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Successor to the award-winning NH-C14, the NH-C14S is an elite class top-flow CPU cooler that is extremely efficient, highly compatible and remarkably adjustable. Thanks to its deeper fin stack and the renowned NF-A14 PWM fan, the single fan NH-C14S provides similar quiet cooling performance to its dual fan predecessor while being even more versatile: With the fan installed on top of the fins, the cooler is compatible with RAM modules of up to 70mm height. With the fan installed underneath the fins, the total height of the cooler is only 115mm, making it suitable for use in many HTPC cases. At the same time, the new offset layout allows it to clear the top PCIe slot on most µATX and ATX motherboards. Topped off with the trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s proven NT-H1 thermal compound and full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-C14S is a premium quality top-flow solution for the highest demands. 
Details
Based on the award-winning NH-C14

Based on the award-winning NH-C14

Having received more than 200 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware websites and magazines, the NH-C14 has become an established reference for 140mm top-flow coolers. With its deeper fin stack and more efficient NF-A14 PWM fan, the new S-version provides similar performance and further improved compatibility.
C-Type top-flow design

C-Type top-flow design

The c-type top-flow design of the NH-C14S not only allows for superb quiet cooling performance while maintaining a much lower profile than today's 140mm tower-style coolers but also ensures excellent airflow over RAM modules and near-socket motherboard components.
Low Profile Mode

Low Profile Mode

Run with the NF-A14 fan installed underneath the fin stack, the NH-C14S stands only 115mm tall, which is much lower than tower coolers with 140mm or 120mm fans and allows it to fit many desktop style or HTPC cases.
High Clearance Mode

High Clearance Mode

Run with the NF-A14 fan installed on top, the NH-C14S provides extended clearance underneath the fin stack. This way, it is fully compatible with chipset coolers and RAM modules with heat-spreaders of up to 70mm height.
Offset design for PCIe clearance

Offset design for PCIe clearance

Compared to the original NH-C14, the layout of the NH-C14S has been offset in two axis. Thanks to this measure, the heatsink will clear the top PCIe slot on most µATX and ATX motherboards when the bendings of the heatpipes face the PCIe slots or the I/O panel.*
NF-A14 140mm premium fan

NF-A14 140mm premium fan

Featuring sophisticated aerodynamic optimisations such as Flow Acceleration Channels, the NF-A14 is renowned to be among the best quiet 140mm fans on the market. Combined with the deeper fin stack of the NH-C14S, it allows the cooler to achieve similar performance levels as its dual fan predecessor despite only using a single NF-A14.
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-A14 premium fan supplied with the NH-C14S supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the motherboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 1500 to 1200rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation.
SecuFirm2™ mounting system

SecuFirm2™ mounting system

Noctua's SecuFirm2™ mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety and ease of use. Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156), LGA2011 (LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3), LGA2066 and AMD (AM3(+), AM2(+), FM1, FM2(+)), the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-C14S guarantees perfect contact pressure and maximum convenience on all current sockets.
Compatibility with past and future sockets

Compatibility with past and future sockets

Complying with the open SecuFirm™ standard, the NH-C14S can be made compatible with the older LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets using the optional NM-I3 mounting kit, which is provided by Noctua free of charge. If technically possible, Noctua will also provide upgrade kits for future sockets.
NT-H1 thermal compound

NT-H1 thermal compound

Having received more than 100 awards and recommendations from hardware journalists around the world, Noctua's NT-H1 is a proven professional grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease of use and outstanding reliability.
6-year manufacturer’s warranty

6-year manufacturer’s warranty

Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-A14 features an MTTF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-C14S package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
*Please refer to our motherboard compatibility list for detailed information.
NH-C14S
Cooler Specification
Intel LGA2066, LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required), AM4 with NM-AM4
Height (without fan)
115 mm
Width (without fan)
140 mm
Depth (without fan)
163 mm
Height (with fan)
115 / 142 mm
Width (with fan)
140 mm
Depth (with fan)
163 mm
Weight (without fan)
820 g
Weight (with fan/s)
1015 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP
see TDP guide
Fan compatibility
140x140x25mm (with square frame)
Scope of delivery
  • 1x NF-A14 PWM premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Fan clips for second fan
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Bearing
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1500 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
300 RPM
Max. Acoustical Noise
24,6 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
19,2 dB(A)
Input Power
1,56 W
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-C14S
NH-C14S
NH-C14S Videos
SecuFirm2™ AMD installation (NM-AMB1)
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA2011 installation
Video Reviews
The following video reviews have not been created by Noctua. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the videos lies entirely with the authors.
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31.07.2017 // PCMasters.de
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NH-C14S Review

