hangs over the RAM slots).
Is the cooler compatible with LGA1366 mainboards for Xeon 5500?
Due to the custom NM-I3 backplate, the cooler can not be used on mainboards that have a backplate with screw threads for CPU cooler installation (such as the Intel reference backplate for Xeon 5500). Please choose our NH-U12DX 1366 for these mainboards.
My mainboard has more than one set of mounting holes. Which one should I use?
Please always use the standard set of mounting holes that's compliant with your socket type (e.g. 75mm LGA1156 hole spacing on LGA1156 sockets) and parallel to the sides of the socket. Don't use mounting holes which are rotated in relation to the socket.
I can't open the socket due to the mounting bars!
Please first loosen one of the two thumbscrews that hold the mounting bars in place. Then untighten the second screw so that you can swivel the mounting bar and open the socket. Depending on the position of the mounting bars, you may need to swivel both.
Does the package include a backplate for AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2(+)?
No. As most AMD mainboards come with a stock backplate preinstalled, the cooler doesn’t include an AMD backplate. If your mainboard doesn’t have a backplate, please contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I use Corair Dominator RAM with the cooler?
The cooler can extend over the RAM slots on some mainboards. While DDR2 Corsair Dominator don't fit underneath the cooler, DDR3 Corsair Dominator do fit when the removable top heatsink is taken off as shown below. Please also note that the NF-P12 fan can be moved upwards or taken off in order to improve RAM compatibility as shown here.
The supplied y-cable is missing a wire at one of the two connectors, is it faulty?
No. As mainboards can process only one rpm-signal per fan header, it would cause problems if the cable transmitted rpm-signals of both fans. For this reason, one of the two connectors does not have an rpm wire and only the fan on the other connector will transmit an rpm signal. Automatic speed control of both fans will work independent from the second fan’s rpm signal.
The fan doesn’t start with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA)!
Unfortunately, many Gigabyte mainboards use a special control circuit that can lead to start-up problems in conjunction with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA). This control circuit remains active even when automatic fan control is disabled in the BIOS. In these cases, please use the fan without the ULNA or connect it directly to the power supply (or an external fan controller) in order to ensure reliable operation with the ULNA.
I get a CPU fan error despite the fan is running!
Some mainboards display a CPU fan error when the fan speed falls below a certain threshold, e.g. 600rpm. If you want to run the fan below this speed (e.g. using the supplied U.L.N.A. or via PWM), please adjust the threshold in the BIOS or disable CPU fan error warning.
Is the mounting system compatible with LGA1155?
Yes. LGA1155 uses the same hole spacing as LGA1156, so the same SecuFirm2™ mounting system can be used.
How can I check whether my AMD mainboard has a standard AMD backplate that’s compatible with the SecuFirm2™ mounting system and how should I proceed with the installation?
The SecuFirm2™ mounting system requires a standard AMD backplate (either plastic or metal) with screw threads as shown on the pictures below. These backplates are pre-installed on the rear side of most AMD mainboards (see first picture below) and fixed to the retention module with four screws (see second picture below). If your retention module is fixed with plastic bolts instead of metal screws, please contact email@example.com in order to obtain an appropriate backplate.
In order to proceed with the installation of your Noctua cooler, please remove the four screws and the retention module but keep the backplate in place so that you can see the screw threads from the top side of the motherboard (see third picture below). You can then proceed with the installation of the SecuFirm2™ mounting kit as described in the manual (see fourth picture below).
How to remove the base protection cover?
Noctua CPU coolers are shipped with a plastic protection cover at the bottom side of the cooler, which protects the contact surface against scratches and other damage.
The base of Noctua CPU coolers is made from hard-wearing nickel plated copper, so there's nothing to worry about if you buy a Noctua cooler from second hand or if your cooler didn't come with a protection cover. Please proceed with the installation as explained in the manual.
You can simply remove the cover as shown below:
Is the cooler compatible with AMD AM3+ and FM1?
As the hole spacing for CPU cooler installation on AM3+ and FM1 is the same as on AM2, AM2+ and AM3, the cooler is fully compatible with AM3+ and FM1 out of the box and doesn’t require any modifications or upgrades.
Is the cooler compatible with the Intel LGA2011 socket and Asus X-socket™?
The cooler doesn’t come with LGA2011 mounting hardware out of the box, but it can be upgraded to support LGA2011 via the NM-I2011 mounting kit.
Please also note that the cooler is fully compatible with Asus Rampage IV series LGA2011 motherboards that feature Asus X-socket™. Asus X-socket™ models use an interchangeable backplate that makes it possible to install LGA1366 heatsinks, so the cooler is fully compatible with these mainboards out of the box and does not require any upgrades to be installed.
