Black Ridge 120mm Fan vs. Noctua L9a + Fan Duct

daddelbud

Average Stuffer
Jan 9, 2019
86
15
You could also use a 120mm fan with the L9a as well, and at least one site I read showed it performed 7c better.

For me it was worse than L9a with duct. Vrm temps were better, but Cpu was 3-4 warmer.
Its due to the big fan hub, so maybe its better with other than Noctua 120mm
 

gamecrusader

Chassis Packer
Sep 27, 2020
13
5
I have two DAN A4 builds, one is using the Black Ridge and the other using a L9i with a duct (both using Noctua NF-A9x14 fan set as intake on both).

The one big turn off for the Black Ridge is it is whinny at high speeds. It's just annoying enough (when compared to the L9i) that I am going to either swap it out with a L9i and duct or move over to Asetek 645LT AIO (I'm still investigating this option).

I haven't collected any data as to which is actually running cooler, but I also prefer the L9i and duct option as it gives you a little more room to play with cable management.
 

scatterforce

Airflow Optimizer
May 21, 2018
335
209
The one big turn off for the Black Ridge is it is whinny at high speeds. It's just annoying enough (when compared to the L9i) that I am going to either swap it out with a L9i and duct or move over to Asetek 645LT AIO (I'm still investigating this option).
If you are using a 92mm fan underneath, then try using a spacer. Using some washers to provide a few extra mm should fix that whine.

TBH, the Blackridge is great with a 120, but just OK with a 92mm fan.
 
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nightshift

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jul 23, 2020
156
92
Bit off-topic (as it's not mentioned in the title), but how about the CRYORIG C7G with that 92mm slim noctua? Guess it's a bit whiny but overall how is the cooling performance compared to the more silent L9a + fan duct? The C7G suddenly just appeared in a local shop and I'm curious.
According to THIS thread, there's no difference due to the fan duct reducing 10(!) degrees on an L9i (L9a even has a bigger heatsink) but that sounds a bit exaggerating to me.
 

dondan

Shrink Ray Wielder
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
1,726
7,162
1. Black Ridge A12x15 + VLP RAM
2. Thermalright AXP90 Copper
3. Noctua L9a + Fan Duct (L9a = 5°C better as L9i)
...

For me the best choice is L9a + Fan Duct. If this combination is not good enough reduce TDP in UEFI to a max of 65 - 85W. Or activate ECO mode of the CPU.
 

SiKiaTriK

Cable-Tie Ninja
Mar 28, 2019
166
146
If you are using a 92mm fan underneath, then try using a spacer. Using some washers to provide a few extra mm should fix that whine.

TBH, the Blackridge is great with a 120, but just OK with a 92mm fan.

I personally use a rubber gasket, preventing vibrations furthermore and creating a tiny bit of duct.

 

gamecrusader

Chassis Packer
Sep 27, 2020
13
5
@dondan
What do you mean by "L9a = 5°C better as L9i".

The L9a is better at cooling (assumingly because of the slightly larger heat sync)?

The L9a will only work on a AMD socket, correct?
 

nightshift

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jul 23, 2020
156
92
A thought just came to my mind. The heatsink of the L9i has a rectangular shape and mount - meaning that you can install it with the fins directing air in the direction you want. So not necessarily towards the VRM (which is fully blocked by the shroud on b550i motherboards of Asus and Gigabyte anyway), but direct the air towards the M.2 drive. This could provide substantial airflow in that area, while also towards the other direction too - pushing air downwards, which can be further carried out by the slim case fan on exhaust below.
I know the heatsink is smaller so that could mean a couple of degrees difference on the cpu, but would this make the L9i a better choice overall even on AM4 sockets?
 

rfarmer

Shrink Ray Wielder
Jul 7, 2017
2,339
2,409
A thought just came to my mind. The heatsink of the L9i has a rectangular shape and mount - meaning that you can install it with the fins directing air in the direction you want. So not necessarily towards the VRM (which is fully blocked by the shroud on b550i motherboards of Asus and Gigabyte anyway), but direct the air towards the M.2 drive. This could provide substantial airflow in that area, while also towards the other direction too - pushing air downwards, which can be further carried out by the slim case fan on exhaust below.
I know the heatsink is smaller so that could mean a couple of degrees difference on the cpu, but would this make the L9i a better choice overall even on AM4 sockets?
It doesn't work. You need to get the AM4 adapter bracket and that still only allows you to have the fins point toward the ram.
 

nightshift

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jul 23, 2020
156
92
It would be interesting to use the 4 motherboard spacers in the middle to further add space between the metal plate and the motherboard. An intake bottom fan would allow air to comfortably flow through the back of the mobo, cooling down the pcv (with any rare-side mounted M.2 SSD) and the metal plate which might be a bit warmed up by the gpu anyway. The fan duct should be shortened down to 7mm instead of 10mm (screws too, which is a bummer).
This would probably not allow the I/O plate to me mounted on the backside, but the ports should still be fine - and there would be more ventilation.