Thermalright Silver Arrow vs Noctua NH-D14

Test Setup and Results

Thermalright Silver Arrow

Test Setup

To make sure that our results are as accurate as possible to those that you'll achieve, we've setup our test system in a case rather than on our Dimastech bench table. We'll run our processor at three different speeds and three different voltages. Because voltage is the main cause of heat you can compare what your processor needs voltage-wise to get an approximation of how the cooler will perform on your system.

To make certain that everything is above board, rather than just report our maximum temperature we'll be taking the ambient temperature and using that to give us the Delta temp as well as the maximum.

Delta is measured as the difference between two values, sometimes load and idle but for today between maximum recorded temperature and the ambient of the room.

Each cooler was mounted and tested three times to eliminate any slight variances in thermal paste or pressure. For our average results in the graph we've taken an average of all four cores because of the slight variances that occur.

Case : BitFenix Survivor
Motherboard : Gigabyte UD3R-v2
CPU : Intel Core i7-950. 4 GHz @ 1.25v. 4.2 GHz @ 1.35v and 4.4GHz @ 1.45v.
RAM : 6GB Mushkin Radioactive RAM @ 2000MHz
PSU : Corsair HX850
CPU Coolers : Thermalright Silver Arrow and Noctua NH-D14


Round One

At 4 GHz the Silver Arrow just manages to edge out the Noctua being 0.7°C cooler after 30 minutes of Prime thrashing away at all four cores.

It's a very close contest so far but the Thermalright just edges the round 10-9.

Round Two

Both fighters are up off their stools early looking to get into the nitty gritty.

At the 1.35v used to achieve 4.2 GHz on our test i7-950 the results are pretty much the same. Although the average temperature is only a quarter of a degree cooler, thanks to the higher ambient temperature the delta of the Silver Arrow is 0.8°C cooler than the Noctua. Again not a lot but every little helps.

Another very close round, but once again the Silver Arrow just edges the judges scorecard 10-9.

Round Three

The challenger is looking the fresher of the two as we head into Round Three, although the Noctua has been landing some telling blows too.

With 1.45v on the Core i7-950 to achieve 4.4 GHz the Noctua keeps everything cool as before but the Thermalright Silver Arrow hit 100°C after only 15 minutes of Prime and so the test was halted to save damage to the chip. Naturally this counts as a fail.

And it's unbelievable. A sudden flurry of punches and the challenger is down and unable to answer the referees 10 count. It's a knockout blow! Quite shocking considering the Silver Arrow was looking the better of the two up to that point.

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Most Recent Comments

18-11-2010, 18:16:48

Oh god oh god please please put the link in... *goes to look at main page*

Haha ! p*ss off thermalright !

I took one look at those clips and thought "oh no, oh god no !". And the heat pipes look like dildos

And I think that's why it fails. With the Noctua as you crank and crank the temps just don't seem to change. My 940 didn't refuse to boot due to heat I was just scared of blowing it up.

I might have missed the actual price of this but if it's around £50 why are they charging the same for that stupid shaman GPU cooler? This thing has two fans on and is bigger.

Nothing to worry about there for Noctua then. It'll be a bloody long time before any one can beat the NH and by the time they do it'll be too late.

Was talking to Stepy about this last night. The Noctua was just pure American right from the start. I could just visualise two yanks (Cleetus and Bubba) saying "Holy sheep sh*t, let's make the biggest dog garn cooler we can fit on a motherboard !" and then speccing it out like a V12 Aston. Once you reach that level all others can merely copy you, but with little chance of beating you. I mean, how the hell do you make a bigger cooler than the NH?

I wouldn't mind but TR seem to have simply stolen the NH and made a poorer cooler. I mean look at them

I do like the look of the fans on the TR tho, would look cool on a Gigabyte

Noctua threw the first punch. So it was game over. It really was hard to appreciate just how enormous the NH was until I had one in my PC.Quote

18-11-2010, 18:25:24

I don't like the look of the silver arrow :/ It's too damn angular for me to like it.Quote

18-11-2010, 18:47:10

I actually thought the noctua was going to loose this one. but i guess another1 bite the dust!Quote

18-11-2010, 18:50:24

What case is that? it looks badassQuote

18-11-2010, 18:54:09

Bitfenix survivor.

And I now hate Tom more than ever

You did that on purpose didn't you?Quote

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