NH-D15S Features and Cooler Design
Courtesy of Noctua
- High-compatibility version of NH-D15
- Excellent RAM compatibility
- Asymmetrical layout for better PCIe compatibility
- NF-A15 140mm fan
- Dual-fan ready
- PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor
- Excellent component cooling
- SecuFirm2™ mounting system
- Compatibility with past and future sockets
- NT-H1 thermal compound
- 6 years warranty
The Noctua NH-D15S CPU cooler is a high performance, dual tower cooler with an asymmetrical design based on the Noctua NH-D15 cooler. The cooler comes stock with a single 150mm fan, nickel-plated copper heat pipes and base plate, and two densely-finned aluminum radiators sandwiching the fan. The unit's six integrated heat pipes are constructed out of copper to optimize heat absorption from the CPU base plate and heat transfer to the aluminum radiators. The aluminum radiators were designed to facilitate optimal transfer of the heat from the heat-pipes to the air medium. The thin nickel plating encasing the base plate and heat-pipes give them corrosion and scratch resistance, while not inhibiting heat transfer between the cooler's components.
Courtesy of Noctua
The NH-D15S' twin radiator towers were designed with a fin density of 11 fpi (fins per inch) with each tower being about double the thickness of a standard fan. The fan placement is optimized to pull air through the front radiator and push it out the back. However, the thickness of the radiators seem to work against the unit's cooling effectiveness in its stock configuration. The radiators thickness add a immense amount of surface area from which to disperse the heat of the processor, requiring a fan able to push a volume of air sufficient for optimal heat transfer. To aid in heat transfer to the radiator fins and add rigidity to the structure, the heat-pipes are individually soldered to each of the aluminum radiator layers.
From the side view, you can better see the design optimizations implemented to enhance the units performance. Along the middle of both sides of each radiator is a fold-down spacer to give the fins rigidity, as well as to act as an air guide, created an air channel through which the center mounted fan can pull and push the air through. Even though the unit comes standard with only a single center mounted fan, the radiator can support up to three fans simultaneously. The side view of the unit best illustrates the true massiveness of the cooler. The integrated heat pipes are designed in a U-shape configuration, terminating in each of the towers with center of each heat pipe passing through the copper base plate. The unit's base has a top mounted, integrated hold down plate containing two spring-loaded screw-in nuts, giving the unit more than enough force for a solid mount with the CPU surface.
The top-down veiw of the cooler gives a better perspective of its asymmetrical design, better illustrating how the base plate is off center to accomodate a higher variety of motherboard layouts. Each radiator's rectangular layered construction gives it the ability to maximize its internal surface area while minimizing its depth footprint for motherboard fit compatibility when used in its default or alternative, multi-fan configuration. The top plate is stamped with the Noctua name and acts at the termination point for the four 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 the standard dual hook configurations found on most Noctua coolers, used 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 plate 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 with the CPU.
There are absolutely no fit issues with the NH-D15S mounted to the test bench's Z87-based board. All DIMM slots remain easily accessible and the radiator towers are well above the surface level of the surrounding board heat sinks and memory modules. You may have issues when using a front-mounted fan with the unit, but then it just becomes a matter of mounting the fan higher up the radiator to clear the memory modules. Notice how both radiators have a stepped design to accommodate memory modules along both sides of the CPU socket, like that seen on an Intel X99-based board.
From the closeup board shots, it becomes even more apparent how well Noctua designed the NH-D15S for board compatibility. In its default configuration, you should few mounting issues with this cooler on any Intel-based board.