The NH-L9a-AM4 is the latest, AM4-specific revision of Noctua’s award-winning NH-L9a low-profile CPU cooler for AMD Ryzen-based HTPCs and Small Form Factor (SFF) systems. At a height of only 37mm, the NH-L9a is ideal for extremely slim cases and, due to its small footprint, it provides 100% RAM and PCIe compatibility as well as easy access to near-socket connectors even on tightly packed mini-ITX motherboards. The custom-designed SecuFirm2™ mounting system for the AM4 socket makes installation child’s play and, thanks to the highly optimised NF-A9x14 92mm fan that supports fully automatic speed control via PWM, the NH-L9a-AM4 runs remarkably quietly. Topped off with Noctua’s renowned NT-H1 thermal compound, the NH-L9a-AM4 combines everything users have come to expect from Noctua’s larger coolers into a super-compact, premium-quality package for ITX and HTPC builds with Ryzen CPUs or APUs.

The NH-L9a-AM4 is a highly compact, quiet low-profile 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 or CPUs that create high heat loads. Please consult our CPU compatibility list to find out whether the NH-L9a-AM4 is recommended for your CPU/APU.
New revision for Ryzen’s AM4 socket

New revision for Ryzen’s AM4 socket

Since the original NH-L9a for AM2(+), AM3(+), FM1 and FM2(+) has received more than 50 awards and recommendations from international hardware websites and magazines, the new AM4 revision builds on the same proven heatsink design to provide excellent low-profile cooling performance for Ryzen CPUs and APUs.
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-AM4 has a compact footprint that fully complies with the socket keep-out zones specified by AMD. This means that neither the heatsink nor the fan overhang the RAM, so the cooler provides easy access to the slots and is 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 motherboards have the PCIe slot located close to the CPU socket zone. While larger coolers that exceed this zone may block the PCIe slot, the compact-sized NH-L9a-AM4 provides full compatibility with PCIe cards.
Easy access to near-socket connectors

Easy access to near-socket connectors

Many low-profile coolers use larger fans or heatsinks in order to achieve sufficient performance, but by protruding over the socket zone, they make it difficult or even impossible to reach near-socket connectors on tightly packed ITX motherboards. Thanks to its compact footprint, the NH-L9a-AM4 provides easy access to all connectors and components.
NF-A9x14 PWM premium fan

NF-A9x14 PWM premium fan

The highly optimised, award-winning 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-AM4 to stay remarkably quiet.
Low-Noise Adaptor

Low-Noise Adaptor

Allowing the maximum speed of the NF-A9x14 PWM fan to be reduced from 2500 to 1800rpm, the included Low-Noise Adaptor (LNA) makes it possible to achieve near-silent setups with suitable CPUs/APUs that only create smaller heat loads.
Custom-designed SecuFirm2™ mounting for AM4

Custom-designed SecuFirm2™ mounting for AM4

The NH-L9a-AM4 comes with a custom-designed SecuFirm2™ mounting system for the AM4 socket of AMD’s Ryzen platform. Allowing the heatsink to be fixed from the back of the motherboard, it 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. Chosen again and again by overclockers and enthusiast users worldwide, it has established itself as a benchmark for premium-quality thermal compounds.
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-L9a package comes with a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty.
Notes and warnings
The NH-L9a-AM4 is a highly compact, quiet low-profile 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 or CPUs that create high heat loads. Please consult our CPU compatibility list to find out whether the NH-L9a-AM4 is recommended for your CPU/APU.
Cooler Specification
Height (without fan)
23 mm
Width (without fan)
114 mm
Depth (without fan)
92 mm
Weight (without fan)
390 g
Height (with fan)
37 mm
Width (with fan)
114 mm
Depth (with fan)
92 mm
Weight (with fan)
465 g
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP
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™ AM4 mounting kit
  • Screws for 92x92x25mm fans
  • Noctua metal case-badge
6 Years
FAN Specification
Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM
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
> 150.000 h
29.06.2018 // LanOC.org

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

With the NH-L9a-AM4 there are almost no other options this thin in the first place, so just being able to find a heatsink this thin that can run high-end CPUs at all is great. Then with the NH-L12S, well it ends up being a great performer in that sub 80mm range. With both of them it is very dependent on the space you have in your SFF build. I wouldn’t run the NH-L9a-AM4 if I could fit one of the better performing taller coolers or the NH-L12S if I could get a larger heatsink or an AIO in. But in their specific size requirements, both have great performance in both cooling and noise.
Test verdict: "in their specific size requirements, both have great performance in both cooling and noise." (Wes Compton, LanOC.org)
02.04.2018 // Modders-Inc.com

