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Noctua NH-C12P Heatsink Review
Noctua NH-C12P Heatsink Review
Abstract: Tower heatsinks may offer the best performance of any heatsink style, but many computer cases can't accommodate +140mm CPU cooler heights. 'Down exhaust' or 'impingment' heatsinks are so named because the fan blows downward.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Noctua   Cooling / Heatsinks   May 20, 2008   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: 360° View - Noctua NH-C12P Heatsink

360° View - Noctua NH-C12P Heatsink

Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.

The 120x120x25mm NF-P12 fan at spins at 1300RPM by default. Optional in-line resistors can reduce fan speed from that level to 1100RPM or 900RPM if quieter operation is desired. A standard 3-pin motherboard header provides power. The nine blade fan ships without a fan grill. Looking at the top of the Noctua NH-C12P heatsink we see the six heatpipes threading through the widely spaced fins.

The Noctua NH-C12P heatsink stands about 114mm tall, but the bulk of it is elevated 45mm for clearance of adjacent capacitors, northbridge heatsinks, system memory etc. Even the heatpipes are bent to keep out of the way. The six 6mm diameter copper heat pipes expand from a 38mm wide arrangement at the base to 110mm wide spread through the fins. Also note how the base fins extend the full height of the cooler. Each nickel plated aluminum fin is roughly 126 x 44mm in size, and the leading and trailing edges have a rippled pattern. Tabs are cut into the fins for the wire fan clips to lock into. Each fin is 0.5mm thick and spaced 2.3mm from the next.

The base on the Noctua's NH-C12P heatsink measures 40x38mm in size. The copper portion of the base ranges from 2mm to 4.5mm thick. The six 6mm diameter copper heatpipes have been soldered between the aluminum and copper base plates. The base is very slightly concave in the axis perpendicular to the heatpipes, and convex in the direction they run.

Base Finish and Flatness

Flipping a heatsink over to inspect the business end is often a simple indicator of overall cooler quality. More practically speaking, a heatsink is in many ways only as effective as the contact it makes with the processor - the flatter and smoother the better. Base finish is one of the criteria that Frostytech measure in the course of evaluating heatsinks, and it involves two distinct aspects. Surface Finish is the first; this is calculated with the aid of Surface Roughness Comparator that has a cross section of common machine surface finishes and their numerical surface roughness equivalents in microinches. The second is Surface Flatness. This is tested with an engineers straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axis.

The Noctua NH-C12P heatsink has a stamped nickel-plated copper base with a surface roughness of approximately ~16 microinches. The surface is polished smooth, but very slightly concave in the axis perpendicular to the heatpipes, and convex in the direction they run. Next, let's see how this heatsink handles the heat compared to a selection of other heatsinks!

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Noctua NH-C12P Heatsink Review
 2: — 360° View - Noctua NH-C12P Heatsink
 3:  Acoustic Sample and Heatsink Sound Levels
 4:  AMD K8 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons
 5:  Intel LGA775 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

List all Noctua heat sinks that Frostytech tested?

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