Having a large CPU cooler can be an issue for many people. Not only is installation hard, but you have clearance issues. Noctua set out to solve those problems, but to also try and have similar performance to their award winning NH-D15 cooler. Were they able to succeed? I think so!
Starting out with installation this is one of the easiest coolers I have installed recently. Noctua has really been a pioneer in easy installation for large CPU coolers and the NH-D15S is no exception to that. They also include a screwdriver, something which many companies do not do.
When it comes to clearance the recessed fins on the heatsinks make it so you can have memory with larger heatspreaders installed. Larger memory is one of the major causes for clearance issues when it comes to CPU coolers. Also you should have no issues with PCI-Express compatibility either, just make sure you have the cooler installed the correct way.
What about performance? Was the NH-D15S able to compete with its big brother the NH-D15? Yes it was! The difference in load scores between the two coolers is only around 2 degrees! That is very impressive and remember if you want to add more performance all you have to do is add a second fan if you want. Even running at full speed the cooler is very quiet, it is barely audible, especially if you have headphones on or your speakers on.
Right now the NH-D15S is selling at our favorite online retailer for $99.75, which for us seems just a bit expensive. That puts it above the NH-D15 in terms of pricing. I think at this point in time both the NH-D15 and NH-D15S should be around the $70-80 mark.
Update: Noctua lets us know the MSRP is USD 74.90 and as soon as they make supply catch up with demand, the cooler should be available at around $70 USD. It is still currently $99.75 online though.
At the end of the day you cannot argue with the performance of the NH-D15S though. That coupled with its easy installation and the 6-year warranty you really can’t go wrong. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Noctua NH-D15S an 9 out of 10 score.
– Great performance
– Easy installation
– Very quiet
– Ability to add a second fan
– 6-year warranty