Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile Cooler Review




design9The NH-L9i neatly installs with four machined silver screws that thread smoothly into the supplied bracket. Noctua calls this backplate-less system SecuFirm2. A nice glob of the included thermal paste goes on without any fuss, and everything seats into position with reassuring precision. Of course, tihe cooler's small size means you have all the room in the world for working around the CPU socket and installing memory, making it a pleasant installation indeed. This is the first occassion that the height of the memory sticks in our testing units has ever exceeded the height of the cooler! I was admittantly hesitant to start pushing this cooler to its limits given its slim heatsink and puny fan, but as it turns out, this little dynamo has a bit more grunt than I orignally expected. 

As a small note, one of the three wires crossing over the fan blades into the wire harness was somewhat slack out of the box, which caused it to contact the fan and make a knocking sound. A minor issue that was easily fixed, but something to be aware of when you install any compact cooler with exposed cabling.


Test Setup

CPU Intel Core i5-2500
Thermal Paste Noctua NT-H1
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-L9i
Motherboard MSI P67A-GD55
GPU ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II 1GB
RAM 2x4GB Patriot Viper Xtreme Division II 1600MHz DDR3
Primary HDD (OS) Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD
2nd HDD Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD
3rd HDD OCZ Agility 3 60GB SATA III SSD
4th HDD Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM
PSU Cooler Master GX-750W
Cooler Master CM Storm Stryker
OS  Windows 7 Professional 64-bit


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