Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler Review
Noctua includes all mounting hardware and accessories needed to install the NH-U14S cooler in your system, including fans, motherboard and fan mounting hardware, bracket install tool, and thermal compound.
For cooler to board mounting, Noctua includes kits with detailed instructions for both Intel and AMD type sockets. For Intel LGA 115X sockets, you use the included backplate with integrated uprights in conjunction with the included plastic spacers, metal brackets, and thumbscrews to build the board mount. The backplate is not used for LGA2011 sockets. Instead, the included metal stand-offs are screwed directly into the socket. For AMD sockets, you fix the C-shaped brackets in place over the white plastic spacers with the included screws going into the stock AMD back plate.
The Intel cross brackets have two mount holes to accommodate LGA115X and LGA2011 socket types. The outer set of holes line up with uprights mounted on an LGA2011 board. The inner set of holes align with the uprights mounted to the LGA115X backplate.
Unlike other kits, Noctua chose to permanently fix the uprights into the LGA115X backplate. This eliminates the possibility of the uprights spinning in place while attempting to set the cross brackets in place. It also makes for much easier construction of the LGA115X mounting cage on the board..
Noctua includes a tool to switch out the cooler mount plate, basically a long-shafted Phillips head screw driver. The drive fits into a hole in the middle of the radiator to remove the screw holding the mount plate in plate on the top side of the CPU cooling plate.
For the LGA115X mounting cage, the black plastic spaces slip over the threaded uprights in the base plate with the metal cross brackets sitting on top of them. The brackets are held in place via thumbscrews screwed into the uprights. The nuts fixed to the cooler's mounting bracket screw into the threaded uprights located on the top center of the board mount brackets.
The Intel mounting cage is designed to allow for mounting the cooler in a vertical (front-to-rear) or horizontal (bottom-to-top) orientation, depending on the orientation of the mounting cage's cross brackets. Whether or not the cooler can be mounted in a horizontal orientation depends on the board design.
On an Intel LGA115X board, the base plate bottom rests on the socket bottom plate, eliminating direct board contact except for the arms housing the threaded uprights. This design minimizes the potential for contact or crushing of any components in close proximity to the socket base plate.
Noctua includes two sets of fan mounts so that the unit can be used with the single included fan or in an options dual-fan configuration. An additional set of four rubber fan feet are included to use on the corners the second fan to reduce vibration noise between the fan and the radiator surface. Also included are a low noise adapter, a tube of Noctua's NT-H1 thermal paste, and a Noctua metal case badge. The low noise adapter contains an in-line resistor to reduce the voltage supplied to the fan motor, effectively reducing the fan speed to 1200 RPM (revolutions per minute).
The fan mounts are held to the fan via the front upper and lower holes on the fan. The hooks on the inside of the mount go into the holes on the front face of the fan so that the mount sits vertically on either side of the fan. The body of the mount is then snapped in place into the hooked sections on the sides of the radiator to hold the fan in place.
For heat dispersal, Noctua includes one of their NF-A15 140mm fans. The NF-A15 is rated for a maximum speed of 1500 RPM with a rated maximum airflow potential of 82.5 CFM (cubic feet per minute). The brown colored fan body sits in a tan colored housing with a total of seven large fan blades. The fan blades have shaped fins along the inside top of the blade to assist in directing airflow into the radiator and minimize the airflow dead spot in the fan's center caused by the motor. The fan cables are sleeved in a dense, black colored plastic sleeving and ending in a 4-pin PWM-style power connector. The fans is rated to run at 12V, drawing 0.13 amps of power during full speed operation.