Noctua Talks AMD AM5 Socket Compatibility As It Launches Its Latest NH-D12L Low-Height & Dual-Tower CPU Cooler

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Noctua introduced its latest NH-D12L low-height & dual-tower CPU cooler and also talked about its cooler compatibility with AMD's AM5 socket.

Noctua NH-D12L Dual-Tower & Low-Height CPU Cooler Unveiled, Company Also Talks AMD AM5 Socket Compatibility

Press Release: Noctua today presented the all-new NH-D12L low-height dual tower CPU cooler and the corresponding NF-A12x25r round-frame 120mm fan. At a height of only 145mm (13mm lower than Noctua’s regular 120mm models), it fits many 4U enclosures as well as narrower tower cases that have been previously limited to solutions with 92mm fans. At the same time, its five Heatpipe dual-tower design and state-of-the-art NF-A12x25r 120mm fan allows it to achieve a level of efficiency that surpasses many full-height 120mm models.

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“So far, all our 120mm class coolers were 158mm high, but as of recent, more and more PC cases only support up to 150 or even 145mm – this is where the NH-D12L steps in”, explains Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “Simply lowering one of our existing models wasn’t an option because a standard square 120mm fan would cause lots of issues with motherboard heatsinks or shrouds. That’s why we came up with this novel dual tower design and a round-frame version of the NF-A12x25 fan that can be installed at a very low position between the two towers – a winning combination that provides impressive results for this height class.”

While Noctua’s regular 120mm CPU coolers stand 158mm tall, the NH-D12L measures only 145mm. This allows it to fit not only a wide range of 4U rackmount server cases and many tower-style enclosures that are not wide enough for 158mm units but also some larger Small Form Factor (SFF) and Mini-ITX chassis. Despite its reduced height, the NH-D12L easily outperforms 92mm coolers. It can even surpass renowned 120mm units such as the NH-U12S and often comes close to Noctua’s award-winning 120mm flagship model NH-U12A.

Due to its asymmetric design, the NH-D12L does not overhang the RAM slots on Intel LGA1700/LGA1200/LGA115x and AMD AM4/AM5 based motherboards, which ensures easy access to the modules and 100% compatibility with DIMMs that feature tall heat-spreaders or RGB lighting.

Introduced in 2018, Noctua’s NF-A12x25 is widely considered to be the best 120x25mm fan on the market. The round-frame variant used on the NH-D12L provides the same renowned quiet cooling performance yet makes it possible to reduce overall cooler height without risking compatibility issues with tall motherboard heatsinks or shrouds. The NH-D12L also ships with an extra pair of fan clips that can be used to install a second of these NF-A12x25r PWM fans either on the front or on the rear fin stack. However, it must be noted that the second fan will usually sit on top of either the RAM or I/O panel and thereby increase the total height beyond 145mm.

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Topped off with Noctua’s award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound, a 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, and the renowned SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system that already supports Intel’s latest LGA1700 socket as well as AMD’s upcoming AM5 platform, the NH-D12L is it the perfect choice for applications that require serious cooling performance but cannot fit the larger NH-U12A.

FAQ: Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with AMD AM5?

AM5 (LGA 1718) is AMD’s upcoming socket for its next-generation Ryzen 7000 (Zen 4) series processors. Please refer to our socket compatibility overview in the Noctua Compatibility Centre (NCC) to see which Noctua CPU cooler models support socket AM5 out of the box or via mounting upgrade kits.

In short, all Noctua coolers and mounting kits that support AM4 are upwards compatible with socket AM5, except the NH-L9a-AM4 and the NM-AM4-L9aL9i.

All Noctua AM4 mountings except the ones of the NH-L9a-AM4 and the NM-AM4-L9aL9i attach to the threads of the standard AM4 stock backplate. Since these backplate threads and their pattern are identical on AM4 and AM5, our AM4 mountings that attach to the standard AMD backplate also support AM5.

This means that all SE-AM4 models as well as all Noctua multi-socket coolers purchased since 01/2019 already support socket AM5. Multi-socket coolers purchased before this date that have already been upgraded to AM4 using the NM-AM4 or NM-AM4-UxS kits also require no further upgrades. Older multi-socket coolers that have been purchased before 2019 and have not yet been upgraded to AM4 can be made compatible with AM5 using the NM-AM4 or NM-AM4-UxS upgrade kits.

The NH-L9a-AM4 and the NM-AM4-L9aL9i are not compatible with AM5 because they require replacing the standard AMD backplate with a custom one, which isn’t possible on AM5. A dedicated AM5 upgrade kit for NH-L9a, NH-L9a-AM4 and NH-L9i coolers is in preparation.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices are as follows:

  • NH-D12L: EUR/USD 89.90
  • NF-A12x25r PWM: EUR/USD 29.90

Both new products are available as of today via Noctua’s official Amazon stores:

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