Gradually, I think (and hope) we will have all of the current Noctua products in the juicy and sexy treatment. Today we have the NH-D15S that takes its turn in featuring the all-black upgrade.

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 version with its black fan and black coated heatsink combines these assets with a sleek stealth look.



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


There is a small ~$10 increase over the stock classic variant of this cooler which is great, a normal practice we saw across the board in Noctua’s range.


Presentation and Specifications


* Courtesy of their website.

What makes the D15S so interesting is the increased compatibility due to its asymmetrical design, over the regular bigger D15.

At 160mm height it will fit most tower cases, the 65mm RAM clearance is an absolute joy and it does not block the PCIe slot on most ATX & Micro-ATX boards.


Visual Inspection


All of the new coolers from Noctua will have this all-black livery.

Noctua masters the art of presentation and packaging with their products. This side covers the main overall product description, then the full specs regarding the heatsink, fan and included accessories.

Here we have a more in detail description of the D15S

You get two boxes both surrounded by foam for maximum protection.

One box is for the D15S heatsink and fan while the other contains all of the accessories.

Here is the full accessory list breakdown:

1x NF-A15 HS-PWM premium fan (pre-installed)
1x NA-RC7 Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
1x NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
1x SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit (Intel & AMD)
1x Noctua Metal Case-Badge
1x Custom long Philips screwdriver
2x Extra black wire fan clips
3x Booklets which cover all of the installation instructions

The D15S is a dual tower asymmetrical heatsink which stands tall at 160 mm, 150 mm wide and 153 mm in depth and including the fan it weighs 1150g.

We have 6 nickel plated cooper heatpipes at 6 mm thick that hold into place 45 aluminium fins. The last seven fins from the base have been trimmed in order to offer that epic 65 mm RAM clearance.

The base plate is also made from nickel plated copper and has a minor polish.

As a top view, we have minimal Noctua branding in the top plates and both towers have the fins in a concave pattern. Also as you would expect that new treatment looks absolutely stunning in this matt finish.

Now the supplied NF-A15 HS-PWM We must mention this on every review regarding the SSO2 bearings which are Noctua’s own design. The self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing (SSO-Bearing) system has always been at the heart of Noctua’s award-winning premium fans.

SSO combines the proven concept of oil-based hydrodynamic bearings with an additional magnet that supports the self-stabilization of the rotor axis. Due to the axis being stabilized by the magnetic field, Noctua’s SSO Bearing achieves higher precision and better longevity than conventional ball-, sleeve- or hydrodynamic bearings. SSO2 is the further optimized second generation of SSO. Made possible by the use of metal bearing shells and new injection molding techniques, the magnet is now placed closer to the rotor axis and thus exerts higher magnetic force to it. This results in even better stabilization, precision, and durability.

They are rated up to 1500 RPM, feature 120 mm mounting holes with removable rubber pads (Noctua also offers difference colours for these) and are rated over 150.000 hours of non stop usage (that’s over 17 years!).

Can’t wait to test it out !




Our main testing platform is centred around AMD’s AM4 socket but in an ITX format to fully test any RAM compatibility issues, since on this layout, all of the components are crammed more together than the larger motherboard formats. The new D15S promotes the idea of excellent compatibility even in mATX and ITX boards so this will be a match made in heaven.

Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ Mounting platform is also present and from previous experiences, this is one of the easiest and most straight-forward installation sequences ever, especially on the AM4 socket.

First step is to retain the backplate from the motherboard while removing the plastic stock brackets. Then attach the grey plastic washers.

Screw down the side AM4 metal brackets while making sure they are facing inwards the socket area. Don’t forget the thermal paste.

Then attach the D15S heatsink without the fan since you need access to the securing bolts. Mind you this is a mid-tower case and I had to remove the rear exhaust case fan since it will hit the Noctua heatsink.

Now let’s check for any clearance issues. Despite my testing GPU has a really thick backplate, the D15S has no problems what so ever.

This memory kit from TEAM GROUP is 49 mm tall which is a far cry from the 65 mm that the D15S offers. So another clear win here as well.

Even with the fan installed (which will be flush with the heatpipes anyway) there are no issues.

The D15S truly is compatible with ITX systems.


