[SOLVED] Noctua NH-L9i NOT compatible with LGA 1151

Nyphrodel

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I recently upgraded the ps in my Alienware Aurora R7 from a 460w to 850w to get better performance from my GTX 1080. Next, I wanted a new cpu cooler/fan because it was too loud and it was getting a little too hot at times and I figured I would now need the extra cooling with the upgrade. First, I replaced the top and side fans and then purchased a low profile Noctua NH-L9i for the cpu cooler because there isn't much room in this particular case. I thought that I had all of my bases covered: it was small enough for this case and it listed my Intel LGA 1151 as compatible on Noctua's compatibility list. Well, it does NOT work. The mounting screws are either too short or too small. Here's what happens: They screw into the backplate, but then stop at the unthreaded shank which is wider than the threads. Don't I need to be able to pull the shank through so the threads screw into the mounting brackets of the Noctua cooler? I've seen where others have bored out the holes on this mb to make them big enough to fit other setups, but I really don't want to go that route. I thought maybe I could get Noctua to send me out some mounting screws that fit, but I'm sick and tired of parts not working and then only being able to email the company and wait patiently for a response. Who knows when that will be...? Then the screws they send out might not fit either (that's just how my luck runs) I'm only impatient because I've removed my stock cooler and I don't want to reinstall it because I don't want to put thermal paste on it again and again...I originally purchased a Macho Rev. C that didn't fit either, so my system's been taken apart for almost 2 weeks now and it's driving me crazy!

Does anybody have any ideas? Me and my pc are both down for the count because I just had surgery where they removed all of the hardware from when I broke my ankle a year ago, so I'm laid up with no pc and I'm going stir crazy! PLEASE HELP!
 

COLGeek

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This was actually my first thought as you'll read in my original post. I've heard/read that a lot of these companies will overnight the necessary parts/screws out to you to make it work. Keep the customer happy, right? I'd really rather go this route because the way this backplate is damn near glued to the mb, I've been very afraid of damage.

Thanks for making me look back and reconsider the situation. I'll start there and give it a day or two and see how they respond.😊 If I have to wait too much longer, I'll take your advice and buy some temporary screws that fit.
If you had access to the proper cutting device, like a Dremel, or other wheel of death (or a friend with same), you could remove those 4 "tabs" on the Dell bracket, keeping just the part affixed to the CPU retention device. This would allow you to properly mount the Noctua with the included hardware.
 

Nyphrodel

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Have you installed one on an LGA 1151 before? In an Aurora R7?

Anyway, yes, it is very straightforward. I've installed cpu coolers before and this one is quite easy and I believe that this cooler is compatible. But the mounting screws need to be longer or the holes in my mb bigger - as I mentioned. Here is a pic of my mb's back side: Backside of mb w/backplate As you can see, this backplate is not removable without a chance of damaging my system board. When you screw the mounting screws in all the way, the unthreaded shank stops them from going any further and at that point, they are just long enough to be flush with the other side/top of the board. So, in other words, they don't touch the Noctua mounting bracket, because of the backplate on my mb or because the screws are to short/big, etc. Make sense now? I sure hope that helps because I'm stumped.

Thank you for responding, but unfortunately, I've put everything away tonight because I'm exhausted, but tomorrow I will post better/more photos of what's going on.

As a side note: if you check the website link under this video on youtube, the user says, "Socket compatibility:LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156" LGA 1151 is missing...

Your description of what's going wrong is incredibly confusing. It's really, really straightforward.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXmlcu44hDA


Perhaps some pictures of what you're talking about would be helpful. The cooler absolutely is compatible with LGA 1151.
 

COLGeek

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Is that the Dell backplate (came with the system)? If so, I suspect that is the issue. Dell in notorious for using proprietary components in systems. Replacing with a "standard" backplate my resolve these issues.
 
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Nyphrodel

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Hi COLGeek! Yes, it is the original backplate that came with this system. I have slowly (and painfully I might add) been learning all about Dell and just how notorius they are for proprietary components in their systems.

I suspected that a replacement backplate was the best way to resolve this issue and thanks to my daughter's encouragement, I began shopping for something suitable while waiting to see if anyone from Tom's could maybe find a simpler solution for me. I feel a whole lot better hearing it from you though. I'm never too sure of myself... not yet anyway. As time goes by, I find myself remembering more and more and my confidence is returning. I feel pretty good about this one - Thanks.

I'll order a replacement and see if I can pull this off without any help. I'll keep this updated, then close it out if I manage it on my own.😕Fingers x'd


Is that the Dell backplate (came with the system)? If so, I suspect that is the issue. Dell in notorious for using proprietary components in systems. Replacing with a "standard" backplate my resolve these issues.
 
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COLGeek

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Hi COLGeek! Yes, it is the original backplate that came with this system. I have slowly (and painfully I might add) been learning all about Dell and just how notorius they are for proprietary components in their systems.

