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Tailored to provide superior RAM and PCIe compatibility, the NH-D15S is an asymmetrical single fan version of Noctua’s award-winning flagship model, the NH-D15. Thanks to its asymmetrical design, the NH-D15S clears the top PCIe slot on most µATX and ATX motherboards. At the same time, the single fan setup and recessed lower fins guarantee 100% RAM compatibility with memory modules of up to 65mm height. Users who have sufficient room can also upgrade the cooler with either a 120mm or round 140mm fan on the front fin stack for further improved performance in dual fan mode. Topped off with the trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s proven NT-H1 thermal compound and full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-D15S forms a complete premium quality solution that combines dual tower efficiency with excellent compatibility and flexible upgrade options.

Details
High-compatibility version of NH-D15

High-compatibility version of NH-D15

Compared to the award-winning NH-D15, the S-version uses an off-set, asymmetrical layout and a single instead of dual NF-A15 fans. This allows the NH-D15S to provide state-of-the-art heatsink performance while maintaining superior RAM and PCIe compatibility.
Excellent RAM compatibility

Excellent RAM compatibility

Thanks to its recessed lower fins, the NH-D15S provides 65mm clearance for tall memory heatsinks, making it compatible with most high end modules on the market. As the lower fins are recessed on both sides of the heatsink, compatibility is excellent not only on LGA115x and AMD, but also on LGA2011 where there are RAM slots on both sides of the socket.
Asymmetrical layout for better PCIe compatibility

Asymmetrical layout for better PCIe compatibility

As many current motherboards have the top PCIe x16 slot sitting close to the socket, bigger heatsinks tend to block it. Due to its asymmetrical layout, the fin-stack of the NH-D15S is off-set towards the upper edge of the motherboard when installed in standard orientation. This allows it to clear the top PCIe x16 slot on most current µATX and ATX motherboard.*
NF-A15 140mm fan

NF-A15 140mm fan

Complying with Noctua's AAO standard and featuring sophisticated aerodynamic design measures such as Flow Acceleration Channels, the NF-A15 has quickly built up a reputation as one of the best 140mm fans on the market.
Dual-fan ready

Dual-fan ready

Using the supplied extra fan clips, the NH-D15S can be upgraded with either a second round-frame 140mm fan with 120mm mounting holes (such as the NF-A15) for maximum performance or a common 120mm fan (such as the NF-F12) for improving performance while maintaining compatibility with RAM modules of up to 45mm height.
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-A15 premium fan supplied with the NH-D15S supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the motherboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 1500 to 1200rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation.
Excellent component cooling

Excellent component cooling

Extending below the fin-stacks, the large NF-A15 fan not only contributes to the superb CPU cooling capabilities of the NH-D15S but also provides massive airflow over surrounding motherboard components and heatsinks, thus ensuring excellent component cooling performance.
SecuFirm2™ mounting system

SecuFirm2™ mounting system

Noctua's SecuFirm2™ mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety and ease of use. Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156), LGA2011 (LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3), LGA2066 and AMD (AM3(+), AM2(+), FM1, FM2(+)), the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-D15S guarantees perfect contact pressure and maximum convenience on all current sockets.
Compatibility with past and future sockets

Compatibility with past and future sockets

Complying with the open SecuFirm™ standard, the NH-D15S can be made compatible with the older LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets using the optional NM-I3 mounting kit, which is provided by Noctua free of charge. If technically possible, Noctua will also provide upgrade kits for future sockets.
NT-H1 thermal compound

NT-H1 thermal compound

Having received more than 100 awards and recommendations from hardware journalists around the world, Noctua's NT-H1 is a proven professional grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease of use and outstanding reliability.
6-year manufacturer’s warranty

6-year manufacturer’s warranty

Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-A15 features an MTTF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-D15S package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
*Please refer to our motherboard compatibility list for detailed information.
NH-D15S
Cooler Specification
Intel LGA2066, LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required), AM4 with NM-AM4
Height (without fan)
160 mm
Width (without fan)
150 mm
Depth (without fan)
135 mm
Height (with fan)
160 mm
Width (with fan)
150 mm
Depth (with fan)
135 mm
Weight (without fan)
980 g
Weight (with fan/s)
1150 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP
see TDP guide
Fan compatibility
140x150x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 140x140x25 (with 120mm mounting holes), 120x120x25
Scope of Delivery
  • 1x NF-A15 PWM premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Fan clips for second fan
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Bearing
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1500 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1200 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
300 RPM
Max. Acoustical Noise
24,6 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
19,2 dB(A)
Input Power
1,56 W
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-D15S
NH-D15S
NH-D15S
SecuFirm2™ AMD installation (NM-AMB1)
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA2011 installation
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA115x installation
Video Reviews
The following video reviews have not been created by Noctua. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the videos lies entirely with the authors.
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05.12.2016 // LegitReviews.com
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NH-D15S Review

