So now that the Noctua NH-D15 has been on the test bench, is it worthy of even being considered in the same league as the old stalwart D14 has been in for the past 4 years? Have Noctua stepped up their game and gone above and beyond?
Well in terms of performance, the Noctua NH-D15 is the best overall CPU cooler we have ever tested here at Play3r and not only does it show in the graphs, but it remains one of the quietest also. With its 2 x Noctua Premium NF-A15 fans equipped, it was always going to be an interesting match and whatever Noctua have done with the heat pipes/fins has clearly worked. It surpasses the older D14 by a couple of degrees and even beats the super Phanteks/Thermalright coolers making it the top dog for air cooling; on our i7 4770k of course.
Aside from the cooling performance, one of the sublime things about Noctua coolers is the very easy and straight forward mounting kit that comes supplied; I haven’t come across an easier one so far with all the coolers I have tested personally putting Noctua in a good stead for those who like to avoid fiddly parts. The acoustic performance is average but given the sheer size of the cooler (165mm tall) and the fact it comes supplied with 2 monster fans, it could be considered a great thing as the Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E is a damned sight louder in comparison.
Noctua have obviously gone with the beige/cream colour scheme which is no surprise but with all the talk of them towards the end of last year doing black fans, I would have loved to have seen a black NH-D15 as I do know some people are put off with the lax colour scheme; not to say that I might but in a show build that are specific colours, you are very unlikely to find Noctua products anywhere near them. That being said, the actual design of the tower including the 6 copper heat pipe design does a stellar job at cooling and that is what is important.
Coming in at £77.99, it is probably one of the most expensive air coolers on the market but when you take into consideration that it tops our charts with no issues at all; can you really knock an “enthusiast” CPU cooler down on price? It might not be a bargain but since when has any enthusiast grade product been one? Personally if I wanted the best, I wouldn’t mind paying £15-20 more as at the end of the day, quality to me is paramount and given NH-D15 not only looks good, it performs well and comes in packaging worthy of a cooler this good; what more could you want other than a bargain price of course!
Overall the D15 fills the void and continues the legacy that the D14 has done for the past 4 years making Noctua not only look good, but reign king; for the time being of course!
Many thanks to Noctua for the sample and I look forward to seeing more in the near future!
The Noctua NH-D15 not only currently sits top of the pile, but it screams and oozes class while doing so. You will be hard pushed to find any air CPU cooler that can topple this and Noctua really deserve credit for producing a monsterous enthusiast grade cooler worthy of editor’s choice.
User Review( votes)
Hi, don’t the RAMs not overheat due to the proximity of the cooling iron? Have you done any measurements comparing the overall performance with the same one, just using a smaller fan, say NH-D15S or similar? Because if RAM overheats, the overall performance might decrease even with faster processor.