Noctua NH-L12Sx77 Makes For A Great Low-Profile CPU Cooler

Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 30 April 2024 at 11:14 AM EDT. Page 2 of 2. 7 Comments.

Noctua NH-L12Sx77 installation

To little surprise given Noctua's quality engineering and manufacturing over the years, in the days I've been running this heatsink in the lab it's been working out rather well. This is a great heatsink for small form factor builds though with the 77 mm height does put it just out-of-reach for use in any 2U rackmount servers that typically have just 65~70 mm height clearance for coolers and also tend to be better geared for heatsinks moving air from front to the rear.

Noctua NH-L12Sx77 Heatsink

For my initial testing I've been using the Noctua NH-L12Sx77 within an iStarUSA D-314 3U rackmount chassis. That 3U rackmount has been running an AMD Ryzen 5 7600 and using an NH-L9a-AM5. Unfortunately I didn't review the original NH-L12s so I don't have that for comparison. But long story short the NH-L12Sx77 has been working out very well for keeping the AMD Ryzen 5 7600 running well in the iStarUSA 3U enclosure.

CPU Temperature Monitor benchmark with settings of Phoronix Test Suite System Monitoring.

Given the size difference and heatpipes, the NH-L12Sx77 cools more efficiently than the much smaller NH-L9a-AM5. The NH-L9a-AM5 though is still a great petite heatsink especially if needing to target 2U height clearance or even smaller SFF builds.

CPU Power Consumption Monitor benchmark with settings of Phoronix Test Suite System Monitoring.

The larger Noctua heatsink allowed the AMD Ryzen 5 7600 to boost higher than with the much smaller heatsink.

CPU Peak Freq (Highest CPU Core Frequency) Monitor benchmark with settings of Phoronix Test Suite System Monitoring.

And the CPU peak frequencies being achieved with the NH-L12sx77 were higher thanks to the greater cooling capacity.

Geometric Mean Of All Test Results benchmark with settings of Result Composite, Noctua NH-L12Sx77 Heatsink. Noctua NH-L12Sx77 was the fastest.

Across more than 230 benchmarks I carried out over the span of 19 hours of benchmarking on each heatsink, using the NH-L12sx77 allowed for roughly 2% better CPU performance for the Ryzen 5 7600 when using this new 77mm tall heatsink. Those interested in all of the individual benchmark results and per-benchmark thermal/power/frequency results from this basic heatsink comparison can find the data via this result page.

Noctua NH-L12Sx77 cooling AMD Ryzen 5 7600

The Noctua NH-L12Sx77 will be retailing for around $75 USD for this low-profile Intel Core and AMD Ryzen heatsink. Those interested in more information can visit the product page at Noctua.at. Thanks to Noctua for sending out this review sample to Phoronix and I'll be testing this heatsink on some other interesting small form factor systems soon.

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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.