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September 20, 2015

Unboxing & Review: Noctua NH-C14s


Back in February 2015, we did a review of the Noctua NH-C14 that saw how an old classic keep up with the i7 4770K. Following the announcement of the new NH-C14s in May 2015, I knew that we would have to get our hands on it; thanks to the good folks at Noctua, we get to have all our paws all over this beauty ;) At the time of writing, the NH-C14s is not available in the Malaysian market so local pricing is unknown. Now, lets unbox!!

Specification


Socket compatibilityIntel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)
Height (without fan)115 mm
Width (without fan)140 mm
Depth (without fan)163 mm
Height (with fan)115 / 142 mm
Width (with fan)140 mm
Depth (with fan)163 mm
Weight (without fan)820 g
Weight (with fan)1015 g
MaterialCopper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDPsee TDP guide
Fan compatibility140x140x25mm (with square frame)
Scope of Delivery

  • 1x NF-A14 PWM premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Fan clips for second fan
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
  • Warranty6 Years

    Packaging



    The box follows the traditional Noctua colour and design still but it is an updated version compared to the original NH-C14 packaging. Up at the front is where you'll see the name and features of the cooler.


    The multi-lingual product description on one side.


    Highlighted features on the back, already noted the new SecureFirm2 mounting mechanism.


    And the specs of the NH-C14s is also here on the packaging


    Packaging never dissapoints when it comes to Noctua, this is also a change from the white-cardboard box-sandwich on the original NH-C14. Youll have 3 small boxes that neatly segregated the Intel and AMD mounting systems with the accessories bundled.


    First thing we see is the baseplate?? I guess it makes sense to have the heavier part of the heatsink at the bottom.

    The Heatsink



    Out of the box, the Nh-C14s looks beefier than the original one, gone is the deep middle groove and the rubber strips on the cooler, note that the fan is also a different one. Noctua has included a single NF-A14 this time around compared to the dual NF-P14.


    You can still see the 6 heatpipes from the front.


    The side also featured crimped fins to better direct airflow through them. 


    Also note the beefier assembly at the top of the mounting plate.


    Instead of a support bar at the middle, there is another heatpipe that is hidden from the front view.


    Viewing it directly from top-down reveals that the middle pipe reaches a little past to the middle of the fins. The two holes on the sides is where one will be able to access the mounting screws at the bottom.


    The new machined nickle-plated copper plate is not as reflective but we know that it's not a defining factor for heat transfer.

    Installation

    Now we've done this several times for Noctua products (NH-D15, NH-C14, NH-D9L, NH-U9S) and it's the same for most of them so avid readers (thank you for the support!!) could just skip ahead to the results if they wish. However, for the sake of new readers (welcome!!), we'll gladly go and show the step by step process.


    First installing your CPU, or cleaning it if you're switching coolers.


    Make sure you use the correct Secufirm2 mounting system, since we're using an Intel system, we'll be using the Intel mounting system. If you're using an AMD system, bear in mind that you will need to re-use the backplate of your AMD motherboard as it is not provided with the NH-C14s.


    Here is another thing that is different from the original NH-C14, the Intel backplate is no longer the X-shaped one that has removable screws.


    Place the backplate behind the motherboard with the screws protruding out from the corners of the CPU area.


    Place the plastic spacers through each of the screws.


    The mounting brackets comes next. Ensure that the holes are for your socket, Socket 1155 is the one in the middle in this case.


    The brackets are then secured Note the placement of the brackets will determine the orientation of your cooler so do check first before securing them.


    Apply the Thermal Paste, Noctua always provide their superb NT-H1 but you could use your own Thermal paste if you want.


    The heatsink is placed on top of the whole assembly.


    Secure the heatsink to the mounting brackets, Noctua even provided an L-shaped screwdriver for the job. Just make sure you tighten the screws evenly each time.



    Mount the fan to the cooler using the provided clips and plug in the 4-pin PWM fan to the fan header and you're done!



    Having the fan on the top gives you the clearance to use tall RAM modules


    With the fan at the bottom or "push-pull" configurations, we'd recommend sticking to low-profile RAMs instead


    The final step is not to be missed, step back and admire your work.... yeah yeah.. okay results time...

    Testing & Results

    We mounted the Noctua NH-C14s on an Intel 4770K setup overclocked to 4.2GHz (just so that this is "replicate-able" over multiple tests) so lets see how it fared against some competition, including with the older Noctua NH-D14, when it's stressed with the classic Prime95.


    Well done indeed to Noctua's R&D team! Not too sure how, but Noctua seemed to have done it again with an improvement of 6 degrees C over the original NH-C14, on top of that, only a single fan is mounted on the new NH-C14s as opposed to two.

    Conclusion

    So again, the Noctua NH-C14s did not deliver the best cooling potential ever, but the improvement in the load temperature is quite an achievement. It is however, slightly taller and heavier than the original but it is too little to notice unless you have both the coolers weighed in front of you. Not that you'd be able to get the original one now that it is phased out.

    No news when this cooler will be available in Malaysia but if you're ever in need of a C-type cooler, this is one that should never be left out of your consideration.

    Pros:
    • Improved cooling performance over the predecessor
    • Updated mounting mechanism
    • 6 years warranty

    Cons:
    • Only 1 fan is bundled this time
    • New heatsink is a little heavier
    With that, we tagged the Noctua NH-C14s with a deserving Tech-Critter Silver and Recommended Badge!






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