Noctua NH-D9 DX-3647 4U: A High-End Xeon Scalable Heatsink

Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 4 July 2018. Page 1 of 4. 24 Comments

Back in March we looked at the cooling performance of Noctua's AMD EPYC heatsinks for cooling these Zen-based server processors. The Noctua heatsinks tested did a wonderful job testing those socket SP3 processors so when the Austrian company announced a few weeks ago their Xeon Scalable heatsink line-up, we decided it would be interesting to see how their latest Intel server heatsinks perform.

While Xeon Scalable Skylake-SP processors have been on the market now since last July, only a few weeks back did Noctua launch their Xeon Scalable heatsink line-up. This is because Noctua is obviously focused on the high-end desktop/enthusiast segment and designing a heatsink for the Xeon Scalable platform has its own set of challenges around the LGA-3647 socket whereby the Xeon CPU first attaches to the heatsink using a tray and then mounted against the motherboard. Because of this, designing a heatsink for LGA-3647 comes with a unique set of challenges.

The initial line-up of Xeon Scalable heatsinks from Noctua are the NH-U14S DX-3647, NH-U12S DX-3647, and NH-D9 DX-3647 4U that come in with a 140, 120, and 92 mm form factors, respectively, based upon the fan size. The two larger heatsinks are obviously designed for large tower workstations making use of Xeon LGA-3647 processors while the NH-D9 DX-3647 4U is -- as implied by the name -- designed to fit within 4U server chassis height requirements. Based upon the limited Xeon Scalable systems at Phoronix and the largest being within a 4U chassis, for this testing I am just looking at the NH-D9 DX-3647 4U.

The NH-D9 DX-3647 4U and NH-U14S DX-3647 carry a retail price by Noctua at 90 EUR while the NH-U12S DX-3647 is priced at 100 EUR. Yes, expensive, but so far are Xeon Scalable processors and Noctua's products tend to be designed for the very high-end segment. These coolers are designed to suit the cooling needs up through Xeon Platinum and Xeon Phi processors. These Xeon heatsinks are backed by six-year manufacturer warranties.

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