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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/LGA2066. 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, LGA2066 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 MTTF 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 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-UxS
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
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-U14S
NH-U14S
NH-U14S
SecuFirm2™ AMD installation (NM-AMB3)
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA2011 installation
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA115x 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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09.05.2013 // TweakTown.com
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NH-U14S Review

What is there that I can't say that leaves this larger member of the NH-U series of coolers painted in a positive light? Well, to be honest, there isn't anything I can rightly complain about. When you have a cooler that is taking what other manufacturers have tried and failed, leaving them to resort to using a dual tower or a super thick single tower, and still some cannot compete at this level. Noctua has proven to me, once again, why I hold them in such high regard. They took the basic idea everyone has used for years, and with a few tweaks to the fin designs, figuring out the best method of heat pipe dispersal, and equipping the cooler with a 150mm fan that just kicks ass doesn't hurt things one bit either. With just one fan on the NH-U14S there are only two coolers that were better on our charts, and from what I recall both of these coolers cost more when they were released. In all honestly, we are talking about a measly two degrees across all three of these air coolers, and if you want to spend an extra $25, you can get the second NF-A15 PWM fan and run right with the big dogs on the list. The one thing you will get with the NH-U14S, that neither the Silver Arrow SB-E nor the Thermaltake Frio Extreme offered, is peaceful silence. Where the other option would dig deeper into your pockets, and also make your ears bleed, Noctua takes them head on and shows you can have the best of both worlds. The icing on the cake is that you can run just behind the big dogs for less than $80. It seemed for a while there that no company was able to produce a top tier cooler that could take on the twin tower monsters that were such a success, but at the expense of just about everything on the top half of the motherboard. Noctua increased the size of this cooler not to get in the way too much, but allowed enough to be both cost effective and very efficient at removing heat from your CPU. I see absolutely no reason why I can't fully support and recommend the new NH-U14S, as it kicks ass and takes names, and like a ninja, silently takes on the competition, until it is left on the top of the pile after the successful battle. Noctua may be a little outside the box for some, but they have proven to me that this cooler is where it's at currently, and should be a great selling cooler, once stock does arrive on shelves.
Test verdict: "The NH-U14S is a complete success! It took on the best of the best and can do the same job with much less cooler, and much less noise than anything comparable that I have tested to date." (Chad Sebring, TweakTown.com)
28.06.2013 // techPowerUp.com
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NH-U14S Review

Let us start with noise levels, or should I say lack thereof? This cooler is quiet, topping out at 42 dBA in its default, single-fan configuration to place second on our sound-level charts when at full fan speed. When using two NF-A15 PWM fans, the noise level climbs by 3 dBA for 45 dBA at full fan speeds. Cooling performance is exceptional for a single-tower design. It manages to keep up with the much larger Phanteks PH-TC14PE, which is the best-performing air cooler I have tested so far. The NH-U14S's performance proves that a smaller heatsink can go toe to toe with heavyweight coolers--without high RPM fans. The easy install is also a huge plus. I say that about most Noctua coolers, but the SecuFirm 2 mounting system really is exceptional, and the heatsink's design makes it even easier to work with now. Build quality is as always with Noctua's coolers absolutely fantastic--no gaps on the heatpipes and no bent fins; the entire heatsink's overall quality confirms that the NH-U14S is a premium CPU cooler. Noctua has also included some rubber anti-vibration pads with their NF-A15 PWM fans. While not a deal maker, this simple inclusion does cut down on noise and is one of those extras that shows they care about giving the end user a great experience with their products. The option to mount a second fan also lets users improve the overall performance of the NH-U14S; however, it does come at a greater cost. Finally, the warranty of six years is also one of the best warranties available. With a proof of purchase, Noctua will even provide updated mounting hardware throughout its span. This goes far beyond what most of their competition offers.
Test verdict: "The NH-U14S from Noctua is an amazing cooler. Its performance has it take on some of the best-performing air coolers in the industry." (Raymond Lemar, techPowerUp.com)
21.04.2013 // eTeknix.com
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NH-U14S Review

At stock we can see the NH-U14S does amazingly well, battling its way past the Seidon 240M, which is a 240mm AIO water cooling system. It also manages to grab an extra degree over its 120mm sibling the Noctua NH-U12S. [...] Overclocking was where we brought in some push-pull results for you guys to see. With the default single fan and PWM profile we saw a 38.3 delta which meant it was the best air cooler on our records by quite some margin. With a single fan at 100% speed (1500 RPM) we were able to take down a PWM operated Antec Kuhler 1220 240mm AIO system – impressive indeed. Push-pull scaled equally well shaving off another 2 degrees delta at PWM. With maximum fan speed in push-pull we saw results encroaching on the Swiftech H220 at PWM speeds.
Test verdict: "If you are looking for an Air CPU cooler that can offer you 100% RAM compatibility, best-in-class performance, silence, top-of-the-line build quality and a relatively affordable price point then you can’t really go wrong with the Noctua NH-U14S. Any PC enthusiast would be over the moon to be able to put this CPU cooler in their rig, and understandably so. With all that said Noctua’s NH-U14S is an eTeknix Editor’s Choice award winner." (Ryan Martin, eTeknix.com)
05.12.2013 // [H]ardOCP
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NH-U14S Review

