Question Heatsink size


Sep 3, 2015
Hi fellas, got a question for people with a little experience surrounding heatsinks for your CPU.

I'm looking to start a build in a Fractal Design Node 202. For those not familiar with this case, it only provides a maximum cpu cooler clearance of about 56-58mm according to what I have read, and seen others do. Realizing the cooling possibilities are limited, I do not plan on equipping the system with anything more powerful than a Ryzen 5 2600 or other CPUs with an equivalent TDP (65 Watts). Though keeping in mind that good sound levels and thermals are important to me for 80-90% of usage scenarios I directly sought the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 which has a total height of 37mm with a 92x92x14mm Fan.

Option 1: Seeing as I have adequate room left, I had the idea to swap the included 14mm thick Noctua fan for a 25mm thick one, obviously of the same brand and 92mm size, bringing the total height to 48mm. The 25mm thick Noctua fan provides 50% airflow and about 40% more air pressure for a minimally higher noise level.

Option 2: I found a CPU cooler of another brand with a total height of 45mm (92x92x15mm fan) and had the following thought - theoretically I could purchase that unit and also swap out the included fan for a 92x92x25mm Noctua fan, which performs significantly better. In doing so I would moreover maximize my CPU cooler height potential, reaching a total height of 55mm, still within the limitations of the case.

Here is the question: Is it worth the hassle, trying to make Option 2 work and using different brand of Heatsink and different brand of Fan for the extra 7mm or would there be effectively no reasonable performance difference between Option 1 and Option 2?

The CPU cooler I came across in Option 2 is the Alpenföhn Silvretta.
Before you go out and buy a bunch of expensive fans, I would try the system with the NH-L9a fan that comes with the cooler. It may do just fine keeping the 2600 cool and be silent. If you dont like the performance, then you can get a bigger Noctua fan.

I build a HTPC with the Noctua-L9i cooler on a 6600k a few year ago and it kept it perfectly cool at stock settings. So if you are not gonna OC your CPU, then it should be fine at stock.