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Installing the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 Heatsink

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  • New Build
  • Heatsinks
  • Fan
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
May 12, 2010 1:35:33 AM

Hi everyone. I just started building my first Homebuilt, and I have my first questions so I do it right and don't mess things up. I have an Asus P6T MB and am assembling and installing the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 heatsink with two fans, onto an i7 processor. The processor installed with no problems, and I think I have the heatsink assembled correctly.
I have one fan label side out (Noctua symbol in the center of the fan) pointing out toward the back of the case, and the other one is on the case-front side of the heatsink and is label side in against the heatsink. Is this correct? Also, the fan wires are coming out of the fans on the side closest to the MB rather than the top.
Also, I am a little confused about the fan power cable. It is a Y cable with two female ends with three prongs, leading to one cable with a male end with three holes. On my P6T MB there is a connector labeled "power fan" with three pins, but there is also a 4 pin connector labeled "cpu fan" with four pins. Which one is correct?? It looks like the connector will go on either one, but the cpu labeled one will have one pin left over. I hope I explained it well enough. :)  Thanks. Regards, Tom. PS The Asus manual also shows CHA_FAN2 and CHA_FAN1 connectors with three prongs.

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May 12, 2010 5:00:07 PM

TomG628 said:
Hi everyone. I just started building my first Homebuilt, and I have my first questions so I do it right and don't mess things up. I have an Asus P6T MB and am assembling and installing the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 heatsink with two fans, onto an i7 processor. The processor installed with no problems, and I think I have the heatsink assembled correctly.
I have one fan label side out (Noctua symbol in the center of the fan) pointing out toward the back of the case, and the other one is on the case-front side of the heatsink and is label side in against the heatsink. Is this correct? Also, the fan wires are coming out of the fans on the side closest to the MB rather than the top.
Also, I am a little confused about the fan power cable. It is a Y cable with two female ends with three prongs, leading to one cable with a male end with three holes. On my P6T MB there is a connector labeled "power fan" with three pins, but there is also a 4 pin connector labeled "cpu fan" with four pins. Which one is correct?? It looks like the connector will go on either one, but the cpu labeled one will have one pin left over. I hope I explained it well enough. :)  Thanks. Regards, Tom. PS The Asus manual also shows CHA_FAN2 and CHA_FAN1 connectors with three prongs.

Don't know if you still need help your or not but you have your fans on backwards. You should have the fan closest to the front of the case with the label facing out (sucking air into the heat sink - Push) and the fan on the backside of the heat sink, should have the fan facing into the heat sink (sucking air through the heat sink - Pull). All of the air is than blown out the back of the case.

As for what where to connect the fans to on your motherboard, you need to connect at least one fan to the "cpu fan" slot on the motherboard. The other fan connector can go to the closest CHA_FAN slot to it.
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May 12, 2010 7:57:27 PM

Hi TomG628,

That is the correct orientation of the fans (the label is on the back of the fan and there is an arrow on the fan casing pointing in the direction of the airflow).

I used the 'Y' cable as well as the low noise adaptors and connected it to the cpu fan, even though it's a three pin connector it only fits one way into the four pin cpu socket.

I don't know the position of your cpu fan connector, but it sounds like it is at the top
of your board (same as my Asus P7P55D-E). I fed the fan cables back round the casing of the fan through the retaining clips and out of the underside to come out next to the
cpu fan connector.

Hope this is of help to you.

Regards keith263
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May 12, 2010 8:27:57 PM

Outside of the arrow, here is another visual reference of the air flow of a case fan...






You want the fan closest to the front of the case with the label facing out (intaking air) and the fan on the backside of the heat sink, should have the label facing into the heat sink (sucking air through the heat sink and blowing out the back of the case).

If your arrows show differently, than you want to have the arrows follow this pattern.
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May 12, 2010 8:40:50 PM

Hi tecmo34,

The labels on the Noctua fans are on the back (the same side as the bracing struts as in your diagram).

If you google reviews on the NH-U12P SE2 you'll see a good few examples of the correct orientation.

Regards keith263
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May 12, 2010 9:04:21 PM

@keith263.... Thanks for pointing out my error of where the sticker is on Noctua fans. I guess I shouldn't have assumed they were like my Antec or Xigmatek fans :) 

Hey... My diagram and flow concept is correct... Don't I get points for that? :lol: 
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May 12, 2010 9:14:30 PM

No problem - great diagram.

Regards keith263
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May 13, 2010 1:35:43 AM

TomG628 said:
Hi everyone. I just started building my first Homebuilt, and I have my first questions so I do it right and don't mess things up. I have an Asus P6T MB and am assembling and installing the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 heatsink with two fans, onto an i7 processor. The processor installed with no problems, and I think I have the heatsink assembled correctly.
I have one fan label side out (Noctua symbol in the center of the fan) pointing out toward the back of the case, and the other one is on the case-front side of the heatsink and is label side in against the heatsink. Is this correct? Also, the fan wires are coming out of the fans on the side closest to the MB rather than the top.
Also, I am a little confused about the fan power cable. It is a Y cable with two female ends with three prongs, leading to one cable with a male end with three holes. On my P6T MB there is a connector labeled "power fan" with three pins, but there is also a 4 pin connector labeled "cpu fan" with four pins. Which one is correct?? It looks like the connector will go on either one, but the cpu labeled one will have one pin left over. I hope I explained it well enough. :)  Thanks. Regards, Tom. PS The Asus manual also shows CHA_FAN2 and CHA_FAN1 connectors with three prongs.


Thanks for all the help guys. I'm glad I asked. I understand that I will put the "Y" fan connector onto the CPU Fan 4 pin connector and leave one pin unconnected.
I am still a little confused on the fan orientation though. Regardless of front or back, I checked my fans, and I think the Noctua symbol is on the fan side that the air is coming out. On the beige colored side of the fan there are two arrows. One seems to show the direction the air flows through the fan, and points towards the side with the symbol. The other arrow I am guessing is the direction the fan rotates? I'm not sure. Anyway, I tried rotating the blades fast enough with my hand and I could feel air coming out on the side of the label. Wouldn't the label side suck air through the front of the heatsink if it is against the front of the heatsink, since this is where the air is coming out, and the one on the back side pull air through the backside of the heatsink and out through the label side? I'm probably misunderstanding something. Thanks again. Tom
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Best solution

May 13, 2010 7:50:45 AM

Hi TomG628,

Labels on both fans point to rear of case.

Regards keith263
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May 13, 2010 12:41:05 PM

keith263 said:
Hi TomG628,

Labels on both fans point to rear of case.

Regards keith263


Thanks Keith. That's the way I have them. Airflow on both towards the back. I guess there is a difference where labels are on different models of fans. Also, I think of a fan's front as the side where the air comes out and where the label is. I guess it's just the way you look at it. Thanks again for putting my mind at ease. :wahoo:  Tom
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May 20, 2010 11:16:52 PM

Best answer selected by TomG628.
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