Auch der NH-C14S kann sich trotz der hohen Messlatte behaupten und liefert ein passables Ergebnis ab. Bei 175 W Wärmeverlustleistung kommt dieser „Top-Flow“ Kühler auf 0,16 K/W und erreicht damit einen immer noch guten Wert. Die Geräuschkulisse ist dabei noch vertretbar, wenn auch der CPU-Kühler bei maximaler Rotordrehzahl deutlich hörbar ist. Wird nicht übertaktet oder eine CPU mit geringer WVL eingesetzt, sind auch problemlos Lüfter-Betriebsmodi möglich, in welchen der NH-C14S seine Arbeit nahezu geräuschlos verrichtet. Die Verarbeitung und der Lieferumfang sind wie man es von Noctua gewöhnt ist, sehr gut. In Anbetracht der aufgezählten Punkte ist der aktuelle Einzelhandelspreis von ca. 76 Euro (31.07.2017) sicher gerechtfertigt. Allerdings muss auch erwähnt werden, dass die Performance des Noctua NH-C14S gerne etwas üppiger hätte ausfallen können. Wir können diesen CPU-Kühler dennoch allen Interessenten empfehlen, die es auf einen „Top-Flow“ Kühler abgesehen haben.
Test verdict: "Wer einmal der österreichischen Premium-Marke verfallen ist, kommt nur schwer wieder von ihr los." (Tobias Mann, PCMasters.de)
02.07.2017 // Dragon Blogger
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NH-C14S Review

So as we can see, the Noctua NH-C14S does have a pretty good performance. At a room temperature of 28C, the I5 6600K reached a minimum average temperature of 30C while near 63C on load. I feel pretty relaxed when I say I’m good with those temperatures at the stock speed, but a little concerned with the overclocked temperature because my overclocked test is a bit overkill at 1.344 Vcore voltage. When it comes down to overclocked performance, we saw a good gain on the max temperature reaching 85C. Now compared to a liquid cooler, even if an AIO, but a 360mm AIO with 3x 120mm fans, the temperature seems justified considering it’s only air cooler and is only powered by 1/2 fan(s). We didn’t have an air CPU cooler to compare against the Noctua C14S, but even when compared to the 360mm AIO cooler, the comparison doesn’t seem unfair as the C14S is not lacking behind by a huge lead. As for the cooler itself, there’s not much difference between the performance of single and dual fan setup, so spending an extra $21.95 for another NF-A14 fan doesn’t seem like a good move for near 1-2 degree centigrade improvement. As for the build quality, I’m very happy with the quality of the product and the thermal and acoustic performance of the NH-C14S. The rubber padding on the fan helps out with the acoustic performance of the cooler as the fans are barely noticeable from 2-3 feets away, and in a concealed chassis, I’m sure you won’t even notice it spinning. As as far as clearance of PCIe and RAM slots are concerned, you’re good. You’ve got good enough space for the PCIe slot, but when it comes to the RAM clearance, if you have the fan installed in the middle of the cooler, the fan will make it a little difficult to install a medium-sized RAM. But if you’re using the cooler with the fan mounted on the top, then you’re good to even install RAMs with high-profile heatsinks.
Test verdict: "With the Noctua NH-C14S, you’re getting a C-Type CPU Cooler, which puts your fan on display in the system in a unique way, has great thermal performance, is very silent and is priced about right." (Ahmed Kazim Ahmed Kazim, Dragon Blogger)
16.06.2017 // TechUniverse.it
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NH-C14S Review

Esistono in commercio moltissimi dissipatori ad aria che fanno più o meno il loro dovere. Il Noctua NH-D15S però, è secondo me il miglior dissipatore ad aria per processori Intel e AMD che esistano sul mercato. Difficile trovare un dissipatore in commercio per appassionati o per utenti che vogliono il “Top” che riesca ad offrire qualità, prestazioni, silenziosità e facilità di montaggio. Tutte queste ottime caratteristiche e tutte le tecnologie utilizzate in un unico dissipatore, ne giustificano pienamente il prezzo. Questo dissipatore Noctua NH-D15S è abbastanza simile all’NH-D15, ma non è la stessa cosa. Ha una ventola in meno, è progettato meglio nel design per essere compatibile con tutti i moduli RAM ed è ancor più silenzioso.
Test verdict: "Se volete il “Top” dei dispositivi di raffreddamento ad aria, il Noctua NH-D15S è proprio il dissipatore che stavate cercando." (TechUniverse.it)
08.06.2017 // TechUniverse.it
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NH-C14S Review

