A Legend Returns As Noctua Unveil The NH-D15 G2

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅04.06.2024 22:30:42

Noctua are always a highlight of Taipei's Computex expo and they've returned this year to showcase both familiar and new cooling solutions as well as partner projects. We visited them to see what they have to offer.

Comeback of the G.O.A.T. - Noctua NH-D15 Gen2

Expected as soon as June, the 2nd generation NH-D15 is a familiar dual-tower cooler with plenty of revisions to the veteran design. No aspect has gone untouched as optimisations have been made to:

- The Fans, which have superior Pressure/Airflow (P/Q) performance characteristics as well as acoustic optimisations;
- Fin stacks, now 1.6mm pitch with ~20% greater surface area in total;
- Heatpipes: 8, up from 6;
- SecurFirm2+ mounting system: Torx screws, AM5 offset, shim washers for LGA1700
- TIM: NT-H2 with paste guard for AM5
- PCIe Clearance: 9mm less overall depth

The NH-D15 G2 will arrive in three variant models: a standard version with base convexity characteristics similar to other Noctual HSF bases; a flatter LBC (Low Base Convexity) style; and a HBC (Low Base Convexity) model. In testing lower base convexity tended to perform better with AM5 processors - particularly without the AM5 offset - whereas LGA1700 was more suited to higher base convexity.

Noctua have formulated a new metric - Noctua Standardised Performance Rating (NSPR) - to allow for direct comparison between two coolers in their lineup. Based on two tests - Thermal Efficiency at a fixed 250W heat load and Dissipation Capacity at continuous 60C heating element temp. - Noctua calculates a score where the higher value is better. In this instance the G2 has a score of 228 whereas the original achieves 183, representing 3.2C better temps in the former and 160W higher dissipation capacity in the latter test.

AM5 Contact Pressure Without/With Offset | LGA1700 Contact Pressure Without/With Shims

NF-A14x25 G2

Joining the NH-D15 G2 in June will be the NF-A14x25 G2 fan. Launching in a round frame with square and chromax.black models following by Q1 2025, the design incorporates:

- A Progressive-Bend impeller made from Sterrox® liquid-crystal polymer to push air out towards the highest efficiency blade areas;
- Centrifugal Turbulator hub for better flow attachment and optimised fluid distribution across the impeller;
- Winglets reduce tip vortices and thereby increase efficiency;
- Ultra-tight tip clearance (0.7mm) for superior performance on heatsinks and radiators;
- Ultra-high efficiency etaPERF™ motor with Smooth Commutation Drive 2 for superb running smoothness and SupraTorque™ for additional torque headroom;
- Proven SSO2 bearing and Advanced Acoustic Optimisation (AAO) frame design.

The changes to the design improves the P/Q airflow curve such that it becomes a jack-of-all-trades with superior characteristics for radiator, dense heatsink and sparse heatsink applications. Noise-normalised performance compared to the original NF-A14 is significantly improved on both radiator and NH-U12S single-tower heatsink scenarios.

A Next-Gen 120mm fan further improves performance over the already excellent NF-A12x25 using the same design principles as the NF-A14x25 G2. It's notable that at 0.5mm the tip clearance is tighter-still. We should see the fan on sale in Q1 2025.

Next-Gen Dual Tower 120mm CPU Cooler

Noctua's aspirations for a new 120mm dual-tower cooler could be summed up very simply: NH-D15 performance in a 120mm form factor. The design, which is scheduled for Q2 2025, takes cues from the NH-D15 Gen2 with 8 heatpipes, next-gen 120mm fans and updated SecuFirm mounting system complete with AM5 offset and LGA1700 shims. With no apparent plans to replicate the three different convexity options of the ND-D15 G2, this model will lean hard on the socket-specific adaptations in the retail package.

Thermisiphon Dev. Project: Pump-less Liquid Cooling? From Noctua?

Thermosiphons are coolers/heaters which utilise conduction and convection rather than mechanically pumped liquids to transmit heat from a source to a cooling surface. They're gravity dependent in that the dissipating component must always be higher than the heat source, but the lack of moving parts means that it's completely silent and less prone to failure.

Noctua are developing this solution in partnership with Calyos who are experts in this particular field. It's a very long-term project; don't expect and ETA or pricing any time soon.

Seasonic PRIME TX-1600 Noctua Edition

High performance, ultra quiet package as Noctual and Seasonic team up to release a near-silent variant of an exceptional PSU. It boasts a custom fan grill and NF-A12x25 fan, semi-passive operation and fanless up to 50% load/25C ambient with slow ramp up thereafter.

The PSU is fully modular with Noctua-themed cabling. It's ATX 3.1 and PCIe 5.1 complaint featuring the 12V-2x6 connector for high performance GPUs while also being rated at Titanium level efficiency (both 80 PLUS Titanium and Cybernetics ETA Titanium certified). Expect it to be released in Q4.

Workstation solutions and prototypes

Now available through newegg.com are the Ampere Altra family of CPU coolers. Adapted variants of successful Intel Xeon and AMD Threadripper or EPYC platform solutions, the new coolers have a customised contact surface for Ampere Altra and Altra Max Arm processors with up-to 128 cores. It utilises a SecurFirm2 mounting system for LGA4926 and allows for whisper-quiet Arm-based workstations.

Q4 will also see the introduction of a cooling solutions specifically for the NVIDIA GH200 Grace Hopper superchips. They will support up-to 1000W of total heat emission by integrating two customised NH-U12A heatsinks for CPU and GPU cooling. Rather than a datacenter solution, it's intended for environments where noise levels are a concern such as a lab, local HPC application, self-hosted/local LLM tweaking site etc. They'll be sold direct on a per order B2B basis.

And Finally...

Two additional fun products were on display. The Kaelo wind cooler chills a beverage down to 3-4C thanks to a TEC-based solution with customised NF-P14r 140mm fan, and is designed for bars, dining tables and kitchen countertops.

Noctua themselves meanwhile have the NV-FS1, a premium quality desk fan for low-noise home, office and multi-purpose ventilation applications. It utilises an NF-A12x25 fan with NV-AA1 airflow amplifier, bolted to the steel NV-FM1 pivoting fan mount for solid and precise angular adjustment. It incorporates a 230/115V power supply with EU/UK/US plug adaptors and an NA-FC1 fan controller.

It's on sale at an MSRP of $99.99/€99.99.

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