360° View - Noctua NH-D9L Heatsink
Information on Frostytech's test methodology is
The NH-D9L heatsink stands 114mm
tall and is fitted with a 92x92x25mm NF-A9 PWM fan that
rotates at 2000RPM. Power is supplied by a standard 4-pin mobo header. A second
fan can be attached, increasing the NH-D9L's length to 122mm. The nickel plated aluminum fins measure 0.4m thick
and are spaced 1.75mm apart. Heatpipes are spaced roughly 18mm on
The Noctua NH-D9L utilizes two 67mm tall stacks of
nickel plated aluminum fins soldered to four 6mm
diameter copper heat pipes. The lowest cooling fin is elevated 35mm for motherboard clearance. The
copper heat spreader measures 2-5mm thick. Wire fan clips have low-profile thumb tabs which
make fan removal easy, but don't stick out so far as to get in the
way of things like PCIe videocards.
The base of the Noctua NH-D9L heatsink is made
from a punched and machined block of copper
which is nickel plated. All four copper
heatpipes are soldered to the center of this baseplate. The base has a machined
surface finish and measures 38x40mm. Looking at the top of the heatsink we can
see that each aluminum fin is 95 x 33mm in size and
features a small recess to create natural plenums fore and aft of the fan. Fans can be mounted
on the front or rear sides.
Base Finish and Flatness
Flipping a heatsink over to inspect the business
end is often a simple indicator of overall cooler quality. More practically
speaking, a heatsink is in many ways only as effective as the contact it makes
with the processor - the flatter and smoother the better. Base finish is one of
the criteria that Frostytech measure in the course of evaluating heatsinks, and
it involves two distinct aspects. Surface Finish is the first; this is
calculated with the aid of Surface Roughness Comparator that has a cross section
of common machine surface finishes and their numerical surface roughness
equivalents in microinches. The second is Surface Flatness. This is tested with
an engineer's straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axes.
Noctua NH-D9L heatsink uses a nickel-plated copper base plate which
is machined very smooth, surface roughness is at or better than ~8 microinches. The base is
very slightly concave in the axis parallel to the heatpipes, very slightly convex
in the opposite direction.
Sound level measurements are coming up next on Frostytech...