You may think that the difference in peak temperature between Noctua NH-D14 and Thermalright IFX-14 is quite insignificant, since the newcomer won only 1-3°C. However, even this seemingly small difference becomes quite significant considering that Thermalright solution remained totally undefeated for over two years easily beating off the other super-coolers’ attacks. But everything eventually comes to an end. And although Thermalright IFX-14 costs $80 compared to $85 they ask for Noctua NH-D14, the former comes without any fans, while the latter is fully armed and ready for use on any contemporary platform.
No doubt, Noctua NH-D14 is an excellent cooler starting with secure packaging and highly informative official web-site and ending with superb manufacture quality, highest performance and low noise levels. Obviously Noctua engineers paid attention to every single detail, every little trifle, which paid back big: their true work of art became the indisputably best cooling solution out there. That is why we are proud to award it with our Editor's Choice title as the best CPU air-cooler in the today's market.
Are there any drawbacks we could point out? Fans without LEDs? – Well, this is an individual preference; besides, you can replace the fans any time. Heavy weight and large size? – Trust me, they wouldn’t win otherwise, not with the current components base anyway. Not quite even base of the particular cooler sample is no reason to criticize the entire lineup, but we will wait for the user statistics and feedback before making any conclusions about this issue. I think the biggest “issue” is probably the absence of the additional wire clip kit for the third fan. :)
Well, what should we expect next? Probably some triple-array tower heatsinks with two 140x38 mm fans between the arrays and maybe even something dramatically new. Anyway, I prefer to believe that other cooler makers will soon release their new solutions that will offer low noise and high cooling efficiency. Especially, since they have a great example in front of them. So, let’s wait and see.