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Noctua NH-D14 cpu cooler review
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Saturday, 13 March 2010 16:47
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Article Index
Noctua NH-D14 cpu cooler review
Features and specifications
Packaging
Closer look
Installation
Testing
Results and conclusion
All Pages

Keeping the temperature of the cpu is a difficult thing to do especially with the new Core i7 processors that generate huge amounts of heat.This pushed the manufacturers to produce ingenious solutions in order to meet the needs of the users. Noctua which is well known for  the performance,quality and low noise of its products has released the new NH-D14 cpu cooler...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.It is a cpu cooler with 6 heatpipes and two fans in push-pull array, one 12cm(Noctua NF-P12) and one 14cm(Noctua NF-P14).The "new" in this cooler is the addition of a 14cm fan that in combination with a 12cm one can generate descent airflow with minimal noise.It is the latest and probably the most high performing cpu cooler of Noctua so far.

 

 


 

 

Noctua impressed me with every product that passed from my hands, lets see if NH-D14 can do the same!


All data is taken from Noctua website:

Features

 

Specifications

 

 

Let's see the packaging!

 


Packaging is high quality and has a lot of info,I have to admit that it is one of the biggest packages I have seen for cooler.

 

From the back we can see the features if NH-D14.

 

 

At the top we can see the specifications of the cooler and the included fans.

 

Inside the box we find the NH-D14 well protected.

 

Accessories include virtually everything someone will need for this cooler,nicely organized in packs for Intel and Amd processors:

 

 

Lets have a closer look.


 
We can have an overall look of NH-D14, the construction is very sturdy and nothing bends easily like most coolers do.

 

From the top we can see a very nice logo of Noctua and can also notice the 6 heatpipes and the gun metal finishing of the cooler.

 

From the side we can see the fins, they are bent in order to make the NH-D14 more rigid.

 

We can immediately notice the antivibration material in both contact areas(fan with cooler and fan with mounting clip)

 

From the front we can see the fins that have a special shape to reduce air resistance thus increasing performance.

 

We can see the base and the 6 heatpipes

 

 

Finishing is not the best, the surface is completely straight but there are some slight machine marks.

 

Without fans installed.

 

Next we will see the installation procedure.


First we place the backplate...(Please note the mb used for installation is only to show the procedure)

And position the four plastic washers

 

After this we place the 2 metal pieces...

 

...and secure them with the 4 thumb screws

 

Then we apply thermal grease to the cpu before placing the cooler.Included we will find a tube of NT-H1, a premium thermal compound and one of the best available in the market(you can see detailed review of NT-H1 here)and we simply position the cooler over the processor and secure the 2 spring loaded screws(the middle 14cm fan has to be removed).

 

After this we can install the 14cm fan and its ready.How it looks installed.

 

From another point of view,we can see that nothing touches the MB components and there is sufficient space.

 

Let's see how it performs!


Heatsink testing methodology

  • Each heatsink test consists of two parts, Real Test and Synthetic Test.
  • Real Testing is performed in a real system, while Synthetic is done using methods that simulate thermal loads.
  • Stable thermal loads are used in order to have accurate results, more specifically thermal load is produced by power resistors.
  • The thermal load wattage is 30,60,90,120,150,180,210 watts. This covers a really wide range of processors and also overclocked states at wattages of 180 and 210 watts.
  • Temp readings are taken from a sensor inside a copper plate that is the exact size of the processor tested in order to simulate the cpu with the best way.
  • For reading the temperature I am using a high sensitivity digital multimeter.
  • Thermal paste used in each test is Noctua NT-H1 because it has very quick break-in time.
  • The copper piece that simulates the processor is not perfectly sanded, because the actual processor heatspreaders are never mirror polished.This happens again to have as accurate results as possible.
  • Sound pressure levels are measured with a high sensitivity digital sound pressure meter, from 20cm away of the cooler inside a sound proof box to eliminate any external noise of echo.   

 

In order to have more clear results Noctua NH-D14  will be compared with:

  1. Intel Stock cooler
  2. Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme (with two NF-P12 fans in push-pull)

 

TESTING PART 1 - Real Testing

 

System used for the test

  • CPU:Intel core i7-950 @ 3.6Ghz
  • Mobo:EVGA X58 Sli
  • VGA:Dual MSI GTX 260@ Sli
  • Memory:Adata 6Gb kit
  • HDD: 4x Seagate 500Gb
  • PSU: Seasonic M12D 850w

 

 

 

 

 

 

TESTING PART 2 - Synthetic Testing

Stable thermal loads are used in order to test the cooler at a wide variety of thermal loads, this test simulates cpu states from Idle to Overclocking

 

 

 

 

TESTING PART 3 - Sound Pressure Level

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Noctua NH-D14 performs remarkably well maintaining temps below Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme which is considered one of the best air coolers in the market so far. Noise is also very low despite the 2 fans. We must also admit that the two included fans (NF-P12 and NF-P14  )and the NT-H1 thermal paste make this cooler very attractive despite the relatively high price.

 

The combination of NF-P12 and NF-P14 proved to be very effective, since I had better temps than with two same 12cm fans. Also the noise levels were lower. One more benefit of the 14cm fan is that it has also some airflow below the fins and can also cool other components(VRM,ram etc) if needed without the need to add more fans.

 

Price is about 75 euros in EU, but if you think better this can be considered a value for money. For example a single NF-P12 fan costs about 18 euros in EU and NT-H1 about 8 euros.So the two fans and grease would cost you if purchased separately about ~50 euros!!! If we think this then it really worths paying the price for it! It's just maths!

What really impressed me was how sturdy the cooler was, fins could not bend easily and not even be pushed! Mounting system is also far better than the most coolers that use push-pins.Quality...what to say about quality? We all know that Noctua has the highest quality standards at all its products, in fact quality is the reason that made Noctua so famous.

 

Pros

  • Quality
  • Performance
  • Low noise
  • Rich bundle
  • Low cost(considering the included fans and thermal paste)

 

Cons

  • None 

 

 

"Noctua NH-D14 is one of the best cpu coolers available in the market..."

 

 

 

 

 

 



Last Updated on Monday, 26 April 2010 20:07
 

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