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Roundup: 10 high-end CPU coolers
by Marc Prieur
Published on September 28, 2011

Noctua NH-D14

Weighing 1240g with its two fans, the NH-D14 is the biggest Noctua cooler. It’s equipped with six heatpipes and comes with a 140 mm fan sandwiched between two blocks of fins with another 120 mm fan on the outside. Noctua supplies an LNA adapter for the 140 mm fan and a ULNA for the 120 mm, so as to reduce maximum running speed – regulation of this must be handled by a system that suppors DC adapters. The bundle includes a tube of thermal paste, a very well illustrated user guide, a screwdriver and the mounting required to fix the 120 mm to your casing.


Installation
Once again you’ll be using the usual SecuFirm 2 kit, which you can mount without too much difficulty. Although the NH-D14 comes with its fans pre-mounted, you have to remove the 140 mm fan to be able to screw the cooler to the SecuFirm 2.

With the 140 mm fan on its own, the system extends over two DIMMs with 45 mm of available space for the memory bars. If you also use the 120 mm fan, the cooler extends over 4 DIMMs.

Results

The NH-D14 is disappointing with the two fans running as even at 5V it isn’t completely silent. Cooling is however very effective when both fans are mounted and, along with the Silver Arrow, is one of just two coolers that bring temperatures below 70°C with our Core i7-2600K overclocked to 4.8 GHz at 1.45V. This is however to the detriment of noise levels, which are high at 12V.

With just one fan mounted, the processor gets a bit hot, but it’s a lot quieter at 5V and 7V. Beyond that, noise levels go up and in fact having two fans running is actually slightly quieter!
Assessment
The NH-D14 didn’t convince us. There’s only a small gain over the NH-U12P SE2 and when using both fans it isn’t silent even at 5V. Size isn’t everything after all!

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