Noctua NH-D15S, Premium Dual-Tower CPU Cooler with NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan (Black)

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Noctua NH-D15S, Premium Dual-Tower CPU Cooler with NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan (Black)

Noctua NH-D15S, Premium Dual-Tower CPU Cooler with NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan (Black)

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The Noctua NH-D15S is a fantastic value. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive but it’s well worth the investment. Not only does it rival AIOs in performance, it does so while maintaining a much lower noise profile. Plus, this heatsink can be carried over every time you upgrade or rebuild your computer. Lastly, Noctua brings a level of quality to the table that few manufacturers can match. The NH-D15S is no exception and its 6-year warranty is among the highest in the industry. Having forged their reputation on amazing performance, exceptional quality, and ultra-low noise levels, Noctua stands out as a premier manufacturer of PC-cooling products. Their can't-miss color scheme of tan and brown may not be to everyone's taste, but it does make them stand out. In fact, just about anyone who has ever built a PC can spot a Noctua product. That awareness paired with the knowledge that they offer some of the best warranty and after-sales support of any PC-cooling company has certainly garnered them a great deal of favor among enthusiasts. Well, that and their long-lived support. Looking at our results, we see that three fans cool no better than two fans, with substantially more noise. Comparing the pair of 1200 rpm A15’s to a single 1500 rpm A15 shows that the pair of 1200 rpm A15’s cool this heatsink about the same as the single 1500 rpm A15 cools it, but more quietly (Not that the NF-A125 1500 was all that loud).

Now attach the mounting bars and install with the four NM-ITS1 thumbscrews, making sure the connection is tight and firm (not too strong). Inside, we find squishable foam – my favorite kind. The foam has some give to it and doesn’t break like Styrofoam. The foam surrounds fully recyclable boxes. But you are not going to recycle perfectly good boxes that were custom built for this heatsink and its accessories. The whole thing goes together too nicely. You will keep your box. One aspect of Noctua’s heatsinks has not changed: the NH-D15S like the –D15, the –C14S, the -D14 and others, all use the SecuFirm system. If you mount one heatsink, you can swap it for another Noctua heatsink in minutes. They make a reviewer’s job much easier. NH-D15S Pros The Noctua D15S is a most capable heatsink and it shows exactly why AIOs have not replaced traditional CPU cooling solutions. Plus, there is literally no maintenance with the D15S. Yes, AIOs don’t require maintenance but the liquid mixture inside them does eventually breakdown and they have been known to fail and even ruin systems with water going everywhere. These situations are rare but nevertheless do occur. Conclusion The picture on the right shows a standard NH-D15. See how close it stands to the network card in the first slot. In the picture on the right, we can see how the NH-D15S stands a centimeter to the left.

Noctua Chromax Upgrade

We utilized an Intel Core i7-10700K for this test and used the factory CPU settings of 3.8GHz at 100% load to put the cooler to the test. The second and third tests were performed with an OC stage of 4.7GHz and 5.0GHz, respectively. We wanted to see how well the Noctua NH-D15S performed in standard and high-end OC modes. As usual, slower fans do not cool as well as faster fans, but they work more quietly. But here, running with two NF-A15 fans at 1200 rpm will be very quiet; and if you are willing to remount your heatsink until you get that “golden mount,” you can get very good cooling indeed. Conclusions Now, let’s pull out this heatsink and take a look. I took this picture upside down, so let’s see the NH-D15S rightside-up. Yup. It is definitely asymmetric. The NH-D15S is at least as good as its predecessor, the NH-D15. It accomplishes Noctua’s main aims of making more room for a 1 st-slot card, bringing down the cost of the cooler, and making this heatsink truly compatible with tall RAM.

You want extra RAM clearance: If you have high-profile RAM modules and need a cooler that provides ample clearance for your RAM slots, the Noctua NH-D15S is an excellent choice due to its asymmetrical design.

