The NH-U12P heatsink is very similar to the NH-U12F except for a few new things: it's now taller by just 3mm, with a higher fin stack that allows for greater clearance of the heatpipes around the CPU socket – one thing we had great trouble with when using the original NH-U12F.
There are still four heatpipes, but now they have been a nickel plated to provide corrosion resistance – yet another thing our six month old NH-U12F suffers from where the once bright orange copper has now turned a muddy brown. The plating doesn’t affect performance and the soldering still retains an excellent quality standard between the fins and the pipes.
The base has also been Nickel plated too and the whole thing looks better for it. The fins are still aluminium and they’re the exact same size as before, however they’ve now been stamped with the Noctua logo which gives the heatsink a nice finish. They still don’t ruffle the air as much as we’d like though – the edges are crinkled mirroring the fan blades, but the actual plates of aluminium are flat so won’t create much turbulence.
The base is flat and well machined although you can still see and feel some manufacturing marks – it’s far from serious and any mirror finish will instantly get scarred once the heatsink is pressed onto a processor to maximise the spread of the thermal paste. Noctua includes its own “premium grade” thermal paste that appears to have a very similar look and texture to the classic and very popular Arctic Silver thermal paste.
We’ve already seen that Noctua has also included one of its famous cream and brown fans – this one is new with the NF-P12 and has been revised with bigger fins that have clipped “Vortex-Control” edges, giving a higher static pressure while still remaining an extremely quiet 19dB at 1,300RPM.