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

The results were interesting with both coolers performing roughly the same at stock speeds. This makes sense, as both the Wraith Stealth and the Noctua L9a are rated for up to 65W TDP. Both idled at 31C, and were split by a single degree under full synthetic load. The NoctuaNH-L9A-AM4 temped in at 72C, with the Wraith at 73C. One major difference between the two coolers was the noise level. The Wraith, while not loud, was beginning to border on being unpleasant in my office. Jumping up to that 3.95GHz mark, the Noctua starts to really differentiate itself from AMD’s stock offering. The Wraith Stealth idle increased to 38C, and jumped up to 84C under full synthetic load, with the fan ramping up to 100% at times. The Noctua didn’t seem phased at all by the increased current, seeing just a 3C increase at Idle, and MATCHING its temperature under load. All while staying at the same whisper-quiet 23dB.
Test verdict: "[F]or small form factor builds, or just to cut down on the noise of your PC, I would say the Noctua NH-L9A-AM4 is well worth the $40 asking price." (Ron Perillo, Modders-Inc.com)
14.02.2018 // CoolingTechnique.com

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

+ ottima qualità costruttiva
+ saldature in lega
+ ventola silenziosa anche a pieno regime
+ soli 37mm di altezza
+ controllo PWM
+ performante tra i 25 e i 100W
+ pasta termoconduttiva di fascia alta
Test verdict: "Tutto sommato il piccolo di casa Noctua tira fuori le unghie alle basse coperture termiche dando battaglia ai big senza subire troppo l'enorme svantaggio in termini di massa radiante centrando a pieno il suo compito di offrire bassi ingombri e prestazioni eccellenti per lo meno ai TDP cui lo stesso è riferito. In una parola, promosso." (Damiano Villa, CoolingTechnique.com)
01.02.2018 // TecnoGaming.com

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

Cuando armamos una PC compacta la refrigeración es un tema fundamental porque no solo queremos alto rendimiento sino que también las temperaturas estén dentro de los parámetros aceptables. Con la llegada de la nueva plataforma de AMD Ryzen, resulta primordial tener un cooler que logre disipar bien sin sacrificar el silencio. Aquí Noctua entrega su modelo NH-L9a-AM4 que no solo presenta un diseño sobresaliente sino que cumple con su objetivo de mantener temperaturas frescas de operación. Su instalación es muy sencilla, no requiere de no siquiera una destornillador y su ventilador puede ser aún más silencioso con su adaptador L.N.A. Pensamos en este producto cuando armamos por ejemplo el Cougar QBX Kaze para formato mini-ITX donde puede apuntar tanto para gaming como HTPC.
Test verdict: "Noctua se destaca una vez más con una opción competitiva para AMD Ryzen, lo cual merece nuestra absoluta recomendación." (Alejandro Dau, TecnoGaming.com)
22.01.2018 // HWLegend.com

