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Thread: Noctua NH-U14S, NH-U12S & NH-U9 TR4-SP3

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    Noctua NH-U14S, NH-U12S & NH-U9 TR4-SP3

    Introduction

    AMD's new Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors use a new land-grid array TR4 socket. This significantly larger than any desktop processors before it. In fact this is the same size as the socket SP3 that will be used by AMD EPYC server processors. Because of this, CPU cooling manufacturers who take cooling seriously are not just going to create a new mounting bracket and calling it a day. Those that are serious about cooling actually created a CPU cooler with a larger contact base as well. That is why Noctua has a new line of TR4-SP3 CPU coolers specifically for use with this new AMD CPU.The new TR4-SP3 versions of the very well known NH-U14S, NH-U12S and NH-U9 coolers are especially designed to feature a massive nickel coated contact plate with dimensions of 70 x 56 mm as well as the new SecuFirm2 mounting system for TR4/SP3 sockets.



    It is hard to not get excited whenever I have a new Noctua box in my hands!
    NH-U14S TR4-SP3:




    NH-U12S TR4-SP3:



    NH-U9 TR4-SP3:




    Packaging & Contents

    The TR4-SP3 coolers come packed away in that familiar, sleek Noctua packaging.



    On the side is a brief description of the features (in eight languages).



    Rotating to the other side of the box we find our specifications and measurements.



    A more in-depth description of the features appears on the other side of the box and touches on most of the points we already have.



    There arent any large images of the coolers on the box, though which is surprising. The box feels very good quality and should help to protect the coolers from damage during transit.



    Open the main box and immediately you will see that the hardware accessories are packaged individually in a smaller box.The cooler itself is packaged with the fan pre-installed, but removing the fan.



    The accessories are clearly labeled with images depicting exactly what is inside.
    NH-U14S TR4-SP3:
    Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
    NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
    Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-A15 (optional)
    Noctua metal case-badge
    Mounting Tool




    NH-U12S TR4-SP3:
    Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
    NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
    Anti-vibration pads and fan-clips for second NF-F12 (optional)
    Noctua metal case-badge
    Mounting Tool




    NH-U9 TR4-SP3:
    2x Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
    Y-split cable
    NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
    Noctua metal case-badge
    Mounting Tool






    A Closer Look-NH-U9 TR4-SP3

    If we could call the Noctua NH-D9L a baby of the mammoth NH-D15, then likewise, the Noctua NH-U9 TR4-SP3 is the biological child of the NH-U14S TR4-SP3, except to a lesser degree. They share the same model name convention, which would make me to believe they are from the same family. They both also utilize a singular heatsink, rather than splitting into two sides, as we see in the D-series of Noctua's fans.



    As for looks, Noctua has continued the trend of mixing tan, burgundy, and silver. The heatsink is completely silver, because of the material choices of aluminum and nickel plating around the entire unit. The fans are the tan and burgundy colors, which might clash with the gamer-centric flashy blue, or fire engine red, but it stands out for its non-conventional colors. Since Noctua has been doing it this way for so long, it at least gets brand recognition from any knowledgeable user.



    The fin stack is tightly packed and the individual fins are quite thick and strong compared to most coolers.There are also a few zigzagged teeth on both sides of the metal fin edges. Both of these optimize the ability to permit airflow in between the fins, while reducing the resistance and noise, all while only negligibly decreasing the heatsink surface area.



    As you see from the top, Noctua has implemented a hybrid approach in the leading edges of the heatsink fans. There is a slight V-shaped slope towards the middle on one side, and the other has a larger semi-circular cutout, so users can reach the installation screw.Noctua's logo of an owl can also be found engraved on top, which is a nice touch.



    The fans on the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 are very easy to remove. As it utilizes a similar system found in previous Noctua coolers, these wire clips are also very sturdy when mounted on the heatsink. It clips on the outside of the fan and goes around the sides of the heatsink fins. You can see these raised and ridged edges are integrated into the fin itself. Plastic clips are not required,just attach the wire clips directly to the fan. The wire clip retention length is also reduced to a balanced level, so attachment stability is not compromised. Thus, the fans are easier to remove with these tabs, and the clips can be removed uniformly. The wire clips also have an advantage by allowing users to be a bit more flexible in terms of the fan-heatsink location, but thankfully due to the small cooler, this should not be a huge deal. The fans themselves should not need to be removed, except for during installation as the single fan blocks one of the mounting screws.



