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.
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.
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-U12A||NH-U12S / NH-U12S chromax.black||NH-U12S redux|
|Number of heatpipes||7||5||4|
|Soldered interface of heatpipes and cooling fins||Yes||Yes||No|
|Fan(s)||2x NF-A12x25 PWM||1x NF-F12 PWM / 1x NF-F12 PWM chromax.black||1x NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM|
|Acoustical noise rating||22,6 dB(A)||22,4 dB(A)||25,1 dB(A)|
|Low-Noise Adaptor||Yes||Yes||(optional with NA-FK1 second fan kit)|
|Fan clips for second fan||Yes||Yes||(optional with NA-FK1 second fan kit)|
|Thermal paste||NT-H1, tube (~5 applications)||NT-H1, tube (~5 applications)||NT-H1, pre-applied (1 application)|
|Mounting ecosystem compatibility||SecuFirm2||SecuFirm2||SecuFirm2|
|Included mounting parts||SecuFirm2 for Intel LGA20xx, LGA1200/LGA115x, AMD AM4, AM3||SecuFirm2 for Intel LGA20xx, LGA1200/LGA115x, AMD AM4, AM3||SecuFirm2 for Intel LGA20xx, LGA1200/LGA115x, AMD AM4|
|Free of charge mounting upgrades (if technically possible)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Height (without fan)||158 mm||158 mm||158 mm|
|Width (without fan)||125 mm||125 mm||125 mm|
|Depth (without fan)||58 mm||45 mm||45 mm|
|Weight (without fan)||760 g||580 g||-|
|Height (with fan)||158 mm||158 mm||158 mm|
|Width (with fan)||125 mm||125 mm||125 mm|
|Depth (with fan)||112 mm||71 mm||71 mm|
|Weight (with fan)||1220 g||755 g||755 g|
|Material||Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating||Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating||Nickel plated Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins)|
|Warranty||6 years||6 years||6 years|
|MSRP||$109.90 USD||$69.90 / $79.90 USD||$49.90 USD|
|Model||Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM||Noctua NF-F12 PWM chromax.black||NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM|
|Max. rotational speed (+/- 10%)||2000 RPM||1500 RPM||1700 RPM|
|Max. rotational speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)||1700 RPM||1200 RPM||-|
|Min. rotational speed (PWM, +/-20%)||450 RPM||300 RPM||450 RPM|
|Max. airflow||102,1 m³/h||93,4 m³/h||120,2 m³/h|
|Max. airflow with L.N.A.||84,5 m³/h||74,3 m³/h||-|
|Max. acoustical noise||22,6 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 range||12 V||12 V||12 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.