Noctua NH-U9B CPU Cooler

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

Price: $49.99CAD Online

Introduction: 

A while back I took a look at the NH-U12P CPU Cooler from Noctua (Reviewed Here), and quite frankly it really surprised me with its performance and when compared to all the other air-coolers I've looked at in the past couple years, it ranks right up there at the top with the best. The Biggest drawback of the NH-U12P is that it is a big heatsink, and if you've got a smaller case it might not fit, and that's where the NH-U9B fits into the picture.

The Noctua NH-U9B cooler looks very similar to the NH-U12P, however instead of the 120mm fan that the NH-U12P features, the NH-U9B used a 90mm fan, and the entire heatsink of the NH-U9B is smaller in size for those cases that can't support a big heatsink like the NH-U12P.

I am very interested to see how the NH-U9B or as I like to call it the "Little Brother" of the NH-U12P cooler can perform, let's get on with the review...

 

First Impressions:

The entire box of the NH-U9B looks very similar to the NH-U12P, only smaller. Actually the entire everything looks almost exactly like the NH-U12P only smaller, it just looks like everything was shrunk, and in some of the next pictures I've actually taken pictures of them side-by-side, so you'll see exactly what I mean.

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Noctua NH-U9B - Box Front
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Noctua NH-U9B - Box Back

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Noctua NH-U9B - Heatsink
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Noctua NH-U9B - Heatsink

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Noctua NH-U9B - Heatsink
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Noctua NH-U9B - Heatsink

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Noctua NH-U9B - Bottom of Heatsink (with mounting brackets installed)
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Noctua NH-U9B - Bottom of Heatsink (without mounting brackets installed)

 

In the next two pictures below you'll see the manual and the accessories that come with the Noctua NH-U9B. As I mentioned in my review of the Noctua NH-U12P (Reviewed Here), you'll see I was very impressed with the accessories and the manual that Noctua provides.

The manual is very well laid out, and actually has separate manuals for the LGA775 and AM2 instructions, not a big deal to some, but it's this attention to detail that quite a few other manufactures neglect.

The accessories are also very well laid out, the LGA775 and AM2 hardware are packaged separately, so you're not going to accidentally lose anything and if you ever need to switch sockets in the future, everything will be safely packed in the box for you. Also a full tube of thermal paste is included in the box (not a 1-2 application tube like some others), as well as a screwdriver. The screwdriver caught me by surprise when I reviewed the NH-U12P, but it's a nice bonus, because if your anything like me you're always misplacing your favorite screwdriver, and it's just another example of Noctua's attention to detail.

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Noctua NH-U9B - Manual
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Noctua NH-U9B - Accessories

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Noctua NH-U9B - Heatsink Fan
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Noctua NH-U9B - Accessories
 

As promised I will also include some pictures of how the Noctua NH-U12P and the new NH-U9B compare to each other. As you can see in the pictures below they are very similar to each other, just two different sizes.

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Noctua NH-U9B (Left) - Noctua NH-U12P (Right)
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Noctua NH-U9B (Left) - Noctua NH-U12P (Right)


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Noctua NH-U9B (Left) - Noctual NH-U12P (Right)

 

 


Noctua NH-U9B CPU Cooler Specifications:

Taken from Noctua.at

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The NH-U9B continues the legacy of Noctua's classic NH-U coolers, which won over 150 awards and recommendations from leading international websites and magazines. Due to its compact size, the NH-U9B is perfect for HTPCs and small cases as well all as other applications that don't provide sufficient space for its bigger brother NH-U12P. Bundled with Noctua's award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound and fitted with the new NF-B9 fan, the NH-U9B offers outstanding quietness and excellent performance levels close to the NH-U12P.

 


Socket compatibility Intel Socket LGA 775, AMD AM2 & AM2+, Intel Xeon on request, AMD K8 (754, 939, 940) & Socket F on request
Height (without fan) 125 mm
Width (without fan) 95 mm
Depth (without fan) 70 mm
Height (with fan) 125 mm
Width (with fan) 95 mm
Depth (with fan) 95 mm
Weight (without fan) 460 g
Weight (with fan) 550 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Application Intel all frequencies, AMD all frequencies
Fan compatibility 92x92x25 (2 fans can be installed)
Scope of Delivery
  • NF-B9 premium fan
  • Mounting-clips for 2 fans
  • Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
  • Low-Noise-Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm™ mounting kits for LGA & AM2(+)
  • 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 CPU Cooler Testing and Installation:

    Installation is pretty simple with the NH-U9B, although you are going to have to remove the motherboard. However, once you remove the motherboard and mount the back bracket and the top brackets (pictured below), the rest of the installation is very simple, and attaching the heatsink to the brackets is a matter or two screws, and not a lot of pressure at all.

