Noctua NH-L9x65 Reviewred454 -
Category: CPU Cooling
» Discuss this article (0)
Noctua NH-L9x65 Introduction:
Noctua has a rock solid reputation as a high-end manufacturer of fans and CPU coolers. It is difficult to find a better performing product line. Look in the signatures of hardcore enthusiasts on any computer tech forum and you are certain to find many Noctua coolers listed. Of course, all this performance doesn't just happen. An immense amount of engineering goes into the designs of its fans and coolers, and while many may try to imitate, there is only one Noctua. Typically I have one of the monster coolers to review - you know, the ones from Hell's Kitchen that taunt you to turn up the heat. They have massive fin stacks and often use 140mm fans to form a cooling solution that overclockers rely on to keep their CPUs from being cooked.
But not today. Instead we have the NH-L9x65, a cooler from the other end of the spectrum. The NH-L9x65 is an L-Type, low profile cooler targeted toward small builds, particularly the compact HTPC (Home Theater PC) or Small Form Factor cases with limited CPU clearance. AIO (All in One) liquid coolers are certainly nice, but space is a premium in these small builds and more often than not there is no room for the radiator. And of course, it is hard to beat the reliability of good old air cooling.
So let's get a closer look at the latest from Noctua.
Noctua NH-L9x65 Closer Look:
Noctua has used a common theme for its standard graphics and packaging design for several year now, and the packaging is easily recognizable. This layout features information on all sides, which I really like, but not a clear shot of the entire cooler. The vertical text on the front is lightly embossed and adds a touch of class. There is also an embossed round silver badge stating that this is a Performance-enhanced version of the award-winning NH-L9. Across the front we have a list of the detailed specifications, including 100% RAM compatability on Intel platforms and 100% compatability with PCIe cards on ITX motherboards. On the back is a brief description of the features (in eight languages) that make the NH-L9x65 a top-notch product.
The top of the box shows the same list of the detailed specifications as the front, and carries the same style of graphics with the embossed model text (minus the round badge). I suppose the ghostly partial images of the cooler add to the mystique of Noctua, but I wouldn't mind a nice shot of the entire cooler somewhere on the box.
One side panel features technical specifications and the opposite side offers more details on some of the unique features of the NH-L9x65, which I will state again: 100% RAM compatibility on Intel boards and 100% compatibility with PCIe cards on ITX motherboards. These features are particularly important on Small Form Factor builds. It is hard to not get excited whenever I have a new Noctua box in my hands!
Open the main box and immediately you will see the hardware / accessory box on top. Noctua puts a lot of effort into packaging that protects the contents, so I expect this small cooler to be no different. The hardware box has graphics that show the contents of the box. I really like the way Noctua organizes your experience from the moment you open the box.
The main box contains the hardware box and the cooler itself. In typical Noctua style, the cooler is well-protected by what I have to say is an exercise in elaborate cardboard oragami. Noctua puts a lot of effort into the package design. I think you could drop it off the top of a five-story parking garage and it would be just fine. After you get the cooler out of the packaging, you can see just how small the cooler is, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, especially in the RAM clearance department.
The hardware set features Noctua's classic SecuFirm2™ mounting system and includes mounting for the latest Intel and AMD sockets. And again, as is typical with Noctua, the instructions are very clear and the illustrations are printed in color. Noctua goes the extra mile to make the installation process as easy as it can be.