Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile Heatsink Review

What's Inside

A Closer Look

The Noctua NH-L9 comes in two flavors;  the L9i for Intel socket LGA115x, and the L9A for AMD (sockets AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2).  Also note that the AMD version is a bit bigger as that socket has a larger “keep out zone”.  That doesn’t stop some motherboard manufacturers to ignore those guidelines so you best check your mainboard’s clearance to make sure it fits.

When I got the box I was once again reminded how small this cooler is. A total height of ONLY 37mm (1,46 inches) and a total footprint of 95mm by 95mm, which complieswith Intel’s LGA115x “keep out zone”.  You shouldn’t have any issues with fitting tall RAM modules with large heatsinks, which you should if you want a cool and quiet Home Theater PC.

And if this cooler isn’t silent enough for you, then you can always use the included LNA (low noise adapter) to slow the fan down from 2500rpm to 1800rpm, which is near silent. Doing so of course decreases the cooling performance.  Remember that the 92mm fan is only 14mm thick, so you can upgrade to a taller 25mm fan if needed (Noctua provides extra mounting hardware if you want to do this upgrade).

 


So a quick look at and in the packaging, as usual its colored in Noctua’s signature white and brown color combination, giving a lot of information about the product straight from the box itself.

Inside we find the instruction manual (but really if you need that please let someone else install the cooler for you), the cooler itself, a Low Noise fan Adapter (LNA), four thumb screws for holding it down and Noctua’s NT-H1 TIM (Thermal Interface Material) so everything you need is in the box.

 

Looking at the cooler we can see it  has a nice flat, but not polished, machined base.  I took off the fan to have a better look at the cooling ribs, themselves having a pair of U-shaped heatpipes going from the main base through the base of the fins, further securing them in place.

Overall you have a  pretty good surface area, and the usage of some extra heatpipes to distribute even more heat away from the CPU is a great idea.  It looks and feels like proper quality as we are used from Noctua.