In questa recensione sull’ottimo dissipatore Noctua NH-C14S abbiamo potuto vedere come sia estremamente silenzioso nel suo funzionamento e le sue incredibili prestazioni di raffreddamento. Noctua mi ha ancora una volta sbalordito con un altro prodotto di altissima qualità. Questa casa produttrice è ormai da anni un sinonimo di qualità e di prodotti ad altissime prestazioni. L’estetica e il design di questo dissipatore sono davvero particolari: La Noctua non ha mancato di curare tutti i particolari di questo dissipatore offrendo un prodotto praticamente perfetto. Del resto, come si sa, la Noctua è solita progettare i suoi dissipatori e le sue ventole accuratamente proponendole in commercio solo quando questi prodotti non saranno più che perfetti e non soddisferanno tutti i requisiti richiesti. Con il dissipatore NH-C14S, la Noctua offre un prodotto davvero eccezionale. Un dispositivo di raffreddamento che non ha davvero nulla da invidiare ad altri sistemi di raffreddamento per processori concorrenti. Non ha nulla da inviadiare nemmemo ai sistemi AIO di raffreddamento a liquido di altre case produttrici ben più costosi.
Test verdict: "Un dissipatore per processori Intel e AMD praticamente perfetto in tutti i suoi aspetti; nell’installazione semplice, nei livelli di rumorosità estrememente bassi, nelle prestazioni di raffreddamento eccezionali, e, sopratutto, nell’ottimo rapporto tra qualità e prezzo in cui viene offerto in vendita. Che altro dire? Un prodotto eccezionale davvero molto consigliato." (TechUniverse.it)
17.05.2017 // BUG 06/2017
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NH-C14S Review

Solidne performanse, dobro dokumentirana instalacija, kvaliteta izrade, PWM ventilator, dobra dodatna oprema, vrlo tihi rad, visoka razina kompatibilnosti s matičnim pločama i memorijom, 6-godišnje jamstvo, podržani svi moderni utori za procesore, dobra kompatibilnost s manjim kućištima
Test verdict: "NH-C14S zanimljivo je rješenje za računala manjih gabarita, gdje se i dalje traže dobre rashladne performanse i tihi rad" (Denis Arunović, BUG 06/2017)
08.04.2017 // TweakPC.de Forum
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NH-C14S Review

Mit einem Preis von knappen 70 Euro gehört der NH-C14S zu den teureren Kühlern. Aber Noctua präsentiert hier mal wieder einen hervorragenden Luftkühler. Hervorragende Verarbeitung bei Kühler und Zubehör, eine tolle Kühlleistung sowie eine mehr als angemessen Lautstärke. Daneben weiß der NH- C14S mit einer einfachen Montage sowie hoher RAM-Kompatibilität zu gefallen. Ein Rundumgelungener Kühler.
Test verdict: "Wer einen TopFlow-Kühler sucht, sollte unbedingt einen Blick auf den Noctua NH-C14S werfen." (Jan Ramon Fischer, TweakPC.de Forum)
30.03.2017 // DigitalPortal.sk
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NH-C14S Review

Chladiče rakúskeho výrobcu Noctua patria rozhodne medzi tie najlepšie. Otestovali sme modely NH-U12S a NH-C14S, ktoré sú vhodné najmä pre menšie zostavy, ktoré obsahujú výkonné procesory a vyžadujú kvalitné chladenie.
Test verdict: "Obaja ventilátory vo svojich kategóriách podávajú veľmi dobré výsledky. Vďaka použitým chladičom bola predovšetkým hlučnosť na veľmi dobrej úrovni, ktorú možno viac zlepšiť použitím stišovacieho člena." (Martin Tuček, DigitalPortal.sk)
06.03.2017 // Pokde.net
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NH-C14S Review

