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Four New Closed-Loop Liquid Coolers Versus Noctua's NH-D14

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October 6, 2013 9:34:35 PM

length, width and thickness in inches, fan size in mm, weight in ounces. can we just have mm everywhere, and preferably kg as well?
Score
38
October 6, 2013 9:38:40 PM

Seems they reduced their old BS claim of handling 400 watts of heat on the Reserator 3 MAX, it is now 350 watts, but even that seems unrealistic.

Tomshardware should place some of these coolers on a resistive load of 300-400 watts and see if these coolers can actually handle the heat, or will the fluid boil and build up enough pressure to pop.
Score
2
October 6, 2013 9:40:09 PM

Isn't the whole point of watercooling to move the cooler far away from the cpu, so that there is more room to utilize a significantly larger radiator? The thermalright and zalman options look smaller than the noctua...
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1
October 6, 2013 10:07:44 PM

Grabbed a Dark Rock Pro 2 for my new setup. No regrets - looks a billion times better than D14, is less noisy, performs +-1C the same.
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2
October 6, 2013 10:27:06 PM

got an old corsair h100 for $50, which was less then the old heatsink i had on my phII x4 965 used to go for (thermalright ultra 120), Gained a solid 8C improvement in temps, lost some of the noise advantages (the ultra had two noctua's on it)... setting it to medium gave me a 5C improvement in temps, and about the same noise levels. overall i'm pretty happy with it. it looks cleaner, that's for sure.
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2
October 6, 2013 10:30:35 PM

Thanks for the review.I always have said if someone is going to watercool they should go custom.IMO those all in one water cooling kits just are not worth it. They are no better than high-end air cooling like a Noctua D14, Thermalright Silver Arrow,Phanteks PH-TC14PE elect.If you want to go water cooling do a custom loop if not just go with top of the line air cooling.Better bang per buck!
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0
October 6, 2013 10:47:26 PM

I wish there was some way to measure the DeltaT of the Ethylene Glycol used in these CLC's because truthfully I wouldn't be surprised to see >25c when using a overclocked 3960X.
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0
October 6, 2013 11:23:44 PM

I wonder how much the rear exhaust fan would have affected the Reserstor3’s results.
In any case, I will wait for price drops or rebates.
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0
October 7, 2013 12:24:46 AM

Is it so difficult to sort the results from best to worst? Lowest to highest etc?

Like this it is impossible to read.
Score
20
October 7, 2013 12:45:02 AM

Well, those stock fans all blows, in my optic. You might call it cheating, but try slamming in two noctua pwm fans in a H100i for instance. I run this at home, and those fans typically runs at 600-800 rpm, therefore being totally silent. My stock temps rest around 38C, with 22C ambient, and hit around 60C at full prime load. i7 2600K @ 4.2 ghz. 1.28v
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-1
October 7, 2013 1:49:47 AM

this is very bad testing, it only works for out of the box comparison. most of the watercoolers can be tweaked into lower speed of fans and even pump like they do on silentpcreview. this test i was hoping to answer my question if i could buy a dual fan watercooler instead of the air cooler to cool a i7 powerhouse with oc and still tweak it so its nearly silent. instead the fans are in the thousands of rpm when only 1000 is needed to cool efficiently......
Score
2
October 7, 2013 2:58:50 AM

I have H100, H100i, Coolermaster Seidon 240 and Thermal Take Water 2.0. Cooling wise, TT water 2.0 really works well in the extreme mode, but the fan is noisy and you can feel some vibrations in the PC case. Tt water 2.0 is excellent. There were times when I just turned on the PC and I thought that the PC was still off as I can't hear a noise coming out from the fans of Tt water 2.0. For quiet mode, this is the best. Over all, from what I have that I listed above, Tt water 2.0 is the best choice.
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0
October 7, 2013 4:34:33 AM

Thanks for the review! It's always nice to have roundups for coolers like this, and I think you guys are right on for using the D14 as the base of comparison (thanks for not using a less popular but newer cooler like the U14S).

I've been tempted for a long time to switch my NH-D14 out for a Corsair H110 and just use my 140mm Noctua fans on it... not sure if this review makes me want to do that more or not.
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0
October 7, 2013 5:04:51 AM

I would have liked to see Swiftech in there, even though it's a slightly different category. good article but I tend to agree with Plusthinking b/c tweaking w/o a neglect-able performance hit is achievable
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0
October 7, 2013 6:14:58 AM

Plusthinking Iq said:
this is very bad testing, it only works for out of the box comparison. most of the watercoolers can be tweaked into lower speed of fans and even pump like they do on silentpcreview. this test i was hoping to answer my question if i could buy a dual fan watercooler instead of the air cooler to cool a i7 powerhouse with oc and still tweak it so its nearly silent. instead the fans are in the thousands of rpm when only 1000 is needed to cool efficiently......


