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The NH-D9L is a premium grade dual tower CPU cooler that has been designed to provide excellent quiet cooling performance at a height of only 110mm. Its comparably low profile (15mm lower than classic 9cm tower coolers such as the NH-U9S) doesn’t only guarantee full 3U compliance but also makes the NH-D9L ideal for compact HTPC and Small Form Factor cases that have airflow paths parallel to the mainboard. Thanks to its 95x95mm footprint, the NH-D9L clears the RAM and PCIe slots on all Intel based and most AMD based ITX mainboards. The included NF-A9 premium fan supports automatic speed control via PWM for outstanding quietness of operation and a second, optional NF-A9 fan can be added for further improved performance in dual fan mode. Topped off with the trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s proven NT-H1 thermal compound and full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-D9L forms a highly compact premium package for space-restricted applications.

Details
Low-profile tower design for better airflow efficiency

Low-profile tower design for better airflow efficiency

While most low-profile coolers blow air towards the motherboard, the NH-D9L is a tower style cooler that bows parallel to the mainboard, which allows for superior airflow efficiency in cases with front intake and rear exhaust fans that create an airflow path parallel to the mainboard.
3U compatibility

3U compatibility

Whereas classic 9cm coolers with up to 125mm height fit 4U rack mount cases, the NH-D9L's reduced height of 110mm allows it to also fit 3U chassis. This makes it ideal for noise-sensitive 3U applications in fields such as audio or video processing.
100% RAM compatibility

100% RAM compatibility

With its 95x95mm footprint, the NH-D9L does not overhang the RAM slots on current Intel and most AMD mainboards. This gives the user full access to the memory modules and guarantees 100% compatibility with tall heatspreaders or optional memory fans.*
100% compatibility with PCIe cards on mini-ITX

100% compatibility with PCIe cards on mini-ITX

Many Intel LGA115x based mini-ITX mainboards 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-D9L provides full compatibility with PCIe cards, be it on ATX, microATX or ITX.
NF-A9 premium fan

NF-A9 premium fan

The highly optimised features Noctua's proprietary AAO frame as well as sophisticated aerodynamic design measures such as Flow Acceleration Channels, which allows it to further improve the renowned efficiency of Noctua's previous 92mm models and contributes to the NH-D9L' superior cooling performance.
PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor

The NF-A9 92mm fan supplied with the NH-D9L supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the mainboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 2000 to 1550rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation.
Dual fan ready

Dual fan ready

The NH-D9L includes an extra set of fan mounting clips for users who want to achieve even better cooling performance by adding a second, optional NF-A9 to the front fin stack. Using the y-cable supplied with the NF-A9 PWM retail fan, both fans can be connected to one CPU fan header.**
SecuFirm2™ mounting system

SecuFirm2™ mounting system

Noctua's SecuFirm2™ mounting systems have become synonymous with quality, safety and ease of use. Supporting Intel LGA115x (LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156), LGA2011 (LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3) and AMD (AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+), the SecuFirm2™ mounting included with the NH-D9L guarantees perfect contact pressure and maximum convenience on all current sockets.
Compatibility with past and future sockets

Compatibility with past and future sockets

Complying with the open SecuFirm™ standard, the NH-D9L can be made compatible with the older LGA1366 and LGA775 sockets using the optional NM-I3 mounting kit, which is provided by Noctua free of charge. If technically possible, Noctua will also provide upgrade kits for future sockets.
NT-H1 thermal compound

NT-H1 thermal compound

Having received more than 100 awards and recommendations from hardware journalists around the world, Noctua's NT-H1 is a proven professional grade TIM solution that provides minimum thermal resistance, excellent ease of use and outstanding reliability.
6-year manufacturer’s warranty

