A new king has been crowned.
The Noctua NH-D14 I reviewed a few weeks back was a beast of a heatsink; not only in terms of its size, but also performance. Of course, a price tag was also beastly, coming in at a cool $90. Today I’ll be looking at a similarly sized and priced Noctua heatsink, but the NH-C14 has a different cooling methodology.
The NH-C14 is a down-facing C-type design, but the two 140mm fans allow for a great deal of customization. Not only that, but the two Low Noise Adapters also provide the opportunity for a more silent performing cooler, but more on that later.
The basic heatsink of the Noctua NH-C14 has 6 heat-pipes coming out from the polished silver base into the aluminum fins up top. Either of the two fans can be mounted on top or bottom. The top fan allows for more ground clearance, and hence easier installation of memory modules with bigger heatsinks. Conversely you can mount the bottom fan and have a slimmer overall profile, allowing the Noctua NH-C14 to fit into thinner cases. Of course, the fact that you’re getting a Noctua heatsink, and a highly priced one at that, means you’re in need of some serious air cooling for your seriously overclocked rig. Keeping that in mind, I have tested the Noctua NH-C14 with both the 140mm fans attached to the heatsinks.
The Noctua NH-C14 also comes with the aforementioned Low Noise Adapters (L.N.A.) that allow the fans to run at a lower speed. At stock, the NH-C14 runs at 1200 rpm; with the Black LNA the fans run at 900rpm and with the Blue (Ultra Low Noise Adapters) ULNA the fans run at an incredibly low 800rpm. The noise at 1200rpm wasn’t as much as I was expecting thanks to the 140mm size and the SSO-bearings in the fans. That was the case on our open testbed, inside a PC case I’m sure you won’t hear anything more than a mild hum. While using the Blue ULNA and the fans running at a mere 800rpm, I could hardly hear them on our testbed; undoubtedly they’ll be dead silent in a case.
Application of the NH-C14 took just under 5 minutes, and was actually easier than the NH-D14 because the heatsink has two convenient holes that line up on top of the screws at the base. This means no taking off any of the fans. Everything you need to install the NH-C14, including Noctua’s high-grade NT-H1 thermal compound is included.