23 - 09 - 2014
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Noctua NH-L9i & NH-L9a Low-Profile CPU Coolers Review

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INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nh l9i

   As many of you have noticed things are somewhat slow lately in everything related to PC cooling but considering most solutions we do get to see are very similar in design, size and performance this is not really surprising (nor bad really). On top of that add that we have entered the winter season and i doubt we will see anything really interesting at least for another couple of months or so (although CES is just around the corner so we may see something new announced there). Regardless of that however from time to time we do get to witness the release of unique (or dedicated as I like to call them) CPU Coolers aimed specifically at one of the various market segments (enthusiasts, overclockers, casual users, gamers, HTPC users) just like the latest NH-L9 L-Type low-profile cooler line by Noctua which is clearly aimed for HTPC use.

 

   Designed in Austria, Noctua's premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received more than 1000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua's fans and heatsinks are chosen by more than a hundred thousand satisfied customers around the globe. Noctua comes from a cooperation of the Austrian Rascom Computerdistribution Ges.m.b.H. with the Taiwanese cooling specialist Kolink International Corporation, pooling more than ten years of experience in the development, manufacturing and marketing of high-end cooling components. Established in 2005, Noctua took the international silent enthusiasts' hearts by storm and quickly developed into one of the most acclaimed suppliers of premium quality quiet cooling products. Today, Noctua is present in more than 30 countries across the globe and working with several hundred sales partners. Chosen by noise conscious PC users, system integrators and industry clients alike, Noctua has become synonymous with impeccable quality, excellent customer service and class leading quiet cooling performance.

 

   So far the Noctua NH-L9 L-Type low-profile cooler line consists by two models, the Intel LGA1150/1155/1156 compatible NH-L9i and the AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2 compatible NH-L9a. Both CPU coolers are extremely small in size and thus ideal for use with very small mini/HTPC cases but it's their height that really steals the show which is no more than 37mm (23mm without the fan) along with the latest NF-A9x14 PWM 92mm fan which as you will see later is quite impressive in terms of performance, for its size that is. The only problem was that all our test systems are either based on the "old" yet proven Intel Core i7 920 or with the newest and quite more powerful Core i7 3930k Rev.2 so although i did my best to track down someone with a serious AMD system to test the NH-L9a with i was unable to. So basically only the NH-L9i was tested in the end by recruiting a friend who has built a somewhat powerful LGA1155 system and lives not far from where i do.