A Closer Look
The Noctua NH-U12S is a traditional tower-style heatsink. The fins are made of aluminum, and the heatpies and base are out of nickel-plated copper. It certainly does not scream unique. However, the extras, such as the rubber anti-vibration pads for the fans and the option of a dual-fan setup, ensure that it is, while not unique in design, still a solid offering.
The simple design really is to both the benefit of the CPU cooler and user. Noctua claims 100% memory compatibility in both single- and dual-fan mode. The big selling point of this Noctua cooler is the quality.
It certainly wouldn't be a Noctua cooler without their unique fan color. I may not be a fan of it, but I always know a Noctua product when I see it; just like everyone else. That fan color is simply unmistakable. Noctua chose a NF-F12 PWM fan for the NH-U12S; it features rotational speeds ranging from 300 to 1500 RPM. The fan will max out at 1200 RPM with Noctua's included L.N.A (low noise adaptor). The pictures also show some of the fan's unique design elements well. As usual, the quality is amazing, with Noctua making sure to include a top-grade fan to go with their elegant heatsink.
This tower-style cooler makes use of five heatpipes that are made out of nickel-plated copper. They extend up through the heatsink's fin stack and are spaced to provide even heat distribution from the heatpipes to the aluminum cooling fins. The base of the cooler is very smooth, but it is not a mirror finish as some machine marks can still be seen. I was unable to find any gaps between the heatpipes and the aluminum fins, which is also nice to see. The Noctua NH-U12S certainly lives up to Noctua's reputation of exceptional build quality.