Closer Look at the Cooler:
The Noctua NH-U14S has a very simple tower design that we’ve been seeing pretty much from the start of the high-end CPU cooling industry. Some of the very best coolers like Thermalright Venomous X, Xigmatek Dark Knight and many others are based on this kind of design. The single tower design usually presents the best balance of size and performance. And size is one of the most important factors these days with the pursuit towards smaller systems.
The NH-U14S is not very tall or wide which means that it would fit easily in most cases and it won’t generally interfere with memory slots. However, it is quite long so there is a good chance that it’ll overlap the first PCI expansion slot of most motherboards.
The Noctua NF-A15 fan that comes bundled with the cooler protrudes a little bit both from top and bottom. It is attached to the cooler but a simple mounting clip and it can be moved up or down if you need some space below the fan to install a memory stick or something. Noctua also bundles an extra set of fan clips to open up the possibility to use the cooler in push/pull configuration.
Noctua NH-U14S has a total of six nickel plated heatpipes which has pretty sturdy heat fins stacked on them. The central part of the cooler has some extra fins on the bottom side to take advantage of the bigger fan which protrudes a little bit from that area. According to Noctua, this little area makes a considerable difference in overall performance of the cooler. Four out of the six heatpipes are also concentrated in the central area of the cooler.
Finish on the Noctua coolers has always been great. Its neither chrome nor matte; it’s a mix of these two. And it not only looks good but gives out the feel of sturdiness, durability and quality too. The fins are also solid enough to handle bumps and pushes.
The base of the NH-U14S is exactly like we’ve always seen on Noctua coolers. It’s very smooth but opaque.
The NF-A15 that comes bundled with the cooler is very interesting in itself. It’s actually a 150mm fan in 140mm size with 120mm mounting holes. Go figure! It has self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearings which insure silent operation. Fins on the NH-A15 have flow acceleration channels which lead to better efficiency and lower vortex noise.