Noctua NH-D15 vs Dark Rock Pro 4 – Which is Best in 2021?

Noctua was one of the first manufacturers to announce their CPU cooler with RGB LEDs, and more recently, they unveiled their first cooler with a full cover Type-C connector. My testing with this cooler revealed that the NH-D15 blows away its competitors, but it may be a bit too expensive for the average gamer. This comparison test will cover the best CPU air coolers from Noctua so you can pick the model that works best for your budget.

Noctua’s NH-D15 is one of the quietest 15cm-diameter tower coolers on the market. It’s rated at just 9.2dB(A) at stock voltage, and that’s with the fans coupled to their maximum speed of 1600RPM. But there’s no reason you can’t run the NH-D15 at lower speeds, and the NH-D15 alone is so quiet you can use it in a HTPC case without disturbing the neighbors.

Noctua has just released their latest model in their CPU cooler line up, the NH-D15. When it comes to cooler design, the Noctua NH-D15 has been a popular choice for many CPU fans due to its clean minimalistic design. In this review we have tested the new Noctua cooler against the Dark Rock 4 which has been one of the most popular products on the market, mainly due to its simplicity of design.

If you want to get the most performance out of your processor, you’ll need a strong CPU cooler to keep the temperature down.

The standard CPU cooler that comes with the CPUs is capable of keeping the processor temperatures under control. If you want to overclock your processor and have the greatest, most stable, and most efficient cooling performance, you need get an aftermarket CPU cooler.

The NH-D15 Noctua and Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 is the fourth installment of the Dark Rock series. CPU coolers will be discussed, since they are two of the best CPU air coolers on the market. 

Their performance is comparable to that of certain AIO cooling systems. Both are extremely popular CPU coolers for enthusiast-level PC setups, and they are often compared. During the construction of their PCs, many PC builders run across the same problem: which CPU cooler to use.

We’ll compare the Dark Rock Pro 4 and the Noctua NH-d15 CPU coolers in this article to help you decide which one is best for your PC setups.

Specifications: Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 vs. Noctua NH-D15

Name Noctua NH-D15 Dark Rock Pro 4
Compatibility of Sockets Intel: LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1200, LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA2066 AMD: FM1, FM2, FM2+, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4 (Added since 2019, older coolers require NM-AM4) Intel: LGA1366, LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA2011 & LGA2011-v3 (Square ILM), LGA2066 AMD: FM1, FM2, FM2+, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4
Dimensions 165mm (H), 150mm (W), 161mm (L) with fan (D) Without the fan, the dimensions are 160mm (H), 150mm (W), and 135mm (L) (D) 162.8mm (H), 136mm (W), 145.7mm (L) Heat Sink (D)
Weight 980g (without fan) 1320g (without fan) 1.13kg heat sink
Compatibility with fans Dimensions: 140mm x 150mm x 25mm (with 120mm mounting holes) Dimensions: 140mm x 140mm x 25mm (with 120mm mounting holes) Dimensions: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm Included Fans: N/A 1 × 135mm PWM Silent Wings 1 × 120mm PWM Silent Wings 3
Airflow Maximum 80 CFM or 140.2 m3/h a flow rate of 115.5 m3/h (with Low-Noise Adapter) 33 CFM is the minimum. 90 cubic feet per minute of air 34 CFM is the minimum.
Maximum noise 19.2 decibels (A) (with Low-Noise Adapter) 24.6 decibels (A) 24.3 decibels (A)
Voltage 12 V 12 V
Price To learn more, go to this page. To learn more, go to this page.

Comparison: Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 vs. Noctua NH-D15

The overall cooling performance of both of these CPU coolers is quite similar, with both delivering performance comparable to some 240mm and even 360mm AIO liquid coolers. For air CPU coolers, that’s very remarkable.

When compared to the NH-D15, the Noctua NH-D15 air CPU cooler has the same dual-tower CPU cooler architecture as the Dark Rock Pro 4, however the Dark Rock 4 will be able to offer approximately 1-3 degrees cooler performance under load.

