As it teased back in Feb, Noctua has launched the first member of its new 'redux' CPU cooler line. This is Noctua's approach to taking its highly-regarded PC cooling products and reducing them to the 'core essentials' to produce a streamlined range that delivers the goods while being highly compatible, easy to install, and accessibly priced. It pioneered the redux line by introducing a number of redux branded fans to sell to budget constrained PC builders.
The first PC CPU cooler getting the redux treatment is the award-winning NH-U12S. This CPU cooler was first introduced back in 2013, but Noctua updated its range with a black version in 2019. One of the first things you will notice about the redux model is that it introduces another colour choice – plastics in a neutral two-tone grey alongside white metal parts.
So, in what ways has Noctua wielded the knife in the NH-U12S redux design? As per the above instant visual summary, the redux model uses a NF-P12 redux fan as the active component. This fan is actually capable of pushing 30 per cent greater airflow than the NH-F12 but to do so it uses a higher RPM and makes slightly more noise. Noctua doesn't include a second set of fan clips and adapters with the redux fan, which is another budget conscious change.
Moving along to the metal parts of the CPU cooler, a BOM cost reduction is achieved here by reducing the number of copper heatpipes from five to four. Other than that I am happy to report that the build and materials carry though the same spec as the premium model, all the way down to the nickel plated copper base.
Once at the base you will see another saving, NT-H1 thermal paste has been pre-applied, so you don't get a tube of this gunk in the packaging. Thankfully the Noctua SecuFirm mounting system hasn't been altered. Another nicety is Noctua's assurance that, just like with its premium coolers, "future mounting upgrade kits for the NH-U12S redux will be provided free of charge if technically possible, making it a safe long-term investment".
Users are able to boost the NH-U12S redux's cooling capabilities by adding the new optional NA-FK1 kit that contains a second NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM fan (making a push-pull fan system), fan clips, anti-vibration pads, a y-cable and Low-Noise adaptors for £14.90.
How much is the price reduxion?
On the official Noctua UK Amazon store and at the time of writing, the price for original NH-U12S is £53.75, the chromax black version is $64.99, and the new NH-U12S redux is listed at £44.90. Thus the difference between the original model and the redux is just £8.85.