PC cooling industry has changed a lot in last couple of years. The air cooling solutions have run out of both space and innovation. Basically, the cooling solutions seem to have reached the maximum potential of air cooling while still being reasonable in size or outputting reasonable amount of noise. We are currently going through another major shift and that is towards mobile devices. Desktops are being abandoned for laptops, laptops are being abandoned for tablets and many new smart devices have emerged as well. This has definitely shifted users focus from desktop computers. The dedicated overclocking community is still growing however general computer users or people who did do overclocking occasionally are moving towards other forms of computers.
We had a number of dedicated players in the desktop cooling industry a few years ago like Cooler Master, Thermalright, Noctua and others but most of them have either expanded their horizon to other products and others have shrinked themselves relatively to the demand. Another trend which got quite a lot of traction in last couple of years in the all-in-one closed loop liquid cooling solution. This is not happening in CPU segment only, it’s happening in case of GPUs as well. The recently released AMD Radeon R9 295X2 is the first graphics card whose reference design includes an all in one liquid cooling solution and I am sure this trend will only grow.
However, in all these years, I can only think of only one company which has stayed true to its core and that is Noctua. They were exclusively making pure air cooling solution 5 years ago and that’s exactly what they are doing now and they seem to be thriving in the market. Noctua is known for their high-quality CPU coolers, which not only focus on high performance but also on low noise output. And when we are talking about Noctua, their NH-D14 CPU cooler comes immediately to mind. It’s a dual tower cooler, which was launched back in November 2009 and it took the whole enthusiasts community by storm. It was the best cooler back then and even now after all these years, it is among the top performing CPU coolers.
Noctua launched a few high performing CPU coolers like NH-U14S since 2009 but none of them had dual towers and no doubt these were good performers but none of them topped the charts like the NH-D14. It’s finally time that Noctua unveiled a new flagship with dual tower which once again brought the top position home.
After over 3 years of research and development, Noctua launched the NH-D15 a couple of days ago. As the name suggests, it one step ahead of the last flagship but it borrows major part of its design from the NH-D14. Noctua basically too the same design and improved it vastly; not solely for performance but for compatibility as well. It is slightly bigger than its predecessor but it still offers better compatibility with tall memory heatsinks.
The Noctua NH-D15 comes with 6 heatpipes arranged in U-shape among with two towers of aluminium fins. Two NF-A15 PWM fans come bundled with this cooler. These are 150mm fans, which use 120mm mounting holes. You can install both on the cooler however only one is suggested for best memory compatibility. These are rated for 1500 RPM at max producing 24.6 dBA of noise.
|Dimensions||165mm x 150mm x 135mm (Without fans)|
|Fans||2 x Noctua NF-A15 PWM|
|Socket Support||Intel: LGA 2011/1366/1156/1155/1150|
AMD: AM2/3, FM1/2