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Noctua NH-D15S D-Style CPU Cooler Review (Page 1)

Noctua NH-D15S D-Style CPU Cooler Review

Chad reviews Noctua's NH-D15S, which is the third most efficient CPU air cooler we have tested, and it doesn't generate much noise either.

Chad Sebring | Aug 19, 2015 at 09:19 pm CDT - 3 mins, 48 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Noctua

Introduction, Specifications and Pricing

Noctua NH-D15S D-Style CPU Cooler Review 99 |

While Noctua already seemed to have had their hands full enough making the refresh of the NH-L9i and the NH-C14, they didn't just stop there. It seems that even their flagship cooler, the mighty NH-D15, was not above having another go at the design as well. It is very easy to take a quick look at this newer version and say that they just removed a fan and re-boxed the D15, but there is more to this revamp than initially meets the eyes.

That other thing that may not have come to mind upon first glance is that while they decided to remove the fan for clearance, size, and accessibility reasons, the entire cooler has been shifted as well. By this, we mean that where the heat pipes were laid out in an even pattern through the fin stack of the D15, this time around there is also a distinct shift upwards on the motherboard, doing away with a second issue to the original. This move allows the fins and the fan clips to stay well away from the top PCI-e slot, allowing users to now populate it without fear of metal bits shorting out electronic parts.

Where many will say that this is just a stripped down NH-D15, what Noctua did to the new NH-D15S seems to be well worth the effort. Coming from the beast that is the NH-D14, that set the whole trend to dual-tower designs, it was a great performer in its day, but it also came with a few issues that users found over the years. When it came to the NH-D15, they removed some of the fins to allow for memory clearance, but depending on the sticks used, it tended to push the fan upwards making the overall height larger than what a lot of cases could take. Now with the release of the NH-D15S, we see the front fan eliminated, so there are no issues with memory anymore at all. We find that they have shifted the cooler upwards to completely free room for video cards used in the first slot, which is a huge plus to a lot of users. With that going for it already, now all it has to do is perform well in thermal testing and Noctua can breathe easy knowing they did the right thing in the evolution of this design.

Noctua NH-D15S D-Style CPU Cooler Review 01 |

Since the NH-D15S comes with SecuFirm2 mounting hardware, it will easily install upon anything AMD as far back and including AM2. As for Intel sockets, LGA2011 is covered, as is LGA115X sockets. The size has not changed of the tower itself, as it still stands 165mm in height including the fan. The depth is slightly less without the front fan at 135mm, but we see the 150mm width is kept as well. Without that second fan though, the NH-D15s does shed a bit of weight as it weighs only 1150 grams now. As to the construction, the base and six 6mm diameter heat pipes are made from copper and nickel plated once assembled. While the pipes get soldered to the base of the cooler, each fin in the stack of aluminum is also soldered into place to get the best thermal transfer between components as possible.

The NH-D15S will take on any 140mm fan or 120mm fan as long as it is 15mm thick, using the provided wire fan clips, but as it is sold, it comes paired with the NF-A15 PWM fan. This fan is capable of speeds from 300 to 1500 RPM, while delivering 140.2 cubic meters of air flow, all while keeping at or under the quiet 24.6dB(A) rating shown. As do all the Noctua coolers we have seen lately, the NH-D15S also comes with a six-year warranty should anything go wrong with this cooler.

All of the latest trio of coolers are very new to the market, and as such are not very easy to locate at all of the usual locations. However, we were able to find one location that is selling the NH-D15S currently. As with the others, this can be found at Amazon with Noctua listed as the seller, and this cooler will cost you $99.69 right now with free shipping. While the D15 is a tad cheaper currently, many reviews will point out the little issues with that cooler, and if you want the most accessibility with the largest cooler Noctua makes, the NH-D15S is definitely that cooler, even with its premium price point.

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

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Chad Sebring


After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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