Noctua NH-U12P Socket LGA 775 Installation
Installing the NH-U12P on our Q6600 test rig was not at all difficult. A backplate and a two piece frame are installed first.
Above you can see the top frame in place. There were no issues clearing the capacitors and VRM components. There are included washers to put beneath the frame to prevent a short.
Above is a shot of the secured backplate. Noctua adopted our preferred “X shape” that avoids the busy VRM area. This backplate should be compatible with the vast majority of boards out there.
As you can see, the upright stature of the NH-U12P allows it to clear all components on the Asus P5K-E without issue.
Although it is a bit wider than the Coolink Silenator, there is still plenty of clearance with a 25mm thick fan mounted.
It is an impressive sight to see when mounted. Now on to our AM2 system.
Noctua NH-U12P Socket AM2 Installation
As I mentioned during the Coolink Silenator review–“they thought of everything”. It is unfortunate that the post placement on the AM2 socket sometimes limits mounting possibilities. Unlike LGA775, the holes are not evenly spaced. Thankfully, the Noctua NH-U12P employs the exact same mounting system as the Silenator and the heatsink can be rotated by 90 degrees—even on AM2 systems. As I mentioned earlier, the manual is very well written and outlines how to change the orientation in detail.
The backplate and front frame need to be installed first. As can be seen above, there are thick spacers used. It can not be seen in the image, but washers are included for protection below the frame. There were no clearance issues whatsoever with the DFI NF570-M2/G board.
The rear backplate is insulated and has a cutout for the direct rear of the socket. Installation of the backplate was a piece of cake. It is shaped just like OEM AM2 backplates so I doubt there would be an issue with any AM2 boards.
You may be wondering what the heck is sticking out of the top of the heatsink. I just had to throw in a picture of this because “they thought of everything”. Noctua includes a long screwdriver that can access the spring loaded mounting posts when it is rotated by 90 degrees on an AM2 system. The hole extends the entire height of the heatsink. It was very simple to mount thanks to this helpful design consideration.
As you can see, there is plenty of clearance on either side of the board. The Noctua NH-U12P is the perfect width in my opinion. A lot of thought clearly went into the design of this heatsink. There will not be many boards that have compatibility issues with this heatsink.