Testing Configuration and Benchmarks Used

To verify that the cooler kit operates up to specs, the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 CPU cooler was tested with the CPU running at stock speed using an AMD AM4 -based motherboard, so that comparative results could be provided for Ryzen based systems. The results are presented for the cooling kit under review as well as the Noctua NH-D15 CPU air cooler, the Noctua NH-L12, and the XSPC Raystorm Pro waterblock 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 AMD X370-based system
AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
Stock – 3.4GHz CPU, 34 x 100MHz FSB
Motherboard GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming 5
Memory AMD X370-based system
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 modules
Stock – 2400MHz, 16-18-18-35-1T, 1.225V
Hard Drive Intel 730 240GB SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA III HD
Sound Card On-board sound
Video Card NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB
CPU Cooling Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 CPU Air Cooler
Noctua NH-L12S CPU Air Cooler
Noctua NH-D15 CPU Air Cooler
XSPC Raystorm Pro waterblock with D5 Photon reservoir and RX480 radiator
Video Drivers NVIDIA 376.33
Power Supply Corsair HX750
Operating System Windows 10 Pro x64 Anniversary Release (build 1607)
Thermal Paste MG Chemicals 860-60G Silicone Heat Transfer Compound
Coolant XSPC D5 Photon reservoir with RX480 radiator loop
Distilled water w/ PTNuke

The 64-bit Windows 10 based test bench used for AMD X370 AM4 board testing includes an AMD Ryzen 7 1700X processor, 16GB of DDR4-2666 memory, an NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB video 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 v5.30.4300
  • EVGA OC Scanner X v3.6.1.2
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