The Test System and Thermal Results
I would first like to thank HIS, GIGABYTE , InWin and AVADirect for supplying products for me to test with.
Testing for the CPU coolers is done with the use of RealTemp to ascertain temperatures, Intel Burn Test to deliver the load to the CPU and CPU-Z to verify the CPU speed and the voltage being used in Windows. All of the testing is done with an ambient temperature of 24.5-25°C and humidity is maintained to 35% sometimes less.
For the "stock" runs, it's more of a plug and play setup where the PWM of the motherboard is in control of the fans speeds for both the idle and load results. Speed Step is active and the processor idles at 1600 MHz and loads at 3500 MHz for the stock settings. I also set the memory to run at 1600 MHz for stock. As for the overclocked runs, I load the CPU at 4.5 GHz and idle results are obtained with 7.5V to the fans while the load run is set to deliver 12V to the fans. This allows me to gauge the lowest and highest fan ratings for my charts.
You will also see that the charts have been slightly adjusted. From now on I will mention the idle temperatures if there is something worth noting other than an average of twenty-five to twenty-seven degrees as the PWM controls and SpeedStep allow for almost ambient results in most instances. What you are now getting is a stock speed loaded temperature chart and an overclocked loaded temperature chart. To clean up the audio results, I also removed all of the fans that aren't on the thermal charts. If you want to compare those results to new coolers, the old chart is still available in the older reviews.
With a single fan on the NH-U14S, we do see a degree improvement over the NH-U12S, but once two fans were on the cooler, I was able to break into the top five coolers, while running the processor at stock levels. 50 degrees at stock with one fan is respectable, but the 47 degrees with a pair of fans on it, really does the NH-U14S some justice.
Once we changed the BI/OS to the overclocked profile, things are still very respectable. While there are a couple of cooler listed that beat the 70 degree rating of the single fan runs, with two fans on the cooler, we are taken right up there with the best of the best in air cooling, with a 68 degree result.