Noctua NH-L9x65 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Test Results

Our test configuration is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K (Stock settings)
Motherboard: Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 Series Black Mamba DDR3 16GB (2x8GB)
Graphics: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB
Chassis: SilverStone Kublai KL05B-W
Power: SilverStone Strider Gold S ST85F-GS 850W
Storage: SanDisk Ultra II 240GB; Western Digital Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64

Compared hardware:
- Noctua NH-L9x65 (Single/LNA)
- Noctua NH-L9x65 (Single)
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M
- Noctua NH-C14 (Dual Fan)
- Noctua NH-C14 (Single Fan Bottom)
- SilverStone Tundra TD02-E
- SilverStone Tundra TD03-E
- Intel Stock

All tests were run in our custom built computer to best reflect real life performance. The computer remained in the same place and room throughout all tests. The ambient room temperature in the room was around 21c. The thermal paste applied to each cooler was stock respective to their manufacturers to rate its performance; all pastes had sufficient time for them to fully settle. The fan on all heatsinks were connected to the same motherboard 4-pin connector, and the tests performed on the Noctua fans were done with the low-noise adapters, where specified. The test computer was turned on and idling for at least one hour for the idling tests. High CPU load results were obtained using the Prime95 in place large FFTs test with four worker threads for a minimum of ten minutes, and recorded when the temperature was deemed stable.

Using the Intel stock cooler we have become familiar with here at APH Networks, we were able to find the delta to standardize performance against other coolers. In addition, we compared the Noctua NH-L9x65 with another Noctua cooler, namely the NH-C14. The other coolers we chose were liquid coolers and are structurally different, but were present for perspective's sake. The temperature results for each cooler was measured with CoreTemp, which reports the CPU's integrated digital thermal sensor for maximum accuracy. Each temperature result was calculated by taking the maximum value of the cores inside the CPU.

For the idle test we put the NH-L9x65 through first, we waited for a full hour before checking its temperature. From the graph above, the Noctua NH-L9x65 produced a result of 29 degrees Celsius in its single fan configuration, and 31 degrees Celsius with the low-noise adapter. Compared with the Intel stock cooler, which produced a temperature of 30c, the low-profile cooler kept up with the stock heatsink. This was surprising, because I was hoping the Noctua cooler would outperform the stock cooler. However, when we compared the NH-L9x65 against the NH-C14, the temperatures for both were similar, with differences of only a few degrees Celsius. As idle temperature results do not show what Noctua has designed the NH-L9x65 to do, we attempted to push its limits using Prime95.

Prime95 is not a new program to us, as we have put many products through it in previous reviews. Using Prime95, we were able to fully load the cores on the computer, and push it to its absolute limits. This was exactly what we got with the Intel stock cooler; it produced temperatures of nearly 80 degrees Celsius under full load. Surely this was unacceptable, and I am glad to say none of the staff here at APH Networks still run their systems using the Intel stock cooler. The results from the Noctua NH-L9x65 had a much better average temperature at 63c and 66c, at single fan configuration and single fan configuration with low-noise adapter, respectively. This was a difference of almost 20 degrees in comparison to the Intel stock cooler. Although it did not rank anywhere near the top of the list of results, I was still very pleased with the performance of the NH-L9x65. It provided a high level of cooling with respect to its size as a low-profile cooler.

At APH Networks, we are all very picky with sound, as it directly affect the computing experience. For the Noctua NH-L9x65, on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is absolute silence, and 10 is the definition of loud, I would rate the NH-L9x65 at 2.0/10 during idle, and 4.0/10 under full load. Since the NH-L9x65 has the new and improved version of the NF-A9 PWM, it is quieter for day to day use. During load situations when your computer is pushed to its limits, you will notice a difference in how much noise produced by the fan. However, the difference is not significant, as the noise is otherwise unnoticeable in normal use. Noctua has done a good job of creating a cooler that is on point when it comes to delivering performance as a silent killer in a compact size

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results
4. Conclusion