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Should I get a NH-U14S or Kraken X60?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I'm having trouble keeping my 3570k cool. It's running @ 4.3 with a +0.05 offset to keep it stable. I've narrowed my decision down to two products, the Noctua NH-U14S or the NZXT Kraken X60. I currently own the CM Hyper 212 EVO and am getting between 75-85 degree temps at load.

My situation:
Here in Australia the summers are getting very hot, 40+ degrees the last couple of days and regularly hitting 30 degrees. My room gets very warm if I don't turn the air-conditioning on and as I like to save power, I'd rather not blast it all the time and so my in-case temperatures are warmer than most reviews/tests are conducted at. I'm also running 2 Gigabyte 670's in SLI which are also unloading all their hot air back into the case which can only be travelling up, onto my CPU and out the back of the case.

My target:
10+ degrees C off my current temps with the Hyper 212 EVO.

My questions:
  1. Which of the coolers will be impacted by the ambient/case temperatures more?
  2. Will my high case temperatures completely rule out going with the U14S if I want to reach my target?
  3. Do AIO liquid coolers fair any better in high ambient temperatures than traditional fan-cooled heatsinks?

Before you comment, please note that I do understand the differences in the two options I've picked and the fact that one consistently gives better results than the other. The Kraken X60 is the best of the AIO crop available to me but costs almost double the Noctua option. What I am trying to decide is whether or not the price can be justified and whether my specific scenario will lend itself to one option more than the other. I've looked at every review I can find for CPU cooling over the last couple of weeks and have chosen these two options as a result but would like to hear others thoughts when accounting for my situation.

CPU: 3570k @ 4.3GHz
Case: Corsair 550D (2x 120mm front intake, 1x 120mm rear exhaust)
Mobo: Asus P8Z77-V
post #2 of 32
It might help but not sure if you'll get 10 degrees off, there are also other factors to consider like:
Intake fans specs
CPU voltage
Thermal paste
Do you have hard drives in front the fans
Do you have the top covered

I don't know but in your case you might not be getting the hot air out fast enough. In future with your scenario it might be best to get blower style GPUs.

Post a pic of your setup.
Edited by smithydan - 1/15/14 at 7:28am
post #3 of 32
You will not drop 10 degrees going with either of those. The only thing that will give that much of a temp drop is delidding. Ambient temps are big, so that's the other way, spending money on another cooler is just a waste.
Edited by Watagump - 1/15/14 at 7:19am
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post #4 of 32
X60 isn't any better than top air... and NH-U14S is one of the top air coolers. The reason we see differences in some reviews is they only use room ambient as a temperature base when the temp of air going into cooler inside of their "real life" test case. H2O radiators are mounted into case frame either drawing air from inside of case and dumping it outside or the opposite.. so their heated exhaust air doesn't heat up their intake air... But air cooler don't have a separation between heated cooler exhaust and intake... so as case heats up the air going into cooler heats up during testing and every degree hotter the air into cooler is translates into a degree hotter the CPU temperature reading is. smile.gif

Not to mention their "real world" testing system is not the same as 99.9% of us have.. so how it it "real world"... seems more like "their world" testing system to me. biggrin.gif

Open air testing may not be "real world" but it has same temperature of air going into all coolers tested.. that makes it "honest world" testing. biggrin.gif
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

X60 isn't any better than top air... and NH-U14S is one of the top air coolers. The reason we see differences in some reviews is they only use room ambient as a temperature base when the temp of air going into cooler inside of their "real life" test case. H2O radiators are mounted into case frame either drawing air from inside of case and dumping it outside or the opposite.. so their heated exhaust air doesn't heat up their intake air... But air cooler don't have a separation between heated cooler exhaust and intake... so as case heats up the air going into cooler heats up during testing and every degree hotter the air into cooler is translates into a degree hotter the CPU temperature reading is. smile.gif

Not to mention their "real world" testing system is not the same as 99.9% of us have.. so how it it "real world"... seems more like "their world" testing system to me. biggrin.gif

Open air testing may not be "real world" but it has same temperature of air going into all coolers tested.. that makes it "honest world" testing. biggrin.gif

I beg to differ a little here. I reviewed both of these coolers in a pretty "real world" build - 3570K on the X60, 4770K on the 14S/ASUS Sabertooth/Fractal Define R4/GTX 760/be quiet! PSU with a very average room temps. I also have used both extensively since.

http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/cooling/heatsinks/36228-noctua-nh-u14s
http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/cooling/liquid/32442-nzxt-kraken

Unlike any other closed loop cooler, the X60 does actually distinguish itself in terms of performance and will outperform high end air....however, and it's a big however, just like all other closed loop coolers it will sound like a vacuum cleaner to do it. With the noise levels brought down to bearable, it will perform about on par with the NH-U14S.

