Noctua NH-L9x65 Review
Noctua NH-L9x65 is all about low profile and silence. As many users like to have small cases or HTPC, the demand for low profile coolers with good performance and silent operation at the same time is still there. Well, today we get our hands on this new product from Noctua, who over years have proven their quality and performance. Let’s start as always with quick unboxing.
Front side of the package includes main features of this cooler. On one side we found interesting information about features in detail and on other side technical specifications itself. At the back side are main information about update from previous versions.
As always, everything very nice packed, protected and boxed.
Noctua NH-L9x65 as well as many other noctua coolers is using the SecuFirm2 mounting system, which we found very easy to work with as the screws are already pre-fixed with the backplate. Backplate itself is made of thick metal which makes it very solid. Also thermal paste, screw driver and expansion cable are included in package.
For installation in different systems, Noctua have included also mounting bracket for AMD as well as INTEL 2011 sockets. Instruction are very clear, color printed and easy to read. The main purpose of this cooler was to bring as much dissipation area as possible to small limited space you mostly have in ITX cases, HTPCs or space restricted systems anyway. The fan is on top of the cooler blowing the air against the socket to support with additional cooling of the socket area.
Thanks to optimized NF-A9x14 premium PWM fan, the NH-L9x65 runs pretty quiet even during higher loads.
As we already mentioned, the fan has to be removed to get access to two screws, which are holding the tower tight and due to flexibility there is always equivalent pressure given on the CPU contact area. The surface is perfectly plane polished.
Four instead of two heatpipes (as its smaller sibling) the Noctua NH-L9x65 is able to transfer the heat up to the fins twice so effective. Mounting the cooler is easy as we have enough space for screw driver and what more important, the two fixing screws are already fixed with the cooler.
Build quality is on very good level, no fins were bent and actually they are quite solid. All fins are made of aluminium and heat-pipes and base is made of copper for perfect heat transfer. For even better look the heat-pipes are nickel plated.
The fan frame features silicone pads to reduce the vibrations made by fan rotor, this helps little bit to lower the noise during high loads. The fan itself was inaudible in non overclocked system even during full load the maximum noise level was aroung 37dB(A) but there was no whine or any kind of high pitch disturbing noise at all. Alhough, giving the fan full power it spins @2500RPM producing significantly more noise of 45db(A).
We have tested the cooler also with overclocked CPU to 4.7GHz just for fun. Of course, we have been awaiting that this cooler will fail as it was definitively not designed for OC, but if we can, we have to try it. The cooler handled the extra heat for at least 10 minutes, but after that the heat exceed 85°C which has led to auto stop of the testing. In real life this situation will probably never happen. What we wanted to show is the capability of this cooler in extreme conditions.
Size of the cooler guarantees that there will be no conflict with RAM modules or any other components around the cooler. Looking at the long compatibility list provided by Noctua we actually can see only few mainboards not to be compatible.
Noctua NH-L9x65 Specifications:
|Socket compatibility||Intel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3(Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)|
|Height (without fan)||51 mm|
|Width (without fan)||95 mm|
|Depth (without fan)||95 mm|
|Height (with fan)||65 mm|
|Width (with fan)||95 mm|
|Depth (with fan)||95 mm|
|Weight (without fan)||340 g|
|Weight (with fan)||413 g|
|Material||Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating|
|Max. TDP||see TDP guide|
|Fan compatibility||92x92x14, 92x92x25|
|Scope of Delivery||NF-A9x14 PWM premium fan|
|Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)|
|NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound|
|SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit|
|Noctua Metal Case-Badge|
|Model||Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM|
|Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)||2500 RPM|
|Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)||1800 RPM|
|Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)||600 RPM|
|Max. Airflow||57,5 m³/h|
|Max. Airflow with L.N.A.||40,8 m³/h|
|Max. Acoustical Noise||23,6 dB(A)|
|Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.||14,8 dB(A)|
|Input Power||2,52 W|
|Voltage Range||12 V|
|MTBF||> 150.000 h|
To ensure that the results from one review to another are comparable, the Testing Methodology will be the same throughout all reviews, otherwise we will make a note if somethings changed and keep it separately from other results.
All testing was done on test Bench-table with a room ambient temperature of 22- 23°C and if temperature changes we will add delta T °C to the results.
Before testing we run 10 minutes of Prime95 followed by 30 minutes of idling. This warm up period was done at stock CPU core frequency. For noise testing we ensure the PSU fan is isolated or using fanless PSU. We mostly do fan noise test over night so we have our room as silent as possible.
We take values at IDLE and full load – where all fans are running at their maximum RPM.
Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-4790K
MB: Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87
SSD: Samsung 830 – 128GB
RAM: 8GB Kingston DDR3-1600
PSU: SilverStone Nightjar 520W Platinum
Bench-table: Phobya WaCoolT Bench-table
OS: MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Software: OCCT 4.4.1, Easy Tune
For testing we used OCCT software and between each test we leave the PC at least 15 minutes to rest so that the temperature went back to the IDLE state. Followed by overclocking with help of Easy Tune Software (for Gigabyte mainboard) or for ASUS mainboard (BIOS CPU Ratio only). Each test lasted for 15 minutes. If the temperature of any CPU core exceeded 85°C the test was automatically turned off and the value of the results we have marked as “failed”. The resulting temperature in the tables are the average temperature of all cores. The results of the tests are influenced by many factors such as: the amount of thermal paste, pressure between the processor and CPU block, humidity, thermal conductivity of thermal paste, etc.. Therefore this results should be considered as indicative only.
For this test we were using it’s own thermal paste provided by manufacturer.
Intel® Core™ i7-4790K Processor
(*lower is better)
Intel ® Core™ i7-4790K Processor
(*lower is better)
Noctua NH-L9x65 is a solid and sleek looking low profile cooler and a decent update of its predecessor. It’s delivering as much cooling performance as needed and it’s perfectly suitable for low profile cases or HTPC. It is frankly very quiet cooler and we can see the performance of its small but very capable static pressure optimized fan. Do not expect to use it for overclocking even though it can take high temperatures but only for very short time. Overall quality and performance/size was enough to earn our Gold recommendation.