heading

Product discontinued. Successor model: NH-C14S

The NH-C14 brings top-flow cooling to a new level by offering an exquisite, uniquely flexible 140mm dual fan setup: The two supplied NF-P14 premium fans can be installed on top and underneath the fin-stack to configure the cooler for maximum performance in dual fan mode and either lower profile (105mm) or maximum component clearance in single fan modes. Bundled with the award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound and Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, the NH-C14 is a highly flexible, premium-class top-flow solution that further boosts the renowned quiet cooling performance of the much acclaimed NH-C12P series.

Details
C-Type top-flow design

C-Type top-flow design

The NH-C14's six heatpipe c-type design allows for superb quiet cooling performance while maintaining a much lower profile than today's tower-style coolers and providing excellent airflow over RAM modules and near-socket mainboard components.
Dual NF-P14 FLX fans

Dual NF-P14 FLX fans

The NH-C14 comes with two of Noctua's award-winning, premium quality NF-P14 140mm fans that can be fine-tuned according to the user's needs via the supplied Low-Noise (L.N.A.) and Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptors (U.L.N.A.).
Low Profile Mode

Low Profile Mode

Run with a single NF-P14 fan underneath the fin stack and with the top fan removed, the NH-C14 measures only 105mm in height, which makes it ideal for use in smaller enclosures and HTPC applications.
High Clearance Mode

High Clearance Mode

The lower NF-P14 fan can be removed in order to provide additional clearance for chipset coolers or RAM modules with tall heat-spreaders. Run with a single fan on top, the NH-C14 provides a full 65mm of clearance.
	SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system

SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system

Noctua's enthusiast grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting provides broad socket compatibility (LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1150, LGA775, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+) and meets the highest demands in safety, performance and ease-of-use.
Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound

Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound

Noctua's much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a well proven pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease-of-use and outstanding reliability.
NH-C14
Cooler Specification
Intel LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1150, LGA775, LGA2011 on request, Asus X-socket™ & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)
Height (without fan)
105 mm
Width (without fan)
140 mm
Depth (without fan)
166 mm
Height (with fan)
130 mm
Width (with fan)
140 mm
Depth (with fan)
166 mm
Weight (without fan)
700 g
Weight (with fan/s)
850/1000* g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Application
see TDP guide
Fan compatibility
140x140x25mm / 120x120x25mm
Scope of Delivery
  • 2x NF-P14 premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kits
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Bearing
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
900 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
750 RPM
Acoustical Noise
19,6 dB(A)
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-C14
05.01.2011 // TweakTown.com
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

Tower coolers will have the benefit of the potential for a bit lower temperatures than what the NH-C14 offers, but they don't take care of the motherboard as does this cooler. Noctua offers the best of all worlds with the NH-C14; great cooling of the CPU, additional cooling to the surrounding components, silence during even the most stressful use, and a bit of flexibility to go in larger cases.
Test verdict: "I know this is a near $100 cooler, but if you want the best of cooling with the utmost in silence, look no further. The NH-C14 surprised me and is my new cooler to recommend to anyone who has room for this monster." (Chad Sebring, TweakTown.com)
26.12.2010 // SilentPCReview.com
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

The C14 outperforms its smaller predecessor, the C12P, by about 4°C on average. This makes it easily the best down-blowing cooler we've tested, and on par with with many reputable tower models. With two fans it's propelled into elite status. While this isn't a fair apples-to-apples comparison, it's still an impressive display of prowess for top-downer. [...] The acoustics of the P14 are generally smooth, with most of the audible noise being in the form of air turbulence which of course is unavoidable. [...] The P14 is one of the best sounding 140 mm fans you can buy and the included adapters gives users the ability to undervolt easily.
Test verdict: "Down-blowing heatsinks typically do not perform as well as their side-blowing brethren when it comes to CPU cooling, but the C14 bucks this trend. Perhaps more importantly, it possesses something that most high performance coolers do not: a diminutive stature. With a fan on top, it measures 130 mm tall, about 25~30 mm less than most large tower heatsinks, allowing it to fit into smaller cases. [...] The C14's three different fan configurations makes it the most versatile heatsink we've ever encountered [...] a versatile short top-down cooler that delivers excellent performance." (Lawrence Lee, SilentPCReview.com)
26.04.2011 // TechPowerUp.com
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

