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Noctua NH-D14 Dual Fan CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-D14 Before I re-write the “About Us” page for Noctua, let’s get into why we are here today. Noctua was generous enough to send over their latest cooler, the NH-D14. The D14, as we will call it, is the largest cooler we have seen from Noctua to date. It weighs in at 1240 grams with two fans attached. This alone is scary enough, but due to the SecuFirm 2 mounting system weight should be the last issue on your mind. Lets get into the review before I reveal anymore secrets on the D14.

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Noctua NH-D14

Noctua NH-D14 Before I re-write the “About Us” page for Noctua, let’s get into why we are here today. Noctua was generous enough to send over their latest cooler, the NH-D14. The D14, as we will call it, is the largest cooler we have seen from Noctua to date. It weighs in at 1240 grams with two fans attached. This alone is scary enough, but due to the SecuFirm 2 mounting system weight should be the last issue on your mind. Lets get into the review before I reveal anymore secrets on the D14.

 

Introduction to the Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler

Noctua Has always being a big hit here at Pro-Clockers. The reason being is we have yet to see a disappointing product from them. We have reviewed no less than five coolers from them over the years and have yet to find ourselves unhappy. The quality Noctua puts into each of their products is a practice they have perfected and have yet to ease up on.

We can go on and on about their products; but I wouldn’t be doing my job very well, if I didn’t mention what type of products they made. Noctua is all about cooling. Extreme air-cooling. Their coolers are regarded as top-of-the-line. Often on the large size, but it isn’t just size that matters with their coolers. There is technology behind it. Technology like the asymmetrical structures, secure mounting and large heat pipes. But one feature that make Noctua’s coolers as good as they are is the SSO-bearing fans. Even enthusiasts not using Noctua coolers are huge fans of their fans. They are very quiet, well performing and long lasting.

Before I re-write the “About Us” page for Noctua, let’s get into why we are here today. Noctua was generous enough to send over their latest cooler, the NH-D14. The D14, as we will call it, is the largest cooler we have seen from Noctua to date. It weighs in at 1240 grams with two fans attached. This alone is scary enough, but due to the SecuFirm 2 mounting system weight should be the last issue on your mind. Lets get into the review before I reveal anymore secrets on the D14.

Noctua take on the NH-D14

Combining a massive six heatpipe dual radiator design with an exquisite NF-P14/NF-P12 dual fan configuration, the NH-D14 is built for ultimate quiet cooling performance. Topped off with a tube of Noctua’s award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound as well as the new SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, the NH-D14 is an elite choice for the highest demands in premium quality quiet cooling.

Specifications

Socket compatibility Intel LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3 (backplate required)
 
 
 
Height (without fan) 160 mm
 
 
 
Width (without fan) 140 mm
 
 
 
Depth (without fan) 130 mm
 
 
 
Height (with fan) 160 mm
 
 
 
Width (with fan) 140 mm
 
 
 
Depth (with fan) 158 mm
 
 
 
Weight (without fan) 900 g
 
 
 
Weight (with fan) 1070/1240* g
 
 
 
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
 
 
 
Fan compatibility 140x140x25 & 120x120x25mm
 
 
 
Scope of Delivery 
  • 1x NF-P14 premium fan
  • 1x NF-P12 premium fan
  • 2x Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • Y-Split Cable
  • 4x Vibration-Compensators (for using NF-P12 as case fan)
  • 4x Fan screws (for using NF-P12 as case fan)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kits
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
  •  
     
     
    Warranty 6 Years
     
     
     

    Fan specifications

      
     
     
     
    Model Noctua NF-P14 & Noctua NF-P12
     
     
     
    Bearing SSO-Bearing
     
     
     
    Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1200 / 1300 RPM
     
     
     
    Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 900 / 900 RPM
     
     
     
    Airflow 110,3 / 92,3 m³/h
     
     
     
    Airflow with U.L.N.A. 83,7 / 63,4 m³/h
     
     
     
    Acoustical Noise 19,6 / 19,8 dB(A)
     
     
     
    Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. 13,2 / 12,6 dB(A)
     
     
     
    Input Power 1,2 / 1,08 W
     
     
     
    Voltage Range 12 V
     
     
     
    MTBF > 150.000 h

    Features

    6 heatpipe dual radiator design
    Providing more surface area, better heat-distribution and superior airflow efficiency than conventional tower style heatsinks, the NH-D14’s six heatpipe dual radiator design was developed to provide ultimate quiet cooling performance in dual fan mode.

    Dual NF-P14/NF-P12 fan setup
    The NH-D14 sports a premium quality dual fan setup consisting of Noctua’s award-winning NF-P12 (120mm) and NF-P14 (140mm) fans, both of which feature Vortex-Control Notches, SCD technology and SSO-Bearings in order to achieve a perfect balance of performance and quietness.

