Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU Cooler

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Product(s): Noctua NH-U9B Special Edition SE2 CPU Cooler
Provided By: Noctua

Price:

Introduction: 

Let's quickly take a trip waaaaaaay back to 2008 in the BCCHardware archives when we took a look at the Noctua NH-U9B CPU Cooler, ahh memories! Today we are going to look at the same cooler with a little different spin to it, the Noctua NH-U9B SE2, and see how it compares to other coolers on the Intel LGA1336 platform.

Even though two years have passed since we first took a look at this cooler it is still one of the more popular coolers we've ever covered (and for good reason). The NH-U9B cooler was much smaller than most of the other heatpipe coolers available and was able to fit into cases where the rest just couldn't and still offer great quality and great performance.

The NH-U9B SE2 cooler is pretty much identical to its original counterpart (as you will see in the pictures in the next section), however Noctua has added some new mounting brackets to fit the new CPU sockets (LGA1336 and LGA1156) so now i7 users are in luck as well as a second 92mm Noctua fan. The rest of the package is pretty similar with a few minor differences so we won't spend too much time looking at the fine details (if you want the fine details you can read our original review right here).

 

First Impressions:

This section could probably be considered "second impressions" as we take a close look at the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 cooler.

I have included pictures from the original NH-U9B and compared them to the new and improved NH-U9B SE2 so you can see the differences (or lack of differences). I'm not going to go into much detail about the NH-U9B SE2 because it is very similar to the original and if you want to take a closer look you can just read our original review (which can be found here).

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Noctua NH-U9B SE2 - Top View
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Noctua NH-U9B (Original)- Top View

 

Ok, so the first comparison is identical, the heatsink is identical to the original. Both heatsinks were capable of handling two 92mm fans (the NH-U9B SE2 comes with 2 in the package, the original only came with one).


 

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Noctua NH-U9B SE2 - New Mounting Bracket
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Noctua NH-U9B (Original)- Mounting Bracket

The biggest physical difference is the mounting system, as you might be able to see Noctua has changed it up a little (it's now even easier to install then the original). With the NH-U9B you get mounting brackets for the LGA775, LGA1336, LGA1156 from Intel, and the AM, AM2, AM2+ sockets from AMD which should pretty much cover the good majority of CPU's produced in the past few years.
 

 

 

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Noctua NH-U9B SE2 - Installed
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Noctua NH-U9B (Original)- Installed

 

So there we go, the comparison section is now officially complete. It was intentionally short due to the lack of differences from the original (you can read our full review of the NH-U9B cooler here).

 


 

Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU Cooler Specifications:

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All Specifications taken from Noctua.at

 

Features:

The NH-U9B SE2 continues the legacy of Noctua's classic NH-U9 series of compact premium coolers, which have received more than 100 awards and recommendations from the international press. The new SE2 version lends itself to use in quiet HTPCs or smaller cases and adds support for LGA1156 as well as LGA1366 via the latest SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system. Topped off with Noctua's award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound as well as two premium-grade NF-B9 fans, the NH-U9B SE2 offers a complete quality package for excellent quiet cooling performance.

 

Due to its custom backplate, the NH-U9B SE2 is not compatible with Intel’s Xeon 5500 platform. Please choose our NH-U9DX 1366 for use on Xeon 5500 systems. Click here for further information.

 

Detailed Specifications

Socket compatibility Intel LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA775 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3 (backplate required)
Height (without fan) 125 mm
Width (without fan) 95 mm
Depth (without fan) 71 mm
Height (with fan) 125 mm
Width (with fan) 95 mm
Depth (with fan) 95/120* mm
Weight (without fan) 460 g
Weight (with fan) 550/640* g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility 2x 92x92x25mm
Scope of Delivery
  • 2x NF-B9 premium fan
  • 2x Ultra-Low-Noise Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • 2x Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • Y-Split Cable
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kits
Warranty 6 Years

 

Fan specifications

 
Model Noctua NF-B9
Bearing SSO-Bearing
Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 1600 RPM
Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1300 RPM
Rotational Speed with U.L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1000 RPM
Airflow 64,3 m³/h
Airflow with L.N.A. 52,6 m³/h
Airflow with U.L.N.A. 41,1 m³/h
Acoustical Noise 17,6 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 13,1 dB(A)
Acoustical Noise with U.L.N.A. 7,9** dB(A)
Input Power 1,32 W
Voltage Range 12 V
MTBF > 150.000 h

 

 


 

Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU Cooler - Testing:

For Intel (LGA1336) testing we will be using the Intel Core i7 920 CPU, which produces 130 Watts of heat. This could be considered a mid-range processor, and while most Dual-Core processors produce ~50-80 Watts of heat, this should give you a pretty accurate estimate of what type of temperatures a cooler will provide you with.

