CoolingReviews

Thermal Paste – A Roundup, Updated

Physics is a fair but harsh mistress. For while the heatspreader on your CPU – and the base of your CPU cooler – may look smooth, flat and able to make perfect contact, this is far from the case. Microscopic surface imperfections present on all metallic surfaces work against the movement of energy, by preventing proper contact and thus reducing the efficiency of heat transfer. And while this can be improved with better machining (and in extreme cases, careful lapping of the surfaces), us mere mortals must suffice with the use of thermal paste to bond surfaces together. Especially when one considers common convex …
Guides

Convert Your NH-U12S or NH-U14S to Rotate 90 Degrees

In my review of the NH-U12S, I made mention of the weirdness surround Noctua’s decision to change the mounting system on the U12S and U14S coolers. It seemed odd to me to design an entirely new mounting system to rotate the cooler 90 degrees, but not make it compatible with other products  in Noctua’s lineup. So, in the interests of finding something out, I took a screw driver to two coolers, namely the NH-D9L and NH-U12S. Before I go any further, any actions you take because of this guide are at your own risk, and SmallFormFactor.net and Minutiae LLC are …
Cooling

Noctua’s NH-U14S – Not As Large as the NH-D15

While we are a community formed around the idea of small, space-efficient designs, once again, a bigger cooler may be the best option for your build, be it for performance or to ensure low noise levels. While the NH-U14S is smaller than the recently reviewed NH-D15S, it should still offer great performance, enabling satisfaction of the above requirements. The Noctua NH-U14S can be used in single fan and, with the addition of a separately purchased NF-A15 fan, dual fan modes. To see how the cooler performs, continue reading. [mks_separator style=”blank” height=”2″] The Noctua NH-U14S HEATSINK SPECIFICATION Dimension (with fan) L52 …
Cooling

Noctua NH-U12S, Mid Range Masterpiece

So, after looking at one of Noctua’s largest coolers, it was time to look at something (slightly) smaller from their product range.. [mks_separator style=”blank” height=”2″] The Noctua NH-U12S HEATSINK SPECIFICATION Dimension (with fan) L45 mm x W125 mm x H158 mm Weight (with fan) 755 g Weight (without fan) 580 g Heat pipes Copper heat pipe (x5) Fin Material Aluminium x 50 fins Mounting plate Copper nickel plated RAM Height Limit 65mm TDP 100-140W AMD, varies with Intel. More information here.  Replaceable Fan Yes FAN SPECIFICATION Dimension L120 mm x W120 mm x H25 mm Connector 4 Pin PWM Rated Speed …
CoolingReviews

Is Bigger Better? Looking at the Noctua NH-C14S

Recently, we looked at Noctua’s NH-L12, one of the more premium downdraft style CPU coolers. The NH-L12 does have a larger cousin though – the NH-C14S, a behemoth downdraft cooler designed for high wattage or quiet systems. Featuring support for 140mm fans, this cooler should offer substantial cooling performance, albeit with a significant size increase. Of course, sometimes sacrifices must be made, and in this review, we will see if it is really worth it to go bigger. Downdraft cooling is my personal preference over tower coolers, due to the simple side benefit of active board cooling. Even with modern technology, …
CoolingReviews

Noctua NH-D15S, A Bit Sideways

Sometimes, you just need to go big or go home. Maybe you like to overclock or you’re like me and run a high wattage AMD FX chip. For these scenarios, large air coolers or water cooling kits are the only effective options. For those interested in air cooling, Noctua has multiple large coolers for just this use case. Today we’re featuring the NH-D15S. This twin tower heatsink is rated by the manufacturer as being able to cope with a 220-watt TDP which is enough to handle the “just plain crazy” AMD FX-9590. I mentioned performance as a prime driver for serious cooling, …
Editorial

SFF Network’s EXTREME (!!1!!!one) Thermal Testing System

Note, this is just a quick article so that we can link back to it in the future when testing those more extreme CPU coolers! Recently, a couple of manufacturers have been so kind as to supply us with some large CPU coolers to review. But this has left the team with a bit of a conundrum: do we test these coolers on our usual thermal test system, keeping the units nowhere near their true cooling capacity, or use a secondary test system meant to push temperatures upward and really see how they perform? Somewhat ironically, during the discussions around this with …
News

Noctua at Computex 2016

Noctua did not have a booth at CES earlier this year so the last time we had an update on what they’ve been working on was a year ago at the previous Computex. This year they have several products in the works that are relevant to our interests. First up is an update on the slim 120mm fan they’ve been working on for some time and I have been eagerly anticipating. They originally showed it off at the 2014 Computex and back then it was scheduled to release in the second half of the following year (which obviously didn’t happen). Here’s …