BD Hopkins wrote:
Thank for you taking the time to do this review. From a viewpoint that embraces relatively minimalist case dimensions and collateral cooling for the MOSFET and voltage regulators, I appreciate this two-part investigation into top-down coolers.
That said, why weren't the Noctua NH-C12P results included? I suppose you had to draw the line at some point, but it's only 3mm taller with a standard 120mm fan than the NT06-E included in your review.
If I'm not mistaken, all mainstream graphics cards are around 111mm in height, and if you go with the latest Nvidia family, you can add about another 25.4mm of height to comfortably accommodate the 6-pin power connectors (plus their wires, bent gently in an L-shape) that shoot up perpendicular to the length of the cards. From my perspective, a low-profile cooler is anything that comes in below about 136.4mm. I admit, however, that that my perspective is fairly rare as a scratch case builder. And as such, I don't know what heights many 'low-profile' cases support.
If the Noctua fits in it, then the case isn't really small or low profile -- ditto the NT06 with fan. You'll recall the NT06 was meant to be used w/o fan in a Silverstone SU05/06.
Lots of "desktop", SFF or HTPC cases don't allow for full height PCI cards or anywhere near 136.4mm vertical space. Even if that much space was available, you'd have to strike 25mm off for fan intake clearance unless there's a good vent directly above.