Whoosh. The NH-C14 shatters the myth that top-flow coolers are fundamentally inferior to side-flow ones. Aside from being the best performing cooler thus far on our new cooler bench, the NH-C14 should be the best performing top-flow coolers out there in the market. The air flow of top flow coolers provides some cooling for components around the CPU area, and that is good for voltage-assisted overclocking. When overclocked, the CPU barely appears to be running hot, given that Bloomfield poses a very heavy thermal load. There should be a lot of overclocking headroom left.
Test verdict: "I couldn't have imagined any other cooler manufacturer take up top-flow design at this market segment, and then go on to win big time in terms of performance. Not only is this top-flow cooler very much in the league of high-end side-flow tower-type coolers, but it can also compete with entry-level water-cooling in-a-box solutions. [...] Overall, the Noctua NH-C14 is wonderful piece of engineering. It's as if its designers wanted to do some mythbusting, and disprove that top-flow design coolers are passé." (B. Rajeev Raju, TechPowerUp.com)
06.04.2011 // OverclockersClub.com
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

The Noctua NH-C14 is an improvement over the NH-C12 in both size and cooling capability. With this cooler you have the tried and true C style design from Noctua with an added twist. The addition of a second NF-P14 fan to assist the top mounted fan in moving airflow through the heat sink. When tested against the NH-C12P SE14 in the stock testing, it delivered slightly better cooling numbers in both the idle and load tests. Where the NH-C14 excels against it predecessor is when the thermal load increases. In the overclocked testing, the NH-C14 bested the NH-C12P SE14 by three degrees Celsius in the load testing. This result puts the NH-C14's cooling capabilities ahead of some of the all-in-one liquid and tower solutions in the comparison field. [...] Noise is just about always the enemy of a good air cooled heat sink. As proven in the past, this does not have to be so. Noctua engineers their cooling solution to be effective with their own low noise, high performance fans. This means that when the NF-P14 FLX fans are spinning at 1200+/- rpm they are pushing over 65CFM at 19.6 dBA. By using the "Low Noise" and "Ultra Low Noise" adapters, the fan speed as well as noise signature drops to an almost inaudible 13.2 and 10.1 dBA respectively. Couple the low noise generated by the fans and the rubber isolation mounts for both fans attached to the fin array and you have a very low noise solution with no vibration noise that can cause an irritation to the senses.
Test verdict: "I did not think that a C style heat sink could stand up any better to the tower heat sinks or all-in-one liquid solutions on the market but Noctua again delivers a product that does the job of removing the thermal load while looking good and remaining dead silent." (Frank Dimmick, OverclockersClub.com)
18.03.2011 // Bjorn3D.com
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

One may pause to think how it is possible that a heatsink shaped like a 'C' could possibly out the tower type coolers, but once again, Noctua is one step ahead with their innovation. The dual 140 mm fans blowing straight down at a whisper 1200 RPM are more than up for the challenge. This is one of the most impressive low-profile coolers we have ever encountered.
Test verdict: "The Noctua surpassed expectations in performance, even outperforming the full tower-size coolers under full load by 4 degrees Celsius. The dual 140 mm fans and massive radiator in the uncommon 'C' shape makes for a smaller package for use in all types of cases, with a special nod to the HTPC users. Everything was of the highest quality, from the solder joints on the heat pipes to the flawless die." (Joe Gulczinski, Bjorn3D.com)
10.02.2011 // ThinkComputers.org
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

