frostytech's socket LGA2011 Intel synthetic thermal test platform stresses socket LGA2011/1366 compatible heatsinks with a 200W heat load. Keep in mind that the AMD Integrated Heat Spreader and Intel LGA2011 Integrated Heat Spreader both measure ~38x38mm, so these test results can be extrapolated to AMD processor scenario's as well.
With a 200W heat load applied by the Intel LGA2011/1366 version of FrostyTech's synthetic thermal test platform, the low profile Noctua NH-L9x65 heatsink is only able to yield a satisfactory temperature result of 44.8°C over ambient at stock fan speed. Reducing fan speed to 1800RPM results in a less than satisfactory result of 56.0°C over ambient.
If we filter the 200W Intel heatsink reference chart down to sub-65mm tall and sub-110mm wide coolers, the Noctua NH-L9x65 is the best cooler thus far tested for the LGA2011 platform. Although the NH-L9x65 heatsink doesn't support LGA1366 processors, a couple LGA1366 low profile heatsinks do come out ahead for the sake of argument, by up to 15.7°C.
Ultimately, where sub-65mm tall and sub-110mm wide low profile coolers are required, the Noctua NH-L9x65 doesn't exactly stand out when it comes to sheer cooling performance. However, in terms of current generation processor socket compatibility and the availability of the legacy model heatsinks we've mentioned, there really aren't many low profile alternatives.
As a final note, we can't help but think that the Noctua NH-L9x65 heatsink we tested was held back by reduced contact surface area due to its convex base plate... so there's that, too.
"Like many other manufacturers, we we deliberately manufacture our heatsinks with a slightly convex base because it allows for better results on most of today's CPUs. The reason for this is that with LGA115x CPUs, the IHS is deformed by the pressure from the ILM pads, so while they are usually fairly flat as such, they become concave in one axis once you put them in the socket and close the ILM. As a result, heatsinks with a slightly convex base that matches this structure can provide significantly better results. On AMD, we usually see slightly better results with convex bases as well, mostly due to the increased pressure on the center of the IHS. On LGA2011-3, flat and convex bases generally perform the same. While there is some variance from CPU to CPU, in sum, users will see better results with slightly convex bases. We are aware that a convex base represents a drawback on synthetic test platforms such as the one used by Frostytech.com, which use flat heating elements, but since our customers demand the best possible performance on real world CPUs, this is what we optimise our designs for." (Jakob Dellinger, Noctua Press and PR)
The Top 5 best heatsinks for low noise and low temperature are ranked here. For more reviews on the latest heatsinks and cooling solutions, rely on FrostyTech's inventory of 400+ heatsink reviews. Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as well.
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