6-year manufacturer’s warranty

Noctua products are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the supplied NF-A9 features an MTBF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-D9L package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
*Some AMD mainboards violate the 96x114mm keep-out zone specified by AMD, so the NH-D9L can only be used with RAM modules of up to 30mm height on these boards. Please consult our compatibility list for details. **The optional front fan will sit above the RAM and depending on the height of the RAM modules, the fan may have to be moved up so far that the total height of the cooler exceeds 110mm. As a result, the cooler may no longer fit some 3U cases. In order to guarantee full 3U compatibility in dual fan mode, please use low profile memory with up to 22mm height.
NH-D9L
Cooler Specifications

Intel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3(Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)

Height (without fan)
110 mm
Width (without fan)
95 mm
Depth (without fan)
95 mm
Height (with fan)
110 mm
Width (with fan)
95 mm
Depth (with fan)
95 mm
Weight (without fan)
428 g
Weight (with fan/s)
531 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP
see TDP guide
Fan compatibility
92x92x25
Scope of Delivery
  • NF-A9 PWM premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Fan-clips for second NF-A9
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Bearing
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
2000 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1550 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
400 RPM
Max. Acoustical Noise
22,8 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
16,3 dB(A)
Input Power
1,2 W
Voltage Range
12 V
MTBF
> 150.000 h
NH-D9L
NH-D9L Video
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA115x installation
SecuFirm2™ Intel LGA2011 installation
SecuFirm2™ AMD installation (NM-AMB1)
Video Reviews
The following video reviews have not been created by Noctua. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the videos lies entirely with the authors.
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30.05.2016 // Micougnou.com
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NH-D9L Review

De son côté le NH-D9L proposé pour 50€ dans sa configuration originale en mono ventilateur est un peu en retrait en terme de performances par rapport au précédent. Toutefois il se montrera plus évolutif en cas de changement de processeur pour un modèle plus puissant, avec l'ajout d'un ventilateur supplémentaire.
Test verdict: "Le modèle a privilégier si vous envisagez un configuration plus conséquente mais sans avoir la hauteur disponible ou le budget pour partir sur un modèle en 12 ou 14cm." (Nicolas Henriques, Micougnou.com)
22.04.2016 // Deep in IT
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NH-D9L Review

Zejména pak ve spojení s moderními procesory s nižším TDP (včetně 88 W u Core i7-4790K či 91 W u Core i7-6700K) lze i od tohoto chladiče malých rozměrů očekávat tiché uchlazení na základních taktech, ale i solidní výkon pro overclocking.
Test verdict: "Chladič si vede velice dobře, zejména pokud si uvědomíme, jak malé rozměry má a tudíž kam všude půjde vměstnat." (David Ježek, Deep in IT)
12.04.2016 // PCElite.pl
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NH-D9L Review

Od firmy Noctua otrzymałem do testów dwa chłodzenia procesora, które właśnie przetestuję. Mowa tu o następujących modelach: NH-U9S i NH-D9L. Oba chłodzenia możemy kupić w Polsce i ich cena wynosi odpowiednio około 250 złotych. Jak wypadły coolery w testach?
Test verdict: "Chłodzenia Noctua NH-D9L oraz Noctua NH-U9S to udane konstrukcje, które powinny spełnić oczekiwania większości użytkowników, ponieważ niezbyt duże rozmiary oraz bogaty zestaw producenta powinny zaspokoić apetyty kupujących." (Arkadiusz Byś, PCElite.pl)
07.04.2016 // blog.PCLab.pl
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NH-D9L Review

To bardzo sensowna, dwuwieżowa konstrukcja, która może zostać zamontowana w ciasnych obudowach. Świetnie prezentowała się we wspominanej Define Nano S na płycie MSI B85i, gdzie wszystkie inne schładzacze blokowały slot PCI-E. NH-D9L może śmiało współpracować z wydajnymi procesorami i5 lub i7, a te pierwsze mogą być odblokowane. Rekordów w OC nie pobijemy, ale możliwe jest już mocniejsze podkręcenie.
Test verdict: "Wydajność NH-D9L robi wrażenie w kontekście niewielkich wymiarów." (Kamil Homziak, blog.PCLab.pl)
04.04.2016 // ITNdaily.ru
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NH-D9L Review