Looking at the performance numbers this CPU cooler performs very well. At the stock speed of our CPU the NH-C14 had idle and load temperatures of 21C and 37C respectively. This is a 12C difference during idle and 16C during load, which is very impressive. Looking at the overclocked results it performed 9C better during idle and again 16C better during load. The performance really does speak for itself. Also the cooler is very quiet, especially considering it has the 2 large 140mm fans.
Test verdict: "If you take into consideration the cooling performance, versatility, quality and quiet operation if you have the money the NH-C14 is worth every penny." (Bob Buskirk, ThinkComputers.org)
05.01.2011 // KitGuru.net
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

The variety of mounting methods means this cooler is going to be accessible to a huge audience. With both fans installed it requires 130mm height, which is 30-40mm less than most high end tower coolers. If you remove the top fan, this height demand reduces to 105mm, meaning it is ideal for a performance oriented media center system build, even in compromised space. The cooler isn’t quite the powerhouse that the NH D14 brings to market, but the D14 is such a gargantuan cooler that it blocks memory slots and demands a lot of space inside a system. The C14 is a complimentary design that tackles a different, yet equally demanding market space.
Test verdict: "We are very impressed with this cooler, the quailty is unquestionable and the cooling performance is stunning. Another masterpiece from the Austrian cooling company who are consistently redefining the term ‘high quality cooling’. KitGuru says: Ideal for a wide range of uses, and with two of the finest 14cm fans on the market." (Allan Campbell, KitGuru.net)
04.01.2011 // PC Update #51
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

Plusieurs montages sont possibles, avec deux ventilateurs en push/pull, avec un seul au-dessus, avec un seul en dessous, il y en a pour tous les scénarios ! Les performances avec deux ventilateurs sont excellentes. Pas autant que celles des doubles tours de l’article d’à côté, mais presque. Pour un ventirad qui reste sous les 130 mm, c’est énorme
Test verdict: "Le C14 est une nouvelle bombe de Noctua, idéale pour de nombreux PC home cinéma." (Thomas Olivaux, PC Update)
21.12.2010 // AwardFabrik.de
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

Zusammenfassend lässt sich festhalten, dass der Kühler selbst in schwierigen Situationen standhalten konnte. Bei einer CPU-Spannung von 1,25V bei unserem QX9770 und einer Lüfterspannung von 7V wurde gerade einmal eine Temperatur von 39°C erreich, mit einer Spannung von 12V nur sehr kühle 36°C. Damit setzt sich der Kühler an die Spitze und überholt selbst die Konkurrenz aus eigenem Hause. Bei einer Spannung von 1,35V auf der CPU kommt er bei 7V nicht mal auf 50°C, lediglich 45°C werden hier ermittelt. Ein sehr guter Wert, der auch mehr als genug Luft für OC als auch heiße Sommertage bietet. Bei 12V sinkt die Temperatur des Prozessors auf 43°C, damit liegt er ganz weit oben in der Rangliste. Nur ein Kühler ist ein Quäntchen stärken als der NH-C14, nämlich der NH-D14. Zu den ausgesprochen guten Testergebnissen der Temperatur gesellen sich die durchaus, auch für den Dauerbetrieb anwendbaren, Lautstärkemessungen, die mit maximal 41,9dB im verbauten Zustand auch noch im grünen Bereich liegen. Anzumerken sei noch, dass durch die gewählte Bauform auch umliegende Elemente, wie die Spannungswandler, die Northbrige als auch der Arbeitsspeicher optimal mit kühler Luft versorgt werden, sodass auch die Gesamttemperatur im Gehäuse sinken sollte.
Test verdict: "Insgesamt bietet Noctua mit dem neuen Schöpfling NH-C14 einen äußerst leistungsstarken Kühler für Enthusiasten. Wer jetzt noch über den hohen Preis von knapp 75€ hinwegsehen kann, sollte unbedingt zuschlagen." (Denis Emmerich, AwardFabrik.de)
21.12.2010 // BCCHardware.com
test.gif

