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Noctua Presents the NH-L12 Low-Profile CPU Cooler

Dec 6, 2011
4,785 (2.14/day)
Still on the East Side
Noctua today presented its new NH-L12 low-profile cooler for Small Form Factor cases and HTPC environments. The NH-L12 features a flexible NF-F12 (120 mm) / NF-B9 (92 mm) dual PWM fan setup that can be configured either for full performance in dual fan mode or extra-low profile (66 mm) with the top fan removed.

"The industry trend towards Small Form Factor and Home Theatre PCs is well-established, but there's still a lack of suitable high-quality quiet CPU coolers", explains Mag. Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. "Building a powerful PC always requires a capable CPU, which in return demands a competent cooling solution. But who wants his HTPC to sound like a jet engine? This is precisely where the NH-L12 steps in."

Thanks to its exquisite dual fan setup consisting of Noctua's highly optimised NF-F12 (120 mm) and NF-B9 (92 mm) premium fans, the NH-L12 pushes the bar in terms of low-profile quiet cooling performance. Alternatively, the NH-L12 can also be used with the NF-B9 92 mm fan only in order to reduce the overall height to 66 mm. This way, the cooler is suitable for many typical µATX or Mini-ITX enclosures and ideal for whisper-quiet HTPC systems.

The NH-L12's NF-F12 and NF-B9 fans support PWM for convenient automatic speed control. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced to 1200/1300 rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptors for even quieter operation. Bundled with the award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound and Noctua's SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system, the NH-L12 packs everything a premium quality quiet cooler needs into a highly compact package.

Price and Availability

The NH-L12 will be available immediately at a recommended retail price of EUR 49.90 / USD 59.90.


New Member
Jan 26, 2012
789 (0.36/day)
Brisbane, Australia
System Name Desktop/Gamer/Digital Audio Wokstation ||| HTPC
Processor 2500k @ 4.65ghz ||| AMD A8 @ 3.6ghz
Motherboard ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
Cooling Noctua NH-D14 with single Blue Antec Tri-Cool 120mm ||| Stock
Memory 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600 @1900mhz 8-9-9-24 ||| 8GB G.Skill 1600 CL9
Video Card(s) 2x HIS HD6950 2GB Crossfire, 6970 clocks ||| HD6550D
Storage 120GB Intel 320 series SSD + 2TB storage ||| 1TB Seagate
Display(s) 32" Sony Bravia LCD 1080p ||| 50" Hitachi Plasma 1080p
Case Raidmax Raptor modded to 7 fans ||| A compact HP Case
Audio Device(s) Firewire audio interface + two 9" studio monitors, 450 REAL watts ||| onboard
Power Supply Corsair TX 750W ||| generic 400W
Software Win 7 Ultimate + Win 8 consumer preview||| Win 7 Pro
Benchmark Scores Never drops below 60fps Battlefield 3 everything on max, fov 90. :D
TPU review! Now! :)


Sep 27, 2006
7,848 (1.90/day)
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 1800x
Motherboard Asus Crosshair VI Hero
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Memory TridentZ 16GB DDR4 3600
Video Card(s) GTX 1080Ti EK Full Cover Block
Storage Samsung 960 Pro
Display(s) LG 34UC88 Curved Ultrawide
Case EVGA DG86
Power Supply Corsair RM850x
Mouse Asus Strix Evolve
Keyboard Asus Strix Claymore
If I may ask what would you look for in a cpu cooler review for an item such as this low profile unit from Noctua? would you focus on the aestetics of the cooler along with its capabilities as a low profile cooler? Or would you prefer the balls out overclocking review?
May 13, 2008
538 (0.15/day)
System Name HTPC whhaaaat?
Processor 2600k @ 4500mhz
Motherboard Asus Maximus IV gene-z gen3
Cooling Noctua NH-C14
Memory Gskill Ripjaw 2x4gb
Video Card(s) EVGA 1080 FTW @ 2037/11016
Storage 2x512GB MX100/1x Agility 3 128gb ssds, Seagate 3TB HDD
Display(s) Vizio P 65'' 4k tv
Case Lian Li pc-c50b
Audio Device(s) Denon 3311
Power Supply Corsair 620HX
If I may ask what would you look for in a cpu cooler review for an item such as this low profile unit from Noctua? would you focus on the aestetics of the cooler along with its capabilities as a low profile cooler? Or would you prefer the balls out overclocking review?
Well, we know noctua aesthetics are a take-it-or-leave it acquired taste. :p

