Noctua NH-U12A coolers for Intel LGA 1851
The first generation of Intel CPUs with support for the future LGA 1851 socket is still a long way off, but the first info about cooler support is already making its way to the public. Documents have surfaced where materials around the Noctua NH-U12A cooler are linked to this platform, for which everything is ready. Noctua doesn’t deny this, and meanwhile ideas arise about how it could possibly be with the mounting systems of other coolers.
Japanese website akiba-pc.watch.impress recently came up with photos of the Noctua NH-U12A cooler’s packaging, where the front panel print shows, among other things, support for the Intel LGA 1851 platform, which will be the first to support Intel Arrow Lake-S processors. While we’ll have to wait a while for them, they may not even make it in 2024 after all (and won’t come out until early 2025), things may not be as bad as they seemed back in July with support for current coolers. Back then, recall, there were reports of the need for significantly higher pressure than required for LGA 1700.
But Noctua has confirmed what we can already see from the manual of the revised NH-U12A cooler package – in terms of mounting, everything is the same as for LGA 1700, including the NM-IPS3 spacers. These will also be used on LGA 1851 motherboards. But there is one change to the mounting system that does not concern mainstream platforms, but HEDT. The new NM-IMB3 v4 brackets have discontinued support for LGA2066 and LGA2011(-v3). Specifically by removing the third hole compared to the NM-IMB3 v3, which used to be used for mounting on high-end Intel processors.We initially overlooked this change, but it was pointed out in the comments by an observant reader. LGA 20xx support is also no longer listed among the compatible sockets on the package.
It is also evident from the manual that the backplate is structurally unchanged. The shape with individual cutouts faithfully copies what is already used on the LGA 1700 with a 78 × 78 mm mounting hole spacing. That said, we can note that the entire Noctua NM-i7xx-MP78 installation kit, as is, will be usable for a long time to come. In addition to the NH-U12A cooler, it is also supported by other models such as the NH-U12S, the NH-U9S or the NH-L12(S).
Unless the NH-U12A cooler has a modified base in some way, which is unlikely given the claimed platform compatibility, it is possible that there are other cooler packages already available with support for LGA 1851. In any case, Noctua hasn’t publicly confirmed this information on their website, and LGA 1851 support is still not mentioned in the specs as of the date of this article.
But it is definitely no canard. While we didn’t learn many technical details from internal communication with a Noctua representative, he does confirm the circulating photos of the NH-U12A’s “updated packaging”. It’s possible that this is an early batch intended for the Japanese market only, and Scythe may have a hand in it somehow. After all, the latter has been distributing Noctua products in Asia for a long time.
So at the moment it looks like even coolers from other brands that support LGA 1700 will be able to be used on LGA 1851. That is, unless there is some rare collision of, for example, a backplate of some cooler with an altered SMD layout behind the CPU socket.
But what about that higher pressure with LGA 1851? It still shouldn’t rule anything out, even if it won’t be achieved from the cooler side, but by a taller IHS. In the available schematics, Arrow Lake-S (LGA 1851) processors are approximately 0.1 mm taller than Raptor Lake-S (and Alder Lake-S).
English translation and edit by Jozef Dudáš