Time to wrap it up! Noctua has released this cooling monster last year and even when being run with Intel's latest Haswell-E processor series this cooler will do what it is designed for: perform and keep your expensive hardware running at optimal temperatures. This cooler really starts to shine once things heat up, especially when an overclock is added to the core speed of the CPU. In fact it has to be said that this cooler is designed to work in these extreme conditions. For normal day to day operations (read at stock speed) this cooler is pure overkill.
Before rushing out to buy Noctua's flagship cooler let us highlight an important point: due to the dimensions of this twin tower air cooler, the end-user has to make sure he can install it comfortably inside his preferred enclosure, especially if one opts to install the second fan, which protrudes far higher than the middle fan (as it needs to clear the memory heat spreaders). If low profile memory is used the above comment is not really valid.
Noctua has rectified the memory heat spreader clearance of the NH-D14, thus even installing the NH-D15 in quad channel based setups is no problem. Again installing a 2nd fan could lead to clearance issues with the side panels of your favorite enclosure. Now usually these are well dimensioned, especially if one intends to accompany it with an LGA 2011 motherboard. But a warned person is worth two!
My only concern with this cooler is the limited clearance we observed on our ASUS LGA 2011 motherboards and the top video card. The clearance between the cooler and card are just a few mms, which is acceptable, but the fan mount clips touched the back plate of our VGA. Nothing a bit of power tape can't handle, but Noctua should re-design to avoid any possible short circuits. This also explains why you are seeing our VGA is installed one PCIe slot lower than the normal. Always verify stuff before powering on, this could avoid some nasty surprises!
Noctua has raised the bar once more for high end air cooling products: the NH-D15 is without a doubt a stellar performer, in combination with the two included brilliant 140mm PWM fans it still keeps noise level reduced to a minimum. Even when running the D15 with a single centered fan the cooling performance is more than adequate to cool down your overclocked processors. Noctua has provided every accessory you need with this NH-D15, from the big thermal paste syringe to the Low Noise Adapters, everything you will need is included.
The retail price of the Noctua NH-D15 is not cheap at around 90 euros, a price that is exuberant of air coolers and that positions it among the popular 120 AIO's. No fear of failing pumps, leakages nor high noise levels with this sublime air cooler. Noctua's design is superior and worth every penny; no matter how you look at it this air cooler is ready to tackle any job you have for it, this while keeping it pretty silent, no matter the load. Backed up by a 6 year warranty this cooler will not let you down! Therefore we award the Noctua NH-D15 with the High End and the Performance award:
- Superior design and innovations
- Supreme air cooling performance
- 6 year warranty
- Two NF-A15 PWM Fans
- Accessory bundle
- Limited GPU clearance with our ASUS LGA 2011
We wish to thank Jakob from Noctua for granting us the time to complete the review!
Sven from ASUS for the Rampage IV Black Edition motherboard.
Harry from Corsair for the Vengeance Pro memory kit
Joanna Scott from eVGA for the GTX 780 Classified sample
The Tones crew for the provision of the processor, kuddos guys!