The Noctua NH-D12L is a new proposal from Noctua that promises high performance from a "smaller" sized CPU block. The press release promises performance close to a NH-U12A and...that from our testing proved to be partially correct, at least with an AMD Ryzen 5600X CPU cooler, running at "stock" and auto OC mode. All of our tests performed at controlled environment ~25 Celsius with the AMD Ryzen 5600X processor. We tried to set all tests at similar conditions, but keep in mind your results may vary, especially with different setups and voltages.
The retail package is complete and will cover all your needs during its installation process, which at least for the AMD platform is very easy to do so. The package includes one 120mm fan that is very silent and is a proved solution. More-over there is support for AM4/AM5 upcoming platform and of course all currently sold Intel processors. Noctua also offers support for the LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets with the extra (but free!) NM-I3 mounting kit, very impressive.
Usually, users should take a look at the compatibility Noctua page, but since is a small -than-usual CPU cooler, you should expect this product to fit even in small cases with up to 145mm internal space (CPU bottom to top). Memory banks are not affected at all from this CPU cooler, due to its design, which is also another positive for this product..
Concluding this review, we have to say that the NH-D12L is a very good product that will keep up with much bigger CPU coolers, but under heavy overclocking will stay behind, we don't expect physics law to be reversed, dont we? The retail price of ~ 90 Euro may be higher than other competitive products, but for a Noctua product is very good, that is armed with 6 years of warranty and wide socket compatibility.
We feel this product should be high at your buying list, especially if you are looking for a smaller-than-usual CPU cooler than those 158mm tall sized CPU coolers. Noctua has a wide list of CPU coolers for all category users, and the NH-D12L completes the whole product lineup. Another Editor's Choice for the Noctua NH-D12L, well done :-)
+ Excellent build quality and overall CPU cooler dimensions
+ Complete retail package: includes all components, cables, Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound and screwdriver
+ Includes a Noctua 120mm fan
+ Installation procedure is easy to perform (at least for the AMD platform)
+ Noctua has detailed compatibility information at their website
+ Noctua products support all currently sold and probably future Intel / AMD sold sockets either stock or with additional/future mounting kits
+ Very good cooling performance with AMD Ryzen 5600X and the bequiet! Silent Base 802 case at "normal" modes - close to a Noctua NH-U12A
+ Good noise levels even at full running speed (~46dB at 1m distance)
+ 6 Years Warranty
+ Good retail price
- At high overclocking, due to its reduced volume, cooling performance will stay behind a NH-U12A
- Adding a second NF-A12x25r PWM fan won't highly increase cooling performance, better stay stock