Although i was very pleased with the latest Noctua products i reviewed previously, there is one cooler that i am just fascinated by since its release. It is non-other than the NH-P1, which is a massive passive cooler from Noctua.
I just love passive cooling. It feels so unique and the way it works is just mesmerizing for me. And so today, i can finally see and feel what passive cooling looks like.
Spoiler alert : it looks amazing.
Similar to other Noctua products, the box is a big cubic shaped cardboard piece with Noctua branding. The major specifications are printed on the box. Noctua also included the dimensions of the heatsink including ram clearances on the back.
Inside the box
Once we open it, we are greeted by the accessory box on top and a big box of cardboard protecting the heatsink itself.
It is worth noting Noctua uses only cardboard here for the protection boxes. No plastic, no foam, only cardboard (with the exception of the cover of the coldplate and screw bags in the accessory box). Overall i have to say the cardboard is doing a great job, as i have not noticed any marks or imperfections out of the box. The cardboard itself is not damaged either, which is good to see.
Once we put everything in perspective, the cooler shows how big it is. And it needs to be! Without fans to move air, the only way to dissipate heat is natural convection so you need to maximize surface area.
The cooler itself
Passive cooling means it’s… well, passive. No moving parts, no mechanical movements anywhere, and most importantly, no noise whatsoever. This is just a massive aluminum construction dissipating heat naturally by the sheer laws of physics.
Going over the general specifications, the NH-P1 is a passive coolers which is made of 13 thick aluminum fins connected to a copper base through 6 copper heatpipes. All joints are soldered and the cooler also features nickel plated coldplate. The fins are more widely spaced out compared to other coolers to enhance performance and maximize heat transfer. The heatsink is 158mm tall by 154mm wide and 152mm deep, almost cubic. Noctua advertises a 40mm ram clearance under the fins, which is fine for most people.
This is the first Noctua cooler i have that features a Torx-based SecuFirm2+ mounting system. Compatible sockets include Intel LGA 1700, LGA 1200, LGA 1156, LGA 1155, LGA 1151, LGA 1150, as well as LGA 2066, LGA 2011-0 and LGA 2011-3 (Square ILM). Support AMD sockets are AM5 and AM4. Interestingly enough, the manual and the box do mention AM3/+, AM2/+, FM2/+ and FM1 support despite the website not stating it.
As we will see in the accessory box, Noctua includes a syringe of NT-H2 paste, a torx screwdriver and fan clips. The product is backed by a 6 year warranty.
The accessory box
Something which is expected, is a nice accessory box from Noctua. It has been a strong point for the coolers and it keeps on giving.
And now we have a very nice bo… Is that a Noctua branded Torx screwdriver ???
It is! And it is really surprising. I never expected such tool to come in with the product but i am more than happy to have it. Alongside this show-stealing tool, we can find a syringe of NT-H2 thermal paste with cleaning wipes, which is a very nice touch, a pair of fan clip to add a fan on the heatink to improve performance, and a Noctua pin to show off. My cooler came with the multisocket Intel bracket, which supports both LGA 1700 and LGA1200/115X sockets without adapters. A set of hardware of AM4 is also included and uses the included AM4 bracket. This should work the same for AM5 as well, although the manual does not mention it.
A focus on the screw driver
It isn’t necessary but i just want to do it for fun. It is probably the most premium screwdriver i’ve seen included with a heatsink as of today. This is a very nice Torx screw driver, with a nice grip and a Noctua branding and colors. It is quite long to reach deep screws and seems to be magnetic as screws stick to it (small ones anyway). After comparing with the bits in my Ifixit kit, this screwdriver seems to be a Torx 20. I am not 100% sure about it as i cannot find the official info anywhere, but its the size that compares the closest.
As if it was not clear enough yet, i love this thing. It is a great cooler for a niche market of people aiming at zero noise conditions and zero mechanic parts, which will help reduce maintenance and dust. The quality of the product is very high, as expected from anything Noctua made.
The packaging was great and rather simple for what it is. Only folded carboard for pretty much everything, yet it doesn’t feel like protection is lacking. It does not go overboard either and the overall size of the box is not too big. The accessory box is really, really good considering its contents. Even if that feels expected, it still makes the high price easier to justify.
If i had issues to note, it is mostly the size. Even if 158mm tall is not that tall, not all cases can fit it. And the passive nature means you need to plan the case for natural convection of air, basically leaving the top of the case completely unobstructed for maximum performance. Lastly, the passive aspect means you need to compromise on CPU performance. You won’t cool a 300w 13900k with this and you need to carefully plan things out for this to work. Anticipation here is key.
Some would argue the price is high at 109€, but i think it isn’t unfair considering the quality of the cooler, the accessories, and the overkill niche place it has. Passive cooling is not so common. If it is made in smaller volumes compared to other heatsinks, the price will reflect that.
Either way, i am excited to see how far i can push it with all the different CPUs i can test under it. Be sure to look out for the complete testing of the NH-P1 on our site !