С одним вентилятором на борту Noctua NH-D9L способен отвести пыл от Intel Core i5-6600K на 4900-5000 МГц. Оптимальным и относительно холодным вариантом является показатель в 4700-4800 МГц. Пропеллер при этом не работает на максимальной скорости.
Test verdict: "Noctua NH-D9L и вентилятор Noctua NF-A9 PWM оставили исключительно положительные впечатления, с такими продуктами приятно работать. Рекомендуем не обходить стороной данные устройства, если такая возможность существует." (Евгений Никифоров, ITNdaily.ru)
21.03.2016 // ReHWolution.it
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NH-D9L Review

In ordine di prestazioni: l’NH-L9x65 è un dissipatore low-profile le cui prestazioni non proprio brillanti non devono fungere da deterrente, il dissipatore è stato comunque testato con un 5960x che, come ben saprete, non è famoso per il ridotto calore generato. Il Noctua NH-D9L, invece, ha fornito prestazioni eccezionali, in proporzione alla ridottissima superficie di scambio di cui è dotato, tenendo a bada il 5960x quasi alla pari con l’NH-U9S, che grazie alla superficie lamellare “extra” rispetto a quest’ultimo riesce ad essere il dissipatore più performante, sacrificando però dimensioni più compatte rispetto al D9L. Nessun dissipatore ha superato la prova con la CPU a 4.0 GHz, il che è normale, visto che si tratta di una potenza da dissipare superiore ai 200 W. Poco male, si tratta di dissipatori compatti, per sistemi il cui consumo energetico non è così spropositato.
Test verdict: "Il Noctua NH-D9L è un dissipatore davvero prestante (se rapportato alle dimensioni), presentando incredibile silenziosità, performance degne del nome dell’azienda e dimensioni davvero compatte. Per questo, diamo ad esso il nostro Hardware Platinum Award" (Ciro Sdino, ReHWolution.it)
19.03.2016 // SmallFormFactor.net
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NH-D9L Review

The Noctua NH-D9L is a great product, designed for those who need a front to back airflow without compromising on aural performance. Dual fan mode on our 65w test system wasn’t spectacular, but at higher wattages, I expect the cost to benefit ratio of the second fan to be worth it.
Test verdict: "The cooler is manufactured to the highest standard, as per usual for Noctua. It is well packaged and comes with a fully featured accessory kit. If you need a mini-tower cooler, this might be the option for you." (John Morrison, SmallFormFactor.net)
22.01.2016 // Formula Hardware
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NH-D9L Review

Podemos considerar que el Noctua NH-D9L de un perfecto disipador, sobre todo para equipos de pequeñas dimensiones debido a su reducido tamaño de 95mm, además de su excelente rendimiento a pesar de su tamaño, y el asombroso silencio con el que opera, que apenas es audible, a pesar de ser un disipador de doble torre. A sí mismo, destacar su diseño a nivel de construcción de doble torre, que nos recuerda al NH-D15, y su fácil instalación, aunque algo molesta a la hora de instalar el ventilador central. Además, cumple por completo todas las expectativas de cualquier disipador de gama media del mercado en un rango de precios de 50€. Hemos podido comprobar de primera mano su rendimiento en un buen equipo, incluso con Overclock, y su comportamiento en cuanto a temperaturas se refiere, nos ha sorprendido gratamente, siendo algo inferiores al ya analizado NH-U9S.
Test verdict: "Sin mucho más que decir, Noctua ha cuidado hasta el más mínimo detalle en el NH-D9L y una vez más nos ha sorprendido, por ello recomendamos la compra del Noctua NH-D9L sin duda alguna a nuestros lectores." (Asis Ferrer, Formula Hardware)
17.01.2016 // eTeknix.com
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NH-D9L Review

When it comes to cooling your system, there are few that do that job better than Noctua. While the cooler may not have had the best cooling performance we’ve ever seen, this much was to be expected, as it is still quite a compact unit. It’s also impressive how many systems this cooler is compatible with, thanks to 100% ram compatibility and a design that shouldn’t conflict with any motherboard VRM, compact and low-profile chassis’ should be an issue and so much more. However, what really shines through is the acoustic performance, as I literally could not hear this cooler running without the fan blades hitting my ears! Obviously, this wasn’t the case after prolonged load on a heavily overclocked CPU, but this cooler wasn’t design for that task anyway. The build quality is as good as it gets and from the contact plate to the tip of the heat pipes, it’s easy to see that a lot of care has gone into the material choices and construction. This is also one of the reasons the price is a bit higher that similar price and performance products, as the Noctua product has a sublime six-year warranty and I’ve no doubt it’ll long outlast even that. The same can be said for the fan, Noctua fans are regarded as some of the finest in the world, it’ll stay cool and quiet for a very long time. If you’re on the market for a compact, powerful, whisper-quiet cooler that doesn’t cost the Earth, then you’ll be very happy with what Noctua have to offer here. It’s a perfect cooler for a non-overclocked CPU, a workstation or office system.
Test verdict: "Compact, well made and excellent value for money, the Noctua NH-D9L is perfect for those that want a quiet, reliable and widely compatible CPU cooler." (Peter Donnell, eTeknix.com)
18.11.2015 // TecnoGeekies.com
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NH-D9L Review

Nuestra conclusión es que ambos disipadores son muy buenas opciones a considerar, mas aun viniendo de una empresa con trayectoria como Noctua. Si tuviéramos que decantarnos por uno de los dos, escogeríamos el NH-U9S, si bien su precio es 5 euros más caro, compensa el hecho de tener nuestra CPU mejor refrigerada y mantener nuestros dB bajos sin no tener que invertir en ventiladores adicionales. Por ello, este dispositivo recibe el Galardón de Platino de TecnoGeekies.
Test verdict: "Como dijimos anteriormente, se tratan de dos de los mejores disipadores que han pasado por nuestras manos, destacando por su calidad y bajo nivel sonoro, se posicionan de manera destacada frente a sus competidores más directos para aquellos usuarios que prefieran una refrigeración por aire estable." (Ignacio Merino Arnaiz, TecnoGeekies.com)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

FAQs

How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

I can't open the socket due to the mounting bars!

Does the package include a backplate for AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2(+)?

How can I check whether my AMD mainboard has a standard AMD backplate that’s compatible with the SecuFirm2™ mounting system and how should I proceed with the installation?

I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

I’ve used all the NT-H1 thermal compound that came with the cooler, can you send me more?

Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

How big is the NH-D9L and how much clearance does it provide for RAM and mainboard heatsinks?

What Thermal Design Power (TDP) is this cooler recommended for and how much Watt (W) of heat can it dissipate?

Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo?

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

My Intel -K series CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem?

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

Why doesn't the supplied backplate fit my LGA2011 motherboard?

My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose?

How to remove the base protection cover?

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

Are there any concerns using Noctua CPU coolers on Intel Skylake (LGA1151) CPUs?

Is it a problem that the CPU heatspreader is not covered completely by the heatsinkbase on LGA2011-3?

Why doesn't the base of Noctua coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?

How can I check if my 4-pin fan header supports PWM?

Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one?

How can I check whether my case is wide/high enough for the cooler?

Most case manufacturers provide specifications for maximum CPU cooler height/clearance. Please refer to these specifications in order to verify that the cooler will fit the case. If no specifications are available, please contact the case manufactuer or measure the distance from the motherboard tray to the side panel (tower cases) or top panel (desktop cases). If this distance is bigger than the height of the cooler + 15mm (mainboard spacers + mainboard + CPU), the height/width of your case should be sufficient.

