Noctua NH-D14 flagship dual-fan CPU cooler

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Noctua Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler

February 2, 2010 by Mike Chin

Product
Noctua NH-D14
CPU Cooler
Manufacturer
Noctua
Street Price
~$90 USD

The NH-D14 is only Noctua's fourth heatsink design since the company's emergence in 2005. The others are a 12cm fan tower, a 9cm fan tower, and a 12cm fan top-down model. There are several variants of each and there have been subtle refinements over the years, but those three basic designs have made up the line. The low model count makes Noctua one of the most conservative heatsink specialists in the computer business, and in this case, the word conservative is meant positively. The company has also been diligent in updating the mounting systems of their variant models to be compatible for changes by Intel and AMD, with update kits made available for purchase, not only incorporated into new production. This kind of customer support is unusual and we wholeheartely applaud Noctua's approach.

[P.S. - In the forum discussion after the article was posted, one reader pointed out that "as long as you own a Noctua heatsink and an appropriate CPU, and can provide proof, they'll send it to you for free." See the note on Noctua's NM-I3 SecuFirm2â„¢ Mounting-Kit page. Furthermore, Noctua maintains lists "showing every single motherboard that its heatsinks are compatible with and any issues that might be encountered (and in some cases, even asking you to contact them to get what's needed for compatibility). The amount of information here is absolutely astounding." Link to the NH-D14 compatibility list.]

The company's products have always shown a high degree of systems design thinking and very good attention to details. No surprise that they've received positive reviews from many web tech reviewers, including SPCR. In our recent retest of top heatsinks on our new i7 test platform, the Noctua NH-U12P tower heatsink's position among the top performers was re-established.

The NH-D14 was introduced late last year, just a couple of months ago. It is considerably larger than their previous tower models, and looks designed to handle the hottest CPUs around today — the Intel Core i7-1366 (130W TDP) and the AMD Phenom II 965 (125W~140W TDP).


A standard Intel CPU heatsink/fan is dwarfed by the Noctua ND-D14 box.

The large twin-tower design features two fans, a 14cm in between the two banks of fins, and a 12cm fan blowing in the same direction on the outside of one of the banks. The overall presentation of the product itself as well as the neat packages of Intel, AMD and common hardware cannot fail to impress.


The provided mounting hardware is neatly separated. Two well-illustrated instruction sheets are provided: One for Intel, one for AMD.


Noctua NH-U12P: Key Features
(from the product web page)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
6 heatpipe dual radiator design
Providing more surface area, better heat-distribution and superior airflow efficiency than conventional tower style heatsinks, the NH-D14’s six heatpipe dual radiator design was developed to provide ultimate quiet cooling performance in dual fan mode.
Because they are U-shaped, these 6 heatpipes provide 12 thermal paths. We've seen twin-tower designs before but haven't been that impressed.
Dual NF-P14/NF-P12 fan setup
Premium quality dual fan setup consisting of Noctua’s award-winning NF-P12 (120mm) and NF-P14 (140mm) fans, both of which feature Vortex-Control Notches, SCD technology and SSO-Bearings in order to achieve a perfect balance of performance and quietness.
Two fans blowing in the same direction should provide less drop in pressure as RPM is reduced, which means better cooling at low (read: quiet) speed. But turbulence interactions between the fans can increase noise. We cannot confirm the utility of the VCN, SCD technology or SSO bearings.
Asymmetrical design for high compatibility
An asymmetrical design that gives more clearance towards the RAM slots ensures good compatibility despite of the cooler’s size. The NF-P12 fan can be moved upwards or left off in order to further improve compatibility.
These points suggest good attention to practical details.
Excellent component cooling
Hanging out at the bottom of the fin-stacks, the NF-P14 fan doesn’t only contribute to the NH-D14’s superb CPU cooling capabilities but also provides massive airflow over surrounding motherboard components and heatsinks, thus ensuring excellent component cooling performance.
Definitely worthwhile for the VRM and chips around the CPU; they run hotter with a hotter CPU.
SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting
Noctua’s enthusiast grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting provides broad socket compatibility (LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA775, AM2, AM2+ and AM3) and meets the highest demands in safety, contact pressure and ease-of-use.
A secure, tight and easy to use mounting system is essential for any heatsink.
NT-H1 thermal compound
Noctua's much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a well proven pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding reliability.
For continuity, we won't be using their thermal compound. We'll take their word for it.

Noctua NH-U12P: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Socket compatibility Intel LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3 (backplate required)
HxWxD (w/o fan) 160 x 140 x 130 mm
HxWxD (w/ fan)
160 x 140 x 158 mm
Weight 900g HS only, 1070g w/1 fan, 1240g w/ 2 fans
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility 140x140x25 & 120x120x25mm
Scope of Delivery 1x NF-P14 premium fan
1x NF-P12 premium fan
2x Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
Y-Split Cable
4x Vibration-Compensators (for using NF-P12 as case fan)
4x Fan screws (for using NF-P12 as case fan)
NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kits
Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty 6 Years
Fan Specifications
Model Noctua NF-P14 & Noctua NF-P12
Bearing SSO-Bearing
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1200 / 1300 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 900 / 900 RPM
Airflow 110,3 / 92,3 m³/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A. 83,7 / 63,4 m³/h
Acoustical Noise 19,6 / 19,8 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. 13,2 / 12,6 dB(A)
Input Power 1,2 / 1,08 W
Voltage Range 12V
MTBF > 150.000 h



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