When we tested silent CPU coolers in 2004 we thought we had seen it all when Swiftech launched some heavy flower-pin design heatsinks. How innocent and naive we were back then...
The Swiftech, on top of its packaging, is not even taller than the NH-D14... the photo on the right futher illustrates how much extra heat today's heatsink need to be able to dissipate if they want to be called "silent cooling solution".
Installation of the NH-D14 is very straight forward, choice the right mounting holes for the backplate and use the thumbscrews to secure two metal strips in place; you can turn these bars 90° to change the heatsink orientation. Inside an ATX tower case the ideal setup is to have the airflow going front -> rear;
Installation went butter-smooth, the system is well though out with the mounting screws&spring already secured to the heatsink, a perfect installation every time with very little wiggle-room to do this the wrong way. Removing the heatsink and replacing the CPU is a matter of minutes, you don't need to remove the motherboard for this as the backplate is secure in place. Seeing as this heatsink is geared towards enthusiasts, Noctua made sure the installation process required the last amount of steps while delivering a high pressure mount, I think they've succeed.