Testing Configuration and Benchmarks Used

System mounted NH-D9L CPU Cooler

System mounted NH-U9S CPU Cooler

To verify that the cooler kit operates up to specs, both the Noctua NH-D9L CPU cooler and the NH-U9S CPU cooler were tested with the CPU running in both stock and at a known stable overclocking speed using both Z87-based and X99-based motherboards, so that comparative results could be provided for both Haswell and Hawell-E based systems. The results are presented for the cooling kits under review as well as the Noctua NH-D15 CPU air cooler, the XSPC Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 water cooling kit, and the Corsair H100i AIO CPU cooler for performance comparison purposes. The benchmark tests used should give you a good understanding of the Noctua CPU coolers capabilities so that you, the reader, can make a more informed purchasing decision. The comparison coolers were selected based on their superior performance capabilities.

Test System Setup
CPU Intel Z87-based system
Intel Core i7-4770K
Stock – 3.5GHz, 35 x 100MHz Base Clock
Overclocked – 4.68GHz, 28 x 167MHz Base Clock

Intel X99-based system
Intel Core i7-5960X
Stock – 3.0GHz, 30 x 100MHz Base Clock
Max Air Overclock – 4.25GHz, 34 x 125MHz Base Clock
Motherboard MSI Z87 MPOWER
ASUS X99-A
Memory Intel Z87-based system
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 modules
Stock – 1600MHz, 9-10-9-27-1T
Overclocked – 1780MHz, 9-10-9-27-1T

Intel X99-based system
Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 modules
Stock – 2133MHz, 15-17-17-35-2T
Overclocked – 2666MHz, 15-17-17-35-2T
Hard Drive Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
Intel 730 240GB SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA III HD
Sound Card On-board sound
Video Card Intel Z87-based system
NVIDIA GTX 570 1.25GB

Intel X99-based system
ASUS Poseidon GTX 780 3GB
CPU Cooling Noctua NH-D9L CPU Air Cooler
Noctua NH-U9S CPU Air Cooler
Noctua NH-D15 CPU Air Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series™ H100i Extreme Performance CPU Cooler
XSPC Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 V3 WaterCooling Kit
Video Drivers NVIDIA 335.23
Power Supply Corsair 650
Corsair HX750
Operating System Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Thermal Paste MG Chemicals 860-60G Silicone Heat Transfer Compound
Coolant XSPC Raystorm D5 Photon RX480 V3 kit
Koolance LIQ-702 High Performance Liquid Coolant

The 64-bit Windows 7 based test bench used for Intel Z87 LGA1150 board testing includes an Intel Core i7-4770K CPU, 16GB of DDR3-1866 memory, an NVIDIA GTX 570 1.25GB video card, and a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB or Intel 730 240GB SSD drive. Using the selected components gives us the ability to demonstrate the cooling system's capabilities rather than that of the system components.

The 64-bit Windows 7 based test bench used for Intel X99 LGA2011-v3 board testing includes an Intel Core i7-5960X CPU, 32GB of DDR4-2666 memory, an ASUS Poseidon GTX 780 3GB graphics card, and an Intel 730 240GB SSD drive. Using the selected components gives us the ability to demonstrate the cooling system's capabilities rather than that of the system components.

Benchmark Tests used for evaluation:

  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v4.30.2900 (Intel Z87-based testing)
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v5.00.3300 (Intel X99-based testing)
  • EVGA OC Scanner X v3.4.0.1
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