    Despite its tiny size, the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 packs five copper heat-pipes to help move heat through to the aluminium cooling fins.



    The copper base plate and the heat pipes come with a gorgeous nickel playing and the CPU contact plate is polished to a mirror shine.At 70x56mm, the copper contact surface of the new TR4-SP3 coolers is more than double the size of the standard models. Tailored to fit the enormous integrated heat-spreaders (IHS) of AMD's TR4/SP3-based processors, this customised design allows for an optimal heat flow from the CPU over the base to the heatpipes and on to the cooling fins.



    As for the fan in question, the dual NF-A9 PWM come preattached with the NH-U9 TR4-SP3. The 92mm fan has a Noctua specified rotational speed range of 400-2000 RPM, an airflow rating of 78.9 cubic meters/hour, and a static pressure of 2.28 mmH2O. It also comes with two fully sleeved NA-RC7 Low Noise Adaptors (LNA). Connected between the fan and the power source, the adaptors reduce the running speed and noise emission of the fans.The included NA-YC1 Y-Cable make it possible to run two 4-pin PWM fans on a single fan header and to let the mainboard control the speed of both fans simultaneously.



    Integrated anti-vibration pads made from extra-soft silicone minimise the transmission of minute vibrations while maintaining full compatibility with all standard screws and other mounting systems.Rated mean time before failure is approximately 150000 hours, which is just over seventeen years. While you could find different fans to place on the heatsink, I would not recommend swapping out the Noctua fans, unless they produce a new set of 92mm units. Noctua has made great fans in the past, and I have no problem recommending these ones either.




    A Closer Look-NH-U12S TR4-SP3

    The Noctua NH-U12S TR4-SP3 is a tower-style heat sink.The NH-U12S TR4-SP3 is symmetrical with grooves for fan clips on both sides. Additional fan clips come as standard within the accessories box.



    The top view of the tower shows the termination points for the five nickel-plated copper heat pipes. Noctua's logo and name are embossed in each of the fins and adds a nice touch if you have a case window.



    The sides of the aluminum fins are folded flat to create better channels for airflow across the entire fin achieve better cooling performance and a more even airflow.



    The heatsink fins utilize aluminum as its material due to its lightweight properties as juxtaposed to copper -- this is to allow the construction of larger heatsinks without stressing too much on the motherboard due to weight.



    Noctua's NH-U12S TR4-SP3 takes a hybrid approach in the heatsink fin leading edges compared to their previous designs. It still retains a low angle V-shaped slope towards the center,but includes bits of zigzag edges first seen in the NH-D14. By doing this, the company attempts to maximize its ability to permit airflow between the fins with minimal resistance and turbulence noise -- all with a negligible decrease in heatsink surface area. There are fifty aluminum plates on the radiator. The spacing is fairly tight. From my calculations, the total surface area of all the cooling fins combined is actually approximately 0.54 square meters, which is expected for a heatsink of this size.



    The heatpipes themselves are made from nickel-plated copper and feature a staggered arrangement to maximize the dissipation of heat throughout the fins.Theoretically, the heatpipes are supposed to efficiently lead the heat away from its source due to the low heat of vaporization (Phase change energy) of alcohol. The heatpipes are aligned in an aggressive alternate matter to best distribute the heat in the radiating fins.



    The CPU block is also made from nickel-plated copper and features a textured design to help improve surface area.If you look closely, you can see some of the wavy machining marks in the mounting surface.



