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The NH-L9a is a premium quality quiet CPU cooler for AMD based HTPCs and Small Form Factor systems. At a super-low profile of only 37mm, the NH-L9a is ideal for extremely slim cases and due to its 92x114mm footprint, it provides excellent compatibility with tall RAM modules and other components on mini-ITX mainboards. The custom designed SecuFirm2™ mounting system for AM3+/FM1/FM2/FM2+ makes installation a child’s play and thanks to the highly optimised NF-A9x14 premium fan that supports fully automatic speed control via PWM, the NH-L9a runs remarkably quiet. Topped off with Noctua’s renowned NT-H1 thermal compound, the NH-L9a fuses everything users have come to expect from Noctua’s larger coolers into a super-compact package for slim HTPC systems.

  Caution:  The NH-L9a 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 only recommended for CPUs with up to 65W TDP (Thermal Design Power). Please consult our TDP guidelines to find out whether the NH-L9a is recommended for your CPU.
Details
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-L9a has a 92x114mm footprint that complies to the 96x114mm keep-out zone specified by AMD. This means that it 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

Some AMD based mini-ITX mainboards have the PCIe slot sitting close to the 96x114mm socket zone. While larger coolers that exceed this zone may block the PCIe slot, the 92x114mm sized NH-L9a 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-L9a to stay remarkably quiet.
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.
Custom-designed SecuFirm2™ mounting for AMD

Custom-designed SecuFirm2™ mounting for AMD

The NH-L9a bundles a custom-designed SecuFirm2™ mounting system for AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2/FM2+ that offers extended compatibility with mini-ITX boards and makes installation easier than ever, all while maintaining the trusted SecuFirm2™ quality.
NT-H1 thermal compound

NT-H1 thermal compound

Noctua's much-acclaimed NT-H1 is a pro-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-A9x14 features an MTBF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-L9a package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
NH-L9a
Cooler Specifications
AM2(+), AM3(+), FM1, FM2, FM2+
Height (without fan)
23 mm
Width (without fan)
114 mm
Depth (without fan)
92 mm
Height (with fan)
37 mm
Width (with fan)
114 mm
Depth (with fan)
92 mm
Weight (without fan)
390 g
Weight (with fan/s)
465 g
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP
see TDP guide
Fan compatibility
92x92x14mm, 92x92x25mm
Scope of Delivery
  • NF-A9x14 PWM premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Screws for 92x92x25mm fans
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty
6 Years
FAN Specification
Model
Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM
Bearing
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
2500 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1800 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)
600 RPM
Max. Acoustical Noise
23,6 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A.
14,8 dB(A)
Input Power
2,52 W
Voltage Range
12 V
MTBF
> 150.000 h
NH-L9a
NH-L9i & NH-L9a
23.12.2015 // SmallFormFactor.net
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NH-L9a Review

[E]specially when taking the rated 65w limit into account, the cooler performs admirably in the face of the higher thermal load provided by our test bench. And, during our load tests, the L9a manages to significantly outperform AMD’s own stock low profile cooler, which is taller than the L9a. The recently tested Scythe Kodati is also easily bested, although this isn’t too surprising given that the Kodati has a smaller fan. During testing, the sound output of the L9a felt very similar to the other cooler we tested, the Noctua NH-L9x65 (review coming soon!). This is not at all suprising, as they use the exact same uprated NF-A9x14 fan. Consequently, the fan was never ‘loud’, and the sound signature was always pleasing and non-obtrusive. That’s quite the achievement, given the fact that our load testing exceeded the TDP of the cooler by a whopping 23%!
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-L9a is an excellent performer, considering it’s size. Being this small, it was always going to be a challenge for it to keep our hot 89W test CPU under control, but the NH-L9a did manage to achieve this – your chassis ambient temperature would have to top 45 degrees celcius for the cooler to hit the AMD thermal limit of 65C." (John Morrison, SmallFormFactor.net)
08.03.2015 // videotesty.pl
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NH-L9a Review

