Installation on AMD and LGA2011 platforms are as easy as attaching some brackets to stock mounting points, we we won’t go over those. Intel LGA 115x can be tricky though, as we found in our review of the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 among many others.
The SecuFirm 2 backplate actually comes pre-assembled, so the first step is to simply insert it into the motherboard, and place the spacers. This may be a bit tricky if you’re installing in an assembled system with the board in a vertical position, since the spacers don’t have any friction and can fall off easily. If Noctua had designed them with foam walls or washers on the bottom – anything to add friction – this would be a perfect LGA 115x install method.
The next step is to install the brackets and fasten the nuts. At this point you can choose the direction of the NH-U14S. In most cases you will want to expel the hot air out the back of the case, but you may also want to consider using the top exhaust if your case has one.
The NF-A15 simply clips on, and you’re done! As you can see, there is room on this board for even the most ridiculously tall memory heatsinks, and the fan will also help cool the VRM on the other side.
I mentioned on the last page that those rubber pads are important when using the NF-U14S in dual fan mode. This is because when the fans work together, they create extra turbulence that makes a very annoying sound. The extra thick pads help eliminate this sound, but do not get rid of it completely. The video below demonstrates the difference these pads make. The first clip shows the extra thick rubber pads, and the second shows what it would sound like if you used the standard pads.
With the pads, the turbulence noise is significantly reduced, but not eliminated completely. In dual fan mode, the NH-U14S goes from being a silent CPU cooler to a performance CPU cooler though, which we’ll look at now.