Noctua NH-D14 Heatsink Review


Install the middle fan

I had an issue reinstalling the middle fan.  It has a top and bottom wire retainer.  The top one wouldn’t even go into the case, and having the room to snap it in up top isn’t even an option.  If the top of my case were removable, then maybe.  But I ended up having to take the top retainer off completely and snapping on the bottom one in place.  It held tight, and I have no fear of it falling out of the heatsink, but it’s still irritating.


Now, on my case, the top exhaust fan was completely stopped by the heatsink.  It pushed against it and stopped the blades entirely.  I unplugged the fan to keep from ruining it and attempted to put the side of my case back on.  It fit with less than an eighth of an inch clearance.  I removed my side fan before-hand, thinking that it would be too much with a heatsink this size.

I’m running an AMD FX-4170 4.2Ghz processor in this system.  I decided to do an ambient air and then a load test using the stock cooler to get an idea of what kind jump in cooling performance one would get in upgrading directly from stock to the NH-D14.  I ran temperature monitoring during regular use of the computer, such as when I’m browsing or writing, as I am now, and then I ran a full CPU load on all four cores using AIDA64 Extreme Edition.  The temperature in my testing lab stayed at a steady 68 degrees Fahrenheit the whole time, as it usually does.  And here are the results of those tests: