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The NH-U14S is the 14cm top model of Noctua’s classic U-series single tower CPU coolers, which have received more than 400 awards and recommendations from the international press. While the large, six heatpipe design and the NF-A15 140mm fan with PWM support for fully automatic speed control allow the cooler to best the renowned quiet cooling performance of all other U-series coolers, its 52mm slim shape still guarantees full compatibility with tall RAM modules on LGA2011. 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-U14S is a complete premium quality solution that combines superb performance, high compatibility and quiet operation.
Details
Award-winning NH-U series

Award-winning NH-U series

The NH-U14S is the first 140mm model in Noctua's award-winning NH-U series. First introduced in 2005, the NH-U series has become a standard choice for premium quality quiet CPU coolers and won more than 400 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware websites and magazines.
Full RAM compatibility on LGA2011

Full RAM compatibility on LGA2011

With its 52mm slim design tailor-made for LGA2011, the NH-U14S will not overhang the RAM slots on this platform, thus guaranteeing full compatibility with tall memory modules. On some LGA115x and AMD motherboards, the front fan may overhang the first RAM slot, so standard height RAM (up to 32mm) should be chosen when using the first slot.*
Reasonable size for better overall compatibility

Reasonable size for better overall compatibility

Standing 165mm tall, the NH-U14S is short enough to fit most modern high-end cases. Measuring 150mm wide (including fan and fan clips), the NH-U14S provides better compatibility with SLI and CrossFire setups as compared to tower coolers that are wider than 150mm or use fans wider than 150mm.
NF-A15 140mm PWM Fan

NF-A15 140mm PWM Fan

The NF-A15 is a premium quality quiet 140mm fan with a round frame that complies with Noctua's AAO standard. Featuring sophisticated aerodynamic design measures such as Flow Acceleration Channels, the NF-A15 further improves the renowned quiet cooling performance of the award-winning NF-P14.
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-A15 140mm fan supplied with the NH-U14S supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the mainboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 1500 to 1200rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation.
Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-A15 (optional)

Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-A15 (optional)

For users who want to achieve even better performance by adding a second, optional NF-A15 fan to create a push/pull setup, the NH-U14S includes fan clips and an extra set of custom-designed anti-vibration pads that allow to off-set the rear fan by 5mm to improve acoustics in dual-fan mode.*
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 and AMD (AM3+, AM2+, FM1, FM2, FM2+), the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-U14S 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-U14S 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-A15 features an MTBF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-U14S package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
NH-U14S
Cooler Specifications
Intel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)
Height (without fan)
165 mm
Width (without fan)
150 mm
Depth (without fan)
52 mm
Height (with fan)
165 mm
Width (with fan)
150 mm
Depth (with fan)
78 mm
Weight (without fan)
770 g
Weight (with fan/s)
935 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP
see TDP guide
Fan compatibility
140x150x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 140x140x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 120x120x25
Scope of Delivery
  • NF-A15 PWM premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-A15 (optional)
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Model
Noctua NF-A15 PWM
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
MTBF
> 150.000 h
NH-U14S
NH-U14S
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA115x installation
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA2011 installation
SecuFirm2™ AMD installation (NM-AMB3)
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.
language
language
28.05.2016 // TechnologyX.com
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NH-U14S Review

Just like most big brothers do, the NH-U14S kicked the NH-U12S out of the ball game, not by much though. The difference between the two is that of a couple degrees. Something possibly to keep in mind when playing with your budget.
Test verdict: "Just the same as the NH-U12S, there is not much we don’t like about the NH-U14S, this is one solid CPU Cooler! For this and more, we proudly award Noctua, the NH-U14S with another Editors Choice Award!" (Chris Jolliffe, TechnologyX.com)
24.05.2016 // PCElite.pl
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NH-U14S Review

