Introduction and Specifications
In this roundup we'll explore the performance of three premium (and large) air coolers - with the ultra-popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO in the mix to see how this $29 option stacks up against the big dogs on test.
Many of the large air coolers on the market are built for ultra-efficient cooling at whisper-quiet volume levels. With massive heatsinks (and sometimes pairs of them) they can often cool demanding CPU loads with minimal fan speeds, and this usually results in very low noise output. Another advantage is the increased thermal headroom such a cooler provides, which can allow for overclocking without the need for liquid cooling - or even much additional noise.
So what coolers are included? In alphabetical order we have:
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $28.99, Amazon
- Noctua NH-D14 SE2011- $79.99, Amazon
- Scythe Ninja 4 (SCNJ-4000) - $46.95, Amazon
- Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT - $79.99, Amazon
Can the $29 Hyper 212 EVO hold its own in this group?
Kicking Cooler Testing up a Notch
I reviewed the Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT recently, using a Core i5 6600K-based test platform (the Scythe Ninja 4 was also reviewed using this platform), and readers correctly pointed out that a cooler of this size should really be tested with some more challenging thermal loads. The Core i5-6600K is a quad-core, single-threaded design with a 91W TDP, and in moving to a new CPU cooler test system I decided to make the jump to the 140W TDPs of Intel's LGA2011 processors.
So I ended up with a Core i7-6800K; a newer Broadwell-E design with a 6 core/12 thread configuration (and of course that 140W TDP). The base speed of the CPU is 3.40 GHz, with a maximum turbo frequency of 3.60 GHz. Without much trouble I was able to push the CPU to 4.0 GHz on each core, and proceeded to test each of these coolers at both stock and OC frequencies. My hope is that the results to follow will adequately demonstrate just how effective these coolers are when really pressed.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of Noctua
Noctua is a well known name in the enthusiast world for its high-end CPU cooler products. Their flagship cooler, the NH-D14, features a nickel-plated copper base with dual radiator towers actively cooled by low noise 120mm and 140mm fans. The NH-D14 can be used with all current Intel and AMD CPU offerings. The cooler was put to the test against other similarly classed air and water-based cooling systems to see just how well Noctua's design would hold up. The Noctua NH-D14 does not come cheap with a retail price at $99.99, but its performance and utility should make up for that initial outlay.
Courtesy of Noctua
Courtesy of Noctua
The Noctua NH-D14 cooler is everything you would expect in a premium CPU cooler - nickel-plating for corrosion resistance, twin-tower radiators for massive heat dissipation potential, and copper / aluminum hybrid design for optimal heat transfer from the CPU. Noctua designed the NH-D14 with a total of six heat pipes, laid out in a U-shaped design which passes through the copper base plate and terminates in the radiator towers. The bottom of the copper base plate leaves the factory ground flat and polished to a mirror-like finish, ensuring optimal interfacing with the CPU surface.
Courtesy of Noctua
Noctua included the following components in with the base cooler: SecureFirm2™ multi-socket mounting kit, NF-P14 140mm fan, NF-P12 120mm fan, four fan mounting brackets, a dual-ended fan power cable, two single-fan low power cables, a case badge, and NT-H1 thermal compound.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 28, 2011 - 02:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: noctua, NH-U12P SE2, NH-D14, NH-C14
Noctua have recently released three new coolers, the NH-U12P SE2, the NH-D14, and the NH-C14, all of which do the same job but in different ways. The Tech Report noticed the colour scheme was very similar to a certain uniform, though the fans have much better airflow than Captain Antilles' throat. The NH-U12P SE2 is 940g, 120 x 126 x 158 mm and uses a 120mm fan, the NH-D14 is a dual tower design with two 140mm fans, is 1240g and 140 x 157.5 x 160 mm and finally the NH-C14 has the heatsink and 140mm fan horizontally aligned, 140 x 166 x 130 mm and weighs in at an even 1000g. Check out the full review at The Tech Report.
"We rarely review CPU coolers here at TR, but we've spent a few months working with a trio of Noctua designs that are really quite impressive. Let's take a closer look to see how they fare."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fostering Better Heatsinks - Does Zalman really use Composite Heatpipes? @ Frostytech
- Alpenfoehn K2 CPU Cooler Review @ Real World Labs
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Review @ Neoseeker
- Rock-n-Roll from Akasa: Venom Voodoo @ X-bit Labs
- Enermax ETS-T40-TA CPU Cooler Review @ HardwareHeaven
- NZXT HAVIK 140 Cooler @ kitguru
- Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Scythe Mugen 3 PCGH Edition CPU Cooler Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Zalman CNPS12X Lower Noise Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler @ reviewstash
- Phanteks PH-TC14PE Premier CPU Cooler Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Phanteks PH-TC14PE CPU Cooler Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gelid GX-7 CPU Cooler @ Pro-Clockers
- Xigmatek Prime SD1484 Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- Alpenföhn Triglav cpu cooler @ Hardwareoverclock
- Xigmatek Gaia CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Evercool HPL-815 and Transformer 3 Review @ OCC
- Thermaltake Frio OCK @ Bjorn3D
- Prolimatech Panther @ XSReviews
- Titan Dual X Holder TTC-SC07TZ(RB) Review @ OCC
- Antec Soundscience Halo 6 LED Bias Lighting Kit Review @ Techgage
- Bitfenix Merc Alpha Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Silverstone Precision PS06 @ techPowerUp
- Antec Solo II Case @ Rbmods
- Raidmax Blackstorm Case Review @ Rbmods
- Corsair 400R Carbide Series Case Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Lancool PC-K9 B Mid Tower Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Viako Mini Letter ML-Style @ techPowerUp
- Corsair Carbide 500R Case Review @ Neoseeker
- Corsair Carbide 500R: A Corsair in Every Home @ AnandTech
- Lian Li Cowry PC-U6 Special Edition mATX Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- BitFenix Outlaw Mid-Tower Case @ Bjorn3D