With the Noctua NH-D12L, the cooling professional has introduced a new dual-tower CPU cooler with a particularly low profile. It is joined by the corresponding NF-A12x25r 120mm round-frame fan. It comes to a height of only 145 mm, which is around 13 mm lower than other 120 mm models from the manufacturer. Combined with the dual-tower design with five heat pipes, this should even surpass the level of many full-height 120mm models.
Noctua NH-D12L: Dual-tower cooler with convincing performance
While Noctua’s regular 120mm CPU coolers have a build height of 158 mm, the NH-D12L only comes in at 145 mm. Accordingly, it fits not only in a wide range of 4U rackmount server cases, but also in tower cases that are actually not wide enough for 158mm models, as well as in some Small Form Factor (SFF) and Mini-ITX cases. Despite its reduced height, the NH-D12L is said to outperform even 92mm coolers and even surpass the performance of the company’s own NH-U12S model, as well as come very close to the multi-award winning 120mm flagship NH-U12A model.
Noctua relies on an asymmetrical design for its new CPU cooler, which means the Noctua NH-D12L does not protrude above the memory banks of Intel LGA1700/LGA1200/LGA115x and AMD AM4/AM5 motherboards. This ensures access to the modules, as well as 100% compatibility with DIMMs with high heatpreader or RGB lighting.
Excellent performance at a smaller size
Introduced by Noctua in 2018, the NF-A12x25 is widely regarded as the best 120x25mm fan on the market. The round-frame version used on the NH-D12L offers the same excellent cooling performance and allows you to reduce the overall height of the cooler without risking compatibility issues with tall motherboard heatsinks or shrouds. With the help of the included additional fan brackets, the NH-D12L can be upgraded with a second of these round 120mm fans on the front or rear cooling tower. However, the fan then usually sits above the RAM modules or I/O panel, which could increase the overall height to over 145mm.
The NH-D12L also relies on the well-known SecuFirm2TM mounting system and comes with NT-H1 thermal compound. Noctua also awards a 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.