Noctua NH-D15 Air CPU Cooler Review

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NH-D15 Benchmarking

In the benchmarks that will be run, we used an Intel 4770k clocked at 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost and the low power state enabled. Turbo Boost allows the 4770k to hit up to 3.9GHz right out of the box.

To record temperatures, we used Core Temp, logged the temperatures for 15 minutes or while each program was active, and averaged all 4 cores.

Benchmark wise, we will be using several synthetic and real-world benchmarks to perform normal, heavy, and extreme load. The benchmarks that we’re going to use today include: Prime95, x264, 3DMark 2013 (Firestrike test only), Metro Last Light, and Sleeping Dogs. Prime95 will peg all four cores and eight threads to 100% with the In-Place Large FFT test, which will help us to understand exactly how hot this CPU can get with each cooler.

Ambient temperature during all testing was 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

I have reviewed several other air and liquid CPU coolers in the past and you will find them in the charts below for comparison purposes.

 

Idle

Noctua NH-D15 - Idle

 

Prime95

 Noctua NH-D15 - Prime95

 

X264

 Noctua NH-D15 - x264

 

3D Mark 2013

Noctua NH-D15 - 3DMark 2013

 

Metro Last Light

Noctua NH-D15 - Metro Last Light

 

Sleeping Dogs

Noctua NH-D15 - Sleeping Dogs

 

Overall Results: I don’t generally set my expectations very high with air coolers, but this one I had some slightly higher expectations due to the sheer cost. Needless to say, I was beyond impressed with how well it performed. The most incredible result was the Prime95 result, coming in at 66.3*C, outpacing several top tier liquid coolers in several tests. All of the other results slapped the NH-D15 darn near in the middle of the charts, which is also very impressive. I also set the bar for a cooler to beat, when testing air coolers, on the V3 Voltair, which the D15 pretty much dominated in each test.
Overclocking with the NH-D15

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