Jest to dość cicha jednostka i w pełni kompatybilna z pierwszym slotem PCI-E czy pamięciami ram. Posiadacze platformy Intel powinni wybrać wersję oznaczoną "i". Model "a" przeznaczony jest na procesory firmy AMD. W środku znajdziemy wszystkie niezbędne narzędzia do zainstalowania chłodzenia na płycie głównej. Podobnie jak w przypadku wielu produktów od firmy Noctua, instalacja jest dziecinie prosta.
Test verdict: Te rozwiązanie znakomicie się sprawdza do komputerów biurowych i multimedialnych HTPC. Przy słabszych procesorach AMD, NH-L9a znakomicie będzie wykonywał swoją pracę." (Paweł Borysewicz, videotesty.pl)
26.02.2015 // TruePCGaming.com
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NH-L9a Review

So what advantage does this cooler have over the bundled stock heatsink? For one, the unit is virtually inaudible and extremely quiet. By default, the included fan operates at 2500 rpm and contains an Acoustical Noise level of 23.6 db(A). When you attach the Low Noise Adapter, this limits the fan speed to 1800 rpm and dramatically reduced the noise rating to 14.8 db(A).
Test verdict: "The Noctua NH-L9i is undoubtedly the coolest and quietest ITX heatsink I’ve tested. Noctua have performed miracles when you consider the high-airflow and reasonable temperatures given its limiting size." (John Williamson, TruePCGaming.com)
25.10.2014 // PCkoloji.com
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NH-L9a Review

Noctua‘nın kasa boyutlarından ötürü soğutma açısından sıkıntı yaşayan kullanıcılar için geliştirdiği NH-L9 serisine ait Intel işlemcilere özel NH-L9i modelinden sonra AMD işlemcilere özel NH-L9a modelini de inceledik. İkisi de 14 mm kalınlıklı ince tip Noctua NF-A9x14 fanla geliyor. AMD özel modelde radyatör tasarımı kare yerine dikdörtgen ve böylece standart AMD işlemci soketindeki deliklere uyacak yapı benimseniyor ama bundan ötürü soğutucu sadece bir doğrultuda sabitlenebiliyor. ASRock Soket FM2+ anakartımızla yaptığımız testte herhangi bir sorun yaşamadık. Sadece arka plakasız montaj gerekti ama işlem son derece basit ve fazla zaman almıyor. Bununla birlikte montaj sonrasında soğutucu stabil ve oynama yok. Büyük boyutlu bir tüp kaliteli termal macunla gelen işlemci soğutucusunda malzeme, işçilik ve kutulama seviyesi birinci sınıf. Alüminyum plakalar, bakır ısı boruları ve tabana nikel kaplama uygulandığı için daha hoş görünüyor, kullanım ömrü uzuyor ve korozyon riski düşüyor. Benzer soğutucular aksine 80 değil 92 mm fan kullanıldığı için daha düşük devir ve gürültüyle daha iyi soğutma elde edilebiliyor. Gerçekten de tamamen sessiz olsun isterseniz kutudaki LNA filtreyi ekleyebilirsiniz ama PWM destekli olduğundan filtresizken bile 1500 devirde kalıyor ve varlığını belli etmiyor.
Test verdict: "AMD işlemcili Mini ITX anakart ve kasa sahiplerinin yüzünü güldürecek" (Gorkem Yildirim, PCkoloji.com)
25.10.2014 // Conseil Config
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NH-L9a Review

La qualité de fabrication est comme d'habitude chez Noctua irréprochable, le bundle fournit tout ce qu'il faut pour monter le ventirad sans problèmes et le montage se fait très rapidement (4 vis et hop c'est monté). Au niveau des performances ils sont capables de refroidir un processeur de 95 Watts, il faudra cependant privilégier un processeur de type Core i3 ou Pentium G pour garder un silence appréciable.
Test verdict: "[L]es Noctua NH-l9x seront d'excellents choix de ventirads lors du montage d'une configuration mini-ITX de très petite taille." (Christian Marchini, Conseil Config)
23.01.2014 // WASD.ro
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NH-L9a Review