I can't open the socket due to the mounting bars!

Please first loosen one of the two thumbscrews that hold the mounting bars in place. Then untighten the second screw so that you can swivel the mounting bar and open the socket. Depending on the position of the mounting bars, you may need to swivel both.

Open Socket

Open Socket

Does the package include a backplate for AMD AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2(+)?

No. As most AMD mainboards come with a stock backplate preinstalled, the cooler doesn’t include an AMD backplate. If your mainboard doesn’t have a backplate, please contact our support team at support@noctua.at.

amd backplate

How can I check whether my AMD mainboard has a standard AMD backplate that’s compatible with the SecuFirm2™ mounting system and how should I proceed with the installation?

The SecuFirm2™ mounting system requires a standard AMD backplate (either plastic or metal) with screw threads as shown on the pictures below. These backplates are pre-installed on the rear side of most AMD mainboards (see first picture below) and fixed to the retention module with four screws (see second picture below). If your retention module is fixed with plastic bolts instead of metal screws, please contact support@noctua.at in order to obtain an appropriate backplate.

In order to proceed with the installation of your Noctua cooler, please remove the four screws and the retention module but keep the backplate in place so that you can see the screw threads from the top side of the motherboard (see third picture below). You can then proceed with the installation of the SecuFirm2™ mounting kit as described in the manual (see fourth picture below).

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate

AMD backplate



I get a CPU fan error using my Noctua PWM fan, is it faulty?

Noctua PWM fans feature a minimum speed of 300rpm to allow for ultra quiet operation when your CPU is at idle state and doesn’t require higher cooling performance. Some mainboards display error messages such as “CPU fan error” during the booting process when the fan speed is below a certain level. If you get such error messages using your Noctua PWM fan and if such options are available in your BIOS, please either adjust the minimum fan speed monitoring limit to 200rpm or increase the minimum PWM duty cycle. If your BIOS doesn’t offer these options, please disable CPU fan errors. For detailed information on BIOS fan settings, please consult your mainoard’s manual or contact your mainboard manufacturer.

Does the mounting-system support LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs?

There are two different types of ILM (Independent Loading Mechanism) for Intel’s LGA2011 based Xeon CPUs: Square ILM with 80x80mm hole spacing and Narrow ILM with 56x94mm hole spacing. The Square ILM socket is mechanically identical to the LGA2011 socket for Core i7, so the mounting-system is fully compatible, but it is not compatible with Xeon mainboards that use the Narrow ILM:

Xeon Compatibility

How should I clean my Noctua cooler?

Dust: Fans and heatsinks inside computer cases tend to accumulate dust over longer periods of usage. In order to maintain maximum performance, please clean your fan and heatsink regularly. For cleaning, please first remove the fan from the heatsink and clean it using a duster, slightly moist tissue or canned air. Please be careful not to use too much force in order to prevent any damage to the fan. Please do not use a vacuum cleaner as this may apply excessive force to the fan and do not put the fan under running water as water residues inside the motor may lead to short circuits. Please also note that the fan is not designed to be taken apart by the user. Removing the impeller from the frame will break the sealing of the bearing and results in a loss of warranty. Before reinstalling the fan, clean the heatsink itself with a duster or vacuum cleaner. Do not use water to clean the cooler. Finally put the fan back on and connect it to your motherboard fan header or fan controller.
Thermal paste residues: Whenever you take off the heatsink from the CPU, we recommend to clean the CPU as well as the base of the cooler before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler. You can either just wipe the base and the CPU clean with a dry, lint-free tissue or, for more thorough cleaning, use a lint-free tissue moistened with either a mild solution of washing-up liquid or isopropyl alcohol. Do not put the cooler or CPU under running water. Note that both the base of the heatsink and the CPU should be dry, free from residues of thermal compound and free from grease before re-applying thermal paste and re-installing the cooler.

