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Second Opinion needed about Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler


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#1 cat1092

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 06:39 AM

Here lately, have been running some benchmarking, and have ran into a wall when I reach the point of thermal throttling. This is keeping me from having higher scores & cannot enhance the performance of my custom built PC with a ASUS Z97-PRO Gamer to the ASUS Optimal setting w/out the i7-4790K going well into the mid 90C range. Speccy snapshot of the PC. :)

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/2UP84ftlYJjwYpjdy4Ec6Lx

 

As can be seen, even at the Normal setting, the CPU is running warmer than expected for one not under strain & has a ton of ventilation. When in my XPS 8700 that's in storage for now, was running in the mid 30's. It's just that the included Intel CPU cooler is no good & at best, minimal protection, wouldn't want to be running in a demanding environment. Intel can do beter than this, it's why there's so many new, unuised ones on eBay with the OEM thermal solution applied. Or passed on to someone very desperate for any 1150 CPU cooler. While it does have a copper core, looks are deceiving, the amount of copper isn't what one would think in the pictures. Hollow, and the aluminum cannot get rid of the heat fast enough. 

 

This is the motherboard that I have. 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132412

 

This is the cooler I'm considering purchasing, no $25-35 models here. :P

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608045

 

And finally, the review site that stated it's possible on this MB, check out the pictures closely, to include the GPU fit. :)

 

https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Motherboards/ASUS-Z97-Pro-Gamer-Motherboard-Review/CPU-Cooler-Fit-and-Included-Accessories

 

That said, it's a huge cooler, yet I have a huge case in the Fractal Design R5 (model w/out window). 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352048

 

One other component that may cause weight issues is a heavy EVGA GTX 1070 FTW w/backplate, 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487259&cm_re=evga_gtx_1070_ftw-_-14-487-259-_-Product

 

What do you all think? The 3rd snapshot in the review shows how close it is to the 1st GPU slot, though should cause no install issues. Being that the cooler weighs in at nearly 3 pounds with 2 fans, am considering first trying with a single, or if both are needed, find a way to relive tension if necessary, and some says that though the GPU is bolted to the case, that's on one end & needed added bracing (maybe why some OEM's has this when larger cards are shipped with the PC. 

 

If it were a PC that's wide & like a cube, one that's carried to LAN parties where the MB. GPU & CPU cooler are bottom mount, I'd already have pulled the trigger on purchase. So I'm asking any hardware experts here to express opinions. What I don't want, so please don't suggest to replace with, $25-$35 Cooler Master, Deepcool & other bargain brands. Nocuta is a leader & even though these are more pricey, it's because of overall build quality, and look at the reviews of these, still mostly all 5 egg or Star majority. 

 

All replies, including suggestions/links to alternate products (at Newegg because I have a gift card) that's not liquid cooling & are of high quality are welcomed, though if possible, prefer Noctua & this model over the competition because of warranty & quality, as well as showing in the article above that it can be done. :)

 

Cat


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#2 cat1092

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 03:24 PM

Thanks to the 55+ viewers who read this Topic, it's a hard choice! :)

 

Ultimately, I discovered another Noctua that's nearly identical in the NH-D15S, has just one fan, yet another can be ordered if needed/desired, and has a bit more room for the first x16 slot. It took some Googling, this article is the one that played a huge role in decision. 

 

http://www.overclockers.com/noctua-nh-d15s-heatsink-review/

 

The very first paragraph fairly much sums up the story. 

 

 

 

Noctua has released its NH-D15S to stand alongside its NH-D15. The NH-D15 is a huge heatsink, a full 15cm wide. The NH-D15S looks like the D15’s twin, also 15cm wide. Where do the two differ? The NH-D15S is moved over to make more room for the first PCIe slot, and it comes with one fan, not two – this keeps the price down. Otherwise they are the same heatsink. Think of the NH-D15S as the high-compatibility version of this heatsink. The single fan configuration gets you a highly capable dual tower cooler with very good RAM and PCIe compatibility. You can add a second fan according to your preference, be it a another NF-A15 if you use standard height RAM or a 120 mm if you need more space. The idea was to give customers more flexibility in configuring the cooler to their needs, be it for maximum compatibility or maximum performance. 