Those two threaded rods were for the tensioning screws. Noctua provides an L-shaped screwdriver for tightening the tension bolts. However, you would do well to get a 200mm long-shaft #2 Phillips screwdriver. Very helpful for this and for tightening motherboard screw deep in a case. Finally, a second box under the fan tray has the additional anti-vibration pads necessary for installation in every color. There are also four mounting screws if the fan is to be installed in a case. A low-noise adapter is also included. The stress tests were carried out with AIDA64 Extreme. We went with the Thermaltake View 71t instead of an open-bench setup. Three intake fans are located in the front of the Thermaltake View 71t, while one exhaust fan is located at the rear. In their long line of CPU coolers, Noctua introduced the NH-D15D coolers, especially made for those that require Noctua's best model cooler yet yearn a little more silence. The Noctua NH-D15S CPU cooler will to deliver both the cooling performance you may expect, yet remains all silent under normal processor conditions. The end result is a cooler that can cope with any CPU released to date cooled including even the most high-end Haswell and Skylake SKUs.

However, even more impressive is our 79° temperature during 100% load! Just as with our idle temperatures, the D15S stayed in range of a high-quality 240mm liquid cooling unit, no pump noise necessary! Inside you’ll find the instructions, two white heatsink covers and two steel clips. Before I get into the installation, I must give kudos to Noctua for the excellent design of these covers. Not only do they look stunning but they way they are installed is ingenious!

Noctua also sent out a Noctua NA-HC4 chromax.white heatsink cover kit for the D15S. The chromax series of heatsink covers is one of those rare ideas that takes an existing flagship product and without altering it, improves upon it without compromising the products’ greatest qualities. A large 140mm Noctua NA-A15 PWM fan is clamped onto one side of the heatsink. An additional 120mm or 140mm fan can be installed on the other side but make sure it will fit in conjunction with your motherboard and RAM. Dual-fan ready –Using the supplied extra fan clips, the NH-D15S can be upgraded with either a second round-frame 140 mm fan with 120 mm mounting holes (such as the NF-A15) . . . or a common 120 mm fan (such as the NF-F12) for improving performance while maintaining compatibility with RAM modules of up to 45 mm height. Attach the fan to the cooler as previously, making sure it is facing the desired direction ( airflow arrows can be seen on the side of the fan). Connect the fan to the 4-pin PWM connector once it’s been installed.

In essence, I tried to do all the things you might find logical to try. I used two different mounts to compare the cooling. I mounted the NH-D15S a third time with the fans blowing up – I had recently tested the NH-C14S heatsink and found a 5 degree difference in cooling, depending on how I mounted it. So I tried this vertical mount to see if it made a difference in how well the D15S cooled. The results are presented in different charts to keep the different mounts separate. You prefer low noise levels: This cooler is equipped with a quality NF-A15 fan for improved and quieter performance, making it ideal for users who prefer a quieter PC environment. NH-D15S vs NH-D15.The first chart below appears to show that the NH-D15S cools 3 °C better than the NH-D15. Relax. What this chart shows is that when you mount heatsinks, your mounts can vary. In fact, you are well-advised to mount and test your cooling, then remount and retest. Stop only when you have arrived at a really good mount. You don’t need the extra features: If you don’t require the specific features offered by the NH-D15S, such as the asymmetrical design for RAM clearance, and you’re content with a more basic cooler, you can opt for a simpler and less expensive cooling solution. Final Remarks Upon removing the heatsink covers, you’ll notice a gray fixture on the underside of each cover. If you pull away in the corner, the fixture will come off as you break the connection of the magnets holding it in place.

Unboxing & Overview

Noctua heatsinks have long been revered for their top-tier cooling abilities and quiet operation but their understated design and their brown fans specifically, are occasionally the subject of ridicule among PC builders who value aesthetics above all else. The comparator heatsink was the Noctua NH-D15. Each Heatsink was mounted with a 6 mm blob of NT-H1 TIM. Each time a heatsink was mounted, the TIM was allowed a day to fully spread before the temperature tests were run. The customization Noctua now provides with their chromax line further strengthens their already strong lineup of industry leading fans and heatsinks. Noctua NA-HC4 chromax.white Review

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