Why is the cooler’s contact surface slightly convex?

As the Integrated Heat Spreaders (IHS) of today’s CPUs are slightly concave, the cooler’s contact surface has been deliberately designed to be slightly convex in order to ensure optimal contact. This way, more contact pressure will be applied at the centre of the IHS directly above the DIE, which results in better heat transfer and improved overall performance.

Is the cooler compatible with LGA775 and LGA1366?

The cooler does not support LGA775 and LGA1366 out of the box, but can be made compatible using the NM-I3 mounting kit. Noctua provides the NM-I3 kit free of charge if a proof of purchase (scan, photo or electronic copy of the invoice) of the cooler and an LGA775 or LGA1366 motherboard or CPU are presented. In order to install the cooler using the NM-I3 kit, please first unscrew the center screw of the original one-piece fastening bracket (you can reach through the fin stack using the long screw driver supplied with the cooler) and remove it. Then install the two fastening brackets of the NM-I3 kit as described in the NM-I3 installation manual.

I’ve used all the NT-H1 thermal compound that came with the cooler, can you send me more?

Please kindly note that the NT-H1 thermal compound supplied with our coolers is a consumable item so our manufacturer’s warranty does not include providing additional thermal compound. You can purchase NT-H1 from our resellers.

Which sockets are supported or can be supported using upgrade kits?

Please refer to our socket compatibility chart.

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA2011-3 socket?

Yes. Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA2011-0 and 2011-3, the cooler supports both types of LGA2011-3.

My Noctua PWM fan starts to spin when the PC boots but then stops, what is wrong?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). In this case, it may occur that the mainboard reduces the voltage so much that the fan stops. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.



To resolve the issue, you can:

  1. Choose a higher fan speed profile in the BIOS (e.g. „normal“ instead of „silent“, etc.) or deactivate automatic fan speed control and use a Low-Noise Adaptor instead.

  2. Use the mainboard‘s fan speed control software or 3rd party tools like Speedfan to regulate the fan speed. Unlike BIOS based fan speed control, the supplied software usually checks whether the fan has stopped and increases voltage accordingly or at least offer more options to set up the fan properly.

  3. If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

My Noctua PWM fan runs at a much higher minimum speed than advertised, what is wrong?

The specified minimum speed refers to the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle. There can be several reasons why the fan doesn‘t go as low as indicated:

  1. Many mainboards do not go below 40%, 50% or even 60% PWM duty cycle on case fan headers. Please refer to your mainboard manual to verify whether the fan header actually goes down to 20% duty cycle. If that's not the case, in some cases you can use the fan speed control software supplied with your mainboard to overcome these limitations and reduce the fan speed even further. However, 3rd party tools like SpeedFan offer greater flexibility and better options to work around the limitations imposed by the mainboard vendors.

  2. Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

    4 pin fan header types

    Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

    Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

    Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


    If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

How big is the NH-D9L and how much clearance does it provide for RAM and mainboard heatsinks?

Thanks to its 95x95mm footprint, the NH-D9L clears the RAM and mainboard heatsinks on all Intel and most AMD based mainboards, including µATX and ITX. Please refer to the following drawing for the exact measurements and clearance for RAM and chipset coolers:

D15

What Thermal Design Power (TDP) is this cooler recommended for and how much Watt (W) of heat can it dissipate?

Please refer to our TDP guide for information on maximum recommended TDP and heat dissipation.

Can I install a Noctua cooler in my system from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo?

Systems from Acer, Dell, HP or Lenovo often use motherboards which differ slightly from the specifications issued by Intel and AMD. While those changes are usually subtle, they can led to compatibility issues with coolers that where built to comply with these specifications.

Even in case the cooler is mechanically compatible and can be installed, other issues can occur, e.g. proprietary fan connectors, BIOS errors due to a low fan speed, shutdowns, etc. Some of these problems can be avoided with some technical knowledge, but especially BIOS related can often not be resolved.