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.
Test verdict: "This particular cooler, the NH-D15S, was originally released on August 28, 2015, so it has been around for a while, but still performs like a king." (Brian Nyhuis, LegitReviews.com)
06.04.2016 // techPowerUp.com
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NH-D15S Review

The Noctua NH-D15S is a fantastic CPU cooler that improves on the already outstanding NH-D15. Overall, it usually stays within 1-2 °C of its sibling. With such fantastic performance on mainstream processors, the loss of a second fan does little to dampen its performance. It also doesn't hurt that noise levels are just as expected in that it's nearly silent. At 64 mm under the fins, memory clearance is good, and with the new asymmetrical design, expansion-slot clearance is greatly improved as well. Much like all Noctua coolers, the NH-D15S is easy to install thanks to the SecuFirm 2 mounting hardware, and let's face it, that paired with its exceptional build quality make this cooler a bit of a treat to work with. The fact that it's well packaged and has a nice accessories bundle is just icing on the cake. Oh and who can say no to an industry leading no fuss six year warranty?
Test verdict: "If you want top-tier performance with ultra-low noise levels and extra expansion-slot room, the Noctua NH-D15S is a damn good option." (Raymond Lemar, techPowerUp.com)
20.08.2015 // TweakTown.com
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NH-D15S Review

What is there really left to say? Noctua took what was already an award winning and well liked flagship cooler, and made it that much more user friendly. Of course, not everyone will appreciate this sort of cooler, but as an Intel X99 user, trying to populate the first slot with the GPU, it takes something offset like this product to work well in that instance. Most other offerings either are much smaller and not as efficient, or they just don't care and they go ahead and block things off.
Test verdict: "Offering complete compatibility with the memory, motherboard, and video cards, the NH-D15S is the third most efficient air cooler we have tested and does so with virtually no noise! While it is a bit expensive, we have no issues recommending it." (Chad Sebring, TweakTown.com)
22.07.2015 // 3dGameMan.com
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NH-D15S Review

Test verdict: "Like the Noctua NH-D15, the D15S is an outstanding cooler, but even better because of the improvements. It's pretty much identical, except it comes with one 140mm fan and has an asymmetrical design. This design dramatically increases it's RAM and motherboard compatibility. It's one of the best CPU air coolers out there!" (Rodney Reynolds, 3dGameMan.com)
29.03.2016 // ocaholic.ch
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NH-D15S Review

Macht man sich daran die Kühlleistung dieses Blocks zu untersuchen, dann kann man sich definitiv nicht beklagen, sprich mit den NH-D15S erhält man einen äusserst leistungsstarken Luftkühler, der aber auch alles andere als klein ausgefallen ist. Dementsprechend ist eine mehr als nur solide Performance Pflicht. Diese erhält man dann auch, wobei aber nicht nur tiefe Temperaturen das Resultat sind, sondern auch eine geringe Geräuschkulisse.Hinsichtlich Geräuschpegel kann man sich beim NH-D15S von Noctua nicht beschweren. Bei 7 Volt betrieben, ist der Lüfter unhörbar und selbst bei 12 Volt kann man den Kühler noch als leise bezeichnen.
Test verdict: "Günstig ist dieser Brocken somit nicht, dafür aber erhält man schliesslich auch Kühlleistung satt sowie eine sehr angenehme Geräuschkulisse. Unterm Strich handelt es sich hier um ein Produkt, das wir definitiv empfehlen können." (Marc Büchel, ocaholic.ch)
31.01.2016 // eTeknix.com
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NH-D15S Review

