What I want is the most quietest cooler that does great in also keeping the CPU cool. I have an ASUS z87M-Plus with an i5-4670k and an HAF 912 Mid Tower case. I have been recommended to get the Noctua D14 series the most out any other coolers... and have heard Closed Loop water coolers are a bit excessive and sometimes more noisy due to the pump then decent heatsink/fan coolers. But Im confused between the D14 vs the D15? Is the D15 newer and better? Are there other ones that are just as good that people havent recommended?
The D15 is the newer model with slightly better performance. The D14 is on sale in some places to make room for the new model. Unless you'll be doing some massive overclocking take a look at the Noctua NH-U14S. It only uses one fan so it'll be quieter and it has just about the same performance as the D15/D14 models as well as being a little cheaper.
The D14 is 160mm tall and comes with an NF-P14 140mm non-PWM fan and an NF-P12 120mm non-PWM fan. The D15 is 165mm tall and comes with two NF-A15 140mm PWM fans. The D15's design allows more DRAM clearance than the D14. The D15 is also quieter and, depending on the numbers you look at, can get CPU temps up to 10C lower than the D14.
There are others can perform slightly better, but are louder, and others that are just as quiet or more quiet but don't perform as well. Very few can match the build quality.
Thank you Egleu and Volcanoscout both. Most of the charts Ive seen have the D14/15 in the top 3 consistently, most of those top3 as number 1 too. So the D15 it is afterall. I plan to OC my chip to 4.3 at least. It runs at 4.2 and is very stable at it too. THis should help the temps and get rid of the noisy intel fan hopefully.
One last question - should I get another thermal paste or just use one that comes with the Noctua set? I hear artic silver and this other one that escapes me thermal paste tend to show 1-2 Celcius difference then the stock Noctua provides.
In many of the tests and reviews, the difference is within the margin of error so I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you get a paste that ranks in the..oh..top 10 or so, you'll be fine. The NT-H1 that comes the D14 and 15 is excellent, but go with what makes you happy.