The following system was used to test the cooler:
– Processor: Intel i9 9900K @ 5GHz
– Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X
– RAM: Ballistix Tactical Tracer 16GB DDR4 @ 2666MHz
– GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio
– SSD: Crucial MX500
– HDD: WD 1 TB Blue
– PSU: Seasonic Snow Silent 750W Platinum
– Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe White
– Thermal compound: Noctua NT-H2
Software used for testing the cooler:
– AIDA64 Extreme Version: 6.25.5400
– Intel Burn Test v2.54
– Prime95 29.1
The cooler was tested with the CPU at the default turbo frequency of 4.9 GHz and overclocked to 5 GHz with a core voltage of 1.261 V.
Also, the included fans have been used at their maximum speed.
The room temperature was approximately 26°C (78°F), with 2°C margin of error.
The idle test consists of the CPU sitting idle at the desktop for 30 minutes, the temperature was measured at the end of the test.
The settings of the software used are the following:
Intel Burn Test v2.54 – Stress level: Maximum
Prime95 29.1- small FFT
AIDA64 Extreme Version – FPU Benchmark & Temperature monitoring.
Each test was conducted for 40 minutes.
Full Load – IntelBurnTestV2
Full Load – AIDA64 CPU, FPU & Cache
The noise level was measured at three different distances from the fans (10cm, 20cm, 30cm.) the noise was measured with a margin of error of ± 2 db.
The PCIe expansion slot clearance is good, thanks mostly to the offset design and dimensions of the heatsink.
The Noctua NH-C14S is available for around 75 USD or EUR, and this is one of the main drawbacks of the cooler. This price places the NH-C14S very close to the Noctua NH-D15S, which while it is a different type of cooler, it will perform better and allow for more fans to be used.
The performance of the Noctua NH-C14S is very good, being ahead of similarly priced top flow air CPU coolers, while still using a single fan for its active cooling. The maximum temperature reached by the cooler with an overclocked i9 9900K CPU was 87 degrees Celsius. A temperature which is 1 degree away from the NH-D15S.
The main advantage of the NH-C14S is that the components surrounding the CPU socket of the motherboard will benefit from indirect airflow generated by the cooler. Another advantage of this cooler is the good clearance offered, thanks to the offset design of the heatsink and its height.
The build quality is exceptional, and on the same level as other high-end coolers from Noctua. The aluminum made cooling fins have their edges smoothed to prevent unwanted scratches and injuries. The base plate and heatpipes are have their nickel-plated coating applied evenly and without imperfections.
The installation process is made easy by the Noctua SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system. A mounting system which has been refined during several years to be come one of the best around. Most of its components are made out of solid metal, and the spacers are made from hard high-quality plastic.
In conclusion, the Noctua NH-C14S is a great air CPU cooler that offers a good clearance for all components, and a good cooling performance. The build quality is excellent and the clearance is great. In addition, the cooler will work with an additional 140mm fan for increased performance.