on 25 February 2011
This cooler is a piece of cake to install if you have an AM3 board. No need to take motherboard out unless the cooler you used previously got rid of the standard backplate which you will need to fit this cooler.
I was using the Antec freezer 7 pro v2 on a 1090t at 1.35v 3.6 GHz ambient temp 22c; idle 32c load 50-55c.
This beaut of a cooler on a 1090t 1.536v at 4.12 GHz ambient temp 22c; idle 28c load 55c.
These temps above are the CPU Die temps, the core temps are about five degrees below those figures. I was using Artic silver 5 thermal compound.
You can get these volts down if you use the latest chipset, I'm using a MSI 790FX-GD70 board which is why I have to use higher volts.
The cooler is massive compared to the old antec cooler. I use an antec 300 case which is 205mm in width and it fits nice and snug. I have about 10mm to spare job done!
Also I have the fans on top whack and they cannot be heard over the five case fans. Not saying much but the case fans I use are Alpenfohn wing boost which are pretty quiet for five fans running at 100%. They are rated at 21db but anyway that's for another review.
This cooler is a must have, pretty expensive but compared to a H70 which is a make believe water cooler anyway and costs 15 quid more and no way near keeps your overclocked cpu cooler than this beast does and wait for it.... and is much more of a pain in the buttocks to install... and alot noisier at full whack, why not buy this?
Well the only minus points is for AMD users. You can only position the heatsink horizontally and if you have stupidly high heatsinks on your ram sticks this ain't going to fit. If your like me and have the ram sticks (corsair xms3 1600 MHz) that don't have high heatsinks it does fit. The Noctua website is the best place to go if you are unsure.
Not many complaints so what are you waiting for.... oh nooooo!!!!!! the silver arrow. Still buy this though for ease of install on AMD boards.
on 19 February 2011
Bought this cooler replace my Intel stock cooler which was struggling to cool my Intel i5 750 CPU Overclocked at 3.25 Ghz. Since having this cooler I have been able to reach brilliant performance with my i5 Processor with a clock speed of 4.162 Ghz. The Noctua NH-D14 cooler keeps the CPU brilliantly cool at this speed with temperatures of 34 Degrees Celsius at idle load and about 48-55 Degrees Celsius under load. This cooler is a great compromise to more expensive cooling solutions.
There is a few things to look out for when purchasing this cooler. Firstly this thing is massive in all dimensions. The cooling fins are placed very high up and are extremely wide which can cause problems. The cooler just fits in my Antec 900-2 with a little modification to the side panel (Just had to remove a clip on the inside of the side panel which can hold an extra fan to cool GPU's, Very minor . Another thing to look at is the size of the heat spreaders on your RAM, this could be a problem as I've seen some large cooling fins on RAM through the years but this generally won't be a problem with most system but its good to look out for. I would recommend you measure up your system well before purchase as this is a big cooler.
The installation is extremely simple although if you follow the guide although slightly time consuming depending if you have to take your motherboard of to attach the backplate(some chassis have holes behind the motherboard for changing the backplate such as the CoolerMaster ATCS 840). The NH-D14 comes with a great installation guide and ample spare screws. I was happy to see that Noctua supplied two 3 pin fan connector extension cables and and 3 pic fan connecter cable splitter which will allow you to connect two fans through one 3 pin connector. The build quality of this cooler seems to be great, haven't had any problem with the cooler, fans or the installation kit.
This cooler is epic, cools brilliantly at high clock speeds and makes barely any noise. The Noctua NH-D14 looks great, performs well and is a great for anyone who wants to overclock their CPU heavily, The cooler makes water cooling look pointless to a certain point. Great for beginners, enthusiasts and professionals looking to improve their systems cooling. One thing to note is the size, I wouldn't let this put you of this cooler as most performance chassis either large mid tower or full tower chassis will be big enough to host the cooler, just measure up well before purchase. I would heavily recommend this cooler to anyone on the market for a high performance premium CPU cooler, I am yet to find a fault with this cooler and expect never to find one.
on 9 May 2013
In addition to the power supply and case, I now consider a good CPU cooler as an investment. Well, at £65 it's certainly the most I have ever spent on a heatsink. But wait. You don't just get a heatsink, but also two of the best fans available, which sell for around £35 each. So £30 for the heatsink doesn't sound so outlandish, especially when you discover that it will keep the processor cool at moderate loads with only the draught from the system fans. It is also of very high quality, with soldered heatpipes for optimal heat transfer and very nice plated finish.
