With Swedish House Mafia clearing my head and getting me in the mood to type away, I want to bring you the larger brother in the NH-U series of freshly released coolers from Noctua. From what we saw with the NH-U12S, it shows that the basic design we are used to over the past five or six years can still be a winning design. Any cooler that is worth its salt has to have great fans that come with it, though. It doesn't matter if we are talking about Delta ear bleeder fans or something silent as Noctua is well known to deliver. All you need to do is find the right balance of flow, disturbance, surface area, and while looking for this balance, trying to keep the overall size smaller to allow users to retrieve screws, memory sticks, or even just not having the cooler swallow the entire top half of the motherboard.
Along with the NH-U12S, this cooler uses a similar base and fin arrangement. Here you will get a two piece base, but Noctua adds a sixth heat pipe into the larger cooler. Along with the bottom of the fin stack needing some cuts and adjustments to allow room for the extra heat pipe, the width of this cooler has been increased to allow this tower to be cooled with a 150mm fan. The basic concept is still the same though, with the nickel plating of the base and pipes to look good next to the aluminum fins, and of course with the larger version, you will also be able to add a second fan to this, too.
With the smaller NH-U12S, Noctua also sent along the NH-U14S and an NF-A15 PWM fan for us to have a look at. What I do like about the NH14S up front is that is seems to offer all of the same attributes of the smaller cooler, yet increased the size of the cooler just enough to house the much larger fan. This will do three things, as I see it. One, it should increase the NH-U14S efficiency over the 12S. Two, it should theoretically be quieter, as larger fans typically are at similar speeds as smaller versions. The last thing it should do is cost a little more than the NH-U12S.
What I am about to show you is whether or not the performance and price increases are in line with the investment, as we continue getting much more up close and personal with the NH-U14S from Noctua.
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