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    Noctua NH-U9B - Back Bracket
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    Noctua NH-U9B - Top Brackets

     

    Once you've got the back and top brackets installed you'll need to attach the side brackets to the heatsink (pictured below), then you're ready to attach the heatsink to the board.

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    Noctua NH-U9B - Side Brackets Installed
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    Noctua NH-U9B - Side Brackets Installed

     

    Once you've got the brackets installed, mounting is a breeze, pretty much just set it on, and but the screws in and your done. In the pictures below you can see on the left the heatsink is set on the brackets, then on the right the screws and spring is installed, this easy mounting system makes it very easy if you every need to remove the cooler for an upgrade or to reapply thermal paste.

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    Noctua NH-U9B - Heatsink on Mounting Brackets
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    Noctua NH-U9B - Heatsink Installed

     

    And there we go, we're all done, it's that simple.

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    Noctua NH-U9B - Installed
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    Noctua NH-U9B - Installed

     

    Testing:

    Test Setup:

    Our testing of CPU coolers is pretty straight forward, we test them at stock clock speeds at both idle and full load speeds. For the overclocking results I took temperatures at idle and full load. All temperatures were taken after the processor had been running for 12 hours on each test to ensure a consistent result.

    I have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp. 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 stock tests the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU ran at stock speeds of 1.86Ghz, for Overclocked tests the CPU was running at 2.13Ghz.

    For all tests I used Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound.

    Test System

     

     

    I have included in the first chart the NH-U9B as well as a few other similar coolers for comparison purposes. In the second chart I have included approximately 16 different coolers of all shapes and sizes and methods of cooling for comparison purposes.

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    Click on Chart for Larger View

     

    Well there we go, when comparing the NH-U9B to its big brother (NH-U12P) it does drop a bit in performance, but since it's a much smaller cooler that is to be expected. When compared to other coolers such as the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro (which is a similar sized cooler), it keeps up pretty good. While it might not have the best performance, you have to remember that it does this while being pretty much silent and it's not really aimed at the high-performance overclocking market, so with that in mind I'm very satisfied with the performance.

    In the next chart I've included all the results from the last 16 cooler reviews we've done at BCCHardware, and gives you an idea of how it compares to all the coolers we've taken a look at lately.

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    Click on Chart for Larger View (Warning - Large Size)

     

     

    Noctua NH-U9B CPU Cooler Final Thoughts:

    The last Noctua cooler I reviewed (NH-U12P) raised the bar when it comes to air-cooling, and when I received the NH-U9B I was very optimistic about how it was going to perform. Comparing the two against each other really isn't fair, since they are both aimed at a different consumer, but a lot of the things I really liked about the NH-U12P, Noctua was able to incorporate into the NH-U9B, and that is a good thing. Things such as great accessories, easy installation (even though you have to remove the motherboard), and sturdy design really help make this a great cooler. The fan adapters that come with the NH-U9B are a nice feature, a PWM fan might be preferred by some, but in applications such as HTPC's, users are going to appreciate the option to slow the fan down to ~1100 RPM and make the fan virtually silent and not have it spinning up and down. Even with no adapter and the fan spinning in the ~1600-1900 RPM range its not overly loud by any means, but with the side off your case you can hear it, and for the silent PC enthusiast that might be too much, even though the average user would probably never hear it and chances are good that in an average PC there are going to be much noisier components anyways.

    There is a bit of a performance decrease when going from the NH-U12P to the NH-U9B; however that is to be expected since the NH-U9B's heatsink is quite a bit smaller in size and also features a smaller fan. When comparing this cooler to other coolers with 90mm fans, it does very well and if you've got a small case, or not a lot of room for a cooler, this would be a great choice. The performance didn't set any records, but for smaller cases that aren't able to support a big heatsink, the NH-U9B could be just what you are looking for.

    At the end of the day it's pretty easy to give this cooler our "Top Pick" award, and if you need a cooler that will fit into a smaller case, the Noctua NH-U9B is a very good choice.

    Pros:

    • Very Quiet at Low Speeds
    • Good Performance
    • Great Accessories and Manual Included
    • Reasonably Priced
    • Fits into smaller cases that cannot support a big heatsink and fan

     

    Cons:

    • None

     

      BCCRating

    TopPick

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