Once again, Noctua has absolutely blown us away with their latest cooler. Delivering class-leading performance, this cooler ticks all the right boxes for anyone building a system. Not only is it one of the quietest coolers we’ve ever tested, it managed to stay quiet even when we dialed in some hefty overclocks, meaning your gaming system or workstation should stay whisper quiet, even when you’re putting the heat on your CPU. Cooling performance is amazing in all our testing, and while it does run a little warmer than the Noctua NH-D15, that was to be expected given the switch from two fans to one fan, which is a move to increase compatibility more than anything. However, despite the halved number of fans, the performance is still extremely competitive and that just shows how much of the performance comes from the build quality and cooling tower design of this unit, not just the fans. The D15 model is superior and we highly recommend that if you want a Noctua cooler, that’s the one you invest in, but there’s a clear market for the D15S that we appreciate Noctua providing a product for. If you’re running an X99 system, with large ram modules on both sides of the CPU socket, the added cutaways of this model will allow you to maximize compatibility with your hardware. This does come at the cost of losing the first PCI slot, at least on most motherboards, but turn the cooler 90 degrees and you gain that slot back, albeit at the cost of having to use standard profile RAM; at least you have that option.
Test verdict: "Noctua has once again proved that you really do get what you pay for. The Noctua NH-D15S may be priced in line with many large water coolers, but it can still keep up with them in terms of performance and it outperforms almost everything on the market in terms of acoustics and compatibility. One of the best coolers money can buy." (Peter Donnell, eTeknix.com)
18.01.2016 // Hardwareluxx.de
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NH-D15S Review

Mit dem NH-D15S bietet Noctua keinen wirklich neuen Kühler an. Stattdessen ist er praktisch eine Variante des erfolgreichen NH-D15 mit verbesserter PCIe- und Speicher-Kompatibilität. Die asymmetrische Gestaltung und der Wegfall des Zweitlüfters ebnen dafür den Weg. Dabei zeigen unsere Messungen, dass der Unterschied zwischen Single- und Dual-Fan-Betrieb im Normalbetrieb minimal ist. Für viele Nutzer dürfte der NH-D15S deshalb tatsächlich auch die bessere Wahl sein: Sie müssen weniger Kompatibilitätsprobleme fürchten, dafür aber kaum Abstriche bei der Kühlleistung machen. Und für den Fall der Fälle liegen auch dem NH-D15S ein zweites Paar Lüfterklammern bei. Dabei büßt die Hochkompatibilitäts-Variante des NH-D15 nichts vom Premiumanspruch des Originals ein. Von der aufwendig gestalteten Verpackung über den perfekt verarbeiteten Kühler und den immer kultiviert arbeitenden Lüfter bis hin zum umfangreichen Zubehör zeigt sich auch der NH-D15S ganz als Premiumprodukt. Nicht vergessen werden sollte auch die ungewöhnlich lange Garantiedauer von sechs Jahren. Klammert man den semi-passiven Betrieb aus, ist der Noctua-Kühler zudem ausgesprochen leistungsstark. Letztlich bietet Noctua mit dem NH-D15S so ein rundum stimmiges Paket für den anspruchsvollen Nutzer an.
Test verdict: "Anspruchsvolle Käufer können mit dem Noctua NH-D15S eigentlich nichts falsch machen - zumal das ohnehin schon ungemein stimmige Gesamtpaket des NH-D15 jetzt durch eine bessere Kompatibilität aufgewertet wird. Wir zeichnen deshalb auch den Noctua NH-D15S mit unserem Exzellent-Hardware-Award aus." (Philipp Moosdorf, Hardwareluxx.de)
13.10.2015 // Modders-Inc.com
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NH-D15S Review

In terms of performance, the NH-D15 and NH-D15S are pretty much identical with the exception of having one fan. This is important because in most scenarios, the single middle fan can handle most of the work and even when pushed to higher OC where all other heatsinks throttle, the single fan NH-D15 was very close. Most would think that to get more always means adding things but Noctua stepped back and evaluated that the value to the consumer is much greater if the second NF-A15 fan was removed. Aside from being known for their quality and silent coolers, Noctua is also known for very high priced products and thus is out of reach for many consumers. Since each of these Noctua NF-A15 fans cost $25-30 when purchased in retail, removing one from the NH-D15 bundle lowers the price to a much more affordable $74.90 (MSRP) which makes the NH-D15S very competitive against many other high-end coolers value-wise. The shift of the heatpipe balance also fixed the single nagging clearance issue that the original NH-D15 had and that is mini-ITX and micro-ATX compatibility. With the PCI-E x16 slot sitting close to the CPU socket keep-out zone, the large NH-D15 prevented graphics card installation on many motherboards but the NH-D15 has no such problem (unless the user is an idiot and did not read the manual, resulting in an opposite installation).
Test verdict: "Just like the change from the NH-D14 to the NH-D15 seemed minor physically, closer inspection and testing revealed bigger changes than what can be observed by merely unboxing. It feels like Deja Vu with the NH-D15S but the improvements are surprisingly even more profound." (Ron Perillo, Modders-Inc.com)
16.09.2015 // OverclockersClub.com
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NH-D15S Review

