Testing Configuration and Benchmarks Used

To verify that the CPU cooler operates up to specs, the Noctua NH-D14 cooler was tested with the CPU running in both stock and at a known stable overclocking speed using a Z77-based system and at stock speeds using a Z87-based system, so that comparative results could be provided for both Ivy Bridge and Haswell-based systems. The results are presented for the cooler under review as well as other top-rated water and air coolers for performance comparison purposes. The benchmark tests used should give you a good understanding of the coolers's capabilities so that you, the reader, can make a more informed purchasing decision. The comparison coolers were selected based on their superior performance capabilities.

Test System Setup


Intel Z77-based system
Intel Core i5-3570K
Stock – 3.4GHz, 34 x 100MHz Base Clock
Overclocked – 4.4GHz, 42 x 105MHz Base Clock

Intel Z87-based system
Intel Core i7-4770K
(3.5GHz, 35 x 100MHz Base Clock)




Intel Z77-based system
G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 modules
Stock – 1600MHz, 11-11-11-30-1T
Overclocked – 1960MHz, 11-11-11-30-1T

Intel Z87-based system
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 modules
(1600MHz, 9-10-9-27-1T)

Hard Drive

Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
Intel 520 240GB SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA III HD

Sound Card

Onboard sound

Video Card

Intel Z77-based system
AMD Radeon HD 5870 1GB

Intel Z87-based system

CPU Cooling

Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler
Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme CPU Cooler
Phanteks PH-TC12DX CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series™ H100i Extreme Performance CPU Cooler
XSPC Raystorm 750 EX240 Watercooling Kit

Video Drivers

AMD ATI Catalyst 12.8
NVIDIA 320.18

Power Supply

Corsair 650
Corsair HX750

Operating System

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thermal Paste

MG Chemicals 860-60G Silicone Heat Transfer Compound

The 64-bit Windows 7 based test bench used for LGA1155 board testing includes an Intel Core i5-3570K CPU, 8GB of DDR3-2133 memory, an AMD Radeon 5870 1GB video card, and an Intel 520 240GB SSD drive. The 64-bit Windows 7 based test bench used for Intel Z87 LGA1150 board testing includes an Intel Core i7-4770K CPU, 16GB of DDR3-1866 memory, an NVIDIA GTX 570 1.25GB video card, and a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD drive. Using the selected components gives us the ability to demonstrate the cooling system's capabilities rather than that of the system components.

Benchmark Tests used for evaluation:

  • LinX Intel Linpack Benchmark v0.6.4 (Intel Z77-based testing)
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v3.00 (Intel Z87-based testing)
  • Geeks3D FurMark v1.10.2
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