Product discontinued. Successor model: NH-U9B

The NH-U9F is the newest version of the NH-U9, which won over 50 awards and recommendations from leading international web sites and magazines. The NH-U9F can be rotated by 90° on all sockets, boasts full compatibility with AMD's new AM2 socket and comes equipped with a Noctua 92mm fan, which has a minimum noise rating of only 7dB(A)*. Thanks to the 4 Dual-Heat-Pipes, 37 aluminium cooling fins with a total surface area of more than 3800cm² and soldered joints for optimal heat-transfer, the Noctua NH-U9F achieves superior cooling performance at minimum noise levels.
Cooler Specification
Intel Socket LGA 775, AMD K8 (754, 939, 940) & AM2; Intel Xeon on request
Height (without fan)
128 mm
Width (without fan)
95 mm
Depth (without fan)
70 mm
Height (with fan)
128 mm
Width (with fan)
95 mm
Depth (with fan)
95 mm
Weight (without fan)
550 g
Weight (with fan/s)
660 g
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints
Intel all frequencies, AMD all frequencies
Scope of Delivery
  • NH-U9F
  • Noctua 92mm fan
  • Complete mounting hardware
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.) & Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • Thermal Paste
  • Anti-Vibration-Strips
6 years
FAN Specification
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)
1600 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
1150 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%)
850 RPM
Acoustical Noise
18 dB(A)
Voltage Range
5-13 V
> 150.000 h
05.06.2007 // CPU3D.com

NH-U9F Review

Testing the NH-U9F was fun and easy, its not as combersome as large 120mm based CPU coolers, it was easier to fit that its bigger brother NH-U12F, and space awareness around the processor area is not too much of a concern. Another plus factor is that the heatsink can be installed facing east-to-west (standard) or if space is restricted it can be fitted facing north-to-south. Cooling performance was great, heat transfer from the CPU core into the heatsink was as efficient as its bigger brother NH-U12F, probably due to the fact that the same design principle in the copper base and four heatpipe was used.
Test verdict: "A great cooling performance from a standard sized heatsink, compatible with all new socket fittings. Super silent fans and size are a big positive" (Kwok Yao Chim, CPU3D.com)
29.12.2006 // DragonSteelMods.com

NH-U9F Review

We can plainly see that the Noctua blows away the Intel stock cooler, and beats the Thermalright SI-128, only the Coolermaster HyperTX has better temps than the Noctua, and they are very close especially at idle. The main difference is that the Noctua is virtually silent, and I didn't even use one of the included adapters, I hooked it straight to the motherboard fan header. The Noctua NH-U9F is the quietest CPU cooler I have ever owned or reviewed, Noctua knows silence and performance should go hand in hand. I can easily trade the silence of the Noctua for the extra one degree of coolness that the HyperTX gives while being louder and bigger.
Test verdict: "[T]he Noctua NH-U9F is an extremely good CPU cooler, with excellent cooling performance and and a very low noise level. The Noctua NH-U9F is something that is made with care, high quality and performance in mind and I can easily recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade there CPU cooling system to something much better and much quieter than the stock cooler." (Kristofer Brozio, DragonSteelMods.com)
26.12.2006 // Gamezoom.net

NH-U9F Review

Obwohl unser Testmuster 'nur' einen 92 mm Lüfter zur Kühlung besitzt, kommt er fast trotzdem an die exzellenten Werte des NH-U12F heran.
Test verdict: "Alle Vorzüge des 'großen Bruders' hat auch der 'kleine' NH-U9F Kühler übernommen. Kühlleistung, Lautstärke und Verarbeitungsqualität sind ausgezeichnet und suchen seines Gleichen." (Christoph Miklos, Gamezoom.net)
17.12.2006 // Technic3d.com

NH-U9F Review

Der verwendete Lüfter war selbst bei voller Drehzahl und geschlossenem Gehäuse nur mit absoluter Konzentration minimal wahrnehmbar. Bei Verwendung der beiden Adapterkabel zur Drehzahlreduzierung war kein Geräusch des Lüfters mehr hörbar.
Test verdict: "Mit dem NF-U9F hat die Firma Noctua eindrucksvoll bewiesen, dass das Ziel geräuschoptimierte Premium-Komponenten anzubieten keine Floskel ist. Der Noctua ist selbst bei Höchstdrehzahl kaum wahrnehmbar und kühlt dabei recht ordentlich." (Michael Nürnberger, Technic3d.com)
13.12.2006 // HotCases.de

NH-U9F Review

Von Lautstärke kann man bei diesem Kühler eigentlich nicht sprechen. Ohne den Adapter für mich schon nicht mehr herauszuhören bei geschlossenen Case. Für echte Silent Freaks wahrscheinlich schon. Für User für die extrem Silent ein Muss ist legt Noctua noch 2 Adapter bei, den Low-Noise Adapter (L.N.A.) & Ultra-Low-Noise Adapter (U.L.N.A.). Damit wird auch die letzte Lautstärke eliminiert. Selbst der Passiv Betrieb ist, wie man am Temperatur Test sieht, möglich - somit ist der Kühler 100% geräuschlos.
Test verdict: "Noctua hat mit dem NH-U9F ein wahres Meisterwerk von Kühler abgeliefert." (David Kortmann, HotCases.de)
13.12.2006 // HardwareCrew.com

