I have a Noctua NH-U12P bought about 8 years ago, it's been a lot of cpu's throught it, e8400, q6600, 2500k, 4790k and recently a Ryzen 2600X. Of couse Noctua has sent me two free socket adapters for it, 1st for 1155 socket, and recently for am4 socket, so very very happy with them, if you're reading me, gj on service guys
The problem is that with my 2600X on stock settings, I'm reaching 80º on OCCT, with a good airflow on my case, a Phanteks Enthoo Pro M SE with 4 14cm fans.
At first I was thinking it was problem of my cpu/bios config but yesterday I could test a Cooler Master 212 EVO and with it and the same test, it was on 73º, all same config.
I was thinking about maybe it wansn't well mounted, so I mounted again the noctua cleaning everything, and with the same thermal as CM 212, and thing went a little better, 77º, but still worse than the CM, and it shouldn't.
So, I'm not blaming about the Noctua, I think that 8 years of excellent service are enought but I was thinking about if this is a normal behaviour on heatpipes, to lose it's performance over the year, or maybe just my unit it's having some kind of problem.
So guys, what do you think, heatsinks with heatpipes degrade/lose performance over the years?
UPDATE: Answer from Noctua
Greetings from Noctua!
Thank you very much for contacting us.
In theory it could happen that a heatpipe becomes leaky, thus losing the vacuum inside and its function gone. However, either this happens very early in the beginning already, in case of a production error, or after mechanical damage to the heatpipe, but not suddenly by itself.
As far as I can tell you have recently switched to a newer platform (AM4).
From tests with AM4 CPUs in our lab we know that the heatspreader of the CPU has an elevated outer edge, similar to a ring. A cooler with a flat base, like the NH-U12, will thus sit on this outer "ring" but won't have good mounting pressure in the middle, resulting in worse temperatures. This is one of the reasons why all current models from us, and most current heatsinks from other brands as well, come with a slightly convex base to make sure the mounting pressure is best where the chip underneath the heatspeader sits.
We can't guarantee that this is the reason for the temperature difference but it seems very likely, based on our internal tests and information we have about this matter.
Your Noctua Support-Team