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The surface of the Noctua NH-D14 isn't completely smooth. I'm curious if lapping it would be beneficial. From what I've read, the surface isn't completely smooth because of how thick Noctua's paste is. Would it be beneficial to lap the Noctua NH-D14 if you were using MX-2, Arctic Silver 5, OCZ Freeze, or MX-3 instead of Noctua's paste?
 

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According to Noctua's own web site, it's designed to work with other thermal pastes as well (link):

Why doesn't the bottom of the NH-U coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?
Bearing in mind that the majority of today's PC enthusiasts uses high-viscosity thermal compounds, the bottom-surface of the NH-U coolers is optimised for the use with this type of thermal pastes. The micro-grooves on the surface of the NH-U coolers' base ensure that high-viscosity thermal compounds are dispersed to a uniform thin layer across the whole contact area and that no air pockets remain between the cooler and the CPU. With a polished, mirror like surface, the risk of uneven dispersion is much higher. As too thick layers of thermal paste and air pockets drastically deteriorate heat transmission, the micro-grooves are is of vital importance to the overall cooling performance of the NH-U coolers when used with today's high-viscosity thermal pastes.
 

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Lapping might(definite might, it could be harmful) be beneficial, but I wouldn't do it. Most coolers now a days are made a certain way so that they benefit the user without lapping because the surface of the cpu's aren't anything close to smooth and they contour to the shape of the cpu. I'd say, keep your warranties and maybe buy some better thick thermal compound if you are unhappy with your performance.

The days of lapping are dying out IMO. The true is fading away now and that was the cooler that got everyone "lap" happy. Enjoy your d14!


EDIT:

Quote:

Originally Posted by [CyGnus] View Post
lapping that cooler is not needed just swap the TIM for MX-3
If you look in his sig, he's already using it
 

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Only Noctua cooler I've had personal experience with is the NH-U12P, but both of mine had horrible machine jobs done on the base (worse than my TRUE, which is saying something). "Micro grooves" aren't going to matter if the base itself isn't even close to flat.

So if the NH-D14 is anything like that...lap it. You'll notice a difference.
 

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Check out this link. It shows how flat the cooler is.
 
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Quote:


Originally Posted by Woundman
View Post

Thanks for all the information so far guys. I'm not going to lap my cooler. I may lap my CPU.


If your going to lap your cpu, then you should lap your heatsink too. If you have one surface totally flat and the other surface rounded, you would end up having worse temps then if you didn't lap. Just a thought
 
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