NH-U9F Review

Sehr überzeugt hat uns die quasi nicht vorhandene Lautstärke des Kühlers. Leider fehlen uns Meßinstrumente, die empfindlich genug sind, derart niedrige Schallpegel zu erfaßen. So müßen wir uns auf eine Beschreibung des subjektiven Wahrnehmens beschränken. Mit dem "Ultra Low Noise Adaptor" muss man schon mit dem Ohr direkt an den laufenden Lüfter gehen, um ein Geräusch wahrzunehmen. Aber auch selbst ohne Drehzahlbegrenzung wird der Kühler bei geschloßenem Gehäuse unhörbar. Die Angaben von Noctua - 7db(A) bis 11db(A) bei Verwendung der beiden Widerstands-Kabel - sprechen bereits eine Sprache für sich und sollten selbst eingefleischte Passiv-Fanatiker dazu bewegen, ihrer Hardware etwas mehr Kühlung zu gönnen.
Test verdict: "Hier hat Noctua wirklich gute Arbeit geleistet. Dieser Kühler platziert sich auf Anhieb ganz vorne in die Reihen der Silent-Produkte." (Fabian Erdmann, HardwareCrew.com)

Installation Manual (PDF)

Information Sheet (PDF)

How much space is required around the CPU socket?

The following illustration shows you exactly how much space is required around the socket:

NH-U Space

The cooling fins of the NH-U9 are put high enough to evade problems with mainboard capacitors and other parts:

NH-U Height

NH-U Height

Is the high weight dangerous for the CPU or socket?

No. Noctua coolers possess an extremely reliable SecuFirm™ mounting system. Thanks to the screw connection with the backplate on the rear side of the motherboard, the exceedance of the weight recommendations by Intel and AMD common among high-end coolers is completely unobjectionable.

Is it possible to mount fans with a greater height than 25mm?

Yes. The fan mounting clips grip to the screw holes in the lower edge of the fan frame and hence work with all fans regardless of their height. However, problems with the mounting of the fan can occur due to other parts within the case or fans with special frame designs, where the clips can't grip to the screw holes in the lower edge of the frame.

NH-U fan mounting

Is it possible to run two fans at a time?

Yes. Using the 4 supplied fan clips, you can mount two 120mm fans on the NH-U12(F/P) and two 92mm fans on the NH-U9(F/B).

Should the fan be mounted sucking away from the heat-sink or blowing onto the heat-sink?

Please install the fan blowing onto the heat-sink.

NH-U Airflow

If you're using two fans, please install them so that one blows onto the heat-sink and the other sucks the air away from the other side.

On which side of the heat-sink should the fan be installed?

Please install the fan so that the hot air can be disposed as good as possible either through the rear case fan (Airflow Option 1) or through the power supply (Airflow Option 2).

NH-U Airflow

How much space is required around the CPU socket?

The following illustration shows you exactly how much space is required around the socket: NH-U Space

The cooling fins of the NH-U12 are put high enough to evade problems with mainboard capacitors and other parts:

NH-U Height

NH-U Height

Is it possible to cool my CPU without a fan (passive) using Noctua coolers?

Noctua coolers weren't originally designed for passive operation although the cooling performance is sufficient in many cases. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to indicate whether a certain CPU can or cannot be cooled without a fan, as this depends on various factors such as case temperature, case ventilation or the orientation of the socket. Generally, we recommend using a fan in the first instance and then lowering RPM while constantly monitoring the temperature.

How to install the fan using the supplied steel clips?

First hook the clip into the notch of the heatsink:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Then hook the endings of the clips into the mounting holes of the fan:

Vibration Compensators Installation

Which mainboards are compatible with the NH-U9F?

Please consult our mainboard compatibility list for information about compatible mainboards.

Can I use Noctua fans on my fan controller?

Our fans are compatible with the vast majority of fan controllers on the market. However, there is a compatibility issue with a few models such as the Zalman ZM-MFC2 and Bitfenix Recon, which apply Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) on the 12V line and use an unfavourable PWM carrier frequency. This can create an oscillation when used with certain fans, which will result in the fan speeding up and down. We therefore recommend not using the Zalman ZM-MFC2 or Bitfenix Recon with our fans.

My fan doesn’t spin when I start up the PC - is it faulty?

If you've connected the fan directly (or using the supplied Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptors) to your mainboard, it's possible that the mainboard's automatic fan controller doesn't provide the required starting voltage due to the low CPU temperature. Please verify whether the fan starts spinning at higher CPU temperatures, remove any Low-Noise or Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptors, deactivate your mainboard's automatic fan controller in the BIOS or connect the fan directly to the power supply using the supplied 3:4-pin adaptor.

Can I run Noctua 3-pin fans on 4-pin PWM connectors and use my mainboard’s automatic fan controller?

You can simply connect our fan's 3-pin connector to the 4-pin PWM sockets of today's mainboards so that the fourth pin that transmits the PWM signal is left blank (due to the shape of the connector, there's no danger of reversing polarity). Some mainboards (e.g. current Gigabyte models) are capable of controlling fans not only via PWM, but also by adjusting the supplied voltage. In some cases, this may require you to change BIOS options like "Fan Control Mode" from "PWM" to "Voltage" or "Analog". Please consult your mainboard's manual in this regard. However, some mainboards use an "auto" setting by default that automatically chooses PWM or voltage based regulation according to the connected fan. Automatically controlling the fan speed may not possible on mainboards that pulse the power rather than lowering the fan voltage.


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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