The NH-D14 was the King of the Hill for several years - it was the standard that other coolers were judged against. In logical progression comes the D15 and with all the improvements, it assumed the title from the D14 as the new King of the Hill. Well, now it must share the throne with the equally potent D15S. At first glance, the D15S looks almost identical to the D15, and for the most part it is. But it has a few tricks up its sleeve that provide RAM and PCIe compatibility that the standard D15 does not have. The offset, asymmetrical base allows the D15S to clear the top PCIe slot on most µATX and ATX motherboards. And since the D15S has only one fan, you have some additional RAM space. You may not think this is a big deal until you have clearance issues. Not with the D15S. Memory modules up to 65mm tall are no problem and your first PCIe slot is open for business. The performance is on par with the D15, which is really no surprise. The D15S is clearly built to keep the heat of overclocking under control with its massive dual towers and capable (and quiet) NF-A15 fan. Noctua's well-known SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system makes the installation a breeze. If you have ever installed a Noctua cooler with the SecuFirm2™, you know what I mean. There are two key factors that determine the success of a cooler. One is a properly designed heat sink that can effectively transfer the heat away from your CPU and into the fin stack, and the other is a fan that can efficiently move air through the fin stack. The NF-AF15 140mm fan effortlessly handles this task.
Test verdict: "Great cooling with memory compatibility, ease of installation, and quiet operation make the D15S another in a line of top-notch coolers from Noctua." (Chris Dawalt, OverclockersClub.com)
24.07.2015 // Overclock3D.net
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NH-D15S Review

Well, what can we say, in terms of traditional tower coolers, the high clearance, increased compatibility version of the mighty D15, with its off-set fin stack to improve GPU compatibility, 65mm of clearance underneath to decrease issues with high heat sink RAM, and only a single fan to further lessen RAM issues has totally wiped the floor with all but its bigger brother. We were expecting it to do well, but we really weren't expecting the results we got. Go back and have a look at the charts and you'll see that this cooler is only half a degree off the pace of the D15 at 4.4GHz and beasting a good few of the AIOs on the market.
Test verdict: "Quality as always with Noctua is excellent, enforced right from the moment you open the box and encounter the individually boxed interlinking accessories. If you've never owned a Noctua you owe it to yourself to own this one." (Gary Wain, Overclock3D.net)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

I can't open the socket due to the mounting bars!

Can the cooler be installed turned by 90° on AMD sockets?

Does the package include a backplate for AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2(+)?

How to remove the base protection cover?

I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

I’ve used all the NT-H1 thermal compound that came with the cooler, can you send me more?

Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

What Thermal Design Power (TDP) is this cooler recommended for and how much Watt (W) of heat can it dissipate?

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

How big is the NH-D15S and how much clearance does it provide for RAM and mainboard heatsinks?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

Why doesn't the supplied backplate fit my LGA2011 motherboard?

My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose?

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

Does the NF-A15 PWM that comes with Noctua coolers run at a different speed (1500rpm) than the retail model (1200rpm)?

Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one?

How much torque should be applied when tightening the screws of a Noctua CPU cooler?

Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model?

How can I determine if the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS is overclocking my processor by default and deactivate this automatic overclocking?

My unlocked Intel CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem?

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo?

How can I check whether my AMD mainboard has a standard AMD backplate that’s compatible with the SecuFirm2™ mounting system and how should I proceed with the installation?

Is it a problem that the CPU heatspreader is not covered completely by the heatsinkbase on LGA2011-3?

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with AMD AM4 (Ryzen)?

Why doesn't the base of Noctua coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?

How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

Most case manufacturers provide specifications for maximum CPU cooler height/clearance. Please refer to these specifications in order to verify that the cooler will fit the case. If no specifications are available, please contact the case manufactuer or measure the distance from the motherboard tray to the side panel (tower cases) or top panel (desktop cases). If this distance is bigger than the height of the cooler + 15mm (mainboard spacers + mainboard + CPU), the height/width of your case should be sufficient.

I can't open the socket due to the mounting bars!

Please first loosen one of the two thumbscrews that hold the mounting bars in place. Then untighten the second screw so that you can swivel the mounting bar and open the socket. Depending on the position of the mounting bars, you may need to swivel both.

Open Socket

Open Socket

Can the cooler be installed turned by 90° on AMD sockets?

No. The new SecuFirm2™ mounting system for AM2, AM2+ and AM3 uses the same standardised hole spacing as the Intel system and thus allows for a much easier installation, but the cooler cannot be installed turned by 90°.

