Today we’ll be presenting the NH-D15S chromax.black CPU cooler from Noctua. The reviewed version comes from chromax.black family of products which have been on the market for a while already. What we’ve noticed in the past year, is that Noctua have been refreshing their coolers in the mysterious-black color, and a couple of months ago, we tested the NH-D15 chromax.black, which proved to be a real winner. The new S version, which we’ll be reviewing is slightly modified for additional compatibility. In fact, it fits better on small ITX form factor motherboards, and those motherboards with a CPU socket close that may be too close to the first PCIe slot, which is usually occupied by graphics cards.
This review will focus on the AMD Ryzen platform, so Ryzen 4000 and 5000 series processors. Especially Ryzen 5000 series is very popular recently, so I bet that many users are curious how the top Noctua cooler performs with these latest processors.
Let’s begin with a long list of features.
The NH-D15S chromax.black is an all-black version of Noctua’s award-winning NH-D15S premium-quality quiet CPU cooler. Thanks to the same asymmetrical dual-tower heatsink design and single NF-A15 PWM fan, it stays true to the NH-D15S’s successful formula of fusing dual-tower performance with excellent RAM, case and PCIe compatibility. At the same time, the chromax.black version with its black fan and black coated heatsink combines these assets with a sleek stealth look. Topped off with the renowned SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s enthusiast-grade NT-H1 thermal compound and a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-D15S chromax.black is a premium choice for customers who seek a highly compatible dual-tower heatsink that looks just as great as it cools.
Award-winning NH-D15S cooler
Tens of thousands of enthusiast users all over the world swear by the NH-D15S’s quality and performance. Recommended by more than 150 international hardware websites and magazines, it is renowned for its unique blend of dual-tower performance and excellent compatibility.
The NH-D15S chromax.black is black from head to toe: featuring a black coated heatsink, black fans with black anti-vibration-pads, black fan clips, and black mounting parts, it’s right at home in all-black builds and easy to integrate with other colour schemes.
Using the optional NA-HC3 and NA-HC4 heatsink covers as well as the NA-SAVP3 anti-vibration pads (available in black, blue, green, red, yellow, white), the NH-D15S chromax.black can be fully customised to fit popular build colour schemes such as black and red or black and white.
High-compatibility version of NH-D15
Compared to the award-winning NH-D15, the S-version uses an off-set, asymmetrical layout and a single instead of dual NF-A15 fans. This allows the NH-D15S to provide state-of-the-art heatsink performance while maintaining superior RAM and PCIe compatibility.
Excellent RAM compatibility
Thanks to its recessed lower fins, the NH-D15S provides 65mm clearance for RAM with tall heatspreaders or RGB illumination, making it compatible with most high-end modules on the market. As the lower fins are recessed on both sides of the heatsink, compatibility is excellent not only on LGA115x and AMD but also on LGA20xx where there are RAM slots on both sides of the socket.
Asymmetrical layout for better PCIe compatibility
As many current motherboards have the top PCIe x16 slot sitting close to the socket, bigger heatsinks tend to block it. Due to its asymmetrical layout, the fin-stack of the NH-D15S is off-set towards the upper edge of the motherboard when installed in standard orientation. This allows it to clear the top PCIe x16 slot on most current µATX and ATX motherboards.*
NF-A15 140mm fan
Complying with Noctua’s AAO standard and featuring sophisticated aerodynamic design measures such as Flow Acceleration Channels, the NF-A15 has quickly built up a reputation as one of the best 140mm fans on the market.
Using the supplied extra fan clips, the NH-D15S can be upgraded with either a second round-frame 140mm fan with 120mm mounting holes (such as the NF-A15) for maximum performance or a common 120mm fan (such as the NF-F12) for improving performance while maintaining compatibility with RAM modules of up to 45mm height.
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor
The NF-A15 premium fan supplied with the NH-D15S supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the motherboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 1500 to 1200rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation.
Excellent component cooling
Extending below the fin-stacks, the large NF-A15 fan not only contributes to the superb CPU cooling capabilities of the NH-D15S but also provides massive airflow over surrounding motherboard components and heatsinks, thus ensuring excellent component cooling performance.
SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system
Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety, and easy installation. Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156), LGA1200, and LGA20xx (LGA2066, LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3), as well as AMD AM4, AM3(+), AM2(+), FM2(+) and FM1, the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-D15S is straightforward to install, provides perfect contact pressure and will stand the test of time even under heavy use.
Compatibility with past and future sockets
Thanks to Noctua’s SecuFirm™ ecosystem, the NH-D15S can be made compatible with the older LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets using the optional NM-I3 mounting kit, which is provided free of charge. If technically possible, Noctua will also provide upgrade kits for future sockets, which makes the NH-D15S a safe long-term investment.
NT-H1 thermal compound
Noctua’s much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a pro-grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease of use, and outstanding reliability. Chosen again and again by overclockers and enthusiast users worldwide has established itself as a benchmark for premium-quality thermal compounds.
Soldered interface between heatpipes and fins
With many heatsinks, the fins are press-fitted to the heatpipes. Due to the different thermal expansion coefficients of copper and aluminium, this fit can loosen over years of thermal cycling, which may lead to reduced performance. By contrast, the NH-D15S’s fins are soldered to the heatpipes in order to guarantee a superior thermal interface that doesn’t deteriorate even after many years of usage.
6-year manufacturer’s warranty
Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-A15 features an MTTF rating of more than 150,000 hours, and the entire NH-D15S package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
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