We all know that Noctua is one of the best and leading manufacturers of cooling products in the world, and each time, they continuously prove that they can offer the highest quality products that are durable and can perform excellently. The Noctua NH-D15S may be a little more pricey compared to other products but it is definitely worth it and we think that you’ll surely get what you paid for.
Today, we’re going to focus on one of Noctua’s flagship cooler which is the Noctua NH-D15S. If you are thinking that this product sounds a bit familiar, it’s because the NH-D15S is the latest version of the company’s popular and favorite NH-D15 cooler. The main difference between these two is that the NH-D15S variant is designed to support and be extremely compatible with motherboards that feature large RAM modules, big VRM cooling, etc. without sacrificing its performance. Let’s have a better look at the NH-D15S and first check out what’s included in the box.
Noctua NH-D15S Review – Whats in the Box?
First off, let’s start with the Noctua’s packaging for their NH-D15S: it sports the usual Noctua look and all the necessary technical information are laid out nicely on the package’s sides. The box is not really that big since it measures roughly about twenty centimeters wide and twenty-four centimeters high. The top portion of the package is covered with a close-up of the heat pipes, the top aluminum fins, as well as the product’s name whereas the front portion displays a couple of important features; additionally, it also points out that the NH-D15S is based from the award-winning and popular NH-D15 from Noctua. If you take a look at the left portion, you will notice a short paragraph detailing the important things about the cooler, as well as a couple of features that are shown in different languages.
Looking behind the box, there will be another list that shows the features of the product, yet this time, more of these are mentioned such as the SecuFirm 2 Mounting System, the six available heat pipes, its asymmetrical layout, as well as its high RAM compatibility, to name a few. On the box’s right part, you will see a list of the fans and heatsink’s specifications which are all laid out in an easy to follow format.
Now, let’s talk about the contents of the NH-D15S package: when you open the box, you will be greeted by the company’s great way of packaging. The mounting hardware and accessories are all set neatly in the box while the fan and heatsink are kept neatly in another; every item included in the package is encased in foam to provide adequate protection for the product.
The SecuFirm 2 Mounting System of Noctua supports most types of sockets out of the box, and you won’t have to worry about not having a certain item to make the NH-D15S work since Noctua included every single thing that you would need, as well as a couple of cool extras that make the installation of this cooler quicker and easier.
- LGA 2011 mounting screws: x4
- AMD mounting screws: x4
- Black Intel spacers: x4
- White AMD spacers: x4
- Fan Clips: x4
- Phillips head nuts: x4
- Intel mounting arms: x2
- AMD mounting arms: x2
- 140 mm x 150 mm x 25 mm NF A15 fan: x1
NT-H1 thermal paste: x1
- Phillips screwdriver: x1
- Metal Noctua badge: x1
- Intel back-plate: x1
- N.A adapters: x1
- Product installation guide: x1
Noctua NH-D15S Review – High Performance Cooling, as Expected from Noctua Products
Let’s now focus on the NH-D15S itself; the appearance of the cooler is really pretty impressive with its two huge cooling towers that definitely do an excellent job when it comes to shifting the heat coming from your computer’s CPU. Notice that the right and left sides of the product are well-proportioned, featuring two huge cutaways on the bottom portion which helps prevent any form of conflict or issues with the ram modules; what this means is that we can have a thicker and better cooling tower that allows better dissipation of heat without having to sacrifice the bigger RAM modules.
The build of the NH-D15S is excellent throughout since it features a flawless finish in every angle. You will find a couple of grooves on each of the towers that are present which allows you to readily mount the fan on either of the tower’s side. Additionally, there are extra fan clips included in the packaging, so it will be easy for you to make this cooler run using three fans. As for the heat pipes, these pass right through the towers and appear slightly at the top. There, you will see a little logo of Noctua that is stamped on, allowing the company to display subtle branding without spoiling the product’s appearance and overall aesthetics. Its contact plate is big and shine-polished with a beautiful mirror finish to ensure clean and proper contact with your CPU. Every millimeter of the contact plate is taken up by all the additional thick heat pipes which pass through the block’s sides, as well as through the towers for excellent cooling performance.
High-compatibility Version – NH-D15
Unlike the NH-D15, the NH-D15S version makes use of an offset, single asymmetrical layout instead of the dual NF A15 fan; this allows the cooler to offer outstanding heatsink performance while simultaneously maintaining superior PCIe and RAM compatibility.
Excellent RAM Compatibility
Because of its lower recessed fins, the NH-D15S gives a 65 mm clearance for taller memory heatsinks, making the product suitable for most of the high-end modules that are available in the market. As these lower fins are recessed on both of the heatsink’s sides, its compatibility comes out excellent on the AMD and LGA 115x, as well as the LGA 2011 where RAM slots are located on both portions of the socket.
Asymmetrical Arrangement for Better Compatibility with the PCIe
Today, a large number of motherboards feature the top PCIe x16 space set next to the socket and much larger heatsinks usually block this. Since it features an uneven layout, the NH-D15S’s fin-stack is offset towards the motherboard’s higher edge once installed in its standard adjustment.
