Noctua has a long and fabulous reputation when it comes to the quality of their products but furthermore in regards to the longevity of their technologies. Thus they have recently released upgraded socket mounting kits that let you use your older Noctua CPU coolers (all the way back from 2005) with the latest sockets.
These upgrade kits are a complete overhaul since they come with all of the brackets which have bigger T20 Torx screws in all of the key areas. Offered both in regular nickel plated shiny trim or the stealth chromax.black for all models. They are called NM-M1-78 and MP83, because that’s the key difference to be aware, the mounting pitch. Depending on the model, most Noctua CPU coolers feature this mounting pitch which referrers to the distance between the spring-loaded mounting screws of either 83mm (coolers with two-piece fastening brackets) or 78mm (coolers with single-piece fastening brackets).
So make sure you match properly; coolers with 83mm mounting pitch require the MP83 kit whereas coolers with 78mm mounting pitch require the MP78 version. The complete list is here.
To properly test this out, we will use the Noctua D15 as the testing subject, a product that needs to further introduction.
Established in 2005, Noctua took international silent enthusiasts’ hearts by storm and quickly developed into one of the most acclaimed suppliers of premium quality quiet cooling products. Today, Noctua is present in more than 30 countries across the globe and working with several hundred sales partners. Chosen by noise-conscious PC users, system integrators and industry clients alike, Noctua has become synonymous with impeccable quality, excellent customer service and class-leading quiet cooling performance.
Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received more than 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.
Prices and Availability
Presentation and Specifications
*Courtesy of their website.
Noctua always care about details and presentation even in regards to their boxes.
All modern AMD (AM5 & AM4) and Intel (LGA1851, LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA115x) sockets are supported, including the 7mm ofsett for the AM5 CPUs.
The included SD1 T20 Torx screwdriver takes design cues from Wera and it’s of course magnetic as well.
All the assembly bolts have been upgraded to the bigger T20 Torx ones.
Copy/paste story for the non-chromax.black variants.
You can even rotate the cooler 90 degrees on AMD sockets.
The mighty D15 needs no further presentation.
The box is of course on a proportionate bigger scale.
Everything inside has its own box and are arranged in perfect Tetris mode.
The NF-A15 HS-PWM fans have 120 mm mounting holes and are rated up to 1500 RPM, developing 140,2 m³/h of airflow with static pressure of 2,08 mm H₂O while not going over a claimed noise output of 24,6 dB(A). They even have removable anti-vibration pads which you can choose your own color from their chromax range.
The D15 is nested perfectly and protected from all sides thanks to this clever packaging.
In ‘beast’ mode (both fans attached) the D15 is 165mm tall, 150mm wide and 161mm long, with a weight of 1320g. Where as in single-fan mode, you have the maximum RAM height clearance, since the bottom 7 aluminum fins per tower, are reduced in height.
This is not a CPU cooler, this is a piece of jewelry! As you can see, both fin towers share these six big 6mm thick heatpipes which form a nice solid welded nickel plated copper base.
The process is typically easier on the AMD sockets since there are less parts involved. The following steps are valid for both AM4 and AM5 sockets since they posses the same spacing. Thus the first thing to do is to remove the stock plastic AMD brackets while retaining the motherboard backplate.
Bolt down the metal Noctua brackets and zooming in, we notice that these are the new NM-AMB12b variants that offer the -7mm offset which strategically position the heatsink on the CCX clusters in the AM5 chips for even better cooling results. They are also marked for ‘South’ and ‘North’ since they are not interchangeable.
The handy magnetic tip of the SD1 screwdriver in action.
Now it’s time to replace the heatsink brackets with the newer Torx ones, of course depending on your socket.
You can clearly see the difference in the bolt sizes.
Apply the thermal paste and torque down the heatsink.
Atach the fans and just be aware that you will gain a few mm in height on the front fan since it needs to clear your RAM. Other than that, perfect clearance all around the socekt area and PCI-E slots.
- The CPU cooler will be tested using the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 CPU overclocked at 3.8 GHz for 1.30v and compared to a 240mm AIO and a dual tower close competitor.
- As the main torture test, we will employ a 2 minute run in AIDA64
- Room temperature was recorded at ~22°C
- For the noise testing, we used our Pyle PSPL01 placed 30 cm away from the setup – all other fans will will be off or set at minimum RPM and a lav mic was places at the same distance for the audio sample
- Thermal paste used Noctua NH-H2
- All of the side panels will be attached, then the case’s fans are set to their lowest setting and finally the fans will be left on auto % RPM to simulate real life usage or manually adjusted and pointed out accordingly
- Any results over 90°C in any condition are considered a fail
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700
– RAM: 16GB DDR4 Crucial LPX Vengeance 3200 MHz CL16
– Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F Gaming II ATX @ BIOS 5102
– Boot SSD: Samung 870 EVO 1TB SATA III SSD
– Video card: MSI GTX 970 4G OC
– PSU: EVGA 600W W1 80+ ATX
– Case: be quiet! Pure Base 500 FX RGX ATX
– OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 22H2
– NVIDIA Drivers – 546.17
– CPU-Z v1.95 – To verify the CPU’s and RAM’s statistics
– Core Temp v1.18 & HW Monitor v1.51 – To see the temperatures in real time
– AIDA64 Extreme v6.60 – Memory analysis and Benchmark suite
– MSI Afterburner v4.64 – To record the FPS and load/temperatures
– Cinebench R23 – Great overall CPU benchmark tool
– 3D/Game(s) – Rise of the Tomb Raider, set at 1080p, high quality settings, no V-Sync
Testing, Results and Analysis
Suffice to say, that the upgraded Torx mounting brackets do an excellent job in terms of clamping while the included screwdriver is a joy to use. Also this system will be easier for power users who frequently change their setups.
As for the D15, the first series of tests come from Cinebench R23 which will put a serious load on the CPU while it renders a specific frame. Considering the purpose of this famous and powerful cooler, there was no point to include the results with the CPU in its 65W stock TDP form.
It’s always impressive to see an air cooler neck and neck with a 240mm AIO. That’s what a D15 will offer you.
The 2 minute long AIDA64 stress test should impose the maximum workload just for the CPU, therefore we should get the highest stress scenario. Here we are going to test the fans on AUTO RPM mode and then at maximum thrust.
If you crank the D15 at MAX RPM, even more cooling potential is unlocked. This is of course for OC’ing sessions, not necessarily daily usage.
If a CPU cooler manages to survive the torture tests, then a benchmark run in a gaming scenario, should be a walk in the park. Games are not as stressful as a synthetic torture tests but are a great indicator of real life usage.
The noise output test is an important challenge for any CPU cooler since if you can’t live with the noise, this negates any of the other advantages. Noctua is the baseline when it comes to noise output so we have excellent results yet again even from the mammoth D15.
Noctua demonstrates plain and simply that they care about their customers when they release such products. These kits bring peace of mind for older CPU coolers, if you plan to use then on modern sockets.
+ In-house solution to increase the lifetime of older Noctua coolers
+ Bigger T20 Torx screws all-around
+ Includes a branded magnetic Torx screwdriver
+ Multi-socket support
+ Easier for frequent (dis)assembling sessions