Monday, August 17, 2015

Noctua Dual Heatsink LGA2011 Review



Noctua’s CPU coolers consistently offer great build quality, and while the company is perhaps better known for monstrous yet quiet coolers such as the NH-D15, it makes much smaller offerings such as the NH-D9L too

The tiny NH-D9L measures just 110mm high, and costs around $60, which might seem expensive for such a small CPU cooler, but it manages to justify its price tag. For starters, the packaging is superb. All the parts are neatly packed into their own small boxes, all of which fit precisely into the main box with no wasted space. You can quickly and easily pick out the parts you need for your particular setup, making installation easier.

There’s a generous helping of thermal paste – enough for several mounts – and the cooler itself is positively gorgeous. It’s extremely well made, compact and Noctua’s fan clips are joyously simple to use compared with those used by many competitors. The NH-D9L itself sports two small aluminium heatsink stacks, fed by four 6mm heatpipes. These heatpipes, and the base of the cooler, are made from nickel-plated copper.

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A single 92mm fan is sandwiched between the two heatsink stacks, which might seem inadequate for a small CPU cooler that Noctua claims can tame LGA2011-v3 CPUs. However, the reputation of Noctua’s fans precedes them, and this particular PWM model can spin up to 2,000rpm while producing less than 23dB(A) of noise.

Noctua also includes a low-noise fan adapter that drops the voltage for quieter noise levels and a slower spin speed. An additional set of fan c lips is supplied too, enabling you to add another NF-A9 fan should you so wish.

Installing the NH-D9L is simple, just requiring you to secure two mounting plates to the motherboard, which are then secured to sprung screws on the heatsink. A long screwdriver is included, as you need to remove the fan to reach the screws, but it’s very straightforward.

Cooling ability was remarkable for the cooler’s size, although the fan was certainly audible at full speed outside of the case. Our LGA1150 CPU was only 5°C warmer than with Corsair’s H75, although using the low-noise adapter added another 5°C. It was perfectly able to deal with our overclocked LGA2011 CPU too, actually bettering the result from Corsair’s H80i GT on its medium fan speed. It couldn’t keep up with the DeepCool Assassin II on either test system, but the results are still remarkable for a small cooler.

The Noctua NH-D9L is a capable cooler, despite its small size, and it also offers great build quality and easy installation. If you need a small and relatively quiet cooler that can cope with reasonable overclocks, the NH-D9L has a great design that’s more than up to the job.


VERDICT

A compact, well-made CPU cooler that can cope with overclocked CPUs, even on Intel’s top-end CPU sockets


SPECIFICATIONS

Compatibility
Intel: LGA2011, LGA2011-v3, LGA115x;
AMD: Socket AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1
Heatsink size with fans (mm): 95 x 95 x 110 (W x D x H)
Fans: 1x92mm Stated noise: Up to 22.8dB(A)

By Antony Leather

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