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

Il Noctua NH-L9a AM4 ha centrato in pieno lo scopo per il quale è stato progettato, ovvero quello di garantire un'efficiente dissipazione nei sistemi compatti come server, workstation e HTPC estremamente compatti. Ci troviamo di fronte ad un dissipatore ad aria di fascia alta dal costo di circa 40€. Pro: Eccellente qualità costruttiva e materiali; Design semplice ed estremamente compatto per la massima compatibilità; Ottima ventola in dotazione (NF-A9x14 PWM); Massima silenziosità; Buone prestazioni (certificazione per l’utilizzo in abbinamento a CPU con TDP massimo di 65W); Bundle completo; Generosa base di contatto in rame nichelato; Tecnologie proprietarie di altissimo livello; 6 ani di garanzia; Facilità d'installazione grazie alla variante custom del sistema di montaggio proprietario SecuFirm2 (esclusivamente su piattaforma AMD AM4). Contro: Nulla da segnalare. --- Il Noctua NH-L12S è nientemeno che una versione revisionata del pluripremiato NH-L12, da tempo sul mercato. Al pari del predecessore anche questo nuovo modello sfrutta un design “Type-L” con heatpipes appositamente lavorate e sagomate in maniera da ricreare una forma ad “U” orizzontale, aspetto che lo rende estremamente compatto ed idoneo all’utilizzo anche all’interno di sistemi dal fattore di forma ridotto, come ad esempio gli HTPC, senza per questo rinunciare ad ottime performance in termini di dissipazione del calore (il produttore ne certifica l’uso in abbinamento a microprocessori con TDP massimo pari a 95W). A differenza del più piccolo L9a AM4 viene garantita la piena compatibilità con tutte le più diffuse piattaforme Intel (LGA-115x e LGA-20xx) e AMD (AMx e FMx), comprendendo tutto il necessario per procedere all’installazione. Il prezzo di listino si attesta sui 50€ IVA compresa, risultando interessante vista la sua qualità e le sue più che soddisfacenti prestazioni. Pro: Eccellente qualità costruttiva e materiali; Design compatto (basato sul pluripremiato NH-L12) per la massima compatibilità; Compatibilità garantita con le più diffuse piattaforme Intel (LGA-115x/LGA-20xx) e AMD (AMx/FMx); Ottima ventola in dotazione (NF-A12x15 PWM); Massima silenziosità; Buone prestazioni (certificazione per l’utilizzo in abbinamento a CPU con TDP massimo di 95W); Bundle completo; Generosa base di contatto in rame nichelato; Tecnologie proprietarie di altissimo livello; 6 ani di garanzia; Facilità d'installazione grazie al sistema di montaggio proprietario SecuFirm2. Contro: Nulla da segnalare.
Test verdict: "Noctua ci ha abituati a prodotti contraddistinti da un rapporto tra qualità e prestazioni senza eguali, indiscutibilmente ai vertici del settore. Non fanno ovviamente eccezione le ultime soluzioni di raffreddamento ad aria a basso profilo recentemente presentate e osservate nel corso di questo articolo, espressamente pensate per l’utilizzo all’interno di sistemi di dimensioni estremamente compatte, nelle quali l’ingombro della soluzione di raffreddamento ricopre un ruolo di fondamentale importanza, al pari delle performance dissipanti e della rumorosità." (Antonio Delli Santi, hwlegend.com)
16.01.2018 // DDWorld.cz

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

NOCTUA L9A AM4 představuje maximální kompaktnost. Není sice výkonově a hlučností lepší než BOX Wraith SPIRE chladič, který dnes AMD používá, ale je ještě menší, a hlavně 2x nižší, což se může někomu hodit. I když i v malých skříních je obvykle místa dost i na těch 85mm, co má stále poměrně nízký Wraith Spire. L9a-AM4 je v podstatě extrémní řešení, kde jde o co nejmenší rozměry při solidním výkonu i nízké hlučnosti a maximálně kvalitním zpracování. Za to prostě platíte. NOCTUA L12S pak představuje velmi výkonné a velmi kompaktní řešení, kde když můžete, tak s ventilátorem zespodu a 70mm na výšku je skvělým chladičem do ITX sestav. Samozřejmě při špičkovém zpracování a nízké hlučnosti. Cena pak není vůbec špatná a celkově je to jeden z nejzajímavějších klasických nízko-profilových chladičů na trhu.
Test verdict: "Cena pak není vůbec špatná a celkově je to jeden z nejzajímavějších klasických nízko-profilových chladičů na trhu. Ocenění tedy zasloužené." (Jan Stach, DDWorld.cz)
08.01.2018 // TheLab.gr

