Noctua NH-D14 flagship dual-fan CPU cooler

Cooling
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MORE COMPARISONS

It's hard to manage all the data, but here are some snapshots.

A. Stock vs dual Nexus fans

NH-D14: stock vs. dual-Nexus 120 fans
SPL dBA@1m
°C Rise Above Ambient Temperature
Stock i7-965
OC'd i7-965
Noctua fans
Nexus fans
Noctua fans
Nexus fans
30
31
-
41
-
21
33
-
44
-
19
-
31
-
44
17
33
-
46
-
14
34
33
48
46
12
48
36
54
49
All results generated with reference Nexus 120mm fan.

B. Dual Nexus 120s on Noctua NH-D14 vs Others on single Nexus 120, with OC'd i7-965

Noctua NH-D14 w/ 2 Nexus 120 vs. Others on one Nexus 120
Heatsink
SPL - dBA@1m
19
16
14
13
12
°C Rise Above Ambient Temperature
Noctua NH-D14 (2x Nexus 120)
44
-
46
-
49
Prolimatech Megahalems
-
50
-
53
59
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme
-
51
-
56
63
Noctua NH-U12P
-
53
-
56
60
Scythe Mugen-2
-
53
-
56
62
Thermalright Ultra-120
-
56
-
60
67

Of course, the above table begs the question again of how the other heatsinks would do with two Nexus 120s.


FREQUENCY SPECTRUM SCREENSHOTS

The range of images that can be shown here number in the dozens. Just a handful are presented, in an attemp to minimize data overload. Note that the fans were all mounted on the heatsink when these screenshots were captured.


Both SPL and frequency spectrum are essentially the same with just the Noctua 14cm fan or with both stock fans.


When the ULNA devices are used as instructed on the stock fans, 21 dBA@1m is the result. By SPCR standards, it's not that quiet.


The two fans at their minimum reliable start voltage are very quiet.


The 14cm fan by itself at min. start voltage is quieter and smoother sounding than with the 12cm fan.

Two Nexus 120 fans at 9V are about as quiet as a single Noctua 14cm fan at its minimum speed, though.


At 7V, two Nexus 120 fans are quieter than any combination of the Noctua fans, and make no more auidble noise than a single Nexus fan.


Two Nexus 120 fans at 12V show some tonal peaks but are quieter than the Noctua fans equipped with ULNA.

MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

The recording begins with the ambient sound of the test room. Please set your playback volume so that the ambient is almost inaudible, then don't adjust the volume control again. For best results, save the sound file to your own PC before listening.

Noctua NH-D14 with stock fans The SPLs are approximately 14, 17, 21 and 30 dBA@1m, obtained by setting the voltage to 6.5V, 7.3V, 8.5V (as per ULNA) and 12V. The recording starts with 7 seconds of the ambient in the room, then goes through 10 seconds at each of the four voltage settings.

Noctua NH-D14 with stock 14cm fan The SPLs are approximately 13, 16, 20 and 30 dBA@1m, obtained by setting the voltage to 6.5V, 7.3V, 8.5V (as per ULNA) and 12V. The recording starts with 7 seconds of the ambient in the room, then goes through 10 seconds at each of the four voltage settings.

Noctua NH-D14 with 2 Nexus 120 fans The SPLs are approximately 12, 14, and 19 dBA@1m, obtained by setting the voltage to 7, 9 and 12V. The recording starts with 7 seconds of the ambient in the room, then goes through 10 seconds at each of the four voltage settings.

Comparative Recordings

Scythe Mugen-2 with stock Scythe fan at one meter
— 8V (11 dBA@1m)
— 9V (12 dBA@1m)
— 10V (15 dBA@1m)
— 12V (24 dBA@1m)

Scythe Mugen-2 with two reference Nexus fans at one meter
— 7V (12 dBA@1m)
— 9V (14 dBA@1m)
— 12V (20 dBA@1m)



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