heading

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) 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 MTBF 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 Specifications
Intel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, 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)
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
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
MTBF
> 150.000 h
NH-D15S
NH-D15S
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA115x installation
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA2011 installation
SecuFirm2™ AMD installation (NM-AMB1)
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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24.06.2016 // SmallFormFactor.net
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NH-D15S Review

- Excellent performance
- Quiet
- Flexible
- Better compatibility than the NH-D15
Test verdict: "Succinctly put, the performance of this cooler is amazing. The NH-D15S matches its older brother and sits very high in the air cooling ranks. I’ve used the NH-D15 on my FX-8350 for some time in the past and I am pleased that the NH-D15S keeps the same performance." (John Morrison, SmallFormFactor.net)
13.06.2016 // PC-Gaming.it
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NH-D15S Review

Il Noctua NH-D15S è un ottimo dissipatore, capace di avere prestazioni pressochè uguali ad uno degli migliori AIO in commercio. La presenza di una singola ventola permette di avere un’ottima silenziosità ma senza impattare le performance; rispetto al fratello maggiore NH-D15 è compatibili RAM fino a 65mm su entrambi i lati, confermandosi uno delle soluzione migliori e versatili in commercio anche per la piattaforma Intel LGA 2011. Seppur dalle generose dimensioni, la struttura asimmetrica consente di liberare il primo slot PCIe con compatibilità con la maggior parte delle schede madre mini-ITX e micro-ATX. La costruzione è di ottima fattura e il montaggio è semplice e immediato. Il bundle è estremamente completo, ed inoltre Noctua, offre gratuitamente kit appositi per tutti i futuri socket tra cui Zen.
Test verdict: "Questo Noctua NH-D15S è una valida scelta per chi vuole un dissipatore ad aria performante, silenzioso, senza compromessi e garantito per 6 anni." (Matteo Carrara, PC-Gaming.it)
06.06.2016 // ProClockers.com
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NH-D15S Review

Based on my tests, the NH-D15S in dual fan setup is pretty much the best in performance beating the other coolers I've tested so far including the equally massive Cryorig R1 Ultimate CPU cooler. And this is not the best about this cooler yet! Wait till you see the acoustics below! [...] Noctua remains to be the king in terms of silence. Even with dual fans, the noise level remains the same given that the additional fan place in front of the cooler runs at a lower RPM of 1200+10%.
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-D15S gave us a lot of impressive points that points it out as one of the best CPU air cooler today. Let's first talk about clearance, compared to other dual-tower coolers using two 140mm fans, the NH-D15S gives better memory clearance wherein four DIMM slots can be populated. The NH-D15S is also one of the best performing CPU air cooler both in single fan and dual fan setups. What's best about it is the silent operation of the Noctua fans." (Tony Walker, ProClockers.com)
03.06.2016 // Technews.lt
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NH-D15S Review