W połowie maja otrzymałem do testów cztery chłodzenia procesora od firmy Noctua. Dwa tańsze i dwa droższe modele (NH-L9i, NH-L9A, NH-U12S oraz NH-U14S). W tej recenzji opiszę każdy z nich oraz podam wyniki testów pod obciążeniem oraz w spoczynku.
Test verdict: "Ostatnim modelem jest NH-U14S. To najwydajniejszy system chłodzenia w tym zestawieniu. Za utrzymanie temperatury odpowiada 14-centymetrowy wentylator, który sprawuje się bardzo dobrze. Wykonanie stoi na bardzo wysokim poziomie, więc poza ceną, nie mam się do czego przyczepić." (Arkadiusz Byś, PCElite.pl)
19.04.2016 // blog.PCLab.pl
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NH-U14S Review

Podoba mi się praca wentylatora NF-A14. Preferuję 140 mm, gdzie nawet przy wysokich obrotach, pełnym obciążeniu procesora szum jest niskich częstotliwości: nie drażni i nie bzyczy. Łożyska nie terkoczą, nie słychać też ich ślizgu. Z metra od otwartej obudowy, podczas gdy wentylator kręcił się na maksimum obrotów, zmierzyłem 38,6 dBa przy poziomie ciszy wynoszącym około 30 dBa. Zamknięta obudowa Fractal Design Define S wytłumiła hałas o ponad 2 dBa. Mimo że w pomiarach U14S był głośniejszy od U12S o 1-2 dBa, to wentylator NF-F12 z U12S trochę bardziej przeszkadzał – jego szum był mniej przyjemny dla ucha. W praktyce wentylator NF-A14 z U14S rzadko się rozpędza i nie słychać go w normalnej pracy, a w grach nie przebija przez hałas GPU.
Test verdict: "NH-U14S nie zawodzi pod względem jakości wykonania, wygody montażu, wydajności i kultury pracy – wiadomo, za co się płaci. To nie wybór tam, gdzie liczy się spójny wygląd, odpowiedni motyw kolorystyczny, wtedy w grę wchodziłaby wymiana wentylatora. Wrażenie robi także wydajność zbliżona do dwuwieżowego NH-D15S." (Kamil Homziak, blog.PCLab.pl)
18.04.2016 // TecnoGeekies.com
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NH-U14S Review

Queremos hacer hincapié en lo silenciosos que pueden llegar a ser estos ventiladores y o bien que son capaces de disipar el calor, que con apenas muchas revoluciones en los ventiladores tendremos un optimo funcionamiento de nuestros procesadores. La verdad que Noctua siempre nos sorprende con estos dispositivos, y se nota mucho el mimo que le ponen a estos productos que a nosotros a los que nos gusta tener el mejor rendimiento en nuestro PC, y por otro lado el buen material que usan para fabricarlos. El NH-U14S y el NH-U12S son muy similares de precio, 68€ para el 140mm y 59€ para el de 120mm. Comparando estos dos, el NH-U14S sale ganando por tanto el rendimiento que ofrece como por lo silencioso que es en comparación con el 120mm.
Test verdict: "En definitiva, estos dos disipadores son de lo mejorcito que nos podemos encontrar (salvando distancias con la refrigeración liquida), si queremos mantener nuestra CPU fresca y con una buena ventilación en nuestro equipo." (Ignacio Merino Arnaiz, TecnoGeekies.com)
09.03.2016 // TheGameTechnician.com
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NH-U14S Review

With it topping out at 63.8c on the FX-8370 and 74c on the i5 6600k when both are overclocked it really surprised me, If you’re in the market for an air cooler then the NH-U14S is one of the best I’ve seen. To sum this up I’m giving the NH-U14S The Game Technician Platinum Essential Award.
Test verdict: "Noctua have a winner here, the NH-U14S is an absolutely brilliant cooler, it’s quiet, cools exceptionally well for a single tower, has a huge 6 year warranty, is easy to install and the packaging has a premium feeling which I love to see." (Matthew Bush, TheGameTechnician.com)
01.09.2015 // ITPC.net.pl
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NH-U14S Review

