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Noctua NH-D15 Review: Retaking The Cooling Performance Crown

Author: HP - Date: - Manufacture: Noctua - Product Name: NH-D15 - Price: $99.90


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From Noctua's website about the NH-D15:

Built on the basis of the legendary NH-D14 and carrying on its quest for ultimate quiet cooling performance, Noctua’s flagship model NH-D15 is an elite-class dual tower cooler for the highest demands. Its expanded heatpipe layout and two premium grade NF-A15 140mm fans with PWM support for automatic speed control allow it to further improve the NH-D14’s award-winning efficiency. Topped off with the trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s proven NT-H1 thermal compound and full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-D15 forms a complete premium quality solution that represents a deluxe choice for overclockers and silent-enthusiasts alike.

noctua nh-d15 cpu cooler

There are certain signature elements that define a product. It can be the color scheme that sticks in your head. It can be the build quality or it can be the material. When you think of premium performance air-cooling solutions, Noctua usually comes to mind for a variety of reasons. Noctua's distinguishable color scheme is what makes them stand out from the crowd and their ultimate quiet cooling performance solutions is what makes them the best at what they do. Noctua has gained a lot of respect in the enthusiasts market for making some of the most advanced and well engineered CPU coolers on the market.

Noctua offers a six year warranty on their products and has possibly the best customer service out there and I can certainly vouch for that. They have always sent me replacements for fans and mounting kits free of charge and that was long before I became a reviewer. Noctua sets the perfect example of what a customer service should be like. A simple Google search will reveal how great their customer service is.

Noctua released the legendary NH-D14 in late 2009 and since then, it's been regarded as one of the best CPU coolers to ever be made. It still competes fairly well with today's modern CPU coolers in noise and cooling performance but the time has come for Noctua to finally updated its legendary NH-D14 cooler. The NH-D15 is now Noctua's flagship CPU cooler designed for overclockers and silent-enthusiasts in mind. Just when you thought the NH-D14 was huge wait until you see the NH-D15 because Noctua has made it even bigger.

Noctua spent three years of research and development on the NH-D15 and they delayed the release of the NH-D15 a couple of times because they did not want to release something that they were not 100% satisfied with. When we interviewed Jakob Dellinger, PR of Noctua, he said that the delay in the release of the NH-D15 was because they had found a way to squeeze out some more performance from the NH-D15. In that interview Jakob also talks about future products that Noctua is working on such as black Noctua fans and Active-Noise-Cancellation.

noctua nh-d15 cpu cooler front

The notorious NH-D14 shipped with two different fan sizes, a 120 mm (NF-P12) fan and 140 mm (NF-P14) fan but the NH-D15 comes with two 140 mm NF-A15 PWM fans. Noctua has changed the structure design of the NH-D15 a little bit and it is now larger than the NH-D14. The fin stack in the NH-D14 was 140 mm wide and it is now 150 mm wide in the NH-D15 which will allow for better heat-distribution. Noctua has also extended the layout of the heatpipes a little bit. The heatpipes are now spaced further apart and this will allow for the heat to spread across the fin stack more evenly.

noctua nh-d15 fin stack

The wider format allows the NH-D15 to accommodate the new NF-A15 PWM fans which are quite an improvement over the fans that come with the NH-D14. As you can see above, the NH-D15 retains the same six 6 mm dual heatpipe design as the NH-D14 but Noctua has recessed the fins in the NH-D15 to make it friendly with tall memory heatsinks. The size of the NH-D15 won't be a problem when installing it because Noctua's SecuFirm 2 mounting kit makes the installation process a breeze.

Without further ado, let's take a look at the specifications.


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