Author Topic: TBG's Review of the SilverStone AR11 and Noctua NH-L9i  (Read 582 times)

Ari Altman

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TBG's Review of the SilverStone AR11 and Noctua NH-L9i
« on: May 17, 2018, 03:18:43 PM »
Comments or questions regarding "The $40 Featherweight Fight: SilverStone AR11 vs. Noctua NH-L9i"? Post them here!
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 05:37:11 AM by Ari Altman »

jlac839

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Re: TGB's Review of the SilverStone AR11 and Noctua NH-L9i
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2018, 10:49:22 PM »
Thanks for the in-depth review of the AR11 compared against the NH-L9i.  It was a bit disappointing to find the AR11 to be so noisy.  Regardless, I purchased the AR11 to experiment with it in my i5-7500 rig using the Antek ISK110 VESA-U3 case.  This is the same PC I discussed in my earlier post:

https://techbuyersguru.com/forum/index.php?topic=532.0

My reservations about the mounting method possibly causing interference with the drive bay turned out to be unfounded.  The low-profile screw posts were reasonably easy to fit although I had to juggle them a little bit to ensure alignment.  With the drive bracket re-installed, there was about 3mm of clearance.

The AR11 fit much better than the Arctic Freezer 11LP.  There was no interference with the memory DIMM nor the USB3 header connector.  I experimented with the BIOS PWM settings and found, as you did, that the AR11 is noisy in standard mode.  I configured the PWM setting back to Silent and this cut the noise back down.

Running mprime while watching the CPU temp sensors clearly showed that the AR11 is significantly better at cooling.  Whereas the 11LP showed the CPUs reaching nearly 80C during the CPU torture test, the AR11 kept the core temps all below 70C and usually mid-60s.  However doing so meant the fan was working hard and definitely louder than the 11LP.  The AR11 quotes RPM range as 1200 ~ 3000RPM and the 11LP is 900 ~ 2000 so the noise difference is not really surprising (just disappointing!).

The ISK110 does appear to have a bit more headroom than the mini-STK case you used (VT-02B?) so I don't think I was suffering from the resonance problem you highlighted but the AR11 is definitely noiser than the 11LP.  However, I like the fit and the better temp control so I'll probably stick with it.

I can send some photos if you'd like them to accompany the post.

Ari Altman

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Re: TGB's Review of the SilverStone AR11 and Noctua NH-L9i
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2018, 06:09:48 AM »
Thanks for the in-depth review of the AR11 compared against the NH-L9i.  It was a bit disappointing to find the AR11 to be so noisy.  Regardless, I purchased the AR11 to experiment with it in my i5-7500 rig using the Antek ISK110 VESA-U3 case.  This is the same PC I discussed in my earlier post:

https://techbuyersguru.com/forum/index.php?topic=532.0

My reservations about the mounting method possibly causing interference with the drive bay turned out to be unfounded.  The low-profile screw posts were reasonably easy to fit although I had to juggle them a little bit to ensure alignment.  With the drive bracket re-installed, there was about 3mm of clearance.

The AR11 fit much better than the Arctic Freezer 11LP.  There was no interference with the memory DIMM nor the USB3 header connector.  I experimented with the BIOS PWM settings and found, as you did, that the AR11 is noisy in standard mode.  I configured the PWM setting back to Silent and this cut the noise back down.

Running mprime while watching the CPU temp sensors clearly showed that the AR11 is significantly better at cooling.  Whereas the 11LP showed the CPUs reaching nearly 80C during the CPU torture test, the AR11 kept the core temps all below 70C and usually mid-60s.  However doing so meant the fan was working hard and definitely louder than the 11LP.  The AR11 quotes RPM range as 1200 ~ 3000RPM and the 11LP is 900 ~ 2000 so the noise difference is not really surprising (just disappointing!).

The ISK110 does appear to have a bit more headroom than the mini-STK case you used (VT-02B?) so I don't think I was suffering from the resonance problem you highlighted but the AR11 is definitely noiser than the 11LP.  However, I like the fit and the better temp control so I'll probably stick with it.

I can send some photos if you'd like them to accompany the post.

jlack839 - thanks for sharing your experience here. It sounds like you've identified all the pros and cons of the SilverStone AR11. If you'd like to try quieting it down further, you can manually set it to even lower RPMs on the high-end of the range than what the Silent profile runs at. Unfortunately, the only way to get the minimum idle noise down is to use a voltage reducer like Noctua's NA-SRC7. The one thing to know about this type of device is that it has much more of an effect at the high end than at the low end where it would be more useful. It will only reduce the minimum RPM by about 10% or so.

All that being said, the AR11 is far superior to the Arctic Freezer 11LP, which is very outdated. TBG has embarked on testing dozens of coolers in part to help clear up some misconceptions about which models are best. The answer is most definitely not the coolers that sell in the highest volumes, i.e., models like the CoolerMaster Hyper 212, the Scythe Big Shuriken, and the Corsair H100i. These coolers sell well because they are old and everyone's been talking about them for nearly a decade. That doesn't make them good! In fact, it's pretty rare these days for a new cooler from a major manufacturer to be introduced that doesn't beat older models. Ironically, CPU coolers are advancing far faster than CPUs!

And yes, please send some photos! Just e-mail them to theguru@techbuyersguru.com and I'll post them here.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 06:13:00 AM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: TBG's Review of the SilverStone AR11 and Noctua NH-L9i
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2018, 07:10:51 PM »
Hare are some photos of jlac839's SilverStone AR11 installation in the Antec ISK110-VESA case:





Looks good! And for anyone wondering how that cooler sticking out of the top can fit, it's because the Antec's side panel protrudes a quarter inch or so to provide more cooler headroom.