Question Installing a heavier heatsink like the Noctua DH15S, tips?

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StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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So this thread is about installing *a* heavier heatsink like NH-D15S.
Forgive my posting slightly off-topic about installing /two/ heavier heatsinks like NH-D15S…

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It's a dual Broadwell-EP system which I built in 2016. The case is a so-called compact ATX tower; it's just 40 cm (15.6 inch) deep. It wasn't compatible with SSI-EEB out of the box, but I made it so by drilling the required mounting holes into the motherboard tray and by bridging some gaps at the top of the tray with aluminum rails.

I believe I first mounted the coolers and their fans — and attached the CPU cooler fan cables to the mainboard — before I put the board into the case. Otherwise it would have been difficult to plug in the fan cables.

This case is one of the rare ones with the possibility to remove the top panel. This helped quite a bit to put everything into place, notably the ATX power cable and EPS12V cables.

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This system survived a move just fine which was a ~3 h drive. The computer was in a moving box with some padding. I don't remember anymore whether or not I stuffed anything into the voids within the computer to secure it some more for the move. I suspect I did not; certainly not to a degree which would hold the coolers rigidly.

Later I removed and re-attached the coolers once more in order to upgrade the CPUs from 14 to 22 cores, at which occasion I also doubled the amount of RAM. I don't recall anymore, but I believe I left the motherboard mounted in place during this upgrade.
 
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StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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PS, the back side fan in the photos of #26 appears a bit misplaced, notably because it functions as intake, not exhaust.

The actual exhaust is the meshed top of the case:
IMG_1243_.JPG

I chose to set up the 120mm back fan as another intake with the idea to get a bit of its air pushed downwards across mainboard components. How effective this really is is impossible for me to tell, as there are only two on-board temperature sensors at (to me) unclear locations, and no temperature sensors on the RAM modules.

Furthermore, as you can tell better on this additional photo, the 92mm fan above the PSU is mounted as a purely internal fan, although it might pull some of its intake air through the backside mesh. The function of this fan is of course to cool the PCIe cards. (Or was. The photos are several years old; the function of the computer has changed somewhat since then, and two of the cards and the 92mm fan became obsolete and have been removed in the meantime.)

Depending on the workload, each of the two Broadwell-EP CPUs can easily pull way more than 200 W, perhaps 250 W sometimes. I do like a lot how the Noctua NH-D15s coolers easily get rid of this sort of heat flux without getting noisy at all.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Either way, a lot of people don't realize Noctua provides excellent support after you have purchased the product. Many of the cheaper HSF's may be 20-30% less, but you're left either needing to purchase an upgraded bracket for any new socket types, or needing to buy a whole new HSF.
I will 100% agree with this. Noctua sent me new/free brackets for AM4, ~8 years after I bought a NH-D14 (I entirely figured I would be paying for them since AM4 didn't even exist at the time I purchased the heatsink).