3-Way Low Profile CPU Cooling Shoot-Out: Reeven, Phanteks, & Noctuaby E. Fylladitakis on January 18, 2017 8:00 AM EST
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The Noctua NH-C14S
The sheer size of the box hints that the Noctua NH-C14S is not a very compact construct. Much like nearly all of Noctua’s products, the artwork on the box is austere, limited to providing useful information about the cooler itself. Inside the box everything is individually packed into separate cardboard boxes. Alongside with the mounting hardware, Noctua is also offering a basic screwdriver for the installation of the cooler, a fan speed reducer, a metallic case badge and a syringe with NT-H1 thermal compound.
Unlike the other two coolers in this review, the Noctua NH-C14S has not been designed to be very compact, but to fill the gap between low-profile coolers and standard tower coolers for users that purchased relatively tall/wide HTPC cases. Although its core design is similar to that of other horizontal coolers, the fin array is wider and much thicker, offering more than three times as much surface area as very low profile coolers. Two small holes can be seen halfway through the array, meant for the provided screwdriver to go through from and reach the screws at the base of the cooler. The first fin of the array is not physically different than the rest, but it does have the company logo punched onto it.
The NH-C14S has a single 140 mm NF-A14 PWM fan installed. The major twist with the design of the NH-C14S is the position of the fan, which is underneath the fin array and is pushing the air upwards through it. Still, standard RAM modules will fit underneath the NH-C14S. The user has the option to place the fan (or another fan) at the top of the fin array, increasing the clearance of the RAM modules by 25 mm but adding the same height to the overall height of the cooler. With the fan at the top of the array, RAM modules up to 70 mm tall can fit, allowing greater hardware compatibility if the case can support a cooler that is 142 mm tall.
Noctua’s Secufirm2 mounting system design has the cooler ready for installation, with the mounting braces and screws already waiting on the base of the cooler. Six nickel plated heatpipes are sandwiched between the copper base of the cooler and its bulky aluminum top. The machining of the base is flawless, without even the slightest imperfection to be found upon close inspection. It seems that the contact surface has been worked from the center out. Although it has not a mirror finish, it is extremely smooth and difficult to soil.
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StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - link<3 Noctua.
Samus - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkThe Noctua, although taller, has the best design. Inverting the fan is pretty smart.
StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkThey also tend to be more expensive. But the cost is worth it in my opinion.
nagi603 - Thursday, January 19, 2017 - linkYes, they actually do provide far better workmanship and package. First Noctua I bought after Scythe blew me away, though it did cost twice the money.
nathanddrews - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkGreat timing, AT! I was just looking at some low profile HSF solutions for a SFF AMD ITX system I have kicking around. The case I'm using has about 70mm clearance IIRC, so I was looking at the Noctua NH-L9a, but I'll have to see if the other dimensions of the Reeven will work in that space.
80-wattHamster - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkCryorig's C7 is a good ~100W option as well, speaking as an owner of one. The fan it shipped with did have some PWM noise, but Cryorig's CS was helpful and sent a replacement (which is flawless so far) with minimal fuss.
wolfemane - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkI've currently got a c7 in my Node 202 build cooling a 6600k. It barely does the job and after two replacement fans, I've finally given up on the fan side. I still use the base but I've custom mounted a 120mm sp fan to it and have seen much better temps. But still not that great. The L9i could t cut it either, which I had on prior to the c7. I've got a scythe big shuriken rev. B on the way to try out.
80-wattHamster - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - linkA 6600K with an overclock definitely pushes a C7 pretty hard. It keeps mine under control at 4.0, though stress testing does start to push the thermal limit.
nathanddrews - Thursday, January 19, 2017 - linkYou guys talking about the AMD A8-6600K or the Intel i5-6600K?
80-wattHamster - Thursday, January 19, 2017 - linkGood question! Intel in my case.