A Closer Look at the Noctua NH-L9x65
Again, like with most CPU coolers, the packaging is far from exciting, mostly made from cardboard which not only protects the heatsink, but keeps the accessories organized. In a measure to keep the review interesting we always omit boring stuff, so let’s get going. In this section we will look over the included accessories of the Noctua NH-L9x65, as well as taking a look at the physical details of the cooler.
It has always stricken me how far manufacturers can go in order to give buyers the feeling that what they are buying is much more than a cooler, but rather a luxury. Of course, Noctua is no exception. Along with the NH-L9x65, Noctua has included a tube of NT-H1 thermal compound, a low noise adapter for the included NF-A9x14 PWM fan, a Noctua metal case badge, and the SecuFirm 2 mounting system which has become standard on all Noctua products. It is one of my favorites as it includes three different manuals that go in much detail for each of the three mounting platforms (AMD, LGA 115x, and LGA 2011). a back-plate for installing the NH-L9x65 on Intel LGA 115x motherboards, two bags that hold the brackets and screws with labels to identify them from each other, and a magnetic screw driver.
Unlike most small heatsinks, the Noctua NH-L9x65 has a very dense fin array accompanied by four heatpipes that run from the bottom of the cooler across the center of the aluminum fin array. Each heatpipe is nickle plated mainly to prevent corrosion, but also for aesthetic purposes. Another reason to choose such a small cooler is compatibility, being in theory compatible with any motherboard or case out of the box, with the exception of the old LGA-77x socket, and the narrow ILM variant of the LGA-2011 socket. Measuring 95 mm x 95 mm means that you will not have any ram or PCI lane incompatibility, no matter which way you mount the NH-L9x65.
I usually rant a lot about not perfectly machined base plates on high-end CPU coolers, after all no matter how small the Noctua NH-L9x65 is it is not a cheap product. Our sample of the LH-L9x65 has no notorious mistakes on it’s overall finish of the base plate and was absolutely flawless as we expect from any Noctua cooler. Having a perfectly machined base plate with no errors should yield better performance as there will be no place for air pockets to form between the TIM and the base of the cooler.
At the side of the cooler we find the Noctua branding that you can find in almost all of their products. Above the branding is a 14 mm slim fan, which is an interesting move from Noctua considering how much pressure it will have to build to get air across the dense fin arrow below it. You can always replace it with a 25 mm standard fan but that would mean adding an extra 11 mm of height to a low profile cooler.