CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-C14S CPU Cooler Review: Balance Through Asymmetry

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Final Thoughts about the Noctua NH-C14S CPU Cooler

There is perhaps no stronger testament to efficiency than a Noctua CPU cooler (with the exception of a newer updated version) from its performance to every aspect of its build quality. Compared to the original NH-C14, the NH-C14S even improves the mounting mechanism to be simpler and require less steps and parts to install.

With a slight asymmetric lean, the NH-C14S also efficiently takes care of the clearance issues that were present in the original design, namely the PCI-E incompatibilities with mini-ITX and micro-ATX motherboards. Usually, a break in symmetry results in a less aesthetically appealing product but in this case, it is a total non-issue as the compatibility trade off is heavily favorable. The NH-C14S can be mounted without issue on mini-ITX motherboards without interfering with graphics cards on two of its orientation options and all four orientations allow for unblocked DIMM slot access up to 67mm tall (40mm with fan).

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Finally and most importantly, the NH-C14S with only one fan is also leaner on the wallet at only $74.90 (MSRP) compared to the $99 NH-C14 which is now discontinued. The performance at this price is quite impressive, staying close to the NH-D15, although slightly louder at full bore acoustically due to the design. Even with the low-noise adapter attached however, performance did not waver and passed the overclocked FPU-only load test. For quality, performance, relative silence with the low-noise adapter, flexibility and ease of use, the Noctua NH-C14S earns the Modders-Inc Editor’s Choice award.

[sc:editors_choice_award ]

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Ron Perillo

Ron is a non-binary tech writer that presently identifies as a reviewer but is currently transitioning toward modding.
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