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Noctua NH-L9i Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jan 15, 2013 5:42 pm
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Noctua

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




The NH-L9i starts with a copper base plate which is attached to a pair of 6mm diameter heat pipes. Then a very short stack of aluminum fins, 55 in total, are soldered to the heat pipes for maximum heat transfer and then the entire assembly is nickel plated. This version of the cooler only fits the LGA1155 and LGA1156 for now, along with upcoming LGA1150 CPUs. The NH-L9i stands 23mm tall without the fan and only 37mm with it installed. From side to side, or top to bottom, the NH-L9i is square with a 95mm measurement in both directions. What is also nice is that the combined weight of this cooler is only 420 grams, lessening the strain on the CPU socket.


The fan that comes along for the ride with the NH-L9i is the NF-A9x14 PWM fan. This is a 92mm wide and tall fan that is 14mm thick. Sticking with the SSO2 bearing in the hub, this 92mm fan can spin up to 2500RPM delivering 57.5m3/h of air flow. There is an L.N.A. adapter included that will take the RPMs down to 1800 and the airflow also drops to 40.8m3/h. The use of the L.N.A. adapter has its limits, though. While this cooler can handle 95W CPUs with really good case air flow helping it out, Noctua recommends you don't use the L.N.A. for those. For 77W CPUs or 65W offerings you can use it, but again I still advise there is good air flow in the chassis. That being said, there is only 9 dB difference between using it or not, and even on the high-end we are dealing with 23 dB without it in line.


Even though this cooler has been in the news for quite some time already, availability on this side of the pond is quite limited. I was able to locate the NH-L9i at Newegg at a reasonable price too, but they only show stock of the AMD version currently. If you need the NH-L9i for one of your builds, you are going to have to deal with a couple of odd stores I have never dealt with. First there is Quiet PC USA selling it at $45.95, and the only other place I could find stock was at $46.50. Both locations have shipping to incorporate on top of that pricing.


Considering there is only one other cooler that can fit in the same places as the NH-L9i and that would be the $30 offering from Phanteks in the PH-TC90LS which did all right, but not great, and there wasn't the ability to change the fan like there is with the Noctua solution.

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