Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler
It is extremely important to choose a highly efficient cooler for an overclocker LGA1366 platform. The thing is that overclocked Core i7 processors dissipate much more heat, so they require effective cooling in order to reveal their frequency potential to the full extent. The maximum CPU temperature when thermal throttling kicks in is 100°C and the default boxed cooler that comes bundled with Intel Core i7 processor cannot cool them properly even during moderate overclocking.
It looks like there are a lot of very efficient air- and liquid-cooling solutions out there these days, however, most of them are incompatible with LGA1366 platforms. The thing is that Intel changed the retention holes layout on the board: they have been moved farther away from the processor socket compared with the LGA775 platform. Luckily, some cooler makers took matters into their own hands very rapidly and started offering additional retention kits for their flagship solutions, so that they could be used in the new systems. We managed to get our hands on the new retention kit for the Noctua NH-U12P cooler. By the way, Noctua Company is eager to send these kits to everyone who needs one for free.
Noctua NH-U12P cooler has already proven highly efficient in our earlier tests. Therefore, we considered it worthy to become part of our overclocker Core i7 platform.
The new LGA1366 retention kit that got its own name – Noctua LGA1366 SecuFirm2 – allows fastening the well-familiar cooler very securely in the new platform. Its design is similar to that for LGA775, however, it uses a backplate and larger retention brackets. Unfortunately, this new retention kit retained all the drawbacks of its predecessor: it is great for one time installation, but replacing a CPU in you system may turn into a real pain. To uninstall the cooler you have to remove the fan, and if you need to replace the CPU, you have to unscrew one of the retention brackets blocking the processor socket lock-lever.
However, we forgave Noctua NH-U12P these small drawbacks. First, this cooling solution is one of the most efficient processor air coolers in the market today, and secondly, the manufacturer managed to extend the life of its successful product by offering a free retention kit for east upgrade.