Review: Noctua's NH-D14 cooler is big, but very quiet, and very effective at keeping your silicon running cool.
Noctua iswell known in enthusiast circles for itshigh performance coolers, with low noise levels, and trademark cream and maroon fans. What we have here is itsmost ambitious product yet, the twin-radiator dual-fan monstrosity that is the NH-D14. To get a feeling for how large this oversized block of aluminium is, it eclipses two memory slots on both the GA-P67A-UD7 and Maximus Extreme IV with no fan attached. Fortunately, you can mount the fan on either side (whichever is least obtrusive).
Two sets of six heatpipes transfer heat from the copper base to the pair of radiators, made up of layered aluminium fins. The provided fans push and pull air through; one to the side, and one directly between the two radiators, each well secured with metal clips. The height of the fans can be adjusted thanks to the innovative clip design, which slots in neatly between the fins.
With almost a kilo of metal on your processor, you'd expect it to run cool. We grabbed our shiny new 2600K processor and put the D14 to the test. At 3.5GHz with Hyper-Threading disabled, the BIOS reported a temperature of 26c – nice and cool. Five minutes of Linpack later, we reached our maximum temperature of 52c, which is not too shabby!
Not allowing Noctua to get away with the crown too easily, we pushed the CPU to 5GHz and retested. The temperature within the BIOS was 37c, still very cool considering the 47per centoverclock. Further stress testing revealed a maximum of 78c, a very respectable temperature.
To compare, the stock cooler for the 2600K reached 33c in the BIOS at 3.5GHz, and 48c at 5GHz. Under load, the 3.5GHz test shot up to 61c, and a gut wrenching 98c at 5GHz. It also sounded like a rampant hair dryer compared to the whisper quiet NH-D14.
With brackets to suit all modern Intel and AMD sockets, there should be no problem securing this impressive HSF to your platform of choice. And at a reasonable $108 street price, there's little reason not to go out and grab one – provided it fits in your case.