Noctua NH-D15 Review

Introduction and Technical Specification

Noctua NH-D15 Review

Introduction

Having resolved to write the introduction to this review before the results of the testing were known we now find ourselves sitting typing and genuinely wondering whether the refinements Noctua have made to the all conquering NH-D14 will be sufficient to lift the new "Elite Class" NH-D15 above pretty much any other air cooler on the planet.  It's certainly been a long time coming as Noctua CEO Roland Mossig explains  

"In the end, it took us more than three years of continuous development, countless thermal simulations and over hundred samples to come up with a substantial improvement in efficiency. Staying true to our policy of not releasing anything we're not 100% satisfied with, we had to accept some delays in order to squeeze out the last few percent of performance, but now we're proud to finally release the NH-D15 as a worthy successor to the venerable D14."

We think it fairly safe to say then that Noctua themselves at least are certain that the new D15 has what it takes to relieve the D14 of its crown.  To give us a bit more of an idea about how it plans to do this, let's take a look at the Technical Specifications.

 

Technical Specification

Intel1156, 1155, 1150, 2011
AMDAM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+
Dimensions Without  fans165x150x135mm (HxWxD) 
Dimensions With fans165x450x161
Weight Without fans1000g
Weight with fans1320g
MaterialCopper base and heat pipes, Aluminium cooling fins, Soldered joints and Nickel plating
Fans2xNoctua NF-A15 PWM
Max rotational speed150RPM
Max rotational Speed with LNA1200 RPM
Max. Airflow140,2 m³/h
Max. Airflow with L.N.A.115,5 m³/h
Max. Acoustical Noise24,6 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.19,2 dB(A)
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Most Recent Comments

26-04-2014, 12:49:55

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...081049113l.jpg

Born of the mighty NH-D14, will the new Noctua NH-D15 be a worthy successor?


Continue Reading

26-04-2014, 13:32:56

GregPalos
Very fair conclusion. I feel Noctua does have to start making slightly "better looking" fans even if it takes away from the Noctu-esk aesthetic. I know however that noctua still doesn't look bad and even good in blue, cream and white builds. Let's hope they have a turn around!

26-04-2014, 13:49:57

barnsley
Phanteks do the differing color schemes. They're incredibly sexy for air coolers and pretty much on par with the DH-14.

I've always admired the top end air coolers as they're really, stupidly quiet yet powerful (they can cool a 9590 without sounding like a jet!). I prefer pretty RAM for now so I'm sticking with AIOs.

As you said, the king is dead, long live the king.

26-04-2014, 13:52:26

ander01se
Agree with the color scheme. I'm glad my Define R4 / R3 doesn't have windows.

BTW: Think this would fit in an R3 with Corsair Vengeance Pro memory sticks and both fans?

26-04-2014, 14:45:36

Morgenmuffel
I had 2 NH-D14....one for the AMD and one for the Intel System...and i rather have RAM Issues then PCI-E Issues....some Mainboards require the first Slot for the Graphiks Card....so...great Review as always but did the Vid flicker only on my Screeen??

26-04-2014, 15:15:33

Josh Weston
Meh, disagree with the award but it's nice to see Noctua keeping the crown.

26-04-2014, 15:17:12

Twoddle
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Weston View Post
Meh, disagree with the award but it's nice to see Noctua keeping the crown.
I disagree with your disagreement.

26-04-2014, 17:46:20

Ciric
Would love to see Nochtua take the Thermalright route ...IE, sell heatsinks without fans. Then one would have to ability to pick the fans they want, without fealing they have paid for something they'll never use.

26-04-2014, 17:55:49

SieB
I wish Noctua focused on the aesthetics as much as they do on performance. Every other manufacturer has good looking fans, Noctua fans just look so ugly compared to everything else. Phantechs are the best example, if only Noctua did colours like they do.

Personally, i'm sticking with AIOs, the D15 is definitely a good cooler but I wouldn't want it in my rig. Not when I can have something like a H100 anyway.

26-04-2014, 18:19:09

Zoot
Given I don't think I'll ever go the water AIO route much less a full custom watercooling loop - it's way too much trouble for me, I'm glad to see Noctua still pushing the boundaries of what air coolers are capable of.

26-04-2014, 19:43:37

Vicey
I was going to buy this for my LGA2011 server but due to it fouling the top PCIe slot I can't do that. I'm seriously disappointed.

26-04-2014, 20:04:19

urobulos
I understand all of the advantages of the Noctua coolers but (boring as it may be) my next CPU+mobo+cooler upgrade is either a Phanteks TC14 (quiet, similar price, better colour options) or an AIO H100i/Kraken X60 (more structurally sound, decent looks,decent performance).

Noctua might be good, but I think their beige branding exercise is actively hurting them. It's all good to have brand awareness/recognition, but if you have to make your products look like crap, then you should reconsider.

26-04-2014, 20:17:36

NeverBackDown
They could add more color options but simply put a Noctua Logo on the fan hub and keeping the design, just changing the blade color.

A rather nice improvement in performance but while it can surpass a H80i(from what i saw on the web), it still falls short to the 240mm rads.

