Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler Review

When we talk about air cooling, the first name that comes to mind is Noctua. It is a company that had been known for creating high-quality and effective cooling systems, earning them an effective and positive brand association with their customers. The premium cooling products from Noctua have been designed in Austria, and are well-renowned internationally for their extreme quietness, exceptional quality, and outstanding performance.

Today, we’re going to focus on one of their high-end cooling solutions which is the NH D-15. To give you a quick introduction about this cooling system, the NH D-15 from Noctua is a 140 millimeter dual-tower CPU air cooling system that is being supplied by two NF A-15 PMW fans – the company’s other popular and powerful fan. The NH D-15 is also based on another popular product of theirs, the NH D-14, and had been adjusted and further developed for improved clearance and further optimized cooling.

What are the other specs and how well does the NH D-15 perform? We’re going to focus on these things today; but first, let’s check out what’s in the box so you’ll have a better idea of the items included in the NH D-15’s package.

Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler Review – Whats in the Box?

The box that the Noctua NH D-15 comes with has a length measurement of about 23.5 centimeters, a width of 19 centimeters, and height of about 27 centimeters. The front portion of the box lists a couple of the cooler’s features, and the company also ensures that customers know that the product is based on their award-winning NH D-14. There are also a few details found on the left portion of the package that describes the NH D-15, as well as some of its features that have been detailed in nine different languages.

At the back of the package, you’ll once again find features of the product, but there are more details listed on this part such as the widened fin stack, its high RAM compatibility in the single-fan mode, its six heat pipes, and the SecuFirm-2 mounting systems to name a few. If you check out the right portion of the box, you will see a list of the heatsink and fan specs. The company made sure that the information is laid out in an easy to follow format so you can freely read the details of their product; it also mentions all the other items that are included in the box.

When we opened the box, we were greeted by Noctua’s excellent packaging of their product and accessories: they always make sure that the items are fit perfectly and set in place to avoid any damages when the product is being delivered. The mounting hardware and accessories are set at the top of the box and are kept safe in their own marked boxes; when it comes to the heatsink and the fan, these are held firmly in place with a cardboard. So overall, Noctua’s packaging for their NH D-15 is superb as it should be for such a high-quality cooler.

Out of the box, the mounting system of Noctua  called the SecuFirm-2 supports almost all of the sockets that are available today; just remember that the LGS 1336 and 775 sockets are only compatible when you buy the company’s optional NM13 mounting kit. Other than this, all the things that you would need for the cooler are included in the package, along with a couple of cool extras that will make the installation process easier for you.

The common accessories that are supplied for the installation include the following items: x4 rubber fan mounts, x4 AMD mounting screws, x4 fan screws, x4 fan clips, x4 black Intel spacers, x4 thumb screws, x4 white AMD spacers, x4 LGA-2011 mounting screws, x3 LNA adapters, x2 AMD mounting arms, x2, NF A-15 arms, x2 Intel mounting arms, an Intel backplate, PWM Y cable, a tube of NT H1 thermal paste, a Noctua badge made of metal, and a Phillips screwdriver.

 

The Product

Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler Review – Still The Best There Is

The NH D-15 from Noctua is known as a D-type cooler, meaning, it features dual heatsinks instead of having just the traditional single heatsink; this takes the air cooling process a step ahead compared to other coolers that are available. The NH D-15 features everything that the NH D-14 has, but the only difference between the two is that the NH D-15 allows for better compatibility and better cooling processes; we also need to mention that the NH D-15 is more silent than its predecessor.

Since the NH D-15 is a D-Type cooler, it features two 140 millimeter fans and two heatsinks which basically provides you with more surface area, as well as improved heat dissipation that is joined with excellent airflow via the two available fans. When you look at the top portion of the NH D-15, you’ll see that the company maintains the industrial feel and look for their coolers: there are six heat pipes that pop out of the heatsinks, and there are four out of six heat pipes that are crimped out of the first fin plates; the two are done while staying inside, with only their tips being exposed. Generally, this pattern can be seen on both heatsinks. The logo and brand name of Noctua are embossed right at the center of the top fin plate on the two heatsinks which both feature an arched design on its edges.

