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Noctua NH-D15S Review

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Noctua NH-D15S Testing:

Testing of the NH-D15S will be accomplished by installing the cooler into the test system case. Most systems are built and mounted into a (relatively) sealed chassis as opposed to a test bench, so this method will be used to generate the idle and load results to give a real world view as to the cooling performance from a system listed below. Of course, your results may vary by several degrees due to case design and ambient air temperature. The CPU load is generated by Prime 95 version 27.9 for a period of two hours, with a cooldown period of one hour after the computer has returned to an idle state. Real Temp 3.70 is used to log the temperatures with the highest and lowest averages across the four cores of the Core i7 4770K test CPU. Ambient temperatures are kept at 24 °C during the testing to minimize the effect of temperature variations. Each cooler is tested with the manufacturer supplied thermal compound as delivered.

Testing Setup:


Comparison Coolers:








Since the D15S is similar in construction to the D15 that I tested last year, I would expect the thermal testing to return simlar results. So let's see what the numbers show. The D15S was tested first at stock idle and turns in a temperature of 27 °C, which is only one degree off of the D15. Next we crank up the load - which brings us to 69 °C. While this is 8 degrees Celcius above the D15 for this test, it is certaily still a great number. The D15 turned in a remarkable 61 °C (CPU load - non overclocked) in testing last year - which pretty much blew the doors off the coolers I had tested at that point. I am not sure why there would be this much variation (I am not complaining at all), but still, 69 °C for the D15S is just fine.

Now we are ready to kick things up a bit with the overclock. Idle temperatures come in at 31 °C, which is dead even with the D15. No surprises here. With the slightly higher load temperature in the stock testing, I am expecting to see a similar offset in the overclocked temperatures. The 4770K can really put out some heat, and with an overclocked load, the temperatures climb, but again match the D15 at 76 °C. So the D15S proves that it can handle the heat as well as the D15 and I did not see the anticipated bump in temperatures, which is a good thing.

Fan noise can certainly be a problem, but when all the fans spool up under a load, the Noctua fan is quiet enough that the case fans drown it out. So after the thermal testing is done, I manually crank the Noctua fan up to full speed while the rest of the case is at idle, and even then the D15S fan is barely audible. It has been my experience with the Noctua coolers that the fans are just so quiet that fan noise is simply not a concern. It looks like Noctua has another winner with the NH-D15S.

  1. Noctua NH-D15S: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Noctua NH-D15S: Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Noctua NH-D15S: Specifications & Features
  4. Noctua NH-D15S: Testing Setup & Results
  5. Noctua NH-D15S: Conclusion
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