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Noctua NH-D15 Heatsink Review
Noctua NH-D15 Heatsink Review
Abstract: Weighing 1,320 grams with both fans installed, Noctua's NH-D15 heatsink is big. It stands 162mm tall and has a footprint of 151x161mm so prospective buyers will want to measure their case clearances first. It's six heat pipes are soldered to the nickel plated copper base plate and aluminum cooling fins; overall the fit and finish is top notch.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Noctua   Cooling / Heatsinks   Apr 29, 2014   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: 360° View - Noctua NH-D15 Heatsink

360° View - Noctua NH-D15 Heatsink

Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.

Two NF-A15 fans measuring 140x150x25mm are mounted unidirectional on the NH-D15 heatsink. Both PWM fans spin at 1500RPM and use 4-pin fan headers (one via splitter, or two if you have a gamers motherboard). Looking at the top of the Noctua NH-D15 heatsink we see two separate towers measuring 150x50mm in size (10mm wider than the previous NH-D14 cooler). Each tower each stands 104mm tall. The six heatpipes are evenly spaced through the 2mm spaced nickel plated aluminum fins and all intersections are soldered to reduce thermal joint resistance. Fin edges have multiple 14mm saw-toothed profiles.

The Noctua NH-D15 heatsink stands 162mm tall; the bottom most aluminum fin is elevated 48mm over the CPU, the second-lowest fin is elevated 64mm. If you're measuring for clearances, the heatsink is 95mm wide where the fins are notched, 135mm wide after the fins go to full width (assuming the outside fan is removed). Heatpipes expand from side-by-side at the heatspreader base to a ~16mm spacing as they pass through the aluminum fins. Each nickel plated aluminum fin measures 0.4mm thick and is spaced 2.0mm from the next. Note the wire fan clips used to secure the two fans to the NH-D15's fin stacks.

The base of Noctua's NH-D15 heatsink measures 40x38mm in size. The copper base plate is 2-to-4.5mm thick. The six 6mm diameter copper heatpipes are soldered to the copper base plate and aluminum base cap.

Base Finish and Flatness

Flipping a heatsink over to inspect the business end is often a simple indicator of overall cooler quality. More practically speaking, a heatsink is in many ways only as effective as the contact it makes with the processor - the flatter and smoother the better. Base finish is one of the criteria that Frostytech measure in the course of evaluating heatsinks, and it involves two distinct aspects. Surface Finish is the first; this is calculated with the aid of Surface Roughness Comparator that has a cross section of common machine surface finishes and their numerical surface roughness equivalents in microinches. The second is Surface Flatness. This is tested with an engineer's straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axes.

The Noctua NH-D15 heatsink has a machined nickel-plated copper baseplate with a surface roughness of approximately ~16 microinches. The base plate is machined perfectly flat in one axis and very slightly convex in the opposite.

Next up, let's see how this heatsink handles the heat compared to a selection of other heatsinks!

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Noctua NH-D15 Heatsink Review
 2: — 360° View - Noctua NH-D15 Heatsink
 3:  Acoustic Sample and Heatsink Sound Levels
 4:  AMD Heatsink Temperature Comparisons
 5:  Intel LGA115x/775 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons
 6:  Intel LGA2011 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

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