Noctua NH-D15 Review: Retaking The Cooling Performance Crown

#1 Posted by henri1960 (2747 posts) -

This review has the majority of the premium air coolers tested against the NH-D15. It shows the NH-D15 beating the TC14PE, Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme and NH-D14 by 2 Celsius and beating the H100i with 3 Celsius difference. Do you guys think it is worth it to upgrade from the NH-D14?

http://www.relaxedtech.com/reviews/noctua/nh-d15/1

#2 Posted by AdamPA1006 (6417 posts) -

Looks pretty damn awesome. But for 100 bux, might as well go water cooling for a cleaner look and more room in the case and around your RAM. I'm rocking the h110 now and like it.

#3 Posted by PredatorRules (7432 posts) -

#4 Edited by henri1960 (2747 posts) -

Looks pretty damn awesome. But for 100 bux, might as well go water cooling for a cleaner look and more room in the case and around your RAM. I'm rocking the h110 now and like it.

Yeah, I'd rather spend that money on an H100i than on this thing which will take up half the case.

#5 Posted by napo_sp (224 posts) -

nope, not retaking the cooling performance crown but retaking your RAM's right to get an uninterrupted passage in and out of your motherboard.

#6 Posted by kraken2109 (13007 posts) -

Why are noctua so ugly? :(

#7 Edited by PredatorRules (7432 posts) -

@kraken2109 said:

Why are noctua so ugly? :(

Austria, German quality, industry looking, so you'd know they don't need to cover it with some shinny paint because it's a quality brand.

#8 Edited by kraken2109 (13007 posts) -

@kraken2109 said:

Why are noctua so ugly? :(

Austria, German quality, industry looking, so you'd know they don't need to cover it with some shinny paint because it's a quality brand.

But they do cover it with a paint. And that paint is brown.

#9 Edited by PredatorRules (7432 posts) -

@PredatorRules said:

@kraken2109 said:

Why are noctua so ugly? :(

Austria, German quality, industry looking, so you'd know they don't need to cover it with some shinny paint because it's a quality brand.

But they do cover it with a paint. And that paint is brown.

Industry looking, that's all what it symbols IMO.

#10 Edited by henri1960 (2747 posts) -

Why are noctua so ugly? :(

I felt the same way before but their color scheme kinda grew on me overtime and I like it now.

#11 Posted by topgunmv (10187 posts) -

@PredatorRules: Looks more like old oxidized plastic on an apple ii or an snes than anything.

#12 Edited by henri1960 (2747 posts) -

@napo_sp said:

nope, not retaking the cooling performance crown but retaking your RAM's right to get an uninterrupted passage in and out of your motherboard.

Pretty much all high end air coolers will block RAM that have tall heatspreaders. Personally, I never understood why people buy RAM with tall heatsinks since they do nothing but cause problems.

#13 Posted by BattleSpectre (5966 posts) -

Damn that thing is too big, how would you even fit that thing on the motherboard? Or does the camera angle just make it look massive.

#14 Posted by mastershake575 (8354 posts) -

Good performance but not a great value (H100i for same price or 212 evo with aftermarket paste for less than half the price while offering 70-80% of the overclocking potential)

#15 Posted by JigglyWiggly_ (23463 posts) -

Good performance but not a great value (H100i for same price or 212 evo with aftermarket paste for less than half the price while offering 70-80% of the overclocking potential)

The hyper212+ offers nowhere near the performance of the nh d15

I swapped from a hyper 212+ to my old thermalright ultra 120extreme and there is a 20c degree difference on load

#16 Edited by Old_Gooseberry (3479 posts) -

I always wonder if that huge heavy heatsink could damage the motherboard? I use a H110, but i always thought if it died I may switch to something like this to avoid the possibility of the pump failing (which so far never has happened in 7+ years of using 4 different water coolers.. but it could and will eventually)

Might not work with my ram either cause i think the type i have uses heatspreaders that sit higher then ram without.

Also napo_sp made a really important point about the ram... you probably can't get it out once you have this heatsink in, so if you have some bad ram, you have to take the heatsink off each time, that seems horribly bad to me and puts extra stress on motherboard and cpu each time you have to rip that thing off. I actually think corsairs water cooling is still better then this, just puts you in a corner once you have this installed.

I'd have to check for sure if it would interfere, but I think my rams pretty close to my cpu... but I think it would block maybe the first two RAM slots on my motherboard.

#17 Edited by napo_sp (224 posts) -

I always wonder if that huge heavy heatsink could damage the motherboard? I use a H110, but i always thought if it died I may switch to something like this to avoid the possibility of the pump failing (which so far never has happened in 7+ years of using 4 different water coolers.. but it could and will eventually)

Might not work with my ram either cause i think the type i have uses heatspreaders that sit higher then ram without.

Also napo_sp made a really important point about the ram... you probably can't get it out once you have this heatsink in, so if you have some bad ram, you have to take the heatsink off each time, that seems horribly bad to me and puts extra stress on motherboard and cpu each time you have to rip that thing off. I actually think corsairs water cooling is still better then this, just puts you in a corner once you have this installed.

I'd have to check for sure if it would interfere, but I think my rams pretty close to my cpu... but I think it would block maybe the first two RAM slots on my motherboard.

it's a guarantee that it will block at least 2 RAM slots or worse (3 or all slots), so yeah if you suddenly get a RAM related BSOD, it's a guaranteed PITA to fix your pc lol.