    Asymmetrical design for high compatibility
    An asymmetrical design that gives more clearance towards the RAM slots ensures good compatibility despite of the cooler’s size. The NF-P12 fan can be moved upwards or left off in order to further improve compatibility.

    Excellent component cooling
    Hanging out at the bottom of the fin-stacks, the NF-P14 fan doesn’t only contribute to the NH-D14’s superb CPU cooling capabilities but also provides massive airflow over surrounding motherboard components and heatsinks, thus ensuring excellent component cooling performance.

    SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system
    Noctua’s enthusiast grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting provides broad socket compatibility (LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA775, AM2, AM2+ and AM3) and meets the highest demands in safety, contact pressure and ease-of-use.

    NT-H1 thermal compound
    Noctua’s much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a well proven pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding reliability.

    Closer look

    The D14 is a massive cooler, but this is something we have seen time and time again from companies like Noctua. However, I want to stress the D14 is even bigger. With both fans (more on those later) the D14 weighs in at 1240 grams. The cooler along weighs just 900 grams. But after reviewing the Thermalright CU TRUE no weight surprises me anymore. Yet, weight is one thing. Gross size is another. The D14 stands about six inches tall. With all the evidence in just this one paragraph the D14 should be pretty top heavy.

    The weight and size amazed us, but you really can’t see that in a web image. What may surprise many of you is not the use of two fans but the fact that one fan is larger that the other. The center fan is a P14 at 14cm while the outer being a P12 at 12cm both from Noctua. I don’t know if Noctua meant for things to work the following we but we like how the middle fan blows across areas of the motherboard for better over all cooling.

    Here we removed both of the fans to give you a better look at the cooler itself. If you haven’t figured it out already, the D14 is a twin tower layout. A configuration that has been become very popular over the past few months. The center fan is designed to pull air away from one tower and across the other. While the other just pulls air away.

    Each tower of fins is supported by six 6mm nickel plated copper heat pipes. Each of the pipes starts at the top of one tower and travels down though the base and back up the second array of fins and ending there.

    Noctua elected to use the SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system to secure the cooler to the motherboard. A portion of the system is pre-installed on the cooler out of the box. The improvements made on the SecuFirm 2 is well welcomed and should support the cooler just fine. The base of the cooler is well done and shows little evidence of machining.

    Installation

    For the installation of the cooler on a Intel based motherboard, Noctua did what all companies should do and make one piece universal. The motherboard backplate has placement holes in it for sockets: 775, 1156 and 1366. Basically insert the screws into the plate according to your socket. And then insert through the motherboard.

    Once the plate is in place, we screw on the mounting brackets onto the screws going through the motherboard. Where you want to predetermine which way you want the cooler to face.

    Now it is just a matter of mounting the cooler to the motherboard and reinserting the fans.

    Testing Hardware:

     

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP55A-UD6
    Processor: Intel Core i7 860 @ 3.8GHz at 1.38 volts
    Ram: G-Skill ECO PC12800 4GB Dual Channel
    Video Card: XFX HD 4770
    HDD: Seagate 7200.11
    Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 850 (Sponsored by Thermaltake)
    Case: NA
    Cooling: Noctua D14
    OS: Windows XP SP3
    Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 5

    Competition:

    Coolermaster TX3
    Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme
    Prolimatech Megahalems

    Results

    Simple put: The D14 rocks. This probably the best cooler we have had in our lab in some time. This includes all the big boys. It showed the lowest temp readings of all the major coolers we have tested. Up to two degrees better than the next closest cooler. Because of my doubt before my testing I took a couple of days to re-test some of the other coolers including the Prolimatech offering and the results basically remained the same.

    Conclusion

    As of right now, the Noctua NH-D14 is the best cooler we have reviewed to date performance wise. It beat out a couple of my favorites: Prolimatech Megahalems and the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme. Each of which have been extreme performers. We can account for a lot of the performance comes in the area of weight and the dual fan setup. But when it comes to performance we don’t care how we get it just get it. Just as only as it is safe for our rig’s components. The SecuFirm 2 mounting hardware is more than enough to support the 1200 plus grams of aluminum and copper.

    I remember in the early days of the release of the D14 many felt the difference in size of the fans would be the downfall of the cooler. Wrong. The difference in size has been a big plus in the way of excellent cooling performance and the cooling of surface components of the motherboard. And asking of fans, you can’t go wrong with Noctua’s selection of fans. The  P12 and P14 are ideal as they are extremely quiet and cools the D14 to the point where its the best cooler we have tested.

    The D14 has many up sides but there is one down side. And it is a pretty big one. We used Google Shopping to see just how much it would take to own a D14. We saw the average cost was about $90. This makes the D14 one of the most expensive air-coolers on the market. But if you don’t want to go water, this is a great investment as it is compatible with current AMD and Intel sockets.

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