Introduction

Noctua aims to offer a super-low profile cooler with full compatibility with tall RAM modules and VGA cards on mini-ITX mainboards. Lets see how it performs and what we think of it.

 

Quick key facts

Recommended TDP 65 W
Max TDP 77-95 W
Fan 1x Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM (92 mm)
Max Acoustical Noise 23,6 dB(A)
Max Rotational Speed 2500 RPM
Socket compatibility Intel LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156

 

Technical specifications

Recommended TDP 65 W
Below 65 W with Low Noise Adapter
Max TDP 77-95 W depending on processor generation
Recommended with good case ventilation only.
Fan 1x Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM (92 mm)
Fan Bearing SSO2
Max Acoustical Noise 23,6 dB(A)
14,8 dB(A) with Low Noise Adapter
Max Rotational Speed 2500 RPM
1800 RPM with Low Noise Adapter
Min. Rotational Speed 600 RPM
Socket compatibility Intel LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156
Warranty 6 years
Dimensions 95x95x37mm with fan
95x95x23mm without fan
Pipes 2
Total weight 420 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium
(cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Included in package NF-A9x14 PWM premium fan
Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
Screws for 92x92x25mm fans
Noctua Metal Case-Badge

 

Packaging

Premium is the feeling we get from this packaging. Components are fitted in foam. We even get extra stuff such as a syringe of thermal paste and a Noctua Metal Case-Badge.

 

Installation

Only 37 mm height including fan, and only 23 mm heatsink. This is suited for very slim cases. 100% RAM compatibility. You can have high profile memory, and make upgrades to memory without removing cooler. It does not have issues with motherboard chipset coolers. It has 100% compatibility with PCIe cards on mini-ITX motherboards. This is very nice to have, so you wont have any issues with graphicscards. Installation is very easy and quick. This type of installation is carefree and enjoyable. Noctua has a official list of motherboards that are tested to fit with this cooler. This perfect for people who buy their own computer, and wants official information on compability.

 

Fan wtih SSO2 bearing

SSO-Bearing stands for Self-Stabilising Oil-pressure bearing.  Noctua says this will give even better stabilisation, precision and durability.

 

Performance & Noise

Tests were performed at 22 C, in a open Mini-ITX case,  at stock speeds of the processor. HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder.

 

On an Intel Pentium G3258, 53W TDP

Noctua NH-L9i
with low noise adapter
Intel default cooler
Idle (No load) 37 C & Silent 31 C & Noisy, unstable
and unpleasant sound character
(1062 RPM)
Load (Stress test, Handbrake) 51 C & Very quiet
(1430 RPM)
51 C & Very noisy, unstable
and unpleasant sound character
(1374 RPM)

 

Noctua TDP Guidelines

The 77-95W processor versions in Intel’s Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Skylake, can be used with this cooler under one condition, which is they are used with a  well ventilated case, which is good choice in general to have. Specificly for Intel Haswell higher TDP processors, Noctua recommends Turbo Mode to be turned off.

 

Conclusion

This is close to a perfect very low profile cooler, except the performance for medium to higher TDP processors is lacking. For an office PC, light to medium gaming PC, or a slim HTPC solution this cooler could be a great choice. Installation is effortless and very quick. Noctua NH-L9i is a premium, easy product, that is very quiet for its intended TDP use of 65W.

 

Pros

Dead silent for 65 W processor or lower during idle
Very quiet for 65 W processors or lower during load
Excellent documentation of motherboard compability
Excellent memory compability
Excellent graphicscards compability
Very easy and quick installation
Very low profile
High build quality
Premium packaging and all the extras you need
Included high quality thermal compound
6 years warranty

Cons

For silence enthusiasts it can be noisy for medium to high TDP processors, especially if case is not very well ventilated

 

 

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