Best Noctua Coolers

Our top picks for Noctua coolers

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Noctua stands out as a prominent name in the realm of top-tier CPU coolers. Renowned for their exceptional quality and cooling capabilities, the best Noctua coolers are often regarded as on par with liquid AIO solutions. Their distinctive color scheme, featuring shades of brown and light brown, has become a recognizable hallmark in the world of cooling solutions.

With the recent releases of AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series and Intel’s 13th-generation chips, the demand for robust and efficient CPU coolers has grown significantly. These high-performing processors require reliable cooling solutions to unleash their full potential and achieve optimal boost clocks. In light of this, we’ve curated a selection of the best CPU coolers that are well-suited for both AMD and Intel CPUs. You may also want to grab the best thermal paste to ensure you get the absolute best performance from your new CPU.

Best Noctua CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15

Noctua NH-D15

Type

Air

Max RPM

1500 RPM

Max Noise

24.6 dB

Dimensions

(H)165 x (W)150 x (D)150 mm

Pros
  • Exceptional Cooling Performance
  • High-Quality Fan Bearings
Cons
  • Slightly Higher Price
  • May Block DDR DIMM Slots

The Noctua NH-D15 stands as the finest air cooler option, particularly for those concerned about potential leaks with AIO coolers. It covers all bases admirably, making it the preferred CPU cooler. Although the NH-U12A is a strong competitor, the NH-D15’s dual-tower design and paired fans establish it as the superior cooling solution. Its robust cooling performance outshines the NH-U12A when it comes to ensuring safe temperatures for your next PC build.

The dual-tower design’s advantage lies in its increased thickness compared to the U12S, allowing for dual fan placement. Prior to installation, it’s vital to confirm whether your PC case can accommodate the NH-D15’s 165mm height. Additionally, if you intend to use both fans, consider your RAM heat spreaders’ height to prevent potential interference.

Addressing this is simple: adjust the position of the fan facing the RAM on the cooling tower. Once in place, the NH-D15 excels in cooling performance with its six heat pipes, top-notch fans, and reliable bearings, ensuring optimal operation for your upcoming PC build. While it may come at a slightly higher cost compared to other air coolers, its exceptional thermal capabilities make it a prime choice.

Best Noctua Cooler For Ram Clearance: Noctua NH-C14S

Noctua NH-C14S, Premium CPU Cooler with NF-A14 PWM 140mm Fan (Brown)

Item Dimensions LxWxH

6.4 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches

Noise Level

24.6 dB

Item Weight

2.24 Pounds

Pros
  • Enhances Motherboard Airflow
  • Allows 70mm RAM Clearance
  • Suitable for Compact Cases
Cons
  • Requires Removal for RAM Access
  • Challenging Installation Process

The Noctua NH-C14S sets itself apart from other CPU coolers by rotating its fin stack 90 degrees, redirecting airflow to cool smaller components on the motherboard, including RAM. Equipped with a quiet 140mm NF-A14 fan featuring PWM speed control, this design choice also enables Noctua to maintain a lower overall height. This compact profile allows the cooler to fit into small form factor cases with a mere 115mm height, particularly when the fan is situated beneath the fins.

When installed above the fin stack, the cooler provides sufficient space for RAM modules up to 70mm in height. This accommodation easily supports modules like the 5mm Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB, known for its excellence in the DDR5 memory category.

Budget-Friendly Noctua Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S

Noctua NH-U12S

Compatibility

Modern Intel and AMD, No AM4

Size

158mm

Cooling Type

Air Cooling

Pros
  • Fits Most Tower Cases
  • Affordable Price
  • High Cooling Performance
Cons
  • Gray Color
  • Requires Separate Thermal Paste for Reinstallation

The Noctua NH-U12S redux offers an economical take on the popular NH-U12S CPU cooler. Despite having fewer heat pipes, a different fan, and reduced accessories, it doesn’t compromise performance. The 120mm fan, regulated by PWM, can reach a maximum speed of 1,700 RPM. This fan effectively maintains optimal temperatures for high-performance CPUs like the Ryzen 5950X or Intel’s i9-13900K, all while keeping noise levels minimal.

To manage costs, Noctua includes its NT-H1 thermal paste pre-applied to the cold plate. While you’ll need your own thermal paste for reinstallation, this expense is offset by the initial $50 price. The slimline design also ensures ample space for all four RAM slots on modern platforms, accommodating RAM with RGB or taller heatsinks.

In Summary

That pretty much wraps up our top Noctua CPU cooler picks for your next snazzy current-gen PC build.

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