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Thread: Noctua NH-U9S

  1. #1
    Xtreme Reviewer
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Noctua NH-U9S


    Noctua is a company that is known for the performance and quality of their products, putting them on the top spot in the industry of Air Cpu Coolers and fans. They're also that well known that they don't need to sell their products based solely on marketing strategies. And with a plethora of coolers to count, the company sure has a lot to offer to the market. Noctua coolers are excellent performers, and if these sport a black-clad exterior, then things would be even better. Today, we're going to look at the NH-U9S from Noctua, which is a CPU cooler that is designed for smaller and more compact chassis that generally have issues when it comes to bigger coolers. It takes a whole lot to be at the top of the market, and it's not just all about performance, but durability and quality as well. Everything including the fan, anti-vibration pads, fan clips, heatpipes and fin arrays has been given the all-black makeover, as too have the mounting parts. Noctua's fit and finish is, as expected, of a high standard, and the black coatings on all the various parts are so well matched that the cooler comes across as a single item. It's more matte than glossy, too, helping give it a modern, trendy aesthetic, and it goes without saying there are no gaudy LED lights.

    Intel LGA 115x, 1366, 2011 and AMD AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2 based processors can be used in combination with this cooler.

    Packaging & Contents

    As you would expect, the box design is different to the normal one as well to make it obvious that what you are getting is the new all black variant. The front side of the packaging features a profile photo of the cooler and the fan with an abstract background. The full product name is printed on the upper left corner with the main features listed on the lower side.

    There is a picture of the cooler at the top. The model of the cooler is printed up top. CHROMAX by Noctua is printed at the bottom left.

    The model of the cooler is printed in a vertical layout on the left. Salient features are highlighted in the main section. There is a picture of the heatsink which overlaps to the other side of the packing box. The dimensions of the cooler are pictorially printed at the bottom.

    The specifications of the heatsink and the fan are printed on the left side. The UPC and EAN labels are printed at the bottom alongside a QR code. The clearance and compatibility of the heatsink are printed as well.

    There is a picture of the cooler on the right side. We have an in-depth presentation of the main selling points of the NH-U9S The model of the cooler is printed up top. CHROMAX by Noctua is printed at the bottom left.

    Upon opening the box your new NH-U9S you will be greeted with..yet another box, But this box actually contains all the accessories that you will need to actually mount and well use the cooler.

    Below it you will find another cardboard containing the NH-U9S heatsink. The heatsink is protected from all sides and held in the center by folded cardboard. The Noctua NH-U9S is bundled with one NF-A9 PWM fan already pre-installed on the heatsink via wire clips.

    The accessory bag contains a low-noise adapter, a metal Noctua badge, an extra pair of fan clips for 92mm fans, a full-sized tube of Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound and a nickel finished Phillips-head screwdriver. Separate illustrated instruction manuals for AMD, Intel LGA115x and Intel LGA2011x are included.

    A Closer Look

    As we open the box and take a closer look at the Noctua NH-U9S we begin to see the quality and the great detail that Noctua has become known for. The design of the Noctua NH-U9S is completely the same as the regular NH-U9S except for one big thing, This one's black! Every single aluminium fin and heatpipe on the heatsink is covered with the heat dissipation-optimized black coating, which Noctua claims the additional coating and manufacturing process will not hinder the cooling capability. From my experience, the coating seems to be relatively durable against minor scratches, but handling the coolers with care is still recommended. The only thing that remains shinny is the polished nickel-plated CPU contact base on the cooler. The retention plate and screws of the mounting system are also coated in black.

    This cooler is intended for small form factor builds. The Noctua NH-U9S is a compact CPU cooler, with a height of just 125mm and a width of 95mm. The cooler uses a single 92mm fan and a heatsink with a total of 5 copper heatpipes and 45 aluminum cooling fins. The dimensions of the heatsink are: (H)125mm x (W)95mm x (D)68mm, with a total weight of 618g. The cooler is very compact, yet surprisingly heavy. It may be small, but there's a lot of metal here.

    The heatsink has an offset single tower design, and uses approximately 45 aluminum made cooling fins. The heatpipes and the fins are attached through soldering to both improve the heat transfer and also, to increase the sturdiness of the heatsink.

    The NH-U9S has a single 92mm fan for the active cooling. The fan is a Noctua NF-A9 PWM model, and has the dimensions: 92 x 92 x 25mm. The fan has a minimum speed of 400 RPM and a maximum speed of 2000RPM.

    The top speed can be reduced to 1550RPM with the help of the included low noise adapter.

    The cable of the fan is covered by high quality sleeving and the connector used for power is a standard 4 Pin connector, which is also PWM compatible.

