Before we tested this cooler, we did have a hunch that the cute mini-monster Noctua gave us along with the NH-D9U would have been the better of the two, and now our suspicions have been confirmed. This NH-U9S stands tall and definitely delivers. Of course, in this design we are speaking of 125mm of height and fin stack to cool versus the 110mm of the 3U compliance; it is interesting to see what just a little extra height in a thick single tower can do. For such a compact cooler to keep your CPU less than 80 degrees while overclocked just goes to show that Noctua has their stuff together when it comes to design and implementation.
The intent of the NH-U9S was to stay compact, quiet, and offer full access to everything around it, and we feel Noctua hit the nail on the head with this design. The fact that when converted over to CFM, that near 80 cubic meters of air turns into roughly 55CFM is impressive enough, but there is plenty more to be impressed with here. What's really impressive about the NH-U9S is that it uses a 92mm fan, it's able to cool the tower with ease, and it still offers plenty of room in the design for a dual fan setup (unless you are using LGA2011 with tall heat spreaders on the memory) to increase the efficiency of this design. You may be able to find more affordable solutions out there, but you are probably not going to find something so simultaneously silent, compact, and feature loaded. Comparable solutions probably won't come with this level of hardware, extra goodies, or a six-year warranty either.
Looking at the NH-U9S for what it is, where it can go, and just how capable this compact the design is all lends to what we have been glowing about for this entire review. Not only is this a solid, more professional feeling cooler to use, but it fits almost anywhere (except in very small SFF cases and server racks), and stays unbelievably quiet for a cooler that uses a 92mm fan.
Since it only costs $56.90 to get one of these little monsters to your door, it is one of the more affordable Noctua solutions, and even better than the price is the fact it puts to shame many of the larger coolers that fall around the same level of performance. Those of you familiar with Noctua are probably already considering this cooler for a future build, but for those of you that are unfamiliar with Noctua, this is the perfect opportunity for you to get familiar with Noctua and get a really great cooler in the process.
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.
|Quality including Design and Build||97%|
|Bundle and Packaging||98%|
|Value for Money||97%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||96%|
The Bottom Line: You have to look at this for what it is, and Noctua delivers in spades on the feature set and included bits. This allowed them to deliver a cooler, that while tiny and quiet, takes on larger coolers and puts them to shame, proving that bigger is not always better.
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