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Nine Big Air Coolers For Intel's Haswell CPUs, Reviewed

Cooling Value

We warned companies that any cooler that allowed our CPU to top 100° Celsius at 1.25 V would be disqualified from further contention, and found ourselves lucky that we were even able to get the room cold enough in July to finish testing. Of the coolers that survived our tests, Scythe’s Ashura barely qualified at a 98° maximum in a 23° room.

For many overclockers, that means Scythe’s top-value Ashura presents a worst-case cooling scenario, and that anything less powerful isn’t going to satisfy you if you're overclocking a Haswell-based processor. Noctua’s NH-U14S takes a distant second in value, and this $75 part is the cheapest (and hottest) cooler worthy of a full recommendation.

With a 29 decibel noise reading in our lab, Noctua’s NH-U14S climbs a little higher up the value chart when acoustics are considered. The top position of Scythe’s Ashura would qualify it for a value award, if not for the caveat that users must keep the inside of their case below 25° in order to make proper use of a modest 1.25 V overclock.

  • Madn3ss795
    No NH D14?
    Reply
  • 016ive
    Thermalright Archon SB-E X2, That's one big as* cooler!
    Reply
  • jk_ventolero
    The CM H212 Evo has been a crowd favorite for quite some time now. :) I wonder how that might have performed. :D
    Reply
  • blackmagnum
    Water cooling is the best way forward: less noise, energy efficient and low maintenance.
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    I hate to say it but all this article demonstrated to me is that Haswell is in no way better than Ivy Bridge. Even Ivy Bridge used 25% less energy with a 10% boost when compared to Sandy Bridge, and I can still get IB to 4.8 GHz on air.

    Haswell= 10% more power for 10% more energy and 10% less headroom. Oh and it costs more...

    Man I hope AMD can whip them back into shape with Steam Roller...
    Reply
  • s3anister
    I can't even fathom why one would spend this much time to write an article like this and still leave the NH-D14 out.
    Reply
  • spazoid
    It's funny how some of you guys still think Intel made Haswell with desktops in mind. This is a CPU architecture made for mobile. It's quite sufficient for desktops in every regard. Yes, it might not outperform IB by much, and it might run a bit hotter, but in a laptop, there is nothing that compares to Haswell.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    11158600 said:
    No NH D14?
    Noctua picked the NH-U14S instead of the D14. Please feel free to ask them why.

    Since Noctua chose not to feature the NH-D14 this time, you might want to look at its closest competitor. The article links a comparison of Phanteks TCP14E and NH-D14. Since Phanteks chose to keep its big cooler in the running but Noctua chose otherwise, this was the closest "frame of reference" available.

    11159094 said:
    I can't even fathom why one would spend this much time to write an article like this and still leave the NH-D14 out.
    I can't even fathom why you would repeat the first post without regard to any response. And speaking of a response, please read above.
    Reply
  • Shneiky
    Really disappointed that there was no be quiet! and Cooler Master representatives. I would enjoy seeing how a Dark Rock Pro 2 or a V8 GTS/V6 GT.
    Reply
  • flong777
    The comments are correct concerning the omission of the NH-D14 from this testing. It really doesn't matter a damn what "Noctua picked," that is not the issue. The FACT is the D14 is legendary for its cooling and to leave it out of any major test is just plain stupid. Don't forget that it won your last competition for best cooler.

    To say compare it's performance with the Plantek's performance is lame. Use some common sense when you do these reviews.
    Reply