Noctua NH-C14 Dual Fan Top-down CPU Cooler

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The most critical aspect of installation is that the heatsink be securely mounted. A firm mating results in good contact between the heatsink's base and the CPU heatspreader and more efficient heat conduction. Ideally it should also be a simple procedure with the user having to handle as few pieces of hardware as possible. On the C14, Noctua uses the same SecuFirm2 mounting system featured on the D14. If you're familiar with it, skip ahead.

For AMD installs, two metal retention bars are secured to the stock backplate with screws and the C14's spring-loaded bolts attach to them. On AMD boards the heatpipes point to the side so in a typical tower setup the fins run vertically. In this orientation an exhaust fan at the top of the case is more beneficial than at the rear.

Intel installation is a little more complicated. Underneath the board, four bolts are inserted through the appropriate set of holes of a backplate. On the other side, plastic standoffs are laid down and the retention bars are secured to it with nuts.

Retention bars installed on out LGA1366 test motherboard.

Bolts screwed in.

Fully mounted. There was 46 mm of clearance underneath the bottom fan. Intel mounting holes being symmetrical, you can turn the cooler so that the heatpipes point toward the bottom or top of the board.

After mounting there are a few accessories left over including low noise adapters, a dual head 3-pin connector, thermal paste, and a spiffy metal case badge. Also provided is hardware to mount an unused stock fan in your case.

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