The sides of the NH D-15 are both symmetric, and this also goes for the inner portions of the heatsinks that face each other. There are six heat pipes appearing from the base and these enter the heatsinks in a linear manner between the two heat pipes. Each of the available pipes has a thickness of about 6 millimeters and is made from copper and nickel plating; as for the heatsinks, these are generally wider at 150 millimeters compared to the NH D-14.

When we’re talking about the fin design, its difference from the NH D-14 is that the NH D-15’s fin design is much thinner which is why there is more surface area because of the wider stacks. The fins are nickel-plated and made from aluminum, and there are a total of forty-five of these on each of the available stacks. Another difference between the D-15 and D-14 is the stack design located at the bottom portion of the cooler; instead of featuring a coordinated block on both sides, the fin stacks on the NH D-15 have been implemented in 2 steps.

There are a total of thirty-eight fins at the top of the stack, followed by one step then seven fins on the lower area. The fins’ lower portion is much shorter by 19 millimeters while its height is about 14 millimeters. This specific type of approach led Noctua to provide everyone with improved RAM clearance for as high as 64-millimeter tall RAMs. As for the fins on the exterior, these feature an angular design. Since both sides of the cooler are symmetric, the design of the stepped fins is clear from this specific angle; the middle part of the stacks is covered while the trailing and leading fins aren’t. We actually noticed that this specific positioning helps better direct the airflow via the fin stacks.

Now let’s focus on the cooler’s base: we have a copper base that is glazed in nickel plating that is fixed on a block; the cooler is also fixed on another plate via four screws, and this plate is what fixes the NH D-15 on your CPU. There are six heat pipes that go through the block and the company ensured to provide you with two low-noise adapters (these are included in the box) in case you want to have a more silent operation.

For the dimensions of the NH D-15 without the fan, it has a height of about 160 millimeters, depth of 135 millimeters, and width of 161 millimeters. With the fan, the depth, width, and height measures at 161, 150, and 165 millimeters; the cooler weighs around 1320 grams with the fans, and without them, it weighs 980 grams.

The SecuFirm-2 from Noctua is their mounting system that has become an equivalent of quality, ease, and safety of use; it also supports the Intel LGA-115x, LGA-2011, AMD, AMD2 and the LGA-2066. The SecuFirm-2 also provides you with excellent convenience and contact pressure on all the available sockets.

We actually liked that since the NH D-15 complies with the open SecuFirm standards, the cooler can actually be compatible with the much older LGA-775 and LGA-1366 sockets. This can be done by using the optional NM13 mounting kit which is provided by the company, free of charge. Just like all the other fans from Noctua, the NH D-15 comes with a six-year manufacturer’s warranty which is something we also really liked.

Compared to the classic single-tower heatsinks, this cooler features a six-heat pipe dual tower design that gives you better heat-distribution, more surface area, and exceptional airflow, as well as efficiency when in dual-fan mode. It also features an expanded layout for the heat pipe, and a wider fin stack to allow better heat allocation over a bigger surface area. We tried the NH D-15 and compared to other coolers that we’ve tested before, the layout definitely gives the cooler superior and better efficiency which we really appreciate.

The cooler also has a much higher RAM compatibility even in the single-fan mode and this is all thanks to the lower fins; with that, the NH D-15 gives a good 64 millimeter clearance in the single-fan mode for memory heatsinks that are tall, making it a compatible cooler for some of the most high-end RAM modules that are available in the market today.

With the dual fan mode, the NH D-15 should be utilized with a RAM that has a standard height of up to 32 millimeters. The cooler also features two of the company’s premium class and most popular fans, the NF A-15. These fans comply with Noctua’s AAO standards and also feature the Flow Acceleration Channels – an efficient aerodynamic design – which has helped build the reputation of Noctua’s NF A-15, making it one of the best fans available in the market.