NH-C14 Review

At the end of the day the Noctua NH-C14 scored very well in our testing thanks to its good performance and low noise. The NH-C14 is a nice choice if you don't have much room inside your case and when compared to other "lower profile" coolers the NH-C14 is easily one of the best. Thanks to the performance and low noise the Noctua NH-C14 has earned our "Editor's Choice - Gold" award. If you are in the market for a low profile cooler make sure to give the Noctua NH-C14 some serious consideration.
Test verdict: "This cooler is a great design and if space inside your case is an issue this might be one of the best performing coolers money can buy. Most heatpipe coolers available today are much taller than the Noctua NH-C14, but as we saw in our testing the NH-C14 was able to keep up with them (and remain nice and quiet in the process)." (Jason Schneider, BCCHardware.com)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

Is the high weight dangerous for the CPU or socket?

Is it possible to cool my CPU without a fan (passive) using Noctua coolers?

Can I use Noctua fans on my fan controller?

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

My fan doesn’t spin when I start up the PC - is it faulty?

Is the cooler compatible with LGA1366 mainboards for Xeon 5500?

My mainboard has more than one set of mounting holes. Which one should I use?

The fan clips are almost touching my VGA card!

The fan doesn’t start with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA)!

How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-C14 provide?

Is the mounting system compatible with LGA1155?

The fan clips are almost touching my VGA card!

Is the cooler compatible with AMD AM3+ and FM1?

Is the cooler compatible with the Intel LGA2011 socket and Asus X-socket™?

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

The cooler's fans always run at full speed and can not be controlled by my motherboard, what's the problem?

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?

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

Can I run Noctua 3-pin fans on 4-pin PWM connectors and use my mainboard’s automatic fan controller?

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

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

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

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

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

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

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

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

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?

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

Is the high weight dangerous for the CPU or socket?

No. Noctua coolers possess an extremely reliable SecuFirm™ mounting system. Thanks to the screw connection with the backplate on the rear side of the motherboard, the exceedance of the weight recommendations by Intel and AMD common among high-end coolers is completely unobjectionable.

Is it possible to cool my CPU without a fan (passive) using Noctua coolers?

Noctua coolers weren't originally designed for passive operation although the cooling performance is sufficient in many cases. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to indicate whether a certain CPU can or cannot be cooled without a fan, as this depends on various factors such as case temperature, case ventilation or the orientation of the socket. Generally, we recommend using a fan in the first instance and then lowering RPM while constantly monitoring the temperature.

Can I use Noctua fans on my fan controller?

Our fans are compatible with the vast majority of fan controllers on the market. However, there is a compatibility issue with a few models such as the Zalman ZM-MFC2 and Bitfenix Recon, which apply Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) on the 12V line and use an unfavourable PWM carrier frequency. This can create an oscillation when used with certain fans, which will result in the fan speeding up and down. We therefore recommend not using the Zalman ZM-MFC2 or Bitfenix Recon with our fans.

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

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

Orientation

My fan doesn’t spin when I start up the PC - is it faulty?

If you've connected the fan directly (or using the supplied Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptors) to your mainboard, it's possible that the mainboard's automatic fan controller doesn't provide the required starting voltage due to the low CPU temperature. Please verify whether the fan starts spinning at higher CPU temperatures, remove any Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptors, deactivate your mainboard's automatic fan controller in the BIOS or connect the fan directly to the power supply using the supplied 3:4-pin adaptor.

Is the cooler compatible with LGA1366 mainboards for Xeon 5500?

Due to the custom NM-I3 backplate, the cooler can not be used on mainboards that have a backplate with screw threads for CPU cooler installation (such as the Intel reference backplate for Xeon 5500). Please choose our NH-U12DX 1366 for these mainboards.

1366 compatibility

My mainboard has more than one set of mounting holes. Which one should I use?

Please always use the standard set of mounting holes that's compliant with your socket type (e.g. 75mm LGA1156 hole spacing on LGA1156 sockets) and parallel to the sides of the socket. Don't use mounting holes which are rotated in relation to the socket.

1366 compatibility

The fan clips are almost touching my VGA card!

