Dark Rock Pro 4 vs NH-D15 is a difficult comparison when you analyze and discover how good they are. Now, if you are having a hard time deciding between these two CPU coolers, this article is for you.
We’ll give you a full breakdown analysis of both CPU coolers and at the end of the day, one will come out on top.
Now, you’ll start thinking which cooler it could be; well, keep on reading to find out.
Dark Rock Pro 4 vs Nh-D15 Comparison Table
|Features||Dark Rock Pro 4||NH-D15|
|Weight||1.13 kilograms||1.32 kilograms|
|CPU socket compatibility||
|Warranty||Three years||Six years|
Dark Rock Pro 4 vs Nh-D15
The main difference between Dark Rock Pro 4 (DRP4) and NH-D15 is the quality of the fans and their bearings. The fan bearing in DRP4 is fluid dynamic bearing, while in NH-D15, it’s SSO2. The latter includes a magnet to support the rotor axis.
Winner: Dark Rock Pro 4
Dark Rock Pro 4 vs NH-D15 size comparison shows that NH-D15 weighs more. The weight difference is small, still, DRP4 (DRP4) weighs less. As a result, it’s not going to add too much weight to your motherboard. But, if you have a small form factor computer, DRP4 might not fit in your computer’s case.
NH-D15 weighs more than DRP4 because it’s a premium CPU cooler with two premium fans. When you look at the packaging, you’ll know it’s big; and in computers, big things turn out to be heavy as well. If you have a sophisticated gaming rig with enough space, NH-D15 will fit very well. And you can leverage its high-performance cooling to keep temperatures in check.
Winner: Dark Rock Pro 4
The black coating of DRP4 is a thing of beauty and elegance. This makes it a good choice if you like “good looks” and performance at the same time. So, if you are putting together a custom-built PC with parts that have red or black, DRP4 will be a nice addition. What’s more, the mounting kit has the same color; so everything is in harmony.
It gets better because the fans are also black, but the company logo has a white and orange color. Now, NH-D15 is a top cooler, but the color is not that attractive. The brown and beige colors can put you off at first sight; you’ll need assurance that it’s worth it before going for it. The colors of Noctua NH-D15 don’t matter, but it has a downside; it won’t fit in custom-built PCs.
These types of PCs have RGB, colorful motherboards, and RAM with tall heat spreaders. So, adding NH-D15 will look off, and it’ll be the only odd thing in your entire PC case. Mind you, this will change if your computer has a closed case where you only see what’s inside when you open it up.
– CPU Socket Compatibility
It’s a thing of joy when a CPU cooler like NH-D15 offers support for newer CPU sockets and older ones. Any Intel CPU between the sixth and ninth generation can work with NH-D15; the same applies to AMD AM4 and AM5. This means processors like Intel Core i7 7600U and AMD Ryzen Three to Ryzen Seven can use NH-D15 as a CPU cooler. And, this is where it gets interesting; NH-D15 can work with Intel Pentium Core and Intel Core i7 9XX series.
The latter and the former came out in the years 2008 and 2004; NH-D15 came out in 2014. That’s backward compatibility at its best, but it comes with a caveat; you’ll need the NM-I3 mounting kit. You can get the kit from a reseller at a lower cost, and it’s worth every dime you pay for it. With NM-I3 mounting kit, NH-D15 will work in environments having older and newer CPUs.
DRP4 does not support older CPU sockets like NH-D15, only newer ones. This includes CPUs like Intel Core i7-12700K, Intel Core i5-12600k, and Ryzen 5 5600X. With this, DRP4 will only work on new motherboards with newer CPU sockets. So, if you have an older CPU like an Intel Core i7-980, you can’t use DRP4 as a CPU cooler.
The quality of the fan on a processor cooler plays an important role in the cooling performance. That’s why Noctua equipped NH-D15 with two NF-A15 PWM fans that can spin up to 1500 rpm. What’s more, these fans have sophisticated aerodynamic measures and a special fan bearing. The aerodynamic measures include flow acceleration channels and stepped inlet design.
The latter and the former contribute to the cooling efficiency of NH-D15. The special fan bearing is the SSO2 bearing that allows silent fan operation. With this, the NF-A15 PWM fans will not make any noise, as a result, you’ll have a good fan experience. Besides, with the Low Noise Adaptor, you can reduce the fan speed to 1200 rpm for more quiet operation.
DRP4 has two Silent Wings fans; one in the middle and one at the front. The middle fan measures 135mm and can spin up to 1200 rpm. While the front fan measures 120 mm with the highest speed reaching 1,500 rpm. From this, you will conclude one of the fan speed is lesser than the other; on NH-D15, the NF-A15 have the same speed.
