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Is the Noctua NH-D14 still the king of cpu air coolers? (why is it so good?) - Page 13

Poll Results: Is the Noctua NH-D14 still the best cpu air cooler?

 
  • 60% (72)
    No
  • 40% (48)
    Yes
120 Total Votes  
post #121 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by deepor View Post

You forgot the Noctua NH-U14S in your list, which is also awesome.

I think the Thermalright and Phanteks and also the Dark Rock Pro 3 might be a better choice than the NH-D14. The old Noctua fans used on the NH-D14 can get pretty noisy when approaching full speed. The new one used on the NH-U14S seems a lot better in that regard, and the Phanteks fans are similarly great (though I don't know if the newest Phanteks fans are the same fans that are used on the PH-TC14PE). I think all those coolers themselves are also better compared to the NH-D14 (I mean when testing with the exact same fans).

If you think of buying the Dark Rock Pro 3, look up how it gets installed. You will have to screw it in from the back side of the motherboard. Can you imagine how you would do that alone? You might need to remove the motherboard, while for the other coolers you can simply have the case with motherboard installed lie on its side. Alternatively for the Dark Rock Pro 3, you could probably have the case hang over the edge of the table so that you can get to the motherboard tray's cutout on the back and that might work great.

Regarding a case, there's also the Fractal Design Arc Midi R2. Stripped down to the metal parts, it's the same case as the Define R4, but it comes without dampening and no front door, instead with one more fan. It has meshes everywhere for more air flow. The Define R4 should be more quiet when nothing stressful is going on and the dampening might be great for HDDs, but the Arc Midi R2 could be able to beat it while gaming all day if you are able to reduce fan speeds more because it has no door etc.

Be careful of CPU cooler height and the case. The 330R has 160mm clearance and something monstrous like the Archon SB-E X2 won't fit as it's 170mm. The Define R4 has no problem.

FWIW I had no trouble at all installing the Dark Rock Pro 3 by myself. Took all of 5 minutes, if that long. I spent at least twice that amount of time watching a how-to youtube video on the installation that I did on actually installing it.

It was a little tough to get delivered here in the states, but I'm sooo glad I did manage to get it though. I seem to get a little better temps with it than I did with the NH D14, but the real value is how it looks. The Dark Rock Pro 3 is a work of art. It's just..... beautiful, and though it also was a beast of a cooler performance-wise, the NH D14 is by far the ugliest most unsightly absolutely hideous thing I've ever allowed to exist in one of my builds.
post #122 of 192
Phanteks won
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post #123 of 192
argh, Scan delivered the DH-14 today, and I read the terms wrong. Where they said "we will reimburse you the costs of carriage", they meant the original cost, from them to me, not the return costs I'd have to pay.

Think I'll just stick with the DH-14. I was never planning to seriously OC, and the possible few degrees difference isn't worth the £10 or so it'll take to return mad.gif
post #124 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by edd1234 View Post

argh, Scan delivered the DH-14 today, and I read the terms wrong. Where they said "we will reimburse you the costs of carriage", they meant the original cost, from them to me, not the return costs I'd have to pay.

Think I'll just stick with the DH-14. I was never planning to seriously OC, and the possible few degrees difference isn't worth the £10 or so it'll take to return mad.gif
That's too bad but you are correct. The cooling difference is minimal. thumb.gif
post #125 of 192
i doubt you'd see more then 3C difference under ANY condition biggrin.gif most of the time they will perform equally or maybe have 1C difference between the D14 and phantek

as old as the D14 is, it is STILL one of the top performers currently available on the market. i recommended my friend to pick up the D14 recently for his build because it is the "smallest" of the top 5 performing cooler currently available on the market and smaller = better compatibility in future builds in both case and mobo he decides to get for his next build or 3 smile.gif

D14 also offers LIFETIME socket mounting kit compatibility. here is a direct quote from noctua's site
Quote:
We provide mounting upgrades for Noctua CPU coolers free of charge, so if you would like to continue using your Noctua cooler on a new socket, we will send you a new mounting kit at no additional cost. For ordering our mounting kits, a proof of purchase (photo, scan or screenshot of the invoice) of both a Noctua CPU cooler and hardware components corresponding to the specific kit are required.

i'm sure phantek would do the same somewhere down the road to be competitive, but currently noctua is the only one that offer this level of support for their products.
post #126 of 192
Psyclum is correct. There are probably a dozen coolers all performing within a few degrees of each other. NH-D14 is definitely in the top have of that dozen. There are a few new contenders like Silver Arrow IB-E and Cryorig R1 Ultimate that look to match the best . That's why I say NH-D14 is in top half dozen and not top 4.
post #127 of 192
Thanks for the reassurance. I'll stop toying with the idea of sending it back (even though it's too late now, I've already installed it!).