For both AMD and Intel testing, we have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp v.0.99.4. CoreTemp takes a temperature from the CPU core, and allows for much more uniform results across different motherboard and CPU platforms. These temperatures may seem higher than other temperature recordings; because chances are they are taking temperature recordings using the diode underneath the CPU, which isn't able to be as accurate, and can really fluctuate between different brands of motherboards.

For all tests we are using the Highspeed PC Top Deck Tech Station , and we are using no additional cooling in our testing. All temperatures are recorded in a controlled environment that is set to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) to provide fair results between coolers.

For all tests we use Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound (Paste), We use the same thermal paste in all our testing so that we can keep our results consistent. If a cooler is shipped with thermal paste pre-applied, it will be removed and we will re-apply it with Arctic Cooling MX-2 to provide fair results.

 

Intel Test System:

 

For our testing of the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 cooler we have tested the cooler with 2 fans while running at full speeds (1600 RPM) as well as with the U.L.N.A fan adapter that slows the fans down to 1000 RPM. Included with the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 is another set of fan adapters that allow you to run the fans at 1300 RPM (results not included in our charts).

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

So the first test isn't anything too mind-blowing, however you need to remember that this heatsink is significantly smaller than most of the others we've tested and the fans are running at their lowest settings and generating virtually no noise. Our CPU is generating 130 Watts of heat which is pretty much one of the hottest CPU's available yet the NH-U9B SE2 was able to keep up and still provide better results than the noisy stock cooler. If you were running a ~75 Watt CPU with the two included fans you would be very happy with the results and the lack of noise.

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

At full speed the two fans on the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 were able to put us some very decent numbers when you consider the smaller size of the heatsink of the NH-U9B SE2. These results are very interesting seeing as most of the coolers we are testing it against in the next chart have significantly larger heatsinks yet the NH-U9B SE2 was able to keep up (and in some cases outperform). Overall I'd say these results are very good for a cooler of this size.

 

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

So the results are in and I think the NH-U9B SE2 has done very well for a smaller cooler. Most of the coolers on our chart have much larger heatsinks so the fact that the NH-U9B SE2 was able to keep up is impressive. Even at the lowest speeds on a toasty 130 Watt CPU the NH-U9B SE2 was able to improve cooling performance over stock cooling (and do it much more quietly).

 

 


 

Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU Cooler Final Thoughts:

We were very impressed when we took a look at the original NH-U9B CPU cooler almost two years ago (our original review can be found here), and two years later when we tested it again I'd have to say I was impressed once again. The Noctua NH-U9B SE2 is very similar to the original, but the inclusion of 2 fans definitely helped improve performance and was able to keep up with our toasty Intel Core i7 920 CPU without issue.

 

The reasons why I liked the original NH-U9B CPU cooler are also the major reasons why the NH-U9B SE2 scored well in our testing. The performance of this cooler was very decent when you consider its size and on a sub-100 Watt CPU this cooler should have no issues keeping up and will still make your PC nice and quiet. Even when we had the fans running at full speed in our testing the system was pretty quiet and in most cases you'd probably never hear them over other system noise.

At the end of the day it's pretty easy to like the NH-U9B SE2 (just like we liked the original version). The high quality construction, easy installation and great performance make this cooler a fantastic choice for cases that don't have loads of room and can't fit some of the other bigger coolers available. Even though the NH-U9B SE2 might be smaller than the others it had no problems keeping up and because of that was able to score itself our "Editor's Choice - Gold" award. If you're in the market for a cooler for a case that doesn't have a ton of room you'll want to give the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 some serious consideration.

 

Pros:

  • Good Performance
  • Easy Installation
  • High Quality Construction
  • Quiet!
  • Able to fit into cases where bigger cooler can't

 

Cons:

  • Nothing Major
  BCCRating

 


Gold 
 

 

I'd like to thank Noctua for sending us the NH-U9B SE2 cooler. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.