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Product discontinued. Successor model: NH-D15

Having received more than 250 awards and recommendations from the international press, Noctua's NH-D14 has become a benchmark in premium quality quiet cooling. The SE2011 version is a special edition for Intel's Core i7-39xx/38xx (Sandy Bridge-E) high-end platform and comes equipped with the new SecuFirm2™ mounting system for LGA2011. Combined with the exquisite NF-P12/NF-P14 dual PWM fan configuration and topped off with Noctua's renowned NT-H1 thermal compound, the NH-D14 SE2011 is an elite choice for an elite platform.
Details
Award-winning NH-D14 cooler

Award-winning NH-D14 cooler

Tens of thousands of enthusiast users all over the world swear by the NH-D14's quality and performance. Recommended by more than 250 international hardware websites and magazines, it is renowned to be one of the best high end coolers on the market.
6 heatpipe dual radiator design

6 heatpipe dual radiator design

Providing more surface area, better heat-distribution and superior airflow efficiency than conventional tower style heatsinks, the NH-D14's six heatpipe dual radiator design was developed to provide ultimate quiet cooling performance in dual fan mode.
Dual NF-P14/NF-P12 PWM fan setup

Dual NF-P14/NF-P12 PWM fan setup

The NH-D14 sports a premium quality dual PWM fan setup consisting of Noctua's award-winning NF-P12 (120mm) and NF-P14 (140mm) fans, both of which feature Vortex-Control Notches, SCD technology and SSO-Bearings in order to achieve a perfect balance of performance and quietness.
Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD

Supporting fully automatic PWM speed control, the NH-D14 SE2011's NF-P12 and NF-P14 fans use Noctua's novel, custom-designed NE-FD1 PWM IC that integrates Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology. By providing smoother torque impulses, SCD suppresses PWM switching noises and thus make the fans quieter at lower speeds.
Excellent component cooling

Excellent component cooling

Hanging out at the bottom of the fin-stacks, the NF-P14 fan doesn't only contribute to the NH-D14's superb CPU cooling capabilities but also provides massive airflow over surrounding motherboard components and heatsinks, thus ensuring excellent component cooling performance.
SecuFirm2™ mounting system for LGA2011

SecuFirm2™ mounting system for LGA2011

Noctua's enthusiast grade SecuFirm2™ systems meet the highest demands in safety, contact pressure and ease-of-use. Tailor-made for LGA2011, the new NM-I2011 mounting brings the trusted SecuFirm2™ quality to Intel's new Core i7-39xx/38xx platform.
NT-H1 thermal compound

NT-H1 thermal compound

Noctua's much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding reliability.
NH-D14 SE2011
Cooler Specification
Intel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM)
Height (without fan)
160 mm
Width (without fan)
140 mm
Depth (without fan)
130 mm
Height (with fan)
160 mm
Width (with fan)
140 mm
Depth (with fan)
158 mm
Weight (without fan)
900 g
Weight (with fan/s)
1070/1240* g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP
see TDP guide
Fan compatibility
150x140x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 140x140x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 120x120x25
Scope of Delivery
  • 1x NF-P14 PWM premium fan
  • 1x NF-P12 PWM premium fan
  • 2x Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Y-Split Cable
  • 4x Vibration-Compensators (for using NF-P12 as case fan)
  • 4x Fan screws (for using NF-P12 as case fan)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit for LGA2011
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Model
Noctua NF-P14 PWM & Noctua NF-P12 PWM
Bearing
%s
1200 / 1300 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
900 / 900 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
300 / 300 RPM
Max. Acoustical Noise
19,6 / 19,8 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
13,2 / 12,6 dB(A)
Input Power
0,96 / 0,6 W
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-D14 SE2011
11.11.2014 // Hardaily.com
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

