Reviewed: Noctua NH-D15S

Before we look at the detailed specifications of the NH-D15S, let’s take a look at the fan at the heart of the cooler, the NF-A15 PWM. This is the same fan that we have seen previously in both the NH-D15 and the NH-U14S. It’s very quiet and effective, making it the logical choice.

The NF-A15 PWM has:

  • a stepped inlet to reduce intake noise and improve suction
  • Anti-vibration pads
  • SSO2 bearing with the magnet placement designed to be more precise and stable during operation and more durable in the long run
  • Inner surface microstructures (basically little dints) on the inside of the frame where the blades spin. These create a boundary layer of air that supresses the noise of the ends of the blades as they pass around the inner frame area and improve the airflow and efficiency of the fan. Sounds complicated but it seems effective.
  • Blades with Flow Acceleration Channels – slightly raised fins on the tips of the blades. These speed up the airflow as it leaves the blade for lower vortex noise.

Each of these features probably don’t make a massive difference in isolation but when combined as they have been, you get an efficient and quiet running fan to match a quality heatsink and the whole package doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your CPU at a good operating temperature. In fact, both the NH-D15 and the NH-D15S were able to effortlessly cool our HASWELL-E test bench in general use, and gaming at stock CPU settings. Benchmarking and overclocking saw the fan speeds step up a little but with the PWM (auto fan control) profile in effect, the fan remained basically inaudible on the open test bench. When our test bench rig was under load, other components such as the graphics card or power supply were the primary sources of noise, not the NH-D15S.



noctua nh d15s 1


Socket Compatibility

Intel LGA2011 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1150 AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)

Height (without fan)

160 mm

Width (without fan)

150 mm

Depth (without fan)

135 mm

Height (with fan)

165 mm

Width (with fan)

150 mm

Depth (with fan)

135 mm
Weight (without fan) 980 g
Weight (with fan) 1150 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)
Scope of Delivery 1x NF-A15 PWM Premium Fan
Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
Fan clips for a second fan
NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty 6 Years



Noctua NF-A15 PWM



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 22.8 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A 24.6 dB(A)
Input Power 1.56 W
Voltage Range 12 V
MTBF > 150.000 h

Build Quality

As previously stated, we consider Noctua to be the benchmark in terms of build quality for cooling products. We regularly use Noctua fans and heatsinks in our concept builds because they are easy to work with and provide a quiet but effective end result. The NH-D15S is no exception and it will remain on our MSI X99S Gaming 7 test bench as a staple component.

Also note the NT-H1 thermal compound. This is also our thermal paste of choice in the lab and we go through a bit of it. This stuff is non-conductive, easy to clean and has always given us good results. We have gone through many tubes of it over the past few years and never had a bad batch.

SecuFirm2 mounting system is the best CPU cooler mounting system I’ve used and remains the benchmark as far as I’m concerned when looking at heatsinks. The backplate is easy to fit, the spacers and thumbscrews are easy to work with in even the tightest spaces and you get a firm fit every time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.