Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler

An amalgamation of both old and new is present in Noctua’s latest offering to the processor cooling sector. Building on previous successes, namely the NH-U12P, the NH-D14 is characterised by two fin stacks and a dual-fan cooling configuration.

The new, seen with the inclusion of the of Noctua's largest fan to date: the 140mm NF-P14 FLX construction slotted between the independent fin stacks is combined with elements from past coolers by the thermal solutions manufacturer. The heatsink bares similarities to the NH-U12P in terms of the fin spacing and heatpipe layout whilst the push-pull fan design can be attributed to the SE1366 version of the same cooler.

Specifications

  • Compatibility: Intel LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA775 / AMD AMD2, AM2+, AM3
  • Dimensions: 160x140x158mm (with fan)
  • Weight: 900g
  • Rotational Speed: 1300 RPM
  • Warranty: 6 years

Overview

The package is a little updated with a more modern skeletal image of the cooler imprinted upon the white background. Internally, the heatsink is held extremely proficiently preventing any problems during transit.

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Moving on to the bundle, a typical Noctua accessory set equips the cooler with individually labelled mounting mechanisms for Intel and AMD sockets with an additional bag containing common components to both. Amongst other things this includes a tube of Noctua’s NT-H1 thermal compound and the signature noise adapters: the LNA (low-noise-adapter) and ULNA (ultra-low-noise-adapter) essentially resistance wires enabling a reduction in fan speed and thus noise output. A two-to-one 3-pin fan header adapter is also bundled allowing both fans to be controlled together.

Naturally, the size of the NH-D14 is immediately apparent with so-called six heatpipe dual radiator design. Generalising a little, size normally affords greater cooling performance but of course there are considerable mounting issues to overcome which we’ll come to later. Essentially the thinking behind the huge heatsink is to provide a large surface area to dissipate heat as effectively as possible but, Noctua has not just blindly increased surface area in an attempt to boost performance; innovation is present throughout the whole design in order to make best use of the size.

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The dual fan concept is part of this with the two fans not only working in unison via a push-pull configuration but the central 140mm fan sucks air through the first fin stack as well as pushing it over the second set.

The attachment of these fans has been upgraded considerably from the NH-U12P with the wire clips pre-attached to each fan avoiding the fiddly aspect of holding the clip to the fan and clipping it on to the heatsink simultaneously. Similarly, the rubber strips preventing the transfer of vibrations from fan to heatsink are also already in position.

To further limit noise output, Noctua fans are equipped with a number of features: high quality SSO bearings stabilise the impeller and provide quiet operation and staggered Vortex Control Notches distribute the noise emissions over a greater frequency spectrum for a more pleasant sound.

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The base and heatpipe system is perhaps most key in the whole cooling process though as, if heat is not effectively transferred to the fin stacks from the CPU, the cooler is intrinsically flawed. The NH-D14 features a machined finish base in order to achieve a flush contact with the processor and not the Heatpipe Direct Touch or HDT option.  Six nickel-plated heatpipes then channel the heat up to the heatsinks which are very securely joined for maximum heat transfer.

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