27-04-2014, 03:49:49

MadShadow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgenmuffel View Post
did the Vid flicker only on my Screeen??
Yeah, it happened to me too. I thought I was just seeing things FIX THIS Plz

27-04-2014, 10:57:11

Squidlorock
I used to dislike the colour of the Noctua's, but i dunno... over time it's kinda grown on me, and like it now Its great to see it performing well as i will probably not go the AIO route or afford a full loop etc...

I was looking at it before the review trying to see if the middle fan went below the heatsink to cool the vrms, thinking it didn't, when compared to the D-14, but i think it does thankfully! The price is high, but obviously top quality product with a huge warranty!

Though i ended up going for the thermalright 140 power which is about half the price!

Nice cooler though...

27-04-2014, 11:08:28

alpenwasser
Man, I remember watcing the NH-D14 review back in the day, was about
the time when I finally got back into PCs. Memories...

I do really love the premium aspect Noctua has to their products. I bought
two 92 mm tower heatsinks of theirs for my Xeon server (and btw.: also
awesome, they actually had Xeon coolers for LGA1366 which make use of
the backplate that's integrated into the socket like LGA2011, very convenient),
and from the moment I got those boxes into my hands it just felt like quality.

Of course, the coolers were more expensive than the CPUs (great eBay deal),
but that's besides the point.

27-04-2014, 14:46:56

DragonFire
I seem to be in the minority here, but I buy computers to use them, not to look at them. If I wanted to look at something, I would get a painting or pornography, not a computer. To withhold an award from an otherwise deserving product based entirely on something so meaningless (not to mention completely subjective) as appearance is ridiculous. Is this hardware review or art critique? Good review otherwise.

I think the D15 should be able to handle 4.6ghz with slightly faster fans. It seems to be at least as good as the best AIOs in cooling:noise ratio.

27-04-2014, 15:19:32

minus47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciric View Post
Would love to see Nochtua take the Thermalright route ...IE, sell heatsinks without fans. Then one would have to ability to pick the fans they want, without fealing they have paid for something they'll never use.
I agree with you that fans should be optional but I don't about the "never using extra Noctua fans". I don't own a Noctua product but if I did I would definitely find some way to use those fans.

27-04-2014, 15:37:24

Kusarininja
Granted the Noctua coolers are not the best looking bits of kit in the world, but they do do an awesome job and very quiet too in my personal experience. I have the D14. A good friend recommended it to me and I was reluctant to buy one at first considering the cost (it was almost £70 at the time) but I am so glad I did. I have never worried about the colours myself as I do not spend time looking inside it and my rig is not all lit up showing all it's guts through the side-panel but I can understand where others are coming from.

27-04-2014, 16:39:03

nepas
I wonder how well these will do once they release the black fans that are due very soon?

27-04-2014, 16:56:40

minus47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonFire View Post
I seem to be in the minority here, but I buy computers to use them, not to look at them. If I wanted to look at something, I would get a painting or pornography, not a computer. To withhold an award from an otherwise deserving product based entirely on something so meaningless (not to mention completely subjective) as appearance is ridiculous. Is this hardware review or art critique? Good review otherwise.

I think the D15 should be able to handle 4.6ghz with slightly faster fans. It seems to be at least as good as the best AIOs in cooling:noise ratio.
Pretty much all Noctua products are luxury items. Most mainstream PC users do not splurge on a separate CPU cooler. It is only those who are overclockers and tweakers and who actually take the time to get the highest performance or get the most efficient performance out of their systems that are its potential customers.

So for some people, when they pay this much money for a luxury item, performing well is not enough. It has to look good. These people who don't like the Noctua look but like the performance, may feel that they have(or would be) overspent(or overspending) on the product especially because bequiet Dark Rock Pro 3 "looks better" for a significantly lesser price, and also performance delta between the two might not be enough for these people to tolerate the "bad looks" and the price.
There are some who value only performance, and like to feel that all the money they spent went into getting the maximum performance and they are happy.
And then there are some(few) who like the performance and the looks who are the happiest of them all.

Like you said, aesthetics is subjective. The 'majority' like the way their components look. I too am in the 'minority' in that my priority is performance over looks. Always. So for those of us, the performance award is just as good as the gold. I don't care how a CPU cooler looks as long as it does the job well. But I can appreciate good artwork on a case or well made cable sleeving and stuff like that.

Some people save their money and spend it on an art piece. And some would rather spend that money on their computer and make it a functional art piece.

27-04-2014, 17:17:27

Wraithguard
Slight colour change and Noctua could be onto a sure fire winner. Amazing performance and price but please Noctua give us options.
http://i.imgur.com/r09Aibd.jpg

29-04-2014, 01:21:03

RizeAllard
Its again a bigboy from noctua. I really like them, but the colortheme is outstand from almost every colortheme i using when i'm build a computer. But there will be one I can use all of my spare noctua goodies...

08-05-2014, 18:40:11

Nous Défions
Although the Noctua cooling solutions & fans have great performance, I just cannot bring myself to like the color of the fans.

About the only mobo they may match, somewhat, is the later ASUS Sabertooth-TUF series with the military/subdued colors...and even then, it may be a stretch.
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