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The NH-L9i is a premium quality quiet CPU cooler for Intel LGA115x based HTPCs and Small Form Factor systems. At a super-low profile of only 37mm, the NH-L9i is ideal for extremely slim cases and due to its 95x95mm footprint, it provides full compatibility with tall RAM modules and VGA cards on mini-ITX mainboards. The custom designed SecuFirm2™ mounting system for LGA115x 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-L9i runs remarkably quiet. Topped off with Noctua’s renowned NT-H1 thermal compound, the NH-L9i fuses everything users have come to expect from Noctua’s larger coolers into a super-compact package for slim HTPC systems.

  Caution:  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 TDP guidelines to find out whether the NH-L9i 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-L9i has a 95x95mm footprint that complies exactly to 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 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-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.
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 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.
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 MTTF rating of more than 150.000 hours and the entire NH-L9i package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
NH-L9i
Cooler Specification
LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156
Height (without fan)
23 mm
Width (without fan)
95 mm
Depth (without fan)
95 mm
Height (with fan)
37 mm
Width (with fan)
95 mm
Depth (with fan)
95 mm
Weight (without fan)
345 g
Weight (with fan/s)
420 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)
Voltage Range
12 V
MTTF
> 150.000 h
NH-L9i
NH-L9i & NH-L9a
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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24.01.2013 // Overclockers Club
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NH-L9i Review

At stock speeds and voltages on the Core i7 2600K processor, Noctua's low profile NH-L9i was able to deliver a solid 13+% improvement of 10C, over the 73C load temperature delivered by the Intel box cooling solution. On top of that, it shaved 4C off the load temperature delivered by the the other low profile cooler in this comparison, the Phanteks TC90LS. With only a 65W TDP load capacity, these temperatures are a solid improvement when run on a higher wattage CPU than it is rated for. The other low profile solutions in the comparison failed to keep the CPU temps in check, with my overclocked settings. 96C is in no way kept in check, but at least Noctuas design kept the load temperature under 100C. It's not recommended to run that close to the TJ Max temp, but it was able to stay under that limit without throttling. A cooling solution for the overclocking enthusiast, the NH-L9i is not. Although some mild overclocking with a low wattage TDP processor might open some doors for this low profile solution. As it is, the Noctua NH-L9i plays well above its fighting weight when cooling a 95w TDP chip. Keeping that in mind the NH-L9i was able to deliver a 13+% improvement over the stock Intel box cooling solution when paired with my Core i7 2600K and it even out performed a competing solution by 4C running in the same configuration. Impressive to say the least from a 92x92mm cooler that stands only 37mm tall. As a low profile design, the NH-L9i is going to fit into a chassis that larger cooling solutions just cannot fit into. Perfect for a small form factor gaming rig or HTPC where space is at a premium. The compact footprint means you will not run into some of the challenges seen with larger solutions, that include fitment problems when running DRAM modules with large heat shields or space concerns with video cards that just get to close to the cooler. AMD fans will need to look elsewhere, as this cooler is going to work only with Intel LGA socket 115X motherboards and processors.
Test verdict: "For $48 you get a cooling solution that just says quality through and through. A smooth base, well thought out mounting solution, nickel plated copper base and heat pipes, excellent thermal compound, low noise adapter, and a fan that is packed full of technology to reduce noise and increase static pressure and airflow, both desirable traits in a cooling solution. Low noise cooling is where Noctua excels. You get all this, a 6 year warranty, and more with the NH-L9i. So far, this is the best low profile small form factor cooler I have tested." (Frank Dimmick, Overclockers Club)
15.01.2013 // TweakTown.com
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NH-L9i Review

