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Noctua NH-U9S CPU Cooler Review (Page 1)

Noctua NH-U9S CPU Cooler Review

Chad says that "bigger is not always better", and that proves to be the case with Noctua's NH-U9S CPU air cooler. Let's take a close look.

Chad Sebring | Mar 20, 2015 at 9:20 pm CDT - 3 mins, 51 secs time to read this page
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Noctua

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Noctua NH-U9S CPU Cooler Review 99 |

Along with the NH-D9L, we were also sent another cooler that is cooled by the 92mm fan we saw in the NH-D9L design. This time, rather than staying within the confines of the 3U specification for cooler height, Noctua stretched this design a bit to make room for more cooler and increase the efficiency. While initial impressions of this cooler may lead you to believe the NH-D9L is the better of the two, we all know what happens when you assume things.

We did lose a bit of faith in Noctua with the last sample we received falling a bit short in the included hardware, but our faith has been restored this time around. We realize that mistakes can easily happen, but in our many years reviewing coolers, Noctua has been the hallmark by which we measure a lot of designs. Noctua continually displays a fine attention to detail, and their designs and finished products are high quality. With what we have already seen from their latest design, we jumped right back to the high level of quality we expect from Noctua, and this cooler has certainly shown us you don't have to go huge to control the temperatures of modern processors.

The cooler we are reviewing today is the Noctua NH-U9S, which is very small in comparison to most of the coolers in our charts, and is even more compact than the NH-D9L we just saw. Since even our high standards have been met from what we have already seen of the NH-U9S, we feel that anyone looking for a cooler (whether it's needed in tight confines or not) should really take the time to see what Noctua and their NH-U9S have to offer.

Noctua NH-U9S CPU Cooler Review 01 |

Compatibility information tops the specifications chart provided for the NH-U9S. Here we see that Intel sockets are covered from LGA115X forward, and AMD compatibility covers AM2 and FM1 forward, but AMD installations require the stock back plate. We then jump right into the dimensions of the NH-U9S. The NH-U9S is 125mm tall, 95mm wide, and 95mm deep with the fan included. The chart also shows the cooler weighs 618 grams with the fan included. The metal components are responsible for the bulk of the cooler's weight. The fins of the cooler are made of aluminum, and the base and the five 6mm diameter heat pipes are made of copper. After the base and pipes are assembled and soldered, they are nickel plated to fight oxidation, and then the fins are soldered to each heat pipe. You cannot access the TDP guide from here, but we will tell you that it displays 140W TDP; however, it also says you can overclock that to closer to 160W or 180W TDP overall.

Under the section covering the bits included in the box, we also see that this cooler is shipped with a six-year warranty, and then we run into the fan section. This section shows that the 92mm fan chosen for the NH-U9S is the NF-A9 PWM fan on a SSO2 bearing. This fan can spin up to 2000 RPM, delivering 78.9 cubic meters of airflow. We also see this fan is rated at 22.8 dB(A), uses 1.2W of power, and should spin for 150,000 hours. As an added bonus, we received a second fan as well, so we will be mentioning performance levels there as well.

We shopped around a few e-tailers for the NH-U9S and found a total of four e-tailers with listings for the cooler; however, despite the listings, some e-tailers did not actually have the NH-U9S in stock. Nonetheless, all of the pricing is very similar across the board, but the best deal is currently at where they sell this cooler for $56.90 with free shipping, and they actually have stock to sell. We did see some lower initial pricing, but once shipping was factored in, the total cost was in the $70 range.

So, we know the NH-U9S is affordable, and we know it outperforms the NH-D9L, but the question is: by how much? Stick around and find out for yourself as we take you through the latest creation from Noctua. This cooler may just be the cooling solution for your next build.

PRICING: You can find the Noctua NH-U9S for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Noctua NH-U9S retails for $59.99 at Amazon.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm CDT

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Chad Sebring


After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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