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Asus Strix Z790-H Cannot properly mount Noctua cooler?

Level 7

Hi. I'm a bit bum down I recently got this board for 280 dollars and I really like it's design but sadly my noctua nh-u12a will not work/fit with this mobo.

This is the mobo in question for anyone wanting to help or just wondering.

The problem is that the plastic design on top of the VRM heatsink is too big/tall. It's the plastic piece that says "The Game to end all Games"

That piece of plastic does have two lil screws that one can remove. However when I removed the screws in hopes of removing that plastic piece I noticed that it still wasn't coming off so on closer inspection, I noticed that the plastic piece is part of the whole plastic shroud covering all the VRM heatsinks.

So removing this whole piece will make the mobo ugly.

The Noctua NH-U12A heat pipes basically "clash" if the plastic piece and makes it impossible to mount. Am I screwed? 

Do I need to send this mobo back and get something else?

Ahh I was really hoping to start using my 13600k today but nope...

Any helpful tips or advice will be greatly appreciated.



I went ahead and kinda "forced" the CPU cooler on. I can clearly see that the two heat pipes that extend "outwards" (towards that plastic piece) are clearly pushing or "bending" that plastic piece. Not a lot just a tad bit.

I didn't use any thermal paste this is just a "dry" fit to see if it would work it seems to fit but very tightly since it's obviously pushing onto that plastic piece.

I kinda want to go ahead and use it this way.

But I have a question. Will this cause any harm on the mobo? Can this potentially "bend" or move the VRM heat sink from the top?

It doesn't seem like it would cause any real harm since the only thing that's being "bent" is that plastic shroud over the VRM heatsink.

I also tried to simply remove the entire plastic shroud but I have no idea how.

**EDIT 2**

I removed the Noctua NH-U12A (from the dry fit I did earlier with no thermal paste) and now that plastic piece that touches the heat pipes on my noctua has a lil "dent" on it lmao.

It's not cracked or anything just a small dent. Now when I place the noctua on for another dry fit it seems to sit easier now due to the plastic now having a small dent on it where the heat pipes normally touched/pressed on to the plastic piece.

I think I should be safe? I think I should be good to go and finish my 13600k build?

Again I just hope this didn't "move" or bent any screws holding the VRM heat sink. I didnt hear any "cracking" noises or anything weird as I torqued down the screws on my noctua heat sink...

Aside from the lil dent on the plastic shroud I should be ok?



Hello dias_flac_og

Hard to say, I suppose if it's making good contact with the cpu it should be ok.

But, Noctua says it doesn't fit in the standard orientation, rotating the cooler 90 degrees with the fan blowing upwards is possible.


Hello Nate. Haha yes that plastic piece is the problem I wish it could just be removed but it cant without removing the whole plastic shroud.

I dont know how to do this though and I don't wanna break anything.

What I ended up doing was basically just forcing the heat sink on. You can still position the noctua over the two screws that it mounts on.

The problem is when you start to tight them down then the heat pipes of the noctua start to make contact with the plastic part of the VRM heatsink.

I decided to just say screw it and I tighten down the screws all the way down and it seemed to work perfectly.

Now with that said, there is pressure on the upper VRM heat sink since the noctua is basically "pushing" the plastic piece onto the actual vrm heatsink.

My question and concern is will this damage the VRM heatsink or cause any issues?

As for the cpu itself the noctua is nice and tight and seems to be making good contact with it. My Mobo bios says its idling at 33c. So everything seems good and normal so far.

I really like this mobo so I really dont want to send it back and I dont wanna spend more money on a brand new cpu cooler when I already have a perfectly working Noctua NH-U12A...

So if came across any big issues or just not able to mount the cooler I had no choice but to send the mobo back and get another one.

I guess I could have gone for the strix -E but that one is like 200 dollars more and IMO its ugly. So my only choices were a board from msi or gigabyte. Especially in the 250-300 dollar range.


But anyways yea its working great so far...I just hope the added pressure to the top VRM doesn't damage it or anything in the long run.


Well, with 33c in the bios, that's very good temp, so it sounds like it's making good contact with the cpu.

I think if any damage was done, it would  have been done during the install, and since it's working with no issues, you should be in the clear.

Care to share a pic of the heat pipes hitting the plastic cover?


Hello again Nate. Yes I wouldn't mind but unfortunately I already have my pc all connected and setup on my desk so i'm lazy to unplug everything for a photo. I can't really take a photo of it now since its very hard to see it now that its all hooked up. It was super easy to see when I had the mobo outside the case. Now with the mobo installed in the case and all cables plugged in its very hard to see it.

I just updated the bios to the latest version and tweaked my bios settings (things such as turning on XMP and setting the cpu to it's intel defaults for now).

I'm currently downloading windows 10 updates as I type this.

I don't think any damage was done. Only the plastic part has a lil "dent" on it. You can only see the dent if I remove the heatsink though. There's two heat pipes on the NH-U12A that kinda "extend" outwards if that makes sense. Those two heat pipes are the "problematic" ones. Those make direct contact with the upper plastic shroud that says "The Game to end all Games".

Basically that piece of plastic as cool as it looks its to tall so the two heat pipes that extend outwards from the NH-U12A touch/push it outwards just a tad bit when you screw down the heatsink.

It's not the metal heatsink on the upper VRMs thats a problem it's the plastic shroud because its to tall.

Too add further details. When I screwed down the NH-U12A heatsink I didnt hear any cracks or weird crackling noises. So I don't think I broke anything. technically I guess it fits haha. Just very tightly hahaha.

On very close inspection you can kinda see that the plastic shroud is ever so slightly being "bent" this is because this piece of plastic has a lil bit of play it's not on there super tight. But with the NH-U12A pushing onto it it bends it every so slightly and pushes it against the actual metal VRM heatsink.


Hello. I would like to update this incase anyone else comes across this issue. I have been using the new PC for about two weeks now and it's working perfectly. I have been playing games such as FF14, Shadow of the tomb raider, Resident Evil 4 remake etc etc. I have zero issues. My CPU temps are always in the low 60's (around 63c) while playing games for many hours.


If anyone else has an interest in this board due to it's decent price and features but have a Noctua NH-U12A I would say go ahead and get it. It does indeed fit just very tightly and a couple of heat pipes will make direct contact with the upper plastic shroud slightly "bending" it (pushing it upwards slightly), but as far as I can tell this wont harm anything.

With that said when you screw down your NH-U12A do it slowly don't do it super fast. This way when it pushes onto the upper plastic shroud it's nice an gentle "push" and not a abrupt hard "push" if that makes sense.

Anyways hope this helps anyone in the future 🙂