The NH-L9a is a low-profile quiet cooler designed for use in small form factor cases and HTPC environments. While it provides first rate performance in its class, it is not suitable for overclocking and should not be used on CPUs with more than 65W TDP (Thermal Design Power). Please see the following table for our detailed recommendations and also read the explanations below:
65W or less
CPU temperatures depend on various different factors, so please take note of the explanations below and keep in mind that our recommendations can only serve as general guidelines for typical setups.
1) Our recommendations are based on an ambient temperature of 25°C or less. Please ensure good case ventilation when ambient temperature is 30°C or more.
2) Our recommendations assume that the cooler is installed in a typically equipped, properly ventilated HTPC system. If you are using particularly hot components inside your system, it may be necessary to use stronger case ventilation to ensure sufficient CPU cooling performance.
3) Our recommendations assume that the fan is used with PWM control (configured so that it can speed up to 100% when necessary) but without the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor. If you would like to use the NH-L9a with the supplied Low-Noise Adaptors, we recommend choosing CPUs with less than 65W TDP.
16.04.2014 - hardCOREware.netNH-D15
Test verdict: "So there you have it – the NH-D15 is tied for the highest performing air cooler we have ever tested, as it comes out of the box. It is even more impressive when you consider the noise level – other coolers may match it, but you pay for that with added noise." (Carl Nelson, hardCOREware.net)
16.04.2014 - LanOC.orgNH-U12S
Test verdict: "All in all the NH-U12S is a quality product with that trademark Noctua premium feel. The larger amount of space is a pleasant thing to see and even in double fan mode the NH-U12S will provide clearance for the newer quad-channel RAM motherboards. With all this performance in a smaller, easy to install package it is nice to see that the age of the air cooler has not yet passed." (William Deborde, LanOC.org)
15.04.2014 - Modders-Inc.comNH-D15
Test verdict: "Out of all the top three tested however, the Noctua NH-D15 has an advantage in terms of having a lower sound profile and a far simpler yet effective installation procedure. The NH-D15 also has the advantage of a 6-year warranty, the longest offered by any CPU cooler manufacturer. For this, the Noctua NH-D15 earns the Modders-Inc Must Have Award." (Ron Perillo, Modders-Inc.com)
15.04.2014 - bit-tech.netNH-U12S
Test verdict: "Where the NH-U12S excels is actually being inaudible outside a case - you literally can't make it out amongst other case fans or a graphics card. This is where the extra cash is going - not in cooling but in offering similar performance to other, cheaper air coolers but with a significantly lower noise level." (Antony Leather, bit-tech.net)