The Noctua NH-D15 is based on the award winning NH-D14 tower CPU cooler. With that said, we are excited to check out what the successor to the legendary cooler has to offer. PCGuide even mentioned this amazing piece as one of the best CPU cooler in 2019.

The Noctua NH-D15 is the best tower cooler the company has to offer thus far. It has 3 variants; namely the NH-D15S, NH-D15 SE-AM4 and the NH-D15 itself. These are the single fan, AMD mount and the no holds barred dual fan version respectively. These coolers are fully compatible with the Chromax heat-sink covers.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Cooler
Socket CompatibilityIntel LGA 2066, 2011-0, 2011-3, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150 / AMD AM2, AM3, FM1, AM4
Height160mm
Width150mm
Depth135mm
Weight980g
Heatsink MaterialCopper, Nickel, Aluminum
TDP250W
Fan Compatibility3x 120mm mount fans
Fan
Model2x Noctua NF-A15 PWM
Speed300-1500RPM
Noise24.6dBA
Airflow140.2CFM

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:

Noctua had the NH-D15 packed inside a huge packaging with 3 separate internal ones for the accessories, extra fan and the cooler itself.

Noctua NH-D15 Tower CPU Cooler (1)

Inside, you’ll find three paper works for each popular sockets, a slew of mounting options and accessories. In true Noctua fashion, we also got the NT-H1 TIM, a case badge, a screw driver and the low noise adapters.

Noctua NH-D15 Tower CPU Cooler (3)

DESIGN, LAYOUT AND BUILD QUALITY:

The NH-D15 is the update from the tried and tested NH-D14 with emphasis on compatibility and refinement; much like the NH-L12S that we’ve tested before. This is a common trend with Noctua products.

Noctua NH-D15 Tower CPU Cooler (8)

Dimensions are exactly 160 x 150 x 1135mm. Memory kits with clearance below 32mm should fit in nicely with the extra fan at the front, while a maximum of 64mm clearance could be gained without the fan in place.

Noctua NH-D15 Tower CPU Cooler (7)

Noctua had the NH-D15’s copper base coated in nickel, much like the the heat-pipes. This allows the cooler to resist corrosion and provide a more appealing finish.

Noctua NH-D15 Tower CPU Cooler (6)

There are 6 soldered heat-pipes stretching out to the dual aluminum towers. Now Noctua had the NH-D15 bundled with their own Noctua NF-A15 PWM fans. It is a 140mm spinner with 120mm mounting holes, a rated speed of 1500 RPM and noise levels at 19.2-24.6dBA.

Noctua NH-D15 Tower CPU Cooler (4)

The NF-A15 PWM also houses dampeners to minimize vibrations and noise. A lower maximum operating speed of 1200RPM could be had with the Noctua LNA cable.

Noctua NH-D15 Tower CPU Cooler (5)

CLEARANCE AND INSTALLATION:

The Noctua NH-D15 comes with the SecuFirm2 mounting kit. This is a tried and tested mounting solution built from the ground up by Noctua. It is easy to work with and the build quality is just excellent.

Noctua NH-L12S Low Profile Cooler (11)

A few screws, spacers and brackets here and there requires seconds to install. Noctua recommends a force of 0.6Nm though for the cooler to sit perfectly in place.

Noctua NH-L12S Low Profile Cooler (12)

The NH-D15 could be mounted in four positions, with a number of fan mounting options. Using the default option will get you a minimum memory clearance of 32mm yet adjustments could be done at the expense of a taller height.

Noctua NH-D15 Tower CPU Cooler (11)

The Noctua NH-D15 should fit most systems with a 165mm chassis clearance. That includes my old Silverstone FT02 and several premium ATX cases made to house such a massive cooler.

TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:

Coolers are far from the hardest components to test, but it doesn’t mean they are easy enough to deal with since there are multiple factors to take into account while benchmarking. Factors includes the ambient noise, ambient temperature, the enclosure, and the test system’s overall configuration.