The X60 has the capabilities to bring that temp down around 10 degrees, but you won't want to be in the same room with it while it is doing it. The NH-U14S will outperform the 212 by a good stretch, and will also be significantly quieter. So, you could spring for the X60, but the actual perform gains you can live with in the same room won't be greater than those the 14S provides.
post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
These responses are surprising me to be honest. I would have thought the Kraken x60 would provide tangible benefits, especially considering it'll be pushing more air out of my case, making the whole system cooler. Would there really only be 1-2 degrees between the Kraken and the Noctua with my setup? And on top of that, little to no change from my already installed 212 EVO? I'm sorry but I'm finding this all hard to believe!
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drag0n View Post

These responses are surprising me to be honest. I would have thought the Kraken x60 would provide tangible benefits, especially considering it'll be pushing more air out of my case, making the whole system cooler. Would there really only be 1-2 degrees between the Kraken and the Noctua with my setup? And on top of that, little to no change from my already installed 212 EVO? I'm sorry but I'm finding this all hard to believe!

First off, you will see very tangible benefits with either of these coolers. BUT, the reality of closed loop coolers is not the same as what people tend to post in forums. It's a really strange thing, people overrate them to no end. The X60 is the only one I would personally ever consider using....and I have just about every one you can think of sitting in my closet.

You would see a good 6-7 degree difference on an OC 3570K between the X60 and the 14S with both at full speed. The problem is the noise that the X60 will be making. When you tweak the fans down to be liveable, that advantage decreases to a very small amount.

I'm not sure where you saw "little to no change" from the 212, but that is not correct. Either of these will have much more performance potential than the 212.
post #8 of 32
The NH-U14S is a better deal. This site doesn't have as many water coolers/air coolers in the bench tests but it has a few.

http://www.relaxedtech.com/reviews/noctua/nh-u14s/6
Edited by Capt - 1/15/14 at 9:17am
post #9 of 32
Is it possible to install a third fan at the front inside the 5.25 inch drive cage on this Corsair 550D case you have? Would it get outside air in that position? I looked through pictures and thought it might be possible and help a good amount. You need three 5.25 inch drive bays for one 120mm fan. You could strap it into place with cable ties or something if you don't find this too ugly. There's a "Lian Li PC-343B Fan module" to do it nicely, but it's expensive.

That's what I would try to do, swapping to the NH-U14S and having another case fan push fresh air directly into the direction of the CPU socket.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciarlatano View Post

I beg to differ a little here. I reviewed both of these coolers in a pretty "real world" build - 3570K on the X60, 4770K on the 14S/ASUS Sabertooth/Fractal Define R4/GTX 760/be quiet! PSU with a very average room temps. I also have used both extensively since.

http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/cooling/heatsinks/36228-noctua-nh-u14s
http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/cooling/liquid/32442-nzxt-kraken

Unlike any other closed loop cooler, the X60 does actually distinguish itself in terms of performance and will outperform high end air....however, and it's a big however, just like all other closed loop coolers it will sound like a vacuum cleaner to do it. With the noise levels brought down to bearable, it will perform about on par with the NH-U14S.

The X60 has the capabilities to bring that temp down around 10 degrees, but you won't want to be in the same room with it while it is doing it. The NH-U14S will outperform the 212 by a good stretch, and will also be significantly quieter. So, you could spring for the X60, but the actual perform gains you can live with in the same room won't be greater than those the 14S provides.
I see those reviews biased to Noctua. How it would outperform a silverstone heligon he01?plus the ph tc14pe beating the heligon he01 by 4/5°c when the difference is 1/2c or nothing(error %)
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