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

Cooling Results And Fan Speed

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.

Motherboard voltage regulator temperatures are significantly down across the current generation of coolers, though there's no definitive explanation as to why. We’ll limit ourselves to CPU temperatures in our overall performance comparisons.

The one thing that does stand out when we narrow our focus of voltage regulator temperatures to the coolers being compared today is that the Tundra works better when we use our alternate installation rather than SilverStone’s recommended configuration. CPU core temperatures remain consistent across both Tundra TD02-based setups. A system with internally-vented graphics cards under full load would likely demonstrate higher CPU temperatures when using its fans as exhaust, but the cards themselves should run cooler due to the additional upward airflow.

Thanks to its larger fans and added width, Cooler Master’s Nepton 280L exhibits the lowest temperatures of today's coolers. It’s passed only by Thermaltake’s previous-gen Water2.0 Extreme in the above chart.

Two of the coolers from an earlier round-up didn’t provide tachometer readings for their water pumps. SilverStone’s Tundra TD02 has the greatest fan speed, which could at least partly account for lower temperatures around the CPU voltage regulator. Zalman’s high-speed Reserator3 Max fan has no frame, and air leaking from its sides could also help explain its relatively-low voltage regulator temperatures.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.