Due to the large number of possible issues with systems from Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo, which can't be resolved with different mounting parts alone, Noctua does not officially support such machines.

I'm experiencing fan speed issues with my motherboard from Supermicro, what can I do?

The BIOS of many motherboard models from Supermicro expects a certain minimum fan speed (usually 700rpm), which is higher than the minimum fan speed that can be achieved with Noctua's PWM fan models. The BIOS may interpret the low minimum RPM of Noctua fans as a fan error and thus try to run the fan at 100% for a short period before going back to automatic control.. This can result in oscillating fan speeds and fan speed warnings in the BIOS or the fan management console.

Unfortunately there is usually no option to set a lower minimum value that would suit the low minimum speed of Noctua PWM fans.The issue can thus only be resolved by either disabling automatic fan speed control in BIOS, which will cause the fans to run at a constant speed, or by requesting a modified BIOS file from Supermicro, which takes the minimum fan speed of Noctua fans into account (charges might apply).

My Intel -K series CPU is running too hot although my heatsink supports the specified TDP, what's the problem?

Intel's unlocked -K series CPUs can dissipate more heat than indicated by the TDP specification if a) the TDP limits are extended or disabled in the motherboards' BIOS or b) the motherboard applies some overclocking by default, e.g. by raising the supply voltage of the CPU and using higher Turbo-Mode multipliers. This can lead to temperature issues.

The actual power draw of the processor can be monitored with software provided by the motherboard vendor or with 3rd party tools like HWInfo or HWMonitor. If you encounter temperature issues and notice a higher than specified power draw, please limit the TDP to the specified value by choosing appropriate BIOS settings. In doubt please contact your motherboard vendor for details on how to do this.

All our TDP recommendations are based on thorough testing with the default values specified by Intel.

Is the cooler compatible with the LGA1151 socket?

Yes. Due to the heatsink mounting mechanism being identical on LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155 and LGA1156, the cooler also supports LGA1151.

Why doesn't the supplied backplate fit my LGA2011 motherboard?

The supplied backplate is for LGA115x only and there is no backplate required for installation on LGA2011. Please refer to the installation manual for how to install the heatsink on LGA2011.

My case supports CPU coolers of up to XXXmm height, which model should I choose?

Please refer to our TDP guide in order to select the cooler that offers the best cooling performance at a given height.

How to remove the base protection cover?

Noctua CPU coolers are shipped with a plastic protection cover at the bottom side of the cooler, which protects the contact surface against scratches and other damage.

The base of Noctua CPU coolers is made from hard-wearing nickel plated copper, so there's nothing to worry about if you buy a Noctua cooler from second hand or if your cooler didn't come with a protection cover. Please proceed with the installation as explained in the manual.

You can simply remove the cover as shown below:

Base Protection Cover

I have difficulties installing the cooler, can you help?

Please refer to the installation manual and our video installation guides for detailed instructions on how to install the cooler.

Should I take the cooler off before transporting my system?

Due to the low weight of the cooler, it is not necessary to take it off for transport.

Are there any concerns using Noctua CPU coolers on Intel Skylake (LGA1151) CPUs?

Our SecuFirm2™ mounting systems undergo comprehensive compatibility tests before being approved for new platforms. We have neither detected any problem with regard to the Intel LGA1151 platform (“Skylake”) during these tests nor have we received any reports from our customers, sales partners and system integrators that would indicate any possible issue. Our SecuFirm2™ mounting systems (with the exception of some compact L-type models) rely on coil springs to create the required contact pressure, which gives a certain flexibility both with regards to tolerances in stackup height and shocks or other forces. Compared to spring-less mounting systems, which exclusively rely on the bending of the mounting brackets in order to create contact pressure, this allows to reduce the mechanical stress on CPU, socket and motherboard and thus helps to prevent possible damage from excessive forces. However, as it is not possible to reliably calculate or control the forces that act upon a system during transport (e.g. in shipping), we generally recommend, due to safety reasons, to take off coolers with a total weight of more than 700g (incl. fan).

