In the past, the coolers I've reviewed from Noctua have usually been pretty large. By using large heatsinks and multiple 120mm-140mm fans Noctua was able to create very high performing coolers with very minimal noise output. The large coolers came at a price though - they were often difficult to fit into smaller profile cases, such as mATX cases or HTPC cases. Considering how powerful a mATX system can be these days, that leaves a whole market that Noctua's large coolers can't service.
Looking to take the performance and silence of their larger coolers and put it in a smaller package, Noctua have recently released the NH-L12. The NH-L12 is a low profile dual-fan heatpipe CPU cooler designed specifically for use in small cases, such as HTPC or mATX cases. The NH-L12 has a variety of fan configuration options, a well packed bundle of accessories and a price tag that's a little higher than most would expect to pay for a low profile cooler. Will the compact size of the NH-L12 still shine against the competition? Let's see!