Tuesday, June 15th 2021

Noctua Launches NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler and LS-PWM Fan for Semi-fanless Systems

Noctua today released its much anticipated NH-P1 CPU cooler as well as the optional NF-A12x25 LS-PWM 120 mm 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 120 mm 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 3.60 GHz - this is a lot of processing power and a whopping 125 W 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 120 mm 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 12.1 dBA, 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.


For more information, visit the product page.
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30 Comments on Noctua Launches NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler and LS-PWM Fan for Semi-fanless Systems

#1
ZoneDymo
hmm semi fanless PC's, delicious.
The whole "increase performance with the optional fan" is pretty silly though, I mean sure you CAN do that but it should really not be advertised.
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#2
Dristun
6-cores are listed as okay for full passive on the product page, lesss goooo :clap:
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#3
DeathtoGnomes
he NH-P1 cools an Intel Core i9-11900K running Prime95 at more than 3.60 GHz
doesnt that chip normally run at 5.2ghz?
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#4
Mussels
Moderprator
That bonus 12db fan they released sounds more right up my alley, just slap those as case fans at 100% and call it a day
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#5
Vya Domus
Having a completely fanless case with one of these is ill advised because eventually the heat builds up but then if you need to have case fans what's the point ?
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#7
ncrs
DeathtoGnomesdoesnt that chip normally run at 5.2ghz?
The cooler claims to be capable of cooling it running at stock TDP, which is 125W. Intel's TDP is defined at base clock which for that CPU is 3.50GHz. When running at 5.2GHz it is exceeding that value by quite a bit, so the cooler probably won't be able to handle it for extended periods of time.
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#8
zlobby
Semi-fanless sounds like semi-pregnant...
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#9
oldwalltree
Curious of the performance with a fan slapped on it.
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#11
freeagent
It’s using 6x 6mm pipes, so with a fan on it I don’t see performance being exceptional, maybe on par with a D15.. only one way to find out! :D
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#12
napata
ncrsThe cooler claims to be capable of cooling it running at stock TDP, which is 125W. Intel's TDP is defined at base clock which for that CPU is 3.50GHz. When running at 5.2GHz it is exceeding that value by quite a bit, so the cooler probably won't be able to handle it for extended periods of time.
Intel's TDP isn't defined for any clock speed as power draw is very variable depending on the workload. 3.5GHz is just the minimum it might drop to. The stock TDP is 125w and clock speeds will adjust based on workload to keep within the 125W enveloppe.

In some workloads this might mean 3.5 GHz while in others this might still mean 5.2 GHz (this is just on one core though as all core boost is 4.8 GHz for a 11900k). Games for example don't draw that much power so you'll probably hit top boost speeds in them while something like Linpack will run on very low clock speeds if you want to stay under 125W. Most realistic workloads will be fairly close to the 4.8Ghz all core boost though as realistic workloads don't draw that much power.
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#13
ncrs
napataIntel's TDP isn't defined for any clock speed as power draw is very variable depending on the workload. 3.5GHz is just the minimum it might drop to. The stock TDP is 125w and clock speeds will adjust based on workload to keep within the 125W enveloppe.

In some workloads this might mean 3.5 GHz while in others this might still mean 5.2 GHz (this is just on one core though as all core boost is 4.8 GHz for a 11900k). Games for example don't draw that much power so you'll probably hit top boost speeds in them while something like Linpack will run on very low clock speeds if you want to stay under 125W. Most realistic workloads will be fairly close to the 4.8Ghz all core boost though as realistic workloads don't draw that much power.
It literally is defined like I wrote in the tooltip of "TDP" on Intel ARK: "Thermal Design Power (TDP) represents the average power, in watts, the processor dissipates when operating at Base Frequency with all cores active under an Intel-defined, high-complexity workload. Refer to Datasheet for thermal solution requirements."
We do not know what the load they mean is, but it doesn't matter since almost no consumer motherboard will respect the TDP and try to run in one of the turbo modes for as long as possible. Business-class motherboads will, however. What matters is adhering to specifications by both Intel and Noctua, and that's why Noctua used the frequency they used in the press release.
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#14
renq
Who is this really for?
Is it mainly for "just because (we can)" as i think the situation where 100% passive cooled solution is *actually* required there are better specialty solutions available.
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#15
LabRat 891
Wish this had come out just a little sooner. I ended up with a large black FSP cooler rated for 250w that I 'just removed the fan' for my R5 3600. Works well; I'm able to sustain max boost indefinitely after some power limit tweaks. There's exhaust fans directly above and next/behind the HS, so I can't claim it's toally passive. Maybe, I'll wait for the black edition of this Noctua and upgrade then?
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#17
Chrispy_
The video guide basically recommends not using a dGPU as it'll block the airflow for the cooler and puts a source of heat (and noise) right in the worst possible place for this particular cooler.

Which then brings me on to the madness of recommending a large, well-ventilated full-size ATX case for an IGP build that could just as easily be a NUC:



Throw in the need for a fan to make real use of Turbo/PBO and it's basically looking like a "buy one because you think it's neat, not because it's actually practical"

Honestly, the best thing about this product is the 12dBA fan they made specially for it. If you're going to run any fans, you want them to be quiet and I'm fairly sure 12dBA is low enough that I'm not ever going to hear it.
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#18
mechtech
Can I get it in electro-plated gold please??
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#19
King Mustard
mechtechCan I get it in electro-plated gold please??
We'll see what we can do.
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#20
Minus Infinity
So I have a cooler with two fans providing superb cooling that I can't hear unless I open the case and put my ear close to the cooler, why on earth would you even bother with this monstrosity that costs more than a cooler with fans. My whole case has 4 fans, plus 2 on the cpu cooler and it's whisper quiet and it's a P500A, open mesh system. Given the GPU will more than likely being the limiting noise component what's the point of being below that threshold?
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#21
Ravenas
Wow I would like to have this.
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#22
Vader
I haven't found an actual use case scenario where absolute silence is needed, yet, doesn't mean they don't exist. There are also people that like the idea of building a fanless computer. For what is worth, this looks like an upgrade to what has been previously available
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#23
watzupken
I never find "fanless" cooler like this useful. When you want a completely fanless system, you need the heat to be transferred to the case/ out of the case so that heat will not build up within the chassis. For a design like this, you will still need some sort of active cooling to bring in fresh air, and exhaust hot air out of the system. In addition, if you have a piping hot GPU, fan noise is unavoidable.
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#24
Juventas
Vya DomusHaving a completely fanless case with one of these is ill advised because eventually the heat builds up but then if you need to have case fans what's the point ?
I've had fanless gaming PCs since 2013. Only the gpu has fans with the "fan stop" feature. I use open cases so there's no heat being trapped.

This Noctua heatsink seems small compared to the NoFan heatsinks. However, it looks like it's more compatible with smaller cases.
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#25
semantics
VaderI haven't found an actual use case scenario where absolute silence is needed, yet, doesn't mean they don't exist. There are also people that like the idea of building a fanless computer. For what is worth, this looks like an upgrade to what has been previously available
No one needs absolute silence but HTPC. Also silence is only part of it, not having a fans is another. There are plenty of industrial reasons to have completely fanless PCs but there are few that would actually use this product when you get to business you can just buy stupid expensive things.
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