Even with the TDP limitations of the NH-L9i, I am really pleased with the results it delivered. Comparing it head to head against the Phanteks, while it may have been cheaper, it doesn't test as well, doesn't have the ability to take on other fans, and frankly, doesn't look as good. There is a more solid feel, and as I like to describe it, a more professional grade feel to the Noctua solution. The thickness of the aluminum used in the fins is always thicker than most others, and almost nobody solders on heat pipes these days. Noctua seems to bend all the average manufacturers rules as they offer products that take the competition head on and seem to almost always prevail. With the NH-L9i things haven't changed, this is a really impressive solution. What impresses me even more is the shear amount of air flow and static pressure Noctua was able to pull out of this 14mm thick 92mm fan. I know most of you looked at that fan and thought that it really can't do much, it's just too tiny - well, Noctua definitely went to work with this new addition to their fan lineup. There really isn't a surface that is left untouched. The leading edge of the frame is made to allow a smoother inlet of air to the blades, and the insides of the frame have divots like a golf ball to disturb the air and keep it from staling near the frame. The shape of the blades is one thing, but there are grooves cut into each of them, and even the textured finish to the individual blades has its benefits. If you aren't really strapped down for room above this cooler, you always have the option to add a 25mm thick fan with the supplied hardware, and grab back a few more degrees as well. Noctua may not have made a cooler that everyone is going to rush out and have to buy one to put in their PCs as soon as possible, but that really wasn't the idea in the first place. Taking the idea of bringing what I already love about Noctua, the silence, better quality, and being simple to use and install, and shrinking all of that love into this tiny little package, it's just amazing to me. Noctua didn't see any reason to lower their standards just because things need to be small and low-profile to fit in the SSF chassis side of PC builds; those customers deserve the best just the same as the people who can use a D-14.
Test verdict: "Noctua delivers the ultimate CPU cooling solution for those with serious clearance issues in their compact SFF PC build." (Chad Sebring, TweakTown.com)
11.12.2012 // CowcotLand.com
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NH-L9i Review

Par rapport au radiateur stock Intel, le gain est appréciable, même en utilisant le module LNA du bundle, qui passe le ventilateur à 1800rpm. Les nuisances sonores baissent aussi largement, et deviennent plus que supportables, alors qu'en 12V, ça souffle plutôt fort. Pourtant, pour un slim de 92mm, les nuisances restent contenues, on pouvait craindre pire. Avec un minimum de 300rpm sur la plage PWM, il est plus que conseillé de prendre un peu de temps pour configurer le PWM, afin de profiter d'un radiateur vraiment silencieux, surtout si le processeur a un TDP plus faible que notre 3570, fixé à 77W.
Test verdict: "Comme souvent avec Noctua, nous ne sommes pas déçus. La finition est exemplaire, le bundle complet, l'installation très simple, et le rapport performances / nuisances sonores est bon." (Sébastien Vandeborre, CowcotLand.com)
10.08.2016 // FunkyKit.com
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NH-L9i Review

Noctua NH-L9i is high quality and well performing compact cooler. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, not many similar coolers are available on the market and for sure not many can offer so high product quality. Everything looks great including package.
Test verdict: "If you are looking for a compact cooler which can replace Intel reference solution but offers better quality, design and performance then Noctua NH-L9i is a product for you. It’s hard to find many other coolers which are as good for small builds and HTPC so of course NH-L9i deserves our recommendation!" (Bartosz Waluk, FunkyKit.com)
10.01.2013 // Custom PC March 2013
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NH-L9i Review

The star of the show was the Noctua NH-L9i, which just made a light noise at full load with its fan at full speed, but was inaudible above the rest of the hardware in our test system when using its fan-speed reduction cable.
Test verdict: "If low noise is a must then Noctua's NH-L9i is the leader of the pack. While it costs £15 more than the Arctic, it's quieter, smaller and less likely to present compatibility issues. We also consider it the best option for mini ITX boards." (Antony Leather, Custom PC March 2013)
27.12.2012 // ThinkComputers.org
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NH-L9i Review

When we look at CPU coolers it normally comes down to the numbers, how well the cooler performs, but in the case of the Noctua NH-L9i we have to look at it a little bit differently. If you look at the results on the previous page they are nothing to write home about when compared to other coolers. But if you take into consideration the size of the NH-L9i, at only 37mm high and still able to keep our i7-3370K at a respectable temperature. That is pretty impressive. Even with the low noise adapter in use the temperatures were acceptable.
Test verdict: "If you are building a small form factor system you should definitely consider this cooler." (Bob Buskirk, ThinkComputers.org)
22.12.2012 // eTeknix.com
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NH-L9i Review

The NH-L9i has excellent cooling performance for the form factor, acoustics that make it ideal for a totally silent HTPC or SFF system and a price tag that is reasonable given how unique and innovative the product is. The chances are, if you’ve gone to the effort to make a super compact LGA 1155 based HTPC or SFF system, then having to spend a paltry £33 (when all the other components probably cost hundreds) is actually remarkably little.
Test verdict: "I have really tried to find faults with this product, but I have failed more than Bulldozer in doing so. The NH-L9i is a product that delivers way more than you’d expect and serves a niche market beautifully well. For that reason I’ve decided to award the Noctua NH-L9i the eTeknix Editor’s Choice award." (Ryan Martin, eTeknix.com)
11.12.2012 // Radeon3d.org
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NH-L9i Review