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

Η Noctua συνδυάζοντας την τεχνολογία των απλών ψυκτρών με αυτήν των heat pipes, μας δίνει μια ψύκτρα με εντυπωσιακές επιδόσεις, ικανή να κρατήσει το επεξεργαστή μας ασφαλή ακόμα και κάτω από παράλογα υψηλά -για το μέγεθός της- θερμικά φορτία! Εκμεταλλευόμενη την "άνεση" που τις δίνει το ΑMD AM4 footprint, εξασφαλίζει πλήρη συμβατότητα με το πέριξ του socket, hardware και χάρη στο μικρό ύψος της, που είναι παραπλήσιο με αυτό των μνημών, μπορεί να τοποθετηθεί ακόμα και στα μικρότερα κουτιά HTPC. Στον σπουδαίο ανεμιστήρα που την συνοδεύει, πέρα από την εξαιρετική θερμοαπαγωγική ικανότητα, οφείλει πολλά και στο θέμα του θορύβου, του οποίου το επίπεδο, κυμαινόμενο από το τελείως αθόρυβο, έως το απαλλαγμένο από ενοχλητικές συχνότητες διακριτικό "φύσημα", καθιστά την NH-L9a AM4 πρώτη επιλογή για οποιοδήποτε σύστημα compact HTPC βασίζεται στους νέους AMD Ryzen5. Παρά την "για λόγους αρχής" συντηρητική θέση της κατασκευάστριας όσον αφορά στο TDP της, σε ένα ευάερο κουτί θα σας εκπλήξει με την ευκολία που αντιμετωπίζει αρκετά μεγαλύτερα φορτία, επιτρέποντας στο μικροσκοπικό υπολογιστή σας, να ανταπεξέλθει σε ότι του ζητηθεί, από το να είναι multimedia center, μέχρι παιχνιδομηχανή. Η ποιότητα κατασκευής της είναι κορυφαία και το δοκιμασμένο σύστημα στήριξης κάνει την εγκατάσταση της. . . "παιχνίδι" ! Το μόνο που θα θέλαμε να είναι καλύτερο, είναι το κόστος της και αυτό όχι γιατί δεν ανακλά αυτά που προσφέρει, αλλά γιατί θα θέλαμε να είναι πιο προσιτή στους χρήστες.
Test verdict: "Αν έχετε ένα διακριτικό HTPC και ψάχνετε για την καλύτερη ψύξη του Ryzen5 επεξεργαστή σας, αλλά δεν είστε διατεθειμένοι ούτε να παραιτηθείτε από τις άλλες "ανησυχίες" σας, αλλά ούτε να χάσετε την ησυχία σας, δύσκολα θα βρείτε αυτά που προσφέρει η Noctua NH-L9a AM4 και σε τόσο μικρό μέγεθος! " (Stelios Petousakis, TheLab.gr)
17.11.2017 // PureOverclock.com

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of both these coolers. Even though the NH-L9a-AM4 was unable to tame a 3.7 GHz overclock, I did not expect it to be able to hold it at all. The fact that it didn’t immediately throttle – it took over three minutes – was pretty epic. The NH-L12S did fare a lot better, and was able to keep the chip cool in both the stock and OC circumstances. Both coolers represent Noctua at their finest. I’ve never known a fan or cooler from Noctua to be underwhelming in terms of performance or their overall design. As we all know, their color scheme is one which you’ll either love or you’ll hate, but I do value them as a company for sticking to their roots and letting the performance speak for itself. Anyhow, both coolers are perfectly capable of styling up your rig whilst making minimal noise. Both the NH-L12S and NH-L9a-AM4 remained next to whisper quiet throughout the testing that I put them through, even under 100% load.
Test verdict: "As always, Noctua offers an excellent option for cooling, especially in the SFF market." (Brendan van Varik, PureOverclock.com)
10.11.2017 // FunkyKit.com

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 is a cooler designed for all who want to build small PC and for that it’s perfect. There are not many competitive products on the market so it’s hard to compare it to anything else. The NH-L9a-AM4 performs great considering its small size but at the same time is not making noise, even though fan has to spin faster than on the larger coolers. Noctua new fans are offering perfect balance between high performance and low noise. I’m not saying you won’t hear it when CPU will be under load but generated sound is not loud what you could expect from a cooler this size. Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 is covered by 6-year warranty. It’s the best warranty on the CPU cooler market. It also proves high quality of the product as Noctua is not afraid to offer so long warranty.
Test verdict: "If you are looking for a small cooler for your Ryzen box then Noctua NH-L9a is clearly one of the most interesting options. It’s hard to find any competitive cooler which offers as much in so small package." (Bartosz Waluk, FunkyKit.com)
31.10.2017 // PC Ekspert

NH-L9a-AM4 Review

Oba Noctuina hladnjaka imaju vrlo specifičnu namjenu, a to je hladiti AM4 procesore u manjim, skučenijim kućištima. Pred njih smo u ovom testu stavili najteži zadatak, hladiti Ryzena 7 1800X u čemu su oni i uspjeli. To znači kako će u kućištima niskog profila bez problema hladiti Ryzene 3 ili 5 za koje ju jasno i puno prikladniji. U push-pull konfiguraciji će L12S čak ohladiti i overclockirani Ryzen procesor što je vrlo dobro, jer ostavlja prostora i entuzijastima. I dok je manjem L9a hladnjaku teško naći manu, L12S ju ima. Unatoč različitim načinima orijentacije unutar kućišta, uvijek će prvi DIMM slot biti prekriven i onemogućen za korištenje, pa je to nešto na što treba dobro pripaziti prilikom nabavke. Ako nemamo namjeru koristiti prvi DIMM do socketa, tada problema neće biti.
Test verdict: "Oba su hladnjaka vrlo kvalitetno napravljena, oba imaju sve što je potrebno za instalaciju i korištenje i oba su zadovoljavajuće tiha u radu." (Krešimir Matanović, PC Ekspert)