I suspected that a replacement backplate was the best way to resolve this issue and thanks to my daughter's encouragement, I began shopping for something suitable while waiting to see if anyone from Tom's could maybe find a simpler solution for me. I feel a whole lot better hearing it from you though. I'm never too sure of myself... not yet anyway. As time goes by, I find myself remembering more and more and my confidence is returning. I feel pretty good about this one - Thanks.

I'll order a replacement and see if I can pull this off without any help. I'll keep this updated, then close it out if I manage it on my own.😕Fingers x'd
That is definitely the problem (the Dell backplate). See the diagram here:

https://noctua.at/pub/media/blfa_files/manual/noctua_nh_l9i_manual_en.pdf
 
Contact noctua support and explain your problem.
They are very good and will likely ship you a solution free of charge.
Likely, that will be a set of mounting screws of appropriate configuration.

In the mean time, why not go to Home depot and find some stainless steel screws that fit.
 

Nyphrodel

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Yes, the bracket in the photo does act as both and this is one of the reasons why I haven't removed it as of yet, but I believe that I've finally found a replacement! Unfortunately, I'll have to wait until December 6th to receive it.

She will need the standard Intel backplate for the CPU bracket. Notice that the Dell backplate acts as both (for the CPU retention device AND the heatsink).
FYI: Believe it or not, the Noctua NH-L9i does NOT come with a backplate. I've actually installed a cpu cooler before, so if the Noctua had come with a backplate, I would recognise it for what it was and I would have used it. That would have been great though as it would have solved my problem.

Notice the installation instructions: Noctua NH-L9i Instructions

The Noctua should have come with a backplate, not sure why you aren't using that as it's designed to be used by the cooler
 

Nyphrodel

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This was actually my first thought as you'll read in my original post. I've heard/read that a lot of these companies will overnight the necessary parts/screws out to you to make it work. Keep the customer happy, right? I'd really rather go this route because the way this backplate is damn near glued to the mb, I've been very afraid of damage.

Thanks for making me look back and reconsider the situation. I'll start there and give it a day or two and see how they respond.😊 If I have to wait too much longer, I'll take your advice and buy some temporary screws that fit.

Contact noctua support and explain your problem.
They are very good and will likely ship you a solution free of charge.
Likely, that will be a set of mounting screws of appropriate configuration.

In the mean time, why not go to Home depot and find some stainless steel screws that fit.
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
This was actually my first thought as you'll read in my original post. I've heard/read that a lot of these companies will overnight the necessary parts/screws out to you to make it work. Keep the customer happy, right? I'd really rather go this route because the way this backplate is damn near glued to the mb, I've been very afraid of damage.

Thanks for making me look back and reconsider the situation. I'll start there and give it a day or two and see how they respond.😊 If I have to wait too much longer, I'll take your advice and buy some temporary screws that fit.
If you had access to the proper cutting device, like a Dremel, or other wheel of death (or a friend with same), you could remove those 4 "tabs" on the Dell bracket, keeping just the part affixed to the CPU retention device. This would allow you to properly mount the Noctua with the included hardware.
 

Nyphrodel

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Hi COLGeek, here's my Dremel and it just so happens that I have a little "wheel of death!" :kikou: Actually, I have 5 of them (they come 5 to a pack) Now, on my backplate, is this where you think I should cut the tabs off? Just the 4 pieces, right? I've been very uncomfortable with the idea of removing that backplate. As I mentioned, it is really on there, almost like it was glued on and then it was screwed on. I do believe that I actually have the tools to remove it though. I also have some files to smooth the metal out on the cut edges when that's done. So, I can cut the tabs off, file the metal out and then put it back on so it can continue to serve as a retention bracket for my cpu...sound about right? I'll remove the backplate and make sure that the Noctua mounting screws fit before I begin...



Sounds like a plan to me! I'll get started first thing this afternoon. I'll post here later on tomorrow night to let you know how it all came out. If anything new comes to mind, will you please post it in this thread? I'll be sure to check in periodically.

Great idea, thanks! ;)

If you had access to the proper cutting device, like a Dremel, or other wheel of death (or a friend with same), you could remove those 4 "tabs" on the Dell bracket, keeping just the part affixed to the CPU retention device. This would allow you to properly mount the Noctua with the included hardware.
 

COLGeek

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You have the appropriate tool of destruction!

I have no doubt that Dell glued/taped it, as well as screws holding in place. Just be patient and take your time. Remove before cutting!

Use the Noctua diagram mentioned earlier as a suggestion for what should remain. Not saying to imitate the design, but it will show you what is in your way. I would think diagonal cuts to remove the tabs/lobes that make up the heatsink mounting points, near the "body" of the remaining central portion of the backplate, is all that is needed for removal.

Good luck!
 