Does the package include a backplate for AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2(+)?

No. As most AMD mainboards come with a stock backplate preinstalled, the cooler doesn’t include an AMD backplate. If your mainboard doesn’t have a backplate, please contact our support team at support@noctua.at.

amd backplate

How to remove the base protection cover?

Noctua CPU coolers are shipped with a plastic protection cover at the bottom side of the cooler, which protects the contact surface against scratches and other damage.

The base of Noctua CPU coolers is made from hard-wearing nickel plated copper, so there's nothing to worry about if you buy a Noctua cooler from second hand or if your cooler didn't come with a protection cover. Please proceed with the installation as explained in the manual.

You can simply remove the cover as shown below:

Base Protection Cover

I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

Noctua PWM fans feature a minimum speed of 300rpm to allow for ultra quiet operation when your CPU is at idle state and doesn’t require higher cooling performance. Some mainboards display error messages such as “CPU fan error” during the booting process when the fan speed is below a certain level. If you get such error messages using your Noctua PWM fan and if such options are available in your BIOS, please either adjust the minimum fan speed monitoring limit to 200rpm or increase the minimum PWM duty cycle. If your BIOS doesn’t offer these options, please disable CPU fan errors. For detailed information on BIOS fan settings, please consult your mainoard’s manual or contact your mainboard manufacturer.

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

There are two different types of ILM (Independent Loading Mechanism) for Intel’s LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs: Square ILM with 80x80mm hole spacing and Narrow ILM with 56x94mm hole spacing. The Square ILM socket is mechanically identical to the LGA2011 socket for Core i7, so the mounting-system is fully compatible, but it is not compatible with Xeon mainboards that use the Narrow ILM:

Xeon Compatibility

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

Dust: Fans and heatsinks inside computer cases tend to accumulate dust over longer periods of usage. In order to maintain maximum performance, please clean your fan and heatsink regularly. For cleaning, please first remove the fan from the heatsink and clean it using a duster, slightly moist tissue or canned air. Please be careful not to use too much force in order to prevent any damage to the fan. Please do not use a vacuum cleaner as this may apply excessive force to the fan and do not put the fan under running water as water residues inside the motor may lead to short circuits. Please also note that the fan is not designed to be taken apart by the user. Removing the impeller from the frame will break the sealing of the bearing and results in a loss of warranty. Before reinstalling the fan, clean the heatsink itself with a duster or vacuum cleaner. Do not use water to clean the cooler. Finally put the fan back on and connect it to your motherboard fan header or fan controller.
Thermal paste residues: Whenever you take off the heatsink from the CPU, we recommend to clean the CPU as well as the base of the cooler before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler. You can either just wipe the base and the CPU clean with a dry, lint-free tissue or, for more thorough cleaning, use a lint-free tissue moistened with either a mild solution of washing-up liquid or isopropyl alcohol. Do not put the cooler or CPU under running water. Note that both the base of the heatsink and the CPU should be dry, free from residues of thermal compound and free from grease before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler.

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

As the Integrated Heat Spreaders (IHS) of today’s CPUs are slightly concave, the cooler’s contact surface has been deliberately designed to be slightly convex in order to ensure optimal contact. This way, more contact pressure will be applied at the centre of the IHS directly above the DIE, which results in better heat transfer and improved overall performance.

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

The cooler does not support LGA775 and LGA1366 out of the box, but can be made compatible using the NM-I3 mounting kit. Noctua provides the NM-I3 kit free of charge if a proof of purchase (scan, photo or electronic copy of the invoice) of the cooler and an LGA775 or LGA1366 motherboard or CPU are presented. In order to install the cooler using the NM-I3 kit, please first unscrew the center screw of the original one-piece fastening bracket (you can reach through the fin stack using the long screw driver supplied with the cooler) and remove it. Then install the two fastening brackets of the NM-I3 kit as described in the NM-I3 installation manual.

I’ve used all the NT-H1 thermal compound that came with the cooler, can you send me more?

Please kindly note that the NT-H1 thermal compound supplied with our coolers is a consumable item so our manufacturer’s warranty does not include providing additional thermal compound. You can purchase NT-H1 from our resellers.

Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

Yes. Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA2011-0 and 2011-3, the cooler supports both types of LGA2011-3.

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). In this case, it may occur that the mainboard reduces the voltage so much that the fan stops. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.



To resolve the issue, you can:

  1. Choose a higher fan speed profile in the BIOS (e.g. „normal“ instead of „silent“, etc.) or deactivate automatic fan speed control and use a Low-Noise Adaptor instead.