By utilizing the provided additional fan clips, the NH-D15S can be upgraded with a common 120 mm fan for improving performance or a second-round frame 140 mm fan with mounting holes for maximum performance while maintaining proper compatibility with RAM modules of up to a height of 45 mm.
NF-A15 140 mm Fan
Complying with the standards of Noctua’s AAO while also featuring a practical aerodynamic style (namely Flow Acceleration Channels), the fan has instantly established a great reputation as one of the best and most efficient 140 mm fans available in the market.
PWM Support & Low-Noise Adaptor
The NF-A15 premium fan that is with the NH-D15S supports the PWM for advantageous automatic speed control via the motherboard. Also, the maximum speed of the fan can be lessened from 1500 to 1200 rpm by utilizing the provided Low Noise Adaptor for an even more quiet operation.
Excellent Component Cooling
The huge NF-A15 fan that reaches below the fin-stacks does not only contribute to the outstanding CPU cooling performance of the D15S, but it also provides excellent airflow for the heatsinks and the other components of the motherboard for superb cooling performance.
Compatibility with Past and Future Sockets
By adhering to the standards of the SecuFirm™, the NH-D15S can be made suitable with other types of older LGA-775 and LGA-1366 sockets that utilize the optional NM-13 mounting kit which has also been provided by Noctua without any charges; if possible, they would also even provide upgrade kits that can be used for future sockets.
NT-H1 Thermal Compound
The NT-H1 thermal compound of Noctua is a professional-grade TIM solution that has received over a hundred awards and recommendations coming from hardware journalists from all over the world. This provides minimum thermal resistance, outstanding reliability, as well as excellent ease of use.
6-year Manufacturer’s Warranty
We all know that the products made by Noctua are all well-renowned for their outstanding longevity and exquisite quality. Just like all the fans from Noctua, the provided NF-A15 gives off an MTTF rating reaching over 150.000 hours while the whole Noctua NH-D15S pack comes with a six-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Warranty: 6 years
AMD: FM1, FM2, AM2, AM3, AM2+, and AM3+
Intel: LGA 1155, LGA 2011, LGA 1156, LGA 1150
Material: Copper for the base and heat pipes, aluminum for the fins
Heat pipes: Ø6 mm – 6 pieces
Dimensions: 165 mm x 150 mm x 135 mm
Weight: 1,150 g (including the fan)
Dimensions: 140 mm x 150 mm x 25 mm
Fan Speed: 300 – 1200 RPM (with LNA), 300 – 1500 RPM (max)
Fan Noise: 19.2 dBA (max with LNA), 24.6 dBA (max)
Fan Airflow: 68 CFM (max with LNA), 82.5 CFM (max)
How it Performs
Noctua has always been one of the best and most efficient air cooling manufacturers around and this can be seen instantly in our stock-clocks benchmarks where we’ve seen some of the best results from any air cooler that we’ve tested. When overclocking the NH-D15S, we’re not going to lie, we put a great load of strain on the cooler; but amazingly, it still puts up impressively notable figures that even beat many other air coolers that we’ve also tested. Also, it performs well enough that we’re pretty comfortable and relaxed to run this cooler and overclock full time.
What we really like about the cooler is that even when we put on the overclock, the NH-D15S still exhibited some of the most notable results we have ever seen; plus, you’d really have to move very close to the fan to actually hear this cooler. This is definitely a thumbs-up for us and we highly recommend this.
How to Install the NH-D15S
Installing and using the NH-D15S is quite easy: just set the back-plate on the motherboard then slide the black spacers over the present pillars. After this, place the mounting arms over the pillars before securing these with the Phillips head provided in the package; once done, start applying the thermal paste that will be necessary for mounting the heatsink. This time, screw the heatsink to the mounting arms then attach the fan before plugging it to the CPU’s fan header, and when that is done, the installation has been completed and you’re good to go. The process of installing the NH-D15S was painless but it can be a little more complex depending on your choice of CPU case.
The Noctua NH-D15S is probably the best CPU cooler that we’ve tested and it improves the already outstanding and excellent-performing NH-D15. It delivers high-class performance plus it is also a product perfect for anyone trying to build a new system; plus, aside from being one of the most silent coolers around, it even managed to stay hushed even when we tried dialing some hefty overclocks. It definitely stayed very quiet despite putting a lot of heat on the CPU.
As for its cooling performance, we can say that the NH-D15S amazed us throughout all our tests. Though it did get slightly warmer compared to the Noctua NH-D15, it’s something to be expected due to the switch from two fans to a single one. However, despite the half-number of fans, the performance of the NH-D15S was still highly competitive and simply shows just how amazing the cooling tower design and build-quality of this product is, and not only the fans.
So if you are someone who wants top-notch and outstanding performance with ultra-low levels of noise, the Noctua NH-D15S is a great option that we definitely recommend.
Where to Buy
If you want to purchase the Noctua NH-D15S, simply check out their official site to know where you can purchase your own NH-D15S.