Is it a problem that the CPU heatspreader is not covered completely by the heatsinkbase on LGA2011-3?

No. Depending on the orientation of the cooler, 1-2mm at the outer edge of the heatspreader may not be covered by the heatsink base. As the heat is concentrated at the center of the CPU and the outermost parts are irrelevant for heat-transfer, this is no problem at all.

Why doesn't the base of Noctua coolers have a polished, mirror like finish?

As most of today's PC enthusiasts use high-viscosity thermal compounds, the contact surface of Noctua coolers is optimised for use with this type of pastes. The micro-grooves at the contact surface ensure that high-viscosity thermal compounds are dispersed to a uniform thin layer across the whole contact area and that no air pockets remain between the cooler and the CPU. With a polished, mirror like surface, the risk of uneven dispersion is much higher. As too thick layers of thermal paste and air pockets drastically deteriorate heat transmission, the micro-grooves are is of vital importance to the overall cooling performance of Noctua coolers when used with today's high-viscosity thermal pastes.

How can I check if my 4-pin fan header supports PWM?

Some mainboards feature 4-pin fan headers that actually don‘t use a PWM signal on Pin 4 to control the fan speed but rather reduce the voltage on Pin 2 (like a standard 3-pin fan header). As the fan speed at minimum voltage is usually higher than the speed at 20% PWM duty cycle, the fan can not reach as low minimum speeds under voltage control as under PWM control. Please refer to your mainboard manual to check whether or not your mainboard has 4-pin fan headers that control the fan speed by reducing voltage on Pin 2 rather than by changing the PWM duty cycle on Pin 4:

4 pin fan header types

Note that mainboard manufacturers use different terms to indicate that Pin 4 is not being used for PWM control (e.g. “+5V”, “VCC” or “NC”), but if one of these terms is used, you can be sure that the fan header does not support PWM. If Pin 4 is described as “Speed Control” or “PWM” or the like, you can be sure that the fan header supports PWM.

Unfortunately, the description of Pin 2 is not always a clear indication as some manufacturers use terms such as “Fan PWR” or “Power” for both types of fan headers. However, if Pin 2 is described as “Speed Control”, you can also be sure that the fan header does not support PWM based speed control. If Pin 2 is described as “+12V”, this is a clear indication that the fan header supports PWM.

Please also note that in some cases, the descriptions of the pin layouts in the mainboard manuals may not be correct and some models actually allow you to switch the fan headers from voltage control mode to PWM control mode in the BIOS even though the pin descriptions do not indicate PWM support. We thus recommend to look for these options in the BIOS before taking other measures. In case of doubt, please contact your mainboard manufacturer.


If your mainboard features other 4-pin fan headers that use PWM for speed control, you can run multiple fans from these headers using Y-split cables. Make sure not to exceed the specified maximum power draw of the fan headers (usually 10-12W) though.

Can I keep using the backplate / mounting system of my previous Noctua cooler for my new one?

Most Noctua SecuFirm™ mounting parts are cross-compatible, so if you’re replacing one Noctua cooler with another, it is usually possible to keep the original backplate and/or mounting system in place in order to re-use it for the new cooler. If you had your previous Noctua cooler installed on an Intel LGA115x (LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150), LGA2011 (LGA2011-0, LGA2011-3) or LGA1366 system and replace it with an NH-U14S, NH-U12S or NH-U9S, you only need to replace the original mounting bars with the NM-IMB3 ones supplied with the new cooler. For all other models, you can keep the entire mounting system in place on the aforementioned Intel sockets. On AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+, you only need to replace the original mounting bars with the ones supplied with the new cooler.

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