Final Thoughts about the Noctua NH-L9x65
Deceptively simple looking with its 95×95 square layout and short stature, make no mistake, the Noctua NH-L9x65 is a serious piece of cooler engineering. While the original NH-L9 was about getting the shortest height possible, it understandably lacked the performance with its mere 37mm height and dual-heatpipe design. The NH-L9x65 on the other hand adds two more heatpipes, increases the height 1.7x and cools 20C better on average. The added cooling headroom also allows the NH-L9x65 flexibility in terms of running the fan at lower speeds. Even with the bundled NF-A9x14 PWM fan is lowered to 1800 RPM (via bundled Low-noise Adapter) it still performed reasonably well.
Lowering the fan speed down to 1500 RPM makes the NF-A9x14 fan virtually inaudible, even in an open setup and registered 35.7 dB(A). Even in this lowered fan speed, it was on par with the Deepcool Gabriel cooler which uses a 120mm fan at 1800RPM. Running the NH-L9x54 at 1800 RPM is the sweet spot, losing only 2.7 C on average compared to 2500 RPM while lowering the noise level down from 41.7 to 38.2. Of course, since it is a PWM fan, running it in PWM mode also results in a much quieter experience overall with its massive fan control range.
There was zero clearance issues encountered and the 95×95 layout is exactly within the LGA1150 Intel “keep-out zone”. There is even allowance and mounting support for 25mm thick fan such as a Noctua NF-A9 for better performance. Build quality and fully furnished accessories are the standard Noctua, which means no half-measures or cost-cutting was taken. The same level of care and extras provided for the flagship NH-D15 is not spared on the “lowly” NH-L9x65. This is one low-profile cooler that has touch-the-sky performance and not just reaches for the bar, but sets a new one entirely.