When it comes to heatsinks little changes but just when you think that it's all been done someone comes along and says they can do better. Sometimes it's with a new design or shape, other times it's using TEC cooling, and then sometimes it's just plain ol' size. Noctua has recently introduced the NH-D14 and D14 apparently means "monster". This has to be the largest heatsink I have ever seen and now it's sitting on our workbench today begging to be tested, let's jump in.
Product Name: Noctua NH-D14
Review Sample Provided by: Noctua
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Intel LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3 (backplate required)
Height (without fan)
Width (without fan)
Depth (without fan)
Height (with fan)
Width (with fan)
Depth (with fan)
Weight (without fan)
Weight (with fan)
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
140x140x25 & 120x120x25mm
Scope of Delivery
1x NF-P14 premium fan
1x NF-P12 premium fan
2x Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
4x Vibration-Compensators (for using NF-P12 as case fan)
4x Fan screws (for using NF-P12 as case fan)
NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kits
Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1200 / 1300 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
900 / 900 RPM
110,3 / 92,3 m³/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A.
83,7 / 63,4 m³/h
19,6 / 19,8 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A.
13,2 / 12,6 dB(A)
1,2 / 1,08 W
> 150.000 h
With the size of the NH-D14 it's not like Noctua could just use their normal packaging, they obviously had to start fresh with a new design. Surprisingly the new packaging didn't stick with the typical look, instead Noctua went with a lighter white background design. The front of the box has a window in the middle to give you a sneak peak to the goodies inside with a few of the main features are listed right next to it. All of the specifications are up on top of the package and easy to read. The back has a larger version of the feature listing from the front along with detailed descriptions.
Installing the NH-D14 can be a little tricky in smaller cases or on motherboards with limited clearance. A good example of this would be my EVGA Classified motherboard, even after struggling for a while I wasn't able to get the heatsink to fit. When installing the NH-D14 on our test rig I was impressed with Noctua's latest bracket design. The Intel brackets are designed to fit 775, 1156, and 1366 sockets with just one back-plate. Every time I work with a Noctua heatsink they amaze me with the improvements to their brackets. Tightening the heatsink down only required removing just one fan (not both fans like we have had to do in the past). As always, Noctua included easy to read instructions along with all of the parts bagged and easily labeled. Inside the common bag Noctua included thermal paste and their metal case badge. Lastly, they also redesigned the fan brackets to keep them secured to the fans at all times. This design made taking them on and off amazingly easy!
Our Test Rig
i7 920 CPU at stock voltages and clock speed
Gigabyte GA-EXS8-UD4P Motherboard
Corsair 620 Power supply
1gb x 3 Triple channel A-Data Ram
Western Digital Velociraptor
Cooler Master Storm Sniper Case (with the fans turned onto the high setting)
*Room tempature at a steady 69 degrees Fahrenheit during all testing
Once installed in our test rig I put the NH-D14 through our normal testing to compare it to all of the heatsinks we have tested in the past. Our testing consists of running Prime95 for an hour to get load temperatures and then letting the heatsink idle for an hour for idle temperatures. Real Temp 2.5 is used to watch the temperatures during all of our testing. All of the tests are done with the room temperature at a steady 69 degree’s. Here are the results.
Running on stock clocks the difference between some of the top heatsinks is almost un-noticeable. But tt is clear to see that the NH-D14 matched the performance of the all mighty CM V10. This is even more impressive when considering the V10 includes a TEC cooler among its arsenal. All the while the NH-D14 does all of this with a noise level that’s almost inaudible. This of course is typical of any of Noctua’s coolers, but not typical with most other coolers.
With Noctua’s history it wasn’t a surprise that the NH-D14 was quiet neither was its good performance. But the super-sized NH-D14 did outperform the TEC cooled Cooler Master V10, which is nothing short of amazing. That also means that Noctua once again leads our heatsink performance listing. Of course, the NH-D14 is pretty large and I had trouble fitting it into the Classified. You may also have problems getting the large heatsink to fit in tight spaces. However, if you can, you will be rewarded with top of the line performance.