Noctua Showdown – Unboxing 3 owls

Recently, a big box showed at the door with no less than 3 CPU coolers in it. Finally the time has come to embrace the brown Noctua hardware.

This will cover the unboxing of the NH-U12A, the NH-C14S and the NH-U12S Redux coolers, which I hope I can review soon enough. Let us see what Noctua has to offer…

The Boxes

All 3 boxes are made of cardboard with Noctua infographics on it. The C14S and the U12A have the classic brown with imagery of the heatsinks, while the U12S redux is a plain gray on the box with white letters.

I was surprised to see the box of the C14S is bigger than the U12A, but once i opened it and saw the 140mm fan, i understood why.

All packaging inside is cardboard as well, no plastic or foam. Each heatsink comes with fans directly mounted, no assembly required. All products arrived in perfect condition, no dent or bent fins, no traces of any QC issues.

The coolers

The first thing that strikes me when putting the 3 heatsinks side by side is the massive size of the fan from the C14S. It is absolutely huge compared to the rest!

Each cooler has its own accessory box with all the necessary items in it. The U12A and the C14S have nice boxes that you open from the top while the U12S Redux has a more standard box that opens from the side.

Accessory box for the NH-C14S

It is worth noting that the C14S comes with a fan as exhaust out of the box. It may surprise some people, but it should not be an issue.

If we take a look at the specs, both the U12A and C14S have a nickel plated copper base and copper heatpipes. They both feature aluminum fins and soldered joints.

The U12S Redux has nickel plated copper heatpipes and base instead, without soldered joints. The Fins are still aluminum. This is one of the few if not the only Noctua cooler with pre-applied paste.

Paste application on the NH-U12S Redux

The U12A uses two NF-A12x25 PWM fans on both end of the heatsink for massive cooling while keeping noise levels low. The C14S uses a massive NF-A14 PWM to cover the maximum surface and the U12S Redux uses a NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM.

All coolers are compatible with popular AMD and Intel sockets, including LGA1700, AM4 and AM5 when it releases. It is also compatible with all LGA 115X sockets, as well as LGA 1200, 2066 and 2011.

Noctua gave all 3 products a 6 years warranty.

The package contents

The accessory boxes are well-furnished, as expected from a Noctua product.

For the U12A, we can find all the mounting hardware for Intel and AMD sockets with screws in separated plastic bags, a Y-splitter for the two fans, two low-noise adapters, a right-angle screw-driver, a tube of NT-H1 thermal paste, an instruction manual and a Noctua pin.

The C14S has a similar box, the only differences are the single low noise adapter, no Y-splitter and a pair of extra fan clips are included to mount a second NF-A14 fan on the heatsink. The rest is the same as the U12A.

The U12S Redux has a more modest accessory box. It still includes all the necessary mounting hardware and manual obviously. But there is no screwdriver, no splitter or low-noise adapter, no fan clips, and no Noctua pin. It does not include any thermal paste as it is pre-applied for this cooler.

Is is great to see so many extras with the coolers. It compensates for the premium prices. The low-noise adapters and the extra clips for the C14S are a nice touch.

All those products feel and look high quality, as expected from anything made by Noctua.

As a reminder, the MSRP of those coolers are 109.90€, 79.90€, 49.90€ for the NH-U12A, NH-C14S and NH-U12S Redux respectively.

It is expensive, but the amount of quality, care and attention to details are worth the price. Especially since it is common for Noctua to bring new socket compatibility to old coolers.

These 3 heatsinks will soon be tested on the bench, for both performance and noise. Make sure to come back then to see the results!

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