CoolingReviews

Passive Cooling – An Experiment

One of the major issues we come across when building our Small Form Factor systems is cooling. There just never seems to be enough space to cool our systems efficiently and quietly without investing major effort, or considerable expense. With proper design and creativity, however, good cooling can be had. And it was with this goal in mind that I was very intrigued upon re-discovering SlipperySkip’s ‘Ayr’ passive cooled SFF HTPC. SlipperySkip’s all-wood build was based around a Gigabyte Z77N-Wifi M-ITX motherboard, an Intel Core i3-3225, a 150w Pico-PSU and a Silverstone Heligon HE02. The CPU choice here is important, as passive cooling is …
CoolingReviews

High End Downdraft – How Does the Noctua NH-L12 Compare?

Sometimes, downdraft cooling is the best option for a SFF build. Tower coolers don’t cool memory, chipset or any other board components particularly well. Downdraft coolers also have the added advantage of being able to act as an intake for slimmer cases – enabling you to use one less fan – making for a quieter system. Noctua has many downdraft style coolers, but the NH-L12 is one of their largest, second only to the not so small NH-C14S (which can hit 142mm tall!). The NH-L12 is a dual fan cooler, which includes both a NF-F12 PWM and a NF-B9 PWM fan. …
CoolingReviews

NH-D9L – Mini Tower for your Mini Tower

Sometimes, you just need a tower cooler. Maybe the airflow design of your case needs front to back cooling, or maybe you just need to get the heat out of the top of the chassis. The problem we come across in the world of SFF is that a full sized tower cooler will quite likely not fit! In walks the Noctua NH-D9L, a shorter tower cooler that will fit in a lot more cases than the usual 120mm or bigger towers. Featuring a single 92mm fan, the NH-D9L will of course not outperform it’s larger brethren, but with the included …
CoolingReviews

Redux and Industrial PPC, Not Your Usual Noctua Fans

Noctua’s fans have been produced in the same shades of Coffee and Cream since the company launched in 2005, much to the chagrin of many within the PC enthusiast community. While some saw the colours as a distinct brand, and thus a signature fitting for a premium product, many saw the colours as not particularly eye-pleasing, if not generally incompatible with the colours used in other components. Still, Noctua held to its trademark livery for quite some time, showing that they were focused more on performance than aesthetics. Recently, though, Noctua has launched two new styles of fan: the Industrial PPC and Redux product …
CoolingReviews

Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 12 – A Slim Competitor

When it comes to cooling, fan thickness seems to be a standard that manufacturers almost never stray from, with the vast majority of coolers going with 25mm fans or bust. However, with the Scythe Slim Silence, and now the Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 12, that fact has slowly been changing as the performance of thin fans improves, and enclosures begin to necessitate such tighter profiles – indeed, with modern fan motors and blade designs, good performance is still possible even after shaving 10mm (a full 40%) off! Today, then, we are looking at Prolimatech’s own slim fan offering, the Ultra Sleek Vortex 12. …
CoolingReviews

Noctua Fan Roundup

Noctua has been producing high-end fans since the company’s inception in 2005, and today we’ll be looking at – count’em – four of their products, which will form a basis of a standard testing kit for future cooler and chassis reviews. Today, we have on our review bench the NF-P12 PWM, NF-A9 PWM, NF-A8 PWM, and the tiny NF-A4x10 FLX. These products all have high quality construction, some premium touches, and feature many of Noctua’s famed design and engineering features. So, let’s dive in! [mks_separator style=”blank” height=”2″] NF-P12 PWM Firstly, we will look at the NF-P12 PWM. This 120x25mm fan is Noctua’s ‘mainstay’ fan, …
CoolingReviews

Prolimatech Samuel 17 – Goliath’s David?

Continuing our current trend of CPU cooler reviews, today we are looking at the Prolimatech Samuel 17! This particular CPU cooler has been around for years, but it’s unavailability in certain markets (I have never seen it listed for sale in New Zealand!) has lent it a certain ‘holy grail’ status in the SFF cooling world – which is a bit of a shame, since the 6 heatpipes and dense fins that compose its design enable great cooling for the size, at least on paper. Speaking of ‘holy grail’, though… what’s with the name? From Prolimatech: In the Old Testament of …
CoolingReviews

Premium SFF – The Noctua NH-L9x65

Having already investigated Noctua’s NH-L9a – an ultra-low profile unit designed for AMD sockets – we turn our attention today to the NH-L9x65, a top-down cooler that (comparatively at least) adds some height in exchange for improved acoustic and thermal performance. This 65mm high cooler is claimed by Noctua to be compatible with any motherboard layout that uses the supported sockets, which is good news, given the challenge many have with fitting CPU coolers in most SFF builds. The Noctua NH-L9x65 HEATSINK SPECIFICATION Dimension ( with fan ) L95 mm x W95 mm x H65 mm Weight ( with fan ) …