Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler - Testing

Article Index
Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler
Final Thoughts and Conclusion



Test Setup:

For Intel (LGA1336) testing we will be using the Intel Core i7 920 CPU, which produces 130 Watts of heat. This could be considered a mid-range processor, and while most Dual-Core processors produce ~50-80 Watts of heat, this should give you a pretty accurate estimate of what type of temperatures a cooler will provide you with.

For both AMD and Intel testing, we have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp v.0.99.4. CoreTemp takes a temperature from the CPU core, and allows for much more uniform results across different motherboard and CPU platforms. These temperatures may seem higher than other temperature recordings; because chances are they are taking temperature recordings using the diode underneath the CPU, which isn't able to be as accurate, and can really fluctuate between different brands of motherboards.

For all tests we are using the Highspeed PC Top Deck Tech Station , and we are using no additional cooling in our testing. All temperatures are recorded in a controlled environment that is set to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) to provide fair results between coolers.

For all tests we use Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound (Paste), We use the same thermal paste in all our testing so that we can keep our results consistent. If a cooler is shipped with thermal paste pre-applied, it will be removed and we will re-apply it with Arctic Cooling MX-2 to provide fair results.


Intel Test System:


For our testing of the Noctua NH-C14 we have tested the cooler using the highest speed (1200 RPM), as well as using the fan adapters to run both fans at 750 RPM. In all of our testing we used both fans (both fans are removable if you only want to run 1 fan).


Click on Chart for Larger View


The results with running both fans running at slow speed is pretty decent. At the lowest speeds possible we are still seeing a 15+ degree temperature reduction over stock cooling. When running the fans at the lowest speed (750 RPM) there is virtually no noise, although even when running the fans at full speed (1200 RPM) the noise would be unnoticeable over other system noise thanks to these 140mm fans.


Click on Chart for Larger View


In the next set we let the fans run at full speed (1200 RPM) and we saw a 2 degree performance increase. Thanks to the bigger fans it seems that even when running at low speed they are still able to move enough air to keep our 140 Watt processor nice and cool. The noise that these fans produce when running at full speed (1200 RPM) is still pretty quiet and chances are good you won't be able to hear them over other system noise.



Click on Chart for Larger View



So there we go, the Noctua NH-C14 didn't set any performance records, but it was easily able to keep up with most of the other coolers we've tested on this Intel i7 test machine. Overall I was very impressed with the performance of the Noctua NH-C14 and when you consider how quiet this cooler is and how it can still perform with the other coolers we've tested it makes it pretty easy to like the Noctua NH-C14 CPU cooler.

In the next section I'll provide my final thoughts and give the Noctua NH-C14 a final score.