 

This review was also a more reliable source than the one in my OP. I asked a question as to whether the NH-D15 was still installed on the same MB as mine or not, yet it wasn't posted as of the time of this posting. That leads me to believe they've moved on, maybe the site rates all sorts of hardware. Still, I cannot discredit the source, it was the one that led to looking at this brand of cooler from the start. :)

 

Otherwise, the NH-D15S is compatible with the ASUS Z97-PRO Gamer, and comes with everything I need. :thumbsup:

 

I'll also be looking at ways to support both the GPU on the other end that's not bolted to the case, plus the cooler when I install it. I don't want to cause either to move, just stay steady. Yet many has suggested that unless moving or worse, dropping the PC with it installed, there should be no problem, all of the standoffs are in place & the MB has been secured well. If there were many of these incidents, naturally we'd hear of these with the reviews, keeping in mind that some of these has been on the market for years, and left open for reviews on both Newegg & Amazon, even if not purchased from the sites. :)

 

A related question, and this is about any power savings or noise of the model listed under the Specifications tab (both were identical). What does this mean (Low Noise Adapter) & if so, what do I need if I need it to be quieter, if I do? In my instance, the case I hand picked (Fractal Design R5) is very well padded to insulate noise with some type of coating throughout the interior, so is there any reason not to let it run full blast? 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352048

 

Also, I realize that the temps may have some to do with voltages, some default setups has a bit too much that needs gradual adjustments, and using the older version of Prime95 (26.6) to run 10 minute tests to get a good picture. From what I've read on several sites, it's best not to run the latest Prime95 on 4th/5th gen CPU's.

 

Finally, this is really an extension of this Topic, which I was asked to place in the Linux section, rather than here, and I felt that to be a huge mistake, as this could had been addressed during the build. 

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/623458/new-pc-build-with-linux-mint-18-ideas-apreciated/

 

The reason why I asked this critical question here, is because for starters, needs attention, secondly the responses I expected really didn't come in until the build was up & running. Yet I did & still do appreciate what meaningful assistance was provided. :)

 

Thanks for your time, and hopefully all turns out well! :thumbup2:

 

One final question for now, does the provided Noctua cooling solution (paste) out or underperforms the Arctic MX-4 that I've been using for years? Thanks for bearing with me, this will be my first premium brand non-OEM CPU install, and their solution was once recommended to me by a Moderator of this forum. My thought process is that since Noctua guarantees the cooler for 6 years, shouldn't it be assumed that many (or at least half) will install the cooler & other than using a air duster to clean with the rest of the interior, leave as is? 

 

Anyone who has used this paste or both (preferred) are welcome to speak up. :)

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 10 November 2016 - 04:57 PM.

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#3 hamluis

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 06:02 PM

FWIW:  I find no objective evaluations anywhere...of either thermal paste or cooling systems...it's just a matter of personal choice, IMO.  I also find that the maxim about using this or that thermal compound...is somewhat foolish.  There are newer compounds that some think are far better than the compounds some of us have grown to use...all you have to do is look for info on such. Me...I find that proper application of thermal compound...is more critical than any one brand which I choose to use.

 

The bottom line...all these products seem to do the job...and any purported "advantage" of one over the other is overblown rhetoric put forth by those wishing to promote distinct advantages where they may not exist.

 

Louis



#4 cat1092

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 04:32 AM

hamluis, with all due respect to you because you've been into this far longer than myself, I don't believe this is overblown & only ask for the chance to plead my case. One important part of what you've stated above, for the prior 72 hours pre-purchase, at times drifting off sitting at my desk & with a total of about 9-10 hours of sleep while researching during the stated period, now headed towards 96 hours to verify the results again, feel that I've put more time into this decision than any other since the beginning of the build. Surely more so than any physician would deem healthy for me (or anyone), yet that's the way I was on the job prior to becoming disabled nearly 11 years ago, putting in 16-18 hour workdays, gaining promotions along the way. My hope is that like when working, that the sacrifice leads towards meeting my goal. Having a PC that'll compete w/out thermal throttling, which costs me huge on sites like HWBOT, where the only requirement is having the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility installed, bench & upload results. Which is a site promoted by Intel for competing, they don't advertise, don't want nor accept donations, just wants Intel owners to dive in & have fun, and I'm one of the gang. :)

 

 

 

..all you have to do is look for info on such.

 

That's precisely what I've done, and have been doing, ever since beginning this build months ago......it's actually an extension of another Topic created months ago linked above, where I asked a question on a couple of key items on a vital component, gave as much info as I had researched long & hard for, gave time for anyone to answer & thanked the ones who read it. I also felt that by asking in the Internal Hardware forum, this would draw a fair amount of responses faster than on the Linux one, where I began the discussion. If anyone read that Topic linked, especially the first few pages, it's clearly seen that I spent quite some time.....and a vast amount of resources that took me three years to save towards each & every month, and still do  The components I chose where the best that I could afford for my income level.....and certainly more intelligent than the decision I made in the year 2013, where I purchased a XPS 8700 that's Dell's 'flagship'....for lack of words that I cannot speak here, PC. It's far off that mark & I wanted better than the scraps off the bones that were thrown at me this go around, and realized to do so, must build it myself. :)

 

The XPS 8700 could have been a great PC, were it not for a couple of shortcomings, the first & main of which shipped with an i7-4770, still to this day a Top 10 common CPU on Passmark, yet Dell starved it for power by providing only a single 4 pin power socket, rather than the standard two. Installing the i7-4790K purchased early in fear of price hikes should supply get low made this stand out even more, the occasional freezes already ongoing (no BSOD, the screen totally frozen as seen & no errors were found than sudden shutdown) increased to quite more frequent ones, even with UEFI firmware upgrades to address the issues. The other, a fake PCIe x4 socket, physically yes, electrically an oversized x1. At that point, I realized that I could do better myself, with research, and no I don't have an engineering degree in IT, just an enthusiast with the will to do better, and overcome the shortcomings or bottlenecks of OEM units. 