While the performance of Noctua NH-C14S is not that impressive when compared to the NH-D15, let us remind you that the NH-C14S is a low-profile cooler made for HTPC or SFF PC builds. While it struggles to tame the Intel Core i7 5820K on LinX, actually the Noctua NH-C14S is still one of the best in its class. If you are in search of a good CPU cooler for your Intel LGA 115X or AMD AM4-based ITX or mATX rig, the Noctua NH-C14S offers great cooling in compact dimensions.
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-C14S caters to enthusiasts with space constraints yet desire the best air cooling they can get in their small rigs with its good performance and silent operation." (Muhammad Firdaus, Pokde.net)
18.01.2017 // Anandtech.com
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NH-C14S Review

The third cooler of our review, the Noctua NH-C14S, is virtually incomparable with the previous two coolers. It has over twice the mass of the other coolers and requires a much greater vertical clearance - at least 115 mm depending on configuration - instantly ruling it out as an option for the vast majority of HTPC cases and other narrow designs. If the fan were to be placed at the top of the cooler in order to increase the clearance of the RAM modules, it is unlikely that the NH-C14S will be compatible with any desktop or HTPC case, as it would not even fit inside designs that are meant for top-tier HTPCs. It is apparent that Noctua has designed the NH-C14S solely for users that are planning to build very high performance HTPC system with sizable cases and want a product that can compare to high performance tower coolers. Naturally, it cannot reach the performance of coolers such as the NH-D15 or the Cryorig R1 Ultimate, but it does get close enough to warrant excellent performance on any CPU currently available, overclocked or not.
Test verdict: "It is an expensive cooler but the quality and performance are well worth the money." (E. Fylladitakis, Anandtech.com)
30.12.2016 // ZeDen.net
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NH-C14S Review

Indubitablement les performances sont là, et le silence admirable, une réussite pour Noctua
Test verdict: "On a une débauche de luxe avec ce ventirad, de l'emballage à la finition du radiateur et du ventilateur." (Johann Voltzenlogel, ZeDen.net)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

In which orientation should top-flow coolers (NH-C series, NH-L12) be installed?

How big is the NH-C14S and how much clearance does it provide for RAM and mainboard heatsinks?

Why doesn't the supplied backplate fit my LGA2011 motherboard?

How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

I can't open the socket due to the mounting bars!

Can the cooler be installed turned by 90° on AMD sockets?

Does the package include a backplate for AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2(+)?

How to remove the base protection cover?

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

I’ve used all the NT-H1 thermal compound that came with the cooler, can you send me more?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

How can I check whether my AMD mainboard has a standard AMD backplate that’s compatible with the SecuFirm2™ mounting system and how should I proceed with the installation?

Is it a problem that the CPU heatspreader is not covered completely by the heatsinkbase on LGA2011-3?

Why doesn't the base of Noctua coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?

Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?

My unlocked Intel CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem?

Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one?

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with AMD AM4 (Ryzen)?

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

What Thermal Design Power (TDP) is this cooler recommended for and how much Watt (W) of heat can it dissipate?

My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose?

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

How much torque should be applied when tightening the screws of a Noctua CPU cooler?

How can I determine if the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS is overclocking my processor by default and deactivate this automatic overclocking?

Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo?

Can I upgrade my existing Noctua cooler to socket TR4 or SP3?

I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model?

In which orientation should top-flow coolers (NH-C series, NH-L12) be installed?

When using top-flow coolers in a tower-style case, we strongly recommend installing the cooler with the heatpipes in horizontal position or with the bends of the heatpipes pointing downwards. Please avoid installing the cooler with the bends pointing upwards as this may result in reduced cooling performance. In desktop cases, the cooler can be used in any orientation.

Orientation

How big is the NH-C14S and how much clearance does it provide for RAM and mainboard heatsinks?

Please refer to the following drawing for the exact measurements and clearance for RAM and motherboard heatsinks:

C14S

Why doesn't the supplied backplate fit my LGA2011 motherboard?

The supplied backplate is for LGA115x only and there is no backplate required for installation on LGA2011. Please refer to the installation manual for how to install the heatsink on LGA2011.

How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

Most case manufacturers provide specifications for maximum CPU cooler height/clearance. Please refer to these specifications in order to verify that the cooler will fit the case. If no specifications are available, please contact the case manufactuer or measure the distance from the motherboard tray to the side panel (tower cases) or top panel (desktop cases). If this distance is bigger than the height of the cooler + 15mm (mainboard spacers + mainboard + CPU), the height/width of your case should be sufficient.

I can't open the socket due to the mounting bars!

Please first loosen one of the two thumbscrews that hold the mounting bars in place. Then untighten the second screw so that you can swivel the mounting bar and open the socket. Depending on the position of the mounting bars, you may need to swivel both.

