Noctua NH-U9S Air CPU Cooler Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Packaging, Contents and Specification
  3. Closer Look
  4. Mounting and Motherboard/GPU/RAM Clearance
  5. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  6. Temperature Readouts and Observations
  7. Conclusion
  8. Online Purchase Links

Noctua provides brackets and screws with an equally good quality finish and metal- Secufirm2 mounting system as they call it.The thread mounts are on the brackets whereas the spring loaded bolts with a Philips head. This is a better way to mount is because there have been certain manufacturers that use the other way around. To save cost, in such CPU Cooler’s brackets, they simply have a hole. There have been times where the motherboard has certain components that stay underneath the bracket. Noctua’s implementation ensured good clearance and the threads on the bracket gets screwed on the CPU cooler. While others have screws that are pretty close to the components.

Screws are stiff once they’re secured, but they’re not “springy” like many spring-loaded screws that force users to exert pressure while installing. Keep in mind, while AMD processors use PGA mounting method, Intel uses LGA. If an inexperienced user exerts force by holding down the CPU cooler by holding it in the middle, that person may probably damage it. Not the case with Noctua’s spring-loaded bolts.

 Noctua has the best mounting kits that I’ve used so far. These use an NM-IMB3 bracket.

I used three motherboards to show the potential clearance you get while using Noctua U9S in single fan and dual fan mode- Gigabyte Z97N-WiFi and Gigabyte X99-UD4.

Looking at its mini-ITX compatibility with the Noctua NH-U9S:

Gigabyte Z97N-WiFi uses Intel Dual band WiFi-AC 7260 Module AC WIFI and Bluetooth 4.0 module behind the rear I/O connectors. Still, Noctua maintains good enough clearance from the chip as well Many motherboard manufacturers at times use a different layout and placement for mini-ITX motherboards. The 95x95mm footprint is made to provide clearance for both PCIe and memory slots, but even with Noctua U9S+ dual fan provides adequate space for other hardware.

With the Gigabyte X99 UD4, along with Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB 3000MHz DDR4 and Zotac GTX 780TI Extreme AMP! Edition:

Because of the tall heatspreaders on the memory sticks on both sides of the CPU cooler, you will have to install it in a horizontal position. Still, even with push-pull setup, there is a lot of space between the 1st PCIe slot and the cooler. It should also be noted that Gigabyte X99 UD4 has two 4-pin CPU_Fan header just below the socket rather than the usual position.

Note that Noctua was clear about certain limitation concerning cooling potential and overclocking headroom depending on the processor platform and its TDP rating. They are as follows:

TDP Guide

As per Noctua’s recommendation, they can be used with 140w TDP LGA 2011/0/3 sockets, but with no recommendation for overclocking, but for 95w based Intel 115x sockets they have a lot potential for overclocking. Not many brands have this type of recommendation in this detail, so its appreciated that Noctua is emphasizing the helpful information as much as possible.

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