heading

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 LGA20xx

Full RAM compatibility on LGA20xx

With its 52mm slim design tailor-made for LGA20xx (LGA2066 & 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.
*In cases with more than 165mm CPU cooler clearance, the fan can be moved upwards to make room for memory modules taller than 32mm. If the rear fan is off-set, it may overhang the first left hand side RAM slot on LGA20xx.
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 LGA115x installation
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA2011 installation
Video Reviews
The following video reviews have not been created by Noctua. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the videos lies entirely with the authors.
language
language
language
language
language
09.05.2013 // TweakTown.com
test.gif

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)
26.04.2013 // AnandTech.com
test.gif

NH-U14S Review

There's a lot of data to digest here. First, it looks like the very best air cooling has to offer is only really hugging the bottom of what closed loop cooling can do, but that's a bit deceptive. The breaking point is actually when you go beyond a 120mm radiator, and even then it's not certain: Noctua's new NH-U14S, at its fastest, is a better performer than Corsair's H100i at its quietest setting. [...] Almost all of the air coolers are relatively silent under load, while the closed loop coolers produce a tremendous amount of racket if they're not configured for silent running. [...] Also note that the two new Noctua coolers are meeting or beating their old standard, the NH-D14, and they're doing it while being quieter.
Test verdict: "What surprised me was just how well the two new Noctua coolers performed. The NH-U12S is basically at least as good as the stalwart NH-D14, but it's smaller and it's cheaper. Meanwhile, the big brother NH-U14S puts in a solid performance of its own, but losing that top PCI Express port for just a couple more degrees of performance is a major drag. These are both excellent air coolers in their own right, but if you're looking to spend premium cash on an air cooler, I'd go with the NH-U12S and then probably tack a second NF-F12 PWM fan on to the order." (Dustin Sklavos, AnandTech.com)
01.08.2014 // SvětHardware.cz
test.gif

NH-U14S Review

Co se týče výkonu, pak ten dle očekávání řadí tyto chladiče mezi nejlepší modely, přičemž vedení si získal především větší model NH-U14S, který se přinejmenším vyrovná i velkým chladičům disponujícím dvěma ventilátory. Díky tomu může pracovat tiše a zabrat menší prostor. NH-U12S pak můžeme vidět jako prostorově úspornější náhradu starého NH-U12P, jemuž se výkonnostně vyrovná. Chladiče Noctua jsou také investicí do budoucna, protože vzhledem k podpoře starších modelů ze strany této firmy můžeme očekávat, že nám vydrží i po příchodu nových socketů. Budiž to náplastí na bolístku v podobě vyšší ceny. Po zvážení pro a proti jsme se rozhodli udělit modelu NH-U14S ocenění TREFA.
Test verdict: "Dnes se podíváme na nabídku firmy Noctua, která v ní má mimo jiné 2 procesorové chladiče NH-U12S a NH-U14S, jež se liší svou velikostí, ale ne zpracováním." (Jan Vítek, SvětHardware.cz)
09.07.2013 // ComputerBase.de
test.gif

NH-U14S Review

Da die leistungsspezifischen Anforderungen an Prozessorkühler in den vergangenen Jahren kaum gestiegen sind, haben Kühlerhersteller bei der Pflege ihres Produkt-Portfolios ein vermeintlich leichtes Spiel. Scheinbar ohne die Bemühung gestalterischer Finesse oder revolutionärer Ideen gelingt es, ein empfehlenswertes Produkt abzuliefern. Ganz so einfach macht es sich Noctua bei den vorgestellten NH-U-Kühlern jedoch nicht, denn viele Verbesserungen stecken im Detail. Die Kühlkörper von NH-U12S und NH-U14S lassen wenig Raum zur Optimierung. Hochwertige Materialien stehen sauber verlötet in stabiler Verbindung. Die vollständige Nickel-Legierung verleiht dem metallenen Auftritt eine einheitliche Optik ohne Spielerei. Aus Sicht der Kühlleistung verzichtet man zwar aufgrund der sehr schmalen Bauform auf etwas Potential, dafür sichert Noctua die Kompatibilität auch zu hochbauenden RAM-Riegeln – ein Umstand, den viele High-End-Kühler dieser Tage außer Acht lassen. Dennoch offenbaren die Kühler im Leistungsvergleich sehr gute Werte. Insbesondere der NH-U14S überzeugt mit ausgesprochen hoher Rohleistung. Dabei harmonieren beide Kühler sowohl mit Einzel- als auch mit Doppelbelüftung.
Test verdict: "In Summe liefern sowohl der NH-U12S als auch der NH-U14S in bester Tradition sehr gute Gesamtpakete, die man so bei der Konkurrenz nur selten findet." (Martin Eckardt, ComputerBase.de)
28.06.2013 // techPowerUp.com
test.gif

