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Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler Review

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AkG

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Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler Review




Manufacturer’s Product Page: Click Here
Part Number: NH-D14
Tekwiki: Noctua NH-D14 - TechWiki
Warranty: 6 years
Buy from: NCIX



Well it certainly has been awhile since we took a look at a Noctua cooler. In the past we walked away impressed again and again with Noctua’s cooler offerings and have found their combination of great design with downright amazing fans to be more than award worthy. It seems that Noctua is not a company to rest on their laurels and has recently released a bigger, more technically advanced product and if reports are to be believed it comes with an even better set of fans than previous generations. We are of course talking about the brand new, gargantuan NH-D14.

It seems like every year we see statements that air cooling has reached the pinnacle of its efficiency when it comes to cooling down the hottest running CPUs on the market. However, it seems like every time we look, new innovations are being made in this market which brings new lows in CPU temperatures and more and more wildly designed coolers.

This time Noctua is going for a combination of both innovation and raw size in a bit to produce the best heatsink on the market. Even by just looking at the pictures of this beast we know we have something special on our hands. Not only are its physical dimensions staggering but it sports multiple fan mounts and a staggering number of cooling fins. There is a very good reason for this multi fan approach as this cooler sports a multi-tower design which in our opinion could be interesting even though our past experiences don’t shine a very good light upon this approach. . Heatsinks live and die by the time of fan that is attached to them which is one of the reasons we haven’t been to high on past multi-tower coolers. However it seems Noctua is also of the same opinion, as this cooler not only comes with the venerable (12cm) NF-P12-1300 fan, but also its bigger brother; the NF-P14-FLX (1200RPM).

All this potential power does come at quite an eyebrow-raising price, as this Noctua beast goes for about $90. Of course, balancing out this cost is the fact that Noctua has included two fans and their innovative new mouting system. But is this high end price for this worth it? We intend to find out.

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AkG

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Specifications

Specifications

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/D14/specs1.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/D14/specs2.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/D14/noctua_nh_d14_4.jpg" border="0" alt="" />

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Air_Cooling/D14/noctua_nh_d14_3.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
 
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AkG

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging & Accessories


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We can honestly say that we were not expecting the box the NH-D14 came in to look the way it did. Other than it being simply massive, it seems like Noctua has done away with their iconic looking brown box with the female model artwork.

Covering this white box are numerous engineering schematics / wire drawings of the cooler contained within which does give a faintly industrial look to the whole affair.

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Opening up this box we can see that the full assembled cooler (i.e. fans are already mounted) resides in between two cardboard boxes. Each box contains some of the accessories Noctua has seen fit to include with this beast. All in all it is a slight variation from the old “layered” cardboard protection zone scheme Noctua used in the past, but only in so much as it has been supersized to accommodate this massive cooler. We are extremely confident this new design can take one heck of a beating before its precious cargo would be harmed.

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As expected, the list of accessories which accompanies this cooler is not only of the highest quality it is also comprehensive which is expected considering its $90 price tag. As with the older Noctua coolers we have looked at, the D14 comes with one of the best and comprehensive sets of installation instructions out there.

It should also be mentioned that the NH-D14 uses the SecuFirm 2mounting setup which is compatible with nearly every CPU mounting setup out there. Basically, this includes a multipurpose backplate for Intel 775/1156/1366 and the necessary hardware to convert AMD’s standard backplate setup into a D14 capable one. There is also a small syringe of Noctua’s own NT-H1 thermal compound and their famous Low Noise and Ultra Low Noise adaptors. In the picture above you can see a Y shaped adaptor which allows you to attach both fans to a single motherboard header. Finally, there is a metal case badge (in case you want to brag about the cooler you use) and they even include a screw-driver. Seriously, if there was ever an accessory list which was more deserving to be included with a $90 cooler, this is it.
 
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SKYMTL

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A Closer Look at the NH-D14

A Closer Look at the NH-D14


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There is no getting around the fact that this is one huge cooler. Even without any fans installed, Noctua states the NH-D14 weighs in at a hefty 900 grams (which is basically two pounds) which is a hell of a lot of weight for a motherboard to support. Add in 100 grams per fan and you are looking at a fully loaded cooler tipping the scales at 1200 grams.

To make matters even more interesting, the D14 is not only heavy but it has the girth of a Sumo wrestler as well. Its official dimensions (once again without that huge 140mm fan or 120mm fan attached) are 160mm x 140mm x 130mm so with sizes like this, the biggest concern is whether this cooler is simply too big for your setup. Luckily, as you will see, Noctua somehow achieved broad compatibility across multiple platforms.