The testing may not have been what you were wanting but I don't think you can call it bad because they didn't test custom configurations. Your particular question has been answered, the answer is no, use the Noctua air cooler.

With that said I would appreciate a thermal test that used the same fan on every cooler to show efficiency.
Score
-1
October 7, 2013 6:31:56 AM

Noctua NF-F12 fans on my Cooler Master Seidon 240M perform well. The issue with the current selection of close-looped coolers are the fans that they come with. Noisy high rpm fans may be efficient at cooling and proving high static pressure but their performance doesn't justify the acoustics.

I am hoping that Toms has a followup article testing various radiator fans.
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1
October 7, 2013 6:39:40 AM

I have a D14 rheobus controlled to fixed 12v and I can't hear it over my antec Big Boy 200mm triple speed
6 years of warranty outlive those AIO liquid cooling.
Why are getting this crappy things so popular? I am gathering Bitspower fittings to start a real liquid loop (demineralized water and nickel plating only). AIO watercooling the cpu doesn't make sense to me given the performance of top air coolers and their reliability. It could make sense when you watercool a GPU which works a lot harder in a limited space and with weight issues.
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1
October 7, 2013 6:44:27 AM

Can't speak for bigger AIOs but small-sized 120mm fan/radiator AIOs are a godsend for people who build mini ITX performance rigs like me. In some cases the biggest air cooling solution I can fit is the intel stock cooler, and AIOs save the day big time. =)
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4
October 7, 2013 6:45:33 AM

BigMack70 said:
Thanks for the review! It's always nice to have roundups for coolers like this, and I think you guys are right on for using the D14 as the base of comparison (thanks for not using a less popular but newer cooler like the U14S).


how did you come to the conclusion that the U14S is less popular than the older NH-D14? The U14S has shown and proven that the NH-D14 is over-engineered. For an air cooler, the U14S competes with the best water coolers. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against water cooling. I'm just saying that the U14S is better than NH-D14 in performance as it is newer.

This review should have included the U14S as it is superior than that old NH-D14.
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-1
October 7, 2013 7:13:45 AM

I have been running the Antec H20 920 for 2 + years, modding it out with Cougar 120 mm fans: the Antec fans were unacceptably loud, and used the Antec 620 in another gaming build. Both run quiet and cool (between +5 and + 10 C at idle) and never have exceeded 60 C in gaming or at stress.
The torque on the mobo is minimal compared to the Noctua or other big air coolers and the case cooling is improved through greater circulation.
Big air is fine for cooling but taxing on the mobo and impacts longevity. If you plan to keep a rig for more than 3 years beware of big air: mobos are not designed to endure constant shearing torque of 1-2 Kg.
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0
October 7, 2013 7:20:16 AM

Does this mean that another Big Air round-up is in the works? I hope so.
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0
October 7, 2013 7:58:40 AM

Noctua probably wins on its fan quality. I would like to see the test result using Noctua fans on all the water coolers.
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0
October 7, 2013 8:09:49 AM

I had a NH-D14 cooler in my setup, but had to take it out due to a factor not mentioned in this article: size. The fan brackets would press against the PCB of my 680. So it had to be removed in favor of a water cooled setup.
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0
October 7, 2013 8:19:57 AM

Au_equus said:
I had a NH-D14 cooler in my setup, but had to take it out due to a factor not mentioned in this article: size. The fan brackets would press against the PCB of my 680. So it had to be removed in favor of a water cooled setup.

You can gently bend them. Noctua said it was ok :) 

Image here
http://imageshack.us/a/img209/4777/clipfv.jpg

I say this as someone who also has an H80i(only a single 120mm fan outlet on my case) and with some more quiet fans or a lower speed profile. It has worked out quite well and made more room in my case.


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0
October 7, 2013 8:33:03 AM

For any closed loop cooler mounted to the rear exhaust, you can probably expect it to block off being able to have a side mounted fan on the case lid. This is especially true for any case using the 240mm fans. The Noctua air cooler also has a tendency to block off the installation of these fans as well.

