Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler
Author: Shawn Knight
Editor: Zahn Funk
Date: 03-31-2010
Provided by: Noctua
First Look

Inside the retail box is the heatsink itself with both fans pre-attached, an Intel mounting kit, an AMD mounting kit, a common parts baggie, installation instructions for both Intel and AMD sockets and a screwdriver.

My first concern when I pulled the heatsink out of the box was if it would fit in my case. Aside from Cooler Master's V10, this has to be the biggest air cooler I have ever seen. While most high-end coolers feature either a 120mm or 140mm fan, the NH-D14 has one of each. The 120mm is positioned on the outside and pushes air into the first array of fins. The 140mm fan is sandwiched between the two fin towers and further carries air through the second set of fins and out the opposite side.

Here we have a better look at the back of the cooler and the second set of cooling fins. A traditional heatsink would only feature a single bank of cooling fins but Noctua decided that bigger is better and doubled the number of fins. It's hard to argue against this thinking as more surface area is always appreciated, but we will see how much this pays off later during testing.

Each fan is held in place with two fan clips that can be pushed outward and unhooked from the cooler's fins to remove the fan. Use caution when applying pressure to the fan clips, however, as I managed to let my finger slip and sliced my knuckle on one of the cooling fins. They aren't overly sharp but when you go sliding delicate skin across them with force, they will cut.

As you can see from the top-down shot, the Noctua name is present on the top of each fin tower. Also note that the fins are cut in a zig-zag pattern to increase surface area for the fans to blow over.

More just ahead.

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