Thermalright Silver Arrow vs Noctua NH-D14
Published: 18th November 2010 | Source: OC3D | Price: |
What a contest this was between two closely matched Heavyweight contenders. The result was very close to the most recent Heavyweight contest we've seen, although this time the Challenger didn't just stand there like an idiot and fall over in the third, rather the Silver Arrow matched the NH-D14 jab for jab, cross for cross, until the third round when the power of the Champion was just enough to put the Challenger down.
Until then we even had the Thermalright Silver Arrow ahead on points and if this was a two-round affair it would be the blue corner having their hand raised. However in the professional world we don't have short contests. So why doesn't the challenger get the belt this time?
The main points are that the Thermalright Silver Arrow just about has the beating of the Noctua NH-D14 at 1.25v and 1.35v, beating it by 0.7°C and 0.8°C respectively. Once the voltage is increased it proves incapable of shifting the heat away effectively with the heatsink becoming overwhelmed.
Away from the temperatures the mounting system isn't the most user-friendly that we've seen. Although if you're the "install once and never again" type and you own a roomy case then this will prove less of an issue as it does to us with our test setup and requirements.
The fan retainers are the same 'straightened paper-clip' style that Thermalright have been using since seemingly the dawn of time. They're fiddly, annoying and worst of all they seem cheap. For a cooler costing above £50 the last thing we want is any part of it seeming cheap and fiddly.
All in all it's a pretty capable cooler. There are clearance issues if you've got anything other than vanilla DIMMs, or a case that isn't the widest, but it does keep the processor cool and quiet under reasonable conditions. It's fairly attractive and reasonably priced.
For all the in depth testing and varification of our results please watch this monster video!
For our purposes though the reality is that the Noctua is easier to use, sturdier designed and doesn't fail when the going gets tough so still retains our top spot as the best CPU Cooler on the planet.
It's not to say the Silver Arrow is a bad cooler. Just not quite good enough to dethrone the Champ.