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Noctua NH-P1 passive CPU cooler is finally here!

Noctua NH-P1 passive CPU cooler is finally here!

by Vyncent ChanJune 16, 2021
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The fully-passive Noctua NH-P1 has finally been released! The cooler is quite unlike their previous CPU coolers, which were designed to be used with fans. But that’s not to say that the Noctua NH-P1 cannot be used with a fan.

noctua nh-p1 passive cooler fins

One major difference in the way it is engineered is the way that the fins are thicker and further apart to allow better heat dissipation with just natural convection, instead of forced airflow. You have six heatpipes running into just 13 thick fins, unlike the dense fin stack that most air coolers tout. You might also notice that Noctua offset the layout to accommodate most VRM heatsinks and I/O shroud, while also ensuring that it won’t block your memory or PCIe slots.

noctua nh-p1 passive cooler fan

Noctua also released the NF-A12x25 LS-PWM fan that’s based on the famed NF-A12x25, but are optimized for really silent operation at just 12.1dB(A) full tilt, with the Low Noise Adapter taking it down to an even quieter 7.6dB(A), which will be well below the noise floor of most normal usage scenario.

Noctua shared some results with an entirely fanless build, where the Noctua NH-P1 does a pretty good job of handling a Core i9-11900K pulling 125W running at 3.6GHz in Prime95. It is throttling, with temperatures nearing 100°C, but the fact that it is in an entirely passive build is really impressive. The situation greatly improves with the Noctua NF-A12x25 LS-PWM fan, allowing the CPU to run at up to 4.4GHz with a 175W power draw.

In the same build guide video, Noctua does mention that when you go passive, you will have to forgo conventionally acceptable temperatures, and you will be looking at temperatures of around 90~95°C on AMD and over 100~115°C on Intel, especially if you intended to use the Noctua NH-P1 with CPUs with 80W TDP and up.

Noctua does state that these temperatures are still within operating limits, and you will instead see the CPUs throttle to keep thermals in check, so you might be getting lower than ideal boost clocks, as seen in the results above. Once again, Noctua wants to keep expectations realistic, and we really like that about Noctua.

noctua nh-p1 passive cooler installed

You will also need quite a capacious case to house the Noctua NH-P1 though, with it being 158mm tall. Passive cooling enthusiast should understand that you need more mass to be able passively dissipate the heat from today’s high-end CPUs. To help optimize the cooling, Noctua will be including a tube of Noctua NT-H2 thermal paste. Installation will be just as easy as any previous Noctua cooler, with the SecuFirm2+ mounting system used here.

noctua nh-p1 passive cooler kit

The Noctua NH-P1 will be available for $109.90 (~RM453), with the NF-A12x25 LS-PWM priced at $29.90 (~RM124).

Pokdepinion: I wonder if it will be able to handle even more if we put it into a high airflow case like the Cooler Master HAF500 cases, where you get huge 200mm fans pushing a lot of air without making much noise.

About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy graduate. Strongly opposes proprietary standards and always on the look out for incredible bang-for-buck.