Introduction:

Noctua is a renowned brand when it comes to silent and efficient coolers. After a long wait, the company has finally released its Chromax black lineup for its CPU coolers comprising the famous NH-D15 as enthusiast, NH-U12S as mid-range and the low-profile NH-L9i. They use black layered heat-sinks, black fans, black anti-vibration pads and almost everything black to bring the similar signature noiseless cooling performance in a stealthy appearance. Gone are the days were their coolers came in silver heatsinks and beige brownish fans.

Today we are reviewing the NH-D15 Chromax Black CPU air cooler, the finest quality and preferred choice for enthusiast Gamers. It is a dual tower CPU air cooler with 2x NF-A15 HS-PWM 140mm black fans for heat exhausting purpose. It comes with six heatpipes to dissipate the heat. The NH-D15 Chromax Black smoothly supports every modern Intel LGA series and AMD AM4 series sockets.

The package contains NH-D15 Chromax Black air cooler, 2x NF-A15 HS-PWM 140mm black fans, SecuFirm2 mounting set with NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound, a user manual and a Noctua metal case badge. The NH-D15 Chromax Black comes with default black anti-vibration pads but you can change according to your taste as the anti-vibrations pads are available in different colors to buy from Noctua. One thing to keep in mind is that the NH-D15 Chromax Black air cooler does not support high profile RAM when mounted with two fans; thus, if you do not have low-profile ram, install the heatsink with only one fan in the center of the cooler.

Technical Specifications:

Specifications are classified in two groups, cooler specifications and fan specifications.

Cooler Specifications:

Socket Compatibility Intel LGA2066, LGA2011-0 and LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 and AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required), AM4
Height (160mm) without fan, (165mm) with fan
Width (150mm) with and without fan
Depth (135mm) without fan, (161mm) with fan
Weight (980g) without fan, (1320g) with fan
Material Nickel-Plated Copper
Fan Compatibility 140x150x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 140x140x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 120x120x25
Manufacturer Warranty Period 6 Years

Fan Specifications:

Model 2x NF-A15 HS-PWM Chromax Black
Bearing SSO2
Max Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1500 RPM
Max Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1200 RPM
Min Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%) 300 RPM
Max Airflow 140,2 m³/h
Max Airflow with L.N.A. 115,5 m³/h
Max Acoustical Noise 24,6 dB(A)
Max Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 19,2 dB(A)
Voltage Range 12V
MTTF > 150.000 h

Inside the Package:

The Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black comes in a fully black themed box opposed to the previously used tan themed box. The front side of the box presents the mighty NH-D15 Chromax Black supports PWM and Low Noise Adaptor. Furthermore, the sides of the box show the detailed specifications of the product, scope of delivery and the side view of NH-D15 Chromax Black that also covers the back side of the box with NH-D15 Chromax Black features. Now we are going to open the box and check the inside stuff.

After opening the box, the SecuFirm2 mounting kit comes up that contains all the essential components needed to install the NH-D15 Chromax Black in your system; the NH-D15 Chromax Black heatsink with a first one NF-A15 HS-PWM Chromax Black fan that is placed in the middle of the cooler and the second one NF-A15 HS-PWM Chromax Black comes in separate box.

The Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black is fully compatible with all the legacy and modern AMD and Intel CPU sockets.

Accessories and Contents:

  • 1x Dual Tower Heatsink
  • 2x NF-A15 HS-PWM Fans
  • 2x NM-AMB8 Mounting Bars for AMD
  • 4x NM-APS4 Plastic Spacers for AM4
  • 4x NM-APS5 Plastic Spacers for AM3
  • 4x NM-ALS1 Screws for AMD
  • 1x NM-IBP2 Backplate for LGA115x
  • 2x NM-IMB2 Mounting Bars for Intel
  • 4x NM-IPS1 Plastic Spacers for LGA115x
  • 4x NM-ITS1 Thumb Screws for Intel
  • 4x NM-IBT2 Bolts for LGA20xx
  • 1x SMT2 Screw Driver
  • 1x NT-H1 High Grade Thermal Compound
  • 1x NA-RC7 Low Noise Adaptor
  • 1x NA-YC1 PWM Y-Cable
Noctua NH-SVP3 Chromax Anti-Vibrations Pads (Sold Separately)

Installation:

Installation of the Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black on the motherboard is not difficult if you carefully follow the steps mentioned in the user manual. For an AM4 platform, you will have to remove the pre-installed brackets on the motherboard and hold the backplate in place while putting in the four AM4 (Gray) spacers on top and with the spacers in positioned on the board you will be able to fix the mounting bars with the included screws.

