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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  • Beaver M. - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

  • Beaver M. - Thursday, June 27, 2019 - link

    Not to mention possible leaks.
  • nwrigley - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    Same! I've always been a bit confused by the popularity of water cooling. Benchmarks showed me more hassle without increased cooling or decreased noise.
  • Xyler94 - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    I can only speak of my own experiences of course,

    I have a full custom watercooled PC I build myself. I have all my fans (4 total) spinning at roughly 1000RPM at all times. CPU never reaches above 70C (4790k with Asus Multicore enhancement enabled at 4.4ghz) and a GTX 980ti (Asus Strix 980ti OC at 1450mhz with effective 8000mhz GDDR5 Ram) which never reaches above 60C in games. the whole system is really quiet.There's no heat in the case at all, since the hot air is being blown outside the case (( Makes a really good heater in the winter haha )). My loop's been going strong for 3 years now, and there's been 0 issues, just regular maintenance. The second advantage, it looks impressive. The universal response when I show my cooling loop to people is "Wow".

    To me, watercooling was the greatest thing I've done. It was so much fun to build, and the end result is amazing.
  • Xyler94 - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    To add onto the noise, the hard drives in the system are way noisier than the pump and fans are.
  • satai - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - link

    1000RPM sounds terribly high RPMs to me. And to have 4 fans in a system sounds to be a very low number for a holistic system solution.
  • Xyler94 - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - link

    There's 5 fans in total. 1000RPM is not noisy at all with premium fans. Corsair ML series fans. These get up to 1500RPM before emitting noticeable noise. Also I found 1000RPM to be a good sweet spot for me.

    4 120mm Fans on 2 240 Radiators, plus an extra back case fan for additional airflow in the case. Like I said, the hard drives are noisier than the cooling system
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - link

    I think most people are comparing off-the-shelf CLCs to off-the-shelf HSFs. Noctua's high-end models are a better option vs most similarly-priced CLCs IMHO. Once you get to the very high end semi-custom or custom loops, well that's a different story. I mean I've seen water blocks that cost *by themselves* as much as my entire cooling budget (including Noctua U12 series cooler and additional Noctua fans).

    Also a LOT of the affordable CLCs have ISSUES with pump noise/rattle or overall reliability/durability that you wouldn't get with your higher-end custom loop.
    So... yeah. Apples to apples and all that.
  • Xyler94 - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - link

    A high-end air cooler will always beat a CLC, I don't really recommend most CLCs, as they aren't reliable in the long run...
  • Exodite - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - link

    Not trying to criticize your experience or results here, it sounds like you've enjoyed the experience as much as the results, but as an air cooling fan (no pun intended) myself that doesn't sound all that impressive.

    Granted, I'm not including my GPU in the same loop but my system isn't significantly different (2600K @ 4.2) and my Noctua NH-C14 (yes, the downblower) keeps the CPU at 60-65C under load (P95 max power) with the ULNA adapters (~680 RPM).

    The highlight for me hasn't been the performance though, even if I can't complain about that, but rather that my total maintenance since I built the system in 2011 has been to blow through the fans and fin stack with a can of compressed air. Twice.

    Personally I feel water cooling makes sense only as a tinkering project, much like extensive overclocking or you general car enthusiast. If you care about cooling only as an aggregate of performance, reliability and noise you can't beat good air cooling.


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