Noctua NH-L9i Review

Noctua is back with a new low-profile cooler for Intel platforms, the Noctua NH-L9i, targeted for slim cases and HTPCs.

Noctua was founded in 2005 and their headquarters are located in Austria. They specialise in silent PC cooling products and until now they have successfully combined great performance with reduced noise levels.

 

 

Let’s take a look at the Noctua NH-L9’s features, taken directly from Noctua’s website:

 

Package and Accessories

The Noctua NH-L9i comes in a card box in the usual Noctua color combinations. At the front side there are the main features of the cooler, while at the back side there is a basic product description in various languages. The box has a top cover that when opened, reveals the cooler and its accessories.

Apart from the cooler, inside the box we can find:

 

  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Screws for 92x92x25mm fans
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge


Pretty much this is everything we will need to setup our cooler.
There is also a brief but easy to understand instruction manual.

 

A Closer Look – The Noctua NH-L9i

The cooler has a solid build quality despite its little weight. It utilises the Secufirm2 system, fact that means installation is quick and painless like every Noctua cooler. The cooler fins are placed in a way that ensures maximum heat dissipation. At the top of the cooler there is a neat encraved Noctua logo.

Overall it can be noticed that the cooler has been crafted flawlessly and there are no manufacturing flaws or machinery marks anywhere.

The fan used is the new NF-A9x14 with a 1800-2500 rpm operational range.

The fan used is the new NF-A9x14 with a 1800-2500 rpm operational range with PWM control that promises to adjust fan RPM according to temperature levels.

 

Installation, Test Setup and Results

The cooler was very easy to install on our mini ITX MSI Z77IA-E53 motherboard. The cooler is actually of very small size and does not obstruct the ram modules or any other component.

 

As stated by Noctua, the Noctua NH-L9i is not targeted to users who intend to overclock, that is why we tested against Intel’s i3 2100 stock cooler as a more quiet alternative in stock speeds.

The system on which we tested the cooler is:

Processor: Intel Core i3 2100
Motherboard: MSI Z77IA-E53
RAM: 2 x 2 GB Mushkin Redline 997013
VGA:
 Gigabyte GTX480 1536MB
HDD: Velocity Raptor 150GB
PSU: High Power P550 Pro
Case: SilverStone Sugo SG05
Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit

The tests we ran included:

 

  • Temperature test, Idle
  • Temperature test, Load
  • Maximum Noise test

 

Let’s see what the results have to say:

 
 

 

 

Verdict

The Noctua NH-L9i is surely not a cooler that will amaze you with its performance, as it is an alternative to the stock cooler targeted at users mainly with small form factor PC’s who want a more quiet system. This does not mean that it will not be able to keep your system cool though. In all our tests, the NH-L9i managed to outperform Intel’s stock cooler with ease, while remaining virtually silent thanks to its PWM controlled fan.

It is almost guaranteed that this cooler will fit any system setup without obstructing any components thanks to its low-profile design and small dimensions.

Costing around 40.00€ across Europe, you do get a cooler of high-quality build, with a 6-year warranty and a product that lives up to Noctua’s standards.

Pros

(+) Solid build quality
(+) Very quiet
(+) Will fit in various system sizes with no problems

Cons

(-) Not suitable for overclocked systems
(-) Price (for some)

 


Thus, we would like to award the Noctua NH-L9i our Editor’s Choice award as it completely does the job it promises for its specific target group, combined with a high-quality build.

 

 

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