When it comes to popularity, you’ll find a good number of brands offering a wide range of cooling solutions. NZXT and Noctua belong to the top class.
In this post, I’ll cover two of the best models from the respective brands, the NZXT Kraken Z63 and Noctua NH-D15, and give you an in-depth comparison between them.
Therefore, grab some snacks or a cup of coffee and stay with me throughout this entire post.
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Is NZXT Kraken Z63 Better than Noctua NH-D15?
Here are five things you should consider between NZXT Kraken Z63 and Noctua NH-D15:
1. Type of Cooling Solution
It is a never-ending debate when it comes to the selection of CPU coolers. Most enthusiasts are confused about which cooling method they should opt for.
I will make this thing simple but before that, let me tell you how CPU cooling actually works.
Both the air cooler and the liquid one have similar goals. They do the same thing, absorbing heat from the processor and channel it away from the hardware.
Now, when it comes to air cooling, the entire process mainly relies on the fans. In such a type of cooler, heatpipes conduct heat from one place to another. First, the heat moves to the heatsink, where the fan comes into play as it pushes the air from it.
Coming to liquid or water cooling, the process involves a separate water block that consists of coolants. Heat absorption is done when these coolants move through the waterblock to the radiator’s tubes and get in contact with hot air.
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The fans here play a big part as it pulls the heat away. After the coolant enters the block again and the cycle continues.
Let’s now begin our main discussion.
The NZXT Kraken Z63 is cooler from the widely acclaimed Kraken series of the brand. This water cooling beast does a fine job of controlling the temps. Especially if you are heaving a 10-core processor and looking for high overclocking, this cooler is the perfect choice for you.
As for the Noctua NH-D15 is the best of class if you are looking for air cooling solutions. In fact, I would say that it beats down many mid-range water coolers in terms of performance.
However, in the debate between air and water cooler, I have to go with a water cooler in this case. The NH-D15, as an air cooler, can be an excellent addition to lower-tier CPUs. In terms of performance, it matches with the Kraken Z63 in most cases, but if you are looking for something extreme for a high-end build, it falls behind. On the other hand, the Kraken Z63 has a slight edge over the Noctua NH-D15 in terms of overclocking, making it superior when considering performance leaving all conditions.
Therefore, for high-end functions, the NZXT Kraken Z63 as a liquid cooler is a clear winner.
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For a moment, let’s not consider the performance level of the separate coolers.
So, how can we just compare?
Nowadays, PC enthusiasts aren’t only satisfied with the output they get from their builds. In addition, they are somewhat indulged in making their build look good. That is, the appearance of their rig also matters a lot these days.
Now, the CPU cooler can also play a vital part in enhancing the aesthetics of the rig.
If I have to talk about the NZXT Kraken Z63, it is one of the flagship models from the brand. It sports a beautiful LCD on the CPU block, which is highly customizable. Through this, you can view different stats altogether, and the best part is the glow that it gives inside an RGB rig is quite eye-catching.
That said, you can even add animated GIFs as a touch of personalization to your system.
When it comes to Noctua NH-D15, starting from the fittings to the build-up, everything seems impeccable. But unlike the Kraken Z63, this air cooler isn’t truly meant for RGB builds.
However, you might question the absence of RGB fans in both coolers. But the presence of LCD on the CPU block of Kraken Z63 makes it more suitable for any RGB build.
Therefore, the Kraken Z63 should be a go-to option for the RGB builds, whereas if you seek minimalism, then it’s Noctua NH-D15.
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3. Sound levels
While gaming or doing something in our workstations, most of us prefer quiet operations. That said, CPU coolers tend to be one of the loudest components.
Now, the coolers with larger fans are relatively quieter than the ones with small fans.
The reason is quite simple. Larger ones don’t spin that fast compared to the smaller ones to give a similar output level. That means, if your cooler has 140 mm fans, then it will produce less noise than any cooler with 120 mm fans.
Now, here’s the kicker.
Both the Kraken Z63 and the Noctua NH-D15 come with a similar number of fans with similar sizes. But the difference in the sound levels between them is what sets them apart.
The 2x fans in the Noctua NH-D15 run at speeds between 300-1500 RPM. For the Kraken Z63, this range is between 500-1800 RPM.
As a result of such difference in the speeds, there is a considerable difference in the noise levels. For example, for the Noctua NH-D15, I found the noise level reaching 26 dBA at max, whereas for the Kraken Z63, it even reaches 40 dBA at times.
The usual range for NH-D15 is always 19-25 dBA, whereas, for the Kraken Z63, it is 22-40 dBA. That is why, if you prefer low noise, the Noctua NH-D15 is the clear winner out here. Also, Check out the battle-tested comparisons between Samsung SSD 980 Pro and Samsung 980.
4. Socket Compatibility
Before you make a single choice between these two coolers, you need to verify the type of sockets each of them is compatible with.
Brands these days always try to produce universally compatible components. The same goes for the CPU coolers. CPU cooler brands try to make sure that their models are compatible with most CPU sockets. But somehow, some models miss out on some specific socket.
In the case of both these coolers, each of them does miss out on some sockets.
The Noctua NH-D15 doesn’t support LGA1366, sTR4, sTRX4. However, these three sockets are supported by the NZXT Kraken Z63.
Similarly, the Kraken Z63 doesn’t support AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM2+ like the NH-D15.
So, before you make a buying decision, make sure that your motherboard is compatible with the cooler you’ll be buying.
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At the end of the day, money matters in case of everything that you opt for buying.
Here we are discussing two cooling solutions that aren’t of similar types in terms of functionality. Generally, air coolers tend to be cost-effective compared to water cooling solutions. It is also the same in this scenario as the Kraken Z63 is premium priced compared to the Noctua NH-D15.
But the reasonability here is determined by the level of performance. You would find the NH-D15 at a 50-60% lesser price than that of Kraken Z63. However, the performance level of these coolers isn’t that distant.
Therefore, the clear winner out here is the Noctua NH-D15 in terms of reasonability.
There are a hell of factors to consider if you want to get the best between two specific CPU cooling solutions. However, what I have mentioned above is more than enough to draw a fair comparison between the NZXT Kraken Z63 and Noctua MH-D15. Hopefully, after going through the article, you’ll be able to make the perfect choice between these two.