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Noctua S Series CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer: Noctua

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Noctua

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Courtesy of Noctua

Noctua is a well respected manufacturer in the highly competitive CPU cooler space, offering products optimized for high efficiency and low-noise. The newest members of their S series coolers, the NH-D15S and NH-C14S, are based on known designs tweaked for maximum compatibility to ensure proper fit on your hot new Haswell, Haswell-E, or Skylake supported motherboard. Both coolers come standard with Noctua's SecuFirm2™ mounting mechanism, ensuring a secure mount between the cooler and CPU.

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Courtesy of Noctua

The NH-D15S CPU cooler is a dual tower cooler with a single fan sandwiched between the two radiator towers. The unit can support a maximum of three fans, but may suffer compatibility issues with certain motherboards when used outside of its default single-fan configuration. Noctua designed the cooler with their typical hybrid approach, combining a copper base plate and heat pipes with aluminum finned cooling towers. The base plate and heat pipes are nickel-plated for looks and to prevent corrosion. At an MSRP of $89.99, the Noctua NH-D15S comes with a premium price to match is colossal size.

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Courtesy of Noctua

The NH-C14S CPU cooler is single radiator cooler in a horizontal orientation with a single fan. The radiator's horizontal orientation gives the cooler a lower height in comparison to a cooler with the traditional veritical radiators while maintaining equivalent cooling performance. In typical Noctua fashion, the NH-C14S combines a copper base plate and heat pipes with aluminum finned cooling towers for an optimal hybrid cooling solution. The base plate and heat pipes are nickel-plated for looks and to prevent corrosion. The NH-C14S also retails at an MSRP of $89.99.

Continue reading our review of the Noctua S series CPU coolers!

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Courtesy of Noctua

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Courtesy of Noctua

Noctua includes the SecuFirm2™ mounting kit with both coolers, offering compatibility with all current AMD and Intel socketed motherboards. Also included are a Noctua-branded 1500RPM fan, NT-H1 thermal paste, an LNA (low noise adapter) cables, and two sets of fan mounts (four mounts in total).

Technical Specifications (taken from the Noctua website)

Noctua S Series Cooler Specifications
  NH-D15S NH-C14S
Socket compatibility Intel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)
Height (without fan) 160 mm 115 mm
Width (without fan) 150 mm 140 mm
Depth (without fan) 135 mm 163 mm
Height (with fan) 165 mm 115 / 142 mm (bottom mounted / top mounted)
Width (with fan) 150 mm 140 mm
Depth (with fan) 135 mm 163 mm
Weight (without fan) 980 g 820 g
Weight (with fan) 1150 g 1015 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility 140x150x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 140x140x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 120x120x25 140x140x25mm (with square frame)
Scope of Delivery
  • 1 x NF-A15 PWM premium fan (NH-D15S)
  • 1 x NF-A14 PWM premium fan (NH-C14S)
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Fan clips for second fan
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty 6 Years
Fan specifications
  NH-D15S NH-C14S
Model 1 x Noctua NF-A15 PWM 1 x Noctua NF-A14 PWM
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)
Input Power 1.56 W
Voltage Range 12 V
MTBF > 150,000 h

 


November 12, 2015 | 11:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Morry,

As this article appears on the Front Page, the "read more" link at the bottom of the snippet isn't a link to this article, it's a link to the Front Page. (On this page, the full article, the link is correct.)

Just tryin to be helpful. :)

November 12, 2015 | 12:32 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Thanks for catching that, fixed up now.

January 27, 2017 | 07:37 PM - Posted by upgrade games (not verified)

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November 12, 2015 | 05:24 PM - Posted by Just_My_Opinion (not verified)

It's unfortunately that I didn't known about this cooler a few weeks ago. Apparently some AM3+ boards only allow the CPU cooler to mounted in one direction. The CoolerMaster T4 overhangs the RAM slots making it impossible to remove the memory without removing the cooler.

November 12, 2015 | 07:05 PM - Posted by daffy (not verified)

Why didn't you test the DH-15S with an additional fan? I have the DH-15 which has two fans and it blows the newer version out of the water other than at idle. It seems moronic for Noctua to design such a massive cooler for a single fan.

November 13, 2015 | 01:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Single fan helps with compatibility and noise (just look at the noise charts in this review: the D15S and C14S are in a league of their own), but it still doesn't make sense for it to cost so much; you may as well get the regular D15 and remove one of the fans. At $70, the single fan coolers would be a good option.