Noctua jako producent topowych chłodzeń CPU kolejny raz udowadnia, że do schłodzenia podkręconego procesora w stresie nie potrzeba ogromnych brył, ani dwuwieżowych konstrukcji. Ich kompaktowi przedstawiciele poradzą sobie z wszystkimi aktualnymi procesorami konsumenckimi, a także zapewnią w większości przypadków odpowiednie warunki pracy procesorom ekstremalnym.
Test verdict: "Mogę z czystym sumieniem polecić każdemu chłodzenia tej firmy, gdyż wyróżniają się wysoką wydajnością i idealną wręcz jakością wykonania. Ewidentnie jest to wzór do naśladowania." (Karol Kaszubowski, ITPC.net.pl)
04.08.2015 // Hardware.Info
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NH-U14S Review

Taking a look at the top 10 lists reveals that Noctua and Thermalright perform especially well. This isn't too surprising, given that both manufacturers are dedicated cooling experts. According to our new test, the Noctua NH-U14S is undisputedly the best cooler on the market. It offers the best cooling performance at both 30 dB(A) and 40 dB(A), while simultaneously being quite a bit smaller than, say, the NH-D15 of the same brand. Because of the smaller size, you are less likely to run into issues during installation.
Test verdict: "According to our new test, the Noctua NH-U14S is undisputedly the best cooler on the market. It offers the best cooling performance at both 30 dB(A) and 40 dB(A), while simultaneously being quite a bit smaller than, say, the NH-D15 of the same brand." (Koen Crijns, Hardware.Info)
21.07.2015 // moj mikro 7/8 2015
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NH-U14S Review

Hladilniki se med seboj razlikujejo po velikosti in določenih detajlih, a vsem je skupno kar nekaj fundamentov. Hladilni blok, ki se dotika procesorja je proizveden iz bakra. Za prenos toplote med blokom in aluminijastimi rezili hladilnika so uporabljene toplotne cevi, ki so tudi bakrene. Že ob prvem odpiranju škatel se čuti pridih nenavadne kakovosti – to vsekakor ni izdelek, ki bi bil na hitro narejen na Kitajskem. To se pozna že v banalnosti, kot so navodila, ali pa način montaže, ki je preprosta a popolnoma varna. Vsako Noctuo torej lahko namestimo na katero koli osnovno ploščo. Vsaj teoretično. Če se s hladilnikom znajdemo na nepodprti platformi, kot je recimo naša precej stara Intel LGA1366, se soočimo še s profesionalci na podpori strankam, ki nam brezplačno pošljejo potreben vmesnik – kamorkoli na zemeljsko oblo. Za premijske hladilnike Noctua že leta ponuja brezplačen vmesnik za priklop na nove platforme! Ob tem sta prijaznost in profesionalnost na najvišji ravni. Skoraj neverjetno, da tako podjetje še živi, kajne? A za to niso zaslužne le prijaznost, profesionalnost in kakovost, temveč predvsem rezultati.
Test verdict: "Podjetje Noctua je pri nas razen med največjimi zanesenjaki praktično neznano ime, kar je presenetljivo, če pomislimo, da podjetje dela hladilnike za procesorje, ki so po mnenju mnogih najboljši na svetu, hkrati pa prihajajo iz sosednje Avstrije." (Jaka Mele, moj mikro 7/8 2015)
27.05.2015 // TruePCGaming.com
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NH-U14S Review

The Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S offer a phenomenal grade of cooling given the reasonable size and single heatsink design. Furthermore, I was thoroughly impressed with the noise to performance ratio and surprised to see the 140mm unit achieve better temps than a 240mm closed loop cooler operating at full fan speed.
Test verdict: "With a 6 year warranty and MTBF rating over 150,000, the NH-U12S and NH-U14S are more affordable versions of the NH-D15 and uphold Noctua’s pedigree as the best supplier of air cooling solutions." (John Williamson, TruePCGaming.com)
01.05.2015 // i2HARD
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NH-U14S Review

Если результаты в простое у всей тройки участников равны, то 100% нагрузка на процессор определила явные призовые места. И участник нашего сегодняшнего обзора Noctua NH-U14S занял уверенно первое место. Следом, с незначительным, но все же отрывом в 3 градуса Цельсия, идет Thermalright Macho. Последнее место достается Thermaltake NiC C4, который даже будучи оснащённым двумя 120 мм кулерами, не смог даже навязать борьбу.
Test verdict: "Протестировав столь качественный и сильный продукт как Noctua NH-U14S, было, как никогда, тяжело найти в нем какие - либо недостатки или минусы. По факту их попросту нет." (Липатов Константин, i2HARD)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

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!