Open Socket

Open Socket

Can the cooler be installed turned by 90° on AMD sockets?

No. The new SecuFirm2™ mounting system for AM2, AM2+ and AM3 uses the same standardised hole spacing as the Intel system and thus allows for a much easier installation, but the cooler cannot be installed turned by 90°.

Does the package include a backplate for AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2(+)?

No. As most AMD mainboards come with a stock backplate preinstalled, the cooler doesn’t include an AMD backplate. If your mainboard doesn’t have a backplate, please contact our support team at support@noctua.at.

amd backplate

How to remove the base protection cover?

Noctua CPU coolers are shipped with a plastic protection cover at the bottom side of the cooler, which protects the contact surface against scratches and other damage.

The base of Noctua CPU coolers is made from hard-wearing nickel plated copper, so there's nothing to worry about if you buy a Noctua cooler from second hand or if your cooler didn't come with a protection cover. Please proceed with the installation as explained in the manual.

You can simply remove the cover as shown below:

Base Protection Cover

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

There are two different types of ILM (Independent Loading Mechanism) for Intel’s LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs: Square ILM with 80x80mm hole spacing and Narrow ILM with 56x94mm hole spacing. The Square ILM socket is mechanically identical to the LGA2011 socket for Core i7, so the mounting-system is fully compatible, but it is not compatible with Xeon mainboards that use the Narrow ILM:

Xeon Compatibility

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

As the Integrated Heat Spreaders (IHS) of today’s CPUs are slightly concave, the cooler’s contact surface has been deliberately designed to be slightly convex in order to ensure optimal contact. This way, more contact pressure will be applied at the centre of the IHS directly above the DIE, which results in better heat transfer and improved overall performance.

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

The cooler does not support LGA775 and LGA1366 out of the box, but can be made compatible using the NM-I3 mounting kit. Noctua provides the NM-I3 kit free of charge if a proof of purchase (scan, photo or electronic copy of the invoice) of the cooler and an LGA775 or LGA1366 motherboard or CPU are presented. In order to install the cooler using the NM-I3 kit, please first unscrew the center screw of the original one-piece fastening bracket (you can reach through the fin stack using the long screw driver supplied with the cooler) and remove it. Then install the two fastening brackets of the NM-I3 kit as described in the NM-I3 installation manual.

I’ve used all the NT-H1 thermal compound that came with the cooler, can you send me more?

Please kindly note that the NT-H1 thermal compound supplied with our coolers is a consumable item so our manufacturer’s warranty does not include providing additional thermal compound. You can purchase NT-H1 from our resellers.

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

Yes. Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA2011-0 and 2011-3, the cooler supports both types of LGA2011-3.

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

Yes. Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155 and LGA1156, the cooler also supports LGA1151.

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

As it is not possible to reliably calculate or control the forces that act upon a system during transport (e.g. in shipping), we generally recommend, for safety reasons, taking the cooler off. Noctua cannot be held responsible for any damage that may arise due to excessive stress during transport if you keep the heatsink installed.

How can I check whether my AMD mainboard has a standard AMD backplate that’s compatible with the SecuFirm2™ mounting system and how should I proceed with the installation?

The SecuFirm2™ mounting system requires a standard AMD backplate (either plastic or metal) with screw threads as shown on the pictures below. These backplates are pre-installed on the rear side of most AMD mainboards (see first picture below) and fixed to the retention module with four screws (see second picture below). If your retention module is fixed with plastic bolts instead of metal screws, please contact support@noctua.at in order to obtain an appropriate backplate.

In order to proceed with the installation of your Noctua cooler, please remove the four screws and the retention module but keep the backplate in place so that you can see the screw threads from the top side of the motherboard (see third picture below). You can then proceed with the installation of the SecuFirm2™ mounting kit as described in the manual (see fourth picture below).

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate



Is it a problem that the CPU heatspreader is not covered completely by the heatsinkbase on LGA2011-3?

No. Depending on the orientation of the cooler, 1-2mm at the outer edge of the heatspreader may not be covered by the heatsink base. As the heat is concentrated at the center of the CPU and the outermost parts are irrelevant for heat-transfer, this is no problem at all.

Why doesn't the base of Noctua coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?