    The NH-U9S has a total of five copper made heatpipes, each with an outer diameter of 6mm. In addition, the copper made heatpipes are nickel-plated to prevent oxidation and add more depth to the design of the cooler. Just like with the cooling fins, the heatpipes are soldered at the back of the base plate of the cooler.

    The top of the cooler is simple, with only the Noctua logo etched into the top metal plate of the heatsink.

    The endings of the heatpipes are shaped symmetrically into a cone, this is important, as many other coolers have uneven heatpipe endings that affect the overall look of the cooler.

    The copper base plate and the heat pipes come with a gorgeous nickel playing and the CPU contact plate is polished to a mirror shine.

    Installation Process

    Mounting the NH-U9s is incredibly easy, party due to the very high quality of the components. The back plate comes with the pins pre-mounted and it?s simply a case of popping it on the back of the motherboard.

    On the other side, you'll add four plastic spacers, then fit the two mounting bars with the handy thumb screws. This is a very easy process.

    The mounting bracket is pre-installed to the cooler with sprung screws already in place. Just pop the cooler between the two mounting brackets you previously fitted.

    Don't reach for your toolbox, the Noctua cooler comes with everything you need, including this perfectly handy L-shaped screwdriver that makes easy work of the two screws. Pop the fan back on and you're good to go. Also, notice the perfect RAM clearance, good news for those with huge memory modules.

    Test System & Methology

    Test System:

    Cpu:Intel Core i7-6700K@4.6 GHz.
    Motherboard:Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z170
    Memory:16Gb Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666Mhz
    Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB SC2
    Power Supply: EVGA SuperNova 1200 P2
    Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda
    Boot Drive: SSD 850 PRO 2.5" SATA III 2TB
    Chassis: Dimastech Bench Table Easy V2.5
    Windows 10 64-bit


    CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
    CPUID CPU-Z 1.65
    Prime 95

    I am testing the performance as follows:

    Ambient temperatures are kept at 23C throughout my tests.
    The CPU Fan is set to 100% to eliminate inconsistencies as a result of PWM control.
    Idle temperatures are obtained after booting the PC and idling on the desktop for 30 minutes.
    Load temperatures are obtained after running Prime 95′s for 30 minutes.


    While idling, we saw 25 degrees for the stock run, and when we loaded the processor, we received a 63 degree result. Of course, this is not the best thermal reading on the chart, but we are still within ten degrees of the best air cooler result on the list which bytheway comes also by Noctua.

    Under heavy loads in both overclocked and stocked, the NH-U9S does a good enough job. Just remember that the cooler isn't focused on overclocking. Instead, it aims for small spaces in the ITX market.

    Noise Level

    We can't really say that the fan is super quiet, but considering that it's a 92mm fan that spins quite fast, you'll be hard-pressed to find a different fan, with this size, that can come close to its performance.

    Final Thoughts

    The Noctua NH-U9S cooler fix that one problem the PC community has requested for quite some time. The all-black exterior will enable the cooler to fit in more PC build styles. The matte black finish on the heatsink somehow make the cooler feel more premium and modern. I believe Noctua did not want to compromise on cooling performance for aesthetic, unless they find a way to optimize the coating. And the new cooler have practically equal cooling capability than the regular version, according to our benchmarks. There's no surprise here in that the Noctua NH-U9S isn't the most powerful CPU cooler in the world, but given its relative cooler size and fan size, it was never really designed to be. What we have here is a compact cooler, that designed to be compatible with a wide range of systems, chassis and RAM configurations. It does so by keeping the design low and relatively slim, with a smaller fan, although there is room to mount an extra fan for push-pull should you need it (sold separately). The NH-U9S is a little more expensive (EUROS 65) that some other coolers in its class. While that seems like a bad deal to some, I'd bet that the NH-U9S will outlive many of its rivals due to its exceptional build quality and cooling performance. You're really not going to find better quality for this kind of money. The included NF-A9 PWM fan ran smoothly with acceptable noise level at most RPM ranges. The smaller diameter does slightly limit its cooling capability. It will have to spin a bit faster to produce similar airflow. The NH-U9S is a premium product from start (packaging) to finish and outfitted out of the box with everything needed to be installed including tools, full-sized thermal compound and low-noise adapter.

    Noctua has once again made a product with considerable thought and care. In conclusion, The Noctua NH-U9S lived up to my expectations and then some. It looks great, it's easy to install, it's got exceptional build quality and cooling performance (for it's size). Another good thing about this Cpu Cooler is that it comes with a six-year manufacturer's warranty.

    Last edited by testman78; 11-26-2020 at 04:12 AM.



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