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After removing the fans (to get a better look at the cooler itself), the very first thing we though was that the D14 looks a lot like Noctua took two U12s which have been morphed into one “new” solution. On the surface this can be a considered fairly accurate way to describe this cooler as it does have two separate towers which share a lot of features with previous Noctua designs.

The devil is in the details however, and it is here that the brilliance of the Noctua engineers starts to shine through. When you take a closer look at the design of it this is not some mutant love child of the U12 but is rather a separate and distinct Noctua cooler which happens to have a U12 in its ancestral heritage. Honestly, calling the D14 nothing more than a “dual U12” is a lot like calling Homo Sapiens nothing more than hairless apes.

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At the heart of the D12’s cooling ability, resides six large U shaped heatpipes. Unlike the U12 (or most air base CPU cooling solutions for that matter) these heatpipes are not arranged in a North / South orientation but rather run in an East / West direction and take full advantage of having two separate, distinct, yet equal towers available for cooling them.

Continuing this trend of doing things different, these heatpipes are not clustered into each end of the cooling towers. Rather, each tower has all six heatpipes evenly spaced through out it in a straight row, but only one side of each of the heatpipe’s U shape resides in each tower. In a nut shell, this means each tower cools off only one side of the base and has been arranged in such away to take full advantage of the air moving over them so that no one heatpipe blocks or restricts the air flow of another. This tweak alone should help even a single central fan cool down the CPU as the static pressure should be lower than previous dual tower designs we have looked at.
 
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AkG

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A Closer Look at the NH-D14 cont.

A Closer Look at the NH-D14 cont.


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In most single tower coolers or even the dual tower affairs from Prolimatech, the heatpipes are clustered at each end of the fin array and rely heavily on the aluminum fins to disperse the heat. To put this another way, the heatpipes are not actively cooled by the fan per say, as even in a “diamond” pattern only the heatpipes facing the fan get hit by air. While the D14’s heatpipes will of course still rely on the fins heavily to cool them, each part of the heatpipe which resides in the fin array WILL be actively cooled by the fan’s air movement and the fins are there to help out to a lesser extent.

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Continuing this trend of bucking the norm is the fact that the towers have been laid out in such a way which guarantees that the center fan will be sandwiched between them. The only other time we have seen this setup was with the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme and Cooler Master V8, both of which were found to be lacking in cooling prowess at higher heat loads. Even the mighty Prolimatech with its dual tower scheme, is designed so its towers are on only one side of the fan.

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To be honest though, the failure of past cooler which featured this “sandwich design” does not overly concern us since they forgot the main ingredient in this type of CPU cooling solution: AIR! Those coolers could only be equipped with a single fan so it wasn’t the heatsink that let us down; it was the lack of air movement that caused lacklustre performance numbers.

Meanwhile, Noctua seems to have done it right since the D14 is not only dual fan capable (and comes with two fans) but can actually mount THREE fans. We believe this push-pull (or push-pull/push-pull) setup will make the innovative design work or at least that is our theory which we will put to the test later in the testing stage.

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A good or bad face can hinder the efficiency of the cooler and here is another way in which the D14 distinguishes itself from other companies past attempts. Unlike those less than optimally designed coolers, this cooler sports dual fin arrays which are not slab-sided affairs. All four sides of the D14’s fin array are a multi-faceted with a saw toothed looking design which will help decrease static pressure and make the fans’ job that much easier .

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When you look closely at the sides of each of the cooling towers, a distinct U-shape slowly becomes evident. This is of course necessitated by the fan mounting scheme that Noctua employs and the fact you can mount fans on both sides of each fin array. In a nut shell a wire retention clip can run the entire length of the fin array and thus ensure that the fan does not slip off. This setup is also a carry over from previous coolers and is a simple, easy and well established way of securing fans to the fin array.

However, as we will see during the installation phase, Noctua has taken their tried and true retention method and tweaked the hell out of it. The resulting butterfly which has emerged from its chrysalis looks (on paper) to be a vastly superior setup.

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As we have said in the past, you can have the best cooling fin array(s) ever invented, but if the base is lacklustre the cooler is going to be unimpressive to say the least. As expected, this is another area the D14 excels at and the base is extremely well polished much like the Zalman CNPS10X we looked at earlier.

In order to speed up heat transfer between the heatpipes and the base, Noctua has gone with an extremely thin base which is interesting considering the number of companies which are going with HDT (Heatpipe Direct Touch) bases. This is supposed to distribute heat more evenly over the heatpipes rather than certain heatpipes taking a higher thermal load as sometimes happens with HDT coolers.
 
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SKYMTL

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The NF-P14-FLX 140mm Fan

The NF-P14-FLX 140mm Fan


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While we knew what to expect with the NF-P12-1300 (for a good overview of this fan check out or last review of the Noctua C12P) the real star of this show is the all new NF-P14-FLX. A 140mm fan is about as large as you can get for air based CPU coolers and we were very interested to see if this bigger brother of the P12 was just as good as its smaller sibling.

Noctua states this fan’s maximum RPMs is slightly lower than the P12’s at 1200rpm (vs. 1300); however at this speed it does move more air (but at lower static pressures) than the smaller 120mm variant. The official specification for this fan at 1200 is 65CFM with 1.21mm of static pressure which is quite impressive.

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As expected, this fan comes wrapped in a nice tight rubber sheath which sure helps improve its love it or hate it looks. Also on the positive side, Noctua includes a Y adaptor so that both fans can be plugged into your single CPU fan header on the motherboard.

We also have to remember that Noctua is very sensitive about noise levels so the P14 FLX also comes with Low and Ultra Low noise adaptors. With the Low Noise adaptor in place the reduced maximum speed is 900RPM at which it can still move 49CFM with a meek 0.77mm of static pressure. With the Ultra Low noise adaptor in place its top speed is reduced to 750RPM but it still moves 42CFM but with a very disappointing 0.53mm of static pressure.

Since this fan has longer blades than the NF-P12, it does exhibit more blade flex, but this is to be expected. To be honest, the NF-P14 is just as tight and just as good as its little brother. In fact, it produces fewer vibrations and is even quieter than the venerable P12!

It should also be said that we are not going to rehash the age-old Noctua colour debate since what we care about is how these things perform, not how they look in a closed case. To put this another way: we think that form should never take precedence over function.

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All in all, this fan is a winner as a case fan but we have doubts about its abilities as a CPU cooler fan. It may be bigger and slower, but we are worried about its lack lustre static pressure numbers. One way or another, it is big, yet quiet and does move an impressive amount of air for having such a slow rotational speed.
 
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AkG

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Intel System Installation

Intel System Installation


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All in all, the Intel installation is quite simple and straightforward but you have to remember that the D14 is a massive cooler which will necessitate some elbow room to get installed. As such, we highly recommend you take your motherboard out of the case, no matter what kind of fancy methods its creators envisioned for heatsink mounting.

Basically, with the motherboard inverted you then simply grab the 3 in 1 Intel backplate and roughly align it with the four mounting holes in the motherboard. Remember, since we have a 1366 system we did not have to worry about aligning notches like a 1156 system, nor worrying about installing the 775 rubber inlay.

With the Noctua Intel based backplate in position you then simply thread the four long retaining bolts through those holes in the motherboard. The heads of these bolts are octagonal shaped and fit snugly between the raised edges of the backplate which has been designed specifically to hold them in place. With all four bolts secured in place you then gently raise the motherboard up so it is on one side.

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The next thing you have to do is thread a plastic spacer over the bolts (on the top side of the motherboard). This step is essential as it ensures proper mounting pressure can be applied, yet limits over tightening which can damage the CPU or motherboard. With these plastic tube like spacers in place you then gently lay the two mounting bars over the bolts, ensuring that the curve or arch of the bars is pointing out and away from the CPU. Like the backplate these bars are a 3 in 1 design, allowing for mounting on Intel 775, 1156 and 1366 socket types. Unlike most coolers which use similar setups, you need to mount these two bars in the same orientation as the cooler is going to sit. What we mean is that if you want the D14 to be mounted in a East / West orientation, these bars need to run from the back of the motherboard to the front (i.e. E/W or “ram to back IO ports).

With these bars installed you then simply thread the supplied thumb screws onto each of the bolts. When they are hand tight, you then get out the included screwdriver and tighten them down. When they are as tight as you can get them the entire top and bottom assembly is then secured to the motherboard.

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The next step is to actually install the cooler itself. All you have to do is remove the centrally located NF-P14 fan from the cooler (as it comes pre-installed) and then gently lower the NH-D14 cooler into place. Those two mounting arms have threaded holes in the center which when aligned with the spring loaded bolts (located on the two tabs of the base of the cooler) allow for proper positioning of the D14. With the D14 in place all that is left is to screw down those spring loaded bolts and you’re pretty much done other than having to reinstall the fans.