As most of today's PC enthusiasts use high-viscosity thermal compounds, the contact surface of Noctua coolers is optimised for use with this type of pastes. The micro-grooves at the contact surface ensure that high-viscosity thermal compounds are dispersed to a uniform thin layer across the whole contact area and that no air pockets remain between the cooler and the CPU. With a polished, mirror like surface, the risk of uneven dispersion is much higher. As too thick layers of thermal paste and air pockets drastically deteriorate heat transmission, the micro-grooves are is of vital importance to the overall cooling performance of Noctua coolers when used with today's high-viscosity thermal pastes.

Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

My unlocked Intel CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem?

Intel's unlocked CPUs (K, X and C suffix) can dissipate more heat than indicated by the TDP specification if
  1. the TDP limits are extended or disabled in the motherboards' BIOS.
  2. the motherboard applies automatic overclocking by default, e.g. by raising the supply voltage of the CPU and using higher Turbo-Mode multipliers.
  3. some software creates untypical loads, e.g. Prime95 with AVX2 support and a) and/or b) apply.

This can lead to temperature issues, especially when using smaller coolers or compact cases.

The actual power draw of the processor can be monitored with software provided by the motherboard vendor or with 3rd party tools like HWInfo or HWMonitor.

If you encounter temperature issues (>90°C) and notice a higher than specified power draw, please ensure that no automatic overclocking is applied and limit the TDP to the specified value by choosing appropriate BIOS settings.

For Kaby Lake CPUs, it may also help to lower the CPU clock speed for applications that heavily use the AVX instruction set, which can lead to higher loads and power draw. This option is usually referred to as “AVX offset” and makes it possible to lower the multiplier specifically for AVX based applications without reducing performance when using other instruction sets. Depending on the quality of the CPU and the programs being used, a reduction of 2-3 steps usually gives very good results.

Please contact your motherboard vendor for details if you have trouble finding the appropriate settings in the BIOS.

All our TDP recommendations are based on thorough testing with the default values specified by Intel using popular applications such as Asus Realbench and prime95. Please note, however, that prime95 creates a particularly high load that goes beyond typical application scenarios and this leads to elevated temperatures. We thus recommend using other programs such as Realbench for checking the stability and temperatures of the CPU in realistic scenarios.

Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one?

Most Noctua SecuFirm™ mounting parts are cross-compatible, so if you’re replacing one Noctua cooler with another, it is usually possible to keep the original backplate and/or mounting system in place in order to re-use it for the new cooler. If you had your previous Noctua cooler installed on an Intel LGA115x (LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150), LGA2011 (LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3) or LGA1366 system and replace it with an NH-U14S, NH-U12S or NH-U9S, you only need to replace the original mounting bars with the NM-IMB3 ones supplied with the new cooler. For all other models, you can keep the entire mounting system in place on the aforementioned Intel sockets. On AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+, you only need to replace the original mounting bars with the ones supplied with the new cooler.

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA2011 and LGA2066, Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ mounting systems for LGA2011 also support Intel’s upcoming ‘Basin Falls’ X299 HEDT (High End Desktop) platform for ‘Skylake-X’ and ‘Kaby Lake-X’ processors. Most current Noctua coolers already include SecuFirm2™ mounting systems for LGA2011 and can thus be used on LGA2066 motherboards without any upgrades or modifications.

The following models include a mounting-kit for socket LGA2011/2066 and are thus compatible out of the box:

NH-C14S
NH-D14 SE2011
NH-D15
NH-D15S
NH-D9L
NH-L12
NH-L9x65
NH-U12S
NH-U12DX i4
NH-U14S
NH-U9DX i4
NH-U9S

The following models can be made compatible with the LGA2011/LGA2066 sockets free of charge using the NM-I2011 upgrade-kit:

NH-C12P
NH-C12P SE14
NH-C14
NH-D14
NH-D15 SE-AM4
NH-U12S SE-AM4
NH-L9x65 SE-AM4
NH-U12
NH-U12F
NH-U12P
NH-U12P SE1366
NH-U12P SE2
NH-U9
NH-U9B
NH-U9B SE2
NH-U9F

The following models can be made compatible with the LGA2011/LGA2066 sockets using the NM-I2011 upgrade-kit but are not eligible for Noctua‘s free mounting offer, so users have to purchase the kit at local resellers:

NH-U12DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)
NH-U12DX
NH-U12DX 1366
NH-U9DX 1366
NH-U9DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)

The following models are not compatible with the LGA2011/LGA2066 sockets and can not be upgraded:

NH-L9a
NH-L9i
NH-U12DO A3
NH-U9DO A3

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with AMD AM4 (Ryzen)?

