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Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler Review

By on April 13, 2011
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A cool monster.

Good: Very cool, Remains quiet even under load & overclock, Easy instructions, All tools included
Bad: Too big, Sharp edges on cooling fins
Price: AED 360
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a CPU cooler, mostly due to the fact that we don’t get many of them, but also because it’s always a hassle. And one way or another, I usually end up with some sort of bloody cut. Given the size and sharp edges on the Noctua NH-D14, I was understandably cautious about this review, but my worries proved to be without merit.

Before I get into much detail, let’s just have a look at the Noctua NH-D14. Yep, it’s huge. So huge, in fact, that I just had to take this shot with the Noctua NH-D14 on the ECS H67H2-I mini-ITX motherboard I tested some time back. .

Measuring 160x140x158mm (including the fans), the Noctua NH-D14 is a behemoth of a CPU cooler. As such, I highly recommend you have a look at their compatibility list for motherboards and ram before buying it. While the NH-D14 sat perfectly fine on our testbed Gigabyte P67A-UD7 motherboard, the Kingston HyperX ram modules wouldn’t fit, so I had to go with the recently reviewed G.Skill RipJaws X instead. Also, check the maximum CPU cooler height allowable in your PC case as the NH-D14 will need at least 160mm of clearance.

Worries about its size aside, let’s see the NH-D14 in more detail. The base and fins are all made of copper, while the cooling fins are created from aluminum. Two fans provide the actual cooling, with one 120mm fan attached on the outside of the heatsink, and one 140mm fan in the middle of the two heatsinks. If you want, you can also take out the external fan and attach it to your PC case’s side as Noctua has provided additional rubber stoppers and cabling should you want to go that route.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

Comments
  • Luay

    Thanks Taimooor.
    Do you think that this level of cooling is necessary for Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs given their lower power consumption & heat? Wouldn’t the newer and lower profile NHC14 be more suitable and even quieter?

    • http://twitter.com/taimoorh Taimoor Hafeez

      For Sandy Bridge CPUs you will be fine with the stock coolers. The NHC14, I haven’t had a hand’s on experience with personally, but it should be more than enough if you want to stick with standard clock speeds.

      Stock coolers won’t take you far if overclocking, and the NHC14 should be fine at mild overclocking speeds (around 4GHz). If you’re touching 4.5GHz and above however, then you’ll most certainly need a high-end cooler like the NH-D14.

  • Jean

    We use it since they’re avcailable.
    Good stuff, silence, love the 9 blades, and the possibility to reduce the rpm by adding a simple “resistance” cable.

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