NH-D15S yra ne kas kitas, kaip į šoną stukteltas NH-D15 klonas, papildomai netekęs vieno NF-A15 PWM ventiliatoriaus. Jei šoninis smūgis galėtų pažeisti automobilio geometriją, tai šiuo atveju gauname tik teigiamą efektą – asimetrinė NH-D15S radiatoriaus konstrukcija išgelbėjo pirmąjį „Asus ROG Maximus VIII Extreme Assembly“ PCI-Express x16 lizdą. Žinoma, turint dar tris PCIe x16 lizdus tai neatrodo kaip stebuklas, tačiau naudojantiems kombinaciją iš kelių vaizdo plokščių tai būtų kur kas didesnė nauda. Antras hierarchinėje „Noctua“ skalėje esantis aušintuvas įrodė, kad efektyvumu gali prilygti vieniems geriausių AIO sistemų, kaip „NZXT Kraken X61“ ir „Fractal Design Kelvin S36“, tuo pačiu garantuojant ryškiai mažesnes triukšmo emisijas. Toks rezultatas mus gerokai nustebino ir uždavė klausimą: nejaugi brangių AIO sistemų pirkėjai vis dar tebemoka už galimybę pasigirti, kad aš aušinu vandeniu, korpuse neglaudžiu motininei plokštei pavojaus keliančio griozdo ir džiaugiuosi LED efektais? Panašu, kad taip ir yra. Kitokia situacija su „Corsair H110i GTX“, kurio įveikti nepadėjo net ir ant NH-D15S uždėtas papildomas ventiliatorius. Ši AIO sistema išlaikė solidžią 5 °C persvarą, tačiau tai nebuvo pasiekta be super triukšmingų ventiliatorių pagalbos. Nemažiau nustebino ir ant NH-D15S montuojamų ventiliatorių skaičiaus bei sūkių intensyvumo nereikšmingumas galutiniam efektyvumui. Remiantis gautais rezultatais, galime pareikšti, kad kiekvienas turėtų nė negalvodamas panaudoti komplektacijoje esantį L.N.A. adaptorių ir pastebimai sumažinantį garso emisijas visiškai nenukenčiant efektyvumui. Tuo tarpu antrasis NF-A15 PWM ventiliatorius nebent reikalingas tiems, kas nori gauti laipsnis į laipsnį identišką efektyvumą maksimaliu režimu dirbančiam originaliam ventiliatoriui, taipogi paverčiant NH-D15S iš aiškiai girdimo į labai tylų. Bet visais šiais atvejais reikia prisiminti, kad frazė „laipsnis į laipsnį“ taip pat prilygsta žodžiui „paklaida“, nes kalbame apie 1 °C skirtumą.
Test verdict: "Visi pasakys, kad 80 € Europoje kainuojantis NH-D15S yra labai brangus, tačiau kai pažiūri į kone identišką efektyvumą demonstruojančių AIO sistemų kainas pradedi klausti “ o gal nėra jau taip ir išpūstai brangu“?" (Matas Orentas, Technews.lt)
02.06.2016 // ITPC.net.pl
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NH-D15S Review

Nie sądziłem, że producent będzie w stanie poprawić wielokrotnie nagradzaną konstrukcję NH-D15. Jeden wentylator mniej w zestawie powoduje spadek wydajności zaledwie o 1~2 stopnie, myślę że nie jest to wygórowana cena za wzrost kompatybilności. Kolejne śmigiełko zawsze można dołożyć, o czym producent również pomyślał dodając w zestawie komplet klipów. Wykonanie jak i osiągi dwu-wieżowca stoją na najwyższym poziomie. Nie mam żadnych wątpliwości, że jest to produkt klasy premium. Właśnie za to przyjdzie nam zapłacić niebagatelną sumkę ~350zł, która jak na polskie warunki jest dość wysoka.
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-D15S to świetne chłodzenie." (Karol Kaszubowski, ITPC.net.pl)
18.05.2016 // CustomPCReview.com
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NH-D15S Review

The Noctua NH-D15S is a fantastic high-compatibility variant of the NH-D15, which gives many users who normally wouldn’t be able to fit such a cooler in their systems due to memory or GPU clearance a cheaper, more practical option. While it doesn’t offer the exact same cooling performance as the NH-D15 due to the lack of the second fan, it does get very close. At a price point of $79, it is a great high-end air cooling solution that should rival most 240mm all-in-one liquid coolers. The NH-C14S ups the high-compatibility mantra with a lower profile option. It features two different fan mounting positions to allow for either high-profile memory compatibility or lower profile chassis support.
Test verdict: "Rounding things up, both of these coolers continue Noctua’s longstanding tradition of making great, high-quality air coolers." (Donny Stanley, CustomPCReview.com)
06.05.2016 // 59hardware.net
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NH-D15S Review

Noctua est fidèle a sa réputation de discrétion, à la fréquence de base du processeur le ventilateur est inaudible, bien sur avec le cordon réducteur LNA c'est encore mieux. En situation d'overclocking, le ventilateur dépasse les 1100 tr/min les nuisances sonores augmentent, avec deux ventilateurs la hausse est plus importante. En tout état de cause à un mètre nous sommes à moins de 40 dB(A) boîtier ouvert, nous pouvons qualifier le Noctua NH-D15S de discret.
Test verdict: "Les résultats étaient attendus, puisque ce NH-D15S une évolution de l'excellent NH D14 et de son successeur le NH-D15. Il se montre performant en refroidissement et peut encore évoluer en lui adjoignant un second ventilateur, le niveau de bruit est réduit y compris dans le cas d'un montage en push-pull des ventilateurs." (Philippe Vautier, 59hardware.net)
27.04.2016 // TheGameTechnician.com
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NH-D15S Review

