Noctua AMD Threadripper Air Cooler Roundup @ [H]

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Kyle_Bennett, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Noctua AMD Threadripper Air Cooler Roundup

    We take all three Noctua air coolers built for AMD Threadripper CPUs and put these to the test on both the 2950X and 2990WX. We run the NH-U14S, NH-U12S, and NH-U9 through the paces with both Precision Boost 2 and Precision Boost Overdrive using multiple fan configurations and compare these to the Silver Arrow and Wraith Ripper too.

    If you like our content, please support HardOCP on Patreon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  2. Oldmodder

    Oldmodder [H]Lite

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    I am using noctua fans in my current computer for radiator and case ventilation, in day to day use with little load i dont really hear them as both fans and water pump are regulated by CPU load.
    Even swapped the fan in the Be quiet PSU for a noctua :)
    Been using papst and other fans over the years as noise have always been a focus of mine in computer builds, also why i have used large passive heat pipe on Chipsets and so on.
     
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  3. Neapolitan6th

    Neapolitan6th Gawd

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    Damn, that thermalright cooler isn't pulling any punches. I agree it'd be neat to see if a 2nd matching fan would have increased its lead even further.
     
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  4. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    That will happen.
     
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  5. Hakaba

    Hakaba I Think I am Funny, but I'm Not

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    Love me some noctua hardware, however, that silver arrow is a beast!
     
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  6. bbenz33

    bbenz33 Limp Gawd

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    So I've been waiting on this review to get a better idea what the cooler landscape was for Threadripper. One item that has me wondering about some of the "compatible" AIO coolers that I have seen listed is the quote you made about these Noctua units having a customized larger base. These other AIO coolers list compatibility with the TR4 socket yet are just the same coolers as before with an adjusted compatibility chart. Will these coolers actually cover the IHS of the Threadripper CPUs and be able to remove the heat dissipated properly? The Corsair models appear to cover based upon the installation instructions but wasn't sure after reading this article.
     
  7. thenapalm

    thenapalm Limp Gawd

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    "As is par for the course, these come equipped with Noctua's brown and other color brown fans." genuine lol

    Too bad they don't offer a D14/15 style dual-tower, I'd like to see how those stack up.
     
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  8. linuxdude9

    linuxdude9 Limp Gawd

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    Damn you Thermalright. I wanted to buy the Silver Arrow TR4 for my 2950x setup, but I had to settle for the Noctua NH-U14S TR4 unless I wanted to delay my build for two months. I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival in the US.

    Thanks for giving us comprehensive Threadripper cooling coverage Kyle!
     
  9. c3k

    c3k [H]ard|Gawd

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    Okay, I just read it.

    WTF??? And I quote: "But bare with us."

    I did not know I joined some sort of techno-homo-erotica website. Or, did someone skip class on homophone day?

    It could've been worse. It could've been: "Butt bare with us."
     
  10. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    they don't cover the entire IHS but will cover enough of the die area that they work but aren't as efficient as the coolers designed specifically for TR4.
     
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  11. bbenz33

    bbenz33 Limp Gawd

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    Thanks

    So how long before we get TR4 specific AIO units....
     
  12. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Been using a Noctua fan in my current build for about six years now, still whisper quiet running 24/7 in the bedroom, you barely notice it.

    The quality of the product is excellent, I think I'll be getting it again for the next build as silence is number one priority followed by performance - I pick up the highest performing low TDP CPU usually.

    Not sure if I can pull that off this time around though with AMD's 32 core product, it's too tempting to grab if I was in the market today.
     
  13. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    LOL, fixed, thanks. It sucks editing your own articles.
     
  14. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    there's one that already exists from enermax but i think the market for TR4 is still too niche for AOI manufactures to spend the money making a whole separate line of coolers specifically for one socket.
     
  15. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    All of the Enermax AIO TR4 coolers have had quality issues. I would steer clear right now. Check out the threads on the Liqtek TR4.

    Let's get back on topic please.
     
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  16. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    Seems like the Noctuas could benefit from more heatpipes.
     
  17. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    The fact is that the Noctua simply does not move as much air.
     
  18. GDI Lord

    GDI Lord Limp Gawd

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    "However the one that sits on top of my house every night at around 3am is loud as hell and has a habit of waking me up, admittedly however, I never hear her coming or going."
    Hahahahaha!!!
     
  19. drizzyto

    drizzyto n00bie

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    Good Article... Just installed the NH14S today, replaced the Enermax Liqtec 280 (clogged tubes or something, 1 hot and 1 cold, 68C temp idle) and it's a breeze. 43C idle (it's around 25C in here), 69C in Prime95, and fan is almost inaudible. In gaming (Ashes ; PCars 2 ; Diablo 3) it rarely goes above 60C.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  20. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    True, and it's very hard for the Noctua to overcome the fact that the Silver Arrow as about twice the CFM.

    The auto/100% spread of the U14 is not terribly great, this means that either auto is already very close to 100% or the heatpipes are limiting performance.
    This is contrasted against the U9/12 where increasing the fan speed drastically changes the performance of the cooler.

    This is why I believe the the U14 is very close to the limitation of its 6 pipe design.

    The CM WR has similar CFM to the Noctua (assuming the specs are reliable), and has a 7 heatpipe design.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  21. motqalden

    motqalden [H]ard DCOTM Feb 2018

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    Thanks Kyle! I guess i will keep my NHu14S as i don't want to trade high noise for better performance. This told me what i needed to know which is the coolers are pretty close at the same noise level.
     
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  22. CaptNumbNutz

    CaptNumbNutz My Cannon Balls Sunk My Fail Ship

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    I'm actually surprised to see Noctua behind the curve here. Thermalright got their Silver Arrow updated for Threadripper, but Noctua still hasn't updated their top tier dual tower design NH-D15. I suspect it will be coming soon.

    Kyle_Bennett , if Noctua decides to release a NH-D15 for Threadripper, will you compare these two behemoths? Maybe even 3 fans mounted?
     
  23. EdKiefer

    EdKiefer Limp Gawd

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    Nice review on Noctua HS's , Though I don't really care about TR.
    Kyle have you heard anything about new Noctua HS , they showed a U12s that was as good as there U14S at some show at least 6months ago.
    This is after they released TR parts.

    Not into AIO so was looking at either U12S or U14S for next build.
     
  24. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    You would be correct sir. ~950RPM to ~1530RPM

    ~1240RPM to ~1860RPM

    I have all the data, but there was enough there to digest without diving into the minutia. I knew it would come up in this thread to be discussed anyway by anyone that cared.

    I have found this surprising as well. I honestly do not know why they have not moved the D15 over to TR4. The U9 was most likely built for a specific SP3 server footprint as it certainly does not lend itself to TR4.

    Yeah, that would be fun. I did already ask for fans from Thermalright.

    I do not have a relationship with Noctua. I ask for coolers and they generally send those, but there is no true relationship there.
     
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  25. otg

    otg n00bie

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    Maybe they figured that most people who needed significantly better cooling than the -U14S would probably go for water anyway?
    Who knows, but I bet they'll do it eventually, since it seems that Threadripper is going to be around a while.

    Would also be interesting to see what the upper limits are for the air coolers, using even more powerful fans.
    Maybe go for a "most power ever dissipated by a tower cooler" record!
     
  26. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

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    Wow that's kind of surprising how unaggressive the auto RPM is given the top speeds of the fans involved. That being said, those RPMs are well above what I have mine set at, which is ~800RPM for my 120s.

    If I recall correctly, that new U12S also featured a new 120mm fan that offered similar performance to a "140/150mm" fan, albeit at a higher noise profile. It may also have had 6 heatpipes, like the 14/15, instead of 5.
     
  27. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Noctua has some weird ratings on their fans if you look at how them do those.....
     
  28. Qrash

    Qrash Gawd

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    I bought the NH-U14S TR4-SP3 with plans to use a second NF-15 PWM fan that I already own. However, the specifications of the fan included with the TR4 cooler are higher than my stand-alone NF-15 fan:

    NH-U14S TR4-SP3 fan:..1500 rpm , 140.2 m3/h (82.5 CFM) , 24.6 dB(A)
    NF-A15 PWM fan:.......1200 rpm , 115.5 m3/h (68.0 CFM) , 19.2 dB(A)


    On both webpages (linked above) the fan is listed as "NF-A15 PWM Premium Fan", yet the above values are very different. Interestingly, the specs for the cooler's fan do match the stand-alone fan's when Noctua's L.N.A. (Low Noise Adapter) is added to the cooler's fan cable.

    • So does the stand-alone fan have this LNA resister built into it, hence it's lower specs?
    • How good would two large fans with different rpms perform or sound? Not as good as two matched fans, right?

    Anyway, I ordered 2 of the nicer looking black Chromax versions of the fan (NF-A15 HS-PWM) and these have the same specifications as the cooler's fan. So I will have matched fans that look better and have the higher performance.
     
  29. Abula

    Abula Gawd

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    Great review Kyle, really amazing job on threadrippers.

    I can send you an TY143 if you wish, i also would be interested to see an comparison in case you had the time. Thermalright Silver Arrow TR4 with 2x TY143 vs Noctua NH-U14S TR4 with 2x TY143, like going apples to apples to see if the Thermalright Twin tower implementation wins over the best Noctua best TR4 cooler with the same fans under the same rpms.

