Unboxing and Review of Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

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Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

The Noctua NH-U14S is a 140 mm single-tower model in the U-series cooler family. It has a larger heatsink, more heatpipes and bigger fan than the NH-U12S (its review here). It would be interesting to see how these two coolers compare to each other.



Unboxing

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

The packaging of the NH-U14S is inlined with other Noctua coolers. A white and brown background is here to stay. At front, the model name, “Noctua” logo and a partial photo of the cooler can be found. Some key features with explanation are printed clearly at the back.

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

You can see a few specification lists about the cooler on one side, its heatsink and the NF-A15 fan. It has information like dimensions, weight and CPU socket compatibility. The other side is a brief description of the NH-U14S in various languages.

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

The cooler and the accessories are packed separately into different cardboard boxes.

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

The Noctua NH-U14S can be installed on most modern motherboards/CPU sockets, with the SecuFirm 2 mounting system. Not only Intel LGA 115x, LGA2011 and LGA2066 are compatible, but also AMD AM2 to AM4 and FM1 to FM2+ are supported out of the box. There are three user manuals and a long screw driver to assist the installation.

Apart from that, you get a set of additional fan clips and anti-vibration pads for an extra cooling fan. A tube of the NT-H1 thermal paste, a low-noise adapter and a metal case badge are also provided.

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

The NH-U14S’s heatsink has a dimension of 165 mm x 150 mm x 52 mm (HxWxD). It is 7 mm taller, 25 mm wider and 7 mm deeper, when compared to the NH-U12S cooler. Six 6 mm nickel-plated copper heatpipes are used to transfer CPU heat across the aluminum fin stack.

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

The six heatpipes are bent into three columns each side that go through the whole fin stack. Unlike the NH-U12A (its review here), the heatsink does not have to shift towards either side to offer full RAM compatibility, because of the slimmer footprint.

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

The nickel-plated copper CPU base is polished to a mirror-like finish.

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

A NF-A15 PWM cooling fan is included for the NH-U14S, which is a 140 mm fan with 120 mm mounting holes. It can be adjusted to spin from 300 RPM up to 1200 RPM, via the 4-pin PWM header. All four corners have anti-vibration pads installed to prevent rattling noise between the fan frame and the heatsink. The NF-A15 PWM has a rated MTBF of over 150,000 hours.



Review

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

We have updated our CPU cooler tests to more reflect real-world cooling performance of coolers.

Testing Methodology

To find out how the cooler performs, a total of three benchmarks is included. AIDA64 is used to run a CPU stress test. CPU, FPU and system cache are all stressed to create as much heat output as possible. Also, Cinebench R15 and Cinebench R20 are used to simulate real-world CPU load (like video-editing or rendering). It will be run continuously for three times. The highest CPU package temperatures are recorded. Ambient temperature is around 27°C.

Results will be taken at a 50% fan speed and 100% speed, controlled via the motherboard CPU PWM fan header. Both single-fan and dual-fan configuration of the cooler will be tested.

Performance

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

Idle temperature of the CPU was around 30°C. The maximum temperature was kept at 56°C in AIDA64 stress test, when both single-fan and dual-fan configurations were set to 50% fan speed. Increasing to full fan speed, it dropped to 52°C and 50°C respectively, about 7.14% and 10.71% better.

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

In Cinebench R15, the CPU package temperature reached 55°C at its highest point using one fan. Spinning up the fan yielded a 4°C decrease at 51°C. Adding an extra fan further dropped the temperature to 50°C.

Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler

The NH-U14S managed to maintain the temperature under 60°C in both setup. It sat at 58°C and 53°C with a single fan, while reducing to 57°C and 51°C with two fans.

Comparison

Compared to other cooler we tested, the NH-U14S performed as expected as a 140 mm-grade air cooler. It outperformed most 120 mm coolers by 2°C to 3°C, like the GELID Sirocco, NH-U12A and NH-U12S. It managed to achieve temperatures close/similar to larger dual-tower cooler, such as the NH-D15S.

Conclusion

Unboxing Treatment Recommendation

The Noctua NH-U14S is a excellent single-tower cooler with outstanding cooling performance. With its default single-fan configuration, you can easily beat most 120 mm/140 mm coolers in the market. It can even compete with larger dual-tower coolers, if you decide to add an additional fan. The installation is simple and quick as usual with the SecuFirm 2 mounting system. The cooler should have 100% RAM compatibility.

The included NF-A15 PWM fan ran smoothly at most RPM ranges. It spins up to 1200 RPM only, which operates extremely quietly with decent airflow.

The NH-U14S comes with a standard 6-year warranty from Noctua. It cost $74.90 USD (MSRP), when it first launched in 2013. At the time of this review, the price is dropped to around $63 USD to $70 USD. For the price, you get a flagship 140 mm cooler, that can keep your CPU as cool as dual-tower coolers from other companies. The NH-U14S is worthy of your consideration if you need more performance than a 120 mm cooler and still maintain the relatively compact footprint.

You can purchase the cooler from your local/online resellers or the links below from Amazon and Newegg.


Thanks Noctua for providing us the NH-U14S for review. (Review Sample)

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