Lo que más destaca de ambos modelos es su excelente relación entre el rendimiento, la sonoridad y el bajo consumo (elevada eficiencia energética, algo que carecía el veterano modelo NH-D14, por no incluir la tecnología PWM).
Test verdict: "Los disipadores Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 (más el kit de montaje Noctua NM-i115x) y Noctua NH-D15 están altamente recomendados por Hardaily para procesadores de alto rendimiento de Intel, preferentemente para torres grandes o semitorres anchas." (Raul Planelles, Hardaily.com)
29.11.2013 // Hardwaremax.net
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

Mit der überarbeiteten Special Edition für den Sockel 2011 des NH-D14 zeigt Noctua wiedermal ein sehr gutes Produkt mit rundem Paket. Neben der erstklassigen Verarbeitungsqualität und Materialgüte, lassen die im Lieferumfang enthaltenen High-Quality Lüfter den derzeitigen Anschaffungspreis von ca. 69,-€ attraktiv wirken. Trotz seines voluminösen Erscheinungsbildes verfügt der Kühler über eine vorbildlich einfache Montage und zeigt sich im Gesamtpaket als Referenz. Darüber hinaus bietet Noctua wie gewohnt einen 6 Jahre langen Garantiezeitraum in dem Ersatzteile binnen kürzester Zeit geliefert werden.
Test verdict: "Wie zu erwarten stellt sich der NH-D14 SE2011 als Referenz auf." (Torsten Hasch, Hardwaremax.net)
15.08.2013 // eTeknix.com
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

As I always say with Noctua products you are paying a premium price but you get a premium product in return and the Noctua NH-D14 (SE2011) is certainly no exception to this rule. I never really like to critcise products and Noctua always make my job a lot easier by offering very little to criticise. As far as the NH-D14 (SE2011) goes there is very little to criticise. Sure its big and bulky and blocks loads of RAM slots as a result. However, that’s pretty obvious and any other dual tower heatsink would do the same. My only other critcisms come from an aesthetic point of view. I’d of liked to see the central fan as a matching 120mm fan to the side fan and I’d also of liked to see the fans sleeved with black cables all the way to the motor but this is something I’ve always said about Noctua products so I am sure there is some logistical reason as to why they don’t do it. It’s also worth noting you can’t really see the multi-coloured sleeved cables when the unit is installed and the only cables you can see are fully sleeved to a high quality. This is actually a somewhat emotional review for me as after a year as the eTeknix cooling reviewer I am now moving on to different things, namely reviewing others things. As a result this is my last CPU cooler review for now, maybe for ever or maybe not – who knows, and what better way to end than with perhaps the best air CPU cooler money can buy. The Noctua NH-D14 (SE2011) is certainly well respected and has almost legendary status and after testing it, it is easy to see why. So I go out with a bang and as a very “happy bunny” after seeing the best Noctua have to offer. The Noctua NH-D14 (SE2011) may have been out for a long time but our review has never been more relevant and timely because the NH-D14 (SE2011) is still a class leader and will be until Noctua replace it for something better.
Test verdict: "The NH-D14 is a name that’s synonymous with quality, performance and silence. After testing Noctua’s flagship nearly four year’s after its release we can confidently say the NH-D14 is still one of the best air coolers that money can buy. If you don’t mind sacrificing your high profile RAM then there is probably no better option than Noctua’s NH-D14. It pushes air cooling to its limits and does it will all the traditional hallmarks of the Noctua brand: Quality, Excellence, Silence and Ease-Of-Use. The NH-D14 will probably reign supreme for many years to come if this showing is anything to go by." (Ryan Martin, eTeknix.com)
13.08.2013 // PCLab.pl
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