    It certainly wouldn't be a Noctua cooler without their unique fan color. I may not be a fan of it, but I always know a Noctua product when I see it just like everyone else. That fan color is simply unmistakable. Noctua chose a NF-F12 PWM fan for the NH-U12S TR4-SP3.The included NF-F12 fan is considered as Noctua's previous weapon.Just try finding SS02 bearings, AAO frames and a Heptaperf Impeller on another CPU cooler.Wait ? Hepta-what?? It looks like a normal seven-bladed fan (okay, impeller) to me.Why all the fancy words? In short, Noctua uses fancy words because there's some serious aerodynamic engineering behind the NF-F12 PWM fan. It's worth it to take a moment and explain some of the features, because you'll quickly realize why Noctua has garnered such a reputation for their fans.First, the SSO2 bearing. SSO stands for self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing. This bearing type combines an oil-based bearing that is stabilized by an additional magnet placed closer to the axis of the rotor. Not relying solely on the CNC milled brass bearing shell for stabilizing something that revolves 1,200 times per minute probably helps Noctua achieve a 150,000 hour MTBF for the fan, and that gets backed by a six year warranty.One of the longest I've seen in a rapidly evolving market like enthusiast hardware.



    AAO stands for Advanced Acoustic Optimization, and describes the features Noctua added to the frame to reduce vibration and increase efficiency with respect to noise. To do this, they've integrated (silicone, I'm assuming) anti-vibration pads on all corners (the NH-U12S TR4-SP3 comes with an additional, thicker set of pads that can be swapped out on a second fan in a pull configuration) and a series of "steps" or ridges along the intake rim to rough up the incoming airflow (the smooth intake flow of air will get mixed up anyway by the blades.Doing so a bit beforehand will reduce noise when that occurs). This Stepped Inlet Design has the side effect of increasing performance respective to a smooth curve when placed against an intake filter or other restriction. Noctua doesn't stop there with their acoustic optimization though, as the inner surface of the frame is filled with "microstructures".That well, perform science (It helps reduce the noise of the blades as they pass by while improving airflow-I'm assuming the effect might be similar to the use of dimples on a golf ball).The NF-F12 PWM doesn't stop there with the engineering. Once the incoming airflow makes it past the Stepped Inlet, by the microstructures and through the Heptaperf Impeller, it hits the stator vanes which are placed at varying degrees from each other to help spread out the spectrum of noise from the air being "squished" (engineering term) between the blades and the guide vanes. The trailing edge of the eleven stator vanes have notches cut into them, which helps the split airflow merge back together over a short distance instead of crashing back together upon reaching the end of the blade/vane. These vanes combined with the Heptaperf Impeller are part of the Focused Flow tech, which straightens and improves the airflow after it goes through the fan (achieving higher performance and static pressure with less RPMs, and therefore less noise). If you want to read even more about some of the technologies that go into Noctua's products, they have some extensive information available on their website along with some helpful diagrams that help explain some of their trademarked features.It features rotational speeds ranging from 300 to 1500 RPM. The fan will max out at 1200 RPM with Noctua's included L.N.A (low noise adaptor). The pictures also show some of the fan's unique design elements well. As usual, the quality is amazing, with Noctua making sure to include a top-grade fan to go with their elegant heatsink.




    A Closer Look-NH-U14S TR4-SP3

    The Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 is a traditional single-tower-style heatsink. The heatpipes and base are out of nickel-plated copper while the fins are out of aluminum.



    The top view of the tower shows the termination points for the six nickel-plated copper heat pipes. Noctua's logo and name are embossed in each of the fins. This adds a nice visual touch, especially if you have a side window on your case.



    The fins in the array are slightly tapered inwards toward the center.



    Each of the six U-shaped, nickel-plated copper heat pipes pass through the aluminum fin array to deliver the best possible cooling performance. Some coolers have the heat pipes all in alignment with each other, but the heat pipes of the NH-U14S TR4-SP3 are staggered to maximize their exposure to the airflow. I've noticed that this staggered design method seems to yield the best cooling results.



    The nickel plated copper base is smooth with very fine machining marks that I have seen on each of the Noctua heat sinks I have looked at. So far this surface has not been an issue as far as cooling performance is concerned.At 70x56mm, the copper contact surface of the new TR4-SP3 coolers is more than double the size of the standard models. Tailored to fit the enormous integrated heat-spreaders (IHS) of AMD?s TR4/SP3-based processors, this customised design allows for an optimal heat flow from the CPU over the base to the heatpipes and on to the cooling fins.



