Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile CPU Cooler

Cooling
Viewing page 4 of 5 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next

Stock Fan Measurements

Specifications: Noctua NH-L9i
Manufacturer
Power Rating
2.52 W
Model Number
NF-A9x14 PWM
Airflow Rating
40.8 ~ 57.5 m³/h
Bearing Type
SSO2
Speed Rating
300 ~ 2500 RPM
Corners
Closed
Noise Rating
14.8 ~ 23.6 dBA
Frame Size
92 x 92 x 14 mm
Header Type
4-pin
Blade Diameter
86 mm
Starting Voltage
4.3 V
Hub Size
33 mm
Weight
70 g
Data in green cells provided by the manufacturer or observed; data in the blue cells were measured.

The NH-L9i sports a thin 92 mm fan with a rotational speed of 2500 RPM and a very short, 20 cm 4-pin cable. It's from a new generation of Noctua fans that look nothing like the previous models aside from the color scheme. Noticeably absent are their famous "vortex control notches" on the struts and blades, though there are a few ridges on the intake side. Furthermore, the blade corners are more rounded, giving it a classic torpedo style design.

The 92 mm stock fan had excellent acoustics, producing a very smooth profile. Aside from turbulence at higher speeds, the sound generated was pleasant throughout the range we tested and we didn't perceive any tonality. It's a vast improvement over mismatched fans of the larger NH-L12.

Stock Fan Measurements
Voltage
Speed
SPL@1m
12V
2430 RPM
34 dBA
9V
2020 RPM
28 dBA
7V
1710 RPM
22 dBA
6V
1530 RPM
18 dBA
5V
1330 RPM
15 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from the center of the heatsink.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

The fan reacted quite linearly on voltage control, peaking at 34 dBA@1m at top speed speed and dipping down to a very quiet 15 dBA@1m at 5V. The starting voltage of the fan was only 4.3 V so we didn't see cause to push it any lower. With the fan running at the nominal 12V, the included low noise adapter brought the speed down to about 1800 RPM which is equivalent to approximately 8V. However, with PWM control you can make it effectively inaudible so it really isn't necessary in most cases.

Test Results

Noctua NH-L9i
Fan Voltage
Fan Speed
SPL@1m
°C Rise above Ambient
CPU
VRM
RAM
Stock Fan
12V
2430 RPM
34 dBA
46
26
20
9V
2020 RPM
28 dBA
51
32
26
7V
1710 RPM
22 dBA
54
37
28
6V
1530 RPM
18 dBA
56
40
30
5V
1330 RPM
15 dBA
61
46
32
Reference Nexus 92mm Fan
12V
1420 RPM
19~20 dBA
55
38
26
9V
1150 RPM
14 dBA
63
48
32

For such a short heatsink, simply surviving our test without our overclocked/overvolted CPU throttling is in accomplishment. The NH-L9i performed fairly well, staying 20°C below the throttling point at the lowest tested speed. The fan became what we consider quiet between 1700 and 1500 RPM which is fairly close to the performance sweet spot. Surprisingly when we strapped on our thicker Nexus 92 mm reference fan, we didn't see any improvement.



Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next

Cooling - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!
Search: