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::>Cooling Systems > 2014 > 06 > Noctua NH-D15

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Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler review and testing

Despite the fact that CPU manufacturers have long headed for energy efficiency, the "top" models still have a fairly high TDP. Therefore standard coolers cannot always cool them especially during overclocking procedure. Of course you can use water-cooling type, but it entails additional costs for system building and requires some knowledge. Some may argue that the market is full of factory water cooling of entry-level with closed-loop type which is quite easy to operate. However, in terms of efficiency, produced noise and cost they are often inferior to the of their air counterparts. Thus, there is no a cheaper alternative for super-cooler.

This state of affairs in the market only boosts manufacturers of cooling systems to develop and produce new solutions. Of course, in this pursuit for leadership Austrian company Noctua is among the leaders. For a long time its super-cooler Noctua NH-D14 was the best seller in the market, but today it has become obsolete and cannot always compete with competing solutions.

Noctua NH-D15

Model Noctua NH-D15 which replaced the Noctua NH-D14 is designed to improve the situation.

The specs:





CPU sockets support

AMD Socket AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+ / FM1 / FM2 / FM2+

Intel Socket LGA1156 / LGA1155 / LGA1150 / LGA2011

Heat pipes

Six copper heat pipes with diameter 6mm

Radiator structure

Two sections of a set of aluminum plates strung on heat pipes; copper base; all items are nickel-plated; for fins and heat pipes mounting soldering is used

Cooler dimension (height x width x depth), mm

without fans

160 х 150 х 135

with fans

165 х 150 х 161

Weight, g

without fans


with fans


Thermal interface

Thermal paste Noctua NT-H1 in tube-squirt


2 x Noctua NF-A15 PWM

Bearing type

Hydrodynamic with technology SSO2

Capacity, W


Supply voltage, V


Current strength, А


Rotation speed, rpm

Standard connection

300 - 1500

Using adapter L.N.A.

300 - 1200

Max air flow, m3/h

Standard connection


Using adapter L.N.A.


Max noise level, dB

Standard connection


Using adapter L.N.A.


Connection socket


Fan dimension, mm

140 х 150 х 25


> 150 000

Warranty, year


Producer website


Cooler page

Noctua NH-D15

Fan page

Noctua NF-A15 PWM

Thermal paste page

Noctua NT-H1

Packaging and set of delivery

Noctua NH-D15

Cooler Noctua NH-D15 is available in relatively large cardboard box which protects its contents from mechanical damages. The design has branded white-brown color. The box is quite informative: here are the detailed specifications of the cooler and fans, as well as their main features.

Noctua NH-D15

We also briefly go through this list:

  • Based on the award-winning NH-D14 the basis of the cooler is a model bestseller Noctua NH-D14, which had more than 350 awards from reputed online resources and publications devoted to computer technology;
  • 6 heatpipe dual tower design - radiator of cooler has a two-tower design with 6 heat pipes, which is more effective than the traditional tower and is better suited for the use of two fans;
  • Widened fin stack and expanded heatpipe layout - the width of the cooler compared to the model Noctua NH-D14 with 140 mm was increased to 150 mm, which increased heat dissipation area and the overall efficiency of the cooling system;
  • High RAM compatibility in single fan mode - using a one fan the cooler is compatible with memory modules up to 64 mm, and the installation of a second fan restricts this value to 32 mm;
  • Dual NF-A15 140 mm fans - supplied set includes two high-performance 140-mm fans Noctua NF-A15 PWM;
  • PWM Support and Low-Noise Adaptor - fan speed control by using the PWM method, and to reduce its threshold (from 1500 to 1200 rpm) there are special adapters Low-Noise Adaptor (LNA);
  • Excellent component cooling - design of the cooler provides not only excellent cooling of the processor, but also an additional air cooling of components surrounding it;
  • SecuFirm2- designed mounting system provides a simple and secure fit of cooler on board, and also makes it compatible with all popular platforms AMD Socket AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+ / FM1 / FM2 / FM2+; Intel Socket LGA1156 / LGA1155 / LGA1150 / LGA2011);
  • Compatibility with past and future sockets - A special mounting system Noctua NM-13 (is not supplied) ensures compatibility with obsolete cooler-sockets Intel Socket LGA775 / LGA1366;
  • NT-H1 thermal compound - the package includes thermal paste Noctua NT-H1, which won more than 100 awards and holds a leading position in the field of thermal interfaces;
  • 6 years warranty - The presence of a 6-year warranty and extended service life of fans (more than 150 000 hours).

