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Home » PC Components » Coolers » Noctua NH-U12S redux vs NH-U12S vs NH-U12A CPU Coolers Compared – Which One To Get?

Noctua NH-U12S redux vs NH-U12S vs NH-U12A CPU Coolers Compared – Which One To Get?

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Noctua recently announced a new CPU cooler in addition to its redux line of products – the Noctua NH-U12S redux. This may be a little bit confusing due to the similarity of the product names. But the NH-U12S redux is based on the NH-U12S (chromax.black) cooler reduced to its essential core. You can also say that it’s a budget-friendly version of its predecessor. In this article, let’s do a quick comparison between the NH-U12S redux vs NH-U12S and the popular NH-U12A CPU air cooler.

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Noctua NH-U12S redux Is A Budget-Friendly CPU Air Cooler

The NH-U12S redux is the newest addition to Noctua’s NH-U12 series of CPU coolers. It’s a streamlined version with only the essentials are left, thus resulting in a more affordable price.

It uses the same heatsink layout as the other NH-U12 that guarantees compatibility with tall RAM modules and PCIe compatibility. The NH-U12S redux is paired by an NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM 120mm fan. Also, like the other Noctua CPU coolers, this one features SecuFirm2 mounting system; for easy installation. It doesn’t come with an extra thermal paste tube, but an NT-H1 thermal compound is pre-applied.

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Below is a specs comparison of the NH-U12S redux, NH-U12S and NH-U12A.

Noctua NH-U12S redux vs NH-U12S vs NH-U12A Specs Comparison

 NH-U12ANH-U12S / NH-U12S chromax.blackNH-U12S redux
NSPR169129129
Height158mm158mm158mm
Number of heatpipes754
Soldered interface of heatpipes and cooling finsYesYesNo
Fan(s)2x NF-A12x25 PWM1x NF-F12 PWM / 1x NF-F12 PWM chromax.black1x NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM
Acoustical noise rating22,6 dB(A)22,4 dB(A)25,1 dB(A)
Low-Noise AdaptorYesYes(optional with NA-FK1 second fan kit)
Fan clips for second fanYesYes(optional with NA-FK1 second fan kit)
Thermal pasteNT-H1, tube (~5 applications)NT-H1, tube (~5 applications)NT-H1, pre-applied (1 application)
Mounting ecosystem compatibilitySecuFirm2SecuFirm2SecuFirm2
Included mounting partsSecuFirm2 for Intel LGA20xx, LGA1200/LGA115x, AMD AM4, AM3SecuFirm2 for Intel LGA20xx, LGA1200/LGA115x, AMD AM4, AM3SecuFirm2 for Intel LGA20xx, LGA1200/LGA115x, AMD AM4
Free of charge mounting upgrades (if technically possible)YesYesYes
Cooler Specs
Height (without fan)158 mm158 mm158 mm
Width (without fan)125 mm125 mm125 mm
Depth (without fan)58 mm45 mm45 mm
Weight (without fan)760 g580 g-
Height (with fan)158 mm158 mm158 mm
Width (with fan)125 mm125 mm125 mm
Depth (with fan)112 mm71 mm71 mm
Weight (with fan)1220 g755 g755 g
MaterialCopper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel platingCopper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel platingNickel plated Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins)
Warranty6 years6 years6 years
MSRP$109.90 USD$69.90 / $79.90 USD$49.90 USD
FAN Specs
ModelNoctua NF-A12x25 PWMNoctua NF-F12 PWM chromax.blackNF-P12 redux-1700 PWM
BearingSSO2SSO2SSO
Max. rotational speed (+/- 10%)2000 RPM1500 RPM1700 RPM
Max. rotational speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)1700 RPM1200 RPM-
Min. rotational speed (PWM, +/-20%)450 RPM300 RPM450 RPM
Max. airflow102,1 m³/h93,4 m³/h120,2 m³/h
Max. airflow with L.N.A.84,5 m³/h74,3 m³/h-
Max. acoustical noise22,6 dB(A)22,4 dB(A)25,1 dB(A)
Max. acoustical noise with L.N.A.18,8 dB(A)18,6 dB(A)-
Voltage range12 V12 V12 V
MTTF> 150.000 h> 150.000 h> 150.000 h

Looking at the table above, there are a few difference between the NH-U12S and the newer NH-U12S redux. But it has the same Noctua Standardized Performance Rating (NSPR) as the NH-U12S; despite having 1 less heatpipe and not a soldered interface. I haven’t tested this new CPU cooler yet, but I assume it will perform similarly with the NH-U12S. Perhaps, the NH-U12S (chromax.black) might perform just a tad better.

However, do note that there are accessories that are missing on the redux variant. For example, the Low-Noice adapter is not included, and an extra NT-H1 thermal compound tube is not present as well. Also, the NF-F12 fan of the regular NH-U12S is 2.7dB(A) quieter than the NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM fan of the NH-U12S redux (22.4 vs. 25.1 dB(A)). You might want to consider the other if you want a silent operation.

Aesthetically speaking, only the NH-U12S chromax.black features a black-coated heatsink. Luckily, the fan on the NH-U12S redux has a two-tone grey color theme. Perhaps, it’s more appealing compared to Noctua’s signature brown-colored fans. But if you want an all-black CPU cooler, the chromax.black series would be your choice.

Noctua advises that for users who want the absolute best performance and noise efficiency, the NH-U12A is the obvious choice. We reviewed the NH-U12A CPU cooler and it’s a great performer. It is very silent and performs almost on par with a decent AIO liquid CPU cooler. The two NF-A12x25 PWM fans are state-of-the-art fans running at around 2.5dB2.7dB(A) more silent than the NH-U12s redux’s fan. Unfortunately, a black variant of this fan hasn’t been released yet.

Also, the NH-U12S redux CPU cooler doesn’t feature a soldered interface between the heatpipes and fins. Only the NH-U12A and NH-U12S have this feature. Finally, if you plan to do a push-pull configuration with the NH-U12S redux, you’ll need the optional NA-FK1 fan kit that is sold separately.

Where To Buy Noctua CPU Coolers

The Noctua NH-U12S redux CPU cooler is now available. It comes with an MSRP of $49.90 USD/EUR. Noctua is also offering a 6-year warranty for the NH-U12 series. You can check out the links below for the latest pricing and availability.

NH-U12S redux available on Newegg.com here
NH-U12S chromax.black available on Amazon.com here
NH-U12A available on Amazon.com here

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I love computers since I was a kid. I’m always fascinated with new technology, especially in the PC world. Many years ago, I was curious if the reviews I read were true and real. So, why not test them myself and share my first-hand experience? And thus, here we are. Thanks for reading!

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