Dwa pozostałe układy, czyli Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 oraz Thermalright Archon SB-E X2, spokojnie możemy omówić razem, ponieważ różnic między nimi nie ma wiele. Oba zapewniają czołowe osiągi i są to jedyne konstrukcje powietrzne, które wytrzymały jakikolwiek test obciążenia w czasie, kiedy taktowanie naszego Core i7-3970X wynosiło 4700 MHz. Oba montuje się przyjemnie, szybko i bezproblemowo. Dowolność w wyborze pamięci? Teoretycznie – również remis. W schładzaczu Noctua wystarczy lekko podnieść pierwszy wentylator, aby zmieściły się pod nim nawet tak wysokie moduły RAM jak Corsair Dominator GT. Jego przewagą jest to, że w sytuacji, gdy pojawia się nowe gniazdo z nowymi zapinkami, wystarczy skontaktować się z producentem, by ten wysłał za darmo komplet nowych mocowań.
Test verdict: "bardzo wysoką wydajność, która pozwoli poskromić nawet najbardziej energochłonne procesory" (Łukasz Marek, PCLab.pl)
14.05.2013 // IOPanel.net
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

במצב ברירת המחדל (ה H100i וה HE01 על מצב שקט) – ה NH-D14 מציג את הטמפרטורה הנמוכה ביותר בשעת מנוחה, כשה H100i מציגה את הטמפרטורה הנמוכה ביותר בשעת מאמץ. עוברים למצב ביצועים ב H100i וב HE01, והתמונה משתנה מעט, כשבמצב מנוחה אין הבדל כלל בין פתרונות הקירור, אך במצב מאמץ ה HE01 מפתיע ועוקף את ה NH-D14, כש H100i שומרת על המקום הראשון שלה, אך חשוב לציין שהיא עושה זאת ברעש מחריש אוזניים, ולא כזה שיאפשר למשתמשים לעבוד איתו לאורך זמן רב. כשאנו ממהירים את מערכת המחשב שלנו, אנו רואים כי במצב מנוחה יש יתרון קל לפתרונות הקירור מבוססי האוויר על פני ה H100i, כשה NH-D14 עדיין במקום הראשון. התוצאות זהות גם במצב המהרה – ה NH-D14 במקום הראשון, ה HE01 במקום השני המפתיע, וה H100i במקום השלישי. מעבירים את ה HE01 ואת ה H100i למצב ביצועים, והתמונה משתנה מעט – ה NH-D14 עדיין שומר על המקום הראשון מבין קירורי האוויר, אבל ה H100i עוקפת אותו, אבל שוב פעם, מדובר ברעש מחריש מכיוון המאווררים, כך שלא ניתן לעבוד איתו לאורך זמן.
Test verdict: "ה NH-D14 הוותיק והטוב ממשיך להראות את יכולות הקירור המעולות שלו גם עם מעבדי ה LGA2011, כשהוא מתמודד היטב עם פליטת החום שלהם ועושה זאת תוך פעולה חרישית ושקטה, כך שאם אתם מחפשים גוף קירור שקט במיוחד אך עם ביצועים גבוהים במיוחד, ה NH-D14 הוא אחד מפתרונות הקירור המומלצים ביותר – ממש כמו שהוא עושה במשך שנים." (ליאור רזלי, IOPanel.net)
14.03.2013 // Hardwareluxx.de
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

Gemessen mit der Konkurrenz ist der Noctua NH-D14 SE 2011 sicherlich der kompletteste Kühler in diesem Round-up. Der positive Ersteindruck beginnt schon bei der Verpackung und dem umfangreichen Lieferumfang. Aber nicht nur der Kühler selbst, sondern auch das Montagekit und das sonstige Zubehör sind sehr wertig verarbeitet und der Konkurrenz qualitativ überlegen. [...] Die beiden Lüfter des NH-D14 SE 2011 sind auf dem von Noctua gewohnt sehr hohem Niveau und überzeugen mit guter Leistung und einem gleichzeitig angenehmen Geräuschcharakter. Störende Nebengeräusche sind hier komplett Fehlanzeige. Die Montage ist spielend leicht und hat uns von den drei getesteten Lösungen eindeutig am besten gefallen und war auch am schnellsten zu bewältigen. Darüber hinaus bietet Noctua mit sechs Jahren Garantie für den NH-D14 SE 2011 einen langen Garantiezeitraum. Innerhalb dieses Zeitraums werden Ersatzteile, falls nötig, wie bei Noctua üblich meist innerhalb weniger Tage geliefert.
Test verdict: " Aufgrund dieses absolut runden und in sich stimmigen Gesamtpakets, erhält der Noctua NH-D14 SE 2011 unseren Excellent Hardware Award." (Ralf Hähnlein, Hardwareluxx.de)
14.03.2013 // AnandTech.com
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