To be totally honest this cooler may be designed with the capability to mount three fans, but a lot of the smaller things have been set up with only two fans in mind. Namely the lack of included vibration dampening material for a third fan, or even wire brackets to mount a third fan.

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When it comes to clearance issues, there is no getting around the fact that this is a huge cooler. However, fan selection does play a surprisingly large role in the amount of issues you are going to run into. While this unit does come with two large cooling towers, both start up extremely high giving ample clearance to all but the most extreme motherboard chipset cooling towers. Since the towers start up high do the fans. To be blunt, you should not run into any issues as long as you use 120mm fans on the either end and it is only when you mount 140mm ones that things begin to get dicey.

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Since we wanted to show you the worst possible situation, we are going to show you how bad it can get with THREE 140mm fans attached. As you can see in the above photo, not only is the height of your ram going to be an issue (anything above standard height is going to be a non starter) the height of your motherboard heatsinks is also going to be play a huge roll. Our Gigabyte motherboard does not have overly large heatsinks yet even with these, the bottom of the P14-FLX fan is brushing up against things it shouldn’t be.

To be totally honest we are actually impressed with how few issues you are going to run into when running three fans. Noctua clearly took the time to address any potential concerns and properly design this cooler to minimize as many as possible;.

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With that being said we would strongly recommend you run (at most) dual 120mm fans on the outside of the D14 and a single P14 in the center….assuming the performance section backs this up. Even if triple 140mm fans bear better results, we truly think that the added hassle is not worth it.
 
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AkG

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AMD System Installation

AMD System Installation



Noctua_D14_amd_backplate_sm.jpg

On the AMD side of things, installation of the Noctua NH-D14 is very similar the Intel process, albeit with an extra necessary step. To start installing this mega sized cooler you once again should remove your motherboard from its case and then remove the standard AMD plastic retention ring, while leaving the backplate where it is. Luckily, this premium priced cooler comes with a premium installation setup so you don’t have to use AMD’s plastic retention ring. The biggest advantage besides peace of mind with having to install a custom Noctua AMD backplate is this does allow for installation in the more typical East / West Orientation.

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To modify the standard backplate to be able to accept the D14 you simply grab the bag labelled “AMD” and then thread the plastic tube-like washers over the bolts on the top side down into the backplate. With this down you then install the two AMD D14 retaining brackets on top of it all.

The only thing worth noting is while on the Intel side of things you had to make sure the two retention brackets were curved away from the CPU, on the AMD side of things they have to curve in towards the CPU. Other than this small yet crucial difference the rest of the install is for all intents and purposes the same for both AMD and Intel.

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With all this accomplished you then prep the CPU, apply some TIM and gently lay the D14 cooler in place. The pre-installed metal tabs with spring loaded screws on the base of this cooler do not have to be removed and replaced with AMD ones as the customization / retrofitting is not needed. The different size brackets we just installed a moment ago take care of any nonsense like that for you.

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On the AMD side of things we can honestly say that the chances of getting three P14-FLX fans to work on your AMD board is slim. It may just be our DFI boards layout, but we doubt it. The simple fact of the matter is that the memory slots are going to be blocked by the low hanging part of these big fans (or any 140mm fan for that matter). As with the Intel side of things, if you have your heat set on running three fans on this beast you are much better off going with 120mm fans.

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Even if your ram slots are laid out differently than ours, you will also run into motherboard heatsink clearance issues on the AMD side of things. As you can see in the above photo, the 140mm fan is bent inwards ever so slightly by our DFI’s relatively small heatsinks. This to us further reinforces the idea that 120mm fans are just going to be plain easier to work with than the 140mm monsters we have installed. Like we said in the Intel side of things: D14 + 120mm fans = very few compatibility issues. The heatsinks start up nice and high and unless you have a motherboard with overly high heatsinks, or are running exotic RAM with funky heatsinks on top of them you should be fine.
 
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AkG

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Testing Methodology

Testing Methodology



To ensure that the results from one review to another are not only reproducible but actually pertinent to this review, the Testing Methodology will be the same throughout all reviews used. If something does change we will be sure to make a special note of it and explain why this change was done and more importantly why things had to be changed or altered.


Thermal Paste and Application Methods:

Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal paste was used for all coolers during these tests unless otherwise noted.

For all non HDT coolers, application of thermal paste was in accordance with the TIM manufacturer’s instructions; and while not necessary, the TIM was allowed to cure for 24 hours under moderate to high loads (with periods of low loads) prior to testing.