Noctua hat mit dem NH-L9 einen Low Profile CPU-Kühler auf den Markt gebracht, der seines gleichen sucht. Die Verarbeitung und der Lieferumfang lässt keine Wünsche offen. Die Verarbeitung des Kühlers ist sehr sauber, es gibt keine scharfe Kanten. Der Boden des Kühlers ist plan und frei von Rillen. Der Lüfter ist sehr kompakt und dank seines Rahmen noch zusätzlich entkoppelt. Zudem hat man das 20 cm lange Anschlusskabel mit PWM Stecker noch mit einem schwarzen Sleeve versehen. Beim Lieferumfang ist alles dabei was man benötigt. Neben einer High-End Wärmeleitpaste liegt noch ein sehr edles Case-Badge aus Metall mit bei. Die Montage des Kühler ist sehr einfach gehalten, auch kommt dieser nicht mit dem RAM oder der Grafikkarte in die Quere. Sieht man sich das Verhältnis aus Lautstärke und Kühlleistung an, so kann man den Boxed Kühler des CPU Herstellers getrost bei Seite legen. Auch hat der Test gezeigt das trotz maximaler 65 Watt TDP der NH-L9a eine CPU mit 95 Watt TDP gut kühlen kann. Hier kam die CPU beim offenen Testaufbau nicht über 42°C laut CoreTemp.
Test verdict: " Der Noctua NH-L9 ist ein kompakter CPU-Kühler mit sehr guter Verarbeitung und gut ausgestattetem Lieferumfang bei sehr gutem Verhältnis aus Lautstärke und Kühlleistung. Zudem sollte er mit jedem Mainboard kompatible sein und kommt nicht dem RAM oder der Grafikkarte in die Quere. Deshalb bekommt der Noctua NH-L9 den Top Hardware Award verliehen." (Frank Hempel, Radeon3d.org)
28.11.2012 // HiTechLegion.com
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NH-L9i Review

Performance of the Noctua NH-L9 was outstanding for such a low profile cooler. Temperatures at stock speeds on the 3570K were more than acceptable, while the G840 ran incredibly cool. The fan remained inaudible to ~2000rpm, but was clearly discernible at full speed. It’s easy to look at just the benchmark numbers and arrive at some type of opinion about a cooler. After all, cooling is their main, and basically only function. However, in the case of specialized coolers like the NH-L9 there are many more factors to consider. In true Noctua fashion, the NH-L9 addresses these factors head on and with the greatest of results. The cooling end of the NH-L9 may not look like any great achievement at first glance, but that first glance is deceptive. The big reason being the size of the coolers being compared. While the NH-L9 comes in at only 37mm tall while the next smallest comes in at 45mm, and the other two will not fit in an HTPC case with 50mm clearance at all. The ZT-560D actually stands over twice as tall as the NH-L9. While the 45mm cooler will fit in the HTPC case, it will have very little breathing room for cool air intake, while the NH-L9 will be breathing freely. This is what makes these benchmark numbers for the NH-L9 incredibly impressive. Since CPUs like a Pentium G840 or Core i3 are commonly used in HTPCs, we decided to start our testing there. The NH-L9 handled the G840 with ease, never coming close to getting anywhere near thermal limits and making a huge improvement over an included stock cooler. Moving up to the Core i5 3570K, the NH-L9 maintained its composure and kept the 77 watt processor nice and cool at stock speeds without a problem. It is important to note that Noctua states directly that the NH-L9 is not to be used for overclocking, and the statement holds true. A small OC on the 3570K sent temperatures escalating, but this is not the intended purpose of the NH-L9. Though small, the NH-L9 has the fantastic build quality you would expect from a Noctua cooler. The two heat pipes are clearly visible through a very sturdy heavy gauge aluminum fin array, and there is not a sharp corner anywhere. The fan mounts simply and securely, and has excellent rigidity for a slim fan. Installation could not be simpler, and literally requires simply tightening four screws.
Test verdict: "Noctua has another top quality product in the NH-L9, and it is easily a top choice for tight small form factor applications. Cooling is outstanding for such a small cooler, easily competing with much larger pieces. The fan does become audible at full speed, but is near silent at speeds below ~2000rpm with barely a noticeable difference in performance. The Noctua NH-L9 offers everything you could possibly ask for in an HTPC CPU cooler; small height, easy installation, excellent cooling on stock CPUs below 77 watts and near silent performance." (George Cella, HiTechLegion.com)
23.11.2012 // SilentPCReview.com
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NH-L9i Review