The cooling capability is awesome, with it topping out at 55.8c on the FX-8370 and 70c on the i5 6600k while both are overclocked, Installation was quite easy on both AMD and Intel systems and the noise levels were very good for a cooler this size.
Test verdict: "In this case I really think that the results speak for themselves here, the NH-D15S is quite simply a brilliant cooler, the extra clearance for the memory and PCIe slot really makes a difference with functionality." (Matthew Bush, TheGameTechnician.com)
23.04.2016 // HardManiacos.com
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NH-D15S Review

En cuanto al ruido del ventilador, en la misma prueba de temperatura, podemos ver cómo va desde los 489RPM a su nivel más bajo, hasta los 1167RPM, sin que por ello notemos un ruido excesivo, pasando casi desapercibido.
Test verdict: "Por todo lo analizado anteriormente, comprobamos que el disipador NH-D15S cuenta con una gran eficiencia, tanto a nivel de refrigeración, manteniendo la temperatura bastante estable y baja en todo momento, como en la sonoridad del ventilador, ya que apenas hemos notado su presencia aun estando funcionando a gran velocidad." (Daniel Rey, HardManiacos.com)
14.04.2016 // IN4.pl
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NH-D15S Review

Jedyną chyba wadą coolerów Noctuy jest... ich cena. Najniższą ceną znalezioną w sieci za model NH-D15, jest 335 PLN, choć przeważnie trzeba na jego zakup wyłożyć ponad 350 PLN. Nieznacznie tańsze jest NH-C14, które możemy już kupić za kwotę 329 PLN. Nie możemy jednak zapominać, że zakup coolerów firmy Noctua jest inwestycją wieloletnią i na przykład przy zmianie platformy (płyta i procesor) na kolejne ich pokolenie, zapewni nam też spokój duszy i portfela. Jeśli nie zgubimy faktury zakupu (choć nawet wtedy można dokupić samo nowe SecuFirm), dostaniemy od Austriaków kolejne pokolenie zapięcia SecuFirm za darmo, co pozwoli użytkować coolery przez następne parę lat, zwłaszcza że już fabrycznie mamy obietnicę bezawaryjnej pracy urządzenia przez 150 tysięcy godzin i otrzymujemy aż sześć lat gwarancji.
Test verdict: "Obie konstrukcje firmy Noctua zasłużyły na znaczek rekomendacji IN4 oraz wyznacznik wzorowej jakości." (Sławomir Kwasowski, IN4.pl)

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!

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

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?

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?

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

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?

How to remove the base protection cover?

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

Can I install a 140mm fan with a square frame (e.g. NF-A14)?

Are there any concerns using Noctua CPU coolers on Intel Skylake (LGA1151) CPUs?

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

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

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

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 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



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.

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

Systems from Dell, HP or Lenovo often use motherboards which differ slightly from the specifications issued by Intel and AMD. While those changes are usually subtle, they can led 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 can often not be resolved.

Due to the large number of possible issues with systems from Dell, HP and Lenovo, which can't be resolved with different mounting parts alone, Noctua does not officially support such machines.

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.

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 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.

Can I install a 140mm fan with a square frame (e.g. NF-A14)?

Yes, fan clips for installing square frame 140mm fans (such as the NF-A14) are available on request via our customer support.

Are there any concerns using Noctua CPU coolers on Intel Skylake (LGA1151) CPUs?

Our SecuFirm2™ mounting systems undergo comprehensive compatibility tests before being approved for new platforms. We have neither detected any problem with regard to the Intel LGA1151 platform (“Skylake”) during these tests nor have we received any reports from our customers, sales partners and system integrators that would indicate any possible issue. Our SecuFirm2™ mounting systems (with the exception of some compact L-type models) rely on coil springs to create the required contact pressure, which gives a certain flexibility both with regards to tolerances in stackup height and shocks or other forces. Compared to spring-less mounting systems, which exclusively rely on the bending of the mounting brackets in order to create contact pressure, this allows to reduce the mechanical stress on CPU, socket and motherboard and thus helps to prevent possible damage from excessive forces. However, 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, due to safety reasons, to take off coolers with a total weight of more than 700g (incl. fan).

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.

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.

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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