Overclocking On Air: 10 LGA 1156-Compatible Performance Coolers

Noctua NH-D14

Austrian firm Noctua has earned an impressive reputation in just a few years for its designs that offer excellent cooling-to-noise ratios. More recently, the firm translated its technical prowess into an enormous cooler that should, by way of sheer size, be able to outperform most competitors' devices. Roughly 50% bigger than the average “big air” competitor, the NH-D14’s $90 Web price is also around twice as expensive.

A great deal of installation flexibility adds some value to that high price, with support for single or dual fans and a full range of LGA 1156, LGA 1366, and LGA 775, plus AM2, AM2+, and AM3 processors. Noctua also adds two fan resistor wires for manual speed reduction.

An ultra-fine machined finish holds a thin film of thermal compound well, without being prone to the distortion that normally accompanies the polishing process. The NH-D14 appears to have the flattest mating surface of today’s competitors.

Noctua claims many innovations in fan design, but perhaps the most innovative feature of the NH-D14 is its multi-fit LGA support plate. Peeling the center portion of its rubber pad allows the plate to fit perfectly on LGA-1156 motherboards, with full mounting pressure against the motherboard’s integrated support plate relieving pressure from the circuit board.

Two curved brackets adapt LGA sockets from a four-screw to a two-screw mounting. These brackets, along with associated spacers, screws, and nuts, must be installed before the motherboard is placed inside most cases. Installing the sink inside or outside the case is as easy as unclipping the center fan to gain access to those two screws.

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14 comments
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  • mi1ez
    Is the Titan Fenrir unavailable in the US, or is it just ignored...
    1
  • jimishtar
    i have the mugen 2 coolin my q9400 @ 3,2 GHz at auto voltage. temps are ~40 idle, ~62 load, but watch out - its PASSIVE, honey ! no fans on it, its sheer size is taking all the heat away, although the case is HAF 932.
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  • redkachina
    Sunbeam core contact freezer includes 1156 bracket? I've been trying to find those adapter for some time-even tried emailing Sunbeam's tech support.. and now it showed up in Tom's.. anyone have any links of online retailers selling em'??
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  • Silvune
    Very useful article.
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  • frankgl
    I use a Cooler Master Hyper TX3, which keeps my CoreI5 750 at 29-32 degrees C. It is not overclocked, but it certainly leaves a lot of room with temps that low.
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  • brianthesnail
    great review...i have the freezer 7 pro(lga775) cooling my pentium D 915( oc to 3.2ghz) and it does a sterling job keeping the cpu,s idle temp at just 29°C...rising to 47°C(max)at full load..
    i was looking at the corsair H50 however why fix it when its not broken....
    that said i would choose the Scythe Mugen-2 if i had to replace the freezer 7 pro.....
    good article !
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  • Anonymous
    Since I hear nothing but good things about the Titan Fenrir I am a little disappointed to not see it in this test...
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  • Anonymous
    why dont they have the prolimatech mega shadow in there?

    i5 750 @ 3.6ghz @ 26 degrees in my pc best cooler available imo for 1156
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  • abhi_jollyguy
    Well, It's a very nice review. As we all knows that Noctua NH-D14 beats Prolimatech Megahalem by near about 2-4 degree C so may be that is why they have not included Megahalem in this test but overall a very nice review and from this review I have decided to buy Scythe Mugen 2 Revision B.
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  • thelivingflesh
    the freezer 7 looks neat with the white fan specially if you have the accellero xxx edition of inno3d graphic cards!
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  • bateman82
    I have bought this one and are getting it tomorrow. Will be interesting to see the temp after installing Scythe mugen because now I have a some piece of shit to cooler and fan that keeps my 2,8 ghz processor at a 80 temp when full process and around 60~ in idle.. Plus it sounds like an airplane when the fan is on :P So this will be interesting and appreciated with a new cooler. Nice review!
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  • olivierhacking
    im not sure if I should get the hyper 212 plus or scythe mugen 2 rev b. the scythe costs me 50 euro and the hyper 212 plus just 30 euro. Is the scythe worth the almost double price? I am planning to overclock my i7 860 to 3.8ghz. And I am fine with cpu temperatures which are not above 70 C
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  • Anonymous
    great review, thanks. which PWM fan did you use to replace the thermalright one?
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  • niko935
    noctua is one best cooler
    watch my noctua
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlillcv4W6w
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