Sound performance next and the Noctua NH-L9i manages well here. It’s surprising that it’s in the middle of our chart comparison, and shows there’s a little more thermal performance to be had, if you crank up the fan speeds a little.
The Noctua NH-L9i is going to be at the limit of its performance window with the Intel 6700K, but there’s a little room to manoeuvre.
Ok, so putting a dedicated mITX low-profile CPU cooler up against a serious desktop processor is a little out of context, but we managed to squeeze the Noctua NH-L9i L-Type Low-Profile CPU cooler into this window of performance, just. What does this mean? Well, you have your CPU limit for this CPU cooler, any further and you are in real thermal trouble. Any less of a CPU thermal design power (TDP) implementation, and you’ve got a great cooler.
We’ve still recommended the Noctua NH-L9i, it’s the maximum mITX low-profile CPU cooler implementation you can buy with a good degree of confidence, and it’s got a respectable brand name attached to it. It’s not going to allow much overclocking, if any, but that’s not really the path for mITX and HTPC system builds.