    If you want me to send you the TY143, pm me an address to ship it to you ( you dont need to ship it back, you can keep them).
     
  30. Oldmodder

    Oldmodder [H]Lite

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    At least TR4 shouldent go away anytime soon, fortune make me forgo on my planned Ryzen 2700X build and go threadripper 1900X instead ( for future proofing as i dont know about the AM4 socket )
    I am even splashing for the Aorus extreme MOBO just reviewed in here. :cool:
     
  31. faugusztin

    faugusztin 2[H]4U

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    The explanation from Noctua is here https://noctua.at/en/does-the-nf-a1...t-speed-1500rpm-than-the-retail-model-1200rpm :

    Does the NF-A15 PWM that comes with Noctua coolers run at a different speed (1500rpm) than the retail model (1200rpm)?

    Yes, the NF-A15 PWM bundled with our heatsinks is specified to run at 1500rpm (see cooler specifications for details) and the retail model is specified to run at 1200rpm (see fan specifications for details). The 1200rpm retail model is ideal for setting up push/pull configurations in combination with the coolers’ 1500rpm stock fan because the combination of the 1500 and 1200rpm models provides a better balance of performance and noise than the combination of two 1500rpm versions. On dual-tower coolers such as the NH-D15S, we recommend to run the 1500rpm version in the center and the 1200rpm version on the front. On single-tower coolers such as the NH-U14S, we recommend to run the 1500rpm version on the front and the 1200rpm version on the back of the cooler. The NA-YC1 y-cable supplied with the retail fan can be used in order to control both fans via one PWM fan header. In this case, both fans will scale individually according to the PWM duty cycle supplied by the motherboard, e.g. they will run at ~1500/1200 respectively at 100% duty cycle, ~750/600rpm at 50% duty cycle, etc. Both at 100% and lower speeds, the speed difference between the fans reduces resonance phenomena and thus helps to achieve the best balance of performance and noise.
     
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  32. Qrash

    Qrash Gawd

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    Thanks for this information, I hadn't seen it before. I still find it interesting that the Chromax (black) version runs at the higher speed than the standalone retail brown version. I thought Chromax fans were the same, but for their colour.
     
  33. faugusztin

    faugusztin 2[H]4U

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  34. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I've always been a big fan of Noctua's fans and coolers. Great performance with comparatively low noise levels.

    I have 8x 140mm Noctua iPPC-2000 PWM fans and one 120mm version in my current build, which I bought in large part because at the time it was tough to find any over 140mm fan with good static pressure ratings. They have performed very admirably over the years I have used them.

    They aren't cheap though, and I don't understand why they keep insisting on using that awful beige and brown color scheme. It matches nothing else in the computer parts industry, and just clashes and looks awful.

    At least the iPPC models are black, but the rubber vibration isolators in the corners are still brown, which is a nuisance.

    Here is what they look like in my build:

    163090_2018-05-16_08-49-26.jpg

    3x 140mm up top (push)
    4x 140mm in th efront (push-pull)
    1x 140mm on outside of case in back vent
    1x 120mm intake in bottom of case
     
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  35. Oldmodder

    Oldmodder [H]Lite

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  36. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I wonder if those serrated edges are actually functional, or if they are just there for looks.

    edit:

    Which direction do those fans spin?

    Apparently serrated edges are commonly used on jet engine fan blades to reduce noise, but they do it on the trailing edge, not the leading edge.

    Those operate at like 10k rpm though, I wonder if the difference would be noticible at 700-1000 rpm.
     
  37. Oldmodder

    Oldmodder [H]Lite

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    I think several makers do the same now, so it might have a say, but i doubt it is much on these pretty low speed fans.
    For circulation in my slightly modified 6 year old lian li case i will be using the corsair LL120 RGB fans for a little splash of color, so will be removing the current red LED strips and UV lighting.

    I an contemplating adding a 4 one to install over my CPU to aid the VRM cooling on the Aorus extreme MOBO, sadly i have no longer access to thermal camera, so will have to guess zones with stale air in the case, though i dont think there will be much of that as the case performed well when first build and run with the 3.2 GHZ northwood CPU and later with the I 7 3770 K
     
  38. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    The NB e-loop fans look cool and as if they are trying to do something different, but looking at the noise to performance ratios, they don't look that different from anyone else on the market.

    This is - of course - assuming that the published noise levels in db are not fudged, which they probably are by all involved.
     
  39. Abula

    Abula Gawd

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    You can grab some Noctua NA-SAVP1 Chromax Anti-Vibration Fan Mount Set - 16 Pack - Black (NA-SAVP1 Black) 71xgN-Z2-TL._SL1500_.jpg
     
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  40. Oldmodder

    Oldmodder [H]Lite

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    Well they are made in Germany, so really you never know what their emissions are. :)
     
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