For all 3 pipe HDT coolers two lines of TIM is applied to the two center metal posts and for all 4 pipe HDTS three (smaller) lines of TIM are applied to the metal posts. This method has been found to provide significantly better coverage than the more typical methods.


Fans Used:

120mm:

For all CPU Cooling Solutions which do not come with their own fan, a Noctua NF-P12-1300 and a Scythe S-Flex “G” 1900RPM fan will be used if it accepts 120mm fans. With these two fans we are able to simulate different fan speed conditions as indicated below.

Low Speed:

900RPM with a Noctua NF-P12-1300 with ULNA adapter. To be more precise our specific fan runs at 930RPMs. Any stock fan which comes with the ability of being controlled by means other than the motherboard (e.g. remote fan speed controller, potentiometer, rheostat, etc) will be set to this speed during the low speed test and BOTH sets of performance results will be included.

Moderate Speed:

1300RPM Noctua NF-P12-1300 with NO adapters used. To be more precise our specific fan runs at 1326RPMs. Any stock fan which comes with the ability of being controlled by means other than the motherboard (e.g. remote fan speed controller, potentiometer, rheostat, etc) will be set to this speed during the moderate speed test and BOTH sets of performance results will be included.

High Speed:

1900RPM Scythe S-Flex “G”. To be more precise our specific fan runs at 1860RPMs. Any stock fan which comes with the ability of being controlled by means other than the motherboard (e.g. remote fan speed controller, potentiometer, rheostat, etc) will be set to this speed during the High speed test and BOTH sets of performance results will be included.

Dual Fans*:

Dual NF-P12-1300s

*Dual fans only used if the cooler comes with the necessary mounting hardware.

92mm Fan:

If the cooler being tested only accepts 92mm fans, a Noctua NF-B9-1600 will be used.

If the given CPU cooling solution comes with a stock fan we will also include its numbers in the closest of the main tests BUT we will also include our standard fan results in that particular tests.

Fan Notes:

- If a heatsink cannot mount an aftermarket fan, we will be only including the stock fan results. However, if the stock fan speed can be precisely controlled by means other than the motherboard BIOS (an included remote fan speed controller, potentiometer, rheostat, etc), the cooler will be tested at different fan speeds.

- For dual fan results ALL coolers capable of mounting two fans (and come with the necessary hardware) will be tested with two NF-P12s and the Dual Fan graph will contain data for other such dual capable fan coolers.


We feel that the combination of multiple speeds and multiple fans will allow us to give you our readers clear and precise idea of the capabilities of a given unit, in an accurate comparison. It will also help eliminate the occasional “zinger” such as when a manufacturer includes an extremely high-speed fan in order to possibly offset poor heatsink thermal performance.


Environment:

All comparison testing was done on an open bench with a constant ambient temperature of 24°C. If at any time the room temperature increased or decreased by more than 1°C, testing was halted until the temperature constant was re-established.


Testbed:


Unlike our previous methodology which used an open bench setup with a horizontally orientated motherboard, our new open bench is a modified Tech Station with a twist.

It has been modified so that the motherboard is in a more typical vertical orientation as it would be when installed in a case.

This has been done by the simple expedient of drilling out the bumper pads and threading long bolts (typically used for mounting fans to water cooling radiators) up through the top base of the tech station. Then by simply threading the bolts up through the motherboard we can then secure said motherboard to the tech station. Rubber mounts followed by a nut ensures that nothing moves. When the motherboard has been secured we simply tip the tech station on its side and using weights on the lower “legs” to keep it from tipping over we end up with a vertical orientated motherboard which is safe and secure yet still an open, controlled benching environment.


Mounting Orientation:

Only the typical East / West (aka forward / back) orientation will be used.


Temperature Recording:

Recorded temps were as reported via the Real Temp plug-in for the RivaTuner monitor program.

Max and Average load temps are based on 15 minutes of running Prime95 “small fft” and are taken directly from RivaTuner’s built in capabilities.

The maximum temperatures will be the highest recorded temp displayed for any of the cores during the 15 minute test. While RivaTuner will display each core's average temperature it does not easily show the average of ALL the cores. To this end we will be simply taking the average of all the cores adding them together and then dividing by the number of cores.

If during any test temperatures of 90°C or more are displayed in RivaTuner (for any core) for more than 10 consecutive seconds the testing will be halted and that test run will be considered a "fail".

Idle temperatures are the lowest recorded temperature during idle period as recorded by the RealTemp Rivatuner monitoring program.