 

This isn't like I asked 'should t substitute 99 cent 9 volt batteries in my smoke & CO detectors over the approved/rated models?', where the answer is most definitely certain. Only in a dire emergency should one do this, until the proper model can be found ASAP....within 24-72 hours. Common sense would dictate to most to keep replacements on hand, as these sealed batteries has a long shelf life. Components such as what I'm asking about (other than the MX-4 thermal paste I'm stocked up on) are not typically stocked up just to have spares unless a system builder, it's a major purchase for a consumer. 

 

That's not the type of question I'm asking. In fact, there are numerous complaints in regards to quality of components (CPU coolers) I've asked about, and why I didn't rush out and grab a $24.99 model on promo with $5 off or a $10 rebate, or w/out any incentives, because I actually read reviews of what I purchase before pulling the trigger. Though I will admit, it was a mistake in not asking directly during the build, though did ask for suggestions & input, no one responded to the Topic as to what I may had overlooked.....and I welcomed all input. I simply incorrectly assumed that Intel wouldn't send out a piece of garbage with a 'flagship' 1150 CPU, mainly because it was the first new one I've seen with a copper core, albeit sort of hollow.  

 

Back to the complaints of 'budget' coolers, the list goes on & on, noisy & rattling fans or doesn't work at all, low quality mounts with vibration (what one doesn't want in a MB that's standing vertical) with a small sheet of instructions printed in a dozen languages that requires a magnifying glass to read, no disrespect intended to international market. The instructions should be localized for the intended target area with larger & clear print, easy to read & understand, and not leaving out parts of to be guessed at. After reading all of the complaints & shortcomings, wanted a better solution, one that would be inline with the rest of the build, and time after time, was pointed towards Noctua for quality, ease of install, long warranty, and clear/precise instructions on what to do to install the component. This is what I received with the Fractal Design Define R5, and I expect the same from Noctua.....a product that's worthy of placing their signature on. :)

 

As to any newer & better quality thermal paste choices, it's my hope that there are improvements, and will look into that further today. Arctic MX-4 is still a leading brand, as was MX-2 before then. No doubt there are other excellent choices, at the same time, there's those not fit for for some (or any) purposes. I also have some high quality thermal pads by 3M (bulk sheet, cut to fit), which I use when cleaning up notebooks, and place on the discrete GPU, if installed, and onboard, if covered with a heatsink. So far, so good. 3M has always had a decent reputation, though I'd not install this on a CPU. 

 

'Budget' rated components were never considered for this build & have built another for myself since, using the CPU & RAM from the XPS 8700, will replace with a less power hungry CPU & have spare RAM modules when I'm ready to unbox it again. Not a priority for me at this time. 

 

What is for now, has been stated, and it's my hope that the Noctua NH-D15S does live up to the standards of the rest of the build, my first & spent quite some time, carefully installing everything, with an emphasis on wiring management & build quality that I can place my signature on. :thumbsup:

 

With all bases covered, I've rested my case, it's now time for me to get some quality rest. :)

 

Cat


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#5 synergy513

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 12:37 AM

i use antec diamond TIM with nice results.

 

         i use a thermaltake radial design for my 130w CPU. SpinQ..kind of modular.

 

http://www.thermaltake.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00001476

 

but the Zalman 9xxx cooler is what most veteran users trust..heard it was a bleep to install though...

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118046

 

Yes, the stock intel cooler is a bust, but most of the time, the cpu is clocked down by the mobo anyway, so it is fine for most, but not for prolonged benching.

 

there is another player in the biz,,,thermalright,, they use 6 pipes in theirs..here is the image page, kind of distinguished configs i think..

 

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=thermalright+cpu+cooler&FORM=HDRSC2

 

all i ever heard about the noctua coolers is that they prioritize low decibel levels, at what sacrifice is what i was left wondering...

 

the few times i have noticed abnormally high idle cpu temperatures was due to the cooler not being fastened in place completely.. i.e the stock intel coolers with the push-n-twist pins leaves alot to be desired.

 

i do like the AMD cpu cooler config with the hook-n-latch mech.


Edited by synergy513, 13 November 2016 - 02:00 AM.

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