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Noctua NH-D9L CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 9, 2015 2:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Noctua





The white-trim and brown-panel packaging is typical for Noctua coolers. The NH-D9L name appears at the left with a QR Code, and it is repeated at the top right of the brown panel. Just above a view of the heat pipes, we find a list of eight features, and off to the right is a silver sticker stating the cooler has full 3U compliance.




On this side of the box we find the brown panel contains the specifications charts, which are broken up into sections for the cooler and the included fan. This section also covers what can be found inside the box with the fan and cooler. Noctua even took the time to offer tiny dimensional renderings, so customers understand the size and shape of the cooler.




On the back of the packaging we find a statement about the NH-D9L that includes what inspired it, and what sort of ideas lead to the development of the feature set that this cooler offers. This information is repeated in seven languages to cover Noctua's international markets.




The last side of the packaging displays icons for nine features found in this design. There is a full statement explaining the features to the right of each icon. Along with a notation indicating where this cooler was made, we also see a mention of the six-year warranty.




When the box is initially opened, you are first greeted with the SecuFirm 2 mounting system and accessories box. It plainly shows what you will find inside of it, but we will still cover those items later.




After getting everything out of the outer packaging, we find the cooler inside of the lower two sections under the hardware box. To protect the cooler further, it is packed inside of yet another box. Inside of the cooler box you will find the cooler with a clip on base cover, a pre-installed fan, and a bit of cardboard between the fan and the other tower. All of this packaging allowed our cooler to arrive in perfect condition.

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    We are sorry to see that you haven't been 100% satisfied with the NH-D9L. The performance results look good to us. After all, this is a hot CPU and a small cooler, and it seems to have kept up with larger models pretty well. Of course, it will not rate too well when measured on a price/performance scale. It goes without saying that you will get more performance for your money if you go with a 120mm model, but this is not what we're aiming for with this model. The point is to deliver the best possible performance at a given form factor for people who can not fit bigger coolers and who are ready to spend a bit more to get a premium quality solution. Think of the quality concious buyer who has a D15 in his main rig and now wants to build an ITX based HTPC. We apologize for the missing spacer. Things like that are very rare to occur, but can happen with one out of a thousand coolers or so. We always do our best to get the custumers the required parts as soon as possible in such cases. As for the fan touching the fins, this depends on where you mount it. We have extra anti-vibration pads on the low end of the fins and if you move the fan all the way down, the upper anti-vibration pads will touch the fins. As for total height, the review units we've sent out stem from the last pre-production run and there was indeed an error which led to the 2mm excess. Production units now come at 110mm height as advertised. Note that even 112mm will fit most 3U cases though. As for the fan, if you move it all the way down after tightening the screws, it should not be higher than the tips of the heatpipes! As for vibrations in general, we haven't had any complaints about vibrations with the NF-A9 fans at all so far and the feedback of testers and customers alike was very positive. As with the spacers, we can never completely outrule the possibility that there's a defective fan out of a thousand or that it got damaged in shipping, but so far both reviewers and customers have been very satisfied with this model. The same goes for the towers being bent: We go out of our way to protect the coolers as good as possible but with the way parcels are handled, it can occur that a unit arrives bent. Generally, the D9L package works well though, we haven't had any other complaints regarding bent coolers either from reviewers or customers.

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