|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU Cooler|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Tuesday, 19 October 2010 22:03|
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Most consumers don't realise this ... but the market for CPU coolers is extremely lucrative, and there are numerous brands all competing fiercely to increase their market share. What's interesing is that the needs of the consumer have changed over the years, from just cooling the CPU to finding the best cooling solution for an overclocked CPU. So, in order to satisify the demands of these consumers, manufacturers have to produce a never ending catalogue of cooling products.
We've looked at several CPU coolers over the past few months. Most of them were large, beastly looking CPU coolers that offered excellent cooling performance. Some were designed for overclocking, while others included silent fans, which offered low noise level. Each CPU cooler had its own niche, and because of this ... manufacturers are now able to target and satisfy the needs of their customers, while preserving their profit margins.
Today, large powerful CPU coolers are all the rage. However, this might not suit everyone, as there are users out there who may require a silent CPU cooler, yet it has to be small or compact enough to fit into their chassis. So in this case ... size does matter after all. Making a compact and silent CPU cooler that is powerful enough, to cool today's demanding CPUs is quite a challenge for manufacturers. It's all about the right combination of size of the heatsink, the silent cooling fans and the design features.
Noctua are well known for their silent CPU coolers. This is all thanks to the award-winning silent fans, and the LNA (Low Noise Adaptors), which are included with package. The combination of the two components enables their fans to spin at an amazingly low speed of 1,000-1,300 rpm. For those who are not familiar with Noctua products or the company itself ... here's a reminder taken from their website.
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU cooler. It's designed for both AMD (AM2, AM2+, AM3) and Intel processors (LGA 775, 1156, 1366), and features U-Type design with 4 heatpipes, nickel-plated copper base and a large array of Aluminum fins for quick heat dissipation. It comes with two NF-B9 silent fans measuring 92mm, and 2 LNA cables (low noise adaptor), as well as a tube of NT-H1 high grade thermal compound. It weighs approximately 640g and measures around 125x95x120mm with both fans installed, making it one of the most compact silent coolers available on the market. The NH-U9B SE2 is much smaller than their flagship NH-D14 cooler, which we reviewed few months ago, so it should be ideal for users who have a HTPC system or a smaller chassis.
The specifcations of the NH-U9B SE2 certainly looks impressive, and its compact size is definitely a big plus. What's more the two silent fans, along with 2 LNA cables makes it the perfect cooling solution for any HTPC users. Having said that, I'm not sure whether the NH-U9B SE2 can really handle today's demanding CPUs. Let's hope I'm wrong.
I'm expecting the NH-U9B SE2 to produce idle temperatures similar to its bigger brothers ... the NH-D14 and the NH-C12P SE14. But because of its compact size, I'm more than happy if the full load temperatures are below 50 degrees Celsius.
We'll be testing the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 on our test rig which consist of an Intel Core i5 - 650 @ 3.2Ghz, Gigabyte P55 USB3 motherboard, Geforce GTX 460 OC, 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer and a Silverpower 650w power supply. It's the same system we've been using to test other CPU coolers.
Let's not waste any more time and take a closer look at the specifications and features of the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 in our next page ...