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

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?

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

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

Is the cooler compatible with AMD FM2+?

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?

How big is the NH-U14S and how much clearance does it provide for RAM and chipset coolers?

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?

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

How can I determine which backplate revision I’ve got?

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 Dell, HP or Lenovo?

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

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

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

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

How to remove the base protection cover?

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

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

Are there any concerns using Noctua CPU coolers on Intel Skylake (LGA1151) CPUs?

Does the NF-A15 PWM that comes with Noctua coolers run at a different speed (1500rpm) than the retail model (1200rpm)?

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 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

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 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



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

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.

Is the cooler compatible with AMD FM2+?

As the hole spacing for CPU cooler installation on FM2+ is the same as on AM2, AM2, AM3(+), FM1 and FM2, the cooler is fully compatible with FM2+ out of the box and doesn’t require any modifications or upgrades.

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.

How big is the NH-U14S and how much clearance does it provide for RAM and chipset coolers?

Please refer to the following drawing for the exact measurements and clearance for RAM and chipset coolers:

U14S

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.

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

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

How can I determine which backplate revision I’ve got?

Please refer to following drawing for how to identify the different backplate revisions:

backplate revisions

Some mainboards pose compatibility problems with the first version of the NM-IBP2 backplate included with the cooler. Please verify to use a revision 1.5 or revision 2 backplate when installing the cooler on these mainboards. All coolers manufactured since April 2013 already include the new revision backplates. Owners of coolers with rev. 1 backplates can request a new backplate from Noctua’s customer service free of charge.

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 Dell, HP or Lenovo?

Systems from 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 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).

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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)?

Yes, fan clips for installing square frame 140mm fans (such as the NF-A14) are available on request via our customer support.

Are there any concerns using Noctua CPU coolers on Intel Skylake (LGA1151) CPUs?

Our SecuFirm2™ mounting systems undergo comprehensive compatibility tests before being approved for new platforms. We have neither detected any problem with regard to the Intel LGA1151 platform (“Skylake”) during these tests nor have we received any reports from our customers, sales partners and system integrators that would indicate any possible issue. Our SecuFirm2™ mounting systems (with the exception of some compact L-type models) rely on coil springs to create the required contact pressure, which gives a certain flexibility both with regards to tolerances in stackup height and shocks or other forces. Compared to spring-less mounting systems, which exclusively rely on the bending of the mounting brackets in order to create contact pressure, this allows to reduce the mechanical stress on CPU, socket and motherboard and thus helps to prevent possible damage from excessive forces. However, 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, due to safety reasons, to take off coolers with a total weight of more than 700g (incl. fan).

Does the NF-A15 PWM that comes with Noctua coolers run at a different speed (1500rpm) than the retail model (1200rpm)?

Yes, the NF-A15 PWM bundled with our heatsinks is specified to run at 1500rpm (see cooler specifications for details) and the retail model is specified to run at 1200rpm (see fan specifications for details). The 1200rpm retail model is ideal for setting up push/pull configurations in combination with the coolers’ 1500rpm stock fan because the combination of the 1500 and 1200rpm models provides a better balance of performance and noise than the combination of two 1500rpm versions. On dual-tower coolers such as the NH-D15S, we recommend to run the 1500rpm version in the center and the 1200rpm version on the front. On single-tower coolers such as the NH-U14S, we recommend to run the 1500rpm version on the front and the 1200rpm version on the back of the cooler. The NA-YC1 y-cable supplied with the retail fan can be used in order to control both fans via one PWM fan header. In this case, both fans will scale individually according to the PWM duty cycle supplied by the motherboard, e.g. they will run at ~1500/1200 respectively at 100% duty cycle, ~750/600rpm at 50% duty cycle, etc. Both at 100% and lower speeds, the speed difference between the fans reduces resonance phenomena and thus helps to achieve the best balance of performance and noise.

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.

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