Noctua NH-C14S C-Type Premium Cooler Review

Introduction


Noctua, one of most respected names in the cooling industry, are back once again with their latest cooler, the NH-C14S. Those of you who follow Noctua products will notice that the name is rather similar to another very popular Noctua cooler, the NH-C14. The new “S” model takes the award-winning design of the original and improves on it, or at least we hope it has! You’ll find a deeper fin stack and an even more efficient NF-A14 PWM fan.

At almost £60, the NH-C14S is certainly one of the most expensive air coolers on the market, but if previous Noctua products are anything to go by, we can expect one the best in terms of build quality, cooling performance and acoustics. So let’s jump right in and take a closer look at what this new model has to offer.

Inside the very nicely packaged box, you’ll find absolutely everything you need to get yourself setup and ready to rock. Separate installation guides for each socket type, a collection of high-quality screws and bolts, AMD and Intel support brackets, a backplate, screwdriver, thermal paste, extra fan clips and a funky Noctua sticker.

First impressions of the cooler are certainly positive. It’s quite a large unit, giving it a massive amount of surface area, as well as allowing it to handle that lovely and big 140mm fan; both of which will help improve the cooling capabilities.

The fin stack is pretty tight, and the sides are bent to close them off, allowing the fan to better direct airflow right out the top of the cooler and over the heat pipes more efficiently.

The fan does come pre-installed out of the box, but keep in mind that you’ll be needing to remove it in order to install the cooler. The fan is typical Noctua, with the brown design that we’ve all come to love and/or hate. The fan clips are easy enough to use to mount and remove the cooler, and there’s a second set included should you wish to add another fan to the top side of the cooler.

The base plate is mounted directly below the fan and has a thick metal back section which should help further with cooling capabilities. The mounting screws are pre-fitted and sprung too, which should help greatly with the installation process.

There are seven heat pipes in total, all perfectly aligned to give full coverage of the CPU block, although the 7th comes from the thick metal backing on the top of the contact plate, which will help deal with even more heat.

The contact plate is huge and beautifully finished, which should give a fantastic covering over your CPU of choice.

The end of the cooler is nicely finished too, with a soft finish plate and a small Noctua stamp completing the design.

Scythe Announces Third Version of Grand Kama Cross CPU Cooler

Scythe have been hard at work on their somewhat unique looking Grand Kama Cross CPU cooler and the third revision of the cooler is available now. The previous Kama Cross CPU cooler was efficient and delivered a great performance, but it doesn’t compare to the new version.

Scythe’s engineers have redesigned all the vital aspects of the CPU cooler and created a great looking new cooler that promises some great performance thanks to refined processes. We already see the changes on the base plate and heat pipes, which both could be considered the main part of a CPU cooler. The main two heat pipes have been upgraded from 6mm to 8mm and the manufacturing process has been improved to allow a better transfer between the heat pipes and base plate. Both the base plate and heat pipes are full copper and are completely nickel-plated.

The next place where Scythe improved the cooler is on the actual fin design. The engineers have re-designed the two aluminum-fins blocks and fitted the fins with a special sawtooth tread design. The new design lowers both the operating noise at higher fan speed ranges as well as the air resistance.

Scythe added a 140 mm axial-fan from their GlideStream series to the new version. The larger size and added PWM support again helps to provide a better cooling at a lower noise levels. It can push between 29,90 and 97,18 CFM at noise levels from 12.5 to 30.7 dBA. The PWM is step-less in the full range from 400 to 1300 RPM.

Scythe packed everything into the Grand Kama Cross 3 that you’ll need to mount it, including tools. It is compatible with Intel’s LGA 115x sockets as well as LGA 775, 1366, and 2011(v3). Full AMD compatibility is assured too as they haven’t changed the cooler mount system since the AM2 socket.

The Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 is available now and best of all, it isn’t even expensive. You can get the Grand Kama Cross 3 (Model: SCGKC-3000) for a suggested retail price of just €36.50.

be quiet! Dark Rock TF CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Today is a fantastic day, as we’ve got the latest and hopefully one of the greatest be quiet! CPU coolers on the eTeknix test bench. I am of course talking about the new Dark Rock TF (top flow) CPU cooler and if our previous reviews of be quiet! products is anything to go by, we should be in for a real treat today.

“One of the hardest things to do in a compact PC is quietly cool a high-performance CPU even in extreme overclocking conditions. The top-flow cooler Dark Rock TF with be quiet!’s famous silent technology offers a perfect solution to this challenge.” – be quiet!

be quiet! as the name would suggest, as focused on ultra-quiet components, whilst still offering high-end cooling performance, exceptional build quality and sleek aesthetics; pretty much everything you could ever want from a PC component. The new Dark Rock TF looks set to continue the trend, with the addition of their new 135mm Silent Wings 3 fans, dual heat sinks, six heat pipes with aluminium caps and a whole lot more.

  • Extremely high 220W TDP cooling performance
  • Dual dark nickel-plated heat sinks with anti-vibration rubber inserts
  • Six high-performance 6mm heat-pipes with aluminum caps
  • Two virtually inaudible SilentWings® 135mm PWM fans (max. 26.7dB(A))
  • Fans equipped with durable fluid-dynamic bearing and smooth 6-pole motor
  • Space-saving single fan assembly also supported
  • Brushed aluminum covers
  • Compatible with all current Intel® and AMD sockets
  • 3-years manufacturer’s warranty
  • Product conception, design and quality control in Germany

“Dark Rock TF offers the best performance-to-noise ratio for compact PC systems. It strikes the perfect balance between cooling and serenity with absolutely no compromise in silence and performance.” – be quiet!

The packaging is really nicely designed and keeps in theme with other products in the be quiet! range.

All major specifications and details are on the box, handy for checking compatibility if you’re looking at this cooler in a retail store.

Exceptional efficiency has been used with packaging the cooler, not space is wasted and there are protective folds and boxes placed to ensure it stays in one piece until it’s ready to be used.

The cooler is packed is thick foam blocks to keep it free from damage.

Whilst the component box is snug between the tower coolers to help prevent them from bending.

In the component box, you’ll find a durable metal backplate, which has two foam strips pre-applied to prevent motherboard damage. You’ll also find all the fitting screws and plates needed for all major socket types, fan clips, thermal paste, a fan cable splitter and the instruction booklet.

The Silent Wings 3 fans are 135mm and come fitted with 4-pin PWM connectors.

Each fan is fitted with their new 6-pole motor, fluid-dynamic bearings, has a max speed of 1400rpm and be quiet! say that it’ll only hit 20.8 dBa at max speed!

First impressions of the cooler as very good indeed, this thing looks absolutely stunning and you can tell they’ve put a lot of thought into the design of every little detail. The cooler has six 6mm high-performance heat pipes which start pass through the bottom mounting plate, then up and through the larger heat sink.

Here you can better see the dual heat sink design, with space on the top for one fan and one more between the heat sinks. Dual fans will make this cooler pretty tall, but be quiet! say you could only install the interior fan if you needed to save space.

Each side of the lower section has the be quiet! logo on the side, a nice little touch and I think it looks pretty cool.

Here you can see that four of the six heat pipes pass through to the lower heat sink for additional cooling while the remaining two heat pipes end just after the CPU mounting block. The top of the large heat sink has been treated with a brushed aluminium panel and heat pipe caps, further adding to the premium look of the cooler.

The fans are mounted directly onto the larger heat sink and to help reduce unwanted vibration and noise, there are two rubber strips mounted down each side.

The mounting plate is polished to a mirror-like shine and it’s big enough to provide a good level of contact on a wide range of CPUs.

The mixture of aluminium and dark nickel-plated construction looks great and without a doubt, this is one of the nicest looking coolers I’ve ever seen.