20 - 01 - 2018
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Noctua NH-U12S & NH-U14S CPU Coolers Review

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TEST BED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cpuz i7-3930ksystem

 

 

TESTING METHODOLOGY

 

     We always take things quite seriously when it comes to work so just like with the previous LGA1366 database we will not be testing each CPU Cooler on its own and with different ambient temperature levels and thus we can actually have yet another valid CPU Cooler database. Testing a CPU Cooler automatically means that you need to know where it stands against the immediate competition and to accomplish that we have spent both money and time through the years, something that we plan to continue to do so in order to get the most accurate results for the end consumers who read these lines. Every CPU cooler in this database is tested with the bundled 140mm/120mm/92mm/80mm fans while working at both idle speed and 100% of their speeds for all the temperature tests. CPU Coolers that do not come bundled with a fan/s are measured using a Noctua fan (size dependent on the model) to test for the temperature tests but due to the lack of a stock fan dBA level tests are obviously skipped. For the dBA tests every cooler in the database was measured both while on idle mode or with the fan controller in the minimum setting and while on extreme load or with the fan controller all the way to the highest possible setting (PWM fans do that on their own without our intervention). Every single test takes place in a temperature controlled room of 23 degrees Celsius Ambient Temp with the help of two AC units placed diagonally inside the room. The Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste is used with every CPU Cooler in our latest LGA2011 database (although initially this was not the plan we had to change things to get the most accurate results). Finally it's very important to point out that just because a CPU Cooler is better than another when tested with our Intel Core i7-3930k test rig that does not necessarily mean that the same performance differences will apply 100% for other CPU models and in other situations (such as different ambient temps and system configurations).

 

     To successfully record the load temperatures we use the latest OCCT application for around 6-10 minutes to push the processor to its limits and after that is done and the temperatures are recorded we wait for about 10-20 minutes for the CPU to cool down and record the idle temperatures. This is done to allow time for the thermal conductive material to achieve the optimal performance level. Same procedure is then repeated with the Passmark BurnIn Test as a failsafe just in case the OCCT results are wrong. This procedure takes a lot more time than the usual peltier/thermometer tests but this way not only can we deliver real world results to our readers based on real CPUs but we can also triple check the results using a variety of programs. Last but not least the temperatures were recorded using both the latest versions of AIDA64 and RealTemp while the noise level tests are performed using a high precision ExTech HD600 Decibel Meter placed about 10-15cm above the CPU Cooler. Still although the same testing procedure applies to all units do take into consideration that unlike the official numbers which are measured in special noise isolated labs with just the fans here we also have both the rest of the cooler and the rest of the system (although all system fans are turned off when recording noise levels).

 


Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by dacul #880
dacul's Avatar
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. :silly: 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: 4 years 8 months ago by ispasion22 #877
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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: 4 years 8 months ago by Freedom #803
NikKTech's Avatar
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: 4 years 8 months ago by ana3mic #798
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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: 4 years 8 months ago by MadChoppa #795
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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: 4 years 8 months ago by Freedom #792
NikKTech's Avatar
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: 4 years 8 months ago by dacul #790
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MadChoppa wrote:
I still don't understant why cpu(gpu) cooler manufacturers stll use aluminium in their products. :huh:
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: 4 years 8 months ago by Sam Nicko #788
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awesome result :) i love Noctua NH-U14S!
Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by MadChoppa #771
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I still don't understant why cpu(gpu) cooler manufacturers stll use aluminium in their products. :huh:
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: 4 years 8 months ago by dacul #764
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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: 4 years 8 months ago by dacul #762
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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" :silly:
Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by imagination #729
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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? :woohoo:
Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by najiro #692
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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: 4 years 8 months ago by ana3mic #689
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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: 4 years 8 months ago by najiro #687
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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: 4 years 8 months ago by Freedom #686
NikKTech's Avatar
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: 4 years 8 months ago by najiro #685
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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!