Powerful, cool, and most importantly, quiet.
As you can see, on stock settings the NH-D14 SE2011 did fairly well, but the RTS2011LC outperformed it under load. The point I’d like to make here is that the RTS2011LC starts to hover around 1,900rpm making it fairly loud, whereas the NH-D14 would be around 1,000rpm. So the Noctua trades off 10°C for completely silent operations. Of course, the speeds can always be manually adjusted to full in BIOS or 3rd party software if you feel the need to always keep your CPU cool.
Under the 4.6GHz overclock, we see the tables turn as the RTS2011LC is a mere 3% cooler than the NH-D14 SE2011, but its wailing at 2,200rpm. The Noctua meanwhile is dead silent with 1,300rpm, making it the quietest component on the whole testbed.
So the Noctua NH-D14 is an extremely quite CPU Cooler for the new Sandy Bridge-E processors, with exceptional performance at overclocked speeds. At stock speeds it may not be as cool as Intel’s liquid cooling solution, but even then it makes up with silent operations. For anyone building a Sandy Bridge-E gaming PC, the Noctua NH-D14 is a definite consideration.