  2. Use the mainboard‘s fan speed control software or 3rd party tools like Speedfan to regulate the fan speed. Unlike BIOS based fan speed control, the supplied software usually checks whether the fan has stopped and increases voltage accordingly or at least offer more options to set up the fan properly.

  3. If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

The specified minimum speed refers to the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle. There can be several reasons why the fan doesn‘t go as low as indicated:

  1. Many mainboards do not go below 40%, 50% or even 60% PWM duty cycle on case fan headers. Please refer to your mainboard manual to verify whether the fan header actually goes down to 20% duty cycle. If that's not the case, in some cases you can use the fan speed control software supplied with your mainboard to overcome these limitations and reduce the fan speed even further. However, 3rd party tools like SpeedFan offer greater flexibility and better options to work around the limitations imposed by the mainboard vendors.

  2. Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

    4 pin fan header types

    Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

    Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

    Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


    If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

What Thermal Design Power (TDP) is this cooler recommended for and how much Watt (W) of heat can it dissipate?

Please refer to our TDP guide for information on maximum recommended TDP and heat dissipation.

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

The BIOS of many motherboard models from Supermicro expects a certain minimum fan speed (usually 700rpm), which is higher than the minimum fan speed that can be achieved with Noctua's PWM fan models. The BIOS may interpret the low minimum RPM of Noctua fans as a fan error and thus try to run the fan at 100% for a short period before going back to automatic control.. This can result in oscillating fan speeds and fan speed warnings in the BIOS or the fan management console.

Unfortunately there is usually no option to set a lower minimum value that would suit the low minimum speed of Noctua PWM fans.The issue can thus only be resolved by either disabling automatic fan speed control in BIOS, which will cause the fans to run at a constant speed, or by requesting a modified BIOS file from Supermicro, which takes the minimum fan speed of Noctua fans into account (charges might apply).

How big is the NH-D15S and how much clearance does it provide for RAM and mainboard heatsinks?

Please refer to the following drawing for the exact measurements and clearance for RAM and motherboard heatsinks:

D15S

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

Yes. Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155 and LGA1156, the cooler also supports LGA1151.

Why doesn't the supplied backplate fit my LGA2011 motherboard?

The supplied backplate is for LGA115x only and there is no backplate required for installation on LGA2011. Please refer to the installation manual for how to install the heatsink on LGA2011.

My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose?

Please refer to our TDP guide in order to select the cooler that offers the best cooling performance at a given height.

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Please refer to the installation manual and our video installation guides for detailed instructions on how to install the cooler.

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

As it is not possible to reliably calculate or control the forces that act upon a system during transport (e.g. in shipping), we generally recommend, for safety reasons, taking the cooler off. Noctua cannot be held responsible for any damage that may arise due to excessive stress during transport if you keep the heatsink installed.

Does the NF-A15 PWM that comes with Noctua coolers run at a different speed (1500rpm) than the retail model (1200rpm)?

Yes, the NF-A15 PWM bundled with our heatsinks is specified to run at 1500rpm (see cooler specifications for details) and the retail model is specified to run at 1200rpm (see fan specifications for details). The 1200rpm retail model is ideal for setting up push/pull configurations in combination with the coolers’ 1500rpm stock fan because the combination of the 1500 and 1200rpm models provides a better balance of performance and noise than the combination of two 1500rpm versions. On dual-tower coolers such as the NH-D15S, we recommend to run the 1500rpm version in the center and the 1200rpm version on the front. On single-tower coolers such as the NH-U14S, we recommend to run the 1500rpm version on the front and the 1200rpm version on the back of the cooler. The NA-YC1 y-cable supplied with the retail fan can be used in order to control both fans via one PWM fan header. In this case, both fans will scale individually according to the PWM duty cycle supplied by the motherboard, e.g. they will run at ~1500/1200 respectively at 100% duty cycle, ~750/600rpm at 50% duty cycle, etc. Both at 100% and lower speeds, the speed difference between the fans reduces resonance phenomena and thus helps to achieve the best balance of performance and noise.

Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one?

Most Noctua SecuFirm™ mounting parts are cross-compatible, so if you’re replacing one Noctua cooler with another, it is usually possible to keep the original backplate and/or mounting system in place in order to re-use it for the new cooler. If you had your previous Noctua cooler installed on an Intel LGA115x (LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150), LGA2011 (LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3) or LGA1366 system and replace it with an NH-U14S, NH-U12S or NH-U9S, you only need to replace the original mounting bars with the NM-IMB3 ones supplied with the new cooler. For all other models, you can keep the entire mounting system in place on the aforementioned Intel sockets. On AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+, you only need to replace the original mounting bars with the ones supplied with the new cooler.