On some mainboards, the fan clips may be very close to the rear side of VGA cards installed in the first PCI-E slot. Please insulate the fan clips using duct tape or shrink-on tubes in this case.

P14

The fan doesn’t start with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA)!

Unfortunately, many Gigabyte mainboards use a special control circuit that can lead to start-up problems in conjunction with the Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (ULNA). This control circuit remains active even when automatic fan control is disabled in the BIOS. In these cases, please use the fan without the ULNA or connect it directly to the power supply (or an external fan controller) in order to ensure reliable operation with the ULNA.

How much clearance for RAM or chipset coolers does the NH-C14 provide?

The NH-C14 provides 38mm (Dual Fan Mode and Low Profile Mode) / 65mm (High Clearance Mode) clearance for near-socket components:

C14 Measurements

C14 Measurements

Is the mounting system compatible with LGA1155?

Yes. LGA1155 uses the same hole spacing as LGA1156, so the same SecuFirm2™ mounting system can be used.

The fan clips are almost touching my VGA card!

On some mainboards, the fan clips may be very close to the rear side of VGA cards installed in the first PCI-E slot. In this case, please install the cooler with the bendings of the heatpipe towards the graphics card in order to have more space. Alternatively, you can also insulate the fan clips using duct tape or shrink-on tubes.

P14

Is the cooler compatible with AMD AM3+ and FM1?

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

Is the cooler compatible with the Intel LGA2011 socket and Asus X-socket™?

The cooler doesn’t come with LGA2011 mounting hardware out of the box, but it can be upgraded to support LGA2011 via the NM-I2011 mounting kit.

Please also note that the cooler is fully compatible with Asus Rampage IV series LGA2011 motherboards that feature Asus X-socket™. Asus X-socket™ models use an interchangeable backplate that makes it possible to install LGA1366 heatsinks, so the cooler is fully compatible with these mainboards out of the box and does not require any upgrades to be installed.

Asus X-socket

In order to install the cooler on Asus X-socket™ mainboards, please first remove the mainboard’s LGA2011 backplate and install the LGA1366 backplate supplied with the mainboard instead (see the mainboard manual for detailed instructions). Then install the Noctua cooler as described in the supplied installation manual for LGA1366. In case you’ve lost the printed installation manual, you can download it here.

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

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

The cooler's fans always run at full speed and can not be controlled by my motherboard, what's the problem?

Older, discontinued models such as the NH-D14, NH-C14, NH-U12P SE2 and NH-U9B SE2 ship with 3-pin fans that can only be controlled by means of voltage adjustment. When these models were introduced in 2009 and 2010, many motherboards supported this type of speed control, whereas today, most motherboards can only control 4-pin fans by means of PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). As indicated on the resepective product pages, these models have been discontinued and superseeded by newer models such as the NH-D15, NH-C14S, NH-U12S and NH-U9S, which, like all current Noctua CPU coolers, support speed control via PWM. If you would like to use PWM speed control, please purchase one of our current cooler models or change the fans for some of our 4-pin PWM fans. Alternatively, you can also use the supplied Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise adaptors in order to reduce the speed of the supplied fans.

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.

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

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

Can I run Noctua 3-pin fans on 4-pin PWM connectors and use my mainboard’s automatic fan controller?

You can simply connect our fan's 3-pin connector to the 4-pin PWM sockets of today's mainboards so that the fourth pin that transmits the PWM signal is left blank (due to the shape of the connector, there's no danger of reversing polarity). Some mainboards (e.g. current Gigabyte models) are capable of controlling fans not only via PWM, but also by adjusting the supplied voltage. In some cases, this may require you to change BIOS options like "Fan Control Mode" from "PWM" to "Voltage" or "Analog". Please consult your mainboard's manual in this regard. However, some mainboards use an "auto" setting by default that automatically chooses PWM or voltage based regulation according to the connected fan. Automatically controlling the fan speed may not possible on mainboards that pulse the power rather than lowering the fan voltage.

PWM PWM

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.

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

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

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

How 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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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



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

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