Noctua NH-C14S Review
Noctua NH-C14S Review
Another Noctua’s heavy air cooler came to our test lab to show its performance. Today we are going to have a look at new Noctua NH-C14S, as a 120g heavier update to well known NH-C14. Many users appreciate this kind of cooler design as you are able to use it in low profile cases or even HTPC. From the first look, you may not see many improvements or design changes from it’s predecessor NH-C14 but when you look closer, well let’s have a look.
As always the packaging is perfect, as everything is separately and securely packed in card board. Front and back side showing main features of the product. Most important information as dimension and specifications are on the left side of the package.
We really like how everything is well packed and described. As we can see Noctua cares a lot about protection of their valuable product during transport. There are no plastic part which makes the package recyclable. Hopefully other brands will follow the same path.
The main update from its predecessor is the use of NF-A14 PWM premium fan which is extremely silent in IDLE or low load operations. The set includes only one NF-A14 fan, so should you wish to run dual fan(push/pull) configuration for better performance you have to buy second fan separately. The position of the fan is the most silent from all possible configuration on this cooler as we show later in this review.
The cooler fins design has been changed as well a bit and one pipe was added in the middle for strengthen the construction and to avoid bending of heat-pipes. This additional pipe although is not a classical heat pipe but only works as support. The design is asymmetrical, so you may be careful and consider if your first PCIE slot is not in conflict with the cooler. If so, just turn the cooler 90° or even 180° to prevent any collision with VGA card or some very high RAM modules. Some of heat-sink fins have been removed to provide access of the included screwdriver even without removing the fan.
Contact surface is not mirror polished but kind of semi-reflective. Six heat pipes with C-type form as well as the contact area are nickel plated. Thus, the copper base is protected and looks much better as well. Mounting is as easy be. Tighten two main screws and you are done.
Thanks to Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ mounting systems is the whole installation process very easy even without using instructions( which are by the way very nicely prepared).
Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156), LGA2011 (LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3) and AMD (AM3(+), AM2(+), FM1, FM2(+)), the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-C14S guarantees perfect contact pressure and maximum convenience on all current sockets.
The back-plate has already four screws fixed (pressed) in position which makes the whole mounting process even easier, so the screws don’t fall out of the back-plate frame. THe mounting brackets on front side can be tighten by hand. No need to use screwdriver here at all.
Let’s have a look at clearance and mounting directions of our cooler. With standard profile RAM modules, you won’t have any issues.
Turning the tower 90° we can clearly see that the cooler is outside of mainboard area. So keep in mind to find proper position which is suitable for your individual system before you mount and tighten everything.
Let’s have a look how does it looks like when we turn the tower opposite 90° to our first position.
The cooler is clearly in collision with first PCIE slot, this orientation of the cooler is not recommended. So we recommend to choose other three possible orientation. We found the optimal position is the one with facing the heat-pipe to RAM slots.
We took extra high memory from Avexir (Avexir Raiden) which is 63mm high, just to demonstrate how high the RAM module has to be to get in slight touch with the heat-pipes.
Should you have any kind higher RAM modules then you may consider to mount the fan on top of the cooler tower.
Noctua NH-C14S Specifications:
|Socket compatibility||Intel 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|
|Material||Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating|
|Max. TDP||see TDP guide|
|Fan compatibility||140x140x25mm (with square frame)|
|Scope of Delivery||
|Model||1x Noctua NF-A14 PWM|
|Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)||1500 RPM|
|Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)||1200 RPM|
|Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)||300 RPM|
|Max. Airflow||140,2 m³/h|
|Max. Airflow with L.N.A.||115,5 m³/h|
|Max. Acoustical Noise||24,6 dB(A)|
|Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.||19,2 dB(A)|
|Input Power||1,56 W|
|Voltage Range||12 V|
|MTBF||> 150.000 h|
To ensure that the results from one review to another are comparable, the Testing Methodology will be the same throughout all reviews, otherwise we will make a note if somethings changed and keep it separately from other results.
All testing was done on test Bench-table with a room ambient temperature of 22- 23°C and if temperature changes we will add delta T °C to the results.
Before testing we run 10 minutes of Prime95 followed by 30 minutes of idling. This warm up period was done at stock CPU core frequency. For noise testing we are using fanless PSU. We mostly do fan noise test over night so we have our room as silent as possible.
We take noise values from distance of 30cm.
Testing System :
Software: OCCT 4.4.1, Easy Tune
For testing we used OCCT software and between each test we leave the PC at least 15 minutes to rest so that the temperature went back to the IDLE state. Followed by overclocking with help of Easy Tune Software (for Gigabyte mainboard) or for ASUS mainboard (BIOS CPU Ratio only). Each test lasted for 15 minutes. If the temperature of any CPU core exceeded 85°C the test was automatically turned off and the value of the results we have marked as “failed”. The resulting temperature in the tables are the average temperature of all cores. The results of the tests are influenced by many factors such as: the amount of thermal paste, pressure between the processor and CPU block, humidity, thermal conductivity of thermal paste, etc.. Therefore this results should be considered as indicative only.
System Noise results from distance of 30cm away from the cooler.
|Fan max. RPM||noise dB(A) 1 fan pushing air against cpu socket|
|IDLE PWM mode||700||29.4dB(A)|
|@4.4GHz PWM mode||1400||39dB(A)|
|@4.7GHz PWM mode||1500||43.2dB(A)|
Noctua NH-C14S has delivered a bit less cooling performance as we have expected (maybe we have been expecting too much). The build quality is although at very high level. We are testing this cooler with overclocked CPU which pushes the fans to spin at highest RPM producing bit of noise as expected. During office work you won’t probably not even hear the fan at all, as it spins with ca. 700-800RPM and so is very quiet. Under load the fan produce some considerable noise, but due to PWM fan it’s all controlled over your BIOS settings. With that said, users with silent mode will get little higher temps but less noise.
When it comes to price ca. €75, the NH-C14S is just in same price level as other competition products. But, thinking of 6 years warranty, there is nothing much to say, than the Noctua is totally confident with their products and over years prove its quality and reliability on the market.
We found that the the fan installed under the cooled makes less noise and bring additional cooling to components around the cpu socket as well. Opposite to that, when installed on top of cooler pulling air up the NF-A14 PWM seems to get strange kind of air turbulence between aluminium fins and the fan itself, producing slightly screaming annoying sound.
Fan holder clips are easy to use, easy to remove, and Noctua included additional clips for mounting second fan. Overall experience is very pleasant, and represents the Noctua’s premium quality top-flow solution. Fans have antivibrations rubber pads and the fan frame is very stable. Packaging as well as instructions are excellent. Nothing to complain there. Price, performance, quality means golden recommendation from us.
easy to mount
2nd fan option
Silent fan in low/mid loads