Noctua NH-U14S Reviewred454 - January 5, 2014
Category: CPU Cooling
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Noctua NH-U14S Introduction:
When you think of high performance air-cooled solutions, Noctua is usually at the top of the list. The NH-U14S has been designed to handle one of the most obvious and frustrating problems often encountered with high performance air-cooled solutions: inaccessible DIMM slots on the motherboard caused by interference from the heat sinks. Modules with large heat shields, such as the Patriot Viper Series, Mushkin Ridgebacks, and Corsair Vengeance and Dominator modules (plus many others), present a real clearance dilemma. You have to make a choice regarding the CPU cooling method or how much memory to install in the system, and to further complicate things, you have to consider the use of high performance modules versus standard modules.
These issues pertain to any company that offers a large tower-style heat sink. To combat the space constraints, companies bring new slim tower designs to the table, like the Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S. Of course, the popularity of the all-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers is hard to ignore, and many companies offer them. Personally, I like the AIO solutions, but many people are not comfortable with liquid solutions and prefer standard air cooling. For those people, Noctua has an option with the aforementioned coolers.
Today we will review the NH-U14S. Priced at $75.99 (NewEgg) and equipped with a six-year warranty, Noctua has again released another high-end cooling solution to meet the challenge of memory compatibility. Let's look at it in more detail.
Noctua NH-U14S Closer Look:
To draw attention to the package, Noctua uses a somewhat understated yet effective layout that is full of information on all sides. The front panel shows a list of specifications without a lot of detail to draw you in. On the back is a brief description of the features (in eight languages) that make the NH-U14S a top-notch product. One side panel features technical specifications, and the opposite side offers more details on some of the unique features of the NH-U14S. It is hard to not get excited whenever I have a new Noctua box in my hands!
Open the main box and immediately you will see that the hardware accessories are packaged individually in smaller boxes, including the AMD-specific, Intel-specific, and common parts. Each box lists the contents, and has a graphic showing each item in that box. I really like the way Noctua organizes your experience from the beginning. You know exactly what to expect in each box. After you remove the hardware boxes, you can see how well the cooler itself is packed. The substantial outer cardboard frame makes darn sure that some rough handling won't bother the cooler.
As usual with Noctua, the accessories are individually packaged. The SecuFirm2 mounting kit is now segregated into boxes rather than bags. The AMD brackets are each used specifically for AMD solutions and support all the latest sockets. The Intel SecuFirm2 bracket kit includes a robust backplate that is designed specifically for Socket 115X usage, rather than being multi-socket compatible like many others in the line up. Each of the bracket kits have a specific instruction set that is thorough and easy to follow. The common parts kit includes a screwdriver, low noise adapter, fan mounting hardware for another NF-A15 PWM fan (for a push / pull configuration), and Noctua's own NT-H1 thermal compound.