During Computex 2019, Noctua announced its plans to update its fabled D series of CPU coolers with a new design. The new, currently-unnamed coolers incorporate an extra heat pipe as compared to the current NH-D15 and NH-D15S, as well as increase performance and utilize an asymmetrical design for improved PCIe slot clearance.

Noctua of course is well known in the air cooling market for its high quality fans and coolers, which are aimed at the premium end of the market and deliver some of the best performance on the on the market today. Not hurting the company's visibility either is their highly distinctive beige and brown color scheme, which make their products easy to tell apart from more commodity products.

At Computex in addition to its fanless concept CPU cooler design, Noctua also had its next generation of D series CPU cooler on display. The new cooler features seven heat pipes – up from the traditional six of the previous NH-D15 models – and the heatsink itself has been tweaked to offer 10% more surface area for heat dissipation than previous models. One of the most interesting aspects is that Noctua revealed that the new D series coolers are designed to dissipate up to 400 W of heat, which makes them highly suitable for beefier sockets such as AMD's TR4 and SP3.

Showing off one of the prototypes in action, the company had one of the new coolers setup against one of its current NH-D15 models in a custom designed test chamber, using the two otherwise-identical test systems to show the differences in performance between the two models. And since this was designed to be a test of the heatsink and not the fans, only the heatsink itself was swapped here; both systems used the same NF-A15 PWM cooling fans.


The new D series cooler is on the left, the pre-existing NH-D15 is on the right

Overall we didn't see a massive difference – and to be fair, it was very hot (ed: Taipei in June), so ambient temperatures were running high – but none the less, the prototype cooler did come out consistently ahead of the NH-D15. In its custom chamber, the new D series cooler had one degree advantage over its predecessor.

Shifting gears to retail matters, Noctua is planning on releasing two versions of the new D series coolers, rolling out both a single fan model and a dual fan model. The new coolers will include a traditional multi-socket mounting kit, which will support AM4, LGA20xx, and LGA115x. Meanwhile there will be separate dedicated TR4 models due to the larger base plate needed to properly match the large IHS used on AMD's Threadripper processors. Each cooler will also be bundled with a tube of its new NT-H2 thermal compound.

At this point the company hasn't announced an official release date, but it's likely that the next generation of D-type coolers will be available by the end of the year, with a pricing structure similar to that of the current NH-D15 and NH-D15S models.

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  • FreckledTrout - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    Thats not anywhere enough to replace my existing NH-D15. However it sounds like it may be able to handle additional wattage so overclocking results could prove out to be better. I suppose I'll keep an eye out for reviews. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    Its not better enough to upgrade from the existing model, but its an upgrade for people who have yet to upgrade their cooler yet. This is how almost every industry works... Reply
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    The difference in performance may be a little larger depending on what CPU you're cooling and ambient temp, so yeah we'll have to see how they do in reviews. I'd bet it's still not worth it if you already have the older model, but it's good that they continue to refine and enhance their lineup periodically. Reply
  • Beaver M. - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    Overclocked 8+ core systems, you mean.
    Those systems are a real challenge for air coolers.
    Reply
  • satai - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    Noctuas are exactly the reason I never considered water cooling for more then 1/2 hour needed to google a performance+(mainly)noise comparison. Reply
  • Sivar - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    Same. Why deal with all the complexity of water, a pump, a large separated heat exchanger, tubing etc. when a well-designed cube of metal pancakes performs similarly? Reply
  • bug77 - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    Because, after jumping through all those loops, you still end up with spinning fans :D
    Water can move more heat if that's what you need, but if you want silence you can safely stick with air.
    Reply
  • emn13 - Sunday, June 30, 2019 - link

    Water needs pumps, and those are usually at least as loud at "low" loads - which for coolers like this means almost any load you're likely to throw at it. I mean, your proc has around a 100W tdp, so even if you're overclocking you're unlikely to hit more than 200W sustained, and that's low for a 400W cooler. And that means you'll hardly hear the fans. Reply
  • AshlayW - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - link

    because it doesn't. heatpipes cannot move heat as quickly or efficiently as water flowing in a tube. Air is fine for modest overclocks or stock in most situations but water is significantly more performant in some situations. when the bottleneck isn't your thermal mass but how quickly you can take heat off the die (high voltage) even a thick 120mm AIO can outperform the D15. I tested this extensively myself and concluded that having an enormous lump of metal hanging off my motherboard wasn't worth it over a neat, tidy looking AIO cooler on the front of my case which also allows me to get the parts easier.
    i returned a D15 recently actually because it failed to outperform my asetek 570LC 120mm with my 2700X. under extreme stress when heat build up overwhelms the air coolers ability to take heat from the die, the aio was up to 10-15c cooler.

    i remounted the d15 about 5 times with different paste including kryonaut, made sure excellent contact, etc, so unless my d15 was defective these air coolers are inadequate for me
    Reply
  • Showtime - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - link

    Well something doesn't add up in your testing because it generally takes 360mm AIO cooler to outshine the D15, and that's at the cost of extra noise. Air has been proven to give better performance at equal noise levels, and to be the better all around solution at each price point.
    There are plenty of lighter options if the D15 is too much cooler for you. U14s is only 1-3 degrees hotter.
    Reply

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