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)
23.06.2013 // TechSweden.org
test.gif

NH-U14S Review

Noctuas NH-U12S har levererat superb prestanda i våra olika test varianter, kylaren kommer med gått om tillbehör och den framstående byggkvalitén vittnar om en lång livslängd. För den ljudkräsne kan vi lugnt meddela att ingen dubbelfläktslösning behövs för att klara av att kyla en processor i både standardutförande eller med en lättare överklockning. För ökad livslängd kan det dock vara att rekommendera dubbla fläktar om en väldigt högpresterande processor, alternativt kraftigt överklockad processor skall användas en längre tid. Ljudnivån med en fläkt är absolut inget att klaga på, om nått vid höga varv men fortfarande tystare en många konkurrenters varianter på höga varv. Sedan har vi självklart också storebrodern av de båda. Noctua NH-U14S gjorde oss absolut inte besvikna. Byggkvalitén är lika god som syskonenheten, företaget skickar med gott om tillbehör och ljudnivån på låga varv är så gott som ohörbar. Det är just vi höga fläktvarv eller när kylaren utrustas med dubbla fläktar som ljudnivån börjar bli ett ”problem”. För den kräsne, som vanligt räcker det i detta fall mer än väl med en fläkt och vi tror inte att en högre presterande processor eller relativt högt överklockad sådan kommer att lida av några större värmeproblem med NH-U14S. Men för den nervöse, är det inga problem att peta på en extra NF-A15 PWM fläkt och njuta av den utmärkta prestandan som kylaren levererar. Det skall dock tas i beaktning att med två av dessa fläktar på 1500 RPM, är det helt klart bekvämast att koppla in ett headset när det ska spelas intensiva, koncentrationskrävande Starcraft matcher eller kollas på film.
Test verdict: "Båda kylarna lämnar oss med en trevlig magkänsla, byggkvalitén är superb som alltid hos båda enheterna. Man får med gott om tillbehör och dessa två variablar tillsammans med den utmärkta prestanda vi noterade är nog för att vi ska rekommendera dessa enheter till de som är intresserade av uppgraderad kylning till sina älskade processorer." (Emil Daunfelt, TechSweden.org)
13.06.2013 // HardwareCanucks.com
test.gif

NH-U14S Review

Noctua’s NH-U12S and NH-U14S may not be genre-defining coolers, nor do they provide the absolute best performance but they boast class-leading designs which seamlessly fit the demands of today’s enthusiasts. Few, if any other heatsinks have managed to accomplish this but these two entries have proven once again that refined engineering practices can easily beat brute force approaches to cooling. The U12S and U14S aren’t chart toppers but their overall performance beggars belief. Being able to run with some of today’s best air coolers and similarly priced water-based setups is no small feat but to do so with a single fan and barely noticeable acoustics is simply astounding. Noctua’s design is so fine-tuned that switching out fans for higher performing (and louder) models amounts to very little in the way of decreased CPU temperatures. It feels like Noctua’s engineers designed the NF-F12 and NF-A15 first and then said “ok, let’s design two heatsinks to take advantage of these fans”. The end result is a pair of highly adaptable heatsinks that remain blissfully silent while retaining the capability to cool off overclocked CPUs. Aside from raw performance and quiet operation, the U12S and U14S both provide an ease of installation that’s nearly unrivaled. The SecureFirm 2’s individually boxed mounting kits, straightforward instructions and intuitive hardware all work together to create an installation process which will be a time saver for enthusiasts and a game changer for novices. It also provides excellent, even pressure without introducing the possibility of over tightening bolts. This is all accomplished without any notable compatibility issues and installation hiccups.
Test verdict: "With the NH-U12S and NH-U14S Noctua have continued a longstanding tradition of creating excellent heatsinks with a focus on quiet operation." (Anthony Garland, HardwareCanucks)
28.04.2013 // TheLab.gr
test.gif

