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Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler Revisited in 2014

By: Chad Sebring | Editorials in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jul 2, 2014 2:08 am

Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler

 

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Just in case anyone has forgotten what the cooler looks like, we will start out with this glamour shot of the NH-D14. Here you can see the dual towers, the two different fans, and, of course, you get a look at the top of the dual-towers, as that is what most users of this cooler see every day.

 

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In the front of the NH-D14, Noctua straps a NF-P12, 120mm fan to the face of the cooler to push air through the first tower. We also can see that the cooler is slightly wider than the fan, 10mm wider on each side to be exact.

 

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Since both sides are essentially the same, we took only one image. This is just to show the fin spacing kept by the small bent tabs in each tower. We can also see the larger 140mm, NF-P14 fan used as a pull fan for the first tower, and a push fan for the second tower.

 

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Two things were lost on the newer cooler design. First, the saw-tooth pattern used on the leading and trailing edges of the fins. Second, the D-15 also did away with the Teflon inserts, since their fans now have rubber applied to them to isolate it from the cooler.

 

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The grooved base plates, and the fact that they solder everything together, have always been a hit for Noctua. The fins are soldered to the heat pipes, the pipes are soldered into the base, and it all offers better efficiency of the thermal transfer from one component to another; the grooved base also offers more surface area for the thermal paste.

 

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With the D14 to the left, and the D15 to the right, we can see some major changes here too. The fin spacing has been decreased in the latter model, and with just a quick glance, it is easy to see the bottom of the fins on the D15 are much more memory friendly than what the D-14 offered.

 

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As we look down at the top of both coolers, we see that the surface area on the D15 has increased with slightly wider fins, and we can see that the heat pipe spacing has been increased on the later model as well.

 

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The coolers are very close in overall height, and the fin stacks are about even as well. The major change that makes the D15 more user-friendly is the fact that they cleared room for the memory. Those who already own the D14 will know the struggles of trying to remove or replace memory under the D14 while it is mounted.

 

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Skipping through the mounting of the hardware, we now have the D14 mounted to our test system. We did have to remove the tops from the memory to allow them to fit under the cooler; the other option is to cut off some of the fins at the bottom to allow for whatever memory you use to fit, as many D14 users found themselves doing.

 

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The cooler only blocks one slot from easy access, but once the fan is in place, access to any of the four is very limited. You could always raise the fan if the memory is taller than ours, but there isn't much room up top before you start to increase the overall height of the cooler.

 

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Our last image is much like the one we started with, but this time the NH-D14 is installed and ready to go through our battery of testing. The only issue we found with the cooler once installed on the motherboard is that the wire fan clips may rest on a card in the first PCI-e slot -this could possibly short things.

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