The following models include a mounting-kit for socket AM4 and are thus compatible out of the box:

NH-D15 SE-AM4
NH-U12S SE-AM4
NH-L12S
NH-L9x65 SE-AM4
NH-L9a-AM4

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket free of charge using the NM-AM4 upgrade-kit:

NH-C12P
NH-C12P SE14
NH-C14
NH-C14S
NH-D14
NH-D14 SE2011
NH-D15
NH-D15S
NH-D9L
NH-L12
NH-L9x65
NH-U12
NH-U12F
NH-U12P
NH-U12P SE1366
NH-U12P SE2
NH-U9
NH-U9B
NH-U9B SE2
NH-U9F

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket free of charge using the NM-AM4-UxS upgrade-kit:

NH-U14S
NH-U12S
NH-U9S

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket free of charge using the NM-AM4-L9aL9i upgrade-kit:

NH-L9a
NH-L9i

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket using the NM-AM4 upgrade-kit but are not eligible for Noctua‘s free mounting offer, so users have to purchase the kit at local resellers:

NH-U12DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)
NH-U12DX
NH-U12DX 1366
NH-U12DX i4
NH-U9DX i4
NH-U9DX 1366
NH-U9DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)

The following models are not compatible with the AM4 socket and can not be upgraded:

NH-U12DO A3
NH-U9 DO A3

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

Dust: Fans and heatsinks inside computer cases tend to accumulate dust over longer periods of usage. In order to maintain maximum performance, please clean your fan and heatsink regularly. For cleaning, please first remove the fan from the heatsink and clean it using a duster, slightly moist tissue or canned air. Please be careful not to use too much force in order to prevent any damage to the fan. Please do not use a vacuum cleaner as this may apply excessive force to the fan and do not put the fan under running water as water residues inside the motor may lead to short circuits. Please also note that the fan is not designed to be taken apart by the user. Removing the impeller from the frame will break the sealing of the bearing and results in a loss of warranty. Before reinstalling the fan, clean the heatsink itself with a duster or vacuum cleaner. Do not use water to clean the cooler. Finally put the fan back on and connect it to your motherboard fan header or fan controller.
Thermal paste residues: Whenever you take off the heatsink from the CPU, we recommend to clean the CPU as well as the base of the cooler before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler. You can either just wipe the base and the CPU clean with a dry, lint-free tissue or, for more thorough cleaning, use a lint-free tissue moistened with either a mild solution of washing-up liquid or isopropyl alcohol. Do not put the cooler or CPU under running water. Note that both the base of the heatsink and the CPU should be dry, free from residues of thermal compound and free from grease before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler.

What Thermal Design Power (TDP) is this cooler recommended for and how much Watt (W) of heat can it dissipate?

Please refer to our TDP guide for information on maximum recommended TDP and heat dissipation.

My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose?

Please refer to our TDP guide in order to select the cooler that offers the best cooling performance at a given height.

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Please refer to the installation manual and our video installation guides for detailed instructions on how to install the cooler.

How much torque should be applied when tightening the screws of a Noctua CPU cooler?

All screws should be tightened gently until they stop without using excessive force. Please do not exceed the following values for maximum tightening torque:
Screw typeMax. torque
NM-SSC1 screws for fixing the fastening brackets to the base of the heatsink0.5 Nm
NM-ITS1 thumb screws for fixing Intel mounting bars0.5 Nm
NM-ALS1 screws for fixing AMD mounting bars0.6 Nm
Spring-loaded screws for fixing the heatsink to the mounting bars0.6 Nm

How can I determine if the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS is overclocking my processor by default and deactivate this automatic overclocking?

Most motherboard vendors allow their overclocking-enabled products (e.g. those with Intels X- or Z-series chipsets) to run the processor at increased clock speeds by default, without requiring any user action at all. Since TDP (Thermal Design Power) limits are usually also disabled by default, this leads to the CPU exceeding the rated TDP to a varying degree, depending on the used applications and their workloads. Due to the increased heat output of the CPU, you may see higher CPU temperatures than expected.

In order to find out if your motherboard is overclocking your processor by default, please enter the UEFI BIOS and select the “advanced” or “overclocking” menu. There you should be able to find options such as “MultiCore Enhancement” (options: enabled/disabled), “CPU Ratio Apply Mode” (options: all/per core) or similar. To disable the automatic overclocking, adjust the settings either to “disabled” or “per core” and make sure that the individual multipliers match the original specifications.

