Date: December 17th, 2008
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Noctua
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NOCTUA NH-C12P INTRODUCTION
While Noctua may not be the first name that comes to mind when discussing the subject of PC cooling products, this Austrian company has a huge following in Europe. I've had the opportunity to look at a few of their products in the past and have always come away very impressed. Recently, Noctua has come out with a couple of new coolers and I jumped at the chance to get them in the lab for evaluation. The NH-C12P that we're going to look at this time out has what Noctua calls a “C” design (hence the name) and features a down-facing 120mm fan to cool the motherboard components as well as the CPU. Let's take a closer look at this new cooler and see how it performs.
SMALL HEATPIPE TECHNOLOGY TUTORIAL
I am going to keep this as simple as possible to get the basic premise across to all of the Tweaknews readers. Please don't be insulted if this is too simple for your education level. I have to cater my writing to the least technical reader looking for information.
The basic idea behind heatpipe technology is really simple.
1.) With a tube containing a compressed fluid/gas, the fluid comes in contact with the heat source (the cpu core, in this case) which heats up the volatile fluid and turns it to a gas. The energy is absorbed in the gas production process and is ready for transportation.
2.) The heated gas now travels along the inner portion of the tube where it comes to the cooling portion of the heatsink in this example.
3.) The radiator, with or without a fan, will cool the liquid and transfer the energy (AKA heat) to the radiator to be dispersed to the surrounding air. With the heat removed, the vapor quickly condenses back to a fluid and runs along the inside surface of the pipe, back down to the bottom, where the process can be started all over again.
For another example, you can consider a boiling pot of water with a glass lid as a very very basic heatpipe. When the water boils, the water vapor comes in contact with the cooler glass pot lid which forces the vapor to condense back to water, where it dribbles back down the inside of the lid back into the pot.
It's basic, but it gets the point across.