New Noctua NH-D12L fixes our biggest criticism of the CPU cooler

Hiding in the shadow.

Noctua NH-D12L chromax.Black CPU cooler.

Noctua has announced the NH-D12L CPU cooler, combining the NH-D12L performance with a stealthy black coating. A good alternative for those who like Noctua’s compact cooler but prefer a colour that blends better.

This new version keeps all that made the original attractive, but now in black to suit more builds. And we really mean black. Every bit, from the heatsink, fan, anti-vibration pads, fan clips, and even the mounting hardware, is black.

Noctua NH-D12L chromax.Black side.

The version tackles one of the criticisms in our Nocuta NH-D12L review, i.e. the lack of a black model. However, this stealthy version arrives with a slightly higher price tag. Since the original version is currently nearly a tenner above its MSRP, the difference is actually only £4. This is pocket change for such a quality finish.

Aside from the colour change, we find the low-height 120mm CPU cooler boasts decent cooling performance and superior case compatibility. It’s also fairly quiet for silent operation. The NH-D12L comes bundled with the brand’s SecuFirm2 mounting system and NT-H1 thermal compound to ensure optimal mounting position for an improved heat transfer.

Noctua NH-D12L chromax.Black fan.

The combination of its 145mm height and asymmetrical fin stacks allows this cooler to be compatible with 4U enclosures plus all RAM heights. As for sockets, we get the usual support for AMD AM4/AM5 plus Intel LGA 1851/1700/1200.

“The NH-D12L has become a popular choice for compact, high-performance builds in cases like the Lian Li O11 Dynamic or the DAN C4-SFX”, says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “With the new version, we’re now giving customers the option to leverage the NH-D12L’s renowned quiet cooling performance in all-black systems.”

You can buy Noctua NH-D12L on Amazon for £93.90 / €109.90 / $99.90, backed by a six-year warranty. Why not try the CPU cooler out for yourself using Amazon’s 30-day return window?