At stock settings, the Noctua NH-D14's performance was formidable in light of its minimal operating noise. However, the cooler is quickly overwhelmed when the CPU speed and performance increases, as shown during the Ivy Bridge-based overclocking tests. If more powerful fans were combined with the cooler, these issues could be overcome at the cost of increased operating noise.
As of October 16, the Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler was available at Newegg.com for $77.99 with free shipping. The cooler was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $77.99 with Prime shipping and Performance-PCs.com for $84.95.
Courtesy of Noctua
Before continuing with our parting sentiments on the NH-D14 cooler, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at Noctua a hearty “Thank You” for giving us the opportunity to review their flagship air cooler. On initial unboxing of the cooler, one thing became evident immediately – this is a massive cooler. The cooler is about 7 inches tall and weighs almost 2 pounds, so definitely not something you want to be throwing around. Noctua did an excellent job with the design and construction of the cooler, producing a visually appealing product that performs well without blowing out your ear drums. One of the best features of the cooler Noctua's mounting system – SecuFirm2™. Out of all of the air and water-based coolers I've tested, Noctua's SecureFirm2™ is one of the easiest to use. The mounting system is easy to install to the board with its bottom up-driven design and the mount points for the cooler itself are solidly anchors once the mounting cage is in place. Noctua even provide a Phillips head screwdriver that is long enough to get to the hold down screws without the need to cram your fingers (or entire hand) in between the radiators to fix them in place. Noctua also should be commended on their fan to radiator mounting system. It holds the fan securely in place while engaged and is easy to disengage and adjust as needed.
The NH-D14 cooler's performance is one of its strongest assets and it's Achilles heel. At stock CPU settings (as tested on both an Ivy Bridge and Haswell-based platform), the cooler is unrivaled when you look at its performance and operational audio profile. The cooler performs as well or better than current all-in-one liquid cooling solutions without the associated fan noise inherent in most higher-end air cooling designs. However, the NH-D14's performance profile begins to break down as the processor is pushed to higher performance levels via overclocking. The fan's equipped with the cooler simply cannot push enough air through the radiators to keep the CPU cool enough to remain stable.
- Performance under stock conditions
- Operating audio profile
- Build and machining quality of the cooler
- Well written manual
- Easy to use mounting system for cooler and radiator fans
- Performance under overclocked conditions
- Lack of support for LGA2011 CPU in the box