In doubt, please contact your motherboard vendor for detailed instructions on how to disable this feature.

Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo?

Systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands often use motherboards which differ slightly from the specifications issued by Intel and AMD. While those changes are usually subtle, they can lead to compatibility issues with coolers that were built to comply with these specifications.

Even in case the cooler is mechanically compatible and can be installed, other issues can occur, e.g. proprietary fan connectors, BIOS errors due to a low fan speed, shutdowns, etc. Some of these problems can be avoided with some technical knowledge, but especially BIOS related issues can often not be resolved.

Due to the large number of possible issues that cannot be resolved with different mounting parts alone, Noctua does not officially support systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands.

Can I upgrade my existing Noctua cooler to socket TR4 or SP3?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to upgrade existing Noctua heatsinks to support the AMD TR4 and SP3 sockets for Ryzen Threadripper (X399) and Epyc CPUs. TR4/SP3 CPUs have much bigger heatspreaders (as compared to e.g. LGA2066 or AM4 processors) and the contact surfaces of standard Noctua heatsinks would cover only about half of these heatspreaders, which would result in insufficient cooling performance. On top of that, the heatpipes of bigger cooler models like the NH-D15 or NH-D15S would completely block the RAM slots on many TR4/SP3 motherboards. For this reason, Noctua has introduced the new NH-U14S TR4-SP3, NH-U12S TR4-SP3 and NH-U9 TR4-SP3 cooler models that feature bigger contact surfaces and have been tailored to fit TR4 and SP3 systems. Please choose these models for AMD Ryzen Threadripper and Epyc systems.

I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

Noctua PWM fans feature a minimum speed of 300rpm to allow for ultra quiet operation when your CPU is at idle state and doesn’t require higher cooling performance. Some mainboards display error messages such as “CPU fan error” during the booting process when the fan speed is below a certain level. If you get such error messages using your Noctua PWM fan and if such options are available in your BIOS, please either adjust the minimum fan speed monitoring limit to 200rpm or increase the minimum PWM duty cycle. If your BIOS doesn’t offer these options, please disable CPU fan errors. For detailed information on BIOS fan settings, please consult your mainoard’s manual or contact your mainboard manufacturer.

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). In this case, it may occur that the mainboard reduces the voltage so much that the fan stops. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.



To resolve the issue, you can:

  1. Choose a higher fan speed profile in the BIOS (e.g. „normal“ instead of „silent“, etc.) or deactivate automatic fan speed control and use a Low-Noise Adaptor instead.

  2. Use the mainboard‘s fan speed control software or 3rd party tools like Speedfan to regulate the fan speed. Unlike BIOS based fan speed control, the supplied software usually checks whether the fan has stopped and increases voltage accordingly or at least offer more options to set up the fan properly.

  3. If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

The specified minimum speed refers to the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle. There can be several reasons why the fan doesn‘t go as low as indicated:

  1. Many mainboards do not go below 40%, 50% or even 60% PWM duty cycle on case fan headers. Please refer to your mainboard manual to verify whether the fan header actually goes down to 20% duty cycle. If that's not the case, in some cases you can use the fan speed control software supplied with your mainboard to overcome these limitations and reduce the fan speed even further. However, 3rd party tools like SpeedFan offer greater flexibility and better options to work around the limitations imposed by the mainboard vendors.

  2. Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

    4 pin fan header types

    Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

    Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

    Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


    If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

The BIOS of many motherboard models from Supermicro expects a certain minimum fan speed (usually 700rpm), which is higher than the minimum fan speed that can be achieved with Noctua's PWM fan models. The BIOS may interpret the low minimum RPM of Noctua fans as a fan error and thus try to run the fan at 100% for a short period before going back to automatic control.. This can result in oscillating fan speeds and fan speed warnings in the BIOS or the fan management console.

Unfortunately there is usually no option to set a lower minimum value that would suit the low minimum speed of Noctua PWM fans.The issue can thus only be resolved by either disabling automatic fan speed control in BIOS, which will cause the fans to run at a constant speed, or by requesting a modified BIOS file from Supermicro, which takes the minimum fan speed of Noctua fans into account (charges might apply).

Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model?

Not sure which Noctua product to buy? Our detailed buying guides for fans and CPU coolers help you to choose the model that works best for you.

Do you have a question concerning one of our products? Please use this form to pose a question!