Testing methodology


  • The AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU will be tested at stock settings and then overclocked at 3.70 GHz for 1.325v
  • As the main torture test, we will employ a 2 minute run in AIDA64
  • Room temperature was recorded at ~ 20°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
  • Thermal paste used – Noctua NH-H2
  • We will compare the results to other CPU air coolers close to its price/performance bracket
  • All CPU fans will be left on the ‘standard’ auto % rpm curve to simulate real life usage patterns and the side panel is now attached and the case fans are set at a fixed 30% RPM
  • Any results over 90° C in any condition are considered a fail

Competition CPU Coolers:

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition – 120 mm
Noctua NH-U14S – 140 mm
Noctua NH-D15 – Dual 140 mm
Noctua NH-U12A – 120 mm
BeQuiet! Dark Rock Slim – 120 mm
Noctua NH-U12S – 120 mm
Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced RGB Black Edition – 130 mm
AMD Wraith Spire LED RGB – 92 mm

Hardware used:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 AM4 – 8c/16t @ 65W TDP
Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B350-i Gaming mITX
Storage SSD: Team Group DELTA MAX RGB 500 GB SATA TLC
Video card(s): KF2 GTX 480 Anarchy Accelero Xtreme Plus
PSU: Seasonic S12II-620 Bronze
Case: Sahara P35 Tempered Glass Mid Tower PC Gaming Case
Case fans 120 mm: Noiseblocker eLoop X-Series ARGB Black PWM – B12X-P-BL 2000 RPM


OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1909
GPU Drivers: NVIDIA GeForce WHQL 391.35
Core Temp v1.16 – To see the temperatures in real time
CPU-Z v1.92 – To verify the CPU’s statistics
AIDA64 Extreme v6.23 – Another popular total system stability test
Cinebench R15 – Popular CPU benchmark
Cinebench R20 – The new revised version optimised for the newer multi-core CPUs
MSI Afterburner v4.62 – To record the FPS and load/temperatures

Resolution for our test game Rise Of the Tomb Raider, is set at 1920×1080 with everything at Medium quality settings and no AA.


Testing, Results and Analysis


Let’s start in order of CPU load difficulty. First up is the Cinebench R15 test. On the left we have the CPU in stock form while on the right we have it overclocked. Curious to see how well the D15S keeps up with the regular D15 (only 2-3 degrees behind it) and almost equal tot he U14S.

The Cinebench R20 is a more modern up to date multi core benchmark suite. So naturally we will see a bigger load and thus a larger temperature figure than the R15. Here we notice the same pattern and the D15S is performing extremely well.

In AIDA64 we isolated the stress test just for the CPU therefore we should get the highest stress scenario for the CPU. Curiously, for a while R20 proves to be more demanding in loads than AIDA64 in an overclock scenario while AIDA64 has higher figures with the CPU in stock form.

Rise Of the Tomb Raider is a fantastic game and also a good testing title for both GPUs and CPUs. Still not as stressful as a synthetic torture test but a great indicator of real life usage.

Noise levels tests are an easy one to analyse, after all we are talking about Noctua. Since we have the same fan as in the U14S, we will get virtually the same results.




This is another home run for Noctua since the D15S is such a usable dual tower heatsink. It virtually eliminated the clearance worries with the regular D15 due to its clever asymmetrical design. This fact alone will make potential new buyers focus more on the D15S, let alone being cheaper at the cost of course of the second fan. The rest is epic as usual, even with a single fan it managed to cool our test CPU in full OC load without going over 73° C in any test. Low noise output and the 6 years warranty are now an industry standard with Noctua. The new treatment looks absolutely stunning on any cooler they release and the D15S is no exception. Yes, it might be a bit pricey but at these quality top tier levels, you get exactly what you pay for.

The good:

+ Superb cooling performance and low noise output
+ Epic 65 mm RAM clearance
+ Maximum build quality
+ 6 years warranty
+ Ability to attach a 120/140 mm second fan

The bad:

– Dual 140 mm fan mode will cancel the RAM headroom
– Pricey but at these quality tiers levels, you get what you pay for

Glob3trotters “Editor’s Choice” Award – 5 out of 5


Many thanks to Noctua for supplying us with this cooler !


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