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Will Noctua D15 be better than Noctua U12P-SE2 for i9 9900K?

Discussion in 'Processors and motherboards Intel' started by gulli, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. gulli

    gulli New Member

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    Hi All.

    As title basically says, I currently own a Noctua U12P-SE2 (https://noctua.at/en/nh-u12p-se2) which I have been using on my i7 for a while, but now I am building a new PC with an i9 and would like to know simply if I should transfer my U12P or whether it would be better to buy a new NH-D15 (https://noctua.at/en/catalog/product/view/id/76/s/nh-d15/category/16/) instead.

    I can't find anything which directly compares the two. I know the i9 runs hot, and if the D15 offers significantly better cooling I will get it, but if I am only going to get like 5% more is it really worth it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Hello gulli, welcome to the forums.

    While I do have both of them, I never ran them "against" each other for testing purposes. I just think that the D15 is the most massive CPU cooler I've ever had, and clearly was dead silent on my 5930K when I used it a little before going for a custom watercooling loop. If you're looking for the best cooling and to overclock your desired i9, the investment might pay off. If noise levels are not an issue, or you don't have any problems with fan noise, I believe both coolers will work with your CPU.

    See this review here for a comparison between D15 and U12: https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Noctua/NH-D15/6.html
    This shows that the D15, especially under heavy load, can bring up to 10% temperature difference (D15 83°C vs 91°C U12).
    Also see Hilbert's review on the D15's release here: https://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/noctua_nh_d15_review,11.html

    I personally would not shy away from buying the D15, it's a superb product, and for a top of the line (expensive) CPU like an i9, the cost of the cooler shouldn't really be the issue. But that's just my personal preference, you can always try it out with your current U12 and see how it works, an upgrade's "easily" done with air cooling.

    Just be mindful of the D15's sice, it's easily one of the biggest heatsinks I've seen, and it has a pretty tall build, so make sure you've got sufficient space in your case (even standard cases might not always be able to fit in the D15's 165mm of height! And also make sure your RAM heatsinks work with it, although the D15's build is quite flexible (you can rotate the heatsink / fan direction 90°C). Their website has good material with measurements to see if your RAM is an issue or not (I don't think so but double check for safety).
     
  3. gulli

    gulli New Member

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    Thank you so much for the detailed reply. Space was actually my other big concern tbh. I am planning to get a Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro and run with 2x16Gb RAM for now (another 32 later). Currently I have an Antec Nine Hundred case which is good but I am looking into replacing... it does fit in U12P with a tiny bit to spare... honestly 165mm is really on the limit, it could be touching the side of the case which I am not sure would be great.

    I am not planning on doing any crazy overclocking on this, I doubt I would try pushing much over 4.

    If I were to get a new case, how could I be sure that I I could fit the D15? Normally the case will give overall with, but taking into account the backplate depth as well and the motherboard position + height I am not sure what on earth to be looking for. My Antec says 206mm which probably isn't enough.

    I was hoping to save a little by reusing the case and cooler, but I am also not going to cut corners on a i9, it's not worth it to save 80-90 bucks.

    Thanks again!!
     
  4. gulli

    gulli New Member

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  5. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    All in all I can say the D15's biggest downside is indeed it's height. I had no issues with RAM compatability though on my X99 board, if that's worrying you. Also, just to have it mentioned, buying a second set of 2 DIMMs to work with the 2 you already got might prove troublesome... I tried that myself (16->32GB RAM) and I only had issues with it. If you can, stretch for the 4 DIMM set, they're guaranteed to work together, as a general suggestion, don't mix RAM kits you buy (even if it's the same ones it might still not work, had that).

    If you don't plan on doing anything massive in terms of overclocking your CPU, I think you should just use your U12 now, and see if your CPU runs too hot, or the fans run too loud for your taste.
    Going for the D15 might bring about the gains in temperature and maybe noise levels, but it's a big investment (the AIO cooling sollution also) that you might not need to take.

    All in all I'd say, test it with your U12, and if you see your CPU gets too hot, let your fellow gurus here know, and then go from there. ;)
     
  6. H83

    H83 Ancient Guru

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    Hi gulli,

    i´m the proud owner the Noctua U12P-SE2 that i first bought for my Q9550 and now i´m using it on my overclocked 7600K at 5,0Ghz. I will be the first to tell you that this is a great cooler, still working as new despite being 6 years old or even more. But i´m also the first to tell you that despite being an amazing cooler it´s already showing it´s limits on my rig. At load my 7600K reaches almost 90 degrees! Of course this only happens while running stress/torture software but still it´s already near the CPU max allowed temps. And we are talking about a quad core CPU without HT so you can imagine the same cooler on a CPU with 8 cores and HT...
    My advice, only use this cooler at stock speeds or with a very small overclock and wait for the new Noctua coolers to be released next year. But if you want to OC your CPU right away then buy the D15 or a powerful water cooler.

    Hope this helps, have fun with your system!
     
  7. nhlkoho

    nhlkoho Ancient Guru

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    Most cases will tell you the max cooler height that is compatible. I would also agree that the D15 is well worth the money. I replaced my very loud Corsair AIO (H100i) and I don't regret it one bit. The D15 is silent and my 8700k overclocked hasn't gone over 60C under load. I don't have the most aggressive overclock on it but its still more than stock.

    If you do go with an AIO just make sure you replace whatever garbage fans that come with it and get something of good quality. The newer Corsairs come with the ML fans that are quite good so you should be good there.
     

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