Noctua NH-C14

Like Prolimatech, Noctua built its name by targeting enthusiasts with massive high performance air coolers. Today little of that has changed, they still focus on making things big. The NH-D14 is a perfect example of this as it is by far the biggest and heaviest cooler in our roundup.

Although the NH-C14 is not a new product (it was released over a year ago), it remains their latest high-end cooler and as such we thought it was worth including. The NH-C14 features a rather unique design which is unlike anything else featured in our comparison.

The NH-C14 features what Noctua calls their "C-Type top-flow" design which uses six 6mm heatpipes that extend up into a horizontal array of aluminum fins. Connected to a copper base which is nickel plated, the heatpipes are then soldered to the fins for better thermal contact.

The C-Type top-flow makes the NH-C14 more compact, and while this is certainly not a low-profile design, it is much lower than comparable tower coolers. The NH-C14 heatsink alone weighs 900 grams and can support 140mm fans, but it stands just 105mm tall. You can maintain the 105mm height using a single 140mm fan, while adding a second extends the height to 130mm.

Not all motherboards will provide enough clearance for the lower 140mm fan, so in some situations only the top mounted 140mm fan will be an option. The NH-C14 ships with a pair of Noctua NF-P14 140mm fans, making the $85 asking price easier to justify.

With both fans installed the NH-C14 tips the scales at 1000 grams and measures 140mm wide, 166mm long and 130mm tall. This gives the NH-C14 a massive 140mm by 166mm dispersion area, which is 24% larger than that of the Thermalright True Spirit 140 -- by no means a small heatsink.

Another advantage to the C-Type top-flow design is that it forces a lot of air over other critical system components, such as the motherboard's power phase and the memory modules.

The included NF-P14 140mm fans feature a quality SSO bearing (self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing) which surpasses current types of ball, sleeve or liquid bearings in terms of long-term stability and quietness. The fans operate at between 750 - 1200 RPM and generate just 19.6dBA at full speed.

Installing the Noctua NH-C14 on either AMD or Intel platforms is quick and easy. Helping to speed up the process considerably is the fact that Noctua has pre-installed the fans. As such the user simply needs to attach the mounting mechanism to the socket and then attach the heatsink. All in all this entire process can be over within a matter of minutes.