In my last take, I tested the Noctua NH-L9x65 CPU cooler. This time around, I am taking a look at another chromax.black cooler that is Noctua NH-D9L. It is a black edition of the regular NH-D9L hence practically there is no difference except for the color and better socket support out of the box. This cooler comes at a height of 110mm which is 15mm less than NH-U12S. This height combined with a 95x95mm footprint makes this cooler ideal for 3U size server cases as well as ideal for SFF and HTPC uses. This is a dual tower that comes with a 92x92x25mm NF-A9 PWM chromax.black fan. It has 4x heat pipes.
This cooler retails at USD 74.90 at the time of this writing which is official MSRP.
Noctua NH-D9L Chromax.Black Specifications
The above is a specification of the cooler. I will show the fan specifications later in this article.
Packaging and Unboxing
The cooler comes inside a cardboard made black color packaging box which is Noctua’s standard for the chromax.black edition coolers. Noctua has listed the specifications and features of the cooler around the packaging box. Inside this packing box, we have two egged cartons that encapsulate another cardboard container for the safest possible shipping of the cooler.
The following is provided:
- 1x Cooler with Fan
- 1x NM-IBP4 Backplate
- 2x NM-IMB2 Mounting Bars
- 4x NM-ICS1 Clip On Spacers
- 4x NM-STS1 Thumb Screws
- 4x NM-IBT5 Bolts
- 4x NM-IPS1 Black Spacers for Intel LGA115x/1200
- 4x NM-IPS3 Blue Spacers for Intel LGA1700
- 1x NM-AMB121 Mounting Bar for AMD
- 1x NM-AMB12b Mounting Bar for AMD
- 4x NM-APS4 Grey Spacers
- 4x NM-ALS1 Long Screws
- 1x NT-H1 Thermal paste
- 1x Screw Driver
- 1x NA-RC7 LN Adapter
- 1x Noctua Badge
- 1x User Guide
Let’s start with the heatsink first.
The cooler has a dimension of 95x95x110mm (LxWxH) with the fan. The overall weight of this cooler is 531g. Noctua has rated its NSRP of 88 which is Noctua’s internal grading system instead of grading in terms of TDP. The fan comes pre-installed on the heatsink.
I am showing the front side of the heatsink in the above picture. The front and back are identical. There are 35 fins in a single tower making a total count of 70 fins on both towers. We have triangular shape fin columns on both sides whereas the rest of the main layout is flat in design. 4x heat pipes make an even contact inside the soldered assembly.
I am showing the side of the heatsink. The opposite end has an identical layout. The fins are joined on these sides. There are insets on both ends to catch the hands of the clips. These hands rest on the jointed plate. The overall finish is quite good with better build quality. Each tower is 33mm thick in width.
The above picture shows the top view of the heatsink. 4x heat pipes are terminating above the top fin plate. These heat pipes are routed at an equal distance from each other providing maximum coverage for better heat transfer. We can spot Noctua branding on both towers up top.
The above picture shows a close-up view of the mounting bracket. This bracket comes pre-installed over the base using Philips screws and is removable should you want to switch to Torx based mounting system. It has two spring-loaded screws, pre-installed.
The Noctua NH-D9L has 4x 6mm thick copper heat pipes. These heat pipes are finished in black color coating like the complete assembly. These heat pipes are converging towards the base. They are not making direct contact with the CPU. Instead, there is a copper plate between these pipes and the CPU.
This cooler has a nickel-plated copper base plate which has a mirrored chrome finish. It measures 38x40mm approximately.
Noctua has provided 1x NF-A9 PWM chormax.black edition fan with this cooler. This is a chromax edition of the regular beige/brown color fan. This fan has 7x blades. There are cut-to-size anti-vibration pads on the mounting corners. There is a stepped inlet design on the frame of the frame. Each blade has flow acceleration channels to maximum airflow which is augmented by the AAO frame. I am not going into details since I have covered Noctua fans in the past many times.
The backside of the fan has a 4-arm assembly. Each arm has a slim body and it is rounded to provide better focused flow. The model of the fan is printed in the center. The power rating includes 0.1A at 12VDC generating 1.2W. the wires are routed on one arm and there are catchers to hold the wires.
There is a mesh-sleeved cable that has a 4-pin PWM connector to power this fan. This fan uses an SSO2 bearing.
The above picture shows the specifications of the fan.
We are not covering the installation of the coolers any longer since the user manual is there for this purpose. One thing I have observed is that the fan’s handling is not convenient in terms of taking it or installing it. I never had any issue with Noctua coolers before but the clips were loose and coming off easily making it difficult to install the fan. The anti-vibration pads were rubbing against the surface of the heatsink. Other than that, installation is simple.
Let’s talk about the clearance of this cooler. I have tested the cooler on an ITX motherboard.
As you can see there is no clearance issue for the DIMM slots. You can use RAM of any height with this cooler.