All CPU throttling technology was disabled in the BIOS; as was all CPU fan speed control. In addition, Turbo Mode was disabled and Hyperthreading was enabled.

All tests are run a minimum of three times and only the best results are represented.


Charts & Graphs:

Due to clutter and confusion we now will only be including the best of the best. We understand that “best” does mean different things to different people, to this end we will only be including the top two “budget oriented” coolers and the top two performance orientated coolers, helping round out the charts we will also be including a 5th cooler which we feel is more well rounded with dual fan capabilities. For the time being this will be the TRUE Black. After each published cooler review we will re-evaluate the coolers being included in the charts and based on the value or performance may swap out a cooler for a cooler that was just reviewed.

We will also include the Intel OEM stock cooler results. This way you will not only know how it compares to the Intel stock unit and the best Damn Good Value coolers but also the best of the best Damn Good coolers out there. In grand total there will only be 6 coolers represented in a graph. However, if the review is a “round up” review this limitation will be extended to include all coolers in that review plus the above 6 cooling solutions. We will endeavour to keep the number as low as possible while still giving an accurate picture of the performance of all coolers being reviewed.

Each chart will include the Maximum or “peak” temperature we recorded, the average temperature and the idle temperature.

No passive results will be shown UNLESS manufacturer claims the ability to passively cool a processor. If a manufacturer claims passive capabilities we will include the performance numbers in the charts. The only exception to this is if the review is a “review roundup” and to keep the charts from becoming confusing we may not do so.


Sound Pressure Testing:

To give a more accurate and less of a personal opinion on the noise level of the stock fan which accompanies the heatsink, we have included a new section for sound pressure testing. These tests are done in our open case setup outlined above with the meter positioned 30 inches away from the cooler and mounted on a tripod. To ensure the background noise does not skew the results all tests will start by recording the ambient noise of the room. Only when it meets our standards will the testing commence.

To ensure that no external noise unduly skews the results, the GPU used will be a passively cooled unit and the only active fan will be the one on the cooler while the PSU and HDD are isolated away from the immediate area.

These tests are run late at night when no other people or animals are awake and thus unable to influence the results.

All fans are run at their maximum speed with no voltage or PWM control being used during the sound pressure tests.

The sound pressure meter used is a DT-805 which has been professionally calibrated and NIST certified. We will record the highest levels obtained with said meter and record it as our result. The test will be 15 minutes long and will be run while the fan is running full speed via a Molex connector and the CPU cores are under a full load via Prime 95 Small FFT.


Please note: The Scythe S-Flex G and Noctua NF-P12-1300 (at 1300 and 900rpms) numbers are taken when mounted to a Cooler Master Hyper 212+. We feel that it would be extremely unfair and unrealistic to include noise rating for these after market fans if they were NOT mounted onto a cooler. They are included to help give some sense of proportion to the charts and allow you to more easily compare a stock fan against a known quantity.


Complete Test System:

Processor: Intel i7 920

Motherboard: Gigabyte X58-UD3R

Memory: 6GB Aneon Xtune DDR3-1600

Graphics card: EVGA 7300GT passive

Hard Drive: 1x WD 320GB single platter

Power Supply: Topower Powerbird 900W


Special thanks to Direct Canada for their support and supplying the i7 920 CPU.

Special thanks to Gigabyte for their support and supplying the i7 motherboard.
 
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AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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Stock Fan Performance Results

Stock Fan Performance Results



2.6GHz

266_stock.jpg


To be honest we knew the stock performance numbers were going to be good as this cooler does come with dual fans; however we were not expecting it to give HDT coolers a run for their money and this is the first solid based cooler to really do so. Heck, while this cooler does come with two fans, they are not exactly high speed power house units and the Titan Fenrir (the only HDT to beat it) comes with an fan which is rotating over 1000RPMs faster!


3.42GHz

342_stock.jpg


As the heat load was turned up, this massive cooler really did start to show us what it was made of: pure gold. As you can see if comes within striking distance of what is easily the best HDT cooler we have ever tested: the Titan Fenrir.


3.8GHz

38_stock.jpg


Damn, we were hoping it would pull out ahead of the Fenrir at this heat load and to see these numbers really is disappointing. If we were to hazard a guess we would say that while this dual tower design is better than previous attempts but two moderate speed fans is not the most optimal of solutions. We really, really wish Noctua had included faster fans and relied on their time proven speed adaptors to slow things down if the customer so chooses.
 
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