Nyphrodel

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@COLGeek It took me a few days (we got hit by Hurricane Eta) but it's finished! Unfortunately, things did not turn out as planned. On my first startup after installation, these are the messages that I received:



I've triple checked ALL of the fans, including checking to see that they were flowing in the correct direction. Everything was fine, but the cpu DID shoot up to 183˚F within a matter of minutes. I ran SPECCY to get this temperature reading because sometimes the Alienware Command Center takes a little longer to open than I like and I didn't want to risk burning out my motherboard. I didn't leave it on long enough to see if it ran hot again on any of my subsequent startups, but I suspect it did the same. I read something about DELL's proprietary motherboards and issues with the thermistors when replacing the cooler, but I haven't been able to find it again...

Do you or ANYONE have any ideas on what my next step should be?
 
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Nyphrodel

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UPDATE: I've since been running my system open to see what the fans are doing. All are running accordingly. The top fan turns on/off as needed, which isn't much since the chassis is open. The bottom intake is running pretty consistently. The cpu fan is running fine as well. I did go into the Command Center and change the temperature curve for the fans. Once increased, my system stayed cool and ran whisper quiet. What a DREAM!

I know that it all seems to be running fine, but I don't think leaving my system with this error message is a good thing. And if it runs a system scan at every startup, I'd go crazy! All-in-all, my system is telling me that something is wrong and no matter what, I need to fix it.
 

COLGeek

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You are welcome. As discussed before, Dell is notorious for using proprietary hardware. Seems this is one of those instances.

I suppose you could find a 92mm Dell PWM fan and swap the excellent Noctua fan out (keeping the actual heatsink). The other option is to ignore the warning if everything else is working properly.
 

Nyphrodel

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There are no fan settings in the R7 Bios & I don't feel too good about just ignoring the messages. And, won't the Dell fan be loud all over again? This is one of the main reasons I swapped it out to begin with and what a bummer, this means that's a good chunk of my investment down the drain if I remove the excellent Noctua fan and replace it with a piece of junk DELL fan. I tell you what, this thing is just whisper quiet, it's wonderful! One more thing: I noticed that the temperature of the cpu cooler will be sitting at about 30˚C and suddenly just jump up to like 80˚C and I find that the only change was a few simple apps opened up in the background. Little things like, photos, calculator, movies & tv, and as soon as I close them, the temp goes right back down. Anyway, that's where I am now. What do you think?

You are welcome. As discussed before, Dell is notorious for using proprietary hardware. Seems this is one of those instances.

I suppose you could find a 92mm Dell PWM fan and swap the excellent Noctua fan out (keeping the actual heatsink). The other option is to ignore the warning if everything else is working properly.
 

COLGeek

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@COLGeek Would you mind taking a look at this discussion for me? It has me kind of creeped out: Proprietary fan header issues Could this be true and could this be my issue or at least partly so? The audacity of something like this is mind boggling...
That is a concerning article and confirms what we discussed earlier. Dell has done this for years and their systems are really not meant to be user upgraded in many regards.

For your sanity (and system safety), it might be time to (you have options):
  • Find a Dell fan and swap it with the Noctua fan
  • Cross your fingers and stay with what you have.
  • Re-wire the Noctua fan per the link you posted, keeping in mind the inconsistency in how Dell approaches this.
  • Try powering the CPU fan with a fan controller (may cause other issues, like the system not detecting a CPU fan at all).
...and then I came across this Dell forum thread:

https://www.dell.com/community/Alienware-Desktops/Aurora-R7-alternate-cooling-Updated-w-Solution/td-p/6114571

These are bog standard Corsair AIOs in play. No rewiring/header concerns beyond the discussion of a splitter. There is a discussion of when fan header ports are disabled that is concerning.

Please post a picture of the original CPU cooler.
 

Nyphrodel

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Here's the original cpu cooler. The heatsink and fan are still attached. Like many before and after me, I thought that I was getting that 'wonderful' Alienware liquid cooling, but this is what I got instead.



I didn't get a chance to get through all of the threads yet, but I will - one refers to another and then another - because I had to make dinner (it's my daughter's birthday) This has been such a 'pita' because I thought that I would have completed this whole thing by now. She really wanted to play No Man's Sky with me on her birthday...I may just put the original back on for now (if I can) I sure hope I haven't wasted my money, this Noctua is so nice and whisper quiet too. 😌

That is a concerning article and confirms what we discussed earlier. Dell has done this for years and their systems are really not meant to be user upgraded in many regards.

For your sanity (and system safety), it might be time to (you have options):
  • Find a Dell fan and swap it with the Noctua fan
  • Cross your fingers and stay with what you have.
  • Re-wire the Noctua fan per the link you posted, keeping in mind the inconsistency in how Dell approaches this.
  • Try powering the CPU fan with a fan controller (may cause other issues, like the system not detecting a CPU fan at all).
...and then I came across this Dell forum thread:

https://www.dell.com/community/Alienware-Desktops/Aurora-R7-alternate-cooling-Updated-w-Solution/td-p/6114571

These are bog standard Corsair AIOs in play. No rewiring/header concerns beyond the discussion of a splitter. There is a discussion of when fan header ports are disabled that is concerning.

Please post a picture of the original CPU cooler.
 

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