#18 Edited by superclocked (5823 posts) -

Bykski MTX Waterblock - $24.95

Hayden 402 Transmission Cooler - $27.36

Elemental H2O Inline 291 GPH Water Pump - $26.74

2x 120mm Rosewill 75cfm fans - $11.18 w/ promo code EXLEMCPEPB36

G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Paste - $6.99

Starbrite Propylene Glycol Non-Toxic Anti-Freeze w/ Anti-Corrosive Additive (Red) - $4.45 or Ultra Concentrated (Blue) - $12.06

7" 3/8" I.D. x 1/2" O.D. Clear Flexible Tubing - $5.40

3-Way Tee for 3/8 in. I.D. Tubing (To create fill spout at the high point) - $1.62

10x 5/16"-7/8" Stainless Steel Hose Clamps - $4.75

100 Pack Black Zip Ties for Fans/Cooler - $1.99

__________________________________________

Total price for a decent, custom water loop - $115.43

#19 Edited by henri1960 (2747 posts) -

^ There's always the chance of the water cooler leaking onto the other components or the pump failing. With an air cooler, you don't have that problem. The computer is still usable if the fans stop working with an air cooler but if the pump fails or it leaks then you are screwed.

#20 Edited by superclocked (5823 posts) -

@henri1960: Nah, a heatsink with a bad fan will heat up quicker than liquid that's not flowing through the pipes very well. Besides, in the last ten years, I've only had one pump fail. And it was only because the Danner Mag Drive 7 pump was so heavy, and it had been hanging with no support under it for a few years. I've had about 100 fans die over the years.. As for leaks, just keep the hose clamps tight and you're good to go. I've had custom loops cooling my systems for about 10 years. My overclocks are much higher, my parts run much cooler, and everything just looks so very, very pretty :)

#21 Posted by airshocker (29042 posts) -

That is WAY too big.

#22 Edited by mastershake575 (8354 posts) -

The hyper212+ offers nowhere near the performance of the nh d15

I swapped from a hyper 212+ to my old thermalright ultra 120extreme and there is a 20c degree difference on load

Re-read what I wrote again. The 212 evo with aftermarket paste will offer 70-80 percent of the overclocking potential (you can get an i5 from mid 3ghz range to around 4.4ghz).

20-30% more overclocking potential out of the D15 would mean the i5 could hit like 4.6-4.7ghz...... (that sounds right to me)

#23 Posted by JigglyWiggly_ (23463 posts) -

@JigglyWiggly_ said:

The hyper212+ offers nowhere near the performance of the nh d15

I swapped from a hyper 212+ to my old thermalright ultra 120extreme and there is a 20c degree difference on load

Re-read what I wrote again. The 212 evo with aftermarket paste will offer 70-80 percent of the overclocking potential (you can get an i5 from mid 3ghz range to around 4.4ghz).

20-30% more overclocking potential out of the D15 would mean the i5 could hit like 4.6-4.7ghz...... (that sounds right to me)

Your example is more around 90-95%, regardless the nh d15 runs substantially cooler. They aren't in the same league.

#24 Edited by henri1960 (2747 posts) -

That is WAY too big.

that's what she said. :D

#25 Posted by airshocker (29042 posts) -

@airshocker said:

That is WAY too big.

that's what she said. :D

You mean that's what you wish she had said to you.

#26 Posted by BattleSpectre (5966 posts) -
#27 Posted by henri1960 (2747 posts) -

@mastershake575 said:

@JigglyWiggly_ said:

The hyper212+ offers nowhere near the performance of the nh d15

I swapped from a hyper 212+ to my old thermalright ultra 120extreme and there is a 20c degree difference on load

Re-read what I wrote again. The 212 evo with aftermarket paste will offer 70-80 percent of the overclocking potential (you can get an i5 from mid 3ghz range to around 4.4ghz).

20-30% more overclocking potential out of the D15 would mean the i5 could hit like 4.6-4.7ghz...... (that sounds right to me)

Your example is more around 90-95%, regardless the nh d15 runs substantially cooler. They aren't in the same league.

I don't understand how he can compare the Hyper 212 Evo/plus to the NH-D15. One is a high end dual tower cooler while the other is a budget single tower cooler. One costs $30 while the other costs $100.

#28 Posted by Postmortem123 (7646 posts) -

Looks nice but is a bit expensive.

#29 Edited by mastershake575 (8354 posts) -

The hyper212+ offers nowhere near the performance of the nh d15

I swapped from a hyper 212+ to my old thermalright ultra 120extreme and there is a 20c degree difference on load

I don't understand how he can compare the Hyper 212 Evo/plus to the NH-D15. One is a high end dual tower cooler while the other is a budget single tower cooler. One costs $30 while the other costs $100.

Jesus, you guys must be NH-D15 owners (I can't freaking make my point clearer).

My original quote was saying that the H100i is same price while being better (it beats it on the performance standpoint) while the 212 evo beats it on the value department (I would rather pay $40 for an i5 at 4.4ghz then pay $100 for an i5 at 4.6ghz).

My point is pretty clear (this isn't a direct comparison, I'm merely stating that better performance for same price and good performance for 60% less money are reasons why this isn't a good value/must have product)

#30 Posted by napo_sp (224 posts) -

I'd like to add that aside from the obvious blocking issue, what most people often overlook is that huge air coolers tend to generate additional heat the RAM area itself and the motherboard area nearby and this situation can cause troubles.

think about it, the heat from your RAM potentially (and in most cases it does indeed) trapped behind/near the huge air cooler, not only that but such case can also lead to the heat from the CPU that supposedly cooled with the heatsink and flushed away to the back of the case can instead get merged with heat from RAM and trapped.