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Noctua NH-L9i Review

ccokeman    -   January 23, 2013
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Noctua NH-L9i Testing:

Testing of Noctua NH-L9i low profile CPU cooler will be accomplished by installing the cooler into the test system mounted into a case not a test bench. Most systems are built and mounted into a sealed (relatively) chassis so this method will be used to generate the load and idle results to give a real world view as to what kind of cooling performance one can expect based on the test system listed below. Of course your results may vary due to case design and ambient air temperature by several degrees. The CPU load is generated by Prime 95 version 27.7 for a period of 2 hours, with a cool down period of one hour after the computer has returned to an idle state. Real Temp 3.70 is used to log the temperatures over the time frame, with the highest and lowest averages across the four cores of the Core i7 2600K test CPU. Ambient temperatures are kept at 24C throughout the testing to minimize the impact of a variable temperature. Each cooler is tested with the manufacturer supplied thermal compound as delivered. Many of us have our own TIM favorites, but for the end user without a half dozen tubes of thermal paste laying around, the supplied TIM will have to do and is how these coolers will be tested.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Coolers:






 

   

 

   

 

At stock speeds and voltages on the Core i7 2600K processor, Noctua's low profile NH-L9i was able to deliver a solid 13+% improvement of 10C, over the 73C load temperature delivered by the Intel box cooling solution. On top of that, it shaved 4C off the load temperature delivered by the the other low profile cooler in this comparison, the Phanteks TC90LS. With only a 65W TDP load capacity, these temperatures are a solid improvement when run on a higher wattage CPU than it is rated for. The other low profile solutions in the comparison failed to keep the CPU temps in check, with my overclocked settings. 96C is in no way kept in check, but at least Noctuas design kept the load temperature under 100C. It's not recommended to run that close to the TJ Max temp, but it was able to stay under that limit without throttling.




  1. Noctua NH-L9i Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Noctua NH-L9i Closer Look: Continued
  3. Noctua NH-L9i Specifications & Features
  4. Noctua NH-L9i Testing:Setup & Results
  5. Noctua NH-L9i Conclusion
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