Noctua released the NH-D15S well over a year ago, but since the NH-D15 was such a great cooler, we opted to compare the two side-by-side. Truth be told, we expected nearly identical results when it came to a dual-fan configuration. However, since the NH-D15S only comes with a single fan, we were interested in seeing the results between the two.
Installation of this cooler was simply a breeze. I really like Noctua’s mounting system that is included with this kit, and I wish other manufacturers would follow suit with something so easy.
Performance of the NH-D15S vs. the NH-D15 was almost 100% identical, while in a dual-fan configuration anyway, as we expected and as it should be. The NH-D15S does only come with a single fan from the factory, so you will need to purchase a second fan if you would prefer even better performance. You’ll be able to grab a second fan for $20.92 shipped on Amazon. When the cooler was only in its single-fan configuration, it actually performed quite well, though a second fan does give it that little extra edge.
Now, since we did originally recommend the NH-D15 cooler, this one undoubtedly will receive the same award. However, keep this in mind, that if you do not have any PCIe placement issues on your motherboard, you should absolutely skip this cooler and go for the NH-D15. Why do you say? Because it already comes with dual fans and costs less than the NH-D15S with an additional fan purchased alongside.
Legit Bottom Line: There isn’t a whole lot new or special about Noctua’s NH-D15S CPU cooler, however it still performed very well and darn near identical to the NH-D15 – as it should.