Solved Noctua NH-C14 vs Noctua U9S vs be quiet Dark Rock TF

Brude27

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My M1 is on its way, and I'm trying to plan the cooling situation for my build. My initial plans involved 2 120mm AIOs, and as intriguing as that is to me, I don't know if I can stand the pump noise much longer. Granted, it's sitting on a cardboard box open bench style currently, but still... it's audible, and I don't like it considering the performance isn't actually all too impressive imo. This is my first go around with AIOs, and I can safely say that I MUCH prefer air.

With that said, I was wondering if anyone has a first hand comparison between the air coolers mentioned in the subject line in their M1s? I realize the C14 is discontinued, but I'm trying to track one down b/c I love how it fits like a glove in the M1, and I'm going vented side panel for this build. I also see that the be quiet Dark Rock TF is similar to the C14, but some have experienced compatibility issues with it depending on their motherboard of choice. I know the U9S is a champion, but if I can make the top down coolers work, I'd prefer to go that route.

Thanks for any help you can offer! Also, I'd be willing to buy a C14 if anyone reading this has one lying around they don't use anymore. :)
 

rfarmer

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I have used a Dark Rock TF in the Ncase and it is a very good cooler and very quiet, motherboard compatibility is limited though. The original C14 is probably the best air cooler you could use in the Ncase and if you can find one buy it. There are quite a few people using the C14S and getting very good results, you just have to do some modifications for it to fit. The 140mm fan won't fit with the SFX PSU in the default location so you need to use the ATX bracket which rotates it to the front and use a SFX to ATX adapter bracket.

Someone just posted this on [H]ard, you can use the C14S with the SFX PSU in the default location if you use a 120mm rather than the 140mm fan.
 
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Brude27

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Ahh yes my main concern with the Dark Rock TF is just what you said... I have the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming motherboard, and it has some pretty hefty heat sinks on it that I'm sure would interfere. Maybe someone on these forums would be able to confirm since I imagine that's a very popular choice of motherboards for more recent builds.

That 120mm fan discovery on the C14S is really good to know, and I'll have to look into that a bit more if I don't have any luck finding the original C14. I'm hoping it won't come to that, but time will tell.

Thanks for the reply!
 

rfarmer

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Ahh yes my main concern with the Dark Rock TF is just what you said... I have the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming motherboard, and it has some pretty hefty heat sinks on it that I'm sure would interfere. Maybe someone on these forums would be able to confirm since I imagine that's a very popular choice of motherboards for more recent builds.

That 120mm fan discovery on the C14S is really good to know, and I'll have to look into that a bit more if I don't have any luck finding the original C14. I'm hoping it won't come to that, but time will tell.

Thanks for the reply!
If you check Be Quiet's site for motherboard compatibility they list the Asrock Phantom Gaming as fully compatible with the Dark Rock TF. I used mine with a Gigabyte Z370, that was also listed as compatible and the two boards have similar socket and ram placement, seems to be about the same clearance with the heatsinks.
 
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Brude27

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What CPU will you be using?
9600k

If you check Be Quiet's site for motherboard compatibility they list the Asrock Phantom Gaming as fully compatible with the Dark Rock TF. I used mine with a Gigabyte Z370, that was also listed as compatible and the two boards have similar socket and ram placement, seems to be about the same clearance with the heatsinks.
Oh wow! Shame on me for not looking at the manufacturer's website lol. Thanks so much @rfarmer ! You've been very helpful!
 

Artmov

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Nov 28, 2018
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My M1 is on its way, and I'm trying to plan the cooling situation for my build.

I'd be willing to buy a C14 if anyone reading this has one lying around they don't use anymore. :)
I'm in the same boat as you. I got the ASRock Z390 and I'm looking for the optimal CPU air cooling solution for the NCase.