TEST SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
PROCESSORIntel Core-i5 6600K
MOTHERBOARDASUS Z170-A
COOLERCryorig C1 Top Flow
MEMORYCrucial Ballistix Tactical DDR4 @ 2666MHz 2x4GB
GRAPHICSASUS GTX 1060 STRIX OC 6GB
STORAGE Crucial BX200 480GB
POWERCORSAIR RM850X 850W
DISPLAYDELL U2715H
OSMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro

The AIDA64 Extreme Edition System Stability Test is used to stress our Intel Core i5 6600K. The CPU, FPU, Cache and Memory are selected at the options. AIDA64 has been chosen due to its inclusion of AVX, AVX2 and FMA – 3 important instructions that will help us push our CPU to its limits.

  • Ambient Temperature – 27°C (±1°C)
  • Ambient Sound Level – 34dBA (±1dBA)
  • Stock Profile – 3.9GHz (1.088v)
  • Overclocked Profile – 4.4GHz (1.248v)

TEMPERATURE:

Temperatures are tested with attainable CPU clock speed configurations that should resemble common systems. To measure the cooler’s capabilities, the CPU temperature is logged with HWiNFO64 and is cross referenced with AIDA64.

Cooler Review Redux 2019 (3)

The Noctua NH-D15 showed us that it is the best air cooler on the test with a 42°C load temperature on our Core i5 6600K at 3.9GHz. That holds true even with a single fan attached.

Cooler Review Redux 2019 (4)

With our CPU overclocked at 4.4GHz, the Noctua NH-D15 again, stomped the competition with a 52.1°C output. The NH-D15 also took the second place in a single fan configuration.

NOISE LEVEL:

Noise levels are tested on a variety of fan duty cycle settings available thru our motherboard. To measure the levels, a sound level meter is secured on a tripod with a foot of distance away from the cooler.

Cooler Review Redux 2019 (1)

The Noctua NH-D15 with the NF-A15 PWM fan is one of the quietest we’ve seen so far at 50%. That holds true even with two of them spinning at 750RPM.

Cooler Review Redux 2019 (2)

The story turns 180 though when it comes to the result of our 100% fan speed test. Clearly, the NF-A15 PWM is not the quietest 140mm fan around.

SOFTWARE, LIGHTING AND SPECIAL FEATURES:

The Noctua NH-D15 doesn’t feature any software nor lighting effects. Special features though, there is one and that’s the cooler’s flexibility. You may install three fans or even use it passively. The NH-D15 is also compatible with most Noctua fans not exceeding 140mm.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

The Noctua NH-D15 is the best air cooler Noctua has to offer and boy they are not messing around with it. Sheer cooling performance is excellent, with an ode to the core Noctua values as long as you don’t push both fans at maximum. To get a perfect balance of cooling and acoustic performance, you either go with a single fan setup or have both fans run below 100% most of the time.

Like many Noctua coolers I’ve had before it, the build quality and presentation of the NH-D15 is just astounding. That includes the fans themselves, the accessories and even the warranty of 6 years. For a Noctua air cooler with an MSRP of $100 USD, this goes beyond my expectations by bit.

The Noctua NH-D15 is more than enough to challenge popular liquid cooling solutions. A perfect example of what a premium air cooler could do without much limitations.

  • ASTOUNDING COOLING PERFORMANCE
  • GOOD ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE
  • PREMIUM BUILD QUALITY
  • FOOL PROOF INSTALLATION
  • EXCELLENT PRESENTATION
  • 6 YEAR WARRANTY
  •  ACOUSTICS AT 100% FAN SPEED

TechPorn Awards 2018 (6)

Noctua NH-D15 Tower CPU Cooler Review
  • PERFORMANCE
  • BUILD QUALITY
  • FEATURES
  • AESTHETICS
  • VALUE
4.4

Summary

The Noctua NH-D15 is more than enough to challenge popular liquid cooling solutions. A perfect example of what a premium air cooler could do without much limitations.