When we look at CPU coolers it normally comes down to the numbers, how well the cooler performs, but in the case of the Noctua NH-L9i we have to look at it a little bit differently. If you look at the results on the previous page they are nothing to write home about when compared to other coolers. But if you take into consideration the size of the NH-L9i, at only 37mm high and still able to keep our i7-3370K at a respectable temperature. That is pretty impressive. Even with the low noise adapter in use the temperatures were acceptable. I honestly was caught off guard as I expected this cooler to perform much worse.
Just looking at the tiny cooler you really don’t expect it to do much. After thinking about it there are a few reasons why this cooler performs the way it does. Noctua has used some good materials on the heatsink of the NH-L9i. You have both a copper base and heatpipes along with aluminum fins. At a weight of 420g it is pretty heavy for its size. Noctua also uses its own NF-A9x14 PWM fan, which is better than most fans out there.
Another thing I really liked about this cooler was the installation was extremely simple. 4 screws, that’s it! It can’t get much easier than that! If you are a first time installer you are going to be able to install this cooler without an issue at all. The cooler is small enough you can even install it with your motherboard already installed inside of your case.
This is a very niche cooler, but we have seen the popularity of mATX and ITX gaming systems grow over the past year. This is the perfect cooler for those applications as it is small and gets the job done. You will not have any clearance issues with this cooler at all. Honestly there really is not much I can say bad about the NH-L9i.
Right now it is selling for $48.95 at my favorite online retailer. That price is a little high I think, but you are not going to find a cooler this small that gets the same performance. If you are building a small form factor system you should definitely consider this cooler. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Noctua NH-L9i Low-Profile CPU Cooler a 10 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award.
- Extremely small (perfect for SFF systems)
- Not loud at all
- Good performance considering its size
- Quality design and materials used
- None that I found