How much torque should be applied when tightening the screws of a Noctua CPU cooler?

All screws should be tightened gently until they stop without using excessive force. Please do not exceed the following values for maximum tightening torque:
Screw typeMax. torque
NM-SSC1 screws for fixing the fastening brackets to the base of the heatsink0.5 Nm
NM-ITS1 thumb screws for fixing Intel mounting bars0.5 Nm
NM-ALS1 screws for fixing AMD mounting bars0.6 Nm
Spring-loaded screws for fixing the heatsink to the mounting bars0.6 Nm

Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model?

Not sure which Noctua product to buy? Our detailed buying guides for fans and CPU coolers help you to choose the model that works best for you.

How can I determine if the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS is overclocking my processor by default and deactivate this automatic overclocking?

Most motherboard vendors allow their overclocking-enabled products (e.g. those with Intels X- or Z-series chipsets) to run the processor at increased clock speeds by default, without requiring any user action at all. Since TDP (Thermal Design Power) limits are usually also disabled by default, this leads to the CPU exceeding the rated TDP to a varying degree, depending on the used applications and their workloads. Due to the increased heat output of the CPU, you may see higher CPU temperatures than expected.

In order to find out if your motherboard is overclocking your processor by default, please enter the UEFI BIOS and select the “advanced” or “overclocking” menu. There you should be able to find options such as “MultiCore Enhancement” (options: enabled/disabled), “CPU Ratio Apply Mode” (options: all/per core) or similar. To disable the automatic overclocking, adjust the settings either to “disabled” or “per core” and make sure that the individual multipliers match the original specifications.

In doubt, please contact your motherboard vendor for detailed instructions on how to disable this feature.

My unlocked Intel CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem?

Intel's unlocked CPUs (K, X and C suffix) can dissipate more heat than indicated by the TDP specification if
  1. the TDP limits are extended or disabled in the motherboards' BIOS.
  2. the motherboard applies automatic overclocking by default, e.g. by raising the supply voltage of the CPU and using higher Turbo-Mode multipliers.
  3. some software creates untypical loads, e.g. Prime95 with AVX2 support and a) and/or b) apply.

This can lead to temperature issues, especially when using smaller coolers or compact cases.

The actual power draw of the processor can be monitored with software provided by the motherboard vendor or with 3rd party tools like HWInfo or HWMonitor.

If you encounter temperature issues (>90°C) and notice a higher than specified power draw, please ensure that no automatic overclocking is applied and limit the TDP to the specified value by choosing appropriate BIOS settings.

For Kaby Lake CPUs, it may also help to lower the CPU clock speed for applications that heavily use the AVX instruction set, which can lead to higher loads and power draw. This option is usually referred to as “AVX offset” and makes it possible to lower the multiplier specifically for AVX based applications without reducing performance when using other instruction sets. Depending on the quality of the CPU and the programs being used, a reduction of 2-3 steps usually gives very good results.

Please contact your motherboard vendor for details if you have trouble finding the appropriate settings in the BIOS.

All our TDP recommendations are based on thorough testing with the default values specified by Intel using popular applications such as Asus Realbench and prime95. Please note, however, that prime95 creates a particularly high load that goes beyond typical application scenarios and this leads to elevated temperatures. We thus recommend using other programs such as Realbench for checking the stability and temperatures of the CPU in realistic scenarios.

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with Intel LGA2066?

Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA2011 and LGA2066, Noctua’s SecuFirm2™ mounting systems for LGA2011 also support Intel’s upcoming ‘Basin Falls’ X299 HEDT (High End Desktop) platform for ‘Skylake-X’ and ‘Kaby Lake-X’ processors. Most current Noctua coolers already include SecuFirm2™ mounting systems for LGA2011 and can thus be used on LGA2066 motherboards without any upgrades or modifications.