SilverStone's Heligon HE01 can hit the same performance levels, but it produces much higher noise in the process. You'll pay a pretty penny for the NH-D14, but it definitely feels like a quality cooler. Installation is sturdy, and performance and acoustics are very good.
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-D14 performed admirably, and if for whatever reason a closed loop cooler isn't on your list, the D14 is about as good as it gets" (Dustin Sklavos, AnandTech.com)
26.01.2013 // Maximum PC
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

[T]he NH-D14 achieved the lowest CPU burn temps of any air cooler in our roundup, at just over 72 C. When we added the resistor cables, the temperature increased to 76 C, but fan noise became almost imperceptible—certainly quieter than the case fans.
Test verdict: "Of the air coolers we’ve tested on LGA2011 thus far, the NH-D14 takes the crown." (Nathan Edwards, MaximumPC.com)
31.12.2012 // Tom’s Hardware
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

One of the liquid coolers in today’s comparison looks like it runs extra cool, while another model operates very quietly. In order to compare cooling to noise, we first take mathematical averages of the CPU temperature delta for all coolers and the noise level for all coolers. Changing to a percentage scale, we reflect higher thermal performance for lower temperatures (an inverse scale) by dividing the group average by each cooler’s actual temperature. Larger denominators produce smaller percentages (one-eighth is half as much as one-fourth), so we put noise on a direct scale by dividing each cooler’s installed noise by the group’s average. Dividing the first calculation by the second produces an easy-to-read cooling-to-noise chart. Nothing is more than 100% efficient, so we change the 100% baseline to 0% by subtracting 100% from each calculation. We see, for example, that Noctua’s NH-D14 is 22% more efficient than the average for today’s cooling contenders, while Cooler Master's Seidon 240M is 7% less efficient than the group average.
Test verdict: "Can Air Cooling Win A Round-Up Of Liquid Coolers? Yielding CPU temperatures just a few degrees warmer than Corsair's top-performing H100i, generating less noise than the extra-quiet Enermax ELC240, and selling for less than any of the closer-loop liquid coolers in today's story, Noctua’s NH-D14 looks like the surprise winner in our analysis of value." (Thomas Soderstrom, Tom's Hardware)
23.11.2012 // Hardware.Info 6/2012
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NH-D14 SE2011 Review

Wie gaat overklokken zal de allerbeste koelcapaciteit wensen, ongeacht de geluidsproductie. Met de Ivy Bridge CPU-simulator op 125 W en de koeler op hoge snelheid wint de Noctua NH-D14 het op dit punt, meen een temperatuur van 37,9 ºC. De NH-C14 van hetzelfde merk doet het met 38,3 ºC maar marginaal minder goed. [...] Kijken we naar Socket 2011 met 160 W dan vinden we opnieuw de Noctua NH-D14 op de eerste plek met 40,5 ºC, gevolgd door de DeepCool Neptwin en de Noctua NH-C14.
Test verdict: "De immense Noctua NH-D14 is de koeler met de beste koelprestaties en is de ultieme keuze voor overklokkers." (Koen Crijns & Tonny Groot, Hardware.Info 6/2012)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

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

How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-D14 provide?

Can I use Corair Dominator RAM with the NH-D14?

Can I install 3 fans?

Can I install 38mm depth fans?

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

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

Can I get a free LGA115x or AMD mounting kit for the NH-D14 SE2011?

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

Can use the NF-A15 fan on my Noctua CPU cooler?

