Features and Cooler Design
Courtesy of Noctua
- Based on the award-winning NH-D14
- 6 heat pipe dual tower design
- Widened fin stack and expanded heat pipe layout
- High RAM compatibility in single fan mode
- Dual NF-A15 140mm fans
- PWM support and Low-Noise Adapter
- Excellent component cooling
- SecuFirm2™ mounting system
- Compatibility with past and future sockets
- NT-H1 thermal compound
- 6 years warranty
The Noctua NH-D15 CPU air cooler is a high performance, dual tower cooler, featuring multiple 140mm fans, nickel-plated copper heat-pipes and CPU base plate, and a densely-finned aluminum radiator. Noctua constructed the units six heat-piper out of copper to optimize heat absorption from the CPU base plate and transfer to the aluminum radiators. The aluminum radiators were constructed for optimal transfer of the heat from the heat-pipes to the air medium. The thin nickel plating covering the base plate and heat-pipes give them both corrosion and scratch resistance.
Courtesy of Noctua
The NH-D15's dual radiator towers were constructed with a fin density of 11 fpi (fins per inch) with each tower being about double the thickness of a standard 25mm fan. Noctua paired the fin density and thickness expertly, giving the cooler its ability to work well with slower speed fans while adding surface area to better disperse heat from the aluminum fins as it is flows from the heat pipes. The heat-pipes are individually soldered to each of the aluminum radiator layers, ensuring an optimal heat transfer interface between the two dissimilar surfaces. The unit's base has a top mounted, integrated hold down plate containing two spring-load screw-in nuts, giving the unit more than enough force for a solid mount with the CPU surface.
The side view of the unit best illustrates the true massiveness of the cooler. with both the front and center fan mounted, the unit is as wide as it is long. Both included fans are 150mm x 140mm units, providing more than enough flow coverage to the entire radiator surface. The fans are held to the radiator surface by wire clips with sufficient mounting hardware for both included fans. The default configuration comes with the fan mounted to the front radiator, but supports mounting the fan at the back of the secondary tower. The integrated heat pipes are designed in a U-shape configuration, terminating in each of the towers with their centers passing through the copper base plate.
The radiator's rectangular shape gives it the ability to maximize its internal surface area while minimizing its depth footprint for motherboard fit compatibility. The top plate is stamped with the Noctua corporate logo and name and acts at the termination point for the six embedded heat pipes. The heat pipes are soldered in place and capped to ensure heat pipe integrity, keeping the contents under pressure and promoting the phase change required for the heat pipe transfer medium to be effective. Integrated into the sides of the radiator are dual hook configurations to hold the fans in place. The wire fan holds have two set of straight sections that lock into the hooked sections of the radiator to firmly secure fans to the front and/or rear sides of the radiator.
The unit's base plate is a seamless copper plate with nickel-plating to prevent corrosion and surface scratches. The base plate is fixed to an upper to which the hold down assembly is fixed, sandwiching the copper heat pipes. The heat pipes run through the center portion of the base plate to ensure optimal heat transfer. The base plate is machined flat and polished to a mirror-like sheen, ensuring a near perfect mating surface for the CPU.
When mounted to a Z87-based board, the cooler is appears to be a tight fit between the heat sinks to the right and left of the socket. However, there is sufficient clearance for the cooler to mount without the side heat pipes coming into contact the heat sinks. You shouldn't have problems with other boards, but it is something to keep in mind with this cooler. There are are no fit issues to the front and rear of the cooler – you should even be able to use all four DIMM sockets without issue.
Even though the NH-D15 cooler has a large footprint, it easily fits within the confines of the three sided VRM cooler on the Z87 board without issue. The heatpipes are designed to fit all but the largest sockets. Noctua further designed the NH-D15 to be compatible with most boards by designing the cooling towers with a rectangular cutout from the outer lower portion of each cooler. This allows for the use of all memory slots on both Z97 and X99 based boards without issue.