Scratches on Noctua base, worth saving?

Choopyplz

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
189
I recently removed my NH-D14 due to a system upgrade with the intention to reuse, but I noticed it has developed some scratches around the edges of the previous IHS. I've noticed them before, but this time it seems they have gotten more pronounced and are exposing copper. On one of the corner scratches I can also feel a raised bit of the base material, and am afraid that it may prevent good contact to a cpu or even scratch the new CPU's IHS. Is this something that would be worth trying to fix via lapping or some other process, or is it time to retire this cooler and get a new one? The new CPU is a 10900k and is going to need a beefy cooling solution, so likely it would just get replaced with an NH-D15.
 

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mda

[H]ard|Gawd
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For me, this will be a non issue.

Thermal compound exists to bridge the gap between the heatsink and the CPU heatsink, not to mention the fact that the edges where the scratches are at normally are not in spots where the CPU generates heat.

Also, scratching CPU heatsinks -- not really an issue as well especially around that area.

Save your money, the next gen D coolers are coming in Q4 2021 ;D
https://noctua.at/en/product-roadmap
 

Choopyplz

Limp Gawd
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Dec 19, 2013
Messages
189
For me, this will be a non issue.

Thermal compound exists to bridge the gap between the heatsink and the CPU heatsink, not to mention the fact that the edges where the scratches are at normally are not in spots where the CPU generates heat.

Also, scratching CPU heatsinks -- not really an issue as well especially around that area.

Save your money, the next gen D coolers are coming in Q4 2021 ;D
https://noctua.at/en/product-roadmap

Yeah! I know this kind of thing is relatively normal, I have just re-used this cooler several times and this is the first time I've noticed exposed copper, or a raised fleck of metal from the coating around any of the scratches.

Why not a be quiet Dark Rock Pro 4? And yes, a beefier cooler would be better. Or a good idea.

The D15 performs ~slightly~ better, plus I like the look, and they are priced nearly the same. But thanks though, I had to look up the Dark Rock Pro 4 and hadn't realized it is so close in performance.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
27,942
I wouldn't worry about it.

I wouldn't either. At the very least install it on your new CPU and see if it needs a new cooler. I mean, you might as well save yourself $90 and not buy a D15 if the old cooler still works.
 

brinstar117

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Messages
176
I have a couple nickel plated HSFs that are in similar condition after multiple installs. I have not noticed any appreciable difference in performance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you use liquid metal as thermal paste it will permanently stain any exposed copper. In general, the copper will absorb the liquid metal thermal paste. That is perhaps one of the most minor issues considering it's staining something you won't see when it's in use anyways.

The only practical reason to replace the HSF is if it can't meet with your performance requirements.
 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 7, 2007
Messages
5,659
Get some 3m polishing pads and knock the flakes down, then clean with alcohol and install. I would say just don't worry about it, but those flakes could break off after or during install, and then you have metal flakes floating around the mb...
 

brinstar117

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Messages
176
and then you have metal flakes floating around the mb...

But if you do some liquid nitrogen cooling you can get some condensation that freezes around those metal flakes. And as we all know with Frosted Flakes...

good_to_great_image.jpg
 
Joined
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D15 is the reason why I didn't go for it, the DRP4 is so much better looking and performs exactly the same, although the thermal paste also has to do somewhat in the performance of the cooler. I used Gelid Extreme but I ordered a tube of Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Grease Paste 11.1 grams for $29, which it seems to be better than most paste. Also, it's a lot (11.1 grams) but I'll be changing the paste in all of my 3 systems.
D15, all that chrome is an eyesore to me.
I can assure you, you don't need 11g for 3 systems. Maybe 30 systems. Also 30 bucks is a bit much when you could get 10g NT-H1 for half the price and 99% of the effectiveness.
 

freeagentt

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
212
I have a couple nickel plated HSFs that are in similar condition after multiple installs. I have not noticed any appreciable difference in performance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you use liquid metal as thermal paste it will permanently stain any exposed copper. In general, the copper will absorb the liquid metal thermal paste. That is perhaps one of the most minor issues considering it's staining something you won't see when it's in use anyways.

The only practical reason to replace the HSF is if it can't meet with your performance requirements.
That's odd.. my Thermalright coolers have not done this :D

They do have some wear but nothing like that..

Just use it. Its still better than a DRP4. If you just want a new toy then sure why not..

As for TIM.. it probably doesn't matter much who you go with.
 

Libnok

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
102
I have a couple nickel plated HSFs that are in similar condition after multiple installs. I have not noticed any appreciable difference in performance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you use liquid metal as thermal paste it will permanently stain any exposed copper. In general, the copper will absorb the liquid metal thermal paste. That is perhaps one of the most minor issues considering it's staining something you won't see when it's in use anyways.

The only practical reason to replace the HSF is if it can't meet with your performance requirements.
Why would anyone use liquid metal on the outside of the IHS on anything other than a liquid nitrogen setup? The whole liquid metal usage has gotten out of hand and I don't think it should be suggested in 99% of cases (and the 1% are well aware it is needed at that point). The negligible performance gains versus the liability should be noted as well.
 

Nasgul

Weaksauce
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Jun 11, 2005
Messages
85
I can assure you, you don't need 11g for 3 systems. Maybe 30 systems. Also 30 bucks is a bit much when you could get 10g NT-H1 for half the price and 99% of the effectiveness.
Well......maybe, but the 5.5 grams was like $5 cheaper, so for $5 more I went double (for the Kryonaut). And the NT-H2 was $4 less than the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut. But I was interested in the NT-H2 and compared the two (with NT-H1) and the H2 was a micro-millimeter-hair better so I wasn't interested in NT-H1 but looking back now, indeed the NT-H1 is way less expensive "and" a 1 or 2 degrees difference in heat but......

I just wanted to get the best and most current, price ($30) wasn't a big deal, and last time I got a tube of thermal paste, it was a 3.5g and I ran out of it in the middle of a build and bought another tube which probably ended up costing me about $24 when combined (old tube and new tube), so, $30 for 3x the amount, and probably not run out of it in the middle of a build?

I rather prevent that kind of situation and get the bigger tube for a reasonable price, considering the Kryonaut paste is a little better than the rest. Even if it's a 1-degree difference.........

.
Too little too late for Noctua, not to mention, the Dark Rock Pro 4 looks so much better, add the cost to buy the heatsink covers ($29.99) for the Chromax. And the large fan on the outside could prevent the use of tall RAM modules..........Not with the DRP4!!
 

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slavie

Weaksauce
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114
This is absolutely fine, I would not think twice about re-using it. Noctua heatsinks are convex in the middle, so the middle is what makes the most contact with the IHS. Peripheral likely serves minimal if any function.
Even if the scratches were in the middle, it would still likely have no or immeasurable performance hit. Think about those "direct heat pipe" cooler designs. They have massive (relatively) gaps b/w the heatpipes, and many of the still perform very well.
Unless you have an extra $100 burning a hole in your pocket and are looking for an excuse to upgrade... Which would still be fair and I can relate to that, lol. If my rig stays untouched for close to 2 years I begin getting anxiety attacks until I upgrade at least something.
 
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You should just sell it to me really cheap and go ahead with the d15 purchase ;D

P.S. quit leaving your rig on top of your sub!
 

Choopyplz

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 19, 2013
Messages
189
Thanks for all of the helpful replies, guys! An update: I actually did end up deciding to order an NH-D15, but more for trying to better tame my 10900k. I appreciate the reassurance though, and right now the plan is to lightly brush off the little raised coating bit and install the D14 into my Sister's gaming PC.
 
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