Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile CPU Cooler for Intel - Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Article Index
Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile CPU Cooler for Intel
Features and Specifications
Closer Look and Installation
Test Setup and Testing
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Final Thoughts:

It has been a long time since I've looked at a traditional HSF.  My last few cooling reviews have been of high-end liquid cooling solutions so the change was quite dramatic going with the Noctua NH-L9i.  Let's make one thing perfect clear - the quality of this cooler is stellar.  What I'm talking about with the big change is the size and performance capability of the product - the Noctua is not in the same class of course.  It can, however, fit in places where these other coolers can not.

I do have a couple of complaints with this cooler.  One of them has to do with the finish on the base.  It is pretty rough.  I'm sure it's actually flat enough, but it is far from smooth.  Back in the days of watercooling and overclocking, I would lapp the base of any heatsink or waterblock and would see quite a few degrees improvement.  I'm sure that Noctua could do the same thing here.

The other drawback I see to this cooler is the price.  For $50, the performance gains over stock cooling aren't that impressive, but then again in certain situations, you don't have other alternatives.  The price point is the hardest thing to nail down.

Installation is a breeze and an absolute pleasure though.  It's rare that an aftermarket Intel cooler is so simple to install.  There are no small pieces to lose and it fits securely and firmly on your CPU with only four screws.  It's great.

At the end of the day the Noctua NH-L9i is a winner.  It is pretty amazing how much performance, silence and simplicity they can pack into such a small, attractive, organized package.  The whole experience of this cooler is pretty well done.  Because of the $50 price tag, it does take a few notches back in terms of value, but if you need a good cooling solution and only have a small place to use it, this cooler doesn't really even have a lot of competition and it is probably the best cooler you can buy for that application.

Pros:

  • Good performance
  • Very low profile
  • Easy installation
  • Quiet
  • High quality construction

 

Cons:

  • Base finish is a little rough
  • Price is a tad high for the performance

BCCRating

Silver

 

I'd like to thank Noctua for sending us the NH-L9i Cooler.  If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please post it at the think below.