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Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer: Noctua

Conclusion

Performance

Noctua's design prowess shines through with the NH-U14S' performance under all conditions. The fact that the unit could maintain reasonable temperatures and system stability with a single fan running at 4/5's of its rated speed under most conditions speaks volumes. The single fan LNA configuration was overcome by the overclocked Ivy Bridge processor, but did maintain the full stability with an overclocked Haswell. However, you should have no need of the LNA cable, the stock fan configuration is just that quiet.

Pricing

As of April 8, the Noctua NH-U14S CPU cooler was available at Newegg.com for $69.99, as well as Amazon.com for $71.33 with Prime shipping and Performance-PCs.com for $75.95.

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Conclusion

Before continuing with our parting sentiments on the NH-U14S cooler, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at Noctua a hearty "Thank You" for giving us the opportunity to review another one of their well-designed CPU air coolers. After reviewing so many dual-tower CPU air coolers, I had some reservations going into the review. Sure, the NH-U14S' single tower is 150mm wide and almost double the thickness of a standard fan, but the single 140mm fan included just didn't seem like it would be enough. Those thoughts quickly evaporated once I started putting the unit through it paces. Noctua designed the NH-U14S cooler as a high-performance unit that was compatible with any Intel LGA115x or LGA2011, or AMD motherboard. At this, they succeeded amazingly well. There were not space constraints with the cooler fitting on the MSI Z87 MPOWER board, which is notorious for is larger VRM coolers framing the CPU socket on three sides. The width-wise fit was tight, but the cooler did fit between the VRM sinks without touching. Further, you could use all four DIMM slots on the board even with a front facing fan. The NH-U14S' design and implementation conform to the high standards we've come to expect from Noctua as well - clean solder joints on all layers, nickel-plating on all copper surfaces, and enough copper heat pipes running through the unit to please even us hard-core water cooling addicts. Further, Noctua stuck to there tried and true Secure Firm2™ mounting system, both easy to use and a rock-solid grid on that heavy chunk of aluminum and copper.

The biggest downside to this cooler is the price. You will spend a pretty penny on this cooler, but the old adage remains true here - you get what you pay for. And in this case, you are paying for a high-quality, high-performance solution.

Strengths

  • Performance under all operating CPU and fan conditions
  • Build and machining quality of the cooler
  • Size compatibility with most motherboard configurations
  • Fan noise in all tested configuration
  • Manual quality

Weaknesses

  • Price
  • Performance scaling oddities with overclocked Haswell processor
  • Cooler heat pipe width - should fit, but may be tight

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April 25, 2014 | 11:53 AM - Posted by Edkiefer (not verified)

I assume this cooler being 150mm width wouldn't fit Intel MB that have graphic slot at top , instead of many that have PCI-E 16lane down one slot .

cheap price ,54$
http://www.ncixus.com/products/?sku=82802&vpn=NH-U14S&manufacture=Noctua

April 25, 2014 | 04:27 PM - Posted by Feikz (not verified)

Another horrible testing/review from PCPer. Good job!

April 25, 2014 | 06:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What about it is so horrible? Care to make some constructive criticism?

April 25, 2014 | 09:58 PM - Posted by Paws (not verified)

People are idiots. Great job PCPer as always, and Go Big Blue!

April 25, 2014 | 09:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks for the review, any plans with the D15?

Rather than testing two CPUs which both produce relatively little heat but use lackluster heatspreaders, I think it would be more useful to test one of those and a high power, soldered CPU (LGA2011 or AMD).

April 26, 2014 | 12:41 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

D15 review will be coming sometime in the next few months.

Thanks...

April 26, 2014 | 02:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The 'continue reading our review...' link on the front page for this article links to pcper.com, not the article.

April 26, 2014 | 11:57 AM - Posted by AnonymousAndy (not verified)

Any idea if you can buy a second low noise adapter and use it for a dual fan set=up? I get that it should make the dual fan set-up quieter but run hotter, but how much cooler or how much hotter?

My first guess would be it would run very similarly to the single fan configuration without the LNA.

April 28, 2014 | 07:23 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Your best bet would be to contact Noctua support to see if they can either send you one or sell you one (an LNA adapter that is).  If you buy a second Noctua branded fan, they normally package them with the LNA adapter as well.  You could also make one yourself if your technically savvy enough - its just a power cord with an in-line resister to dampen the fan voltage.

As far as performance goes, you'd probably see an increase of 1-2C over full speed with the Noctua fans so most likely equal to single fan operation or sitting in between single fan full speed and LNA operation.

April 27, 2014 | 05:07 PM - Posted by Justin (not verified)

The 'continue reading our review...' link on the front page for this article links to pcper.com, not the article. i

April 28, 2014 | 08:38 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Fixed.  Thank you...

April 28, 2014 | 07:20 PM - Posted by TheGlasman (not verified)

" I get that it should make the dual fan set-up quieter but run hotter, but how much cooler or how much hotter?"

Minor increase in noise, minor increase in performance.

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