Fall 2014 Cooler Roundup

Article Index
Fall 2014 Cooler Roundup
NZXT Kraken X31 LCS
NZXT Kraken X41 LCS
NZXT Kraken X61 LCS
Thermaltake Water 3.0 Pro LCS
Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate LCS
Thermaltake NiC L32 HSF
Thermaltake Frio Extreme HSF
Thermaltake NiC C5 HSF
Fall 2014 Cooler Performance
Final Thoughts

Product(s):

Provided By: Noctua, NZXT, Thermaltake

Introduction:

Today we are taking a look at a bunch of coolers from a few different companies and putting them up against each other in a massive cooler showdown. In this article we'll briefly cover each cooler that is going into the ring and then simply take a look at performance. We aren't reviewing each cooler in depth, but we will highlight some of the features of each unit so that you can quickly and easily know what you're getting with each unit. At the end, we'll post a chart of all of these coolers compared to each other and see how they all compare when going head-to-head.

Cooling Roundup

 

We have coolers from Noctua, Thermaltake and NZXT represented here today and this round will cover HSF units as well as liquid cooling kits. We won't do a direct comparison of noise, but we will make some notes as to noise levels as we go. If you want some good kit-cooling and have a decent budget, make sure you follow along to see the candidates.

 

Noctua NH-D15:

The first cooler up on the bench is a huge unit from Noctua. Every time we get a Noctua cooler, we are amazed at how they manage to up their performance without upping the noise produced by their coolers. The way they increase the performance with this (their current flagship), is by making it huge and including two massive fans. You can run this cooler with either one or two fans and use fan speed reducers to make it even quieter. Even if you leave the fans running at stock speeds, they are still quiet.

Accessory Boxes
Noctua Accessory Boxes

NH-D15 Profile
NH-D15 Profile

 

As you can see below, this cooler has a total of six heat pipes that travel up into two separate cooling fin sections. By default a fan is installed between these, allowing it to pull air through one side and push air through the other section. If this isn't good enough, you can add a second fan - which is included.

NH-D15 Base
NH-D15 Base

Size Comparison
Size Comparison

 

As with all Noctua coolers, installation will either require motherboard removal or a large hole in your motherboard tray in order to attach the stiffener plate. You really need this plate in order to secure this 1.32kg cooler (2.91lb) to your CPU. The beauty of this cooler is that it is massive - in terms of sheer size and as well as its promised performance. When you combine the claim of silent and awesome cooling with a six year warranty, you just may have a winner.

NH-D15 Installed

Noctua NH-D15 Installed

 

If you want to check out all the features and specifications of this cooler, please be sure to check this manufacturer's site here.

Next up, the NZXT Kraken X31 Liquid Cooling System.