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Noctua NH-D15 Review

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Noctua NH-D15 Review – Packaging and Bundle

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Noctua NH-D15 review – The Cooler

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Noctua NH-D15 Review – Installation

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In terms of performance the NH-D15 circulates a large amount of air in our system, assisting with overall temperatures but looking at the CPU specifically it is no surprise that the cooler performs well. With a stock CPU it outperforms smaller alternatives (so basically all other coolers!) and when we move to an overclocked speed the strength of the cooler shows through, exceeding entry level liquid cooling while maintaining decent noise levels. Those who want low noise operation can of course stick to one or two fans with the Low Noise Adapters that Noctua bundle.

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In terms of value, certainly the Nocuta NH-D15 is at the higher end of the market price wise but that is to be expected given the large amount of metal used here, along with the various bundled items which include two quality fans. Noctua do add some value with a long 6-year warranty which essentially means the cooler is guaranteed for the life of most builds, maybe even through two.

Summary: Excellent thermal performance, decent noise levels and great looks. The Noctua NH-D15 wins our performance award.

Performance Award


About Author

Stuart Davidson


  1. Chris

    Thanks for the review.

    2 quick questions:
    1. When mounted in the north-south position, is the first PCI-E slot usable? Can you put a GPU in the first PCI-E slot?

    2. It says that “Intel i7-5960X @ 5.0GHz” – is this a typo or is this accurate? That is a huge overclock if it is accurate. I’m curious because typical overclocks are in the ~4.5 GHz range at 1.3V Core. What were you using as a load test?

    Otherwise, it’s a great cooler. It’s only rival right now is the Cyrorig R1 Ultimate.

    • Hi, re q1, that would be very much dependant on the board used. Some have a first PCIe slot much closer to the CPU than others… and some have a 1x slot first. Re Q2, it was a typo from some text used on an article with another CPU, good spot. Thx. (it was 4.5ghz)

      • Chris

        Hey Stuart, I was referring to the MSI X99 board above. Can you use the D15 and put a GPU in the first slot?

        The issue is with X99 boards, usually the 1st and the 5th slot are the ones for the GPUs ideally. Looks like it’d be a tight fit, if usable at all.

  2. Richard

    I just installed a Noctua NH-D15 on my 5960X. I’ve attempted overclocking, but I can’t seem to get the same temperatures you did. What I’ve done is activate XMP on my memory sticks, therefore giving me a 125MHz BCLK, and then I’ve increased the multiplier to 33 for a 4.125GHz clock speed. I’ve also set my Vcore to offset +.155V, and I get around a 1.095V vcore in CPU-Z. I’ve then run Prime95, but I hit around 85C on the smallFFT tests. When I try to increase the multiplier and voltage to 34 (4.25GHz) and around 1.15V, I quickly go above 90C, and that’s when I stop the Prime95 test. What is your testing methodology to load the CPU in this review?

    • HI, we use Prime 95 too. There could be a bunch of reasons why the temps are not the same, for example your motherboard could be over volting past what you have set (check with a multimeter if you can, rather than the bios/software). Or it could be you have just been unlucky with how well your CPU runs OC and a few reasons in between… for example room temperature. It could even be a combination of all those and more. Really though if you are getting 90c in Prime95 then the chances are under normal situations you wont see the same temps and everything will run absolutely fine.