Still, the Silent Wing fans the efficiency for good CPU cooling without any noise. What’s more, they have high air pressure, which allows them to blow through resistance. Depending on your PC setup, this “resistance” can be your GPU or RAM sticks with tall heat spreaders. Finally, they have a Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) that’s up to 300,000 hours.
– Special Features
Both DRP4 and NH-D15 have special features, but NH-D15 has more and they are worthy of recognition. Let’s start with the Stepped Inlet Design; it allows the fan to bring more air into your system. This is a feature that contributes to the cooling performance of NH-D15, and there is more. The fan can blend in with background noise for a better user experience.
Another feature is the Inner Surface Microstructures; it prevents losses in airflow. Without it, the air losses can affect the cooling performance of Noctua NH-D15. Speaking of performance, the Flow Acceleration Channels will increase the speed of airflow. With this, there is no delay of air when NH-D15 needs it the most.
The last notable feature is the Smooth Commutation Drive, which allows smooth operation. As a bonus, the fan placement allows them to cool surrounding motherboard components. DRP4’s special feature is the ceramic particles in the Black coating. These particles allow a good transfer of heat away from your CPU.
– Notable Accessories
Every processor cooler has installation accessories, but they vary in quality. Here, that’s the case of NH-D15 and DRP4; it’s the quality of the accessories that makes the difference. For example, DRP4 has “thermal grease” and NH-D15 has a premium thermal compound called NT-H1. The compound has features like curing, bleeding, dry-out and thermal cycling.
These features combined give NT-H1 a long shelf life, which has earned it a good reputation. What’s more, it does not conduct electricity; so, there is no risk of short circuits that can damage your CPU. Another accessory is the Low Noise Adaptor, which allows you to reduce the fan speed to 1,200 RPM. Finally, the SecuFirm2 Mounting System provides good contact pressure for your CPU.
Air coolers from Noctua have a reputation for their longevity, and NH-D15 is no different. As a result, it has six years warranty and DRP4 has three years warranty. From this, you can conclude that NH-D15 will last twice the lifespan of DRP4. Others like DeepCool Assassin III and Cooler Master Hyper 212 will not last like NH-D15.
Dark Rock Pro 4 Review
- Good aesthetics
- Quiet under heavy loads
- Seven high-performance copper heat pipes
- Two Silent Wings PWM fans
- Three years warranty
DRP4 is an air cooler with two towers like DeepCool Assassin III. It has seven heat pipes with a large surface area for massive heat dissipation. As a result, there is faster heat absorption from your CPU. After this, two Silent Wings PWM fans measuring 120 millimeters and 135 millimeters can blow into the heat sink.
What’s more, the fans have a funnel-shaped inlet that raises air pressure, so hot air gets out faster. The Silent Wings fans have Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB). This bearing, combined with the six-pole motors, the fans will last long. Also, our Dark Rock Pro 4 vs NH-D15 RAM clearance analysis showed Dark Rock has enhanced RAM clearance.
While in operation, the cooling performance will allow you to work longer hours. About aesthetics, it has a black coating that’ll fit well in your PC casing. As an extra measure, the black coating has ceramic particles for faster heat transfer.
- Good RAM clearance
- Two NF-A15 PWM premium fans
- Excellent airflow management
Noctua NH-D15 is an air CPU cooler recognized for its cooling efficiency. It has a spacious build that aids faster heat distribution via six heat pipes. This contributes to its efficiency, and it can handle almost everything you can throw at it. Two high-quality NF-A15 fans with aerodynamic design measures provide silent performance.
What’s more, the fans can spin up to 1,500 RPM, but you can reduce it to 1,200 RPM using the Low-Noise Adaptors. While in operation, the Smooth Commutation Drive allows “smooth” operation. Combined with the Stepped Inlet Design, you’ll get faster airflow to cool your CPU. Due to its design, NH-D15 can work with high RAM slots in single fan mode.
It has an easy installation process thanks to SecuFirm2 Mounting System. Also, this mounting system provides good contact pressure for your CPU. Finally, it has a premium-grade NT-H1 thermal compound that will not corrode your CPU.
In this article, we analyzed two of the best CPU coolers in the market; DRP4 and Noctua NH-D15. If you want beauty and performance that costs less, choose DRP4. But, you should select NH-D15 if you want quality and quiet performance for the next six years. Yes, it’s expensive, but the sophisticated aerodynamic measures make it worth the price.
Besides, if you have an older CPU, you can enjoy the cooling performance of NH-D15 using the NM-I3 mounting kit. What’s more, the SSO2 bearing of the fans ensures they will last long; more than 150,000 hours. At this stage, it’s evident that NH-D15 is the winner in this fascinating comparison.