If you find someone with a C14 and by some small chance they have a 2nd one please let me know.
 

gotcha43

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Dec 10, 2018
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I have a Used C14 laying around, because i Go for Louqe ghost instead of M1.
But I‘m from Germany.
:D
 

Brude27

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I have a Used C14 laying around, because i Go for Louqe ghost instead of M1.
But I‘m from Germany.
:D
Aww man! I’m in the states, and I can’t imagine the shipping would make that feasible. If you want to talk, feel free to pm me.
 

gotcha43

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I‘m sure, you‘ll find one overseas. Shipping would be too expensive for such a cooler...
 

rfarmer

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Take a look at this, another user on [H]ard did some testing with the C14, C14S and the U9S. Nice thing is he did testing with and without the TG side panel. I was surprised to see that the C14S was actually slightly better than the C14.
 
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Brude27

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Yes indeed! I saw that last night, and forgot to come here and mark this thread as solved. I was pretty surprised by the C14S as well, but even moreso by the TG panel performing better than the vented side panel. Thanks for taking the time to post it here in case I hadn't seen it. :)
 
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rfarmer

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Yes indeed! I saw that last night, and forgot to come here and mark this thread as solved. I was pretty surprised by the C14S as well, but even moreso by the TG panel performing better than the vented side panel. Thanks for taking the time to post it here in case I hadn't seen it. :)
The Ncase is a great case, but it can be challenging to get decent cooling. Fortunately there are many users out there that have tried so many different cooling solutions. With some time and effort it is possible to get decent cooling with this case.
 
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M1AF

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Jan 1, 2019
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Yes indeed! I saw that last night, and forgot to come here and mark this thread as solved. I was pretty surprised by the C14S as well, but even moreso by the TG panel performing better than the vented side panel. Thanks for taking the time to post it here in case I hadn't seen it. :)
I wish I could explain the TG panel results. It doesn't make any sense to me, but it is repeatable.
 
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McJ

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Feb 5, 2019
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If you think it's rather logical why blowing towards TG is more efficient than towards MB. If you blow towards MB and intake from back air will sort of pocketed to back corner and warm air will circulate back to cpu cooler from back intake flow. Memory and other parts will also affect how air flows towards MB. Air flow due case design is that way bad.

Now if you push towards TG it will push out warm air from MB and back corner and pull also cool air from top. Back intake will push air flow to front of case and same time airflow towards TG will spread along side panel and exhaust at the bottom will remove hot air better as there is some clearance to bottom at side panel but not so much at MB.

You can test airflow with smoke/incense especially with TG.

and for last evga aio seems to be clear winner against current air cooling... guess I will get that one and swap better fans to it.
 

Veryaton

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Ahh yes my main concern with the Dark Rock TF is just what you said... I have the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming motherboard, and it has some pretty hefty heat sinks on it that I'm sure would interfere. Maybe someone on these forums would be able to confirm since I imagine that's a very popular choice of motherboards for more recent builds.
Yes, Dark Rock TF IS NOT compatible with Asrock Z390 Phantom ITX-AC. Tested :mad:
 
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Brude27

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Yes, Dark Rock TF IS NOT compatible with Asrock Z390 Phantom ITX-AC. Tested :mad:
So I scoured the internet a bit more after starting this thread a few weeks ago, and I stumbled upon this setup:

http://vivithemage.com/2018/10/26/ncase-m1-v5-and-i9-9900k-work-great/

It looks like the DRTF can fit, but it’s super tight, and I’m not totally convinced it’s worth the hassle. The RAM situation in the link isn’t ideal, but he isn’t using low profile as he mentions. It looks like it would still interfere with my LPX, so I haven’t pulled the trigger on it yet.

I continue using my dual 120mm AIO setup, and it does alright. The H60 doesn’t cool as well as I’d like on the CPU, but my EVGA hybrid cooler is a beast! I like it’s performance so much that I’m only looking to replace the CPU’s AIO with an air cooler now, and keeping the GPU setup as is.

It’s looking like I’m going to have to go with the U9S, or if I’m feeling risky... going with the DRTF. I’m trying to find other alternatives, but they both are the front runners so far. I need to do more research on fitment of the Scythe Kabuto 3, as it could be another solid option, but I’m pretty sure it won’t fit with my radiator.

I’ll update if I go with the DRTF for any of those curious about how it performs/fits in the M1.
 
Last edited:

tinyitx

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If you consider an U9S, maybe you can consider the Thermalright Silver Arrow 130 too, which should beat an U9S easily.
SA13 should fit inside a M1 (but you should investigate further).