NH-U14S Review

Εν ολίγοις η NH-U14S τα πήρε όλα σβάρνα και έφυγε, αδιαφορώντας για το αν οι άλλες ψύκτρες διαθέτουν μεγαλύτερο βάρος, περισσότερους ανεμιστήρες και αν κοστίζουν ακριβότερα. Κατάφερε και έβαλε τα γυαλιά ακόμη και στην NH-D14 η οποία υποτίθεται ότι ανήκει σε μεγαλύτερη σειρά, αλλά δυστυχώς έχει αρχίσει και δείχνει τα χρονάκια της και καλά θα κάνει η Noctua να την ανανεώσει/βελτιώσει σύντομα, μιας και δεν πρέπει να αφήνεις τέτοιους θρύλους να σβήνουν άδοξα στο τέλος. Αν θέλετε να ξεμπερδεύετε μια και καλή με το θέμα της ψύξης του υπερ-χρονισμένου επεξεργαστή σας και δε βρίσκεται βολικές τις ωτοασπίδες, τότε προμηθευτείτε μια NH-U14S με έναν επιπλέον ανεμιστήρα και θα ξεχάσετε το θέμα ψύξη για πολύ μεγάλο διάστημα. Όσον αφορά τώρα τη "μικρή" NH-U12S, σε καμιά περίπτωση δεν μπορεί να σταθεί δίπλα στη μεγάλη της αδερφή από πλευρά επιδόσεων, αλλά παρόλα αυτά κατάφερε και άντεξε το πλήρες φορτίο του Jalapeno, σημειώνοντας αξιοπρεπείς θερμοκρασίες. Το κύριο μειονέκτημα της αποτελεί η μικρή διαφορά τιμής που τη χωρίζει από τη μεγαλύτερη NH-U14S, αλλά ούτως η άλλος παίζει σε εντελώς διαφορετική κατηγορία και στο κάτω κάτω θα την επιλέξει κάποιος που δεν μπορεί να χρησιμοποιήσει μεγαλύτερων διαστάσεων ψύκτρα. Για τα κυβικά της πάντως αποδίδει αρκετά καλά και ο θόρυβος που παράγει σε γενικές γραμμές είναι χαμηλός. Πάντως σε αυτές τις διαστάσεις υπάρχουν και άλλες προτάσεις, πολύ πιο οικονομικές αλλά και με κατά πολύ χαμηλότερη ποιότητα κατασκευής και αρκετά πιο θορυβώδεις.
Test verdict: "Νομίζω ότι δε χρειάζεται να πω (γράψω καλύτερα) πολλά μιας και οι αριθμοί και τα γραφήματα των προηγούμενων σελίδων τα αποκάλυψαν όλα. Η Noctua για άλλη μια φορά έδειξε γιατί είναι μια από τις κορυφαίες εταιρίες κατασκευής λύσεων ψύξης για επεξεργαστές. Πρόκειται άλλωστε για μια εταιρία που δεν ασχολείται με τίποτε άλλο παρά μόνο με αυτό τον τομέα, οπότε η τεχνογνωσία και η εμπειρία που έχει αποκτήσει είναι τεράστια. Αν συνδυάσουμε τα παραπάνω με την κορυφαία ποιότητα κατασκευής που χαρακτηρίζει όλα τα προϊόντα της, τότε το αποτέλεσμα δεν μπορεί να είναι τίποτα λιγότερο από εξαιρετικό." (Aristides Mpitziopoulos, TheLab.gr)
21.04.2013 // eTeknix.com
test.gif

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)
20.03.2018 // Overclockers.com
test.gif