I think the best situation would be a case where you can install the closed loop on the roof or even in the drive bay as opposed to the rear exhaust. Choose a case carefully that will include some sort of side panel fan configuration. These fans on the case lids are almost always raised up somewhat to include the top GPU and the area around the CPU socket. That might be the best all around config to help cool every component.
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0
October 7, 2013 8:45:58 AM

@7amood

The D14 is still the superior cooler to the U14S, the U14S is just more impressive for its size. The U14S is also much newer, and there are just not as many on the market - hence, it is less popular.

Just go take a look at how many reviews there are on newegg.... 6 for the u14s and almost 1000 combined for the D14/D14 SE2011...... the D14 is still the go-to big air cooler for most.
Score
1
October 7, 2013 9:14:45 AM

Am I the only one who would have drilled some new mounting and ventilation holes to get the best out of my cooler if I bought it and it didn't quite fit right?
Score
1
October 7, 2013 10:48:05 AM

Narcissistic_Martyr said:
Am I the only one who would have drilled some new mounting and ventilation holes to get the best out of my cooler if I bought it and it didn't quite fit right?


Or you could have planned ahead and purchased a case that accommodates such a cooler...
Score
-1
October 7, 2013 11:57:35 AM

Can you make a noise comparison using the same fans? I understand this suggestion would greatly increase the time needed to run the benchmarks but knowing which radiator is the loudest would help people pick. I switched the fans on some version I got from Best Buy and had a massive drop in noise with no thermal increase.
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1
October 7, 2013 1:04:34 PM

Have never understood why db matter to gamers. I could be in a wind tunnel gaming and I still couldn't hear any noise besides my game with just using cheap over the ear headphones.
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-1
October 7, 2013 1:30:13 PM

will1220 said:
Have never understood why db matter to gamers. I could be in a wind tunnel gaming and I still couldn't hear any noise besides my game with just using cheap over the ear headphones.



Consider the scenario of playing on your TV with a dualshock 4 controller in your hand. Not everyone plays the way you do. In fact, some use speakers in lieu of headsets...
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1
October 7, 2013 1:56:29 PM

slomo4sho said:
will1220 said:
Have never understood why db matter to gamers. I could be in a wind tunnel gaming and I still couldn't hear any noise besides my game with just using cheap over the ear headphones.



Consider the scenario of playing on your TV with a dualshock 4 controller in your hand. Not everyone plays the way you do. In fact, some use speakers in lieu of headsets...



Some of us use our PC's for lots of other things as well. Sitting in my office working for 8 hours listening to my PC fan whirling away would drive me nuts.
Score
1
October 7, 2013 2:02:47 PM

Plusthinking Iq said:
this is very bad testing, it only works for out of the box comparison. most of the watercoolers can be tweaked into lower speed of fans and even pump like they do on silentpcreview. this test i was hoping to answer my question if i could buy a dual fan watercooler instead of the air cooler to cool a i7 powerhouse with oc and still tweak it so its nearly silent. instead the fans are in the thousands of rpm when only 1000 is needed to cool efficiently......
I disagree.The testing was done fair.The fact of the matter is If you change the fans that would cost extra money to the cost of these already over priced closed loops.

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0
October 7, 2013 5:25:25 PM

my h-50 go empaty after 3 months :)  Closed! yes Puts some 125w tdp and dry it up!
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-1
October 7, 2013 5:40:49 PM

I was impressed with the Nepton in cooling performance until I saw the pump speed. 3600rpm to my H100I's 2100rpm and only 3 degrees cooler? Ouch.
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0
October 7, 2013 7:02:47 PM

lmao about the measurement units, I was scrolling down to do just that. So yes please can we have just metric or just imperial so you don't irritate all of us at the same time.
Score
1
October 7, 2013 7:40:33 PM

After reading more of the comments, I agree with several people about using the same fan for testing. Is it possible to show results for both situations?
1) Stock, out of the box set-up
2) Using the same fan(s) on each cooler to demonstrate its potential/efficiency

It also be nice if everything was in metric (or imperial) units.
Score
0
October 7, 2013 7:56:39 PM

I agree, I did not loose that much on an H80i by swapping to NH P12's(I already had them and prefer the sound they make compared to the Corsairs at the same speed[the corsairs have a light grinding noise or something. You would not hear it from even a few feet away].)