I'm on the verge of ordering the R4, but I just want to check that the D14 will definitely fit - I've had to raise the second fan for clearance over the RAM (Crucial Vengeance). It sticks quite a bit higher than the heatsink does now (20mm to be exact). Will this be a problem?

Space isn't really an issue under my desk. The case can be as big as it needs to be and I'm not that great at cable management, so having lots of room would probably be a good thing.

Unfortunately I also have no idea what to look for when choosing a case, but some of the cooler master cases at roughly the same price as the r4 look slightly larger. Would these be better suited, or is the R4 spacious enough?

My current case (CM Elite 431 Plus) says the clearance height is 192mm, but that's also the value given for the width of the case, so that seems wrong, and the side panel certainly won't go on with the D14 and the raised fan at the moment.

Thanks for all the advice. (My questions seem to have moved on from cooler-related to cases, should I be posting somewhere else?).
post #128 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by edd1234 View Post

Thanks for the reassurance. I'll stop toying with the idea of sending it back (even though it's too late now, I've already installed it!).

I'm on the verge of ordering the R4, but I just want to check that the D14 will definitely fit - I've had to raise the second fan for clearance over the RAM (Crucial Vengeance). It sticks quite a bit higher than the heatsink does now (20mm to be exact). Will this be a problem?

Space isn't really an issue under my desk. The case can be as big as it needs to be and I'm not that great at cable management, so having lots of room would probably be a good thing.

Unfortunately I also have no idea what to look for when choosing a case, but some of the cooler master cases at roughly the same price as the r4 look slightly larger. Would these be better suited, or is the R4 spacious enough?

My current case (CM Elite 431 Plus) says the clearance height is 192mm, but that's also the value given for the width of the case, so that seems wrong, and the side panel certainly won't go on with the D14 and the raised fan at the moment.

Thanks for all the advice. (My questions seem to have moved on from cooler-related to cases, should I be posting somewhere else?).

I have a Noctua D14 in my Define R4. I was worried, but it fit just fine.

FYI, I swapped the D14's included 120mm fan for a PWM version for motherboard control, and plugged the included 140mm fan into a 3-pin chassis fan header. Both are using the speed reducers that come with the fans. The case has three Fractal fans at 5v (2x intake and 1x exhaust.) With the top and sides sealed, I get <30c on the CPU, GPU, motherboard, and drives under any normal load. And the system is quieter than ambient in my home office.

Fractal Define R4 plus Noctua D14 gets two thumbs up from me! thumb.gifthumb.gif

- samwisekoi
post #129 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by edd1234 View Post


I'm on the verge of ordering the R4, but I just want to check that the D14 will definitely fit

this is part of the compatibility issue i was referring to. if you are worried the D14 wouldn't fit in a R4, then you'd have even bigger worries if you bought a phantek or a silver arrow smile.gif D14 is the smallest of the top performers so naturally it has the best compatibility for different cases.

however, with the fan sticking 20mm above the the heatsink, that may be a problem since the heatsink is 160mm in the 1st place. the R4 lists a max CPU cooler height of 170mm... there is usually a few mm of room to play with but not a whole 10mm worth of space. what you may need to do is to move the 120mm fan to the other side of the cooler (pull side instead of the push side) where there is no RAM forcing the fan to be placed so far above the cooler.
post #130 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elohim View Post

Apparently you neither own the U14s nor the A15

Who said this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrClaw View Post

man i sure hope its a bit taller so i can slide my dominator platinum ram underneath

If you have clearance issues, you can take off that chrome bar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deepor View Post

As an explanation, it might be a combination of Noctua learning a little more about how to best build a cooler and using a better fan. They might have tweaked the base and the soldering and things like that.

The newer cooler apparently has better internal wicking.

Doubt the base or soldering is consistent enough to be responsible for overall differences. My two D14s aren't the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elohim View Post

Then there's the fan on the NH-U14S. The one you get with the cooler runs at up to 1500 RPM, which is pretty fast (buying that fan separately, you only get a 1200 RPM version). It might compete with the two fans on the NH-D14 by itself.

The A15 is definitely better than the two fans on the D14.
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