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?

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

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

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

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?

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

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

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

How to remove the base protection cover?

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

Can I install a 140mm fan with a square frame (e.g. NF-A14)?

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?

The supplied y-cable is missing a wire at one of the two connectors, is it faulty?

How can I check if my 4-pin fan header supports PWM?

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

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

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.

How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-D14 provide?

The NH-D14 provides 44mm clearance for near-socket components:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Can I use Corair Dominator RAM with the NH-D14?

The NH-D14 is a large cooler that extends over the RAM slots on most mainboards. While DDR2 Corsair Dominator don't fit underneath the cooler, DDR3 Corsair Dominator do fit when the removable top heatsink is taken off as shown below. Please also note that the NF-P12 fan can be moved upwards or taken off in order to improve RAM compatibility as shown here.

DDR3

Can I install 3 fans?

The cooler doesn’t include mounting hardware for a third fan as most setups will have a chassis fan right behind the cooler. In this case, adding a third fan to the heatsink doesn’t offer a measurable performance benefit and can lead to acoustic disadvantages.

Can I install 38mm depth fans?

As the distance between the two radiators is only about 28mm, you can’t install fans with more than 25mm depth. It’s possible to install such fans on the front side of the cooler though.

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.

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

Can I get a free LGA115x or AMD mounting kit for the NH-D14 SE2011?

Please note that the NH-D14 SE2011 is a special edition cooler for LGA2011, so we can not offer mounting kits for other sockets free of charge. If you want to use this cooler on LGA115x, please consider buying an NM-I3 or NM-i115x kit from a local reseller. There is no AMD mounting kit for the NH-D14 SE2011.

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.

Can use the NF-A15 fan on my Noctua CPU cooler?

The NF-A15 is fully compatible with the NH-U12P, NH-C12P and NH-C12P SE14. On the NH-D14 and NH-C14, the NF-A15 fan can only be installed using optional fan clips. For this, please contact our customer service.

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?

The mounting is identical on all LGA115x sockets (LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156). The following coolers are thus compatible with LGA1150 out of the box and don’t require any upgrades in order to be used on this platform: NH-C12P SE14, NH-C14, NH-D15, NH-D14, NH-L12, NH-L9i, NH-U14S, NH-U12S, NH-U12P SE2, NH-U9B SE2. In addition, all older models which have been upgraded with the NM-I3 kit can also be used on LGA1150 without any further upgrades.

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and are eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: NH-C12P, NH-U12, NH-U12F, NH-U12P, NH-U12P SE1366, NH-U9, NH-U9F, NH-U9B.

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit but are not eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: DX-Series Xeon coolers, NH-D14 SE2011.

The following coolers are mechanically incompatible with the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and can not be made compatible with LGA1150: DO-Series AMD Opteron coolers, NH-L9a.

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.

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

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

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.

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.

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.

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

Systems from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo often use motherboards which differ slightly from the specifications issued by Intel and AMD. While those changes are usually subtle, they can led to compatibility issues with coolers that where 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 can often not be resolved.

Due to the large number of possible issues with systems from Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo, which can't be resolved with different mounting parts alone, Noctua does not officially support such machines.

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).

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

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.

Can I install a 140mm fan with a square frame (e.g. NF-A14)?

No. Square 140mm fans like the NF-A14 would cause compatibility issues in many configurations and use a hole spacing of 124.5mm. The cooler's fan clips are designed for 105mm hole spacing as used by round 140/150mm and square 120mm fans.

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.

The supplied y-cable is missing a wire at one of the two connectors, is it faulty?

No. As mainboards can process only one rpm-signal per fan header, it would cause problems if the cable transmitted rpm-signals of both fans. For this reason, one of the two connectors does not have an rpm wire and only the fan on the other connector will transmit an rpm signal. Automatic speed control of both fans will work independent from the second fan’s rpm signal.

How can I check if my 4-pin fan header supports PWM?

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.

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.

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

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