Final words and conclusion
Final words and conclusion
The Noctua NH-L9x65 is a small form factor cooler and should be used as such. Our testing methodology and hardware used is not exactly what the Noctua NH-L9x65 was designed for, hence the somewhat high temperatures. Obviously overclocking was not an option in this case and circumstances. That said, with a lower spec processor things should look much better, and again, small form factor ... think silent HTPCs here as that si where the Noctua NH-L9x65 shines. Given the size of both coolers, it is hard to believe how well they in terms of noise though. I mean, this cooler is give or take 95x95mm and at default clock frequencies it still can tame the beast that is the Core i7 4790K well.
Aestethics & Design
Fot the Noctua NH-L9x65, the looks remain trivial. We stated many times that Noctua could really use a change in their color scheme in regards to their products. The brown/beige colors simply are not in line with today's high-end preferred and colored products. Despite the colors the end-users are willing to look away, as the quality of the coolers themselves are just too good, which matters more. Noctua, how about a black cooler with darker brown/beige fans? We do understand the dilemma at hand for Noctua though, Gigabyte uses Blue, ASUS ROG used Red and each company really has their own house color design and thus trademark for company branding. Also with that market growing, we would REALLY like to see Noctua engage the AIO Liquid cooler segment, an area where they could be very popular with their low-noise and high quality fans.
Cooling wise it performed okay average at best, but we do need to mention that we armed our test system with the difficult to cool Core i7 4970K, obviously on purpose as we test that other side of the spectrum (liquid cooling) on this setup as well. The default clock frequency performance is OK at best, nothing more, nothing less. Overclocking with a CPU like this is ill-advised though. With our 4790K processor at 1.3 Volts / 4600 MHz heat jumped to over 80 Degrees C, not recommended. Keep in mind though that in a lot of mITX configurations, this product is intended for mainstream CPUs with silent operation in mind.
Mind you that the prices below are suggested prices (MRP). Shave off another five bucks for each cooler once they are available in good volume in e-tail. The manufacturer suggested retail pricing is as follows:
- H-L9x65: EUR 44.90 / USD 52.90
For the NH-L9x65 you need to understand the purpose, silence. And that is intended for low-end to mainstream processors. We tested high-end/enthusiast level and that paints a little bit of a different picture. With its low profile, a suitable alternative to use in a HTPC or net / mainstream PC. Cooling performance is average when compared to full size models, but that was to be expected. The Core i7 4790K we used remains within acceptable temperature levels as long as we do not overclock it. The trade-off with the small form factor and relative average performance is an incredibly low noise level, you'll be hard pressed to be able to even hear noise coming from this puppy. So in that respect, the product ticks the right boxes as that is the sole purpose of this product. Installation is simple as mounting kit is superb, sturdy and easy to install. Sure the motherboard will need to come out, but the mounting design and ease of use in installation is top grade. Even a screwdriver is included in the kit. The noise levels are low, heck even if you can't PWM control the fans, a small resistor wire is included to force the fans at low RPM. The looks and aesthetics, well you either love or hate the Noctua design colors I guess, there is nothing in-between it and as such that remains trivial to discuss. The NH-L9x65 is a decent performing product, if you stick to say the Core i5 series the performance will be fine, the trick however remains the low noise level combined with the small form factor this product has to offer. The NH-L9x65 can be found in the stores as we speak and are covered by a 6-year carry in warranty. Recommended for those that need a tiny yet silent solution for their mainstream PC / HTPC / Net PC.
Handy related downloads: