Noctua NH-L9x65 Review: Noctua Nano?

Can premium compact cooling provide premium compact cooling?

Noctua NH-L9x65
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

For our CPU cooling tests, we use the same hardware, overclock and configuration for each test to minimize environment variables in testing. This allows for all results across all coolers tested on the platform to be viable as side-by-side examination for direct compare and contrast. Note though, that our test setup for compact systems uses a different CPU and case than our standard cooling setup.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CPUIntel i3-8350k LGA1151 (Coffee Lake), all 4 cores  4.0 Ghz
MotherboardASRock H370M-ITX/ac
MemorySuperTalent DDR4-3000 (2x8GB)
StorageInland m.2 2280 NVMe, 256GB
GraphicsGigabyte GTX 1050Ti
Power SupplySilverstone SX800-LTI (SFX-L)
ChassisSilverstone LD03
MonitoringCrystalFontz CFA-633-TMI-KU, 4x Dallas One Wire WR-DOW-Y17 sensors
Fan ControlCorsair Commander Pro, 100%/50% PWM Speed profiles (liquid cooling pump always @100%, if applicable)
OSWindows 10 Pro 64bit
Networking Disconnected, not used
Thermal CompoundArctic MX-4

Comparisons are based on data collected from testing performed on our Intel Core i3-8350K system. 

Prime95 v29.4b8 (no AVX) is used for two-hour intervals, one managing fans at 50% PWM and the other at 100% PWM with RPM measurements being taken every 3 seconds and averaged across the duration of each 2-hour capture. Omitting AVX instruction sets allows for accurate, 100% loads at chosen clock speeds, while allowing AVX instructions would provide higher, albeit, unrealistic synthetic CPU loads and excessive heat production, less indicative of real-world use. 

HWInfo64 is used for real-time core temperature readout, thermal throttling alerts, motherboard power consumption, CPU speed and logging of data, while a CrystalFontz CFA-633-TMI-KU is used to monitor and later average both ambient room (2 probes) and motherboard voltage regulator heatsink (2 probes) temperatures.

Garrett Carver
CPU Cooling Reviewer

Garrett Carver is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering thermal compound comparisons and CPU cooling reviews; both air and liquid, including multiple variations of each.

  • MasterZoen
    I used this in a ITX build for a friend, but Noctua changed their compatibility listings a year later and claim it's no longer suitable for the CPU in his rig, an i5-4690K . I'm curious as to how the cooler compares to a 120 AIO like the Corsair H60.
  • agello24
    i have been a fan of TH for years. i STILL dont understand their graphs for cpu coolers. why not post the temp vs this over ambient temp stuff? the max fan temp is 49 over ambient, but 50% is 36. i dont get this.