While also supporting Intel CPUs, I was particularly taken by how simple and elegant it was to fit this to my AMD processor. No need to remove the motherboard, the whole job was very easy. Plugging the fans into the motherboard was a little tricky as there's not much wiggle room, but I found the square end of a chopstick most helpful in pushing the connectors home. Fitting the rear case fan on its rubber mounts was awkward for the same reason. Please understand, these are not criticisms by any means, merely points to consider for installation. All coolers have to comply with the laws of physics, and if you want good cooling you need a large surface area, QED large heatsink. If you don't like the sound of that, take a look at water cooling but be prepared to spend more money for probably similar performance and more noise and more things to go wrong.
Unfortunately, neither of the CPU fans are PWM controllable. Given that the performance of the heatsink is so impressive, this is a pity, since it would otherwise yield a virtually silent system for most tasks. Noctua do produce PWM versions of their fans, but why they don't see fit to supply them with their flagship cooler I'm not sure. I do have a Zalman four-channel fan controller, but having just upgraded my motherboard to the quite lovely Asus M5A97 EVO R2.0, I was keen to use the built-in fan control capabilities and do away with the external controller altogether. Some motherboards (Gigabyte, for example) allow speed control of 3-pin fans. My Asus supports this on 3 system fans, but unfortunately not on the CPU fan. It requires a 4-pin fan and otherwise just runs on full speed. Being handy with electronics, I knocked up a simple little circuit which connects between the 3-pin fan and 4-pin motherboard header to take care of this. It is now perfect.
Clearly the primary task of a CPU cooler is to, er, cool the CPU. There are two main designs of air-cooler, known as top-flow and tower. A top-flow cooler is what all stock heatsinks are, sucking cool(er) air down through the heatsink and onto the motherboard, where it flows outwards and through/around other components. The most important of these on a high powered system is the Voltage Regulator (VRM) which has to deal with very high current (albeit at low voltage), and so can generate a lot of heat itself. The difference here is that the VRM can safely run at much higher temperatures than the CPU. It will perform better if it is kept cool, however, as will the Northbridge/Southbridge chipset. If you want the best top-flow cooler, get the Noctua NH-C14.
A Tower cooler, on the other hand, is typically fitted so that the air flows through from front to back, inline with case airflow. This method has the advantage that the general airflow is in the same direction, with cool air being sucked in through the front of the case, through the CPU cooler and then out the back. All the fans work together and are therefore more effective and this arrangement provides the very best cooling performance of any air cooling solution. The main disadvantage of tower coolers is that the air is typically blown above the level of the motherboard heatsinks (rather than through them), which means the VRM and chipset get less airflow and therefore less cooling. Perhaps the biggest difference between the Noctua NH-D14 and other tower coolers is how the main 140mm fan sits low between the two cooling stacks, blowing air at a lower level directly over the VRM. The air also gets disrupted slightly by the heatsink heatpipes, so there's a little turbulence which helps things too.
As I mentioned earlier, the D14 is a very good heatsink in its own right, so it's very good at sucking the heat out and away from the processor without any fans running. I consider this a very nice safety feature, on the off chance that a fan fails or stalls the CPU is still protected. There are other air coolers with performance similar to this one (Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E, Phanteks PH-TC14PE, BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 2, Silverstone HE-01), but despite the fact that the NH-D14 has been around a lot longer does not mean it's out of date or needing an update (although PWM controllable fans would be nice). If anything, these other coolers just show how good a job Noctua made first time around. My overall impression is that these coolers all attempt to emulate the Noctua, but only mangage to exceed it by increasing airflow and therefore noise. Also, none of them make any mention of motherboard airflow.
