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Noctua NH-U12S & NH-U14S CPU Coolers Review

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INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nh u12s u14sa

   For good or bad Summer is finally here which would explain why all of our 4 test rigs have begun heating up a lot more during these past few days as would the fact that i can't seem to be able to stay in front of our 800W photo bench for more than 20 minutes at a time. So since we all know how important a good CPU cooler is especially during the Summer period we announced that we will be doing a very cool giveaway with our friends over at Noctua tomorrow with 3 of their latest cooling solutions up for grabs. Because of that however we also feel that you need to know what it is that we will be giving away so for the past 3 days we've been putting the latest NH-U12S and NH-U14S CPU Air Coolers through rigorous testing with impressive results especially for two single fan solutions.

 

   Designed in Austria, Noctua's premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received more than 1000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua's fans and heatsinks are chosen by more than a hundred thousand satisfied customers around the globe. Noctua comes from a cooperation of the Austrian Rascom Computerdistribution Ges.m.b.H. with the Taiwanese cooling specialist Kolink International Corporation, pooling more than ten years of experience in the development, manufacturing and marketing of high-end cooling components. Established in 2005, Noctua took the international silent enthusiasts' hearts by storm and quickly developed into one of the most acclaimed suppliers of premium quality quiet cooling products. Today, Noctua is present in more than 30 countries across the globe and working with several hundred sales partners. Chosen by noise conscious PC users, system integrators and industry clients alike, Noctua has become synonymous with impeccable quality, excellent customer service and class leading quiet cooling performance.

 

   It's been a while since Noctua last released a CPU Air Cooler aimed towards enthusiasts, overclockers and hardcore gamers so you can imagine how surprised we were when they announced not one but two models (which is good since our LGA2011 test bench welcomed both the NH-U12S and the NH-U14S with open arms). Noctua however designed both coolers primarily with one thing in mind and that's zero clearance issues with RAM modules (much like the NiC series by Thermaltake and the Archon series by Thermalright) something with which the award winning and quite massive NH-D14 is not very good at. Of course both cooler are also dual fan capable meaning you can use two fans in push and pull configuration, come with 6 years warranty, are compatible with pretty much every socket out there (future and past ones as well since Noctua offers mounting kits for no charge) and also feature Noctua’s SecuFirm2 mounting bracket for easy and sturdy installation. But the real question is just how well they perform against their immediate competition and that's what we are here to find out.

 

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Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by dacul #880
I like their website. They keep it very clean, yet very informative. I'm so anxious to put the new 2x NF-F12 PWM fans inside the case. I use their thermal compounds for some time. The next buy, very soon if the odds are not on my side, will be a Noctua CPU cooler NH-C14.
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by ispasion22 #877
Most of the air coolers are very cheap, the middle class is produced in smaller quantities; the coolers for maximum performance has a more limited target, and therefore have a higher cost.
This is because the costs of research and construction that are more complex, but a good cooler like the NH-D14 could handle a hot CPU like Nehalem as well as a good watercooling system.
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by Freedom #803
MadChoppa wrote:
Freedom wrote:
Quite more expensive so if they use copper people will turn to good AIO water cooling solutions. Easier to install and better in most occations.

So it's obvious - when AIO water cooling became as easy as traditional ac to install, and the same price/cheaper, then air cooling will gone. Just curious how soon it happens?


Will not happen any time soon since manufacturers keep the cost of mid/end air coolers to 1/3 of the cost of cheap AIO liquid coolers.
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by ana3mic #798
By looking at current generation of AIO coolers they are close to Air coolers but no cigar, especially if you consider price. If all you want is to have a "water cooler", which they are not, and plan to use "Gaming" RAM with large heatsinks by all means get one, just know you're paying usually around twice for the same performance and most of the times with more noise.
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by MadChoppa #795
Freedom wrote:
Quite more expensive so if they use copper people will turn to good AIO water cooling solutions. Easier to install and better in most occations.

So it's obvious - when AIO water cooling became as easy as traditional ac to install, and the same price/cheaper, then air cooling will gone. Just curious how soon it happens?
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by Freedom #792
Quite more expensive so if they use copper people will turn to good AIO water cooling solutions. Easier to install and better in most occations.
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by dacul #790
MadChoppa wrote:
I still don't understant why cpu(gpu) cooler manufacturers stll use aluminium in their products.
Nowadays, when air cooling almost reached it's limit and most powerful hardware are cooled by water cooling systems, it's seems very reasonable to me to use copper only(at least for high-end/premium cooling solutions) for heatsinks. Do you agree?


Yes i agree, but copper is more expansive than aluminium. Not an article for cpu cooling, but the same range www.hydro.com/en/Subsites/Hydro-Aluminiu...luminium-and-copper/
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by Sam Nicko #788
awesome result i love Noctua NH-U14S!
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by MadChoppa #771
I still don't understant why cpu(gpu) cooler manufacturers stll use aluminium in their products.
Nowadays, when air cooling almost reached it's limit and most powerful hardware are cooled by water cooling systems, it's seems very reasonable to me to use copper only(at least for high-end/premium cooling solutions) for heatsinks. Do you agree?
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by dacul #764
najiro wrote:
ana3mic wrote:
Never heard of this problem here in my country and I've seen some very old coolers on the PCs at work that have been working for like 10 years, so yeah I guess it's a climate thing.


performance is still the same. it's just that it doesn't look GOOD anymore LOL.
and it's hard to clean the part in between fins... some discoloration and bits of corrosion.


Unless your pc is a museum piece. I really don't care how it looks inside. Just cleaning the dust and that's all.
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by dacul #762
I never had any aftermarket cpu coolers, but now since i have an A10-5800k cpu i'm seriously thinking to buy one. The price isn't so big afterall."You get what you pay for - Chinese Culture"
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by imagination #729
I like the big NH-D14 but not all users could use the big boss. However from this specific two models i`d say Noctua really did a great job with both of them. My choice here would be the NH-U14S and seeing it on top of everything makes me dream for an early Christmas present. Do you hear me Santa?
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by najiro #692
ana3mic wrote:
Never heard of this problem here in my country and I've seen some very old coolers on the PCs at work that have been working for like 10 years, so yeah I guess it's a climate thing.


performance is still the same. it's just that it doesn't look GOOD anymore LOL.
and it's hard to clean the part in between fins... some discoloration and bits of corrosion.
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by ana3mic #689
Never heard of this problem here in my country and I've seen some very old coolers on the PCs at work that have been working for like 10 years, so yeah I guess it's a climate thing.
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by najiro #687
Freedom wrote:
Climate plays a serious role in the amount of corrosion an cooler can get. Since most companies nickel plate them it's not very easy for that to happen.


Yep. I live in the tropics but still, the difference was just too obvious. I had a coolermaster v6gt before and the fins are really ugly after a year.. well hidden inside the shroud... on the other hand, my friend's noctua nh-d12 looked significantly better (considering that he live nearer to the sea...)
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by Freedom #686
Climate plays a serious role in the amount of corrosion an cooler can get. Since most companies nickel plate them it's not very easy for that to happen.
Posted: 1 year, 5 months ago by najiro #685
I had air coolers before. One thing I notice about them is that they only look good in reviews.. The fins rust and corrode easily after a year. But then I saw my friend's noctua air cooler.. it was still shiny and relatively good looking after 2 years. Noctua really makes quality coolers!