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  • HeatMiser - Thursday, April 26, 2007 - link

    Wes -- how far does this Noctua cooler hang over the edge of the motherboard closest to the Power supply? Just trying to figure out if I have room. Thanks for the great reviews on these coolers. Reply
  • Bumtrinket - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    It largely depends on the motherboard - if the CPU socket is close to the top edge, you could have problems if there's not much space between the mobo and PSU. This also applies to the Thermalright Ultra 120 and other similar designs. The design of the heatsink mounting lets you rotate it through 90 degrees, but that's not the preferred orientation.

    There's more info at Noctua's site, but they say this in the FAQs:

    "How much space between mainboard and power supply is required when the NH-U12 is installed upright?"

    "When installed upright (see picture below), the NH-U12 may jut out over the upper edge of the mainboard. In this case, the gap required between the upper edge of the mainboard and the power supply in the case is (depending on the position of the CPU socket on the mainboard) up to 25mm. Measured from the upper mounting holes of the CPU socket, the required distance to the power supply unit is 35mm."
  • n7 - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    I am a big fan of Noctua, so nice to see their heatsink do as well as i expected.

    Their fans are very good @ providing a mix of performance & realtive quietness, & it appears this heatsink is no different.

    I too would really like to see a TT Big Typhoon added to the reviews, mainly to see how it does compared to the new leaders, something the Typhoon used to be.

    I also look forward to seeing your testbed redone with a quieter PSU.

  • TA152H - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    OK, I read this article with some interest, and as usual find the remarks about fanless power supplies completely off-base.

    I mean, if you're measuring overclocking a CPU, or some high end gaming system, or some high-end Peltier cooler, I could see the point in not using a fanless power supply because such a power supply wouldn't be useful in that configuration. But, I don't buy power supplies with fans anymore, and guess what type of heatsink I go after when I buy them? Yes, very quiet ones. So, when you're testing a heatsink/fan that is made to be especially quiet, or for example, fanless video cards, you SHOULD test with a fanless power supply.

    I know most of the reviewers here think shooting space aliens is what everyone does, and they need 600 watt power supplies, but it's just not true. Most people in fact don't need anything that large, so try to think within the market of the product instead of personal preferences. I'm not knocking video games, by the way, they are a much better escape than drugs, or other bad things people do, or even TV. I'm just saying that you guys need to stop thinking everyone does this and needs equipment to handle these foul machines, especially when reviewing items that would never be put in one.
  • customcoms - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    I agree that in order to get more accurate noise ratings a more quiet system based on a fanless psu would achieve higher accuracy. However, anandtech tests have generally catered to enthusiasts and overclockers, and imo, these tests do that well. For starters, they compare cooling performance with noise as a secondary consideration (mainly to see if the cooler advertised is quiet, but as it sates in the article, they are more curious about its cooling/overclocking ability than the noise). Yes, anandtech is using what could be considered a "noisy" test bed, but X6800's and 7900GTX's don't exactly come to mind when I think "silent" pc. Nor do the power, hungry, hot Nvidia 680i based boards. I suggest looking elsewhere for reviews on components that make up silent pc's, such as"> I'll stick with anandtech's review because I could care less about noise if it lets me gain an extra 300mhz out of my processor. Reply
  • TA152H - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Then why review a heatsink that is focused on being quiet? You completely missed the point. I don't have a problem with them reviewing noisy items, but you don't review a heatsink/fan that is made to be especially quiet, with a noisy power supply or video card. If the heatsink were a cooling beast that didn't pay much mind to noise problems, absolutely go with appropriate stuff. People that want it will not care about noise with the other components. But when someone is considering getting a unit because it is quiet, you don't use a noisy baseline because that same person is likely to look for that same quality in their other components. Reply
  • Ajax9000 - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link


    The "proper" (but time consuming :-) thing to do would be to have a "performance" testbed (which is also investigated for noise as a secondary test), and a "silent" testbed (which is also investigated for overclockability as a secondary test). I.e. people who want "quiet" systems don't automatically excude overclocking, they are just less concerned about it (and vice versa).
  • Paradox999 - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Great review and comparison.
    As an owner of a Scythe Ninja equipped with a silent fan, I can attest to it's effectiveness.....but your batch of reviewed HSF's is missing my personal favorite, the Thermaltake Big Typhoon. It's one of the best at cooling nearby capacitors since the fan blows DOWNWARDS onto the motherboard. I've replaced the original fans for some slower and silent Silenx fans since the core2duo isn't as hot as my old overclocked 820D.

    Works awesome good.
    Do us all a favor and please include the Big Typhoon (and not it's weaker cousin, the Mini Typhoon) in your review
  • Spanki - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    I couldn't get my comments posted in here, so I added them as">a new thread in the forums. Reply
  • Deusfaux - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    "We also ran brief test results comparing the cooling efficiency and noise of the Scythe SFLEX SFF21F 64cfm/28 dB-A fan that was used in Thermalright reviews and the SilenX fan used in several of the most recent reviews. Cooling results were similar with either fan on the Noctua heatsink, with the SilenX providing better cooling on some overclocks. Both fans were quiet and came in below the noise floor of our test system, but the SilenX was subjectively quieter than the SFLEX. "

    REALLY. I have trouble believing this, but I guess we'll find out for sure in the upcoming roundup.
  • tk11 - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Enough with the heat sink reviews. They make something hot, cool... big deal... they're all virtually identical. Please review an interesting or useful technology before we all loose interest in the site. Reply
  • poohbear - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    lol they're all virtually identical eh? u obviously do NOT overclock. Reply
  • tk11 - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Actually I do overclock... by identical I was referring to the lack of innovation. The main differences between these coolers are size and styling, neither of which require technical analysis. Being a long time reader I was simply expressing my lack of interest in the latest series of reviews in hopes that anandtech will return to covering some of the more interesting technologies. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Speak for thyself, not others. Plenty of people read these; if you don't, feel free to move on. Reply
  • Jesse3G - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    I'm amused that you freely speak for others, but presume to restrict the privlege from another? Your post flirts with hypocrisy and the person you addressed brought up a valid opinion.