Just like that we have a new performance king. The NH-U14S is able to take the top spot in both of our performance tests. It beat out the much larger and dual fan Dark Rock Pro 2 while only using one fan in a much smaller size. Noctua has a winner on its hands so far but let’s look a little closer and see if all this performance comes at the expense of our ears. [...] Let’s get one thing out of the way. Noctua has never been a value brand. The premium price tag of the NH-U14S is backed up by extra attention to detail in the installation process and added accessories, but the crowning jewel is its top tier performance. The included fan is also engineered to be quiet without sacrificing performance which is always a great plus. It is nuances such as these that separate Noctua from the rest of the pack and contribute to the premium feel of its coolers. The NH-U14S is not an inexpensive cooler but this is a case where you absolutely pay top dollar for what you get. In a world where you have air cooler prices encroaching on All-in-One water cooling prices, with the NH-U14S you also have air cooling performance encroaching on AIO water cooling performance.
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-U14S impressed us with each test we subjected it to. The NH-U14S is an elegant powerhouse that’s able to handle high heat loads while operating in a quiet envelope. Noctua has a winner on the hands with the NH-U14S [...]. With its game changing performance and low noise output we are happy to award the Noctua NH-U14S the [H]ardOCP Editor’s Choice Gold Award." (Marc Adams, [H]ardOCP)
30.09.2013 // PC-Max.de
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NH-U14S Review

Beide Kühler wissen absolut zu überzeugen. Der größere NH-U14S setzt sich fast durchgehend an die Spitze des Testfeldes. Lediglich im Vergleich bei einer Lautstärke von 31 Dezibel wird er vom Thermalright Archon SBE auf den zweiten Platz verdrängt. Der kleinere NH-U12S hinkt nur wenig hinterher und kann selbst viele deutlich größere Kontrahenten in die Schranken weisen. Fassen wir unsere Eindrücke noch einmal zusammen: Beide Noctua-Kandidaten lassen kaum Raum zur Verbesserung. Sämtliche Komponenten wurden sorgsam ausgewählt und zusammengestellt, sodass ein rundes Gesamtpaket nur die logische Konsequenz zu sein scheint. Von der Materialgüte über die Montage bis zur Wahl des Lüfters, gibt es kaum Grund zur Kritik. In Hinsicht auf die Kompatibilität scheint Noctua auf den ersten Blick auf ein wenig Kühlleistung zu verzichten. Schaut man sich allerdings die Resultate an, in denen die beiden Kühler teils deutlich wuchtigere Kühler in die Schranken weisen können, bleibt so eine Kritik allerdings aus.
Test verdict: "Vom Noctua NH-U14S gibt es ausschließlich Positives zu berichten. Die Leistung ist fast durchgängig die beste in unserem Testfeld. Sowohl die Montage als auch die Fertigungsqualität befinden sich auf allerhöchstem Niveau. Der NF-A15 PWM ist der beste uns bekannte 140-Millimeter-PWM-Lüfter, welcher durch hohe Laufruhe, starke Leistung, eine gute Regelbarkeit und ein großes Drehzahlspektrum gleichermaßen zu gefallen weiß." (Niklas Dietzek, PC-Max.de)
27.09.2013 // PC Games Hardware 11/13
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NH-U14S Review

Im Betrieb zeigt der NH-U14S eine ausgezeichnete Leistung: Bei maximaler Drehzahl kühlt er unseren voll belasteten 2600K auf 43,8 °C. Daran scheitern sogar manche Kompaktwasserkühlungen, wie es der Test auf den Seiten vorher zeigt. Dabei wird der Kühler bei etwa 1.500 U/min maximal 1,9 Sone laut – nicht wirklich leise, aber auch nicht störend. Für Silent- Fans hat Noctua noch einen Low- Noise-Adapter in den Karton gelegt.
Test verdict: "Insgesamt ist der NH-U14S ein sehr gelungener Kühler, der sich an die Spitze der bisher mit diesem Testsystem getesteten Kühler setzt." (Reinhard Staudacher, PC Games Hardware 11/13)
24.05.2017 // Anandtech.com
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NH-U14S Review

[T]he thermal performance of the NH-U14S is significantly superior [...], especially when the cooler needs to handle a high thermal load. This higher thermal performance coupled with Noctua's excellent reputation for their after-sales support gives the NH-U14S an edge over its competition, regardless of its higher retail price.
Test verdict: "Noctua’s NH-U14S stands out by pretty much every metric" (E. Fylladitakis, Anandtech.com)
26.04.2017 // Vmodtech.com
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NH-U14S Review