Noctua NH-D15

Supplied set is quite rich and includes all the necessary components and even tools that can be useful for users during installation Noctua NH-D15 and its further use in the composition of the PC:

  • radiator with preset fan Noctua NF-A15 PWM;
  • additional fan Noctua NF-A15 PWM;
  • brackets for additional fixation of fan on the cooler;
  • silicone "nails" and screws to secure the additional fan on the PC case;
  • 4-pin fan power item;
  • two adapters Low-Noise Adaptor (LNA) for reducing the maximum fan speed;
  • reinforcement plate for platforms Intel;  
  • set of staples, screws, nuts and washers for Intel and AMD;
  • cross-point screwdriver;
  • tube syringe with thermal paste Noctua NT-H1;
  • instructions for installing the cooler on the platforms AMD, Intel Socket LGA115x and Intel Socket LGA2011;
  • sticker with the company logo.

Design and structure features

Noctua NH-D15

Cooler Noctua NH-D15 is a direct successor of model Noctua NH-D14 so they have the same structur. Passive cooling element is presented as a huge radiator tower consisting of two sections, which penetrate the U-shaped heat pipes. Even without installed fans it has impressive size (160 x 150 x 130 mm) and the weight (1 kg).

Each section has 45 aluminum plates of thickness 0.5 mm and distance between them of 1.8 mm. For heat transmission and distribution there are six heat pipes with diameter of 6 mm. Compared with the model Noctua NH-D14 the radiator width of Noctua NH-D15 was increased on 10 mm (from 140 to 150 mm). This technical solution allowed increasing the area of heat dissipation, as well as spreading the pipes away from each other, which have a positive impact on the overall efficiency of the cooler.

Noctua NH-D15

In the bottom of the radiator aluminum plates are shortened, thereby Noctua NH-D15 is compatible with memory modules up to 64 mm, i.e., with the majority of overclocking kits available on the market today. However, it is worth to make a note that only one fan will be applied (between sections). Installation of a second fan (in front of radiator) immediately limits the height of compatible memory modules up to 32 mm. Remember that the usual dimensions of DDR3 module are 130 x 30 mm.

Noctua NH-D15

All components of the radiator including a base (38 x 40 mm) are nickel-plated, which should reduce the negative impact of the environment and prevent their gradual oxidation. The base of the cooler is smooth, without any bumps and other defects that reduce the area of contact with the processor lid. Grinding is performed at a decent level. But if you look closely, you can detect small traces of the cutter.

Noctua NH-D15

Noctua NH-D15

But to the quality of the compounds we have no complaints: the entire attachment pint with the base of the heat pipes and plates to the tubes are soldered. Such an approach not only increases the reliability and rigidity of the entire structure, but also improves heat transfer efficiency.

Noctua NH-D15

The fastening system of radiator using brackets on the motherboard is very simple and consists of a metal plate with two spring-loaded screws.

Noctua NH-D15

Now we turn to the active part cooling of the cooler which is represented by two 140 mm fans Noctua NF-A15 PWM. They are a proprietary of company. It has increased reliability through the use of a brass insert and improved hydrodynamic bearing with an additional magnetic stabilization (SSO2). According to the company information the life fans is impressive 150,000 hours.

Noctua NH-D15

The remaining improvements include optimization of the air flow and reduce acoustic effects arising during operation of the fan. To achieve these goals the paddles were improved (added aerodynamic "tail" on the blades), and special dredging channels on the inner side of the frame were added.

Noctua NH-D15

In addition, each fan is equipped with anti-vibration pads in areas adjoining it to the radiator. Consequently, the dimensions of Noctua NF-A15 PWM are not traditional 140 x 140 х 140 мм, butа 150 х 140 мм. Note also that the fans have spots for conventional 120-mm fans, so if necessary Noctua NF-A15 PWM can be installed directly into the computer case.

Noctua NH-D15

The most important features are: power supply 12 V, capacity 1.56 V, maximum rotation speed 1500 rpm, air flow up to 140, 2 m3/h, and noise up to 24.6 dB.

Use of an adapter LNA, which is an additional resistor will limit the rotation speed up to 1200 rpm and reduce noise (up to 19.2 dB). However, it will affect the efficiency of the fan: the airflow will fall from 140.2 m3/h to 115.5 m3/h.   

Model Noctua NF-A15 PWM is connected to the motherboard via 4-pin connector and supports blade speed control by PWM method.

Noctua NH-D15

Configuration of fans and radiator matched very well. Virtually all of the fan airflow hits the aluminum plate. The only exception is the lower part of the fan. It is directed to blow the components of CPU power converter.

For more detailed information about the capabilities of fans Noctua NF-A15 PWM and thermal paste Noctua NT-H1 we refer to related material on our website: «Обзор вентиляторов Noctua NF-A14 FLX, Noctua NF-A14 ULN и Noctua NF-A15PWM» и «Сводное тестирование термоинтерфейсов».

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