Noctua NH-C14 Review

Noctua had always been a major player in the aftermarket air cooling, as their products combine solid performance with silent operation. Today we are looking at the Noctua NH-C14, a dual-fan high-performance CPU cooler.

 

 

Noctua was founded in 2005 and their headquarters are located in Austria. They specialize in silent PC cooling products.

Let’s take a quick look at the Noctua NH-C14 specs and features, taken directly from Noctua’s website:


A Closer Look – The Package

The Noctua NH-C14 comes in a white solid cardboard box. At the front side there is an illustration of the cooler, as well as a brief description of the cooler’s features.

At the back side we can find the cooler’s description in various languages.At the left side we can find the product’s features in english language, along with Noctua’s typical feature schematics.

At the right side we find schematics showing us the dimensions of the cooler. At the top side we can find detailed product specs. Overall, the packaging is neat and well-organised. The cooler is located in a separate chamber with the two fans pre-installed. Apart from the protective box, we also find a smaller box which contains the accessories needed for installing the NH-C14.


A Closer Look – Package Contents


The Noctua NH-C14 utilizes 2 NF-P14FLX fans. NF P14-FLX is a fan whose speed is 500, 785, 1043 and 1326 rpm for a voltage of 5, 7, 9 and 12 volts. . Its energy demand is modest for a diameter of 140 mm

A Closer Look – The Heatsink

At the above picture we can take a general idea of the Noctua NH-C14, where we can see the shape of fins. Fans will not touch the heatsink directly, but instead they are mounted using rubber tabs to absorb vibrations.

The body is made up of about 60 cooling fins. These are associated with the cooling block through the six heatpipes, and a solid arm of aluminium. Vibration pads are installed from the factory. The two fans are set to blow air towards the processor. Fan brackets are very easy and you can easily detach one or both if you wish, while they sit tight onto the structure.

68 aluminum plates separate the top and the NH-C14 aluminum plate block, all of which goes through the already mentioned, six heat pipes.

The aluminum fins are slightly curved in the center with two grooves on the sides to create the rubber pads on which the fans will stand.

To make the structure more stable, Noctua has built a stainless steel support rail between the heat pipes.

At the above picture we can see the six heatpipes which absorb heat from the CPU.

 

A Closer Look – The Heatsink, Continued

The Noctua NH-C14 also features a low-profile installation mode for users with smaller cases, which is more than welcome.

The Noctua NH-C14 can be used either with one or two fans. At the above picture we can see how the cooler looks from the top with the dual-fan installation mode. So, in case the cooler, whose size is logical for this category we must say, does not fit into your case, you can run it using only one fan.

The contact plate is flawlessly finished and there are no machinery marks.

You will not encounter any problems installing the heatsink, as the mounting plate is carefully made and designed for easy mounting along with the supplied accessories.


Installation

The Noctua NH-C14 was very easy to install with the Secufirm 2 mounting system. You can install this cooler using two screws only.

Above we can see the cooler installed in our system. It is obvious that the cooler’s size is considered logical and the users will not have any problems installing it in any case, especially when taking advantage of the low-profile mode.

At the above picture we can take a look of the installed NH-C14 from another perspective.


Test Setup and Procedures

Processor: Intel Core i7 920
Motherboard: Asus P6X85D
RAM: 6 GB Mushkin 6-7-6-18
VGA: Gigabyte GTX480 1536MB
HDD: Velocity Raptor 150GB
PSU: Nexus 1000W
Case: Thermaltake Armor VA8003BWS
Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit

We ran temperatures tests in two system states:

 

  • Idle, i7 920 overclocked to 4GHz
  • Full load, i7 920 overclocked to 4GHz-under prime 95
  • Noise measurement under load system conditions

      (CPU Voltage at 1.32V)

We tested the NH-C14 against:

 

  • Corsair A70
  • Coolermaster V8
  • Xigmatek Dark Knight
  • Corsair A50
  • Scythe Mugen 2
  • Titan Hati
  • Thermaltake Frio
  • Prolimatech Megahalems

 

Test Results


The two Noctua coolers proved to be the most efficient in system idle mode, achieving the lowest temperatures. With our i7 920 overclocked at 4GHz and our system in full load mode, the NH-C14 along with the NH-D14 proved to be the best performers. As usual, Noctua’s coolers are winners also in the Noise Level test, as they proved to be the most quiet of the contestants.

 

 Verdict

Noctua NH-C14 is a CPU cooler made with the usual high-standards of Noctua, as it has a solid build and flawless design. It has a reasonable size, it is easy to install and get it running in minutes. The package contents will cover any possible need and they include two high-performance silent fans.  For its price of 70.00€, we think it is a solid investment for your CPU cooling needs, as not only it offers impressive performance, but also manages to remain silent even with both fans installed. Many will think that it is possible to find cheaper solutions in the market, but the NH-C14 surely does the job it is designed to do efficiently.

Pros

(+) Great build quality
(+) Impressive performance
(+) Silent
(+) Configurable in two modes

Cons

(-) Price (for some, but you get what you pay for)

 

Thus, we give the Noctua NH-C14 our Performance Award.

 

 

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