Introduction and Specifications
Today we will be reviewing Noctua’s small CPU cooler, the NH-D9L. The NH-D9L is a small but capable CPU cooler, which targets users who wish to have an efficient cooling solution in their small ATX case.
Below you can find the cooler’s specs, taken directly from Noctua’s website:
Socket compatibility: Intel LGA2066, LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required), AM4 with NM-AM4
Height (without fan) 110 mm
Width (without fan) 95 mm
Depth (without fan) 95 mm
Height (with fan) 110 mm
Width (with fan) 95 mm
Depth (with fan) 95 mm
Weight (without fan) 428 g
Weight (with fan/s) 531 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP see TDP guide
Fan compatibility 92x92x25
Scope of delivery
NF-A9 PWM premium fan
Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
Fan-clips for second NF-A9
Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Model Noctua NF-A9 PWM
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 2000 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1550 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%) 400 RPM
Max. Airflow 78,9 m³/h
Max. Airflow with L.N.A. 62,6 m³/h
Max. Acoustical Noise 22,8 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 16,3 dB(A)
Input Power 1,2 W
Voltage Range 12 V
MTTF > 150.000 h
Package and accessories
Apart from the cooler and fan, inside the package we can find a small box where all the accessories are stored:
- NF-A9 PWM premium fan
- Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
- NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
- SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
- Fan-clips for second NF-A9
- Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Noctua NH-D9L – A closer look
Noctua’s fans are among the top performers in our previous fans tests, as they combine performance with low noise.
The two aluminum towers consist of 35 fins and 4 heat pipes, which go all the way down to the base. The base plate has a flawless finish in a shiny nickel coating. In general, the whole unit has a solid build quality and does not give the impression of a cheap product.
Installation, Test Setup and Results
The installation of the cooler is relatively easy, thanks to the simple instructions and the toolkit included. We knew from the beginning that this cooler is not the first choice for users who wish to overclock. However, it should provide efficient and silent cooling for small cases.
Below is our system, in which we installed the cooler:
Processor: Intel Core i5 6600 (non K)
Motherboard: Gigabyte B150M-DS3H-CF
RAM: 4 x 4 GB Corsair 2133Mhz CMK4GX4M1A2400C14
VGA: Sapphire Radeon R9 270x 2GB
SSD: Adata 256GB SATA3
PSU: High Power P550 Pro
Case: Aerocool GT-RS
Operating System: Windows 10 64-
The SecuFirm2 mechanism ensures that the cooler will fit tightly onto the socket. The step by step instructions in the manual are very easy to follow, so had the cooler up and running in a matter of minutes.
As we can see from the above results, the Noctua NH-D9L can supply more than adequate cooling for its size. First of all, we cannot really say that the i5 6600 non k CPU becomes relatively hot during use, thanks to the 65W TDP. However, while at the idle state the differences in temperature are not big between the tested coolers, when the system is under load the Noctua NH-D9L can offer a better cooling performance by 4-5 degrees average.This is something that cannot be overlooked. Finally, we can say that the performance is similar to the Noctua NH-U9S.
Finally, regarding the noise levels, we are going to take a look from a practical perspective. Apparently, the cooler achieved very low noise levels. At the above diagram, we are using a 0-10 scale, where 0 is silent operation and 10 is annoyingly loud. All of the tested coolers managed to stay quiet, but the two Noctuas were more silent. As a result, it is safe to assume that the cooler will not be noisy even at quiet environments and when the system is under load. Above all, what is the point of having efficient cooling, if your PC sounds like a jumbo jet?
Verdict – Should you buy?
Costing around 50.00€ across Europe, we consider the Noctua NH-D9L to be a solid choice for silent and compact PC systems. Of course, there are cheaper cooling solutions in the market. Therefore, we really feel that it should be priced a little less. Many users will consider that they can get similar performance, for significantly less money. However, we really feel you get what you are paying for, and if we take overclocking into account, we should involve this cooler in our choices. In a few words, you are getting a flawlessly built compact CPU cooler which is efficient, silent and contains everything needed for installation in the bundle. From the moment the box is opened, you can sense the high quality standards under which the Noctua NH-D9L is made. A big plus is that a second fan can be easily installed, offering a boost in cooling performance.
- Efficient cooling
- Complete bundle
- Can be an ideal solution for users with a small case
- Optional second fan installation
- Not huge differences between this and other coolers in performance, in stock clocks
Thus, we would like to give the Noctua NH-D9L our Editor’s Choice Award.