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Noctua NH D14 Cooler review – The ‘Austrian Sandwich’

To say that the Noctua NH D14 cooler fully delivered would be an understatement – we have tested many oversized coolers in the past which really failed to live up to their bulk. Noctua have managed to create a cooler which has laid to rest former champions such as the Thors Hammer and Megahalems. Not only that, but (as expected) the fans are exceptionally good and even on full speed they are barely audible with a full system running – I measured the db with our Digital Sound Level Noise Decibel Meter and found Noctua’s reported figures to be totally accurate. With the U.L.N.A enabled you wouldn’t even know the cooler was running, even with your ear a few inches from the blades. Don’t blame me however if you remove part of your lobe trying to prove me wrong.

The styling of the cooler will certainly not be to everyone’s tastes, I know many people who hate the burgundy colour of the fans. I absolutely love them – they have an immensely appealing, almost retro appearance to them.

The packaging deserves special mention because plenty of thought has clearly went into the development phase of the product creation. From internal protection and separate platform specific packages, to a lovely fold out instruction guide – they have ticked all the boxes, hell they even included a screw driver and top quality thermal paste. Even if you were relatively new to system building it is a breeze to install, what I would class as fool proof. Not only that but it supports all modern day socket systems.

So are there any negatives? Well the sheer mass alone might prove an issue for some chassis and although its an Intel friendly symmetrical design which can be rotated, with AMD you don’t have that luxury and it has to be mounted in correspondence with the motherboard socket design. It is also worth pointing out that something like the Corsair H50 is much less intrusive with other components around the CPU socket.

The cooler comes into its own when overclocking and we were stunned to see it outperforming the Coolit ECO A.L.C. and giving the Corsair H50 a very very close run for the money. There are still many people who don’t like liquid cooling so this seems pretty much a no brainer to me – UK prices are around the £50 mark which is exceptionally good value for money as the package is fully loaded.

Closing thoughts? Yeah, the Noctua NH D14 really blew me away. Austria 1 Rest of World 0.

KitGuru says: Need ultimate air cooling for overclocking to the limit? look no further.

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Rating: 9.0.

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