I would love to see a comparison to the c14 and c12p se14 with different fans (120mm/140mm) and configurations during overclocking to get an idea of maximum performance and maximum performance while running quietly. The others mentioned are similar noctua low-profile coolers which pretty much dominate this niche. This looks proportionally smaller than the c12p as it is to the c14.

I've always wondered ever since x-bit gave kind of a stinging review to the c14 (where-as everyone else has universally praised it) if there was a better mix of fans/surface area/height that could still fit in a htpc and provide similar or better cooling with less space and/or noise. Cheaper never hurts either, if performance is similar.

I have the c14, love it...it's approx 1-2mm from hitting the top of my pc-c50b which is perfect as it's right under a fan mesh in the top of the case...wish it had come pwm fans though, especially considering the price...adapters are a PITA. Glad they have fixed that. That said, had someone done a similar round-up like I'm interested in, I may have gone with a different case. Maybe not, but maybe...finding good information on the niche was pretty difficult at the time and I pretty much winged it hoping it would work. I'm sure it would help the droves that will continue to flock to this setup from a traditional enthusiast desktop as we move forward.
Sep 23, 2009
154 (0.05/day)
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Processor i5-3570K (@ 4.4 Jiggahurtz ;)
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Video Card(s) Asus GTX 1060 6G
Storage Samsung 850 EVO + Samsung 840 EVO + 4TB WD
Display(s) Samsung 24''
Case Bitfenix Prodigy (orange)
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar U3
Power Supply Corsair 750 W
Mouse Roccat Kone
Keyboard Logitech (el cheapo)
Software W10pro x64 / Manjaro XFCE x64
Benchmark Scores who cares...
I'm curious how they fit into miniITX boards... It looks like not much high end CPU coolers for such systems...
Mar 26, 2010
7,688 (2.69/day)
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System Name micropage7
Processor Intel G4400
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Cooling Stock ( Lapped )
Memory 16 Gb Team Xtreem DDR3
Video Card(s) Nvidia GTX460
Storage Seagate 1 TB, 5oo Gb and SSD A-Data 128 Gb
Display(s) LG 19 inch LCD Wide Screen
Case HP dx6120 MT
Audio Device(s) Stock
Power Supply Be Quiet 600 Watt
Software Windows 7 64-bit
Benchmark Scores Classified

for now i prefer cooler with top down design than tower cooler since tower cooler get bigger and bigger more than the case could handle
:: the smaller fan looks too close to the base, i wonder how well it would help coz it may lead more turbulence


New Member
Jan 24, 2011
105 (0.04/day)
System Name Desktop PC
Processor 1090T
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Video Card(s) DirectCU 580
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Case Fractal Design R3
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Power Supply Seasonic X 650
Software Win 7 Home Premium x64
If I may ask what would you look for in a cpu cooler review for an item such as this low profile unit from Noctua? would you focus on the aestetics of the cooler along with its capabilities as a low profile cooler? Or would you prefer the balls out overclocking review?
Aesthetics would be unimportant, people can draw their own conclusions.

For this particular form factor I don't know that overclocking would be especially important.

What people would be looking for is absolute silence, ease of fitting and compatibility - e.g. will it fit in most SFF cases, will it clash with RAM etc.

Overclocking is an issue - what kind of thermal load can it dissipate and can it do it quietly, but I would imagine most people considering it are looking at a HTPC or the like and are concerned that they don't want to hear a fan blowing during quiet parts of a film.