The following models include a mounting-kit for socket LGA2011/2066 and are thus compatible out of the box:

NH-C14S
NH-D14 SE2011
NH-D15
NH-D15S
NH-D9L
NH-L12
NH-L9x65
NH-U12S
NH-U12DX i4
NH-U14S
NH-U9DX i4
NH-U9S

The following models can be made compatible with the LGA2011/LGA2066 sockets free of charge using the NM-I2011 upgrade-kit:

NH-C12P
NH-C12P SE14
NH-C14
NH-D14
NH-D15 SE-AM4
NH-U12S SE-AM4
NH-L9x65 SE-AM4
NH-U12
NH-U12F
NH-U12P
NH-U12P SE1366
NH-U12P SE2
NH-U9
NH-U9B
NH-U9B SE2
NH-U9F

The following models can be made compatible with the LGA2011/LGA2066 sockets using the NM-I2011 upgrade-kit but are not eligible for Noctua‘s free mounting offer, so users have to purchase the kit at local resellers:

NH-U12DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)
NH-U12DX
NH-U12DX 1366
NH-U9DX 1366
NH-U9DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)

The following models are not compatible with the LGA2011/LGA2066 sockets and can not be upgraded:

NH-L9a
NH-L9i
NH-U12DO A3
NH-U9DO A3

Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo?

Systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands often use motherboards which differ slightly from the specifications issued by Intel and AMD. While those changes are usually subtle, they can lead to compatibility issues with coolers that where built to comply with these specifications.

Even in case the cooler is mechanically compatible and can be installed, other issues can occur, e.g. proprietary fan connectors, BIOS errors due to a low fan speed, shutdowns, etc. Some of these problems can be avoided with some technical knowledge, but especially BIOS related issues can often not be resolved.

Due to the large number of possible issues that cannot be resolved with different mounting parts alone, Noctua does not officially support systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands.

How can I check whether my AMD mainboard has a standard AMD backplate that’s compatible with the SecuFirm2™ mounting system and how should I proceed with the installation?

The SecuFirm2™ mounting system requires a standard AMD backplate (either plastic or metal) with screw threads as shown on the pictures below. These backplates are pre-installed on the rear side of most AMD mainboards (see first picture below) and fixed to the retention module with four screws (see second picture below). If your retention module is fixed with plastic bolts instead of metal screws, please contact support@noctua.at in order to obtain an appropriate backplate.

In order to proceed with the installation of your Noctua cooler, please remove the four screws and the retention module but keep the backplate in place so that you can see the screw threads from the top side of the motherboard (see third picture below). You can then proceed with the installation of the SecuFirm2™ mounting kit as described in the manual (see fourth picture below).

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate



Is it a problem that the CPU heatspreader is not covered completely by the heatsinkbase on LGA2011-3?

No. Depending on the orientation of the cooler, 1-2mm at the outer edge of the heatspreader may not be covered by the heatsink base. As the heat is concentrated at the center of the CPU and the outermost parts are irrelevant for heat-transfer, this is no problem at all.

Which Noctua CPU coolers are compatible with AMD AM4 (Ryzen)?

The following models include a mounting-kit for socket AM4 and are thus compatible out of the box:

NH-D15 SE-AM4
NH-U12S SE-AM4
NH-L9x65 SE-AM4

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket free of charge using the NM-AM4 upgrade-kit:

NH-C12P
NH-C12P SE14
NH-C14
NH-C14S
NH-D14
NH-D14 SE2011
NH-D15
NH-D15S
NH-D9L
NH-L12
NH-L9x65
NH-U12
NH-U12F
NH-U12P
NH-U12P SE1366
NH-U12P SE2
NH-U9
NH-U9B
NH-U9B SE2
NH-U9F

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket free of charge using the NM-AM4-UxS upgrade-kit:

NH-U14S
NH-U12S
NH-U9S

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket free of charge using the NM-AM4-L9aL9i upgrade-kit:

NH-L9a
NH-L9i

The following models can be made compatible with the AM4 socket using the NM-AM4 upgrade-kit but are not eligible for Noctua‘s free mounting offer, so users have to purchase the kit at local resellers:

NH-U12DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)
NH-U12DX
NH-U12DX 1366
NH-U12DX i4
NH-U9DX i4
NH-U9DX 1366
NH-U9DO (Note that the A3 version is not compatible!)

The following models are not compatible with the AM4 socket and can not be upgraded:

NH-U12DO A3
NH-U9 DO A3

Why doesn't the base of Noctua coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?

As most of today's PC enthusiasts use high-viscosity thermal compounds, the contact surface of Noctua coolers is optimised for use with this type of pastes. The micro-grooves at the contact surface ensure that high-viscosity thermal compounds are dispersed to a uniform thin layer across the whole contact area and that no air pockets remain between the cooler and the CPU. With a polished, mirror like surface, the risk of uneven dispersion is much higher. As too thick layers of thermal paste and air pockets drastically deteriorate heat transmission, the micro-grooves are is of vital importance to the overall cooling performance of Noctua coolers when used with today's high-viscosity thermal pastes.

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