  • 4-Pin Extension Cables


  • Compact, highly flexible controller for 4-pin PWM fans

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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

Can I upgrade my existing Noctua cooler to socket TR4 or SP3?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to upgrade existing Noctua heatsinks to support the AMD TR4 and SP3 sockets for Ryzen Threadripper (X399) and Epyc CPUs. TR4/SP3 CPUs have much bigger heatspreaders (as compared to e.g. LGA2066 or AM4 processors) and the contact surfaces of standard Noctua heatsinks would cover only about half of these heatspreaders, which would result in insufficient cooling performance. On top of that, the heatpipes of bigger cooler models like the NH-D15 or NH-D15S would completely block the RAM slots on many TR4/SP3 motherboards. For this reason, Noctua has introduced the new NH-U14S TR4-SP3, NH-U12S TR4-SP3 and NH-U9 TR4-SP3 cooler models that feature bigger contact surfaces and have been tailored to fit TR4 and SP3 systems. Please choose these models for AMD Ryzen Threadripper and Epyc systems.

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.

Which Noctua fan or CPU cooler should I buy? How to choose the right model?

Not sure which Noctua product to buy? Our detailed buying guides for fans and CPU coolers help you to choose the model that works best for you.

How much torque should be applied when tightening the screws of a Noctua CPU cooler?

All screws should be tightened gently until they stop without using excessive force. Please do not exceed the following values for maximum tightening torque:
Screw typeMax. torque
NM-SSC1 screws for fixing the fastening brackets to the base of the heatsink0.5 Nm
NM-ITS1 thumb screws for fixing Intel mounting bars0.5 Nm
NM-ALS1 screws for fixing AMD mounting bars0.6 Nm
Spring-loaded screws for fixing the heatsink to the mounting bars0.6 Nm

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.

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.

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

Systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands often use motherboards which differ slightly from the specifications issued by Intel and AMD. While those changes are usually subtle, they can lead to compatibility issues with coolers that were 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 issues can often not be resolved.

Due to the large number of possible issues that cannot be resolved with different mounting parts alone, Noctua does not officially support systems from Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or other major brands.

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

Please refer to our CPU compatibility list for information on maximum recommended TDP and heat dissipation.

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 my Ryzen 3000 processor getting so hot? Why are Ryzen 3000 CPUs running hotter than previous generation Ryzen CPUs with the same TDP rating? Is there anything wrong with my cooler?

The latest Ryzen 3000 processors (except APU models) differ from previous Ryzen generations in that they are no longer based on a single, large chip but use a multi-chip approach with smaller chips instead. Depending on the exact model there can be one (6 and 8-core models) or two (12 and 16-core models) actual CPU-Dies (CCD) on the package. Each processor also uses an I/O-Die (IOD), which contains things like the memory controller, PCIe controller, connections to the motherboard chipset and other functions.

Because of this design change and the switch to a smaller 7nm manufacturing process, the heat distribution of the overall processor is much different from older 14nm and 12nm based single-chip Ryzen processors with a similar power draw.

Depending on the exact CPU model, its specified TDP value and possibly extended power limits (precision boost overdrive), a single CPU-die can create a heatload of up to 130W easily, whereas the I/O-die usually creates a heatload of about 10W. Due to the small size of the CPU-die, the heat density (W/mm²) of this chip is very high. For example, a 120W heatload at a chip-size of 74mm² results in a heat-density of 1.62W/mm², whereas the same heatload on an older Ryzen processor with a chip-size of 212mm² gives a heat-density of just 0.57W/mm².

This large difference in heat-density is the reason why newer Ryzen 3000 processors become much warmer at similar heatloads than their predecessors.

Furthermore, Ryzen 3000 CPUs are using the rated temperature headroom (up to 95°C) quite aggressively in order to reach higher boost clocks. As a result, it is absolutely no problem and not alarming if the processor runs into this temperature limit. The clock speed and supply voltage will be adjusted automatically by the processor itself in order to remain within AMD’s specifications and to prevent overheating.

Due to the higher heat density, higher thermal limits and more aggressive boost clock usage, it is perfectly normal that Ryzen 3000 CPUs are reaching higher temperatures than previous generation Ryzen CPUs with the same TDP rating. Higher CPU temperatures are normal for Ryzen 3000 processors and not a sign of that there is anything wrong with the CPU cooler.

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