If necessary, this whole issue of motherboard airflow could be managed by adding a fan over the VRM and/or over the chipset, but that seems very messy and inelegant and just sloppy. It occurs to me that with a strong flow of air in one direction, front-to-back, a better way to deal with possible hotspots is to put little cardboard 'diverters' in to pull the air onto the bits that need it. I've done that with the northbridge and it seems to help.
So, having considered all the available coolers, the deciding factors for me were as follows:
1. AMD mounting system - uses existing mounting plate so motherboard doesn't need to be removed
2. Additional motherboard cooling through positioning and performance of central fan.
3. Build quality - superb. And no mucking about with fancy colour schemes or making things pretty. This is an example of beauty through function.
4. Fan mounting system - both fans can be adjusted up or down as required with great ease.
5. Noise - what noise? Even on full whack I could never describe this cooler as noisy.
6. Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound supplied is very good
7. 6 year warranty
The Noctua NH-D14 is pretty much the best air cooler. Period. Many other (cheaper) coolers are quite poor at this and I would have felt it necessary to add yet another fan specifically to keep the VRM cool. Noctua also have very good customer support. For example, they will the supply an Intel socket 2011 mounting kit free-of-charge for this cooler. You can imagine they'd do the same if/when AMD bring out a new socket. I have quite a collection of CPU coolers, which is a bit silly. Now I have the Noctua NH-D14 I doubt I'll need another one for many years.
on 2 February 2016
Added to a 8320, which is probably huge overkill, due to it only being OCd to 8350 specs.
Bought to replace the AMD stock cooler which is embarrassingly loud.
I used pcpartpicker.com to make sure this fit in my case (NZXT s340), and it fits great.
Fitment was alittle tricky because of the large size. I had to remove the top exhaust case fan temporarily in order to get everything to fit. Make sure you plug in the fanheader to the motherboard before you screwdown the cooler.
I had to get a friend to hold the backplate on the motherboard in position, whilst it screwed it in, however looking back, If I had left 2 of the screws from the old cooler bracket in, I probably could have done this alone.
As for temps, running MGS5 at max on 1080p, cpu temps never exceed 34 degrees.
You do hear the fans running since you can only run at full speed or lower speed by using the attached connectors since the fans are not 4pin pwm. However, I have read online that you can change bios settings to regulate fans via voltage rather than pulsing the current? Apparently this is a quieter method of regulating fan speeds? Not too sure about all of that though. The noise is a huge improvement on what I had before, and is a low pitched drone that I tend not to notice especially when gaming or watching videos.
I still think it looks a little ugly compared to the all in one coolers, but I didn't really like the idea of water around my components, plus to achieve similar temps it seems you would need to spend about 100 pounds. Fan colours are subjective, but I guess they are distinctive!
I have attatched a pic of it next to the stock cooler so you can see the size difference!
All in all..check to see if it fits on your case on pcpartpicker, then order it!
on 9 April 2016
I don't think anything I can say hasn't already been said about this fan. It's been around for a couple of years now and it's as good now as it was when it first came out.
I've used them in the past and know all too well what to expect. Cool, quiet and truth be told a bit, well.... ugly.
It's big and you'll need a decent sized case to house it. It's also heavy and as you need to install it before putting it in MOST cases it can make plugging in your connectors tricky. I have big ham hocks and this'd can cause the drunken sailor to come out during a build. Get past that though and it's all good. Using the latest purchase on a 6700k skylake build, the whole accessory pack (including decent thermal compound) ensures you have everything you need no matter what CPU you use. The bracket design ensures you don't get uneven pressure across the face of the processor.
It's virtually perfect, tart it up a little and drop the 70's beige and it would be pride of place. Most modern motherboards have a fancy shell suit and stacks of bling, this can make the cooler look a bit out of place. For me it's all about performance not style so it's no big deal.
Buy it, you'll not regret it.