    Personally I'm surprised at the management decision on this cooling coverage. Why handle one at a time when this topic can clearly be consolidated into a comprehensive discussion of cooling??? A true "round-up" would compile all of these reviews into an inclusive article for each major cooling system category, with Anantech's enclosed suggestions of the best setups available.
  • SurJector - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    That would be nice to have those noise ratings: how does the stock fan compares with the SilenX and how much more noise the push-pull configuration makes ?

    Thanks for the reviews.
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    We did try SilenX with push pull and the noise ratings were still below the system noise floor set by the power supply. Cooling performance was roughly the same as the stock Noctua fans in push-pull and the overclock was not extended, so we saw no reason to pursue it further. The Noctua ultra low noise fan appears to push a lot of air and apparently generates high air pressure compared to some other low noise solutions. Reply
  • puffpio - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    So then..the ultimate review would probably be these Noctua 120mm fans on an Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme in a push pull? Reply
  • poohbear - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    well can u guys bug thermalright for an advance review of their IFX-14? u guys managed to review the TR ultra 120+ early, maybe u can do the same w/ the monstrous IFX-14? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, April 27, 2007 - link

    Thermalright has just advised us that the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme is in full production. The problem with the mounting plate has been corrected in the release cooler.

    "The 775 bracket issue has been addressed and Ultra-120 eXtreme is now in full production. We think it’s even better than the engineering piece you received back then. Would you be able to verify that if we were to send you the “production” sample with its own packaging and all? I think you’ll be pleased to see the results and the improvements."

    We have a final production sample with improvements on the way. We also have requested an IFX-14 for review.
  • Hulk - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    1. Equip all fans with a variable speed controller and adjust the speed so that the decibel level is exactly 40dB, 45dB, etc... Record the temps. This would isolate the thermal transfer efficiency of the cooler. For better isolation of cooler thermal efficiency you could use the same fan on all coolers.

    2. This time adjust the fan speed to acheive the same load temperature. This time record the fan RPM and the noise level. Of course some units might not even make the temp at full speed but that would be okay. As it is right now you have to take into account cooling performance when looking at noise. It be nice to see how much noise they make when they are all drawing away the same amount of heat from the processor.

    3. In order to really give these coolers a workout how about adding an overclocked quad core to the tests?

    I enjoy reading these reviews. Great job!

  • yacoub - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    No word on fitment again. Fitment is really the number one thing people want to know: Will this fit on my board? If it doesn't fit their board, it doesn't really matter to them how well it cools. Would be great to hear if it does or doesn't clear a variety of boards you have around the testing labs, particularly a couple 680i, 650i, P965, and 975. Pick one that's fairly reference in design and a couple of the ones people tend to purchase that often have passive cooling heatsink/pipe configurations on the northbridge and MOSFETS, and let us know how well the darn thing clears it all, especially if it requires a back brace and some boards have stuff on the back beneath the CPU socket (like the MSi P6N-SLI Platinum) and whether or not it still fits.

  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, April 26, 2007 - link

    The Noctua is narrower than most heatpipe towers, but as wide as a thermalright. The shape is much like a thermalright. The top plate can be installed in two directions and the cooler can be turned 90 degrees if necessary, so mounting is very flexible.

    The Noctua fit the EVGA 680i (barely, due to width and very tall chipset cooler near the socket), Asus, Striker, Asus Commando, and Asus P5W-DH Deluxe. We did not have the MSI board you specify in the lab to check, but the back plate has an open center and is designed to clear back components.

  • yacoub - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Any word on fitment on an MSi P6N-SLI Platinum? This is important as the board supposedly has a few items on the back such that certain backplates do not fit too well and it would be important to know if this hsf can clear them alright. Reply
  • mostlyprudent - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    Very nice. I like the balance of low noise and above average performance. Any plans to look at the Thermalright HR-01 fanless cooler with the ducting that can connect to a rear case fan? I would love to see the cooling abilities of such a configuration. Reply
  • xsilver - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    hey wes; how many more hsf setups are still in the pipeline for review? care to list?
    is the thermalright ultra 90 one of them?
    or anything else that is of the "cheaper" level?
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    We have a few more top-line HSFs and then we will do an "under $30" HSF roundup. We also have a wide assortment of 120mm fans in the labs for a fan roundup.
  • xsilver - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    oh also, was there any plans to put some "classic" coolers in the chart as a control reference?
    Im thinking thermalright xp-90/120
    zalman 7000/7700

    how do these type of coolers compare to the ones currently being reviewed? no full review is really needed but putting them in the charts would be nice.
  • puffpio - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    The 'Final Words' page is actually a duplicate of the 'Noise' page Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - link

    The posting error on Final Words has been corrected. Reply

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