Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler Review

By on December 15, 2011
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Powerful, cool, and most importantly, quiet.

Good: Extremely quiet; Performance as good as liquid cooling while overclocked; Great airflow for surrounding components
Bad: Huge size; Low fan speeds may post error in some motherboards during startup
Price: AED 350
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The original Noctua NH-D14 was an instant hit at our office, and with the advent of Intel’s Socket LGA 2011 CPUs, it was time to see what Noctua had in store.

For this version, Noctua went with the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, and for all intents and purposes, the Noctua NH-D14 is just the regular NH-D14 with a new mounting for the new Sandy Bridge-E CPUs. And while the general 6-heatpipes in dual-radiators ‘tower design’ remains the same, the fans themselves have had a slight change.

What we have in the NH-D14 SE2011 are the new NF-P14 (140mm) and NF-P12 (120mm) FLX fans with PWM controls, making them incredibly easy to control the speeds automatically or manuall (in BIOS as well as any 3rd party programs). That’s exactly the kind of upgrade you’d expect in their latest flagship product.

First thing’s first, the Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 is a pretty big CPU cooler, as in 160mm tall and 158mm wide, so make sure your motherboard supports the girth. Once you ensure that the area around the NH-D14 SE2011 is adequate, you need to ensure that the ram modules you’re planning to put aren’t more than 44mm. Height specifications are something you can easily check on a manufacturer’s page before buying the ram you’re interested in. Our G.Skill RipJaws Z 4x4GB DDR3-1600MHz kit fit nicely on the testbed.

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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.

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