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Eight Low-Profile CPU Coolers For Your Compact PC, Reviewed

NH-L12 Installation

Noctua’s LGA plate is slotted for Intel’s three consumer-oriented mounting patterns, using push-through bolts as stands for top-side hardware. Note that the LGA plate is notched in two places to clear the screws of Intel’s original support mechanism.

Another option would have been to install the cooler without a plate. To circumvent clearance problems seen in our System Builder Marathon last June, Noctua also includes a special screw and nut set to install the NH-L12 in the same fashion shown in the Gamer Storm Gabriel installation.

Regardless of whether you’re using bolts or screws, the next step is to install black plastic spacers and cross braces.

An exceptional 1.6” of clearence is reduced by around half under the 1”-thick inset bottom fan, though the fan can be slid a little to make more room at one end. Half an inch of offset also allows the cooler to be rotated to clear specific components.

Too thick for our M8 build, we might have retested the NH-L12 without the top fan, except that it’s already being retested with its included speed-reducing resistor wires.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.