Now put the Noctua NT-H1 high grade thermal compound on the processor and carefully mount the cooler on the bars, you can ascertain that you placed it in right direction by checking Noctua’s label on the top of the heatsink in alphabetical order. Now mount the NH-D15 Chromax Black, tighten the screws and then attach the fans on the middle and right side of the heatsink of the cooler and power them from the CPU fan header on the motherboard.

As I mentioned above, this is a full height dual tower CPU air cooler; thus, it does not support high profile RAM if you mount both fans, so check it prior to installation otherwise either you must change your  memory modules to low profile (32mm) or run the cooler with only one fan mounted in the center of the cooler.

Test Bench and Methodology:

The tests were completed in Corsair Obsidian 500D mid tower case with 4x Aigo DR12 Pro 120mm fans in which three fans were placed at the front for intake purpose and one at the back for exhausting purpose. All the fans were controlled by the integrated fan controller and were set at 100% fan speed. The thermal paste being used is the high grade Noctua NT-H1 and the same thermal paste is being used for other coolers to ensure similarity. The ambient room temperature was 28-degree Celsius.

The tests were conducted on AMD Ryzen 1700 at stock frequency of 3.00GHz at auto voltage and overclocked to 3.80GHz, voltage set at 1.33V. In order to find the minimum and steadied temperature, we let the system to idle for about half an hour and for maximum temperature we use AIDA 64 to stress the system for again half an hour to find the peak level of temperature. The memories were used Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB (2x8GB) 3000MHz. We tested the HN-D15 Chromax Black with only one fan placed in the center of the cooler. The 2nd fan wasn’t mounted because of the case width compatibility issues when using a high profile memory. The outcomes are illustrated in delta temperature by deducting the ambient room temperature. The similar mechanism was used for other coolers.

Detailed System Specifications:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 1700
  • Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB (2x8GB) 16GB 3000MHz
  • Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM
  • Asus Prime Pro X370
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1070Ti Duke
  • Western Digital Black 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD
  • XPG SX950U 480GB SSD
  • Antec EAG 650W 80+ Gold
  • Corsair Obsidian 500D

Software Used:

  • AIDA64 Extreme
  • CPUID HW Monitor

Results:

Here you can clearly see that the Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black outperformed the NH-U12S in idle temperature with only one fan. With its second fan, it will surely head to head with NH-U12A and Reeven Ouranos.

Even with the single fan configuration and stock settings the D15 Chromax Black surpassed all of previously test coolers but in the case of overclocked temperatures the NH-D15 Chromax Black goes head to head with NH-U12A, that’s quite an impressive performance with just one fan compared to NH-U12A two fans spinning over 2000 rpm.

During our testing the NH-D15 Chromax Black fan achieve a maximum of 1477 rpm but even at their 100% rotation speed the fan noise was barely noticeable.

Conclusion:

After a long wait, the renowned NH-D15 is finally in the Chromax Black color. We all know that the Noctua is one of the leading brands in CPU air coolers in the world and there is no doubt that the NH-D15 Chromax Black is one of the best enthusiast grade air coolers in the today market. With the finest build quality dual tower heatsink and 140mm huge fans confirms that the cooling operation will be quiet and efficient. In regards to the performance, the temperatures were excellent and supplied NF-A15 HS-PWM Chromax Black 140mm fan proves the quiet heat dissipation process even with only one fan. The SecuFirm2 is the famous mounting set by Noctua that contains all the necessary tools for assembly and it is also in black. Overall, the Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black proves worthy, easy to install and it is ready to take a role of head of cooling in your system. The Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black is available in suggested price of $99.90 and when compare to performance, it is worth to buy. The Noctua provides 6 years of official warranty of the product.          

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