New 92mm-fan Tower Coolers from Noctua

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Before thermal testing, we took some basic physical measurements.

Approximate Physical Measurements
520 g + 100 g fan 440 g +100 g fan
Height 125 mm 110 mm
Fin count 41 35 x 2
Fin thickness
0.4 mm 0.4 mm
Fin spacing
1.8 mm 1.7 mm
Vertical Clearance*
40 mm 43 mm
* measured from motherboard PCB to bottom fin of heatsink

Small Heatsink Comparison:
Average Fin Thickness & Spacing
Fin Thickness
Fin Spacing
Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev.B
0.29 mm
1.13 mm
Noctua NH-L9i
0.44 mm
1.16 mm
Scythe Big Shuriken
0.33 mm
1.19 mm
Reeven Vanxie
0.28 mm
1.39 mm
Reeven Arcziel
0.28 mm
1.41 mm
Cooler Master GeminII M4
0.29 mm
1.46 mm
Noctua NH-L12
0.49 mm
1.51 mm
Scythe Kozuti
0.12 mm
1.69 mm
Noctua NH-D9L
0.40 mm
1.70 mm
Noctua NH-U12S
0.45 mm
1.72 mm
Scythe Samurai ZZ
0.33 mm
1.74 mm
Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M
0.43 mm
1.78 mm
Noctua NH-U9S
0.40 mm
1.80 mm
Prolimatech Panther
0.53 mm
1.80 mm
SilverStone Argon AR02
0.30 mm
1.85 mm
Phanteks PH-TC90LS
0.47 mm
1.90 mm

Testing on smaller heatsinks like these is done on our LGA1155 heatsink testing platform. A summary of the test system and procedure follows.

Key Components in LGA1155 Heatsink Test Platform:

  • Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge core, LGA1155, 3.1 GHz, 45nm, 95W TDP, overclocked/volted to 3.6 GHz and 1.300V.
  • Intel DP67BG ATX motherboard. P67 chipset.
  • Asus EAH3450 Silent graphics card.
  • Kingston SSDNow V 30GB 2.5" solid-state drive.
  • OCZ Platinum Extreme Low Voltage DDR3 memory. 2 x 2 GB, DDR3-1333 in dual channel.
  • Seasonic X-400 SS-400FL 400W ATX power supply. Passively cooled
  • Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound

The system is silent under the test conditions, except for the CPU cooling fan(s).

When appropraite, our reference fan(s) is used in place of the stock fans.

Reference Nexus 92 mm fan
Anechoic chamber measurements
17 dBA
14 dBA
12 dBA

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Extech 380803 AC power analyzer / data logger for measuring AC system power.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate the fan speed during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer: SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our standard fan testing methodology.
  • AIDA64 system monitoring utility.
  • SpeedFan, used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensors. The sensors are not calibrated, so results are not universally applicable. The hottest core reading is used.
  • Prime95, used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than any real application. All cores and threads are used to ensure full stress.
  • CPU-Z, used to monitor the CPU speed to determine when overheating occurs.
  • Thermometers to measure the air temperature around the test platform and near the intake of the heatsink fan.

Noise measurements are made with the fans powered from the lab's variable DC power supply while the rest of the system is off to ensure that system noise do not skew the measurements.

Load testing was accomplished using Prime95 to stress the processor, and the graph function in SpeedFan was used to ensure that the load temperature is stable for at least ten minutes. The temperature recorded is the highest single core reading. The stock fans were tested at various voltages to represent a good cross-section of airflow and noise performance.

The ambient conditions during testing were 10~11 dBA and 21~23°C.

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