The 92 mm stock fan had excellent acoustics, producing a very smooth profile. Aside from turbulence at higher speeds, the sound generated was pleasant throughout the range we tested and we didn't perceive any tonality. [...] For such a short heatsink, simply surviving our test without our overclocked/overvolted CPU throttling is in accomplishment. The NH-L9i performed fairly well, staying 20°C below the throttling point at the lowest tested speed. [...] Given its size, the NH-L9i was easily dominated by most of the heatsinks we've tested in the past. But compared to coolers with similar size profiles, the NH-L9i came out on top
Test verdict: "When you take into account that the NH-L9i is a mere 37 mm tall, its performance seems rather impressive. Additionally, unlike the NH-L12 and Scythe Big Shuriken 2, it doesn't interfere with the PCI-E 16x slot on most Intel LGA1155 mini-ITX motherboards. [...] The NH-L9i primary advantage lies in its acoustics; its fan sounds incredibly smooth compared to the more buzzy Scythe model. The NH-L9i is also 3 mm shorter, giving it a slight edge in compatibility" (Lawrence Lee, SilentPCReview.com)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

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

Is the NH-L9i compatible with the Gigabyte GA-H77N-WIFI and GA-Z77N-WIFI?

Yes, after a slight revision, the NH-L9i is now fully compatible with these mainboards.

How can I determine if the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS is overclocking my processor by default and deactivate this automatic overclocking?

Most motherboard vendors allow their overclocking-enabled products (e.g. those with Intels X- or Z-series chipsets) to run the processor at increased clock speeds by default, without requiring any user action at all. Since TDP (Thermal Design Power) limits are usually also disabled by default, this leads to the CPU exceeding the rated TDP to a varying degree, depending on the used applications and their workloads. Due to the increased heat output of the CPU, you may see higher CPU temperatures than expected.

In order to find out if your motherboard is overclocking your processor by default, please enter the UEFI BIOS and select the “advanced” or “overclocking” menu. There you should be able to find options such as “MultiCore Enhancement” (options: enabled/disabled), “CPU Ratio Apply Mode” (options: all/per core) or similar. To disable the automatic overclocking, adjust the settings either to “disabled” or “per core” and make sure that the individual multipliers match the original specifications.

In doubt, please contact your motherboard vendor for detailed instructions on how to disable this feature.

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

Intel's unlocked CPUs (K, X and C suffix) can dissipate more heat than indicated by the TDP specification if
  1. the TDP limits are extended or disabled in the motherboards' BIOS.
  2. the motherboard applies automatic overclocking by default, e.g. by raising the supply voltage of the CPU and using higher Turbo-Mode multipliers.
  3. some software creates untypical loads, e.g. Prime95 with AVX2 support and a) and/or b) apply.

This can lead to temperature issues, especially when using smaller coolers or compact cases.

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 (>90°C) and notice a higher than specified power draw, please ensure that no automatic overclocking is applied and limit the TDP to the specified value by choosing appropriate BIOS settings.

For Kaby Lake CPUs, it may also help to lower the CPU clock speed for applications that heavily use the AVX instruction set, which can lead to higher loads and power draw. This option is usually referred to as “AVX offset” and makes it possible to lower the multiplier specifically for AVX based applications without reducing performance when using other instruction sets. Depending on the quality of the CPU and the programs being used, a reduction of 2-3 steps usually gives very good results.

Please contact your motherboard vendor for details if you have trouble finding the appropriate settings in the BIOS.

All our TDP recommendations are based on thorough testing with the default values specified by Intel using popular applications such as Asus Realbench and prime95. Please note, however, that prime95 creates a particularly high load that goes beyond typical application scenarios and this leads to elevated temperatures. We thus recommend using other programs such as Realbench for checking the stability and temperatures of the CPU in realistic scenarios.

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