Noctua NH-L9i CPU Chromax.black Cooler Review (Tested on AM4)

Noctua recently released a black version of popular CPU coolers that caused excitement amongst gamers and computer enthusiasts. We’ve already presented the NH-U12S chromax.black cooler, which received our Editor’s Choice Award. Today is time on a totally different cooler designed with small form factor PC on the mind. The NH-L9i about which I’m talking will be tested on the Ryzen 3000 platform, which contains the Ryzen 7 3700X CPU. It seems too much, but we will see how the cooler handles the latest 8-core CPU.

The NH-L9i is a highly-compact low-profile quiet cooler designed for use in small form factor cases and HTPC environments. While it provides first rate performance in its class, it is not suitable for overclocking and should be used with care on CPUs with more than 65W TDP (Thermal Design Power). Please consult our CPU compatibility list and TDP guidelines to find out whether the NH-L9i is recommended for your CPU.

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The NH-L9i chromax.black is an all-black version of Noctua’s award-winning NH-L9i low-profile quiet CPU cooler for HTPCs and Small Form Factor (SFF) builds. Thanks to the same proven heatsink design and NF-A9x14 PWM fan, it stays true to the NH-L9i’s successful formula of fusing a height of only 37mm with strong performance and excellent quietness of operation, as well as 100% RAM and PCIe compatibility. At the same time, the chromax.black version with its black fan and black coated heatsink combines these assets with a sleek stealth look. Topped off with the renowned SecuFirm2™ low-profile mounting system for Intel LGA115x, Noctua’s enthusiast-grade NT-H1 thermal compound and a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-L9i chromax.black is a premium choice for customers who seek an ultra-compact heatsink that looks just as great as it cools.
 

 

Award-winning NH-U12 series

Award-winning NH-L9i cooler

Tens of thousands of enthusiast users all over the world swear by the NH-L9i’s quality and performance. Recommended by more than 150 international hardware websites and magazines, it is renowned as being one of the best low-profile coolers on the market.
 
chromax.black design

chromax.black design

The NH-L9i chromax.black is black from head to toe: Featuring a black coated heatsink, a black fan with black anti-vibration-pads, black fan screws, and black mounting parts, it’s right at home in all-black builds and easy to integrate with other colour schemes.
 
37mm low profile

37mm low profile

Due to the slim 23mm heatsink and the NF-A9x14 low profile fan that measures only 14mm in thickness, the NH-L9 stands a mere 37mm tall, which makes it ideal for use in compact HTPCs or Small Form Factor cases that offer minimum clearance for CPU coolers.
 
100% RAM compatibility

100% RAM compatibility

The NH-L9i has a 95x95mm footprint that complies exactly with the Intel LGA115x socket keep-out zone. This means that it won’t cause issues with chipset coolers and doesn’t overhang the RAM slots, so it’s fully compatible with tall memory modules.
 
100% compatibility with PCIe cards on mini-ITX

100% compatibility with PCIe cards on mini-ITX

Most Intel LGA115x based mini-ITX motherboards have the PCIe slot sitting right next to the 95x95mm socket zone. While larger coolers that exceed this zone are likely to block the PCIe slot, the 95x95xmm sized NH-L9i provides full compatibility with PCIe cards.
 
NF-A9x14 PWM premium fan

NF-A9x14 PWM premium fan

The highly optimised NF-A9x14 premium fan features Noctua’s proprietary AAO frame as well as sophisticated aerodynamic design measures. Supporting PWM for fully automatic speed control, the NF-A9x14 allows the NH-L9i to stay remarkably quiet.
 
Soldered interface between heatpipes and fins

Soldered interface between heatpipes and fins

With many heatsinks, the fins are press-fitted to the heatpipes. Due to the different thermal expansion coefficients of copper and aluminium, this fit can loosen over years of thermal cycling, which may lead to reduced performance. By contrast, the NH-L9i’s fins are soldered to the heatpipes in order to guarantee a superior thermal interface that doesn’t deteriorate even after many years of usage
Custom-designed SecuFirm2™ mounting for LGA115x

Custom-designed SecuFirm2™ mounting for LGA115x

The NH-L9i bundles a custom-designed, backplate-less SecuFirm2™ mounting system for LGA115x that offers extended compatibility with mini-ITX boards and makes installation easier than ever, all while maintaining the trusted SecuFirm2™ quality.
Low-Noise Adaptor

Low-Noise Adaptor

Allowing to reduce the maximum speed of the NF-A9x14 fan from 2500 to 1800rpm, the included (L.N.A.) makes it possible to achieve near-silent setups using CPUs with less than 65W TDP.
6-year manufacturer’s warranty

6-year manufacturer’s warranty

Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. True to this legacy, the NH-U12A heatsink is built to last, and like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-A12x25 units feature an MTTF rating of more than 150,000 hours. The entire package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.

 

You can buy the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black CPU Cooler for around $49 from Amazon – https://amzn.to/2qQkVwQ

 

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About Bartosz Waluk 301 Articles
Bartosz Waluk aka Woomack is from Poland. He's been interested in computer hardware and extreme overclocking for over 15 years. Bartosz has also over 12 years experience in IT what includes sales, technical support and computer building ... but not only. He joined the Funky Kit team in January 2013.