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Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler Review

To test the performance of the Noctua NH-D15 we built a powerful X79 based system on an open test bench to push the cooler to it’s limits.  As we were testing on an open test bench, we directed a Be Quiet! Shadow Wings 120 mm fan at the VRM circuitry to better simulate the airflow generated in a case. We will be testing the cooler both at full speed (1500 rpm) and with the optional low noise adapter installed.  We will be using a Noctua NH-U14S and a Phanteks PH-TC14PE for comparison purposes in this review.

Test System
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3930K
  • Motherboard: Asus P9X79
  • Memory: 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) Mushkin Blackline 1600 MHz
  • Thermal Paste: Noctua NT-H1
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 7950
  • Graphics Card (noise tests): HIS Radeon HD 5550 Silence
  • Power Supply: Seasonic Platinum P1000W
  • Prime 95 (64-bit)
  • CPUID Hardware Monitor


We manually overclocked the i7-3930K to 4.6 GHz by increasing the multiplier to 46x, leaving the baseclock set at 100 MHz.  We set the voltage to 1.375V.

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