November 13, 2015 | 04:29 AM - Posted by daffy (not verified)

Sorry I cannot hear my twin fan DH-15 at all, so who cares if the DH-15s is less noisy if it doesn't cool and it's clearly an inferior product as tested. Have you asked yourself that the reason it's so quiet is the reason it sucks as a cooler. No free lunch.

November 13, 2015 | 11:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The D15 may be quiet, but it is not silent. Maybe you can't hear it because your PC (or room) has other, louder components, but for people who aim for exceptionally quiet PCs, that difference does matter. And saying that the cooling performance "sucks" is a bit of a stretch - this review tested it against a flagship AIO and custom watercooling, both of which used loud, high speed fans. Any single fan air cooler will lose against those unless it uses a 8000rpm Delta fan. It should have been compared to other quiet air coolers, not only to coolers intended for the last word in overclocking.

Still, I agree that as it is, these are not good coolers. Just too expensive, but with a solid price drop, they could be reasonable.

I wonder how the single fan D15 compares to dual fan with LNA. You might be able to get a better temp:noise balance with two slower fans.

November 13, 2015 | 10:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'd like to see it tested with an extra fan too. This seemed like it would be the perfect air cooler being an offset NH-D15 for PCIe slot compatibility but those Haswell-E numbers are ugly.

November 13, 2015 | 01:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sorry, but these tests doens't make any sense to me. According to other reviewers the D15S beats the C14S with quite a margin.

November 13, 2015 | 06:11 PM - Posted by homerdog

Since noise and size is more important to me than getting that last couple hundred MHz, the C14S will be on the shortlist for my next build. Thanks for the review!

November 15, 2015 | 04:29 PM - Posted by PhoneyVirus

Wish I knew about this Heatskin before purchasing the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. Having the same Corsair Vengeance Pro Memory with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO makes the first DIMM 1 Slot unusable and even more with Corsair's Memory Cooler.

PhoneyVirus
http://twitter.com/PhoneyVirus
http://phoneyvirus.wordpress.com/

November 16, 2015 | 12:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Check out the CRYORIG H7. It cools better and is quieter than the 212 EVO while also having full RAM clearance for the same price.

November 18, 2015 | 08:25 AM - Posted by Shehzaan (not verified)

I just bought a D15 and I have to admit whilst its thermal performance and acoustic performance under load is admirable (PWN/Silent Mode -- the deep tonality helps), the fact that its idle/low-power noise is audible in any capacity is somewhat disappointing (and something I'm hoping to address in software).

Keep in mind a low power state is the one I do most of my work in (Word, Spreadsheets, emails) and where I appreciate absolute silence.

No doubt it will be quiet enough for most, but if you are the kind of person paying the premium price for these kinds of coolers then you are also, in all liklihood, a complete silence freak, right down the last decibel.

My machine is pretty much made from every conceiveble angle with silence in mind, so it's safe for say the D15 is actually the loudest component in the machine in the lower power scenario.

In the high power scenario the graphics card kicks in somewhat but to be honest if I'm in that power state it means I'm playing a game. And if I'm playing a game the audio from the speakers handily drowns out the sound of the machine.

From my perspective, idle acoustic performance is actually more important than acoustic performance under load.

November 23, 2015 | 10:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm also not shouting in silence but do want silence when I'm quiet. Nice perspective, like it. :D

Anyhow, looks like NH-D15S failed on X99 Broadwell-E. Good to know, guessing I'll go with Corsair H100i GTX when 6900k comes out.

December 7, 2015 | 11:55 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

We received new samples to test with from Noctua on the Hawell-E system and the performance was improves dramatically over the orginal review samples.  You may want to give the Haswell-E performance numbers another look...

December 14, 2015 | 06:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So what went wrong if both units were faulty should owners of the coolers be looking for something.

Or were they not installed properly or something went wrong in the testing of them.

Cheers

December 16, 2015 | 09:10 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Not sure what the issue with the units.  The old and new units were tested in the same method each time.  Could have been something with the shipping of the units.

However, if you do run into similar issues, contact Noctua and they should replace them for you without issue.

January 6, 2016 | 12:56 AM - Posted by ImmenseBrick

(NH-C14S - Single Fan) My 4790k @ 1.25 volts, 4.6ghz on all cores (override mode for testing) OCCT peaks around 80 C, I mean its not amazing but it works and is pretty quiet. I considered an NHD15 but its massive. Hit 85C @ 4.7ghz @ 1.275 volts. Basically what I am saying is this cooler seems good for around 1.25 volts for nice temps during normal use.

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