    Here again I need to mention that a second fan can be installed easily, so if you like to go for a push-pull configuration and perhaps shave off another few degrees of your CPU core temperature.



    A Noctua cooler simply doesn't feel right without one of their beige and dark brown fans that look, well, unique would be a nice way to describe these. The NF-A15 PWM fan they used on this cooler spins at a maximum 1500 RPM, or 1200 RPM with the L.N.A.



    As can be seen, Noctua utilized flow acceleration channels to improve overall performance while keeping noise to a minimum.




    Installation Process

    First of all press 9 small drops (3-4mm diameter) of NT-H1 onto the the heatspreader in a square 3x3 pattern.Continue by adding 4 larger drops (5-6mm diameter) of NT-H1 in a square pattern at the center as shown below.





    Take off the fan as well as the protection cover at the bottom side of the heatsink.Then put the heatsink onto the CPU so that the four spring-loaded screws align with the threads of the CPU socket. Use the supplied mounting tool to tighten the screws. Perform 3 turns on each screw, then repeat until all are fully tightened.







    In order to assure optimal compatibility with SLI and CrossFire multi-GPU setups, the SecuFirm2 mounting for TR4/SP3 makes it possible to offset the cooler by 3 or 6mm towards the upper edge of the motherboard, thereby increasing clearance of the top PCIe slot.



    In order to offset the cooler, please unscrew the NM-AFB7 fasten-ing brackets and re-install them in the +3 (3mm offset) or +6(6mm offset) position.






    Gently tighten the screws until they stop, but don't use excessive force (max. torque 0.6 Nm).









    Installed - Memory Clearance


    The fan clearance over the first RAM channel is a tight fit but there is actually no overhang at least on our test bench with low profile DIMMs. Still this is close enough for me to feel like you may have compatibility issues with larger RAM heat spreaders.






    Test System & Methology

    Test System:

    Cpu:AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
    Motherboard:ASRock Fatal1ty X399 Professional Gaming
    Memory:G. Skill Trident Z RGB F4 - 3866 C 18 Q - 32 GTZR
    Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 6970
    Power Supply: Antec HCG 750W
    Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda
    Boot Drive: Ocz Vector 480GB
    Chassis:
    Dimastech Bench Table Easy V2.5





    Software:

    AIDA64
    CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
    CPUID CPU-Z 1.65

    I am testing the performance as follows:

    AIDA64 is run for 10 minutes and then the average maximum temperatures as recorded by CPUID HWMonitor are noted.The average temperature across the four cores is taken on our quad core processor.Celsius temperatures are used and i keep the ambient at 22 (+/- 1) degrees for all testing.Celsius temperatures should correct for any marginal ambient differences between 21-23 degrees.Acoustic measurements are taken 10cm horizontally away from the CPU cooler with the VGA fan disabled,hard drive in idle and power supply isolated. These are taken at desktop idle and AIDA64 load.The cooling performance tests are run at overclocked 3.9GHz/1.237V and 4GHz/1.275V settings.Voltages are fixed to prevent inaccuracy between comparisons.Each test is repeated 3 times with 3 remounts for consistency of results



    Temperature

    First we checked the temperature during the stress test during the rated operation of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X.All OK here.



    If it is light OC of this degree, as with the rating of 1950X, it seems that all three kinds of CPU coolers can obtain descent cooling performance.



    Unexpectedly,the NH-U12S TR4-SP3 and NH-U9 TR4-SP3 did not make a big difference when 1950X was OC up to 3.9 GHz.



    Furthermore, we checked the temperature during the stress test when manually overclocking the CPU core clock to all the cores 4.0 GHz, 1.275 V.I am very surprised by the NH-U14S TR4-SP3 and its performance during this test.




    Noise Level

    The Noctua TR4-SP3 coolers simply blows me away when it comes to noise levels. At lower fan speeds, those coolers will be impossible to hear over other parts in the average user's case.



    Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 and NH-U12S TR4-SP3 still does well at maximum fan speed.I would not call 43dB super quiet for the NH-U9 TR4-SP3, but considering there are two 92mm fan spinning at 2160 RPM in this test, you will be hard pressed to find another fan this size that can even come close.


    Conclusion

    The three new coolers target specific application profiles. Whereas the 140mm size NH-U14S TR4-SP3 provides the highest level of cooling performance, which makes it ideal for top-end, enthusiast-grade TR4/SP3 systems, the 120mm size NH-U12S TR4-SP3 combines outstanding cooling performance with excellent compatibility: at 158mm height and 125mm width, it is short enough to fit most modern tower cases and stays clear of the top PCIe slot on most motherboards. Last but not least, the 92mm size NH-U9 TR4-SP3 provides 100% PCIe clearance and, at the same time, its height of only 125mm allows it to fit smaller cases and most 4U size rack-mount enclosures.While the NH-U14S TR4-SP3 and NH-U12S TR4-SP3 are supplied with one of Noctua's premium-grade NF-A15 PWM and NF-F12 PWM fans respectively, the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 is equipped with two NF-A9 PWM 92mm fans. This push/pull dual fan configuration allows it to achieve a level of quiet cooling performance that is remarkable for such a compact cooler and comes close to the bigger NH-U12S TR4-SP3.As a purveyor of low-noise, high-performance cooling solutions, Noctua take noise seriously and does everything it can to keep noise levels low.At maximum RPM, the fans are rated at 40-43dBA.not loud by any stretch of the imagination and inaudible from three feet away when locked in a chassis. If that is still too loud, Noctua includes an L.N.A., or Low Noise Adapter, that drops the maximum fan speed down with a corresponding reduction in the noise level to 34 dBA. At 33 dBA, the fans are dead silent for all intents and purposes. Unboxing a Noctua product is one of the truly great treats in the reviewers world. There's a real sense of quality and class from the outset, and although the inner boxing is brown card, even its thin sturdiness belies quality and simplicity rather than cheap and cheerful.A second long thin box contains the accessories, an LNA lead, a Y splitter, an additional set of fan clips, a set of thicker rubber fan spacers, a tube of actual NT-H1 TIM, a screw driver and even a metal case badge. All that's missing is the cuddly toy.The easy install is also another feather in its cap.The coolers SecuFirm2 mounting system for TR4 and SP3 has been completely custom-designed for the new sockets and is particularly easy to install: put on the heatsink, fix the four spring-loaded screws and you're done! In order to ensure optimal compatibility with SLI and CrossFire multi-GPU setups, the new SecuFirm2 mounting also makes it possible to offset the cooler by 3 or 6mm towards the upper edge of the motherboard, thereby increasing clearance of the top PCIe slot.Taller memory modules may require you to move the fan upward.As previously mentioned the addition of the second fan on NH-U12S TR4-SP3/NH-U14S TR4-SP3 is a matter of personal preference between sound and temperature but the option is always something you like to see in a tower cooler.



    Noctua does it again.The combination of Noctua's easy installation process plus top end performance makes the TR4-SP3 line of coolers an amazing choice for the first time builder or established enthusiast. With the ability to even outperform some AIO liquid coolers on the market and still allow for board space, you would be hard pressed to find a better tower cooler option in this range with this combination of performance, style, and operating noise levels.When you get to the point of making a choice on your cooling solution for your new AMD Ryzen Threadripper, you really cannot go wrong with the TR4-SP3 Coolers.They have got enough technology built in to make your head spin, runs dead silent, looks great, fixes one of the greatest cooling challenges, and comes with a six-year warranty to make sure you are happy with your purchase in the long term.The suggested retail prices are as follows:
    NH-U14S TR4-SP3: EUR 79.90 / USD 79.90
    NH-U12S TR4-SP3: EUR 69.90 / USD 69.90
    NH-U9 TR4-SP3: EUR 69.90 / USD 69.90


    Last edited by testman78; 01-30-2018 at 09:43 AM.

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