Noctua-NH-D15-vs-Dark-Rock-Pro-4-Which-isYouTube video courtesy of Skeuz Tech

This is dependent on a number of parameters, including ventilation, case internals, and other factors that influence thermal performance. However, if you want the greatest performance and want to get every last bit of speed out of your CPU, Dark Rock Pro 4 will undoubtedly assist you in doing so.

The NH-D15 CPU cooler, on the other hand, has a beautiful basic design. The Heat Sink is silver metallic, while the fans are Noctua’s typical brown color scheme. It is made up of six copper heat pipes that are soldered to a nickel-plated copper foundation.

Every fin in the CPU cooler’s two stacks has been soldered directly to the heat pipes, allowing the low CFM fans to function properly and increasing the CPU cooler’s efficiency.

When compared to the Dark Rock Pro 4’s fan mounting method, the Noctua NH-fan D15’s mounting system is considerably simpler to use and install. Please be quiet! did improve the mounting method for the Dark Rock Pro 4, which is quite similar to the NH-D15 and is much easier and simpler than the Dark Rock Pro 3’s predecessor. However, it is still inferior than the NH- D15’s.

When compared to the Noctua NH-D15, the be silent Dark Rock Pro 4 comes true to its moniker and is considerably quieter under load and at idle. The Dark Rock Pro 4 will be able to function at a reduced noise level of 1-3 dB.

Fan speed is set at 25%.

1629681005_161_Noctua-NH-D15-vs-Dark-Rock-Pro-4-Which-isYouTube video courtesy of Skuez Tech

100 percent fan speed

1629681006_645_Noctua-NH-D15-vs-Dark-Rock-Pro-4-Which-is YouTube video courtesy of Skuez Tech

It’s not much, but if you want a quiet PC, the Dark Rock Pro 4 is unquestionably the superior option. Especially because the cooling performance of both CPU coolers is almost identical.

The Dark Rock Pro 4 also seems to be more attractive than the NH-D15. It features a beautiful matte black finish and a streamlined design that would look great in any PC setup. The brown color scheme of Noctua does not match every PC color scheme, although black does.

It features excellent build quality and seven heat pipes, which will aid in the removal of heat from the processor. The base of the Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU cooler is made up of two sections made of various metals. The top portion of the base is aluminum and contains a pre-cooler, while the bottom half is copper and is responsible for transporting heat from the CPU to the heat pipes.

The Dark Rock Pro 4 vs. Noctua NH-D15 comparison revealed that both air CPU coolers provide outstanding performance for the price. It’ll come down to personal taste as to which one is best for your PC setup. One thing is certain: you will not be able to find coolers with greater cooling performance for the price.

What Makes the Noctua NH-D15 Better?


It performs somewhat better in terms of cooling than the other. It has a sturdy construction. The Noctua NH-D15 is the superior option if you simply want the greatest cooling performance. It does, however, produce somewhat more noise, which isn’t an issue.

Why is Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 superior than Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 3?


It seems to be superior than the NH-D15 at first glance. The matte black color scheme will complement almost any PC setup. It also produces somewhat less noise than the other and performs similarly in terms of cooling. The Dark Rock Pro 4 is the best option if your primary aim is to have a quieter PC.



Also see:

CPU Coolers on a Budget The Best Ryzen 5 3600 CPU Coolers The Best Ryzen 7 3700X CPU Coolers

Noctua has made some big changes in the past few years. The company has completely taken over the NH-D15, with all the NH-D15S, NH-D15 SLAM, NH-D15S SLAM, NH-D15 SE-AM4, NH-D15 SE-AM4 (V1) and NH-D15 SE-AM4 (V2) variants. The company has also expanded it’s product line, releasing Dark Rock Pro 4, Dark Rock 3, Pro 5, Pro 6, Dark Rock 3 (V1) and Dark Rock 3 (V2) series.. Read more about dark rock pro 4 ram clearance and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there anything better than Noctua NH-D15?

There are many brands of CPU coolers that perform better than the Noctua NH-D15.

Is Noctua NH-D15 the best?

Noctua NH-D15 is a great CPU cooler.

Is Noctua NH-D15 enough for i9 10900K?

For most people, yes. However, if you are overclocking your CPU and/or GPU, it is recommended to get a better cooler like the Noctua NH-D15S.