หลังจากทำการทดสอบบนชุด Intel 5960X ที่ความเร็ว 4.0 MHz ด้วยไฟ 1.1 volt ความร้อนสูงสุดจากการรัน OCCT นั้นสูงสุดที่ 85 องศาเซลเซียสโดยสามารถผ่านการทดสอบสบายๆครับ
Test verdict: "สำหรับการทดสอบ NOCTUA NH-U14S ที่ วันนี้ทำผลงานได้ดีเลยทีเดียวครับกับฮีตซิงค์ในแบบ Tower CPU Cooler ที่มีขนาดไม่ใหญ่มากนักและใช้พัดลมรอบเบาๆขนาด 140 มิลลิเมตร เสียงรบกวนในขณะทำการทดสอบนั้นก็เบาครับด้วยพัดลมที่ได้ออกแบบมาเป็นอย่างดี รอบพัดลมนั้นก็จะวิ่งอยู่แถวๆ 1300-1400 ครับ ตรงนี้เราสามารถตั้งความเร็วรอบได้หรือว่าจะเสียบไฟโดยตรงจากหัวของ Power Supply เลยก็ได้ครับ ความเร็วรอบจะได้วิ่งสูงสุดอยู่ตลอดเวลา สิ่งที่น่าสังเกตุคือการติดตั้งที่สามารถทำได้อย่างง่ายดายเลย บนมาเธอร์บอร์ด ASUS RAMPAGE V Extreme นั้นแทบไม่ต้องถอดบอร์ดออกมาเลย แค่ใส่แบร๊คเก็ต เสียบซิ้งค์ แล้วใช้ไขควงที่ทาง Noctua เตรียมมาให้ซึ่งยาวมากและสะดวกมากด้วย โดยรวมแล้วถือเป็น CPU Heatsink ที่น่าสนใจและสวยงามเป็นอันดับต้นๆในตลาดเลยครับ" (Vmodtech.com)
04.04.2017 // Pokde.net
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NH-U14S Review

From the result, we can see that the Noctua NH-U14S cooling performance in its dual fan configuration is on par with the Noctua NH-D15. Adding the second fan shaves 5ºC off the load temperatures, and lets the CPU be 3ºC cooler at idle.
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-U14S’ cooling performance is great, especially in its dual fan configuration. Despite being so slim, it managed to cool our Intel Core i7 5820K processor." (Muhammad Firdaus, Pokde.net)
07.02.2017 // DigitalPortal.sk
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NH-U14S Review

Ak sa zameriame na teploty a efektívnosť chladenia modelu NH-U14S, porovnať ich možno s jedným dodávaným ventilátorom, alebo aj s ďalším prídavným, ktorý možno dokúpiť. Už pri nedávnom teste, pri modeli NH-D15S sa však ukázalo, že medzi jedným a druhým prídavným ventilátorom nie sú takmer žiadne rozdiely. Ako to bude teraz? Zatiaľ čo po zapnutí PC v „idle“ režime sme namerali teploty 33 °C (rovnaká pri 1ks a 2ks), postupným zaťažovaním sa zvyšovala aj prevádzková teplota. Počas vysokého zaťaženia sa pohybovala na úrovni 66 °C (1ks) a 65 °C (2ks), pričom pri maximálnom zaťažení sme zaznamenali pri rôznych činnostiach teploty v rozmedzí 82 °C (1ks) a 80 °C (2ks). Podobné, len veľmi malé rozdiely vidíme aj pri hlučnosti ventilátorov. Pri 50% otáčok dvoch ventilátorov je to 41 dB, pri jednom 40 dB. Plné, 100% otáčky tvoria pri dvoch 45 dB a pri jednom 43 dB.
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-U14S za svoju cenu ponúkne veľmi tichý chod, hoci v porovnaní s nedávno testovanými, drahšími a tiež väčšími modelmi mierne zaostáva. Vzhľadom na svoje kompaktné rozmery podáva však prekvapivý chladiaci výkon, vyžaduje jednoduchú inštaláciu, má antivibračné podložky a možnosť pohodlne nainštalovať pamäte aj pri väčšom profile operačnej pamäte." (Martin Klokner, DigitalPortal.sk)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

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

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(+)?

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

I get a CPU fan error despite the fan is running!

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?

How to remove the base protection cover?

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?

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

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

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

Can square 140mm fans be installed on this cooler?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

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

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?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

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

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

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

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?

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

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

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

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

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

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.

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

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.

I get a CPU fan error despite the fan is running!

Some mainboards display a CPU fan error when the fan speed falls below a certain threshold, e.g. 900rpm. If you want to run the fan below this speed (e.g. using the supplied U.L.N.A.), please adjust the threshold in the BIOS or disable CPU fan error warning.

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



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 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.

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.

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.

Can square 140mm fans be installed on this cooler?

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

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 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.

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, 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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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-L9x65 SE-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

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