NH-U14S Review

The NH-U14S is the heatsink featured in this review, and it did surprisingly well. One would expect that it would not be able to keep up: not only cooling less well than the D15 but falling behind the DF14, the Megahalems and the Genesis as well. Instead, this little one tower heatsink surpassed all our expectations and beat out three top heatsinks, with the stock U14S only falling behind the stock D15 by 2.1 °C (59.3 vs 61.4). If we look at the single-fan options the U14S is only 1.4 °C behind the D15S (60.0 vs 61.4). How does it do its magic? Who knows? It is a fine heatsink that won’t interfere with tall RAM. You could improve the cooling by little more than a degree by buying an NF-A15 and putting it on the back side of the heatsink as a pull fan. But the Noctua engineers think gains to be had over the single fan is not worth the cost. However we are all about limit pushing here, so Noctua includes a second set of fan clips with the NH-U14S kit.
Test verdict: "How can you expect a single-tower heatsink to keep up with dual-tower competitors, especially doing Linpack with AVX2 at 5 GHz? First, the double-fan setup (1500 as push, 1200 as pull) finished only 1.5 °C behind the leading D15 combination. This is an amazing result." (Ed Hume, overclockers.com)

NA-FC1

  • Compact, highly flexible controller for 4-pin PWM fans
NH-U14S

NM-AM4-UxS mounting-kit

  • The NM-AM4-UxS SecuFirm2™ mounting-kit makes Noctua NH-U14S, NH-U12S and NH-U9S CPU coolers compatible with AMD's AM4 socket.
NH-U14S

NA-SEC1

  • 4-Pin Extension Cables
NH-U14S

NM-I3 Mounting-Kit

  • The NM-I3 SecuFirm2™ Mounting-Kit makes Noctua CPU coolers compatible with Intel's LGA775 & LGA1366 sockets.
NH-U14S

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

Is it possible to use the cooler with vertical graphic cards?

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

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

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

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

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

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

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

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

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

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

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

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

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

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156)?

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

Is the cooler compatible with AMD FM2+?

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

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

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

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

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

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

How to remove the base protection cover?

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

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

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

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

Can square 140mm fans be installed on this cooler?

Is it possible to use the cooler with vertical graphic cards?

Depending on the chassis, card and motherboard being used, installing PCIe cards in a vertical position using riser cards may cause compatibility issues with CPU coolers. Whether there will be a problem or not depends on the exact position of the card (which is determined by the PC case and/or optional vertical GPU holder bracket), the width of the card as well as the position of the CPU socket on the motherboard. In order to verify that there is sufficient space for the cooler, please measure the distance between the centre of the CPU socket and the top of the PCI card in order to make sure that the cooler fits.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 independently from the second fan’s rpm signal.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

NH-U14S
NH-U12S
NH-U9S

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

NH-L9a
NH-L9i

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

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

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

NH-U14S TR4-SP3
NH-U12S TR4-SP3
NH-U9 TR4-SP3
NH-U12DO A3
NH-U9 DO A3

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

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

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.

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

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

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.

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 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

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.

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'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).

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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 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

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156)?

The mounting is identical on all LGA115x sockets (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156). The following coolers are thus compatible with LGA115x out of the box and don’t require any upgrades in order to be used on this platform: NH-C12P SE14, NH-C14, NH-C14S, NH-D15, NH-D15S, NH-D14, NH-L12, NH-L12S, NH-L9i, NH-L9x65, NH-U14S, NH-U12S, NH-U12P SE2, NH-U9S, NH-UD9L, NH-U9B SE2. In addition, all older models which have been upgraded with the NM-I3 kit can also be used on LGA115x without any further upgrades.

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA115x using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit: NH-C12P, NH-D15 SE-AM4, NH-L9x65 SE-AM4, NH-U12, NH-U12F, NH-U12P, NH-U12P SE1366, NH-U12S SE-AM4, NH-U9, NH-U9F, NH-U9B.

The following coolers are mechanically incompatible with the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and can not be made compatible with LGA115x: TR4-SP3 coolers, DX-3647 coolers, DO-Series AMD Opteron coolers, NH-L9a, NH-L9a-AM4.

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 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.

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.

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 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 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.

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

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

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

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

amd backplate

How to remove the base protection cover?

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

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

You can simply remove the cover as shown below:

Base Protection Cover

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.

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.

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

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

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

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate



Is 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.

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

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

Is the cooler compatible with 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.

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.

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

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

Xeon Compatibility

Can 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.

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