Another notable feature of the NH D-15 is its excellent cooling component which is of course, necessary for all high-end cooling devices. Since the cooler features large NF A-15 fans, these can help contribute outstanding CPU-cooling capabilities, as well as extensive airflow throughout the surrounding heatsinks and motherboard components for excellent cooling performance. Lastly, the well-acclaimed NTH-1 is a pro-grade TIM solution for providing the lowest thermal-resistance, outstanding reliability, and easy use which makes the device suitable for workstation environments or professional servers.

Product Specifications

Cooler Specification

  • Socket compatibility Intel LGA2066, LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required), AM4 with NM-AM4
  • Height (without fan) 160 mm
  • Width (without fan) 150 mm
  • Depth (without fan) 135 mm
  • Height (with fan) 165 mm
  • Width (with fan) 150 mm
  • Depth (with fan) 161 mm
  • Weight (without fan) 980 g
  • Weight (with fan/s) 1320 g
  • Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
  • TDP see TDP guide
  • Fan compatibility 140x150x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 140x140x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 120x120x25
  • Scope of delivery
  • 2x NF-A15 PWM premium fan
  • 2x Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Y-cable
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
  • Warranty 6 Years

FAN Specification

  • Model 2x Noctua NF-A15 PWM
  • Bearing SSO2
  • Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1500 RPM
  • Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1200 RPM
  • Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%) 300 RPM
  • Airflow 140,2 m³/h
  • Airflow with L.N.A. 115,5 m³/h
  • Acoustical Noise 24,6 dB(A)
  • Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 19,2 dB(A)
  • Voltage Range 12 V
  • MTTF > 150.000 h

How it Performs

We can definitely say that the NH D-15 from Noctua is a truly outstanding device and it’s basically one of the best coolers on the market today. To put it simply, the company’s flagship cooler provides you with high-class and excellent performance while also being quiet as it does its stuff.

The cooler was able to keep our intel i7-7700k running at a stable and cool temperature of around 40 degres on average. The cooler runs nice and quiet, which is amazing considering how well the D15 performs.

The NH D-15 offers an almost silent operation which is even better when you use this with the company’s low-noise adapters. Aside from this, we also liked the fact that they included all the necessary accessories to install the device; overall, we can claim that Noctua really did a great job with their NH D-15 cooler, so that’s a double thumbs-up for them.

How to Use

Installing the cooler isn’t difficult at all: you’ll first have to install the back-plate before actually setting up the four spacers in place which is over the back-plate’s screws. After this, you can slide both of the mounting arms in its place using the provided nuts then apply just the right amount of thermal compound to prepare for the heatsink’s mounting.

Once you’re done with that, you can start lining up the posts with the available mounting arms before setting the NH D-15’s spring-loaded screws in place. Now, all that’s left for you to do is to connect the fans to the heatsink – you just need to plug the fans right into your CPU fan header to complete the whole installation process.

For the SecuFirm-2 of Noctua, the mounting hardware is actually very easy to use and work with and generally, we’d actually rate the whole installation process with a 4 – where 1 is the most difficult and 5 is the easiest. The whole process becomes easier because of the provided accessories from Noctua such as the screwdriver; these little additions, as well as the device’s solid design, makes the whole mounting system of Noctua one of the best that we’ve seen in the market.

Conclusion

Overall, the NH D-15 from Noctua is a really excellent cooling system since it offers great effectiveness while also being easy to use and install; it also features some of the best mounting hardware when it comes to cooling systems. We can also say that the cooler is really efficient and durable since it was capable of handling the tests that we actually put it through, so we really appreciate its performance and build. It’s the best cooler around, so if you’re someone searching for a durable, efficient, and quiet cooling device for your PC, then we highly suggest the Noctua NH D-15 for you.

Where to Buy

If you want to purchase the NH-D15 CPU Cooler head on over to the Noctua product page where you can find more information.

Design
Features
Performance
Usability
Value
4.7
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