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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: Intel LGA2011 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

FrostyTech Mk.III Synthetic Thermal Heatsink Test Results
Intel Core i7, Extreme Edition class heatsinks tested at a 200W heat load.
Results based on readings from a 38x38mm copper interface die with 200W heat load on the Intel version of the Mk.III Test Platform. Temperature results listed for each heatsink were calculated by determining the rise over ambient temperatures at time of test. Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.
Socket LGA2011/1366 compatible CPU heatsinks
manufacturer: model no.: *fan speed: 200w thermal test (°c) noise level (dba)

Coolermaster Nepton 280L high 10.6 58.8
Coolermaster Nepton 140XL high 11.8 59.6
Coolermaster Seidon 240M high 13.4 55.6
Silverstone Tundra TD02 high 13.6 53.0
Coolermaster Glacer 240L high 14.1 52.5
NZXT Kraken X60 high 14.5 60.7
Noctua NH-D15 high 15.8 49.8
Noctua NH-U14S 17.0 47.3
Coolermaster Seidon 120V high 17.5 54.3
NZXT Kraken X40 high 18.2 59.4
Silverstone Tundra TD03 high 18.7 58.1
Silverstone Argon AR01 high 18.8 53.0
Coolermaster Eisberg 240L high 19.1 50.5
BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 3 high 19.5 43.7
Raijintek Themis high 19.7 52.8
Coolermaster V8 GTS high 20.0 59.7
Corsair Hydro H80i high 21.1 64.0
Noctua NH-U12S 21.1 46.2
Raijintek Ereboss high 21.4 49.7
Zalman Reserator 3 Max high 21.6 58.9
Scythe Mugen 4 high 21.7 41.9
Zalman LQ315 high 21.9 50.8
Silverstone NT06-P high 22.1 51.6
Raijintek Pallas high 22.2 43.2
Raijintek Aidos high 23.0 55.6
Silentium Fera2 HE1224 high 23.4 37.6
Noctua NH-D15 low 23.8 31.8
Zalman LQ310 high 23.8 52.7
Scythe Ashura Shadow (SCASR-1000SE) high 24.2 51.4
Raijintek Nemesis high 24.6 47.8
Zalman LQ320 high 25.5 50.2
npowertek NPH-1366-115HC (LGA1366) high 28.7 44.8
Dynatron G556 (LGA1366/2U) 29.1 68.4
Dynatron G555 (LGA1366/2U) 30.4 67.8
Dynatron G666 (LGA1366/2U) 31.8 68.7
Silverstone NT01-Pro high 35.8 40.4
nPowerTek NPH1366-140HC (LGA1366) high 36.3 48.1
Zalman FX-100 (w/h ZM-F2 fan) 36.9 28.5
Dynatron G199 (LGA1366/1U) 47.6 62.6
Zalman FX-100 (hor, ver) 63.0 0.0
200w thermal test (°c) noise level (dba)
*heatsinks are ranked according to the 200w thermal test results column (rise over ambient temp.). low temperatures with low noise levels are considered best. for reference heatsinks with variable-speed fans, only the high speed (12v) fan test result is included in the comparison sheet; more detailed results reside in each specific heatsink review.

frostytech's most recent synthetic thermal test platform stresses Intel socket LGA2011 and LGA1366 compatible heatsinks with a 200W heat load. Additionally, because the AMD Integrated Heat Spreader and Intel LGA2011 IHS both measure ~38x38mm, these test results can be directly extrapolated to AMD processor scenarios.

With a 200W heat load applied by the Intel LGA2011/1366 version of FrostyTech's synthetic thermal test platform, Noctua's NH-D15 heatsink yields an excellent temperature test result of just 15.8°C over ambient, with both fans spinning at 1500RPM. Decreasing the speed of the two 140x150mm PWM fans to 650RPM caused test temperatures to increase to 23.8°C over ambient, while noise output dropped to a whisper quiet 31.8 dBA.

Where LGA2011 Intel processors are considered, the Noctua NH-D15 heatsink is the best performing tower CPU cooler we've tested thus far, exceeded only by all-in-one liquid coolers.

In Summary

The Noctua NH-D15 is a big heatsink, standing 162mm tall and a boxy 151x161mm wide, but it's an excellent thermal solution if your computer chassis can accommodate it.

Exactly how does the Noctua NH-D15 stack up?

On all three of Frostytech's synthetic thermal test platforms the Noctua NH-D15 heatsink offers the best, quietest cooling performance of the tower-class heatsinks we've thus tested. In other words, that means several all-in-one liquid cooler models do perform cooler than the NH-D15, but they're also much louder. The only two tower coolers which have a slight edge are also much louder.

As far as sub-162mm tall heatsinks go, well... the Noctua NH-D15 rises to the top of the list if we consider sub-54 dBA coolers only and it only outputs 49.8 dBA noise!

Compared to previous Noctua heatsinks like the NH-D14, the Noctua NH-D15 heatsink tested a little louder but performed 1.2°C cooler on the 150W test and ~0.3°C cooler on the 125W test platform.

With both it's 140mm fans slowed to 650RPM, which incidently is half the fan speed Noctua suggest with the supplied 1200RPM "Low Noise Adaptor" fan speed resistor, the NH-D15 heatsink offers very good thermal performance at essentially inaudible noise levels. On the 200W thermal test, the cooler does struggle under this restricted air flow situation, but the NH-D15's still manages to outperform a bunch of LGA2011 heatsinks.

Bottom line, Noctua's NH-D15 twin tower CPU cooler is an excellent heatsink for Intel and AMD platforms, particularly if a self-contained watercooling system isn't the direction you want to take your computer system. Highly recommended.

Related Articles:

The Top 5 best heatsinks for low noise and low temperature are ranked here. For more reviews on the latest heatsinks and cooling solutions, rely on FrostyTech's inventory of 400+ heatsink reviews. Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as well.

- Raijintek Pallas Low Profile Heatsink Review
- BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 3 Low Noise Heatsink Review
- Scythe Ashura Shadow Heatsink Review
- SilentiumPC Fera2 HE1224 Heatsink Review
- Cooler Master Nepton 280L Liquid Cooling System Review
- Cooler Master Nepton 140XL Liquid Cooling System Review

 Previous Page ° Heat Sink Review Index  

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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