Valorile unui cooler box pentru procesor Intel nu le-am mai masurat, deoarece sunt etalonul si ar trebui sa le cunoasteti deja. Oricum, in caz ca va sunt necunoscute le puteti verifica in articolul dedicat barebone-ului ASRock M8. De asemenea, am testat in doua scenarii procesorul Intel deoarece comportamentul unui cooler difera de la o carcasa la alta si sincer va spun ca speram ca Noctua L9i sa fie alegerea perfecta pentru ASRock M8. Din pacate, mi-a fost demonstrat ceea ce Noctua declarau deja pe site-ul lor: faptul ca este recomandat pentru un procesor cu TDP de 65W. Motivul pentru care frecventa procesorului este mai mica in al doilea scenariu este cat se poate simplu de ghicit. Da. A atins temperatura critica si frecventa a fost scazuta automat. Din fericire pentru noi gamerii, aceste temperaturi sunt imposibil de atins in timpul unei sesiuni de gaming, deoarece un joc nu este capabil sa utilizeze procesorul 100%. Oricum, in combinatie cu un procesor Intel core i3 puteti fi siguri ca nu veti ajunge la temperaturi prea mari. Asadar, recomandarea noastra este sa folositi aceste cooler-e impreuna cu un APU sau cu un procesor i3. Cu i5 il recomandam doar in cazul in care nu va deranjeaza sa va urce temperatura procesorului un pic mai mult decat de obicei.
Test verdict: "Pretul unui cooler L9, indiferent ca este pentru Intel sau AMD este de 217,66 Lei la PC Garage si daca detineti un PC de mici dimensiuni sunt cea mai buna alegere." (Octavian Fulger, WASD.ro)
16.11.2013 // Hardware-360
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NH-L9a Review

As with all Noctua products, the NH-L9a and NH-L9i are both covered with a 6-year warranty which softens the blow of the high price tag somewhat since users can get that NF-A9x14 fan replaced for free should it break within that time period. The bundle also includes a full-size NT-H1 thermal compound so users can mount and re-mount their NH-L9 cooler through several system upgrades. If you are looking for a stock cooler replacement, the NH-L9 does a decent job considering the size but where it really shines is inside an HTPC setup, where it can do its task without hindering the installation or operation of other components. Typical heat sinks are simply too big to fit in some small form factor cases and if they do the noise trade off is not in the same league as the silence the NF-A9x14 mounted NH-L9 offer, even at 2500 RPM.
Test verdict: "The Noctua L9 coolers may be small in size but they are excellent for their primary purpose of silence and issue-free clearance. Quality and design is typical Noctua, engineered with precision and of impeccable caliber." (Ron Perillo, Hardware-360)
03.11.2013 // ProfesionalReview.com
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NH-L9a Review

El Noctua NH-L9 se trata de un disipador de perfil bajo con dimensiones 9.5×9.5×3.7cm, una excelente base de refrigeración de aluminio y dos heatpipes de cobre. Se encuentra disponible en la versión NH-L9i para Intel y la NH-L9a para AMD. Nos ha gustado mucho la presentación con “glamour” del producto y el excelente bundle: ventilador de 92 cm, pasta térmica NT-H1 y su fácil sistema de anclaje SecuFirm2. En nuestro banco de pruebas hemos visto que tanto el Intel i5 3570k como el AMD A-10 5800k nos han ofrecido unas excelentes temperaturas en stock. Incluso nos permite realizar leves overclock al procesador. Las reducidas dimensiones del disipador nos permite su instalación en cualquier caja y placa base ITX sin preocuparnos del chipset de la placa, la tarjeta gráfica o la instalación de memoria con disipador de gran tamaño. Lo único que no hubiera gustado es la creación de un único producto. Esta decisión nos hubiera permitido reutilizar el disipador en cualquiera plataforma.
Test verdict: "En definitiva, si estamos excelente disipador para nuestro PC ITX/Matx reducido, con componentes de calidad, un ventilador silencioso y un fácil montaje. El Noctua NH-L9 debe ser su disipador." (Miguel Ángel Navas Carrera, ProfesionalReview.com)
28.10.2013 // Hardaily.com
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NH-L9a Review

Hardaily Labs ha podido probar este sistema al completo detenidamente, teniéndolo montado algo más de una semana antes de resolver las pruebas de medición, centrando la atención únicamente en el disipador y el procesador. Los resultados en general son bastante buenos, viendo las dimensiones del NH-L9a. Cabe señalar que el procesador probado es el adecuado para este disipador, con el TDP máximo que recomienda Noctua. No obstante, esta vez optamos por montar el equipo en el banco de pruebas, sin caja, debido al ajetreo que estamos teniendo últimamente con tanto producto, de modo que estos resultados son ligeramente mejores que los esperados dentro de una caja barebone o para HTPC, de las más compactas. Así que los valores podrían variar a peor o incluso a mejor, dependiendo de lo bien que esté ventilada la caja. Aun así, la diferencia puede oscilar en torno a los 5ºC como mucho. Un detalle importante es que con el cable reductor de tensión se puede reducir la sonoridad a esos 16dBA, a 1800RPM como máximo, en detrimento del rendimiento. Los valores más altos y bajos son los que más llaman la atención. Aguanta a 65ºC al máximo (igual según la caja pueda llegar a 70ºC). Por otro lado, la sonoridad es bastante buena, subiendo a los 26dBA al máximo (igual con la caja incluida se disimule un poco). Lo que nos planteamos aquí es hasta qué punto se pueden explotar esta clase de sistemas HTPC, que parecen ábidos por funcionar con APUs con TDP mayores para obtener mejor rendimiento gráfico sin optar a una tarjeta gráfica dedicada, que sería ideal para PCs de oficina u equipos multimedia con rendimiento modesto.
Test verdict: "Los disipadores NH-L9a y N-L9i de Noctua están altamente recomendados por Hardaily para equipos muy pequeños, sobre todo para equiparse en cajas ultracompactas de perfil más bien esbelto y no cúbico, donde puedan equiparse placas base mini-ITX o incluso micro-ATX." (Raúl Planelles, Hardaily.com)
28.10.2013 // InsideGeeks.net
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NH-L9a Review

Então, para este mini PC iremos utilizar um AMD A10-6700, juntamente com 8GB de Ram a 1600 MHz e um SSD de 128GB, tudo arrefecido por um cooler cortesia da Noctua.
Test verdict: "O Noctua NH-L9a foi escolhido para este projecto exactamente pelo resultado apresentado acima. Excelente performance, ainda para mais numa caixa com reduzido airflow!" (Nuno Ferreira, InsideGeeks.net)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

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.

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.

Is the cooler compatible with AMD FM2+?

As the hole spacing for CPU cooler installation on FM2+ is the same as on AM2, AM2, AM3(+), FM1 and FM2, the cooler is fully compatible with FM2+ out of the box and doesn’t require any modifications or upgrades.

The mounting brackets don’t touch the mainboard, is this an issue?

No. The mounting brackets are not meant to touch the mainboard and the flexibility of the brackets is required to create the appropriate contact pressure. There should be up to 3mm (Intel) or 4mm (AMD) space between the mainboard and the mounting brackets when the cooler is correctly installed.

nh-l9 mounting bar spacing

Which Noctua coolers are compatible with LGA1150?

The mounting is identical on all LGA115x sockets (LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156). The following coolers are thus compatible with LGA1150 out of the box and don’t require any upgrades in order to be used on this platform: NH-C12P SE14, NH-C14, NH-D15, NH-D14, NH-L12, NH-L9i, NH-U14S, NH-U12S, NH-U12P SE2, NH-U9B SE2. In addition, all older models which have been upgraded with the NM-I3 kit can also be used on LGA1150 without any further upgrades.

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and are eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: NH-C12P, NH-U12, NH-U12F, NH-U12P, NH-U12P SE1366, NH-U9, NH-U9F, NH-U9B.

The following coolers can be made compatible to LGA1150 using the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit but are not eligible for Noctua’s free mounting kit offer: DX-Series Xeon coolers, NH-D14 SE2011.

The following coolers are mechanically incompatible with the NM-i115x Upgrade-Kit and can not be made compatible with LGA1150: DO-Series AMD Opteron coolers, NH-L9a.

Can the cooler be used on mainboards where components on the rear side prevent the installation of the backplate?

Yes, the cooler can be installed on such mainboards using the NM-APS3 plastic spacers as shown below. The NM-APS3 spacers have been included within the NH-L9a’s scope of delivery since April 2013. If your NH-L9a didn’t yet include the NM-APS3 spacers and if you would like to install the cooler on a mainboard where components on the rear side prevent the installation of the backplate, please contact our customer support. We will send you the NM-APS3 spacers free of charge if you provide a proof of purchase (scan, photo or electronic copy of the invoice) of both the cooler and the mainboard.



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.

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.

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 Dell, HP or Lenovo?

Systems from 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 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).

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.

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.

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