Also 1 fan on the H80i seems to be only 3-5c hotter.
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0
October 7, 2013 9:14:02 PM

Most closed loop liquid coolers are more hype than substance. The NH-D14 air cooler outperforms them in terms of cooling and in terms of noise. Also, an air cooler cannot leak, a closed liquid cooler can. The only reason to have these liquid coolers is for weight considerations and to make your PC look good (so you can see more of it inside instead of having the RAM slots covered by the gigantic NH-D14).
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0
October 7, 2013 9:25:55 PM

kulmnar said:
Most closed loop liquid coolers are more hype than substance. The NH-D14 air cooler outperforms them in terms of cooling and in terms of noise. Also, an air cooler cannot leak, a closed liquid cooler can. The only reason to have these liquid coolers is for weight considerations and to make your PC look good (so you can see more of it inside instead of having the RAM slots covered by the gigantic NH-D14).

And even with a fan failure the NH-D14 can passive many cpus under light to medium loads :) 

I still kind of want to do the closed loop cooler on a video card mod just because that is one place that it can work quite well.
Score
1
October 7, 2013 10:22:38 PM

Sometimes, I love posts that stir the pot - not necessarily trolling, but definitely the ones that make you think. The one about how the Noctua NH-D14 is over-engineered really caught my attention before I left for work, and I thought for a time about it. Even though the comment may be right out, it is closer to its mark than one would like to admit; the NH-U14S does hold its ground fairly well.
Score
0
October 7, 2013 11:10:02 PM

Very nice review. Loved it. You also should have put in Price to performance too and maybe add the H220.
Score
0
October 8, 2013 6:39:40 AM

Nice article. I notice in the conclusions you reference the Thermaltake Water 2.0. But in the article, you only tested the Thermaltake Water 3.0. Typo?
Score
0
October 8, 2013 7:20:13 AM

razor512 said:
Seems they reduced their old BS claim of handling 400 watts of heat on the Reserator 3 MAX, it is now 350 watts, but even that seems unrealistic.

Tomshardware should place some of these coolers on a resistive load of 300-400 watts and see if these coolers can actually handle the heat, or will the fluid boil and build up enough pressure to pop.


I highly doubt they could handle that much heat . I know at my current settings im at about 228watts at full load and I had to add a second rad to drop the temps, even at my even higher overclocks I was at about 246 watts which there was no way a single 220mm that I was using could keep cool at full load even though I have a restrictive second block slowing the flow down a hair(testing with it out the window to see if it keeps my computer cooler during the winter)
Score
0
October 8, 2013 11:06:32 AM

JamesSneed said:
slomo4sho said:
will1220 said:
Have never understood why db matter to gamers. I could be in a wind tunnel gaming and I still couldn't hear any noise besides my game with just using cheap over the ear headphones.



Consider the scenario of playing on your TV with a dualshock 4 controller in your hand. Not everyone plays the way you do. In fact, some use speakers in lieu of headsets...



Some of us use our PC's for lots of other things as well. Sitting in my office working for 8 hours listening to my PC fan whirling away would drive me nuts.


Tip for you slomo4sho: Buy a fan controller and run the fans at 50% - 75%, they will be near silent.

JamesSneed: Then whats the point of having a overclocked machine? You could just use a stock heatsink.
Score
0
October 10, 2013 12:26:40 AM

adiposity said:
Nice article. I notice in the conclusions you reference the Thermaltake Water 2.0. But in the article, you only tested the Thermaltake Water 3.0. Typo?
Did you ask that without even looking at the product names on the charts? If that list doesn't make sense, jump back to page 11 where the article says "Since we used the same hardware configuration as last winter’s round-up, we thought a comparison of these four coolers to the previous eight would be informative. The two Enermax coolers are still unavailable unfortunately, leaving six former models to compete with today’s four. The new coolers sit atop all charts, while the perennial air cooler takes the bottom."

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0
October 13, 2013 6:04:36 PM

I love my NH-D14. I'll be picking up another in my next rig soon. I can't imagine using anything less now.
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0
October 17, 2013 11:38:55 PM

Nice review. For me , CM Seidon 240M was my pick due to price and it being the biggest improvement over what I had, it is 10x better and it's nice to see it out performed the Air and also the Zalmal 3 max which I nearly fell for. there is something missing in all this though, How much heat is Added to the case with air cooling ? surely water cooling takes the heat away from inside the case and then blows it away, keeping the space at a lower temp. Air cooling just blows heated air thru the case. Just what we want, not !.
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0
November 3, 2013 11:59:12 AM

The Thermaltake system looks good.
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0
!