Noctua NH-D14 Reviewccokeman -
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To put the latest performance heatsink from Noctua to the test, I will be making a comparison of the temperatures at idle and under load, both while the CPU is at the stock voltages and clock speeds, as well as when the CPU is overclocked and over-volted to show what kind of cooling performance this monster of a heatsink has to offer when compared to other socket 1366-compatible high performance heatsinks. These heatsinks will be tested head-to-head as they are delivered from the manufacturer. I could throw in a bunch of testing variables, but it is not what the products are capable of as delivered. To test the idle temperatures, I will allow the computer to stay idle for 30 minutes and take the idle temperature at this point. For the load testing, I will use Prime95 version 25.9 and choose the blend testing and allow the processor and memory controller to heat up to the maximum temperatures. The time frame in the 14k test is usually a four hour run to allow the temperature to peak. I will use Real temp 3.0 to take the high and low temperatures and average the temperatures generated over the four cores as my reported temperature.
- CPU: Intel Core i7 920 133x20 (Stock), 166x20 (Overclocked)
- Motherboard: MSI X58 Eclipse
- Memory: Mushkin HP3 12800 7-7-7-20
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 260-216
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800 watt Modular Power Supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: Asus DVD-R
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1
- Chassis: Thermaltake Armour +
Comparison Heat sinks:
- Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366
- Thermalright TRUE
The NH-D14 is the heatsink that delivers the lowest temperatures in the testing that I performed. The idle temperatures were all pretty close and don't really tell a true story. The load temperatures are the best indicator of performance. What you get is about a 4 degree Celsius drop from the already high end performance of the comparison heatsinks, the Thermalright TRUE and Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366. I really was not satisfied with a 4 degree margin and did a couple of remounts, but the results were repeatable. What I really wanted to know was how well the NH-D14 performed with a much heavier heat load, so I loaded up a 4.2GHz overclock on the Core i7 920 to see what kind of temperatures I would get, as well as seeing if any reduction in operating temperatures gave me Prime 95 stability at this level.
What I was able to achieve with the NH-D14 was prime stability at 4.2GHz with load temperatures that peaked at 70 degrees Celsius and ran most of the time in the mid to high 60's. I was not prepared for this result, but am now thoroughly impressed with the performance of the NH-D14. All that, with no noise. Absolutely sick!