Noctua NH-C12P SE14 CPU Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 05-21-2010
Provided by: Noctua

The C12P SE14 ships tightly packed in a relatively plain white box with some cutouts to show off the product inside. Specifications and features are also listed on the back. The cooler is compatible with all current socket types, including Intel 775/1156/1366 and AMD AM2/+/3. Just like the original C12P, the SE14 uses Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting system and as I mentioned comes with Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise Adapters for the NF-P14 fan.

The NF-P14 fan is rated at 1200rpm +/-10%, and flows 65cfm at less than 20dBA. Using either the L.N. or U.L.N. voltage reducers drops the fan specs to 900rpm/50cfm/13dBA and 750rpm/42cfm/10dBA respectively. The power cord is sleeved with a highly pliable, rubber-like mesh and treated with heat shrink at either end. Separate installation instructions for Intel and AMD are stored neatly in a fold out envelope.

The cooler itself remains basically unchanged from its initial release, with six large copper heatpipes snaking their way up from the copper base and through the 44 aluminum fins. Contact points have been soldered and the copper has been nickel plated for corrosion resistance. Large cutout sections of fins on either side allow for easier access to mounting screws during installation. The design is two years old now, and is very much reminiscent of the Thermalright XP-120, however most manufacturers have forgone using fins attached directly to the heatsink base and rely solely on heatpipe cooling these days, e.g. the Thermalright SI-128 SE.

Despite not being a new concept of form, the Noctua NH-C12P SE14 is by far the largest example of this style of cooler I've yet seen. The base is wide and with six heatpipes taking up the full width it should handle large core processors such as AMD's latest Thuban CPU's and Intel's Gulftown. The finish on the base is not very smooth, in fact it has visible grooves from the final machining process that the plating does not completely cover.

Next let's try our hand at installation.

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