There is no clearance issue for the first PCIe x16 slot on the ASRock B650E PG-ITX WiFi motherboard.
The heatsink of this cooler does not obstruct the top area of the motherboard.
There is no clearance issue towards the Rear of the motherboard either.
This cooler has a height of 110mm which makes it compatible with 3U racks as well as many ITX cases.
We have used the following configurations for testing:
- AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
- ASRock B650E PG-ITX WiFi
- Sabrent Rocket 32GB DDR5 Kit @ 4800MHz CAS 40
- MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G
- Western Digital Black SN850 500GB NVMe SSD
- Be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W Platinum PSU
- Open Air Test Bench
Test table is:
|Voltage Efficiency Curve
|Curve per Core
|Thermal Paste Application
|Single Vertical Line in the center
|Stress Run Time
|PC Idle Time
The ambient temperature was 19°C to 20°C. Since the variation in the ambient temperature is within 1°C, we are reporting absolute temperatures in the graph. The testing is done on an open-air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis.
Disclaimer: Every silicon is different hence no two same SKUs are likely to take same voltage to yield same performance at same thermals per se but margin would be close. Not every stress test run may yield the same result which could be due to various reasons like thermal paste application, ambient temperature variation, mounting pressure of the cooler etc. This is why we have listed our variables and their settings.
The maximum temperature under the stress load was 84ᵒC which is 8ᵒC less than the NH-L9x65. Mind you the latter is rated for 67 NSPR compared to 88 rating of NH-D9L. This makes sense. The fan is somewhat loud at full speed subjectively speaking so auto PWM or custom fan curve is in order. Better yet use LNA.
Noctua has recently released two chromax.black edition coolers. These are NH-L9x65 and NH-D9L. I have earlier tested NH-L9x65 chromax.black and this time I have tested Noctua NH-D9L chromax.black. This cooler is a black color edition of the regular NH-D9L. This cooler is compatible with Intel LGA115x/1200/1700/20xx and AMD AM4/AM5 sockets. This cooler is also ready for the upcoming LGA 1851 socket from Intel.
This cooler has a dimension of 95x95x110mm (LxWxH) making it ideal for 3U server cases as well as for many ITX cases for SFF and HTPC applications/builds. This cooler stands at 15mm less than the NH-U12S. This is a dual-tower design with a single fan in between the towers. A single tower has 35 fins and 4x copper heat pipes with soldered joints and black color coating. This makes a total fin count of 70. This is a U design.
The main mounting plate comes pre-installed on the base using Philips screws. This plate is removable allowing you to use Torx based mounting system from Noctua. This plate or bracket has 2x spring-loaded screws. There is a copper base plate that is nickel-plated with a chrome finish. It measures 38x40mm approximately.
Noctua has provided NF-A9 PWM chromax.black fan with this cooler. It has a dimension of 92x92x25mm. the NH-L9x65 comes with a 14mm thick fan. The overall design of the cooler makes it an idea fit providing utmost clearance from all perspectives be it RAM, PCIe slot, or the surrounding components of the socket despite being a dual tower design.
The fan uses Noctua’s SSO2 bearings. It has 7x blades and has anti-vibration pads on the mounting corners. There are flow acceleration channels on the blades and the AAO frame makes the airflow application even better. The fan has a maximum speed of 2000 ±10% RPM. It draws an input power of 1.2W with the 12V DC. The maximum airflow rating is 78.9m³/h. Maximum acoustical noise is 22.8 dBA. The LNA cable reduces the speed to lower the sound output.
Noctua has provided all the accessories that could be required to install this cooler. There is a Philips Screw Driver and NT-H1 thermal paste as well. Noctua has provided the latest SecuFirm II black color mounting kit with this cooler. The installation is easy on the AMD AM5 socket. You would need 10 components to install this cooler on the AM5 socket. Speaking of the Intel LGA1700 socket, you would need 15 items which is unlike Noctua but it has to be done to provide a single backplate for all supported Intel sockets.
This cooler also can’t handle the overclocking despite having a taller design with more surface area unlike NH-L9x65 but it still falls under the low profile design. This cooler can in fact better the job of NH-L9x65 by providing the same utmost clearance for RAM, PCIe slot, and near socket components on the ITX board. It is also suited for 3U cases which is another target market for this cooler.
I have tested this cooler on AMD Ryzen 7 7700X using PBO Advanced. The cooler keeps the CPU at steady 84ᵒC without throttling under heavy stress testing. This is a good performance from this cooler. Noctua is offering a 6-year warranty on this cooler and it is almost a perfect companion for your SFF/HTPC builds.
- Good Thermal Performance
- AMD AM5 and Intel LGA1700 Socket Support
- 110mm Height
- 3U Compatible
- Universal RAM Clearance
- Utmost Clearance for near socket areas
- Excellent Build Quality
- 6-Year Warranty
- A bit louder fan