In order to install the cooler on Asus X-socket™ mainboards, please first remove the mainboard’s LGA2011 backplate and install the LGA1366 backplate supplied with the mainboard instead (see the mainboard manual for detailed instructions). Then install the Noctua cooler as described in the supplied installation manual for LGA1366. In case you’ve lost the printed installation manual, you can download it here.
Can the cooler be installed turned by 90° on AMD sockets?
In order to install the cooler turned by 90° on AMD, the optional NM-A90 kit is required.
How should I clean my Noctua cooler?
Dust: Fans and heatsinks inside computer cases tend to accumulate dust over longer periods of usage. In order to maintain maximum performance, please clean your fan and heatsink regularly. For cleaning, please first remove the fan from the heatsink and clean it using a duster, slightly moist tissue or canned air. Please be careful not to use too much force in order to prevent any damage to the fan. Please do not use a vacuum cleaner as this may apply excessive force to the fan and do not put the fan under running water as water residues inside the motor may lead to short circuits. Please also note that the fan is not designed to be taken apart by the user. Removing the impeller from the frame will break the sealing of the bearing and results in a loss of warranty. Before reinstalling the fan, clean the heatsink itself with a duster or vacuum cleaner. Finally put the fan back on and connect it to your motherboard fan header or fan controller.
Thermal paste residues: Whenever you take off the heatsink from the CPU, we recommend to clean the CPU as well as the base of the cooler before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler. You can either just wipe the base and the CPU clean with a dry, lint-free tissue or, for more thorough cleaning, use a lint-free tissue moistened with either a mild solution of washing-up liquid or isopropyl alcohol. Do not put the cooler or CPU under running water. Note that both the base of the heatsink and the CPU should be dry, free from residues of thermal compound and free from grease before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler.
Can use the NF-A15 fan on my Noctua CPU cooler?
The NF-A15 is fully compatible with the NH-U12P, NH-C12P and NH-C12P SE14. On the NH-D14 and NH-C14, the NF-A15 fan can only be installed using optional fan clips. For this, please contact our customer service.
Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?
The mounting is identical on all LGA115x sockets (LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156). The following coolers are thus compatible with LGA1150 out of the box and don’t require any upgrades in order to be used on this platform: NH-C12P SE14, NH-C14, NH-D15, NH-D14, NH-L12, NH-L9i, NH-U14S, NH-U12S, NH-U12P SE2, NH-U9B SE2. In addition, all older models which have been upgraded with the NM-I3 kit can also be used on LGA1150 without any further upgrades.
The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and are eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: NH-C12P, NH-U12, NH-U12F, NH-U12P, NH-U12P SE1366, NH-U9, NH-U9F, NH-U9B.
The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit but are not eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: DX-Series Xeon coolers, NH-D14 SE2011.
The following coolers are mechanically incompatible with the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and can not be made compatible with LGA1150: DO-Series AMD Opteron coolers, NH-L9a.
I’ve used all the NT-H1 thermal compound that came with the cooler, can you send me more?
Please kindly note that the NT-H1 thermal compound supplied with our coolers is a consumable item so our manufacturer’s warranty does not include providing additional thermal compound. You can purchase NT-H1 from our resellers.
Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?
Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.
Is the cooler compatible with AMD FM2+?
As the hole spacing for CPU cooler installation on FM2+ is the same as on AM2, AM2, AM3(+), FM1 and FM2, the cooler is fully compatible with FM2+ out of the box and doesn’t require any modifications or upgrades.
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01.08.2015 - PC Games Hardware 09/15 NH-D15
Test verdict: "Kompromisslose
Qualität: Sieger dieser Marktübersicht
und neuer Spitzenreiter im
PCGH-Einkaufsführer ist ein alter
Bekannter. Noctuas NH-D15 hat bereits
auf dem letzten PCGH-Testsystem
seine Qualitäten bewiesen und
erfreut sich anhaltender Beliebtheit
unter den Lesern. Wenn man genug
Platz für den riesigen 2×-140-mm-
Dual-Tower hat, findet man kaum
einen besseren CPU-Kühler."
(Torsten Vogel, PC Games Hardware 09/15)
01.08.2015 - eTeknix.com NH-U9S
Test verdict: "If I’m building a compact HTPC, workstation or office rig, this will be the cooler I choose. It looks great, it’s easy to install, it’s got exceptional build quality and it’s quieter than a mouse."
(Peter Donnell, eTeknix.com)
31.07.2015 - videotesty.pl NH-D15S
Test verdict: "Wtedy NH-D15s jest zdecydowanie lepszym wyborem, aby
schłodzić procesor i mieć wysoki komfort pracy."
(Paweł Borysewicz, videotesty.pl)
31.07.2015 - GreenTechReviews.ru NH-C14S
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-C14S
C14, в котором
C-Type кулеров Noctua