The following system was used to test the cooler:
– Processor: Intel i9 9900K @ 5GHz
– Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X
– RAM: Ballistix Tactical Tracer 16GB DDR4 @ 2666MHz
– GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio
– SSD: Crucial MX500
– HDD: WD 1 TB Blue
– PSU: Seasonic Snow Silent 750W Platinum
– Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe White
– Thermal compound: Noctua NT-H2
Software used for testing the cooler:
– AIDA64 Extreme Version: 6.32.5600
– Intel Burn Test v2.54
– Prime95 29.1
The cooler was tested with the CPU at the default turbo frequency of 4.9 GHz and overclocked to 5 GHz with a core voltage of 1.261 V.
Also, the included fans have been used at their maximum speed.
The room temperature was approximately 26°C (78°F), with 2°C margin of error.
The idle test consists of the CPU sitting idle at the desktop for 30 minutes, the temperature was measured at the end of the test.
The settings of the software used are the following:
Intel Burn Test v2.54 – Stress level: Maximum
Prime95 29.1- small FFT
AIDA64 Extreme Version – FPU Benchmark & Temperature monitoring.
Each test was conducted for 40 minutes.
Full Load – IntelBurnTestV2
Full Load – AIDA64 CPU, FPU & Cache
The noise level was measured at three different distances from the fans (10cm, 20cm, 30cm.) the noise was measured with a margin of error of ± 2 db.
The RAM and VRM heatsink clearance of the NH-D9L are very good, thanks to the small footprint of the cooler.
The PCIe expansion slot clearance is also very good, with approximately 43mm of space between the heatsink and the backplate of the graphics card. The space left between the heatsink and the graphics card is good enough to make the top M.2 socket accessible. Please keep in mind that the space between the CPU socket and the top PCIe slot can vary, as some motherboards use different layouts.
The Noctua NH-D9L is a great small form factor CPU cooler that delivers a good cooling performance.
The best way to describe the NH-D9L is as a smaller alternative to the Noctua NH-U9S cooler. However, there is around a 4°C difference between the two CPU coolers, thanks to the bigger cooling surface offered by the NH-U9S.
The overall cooling performance is very good when taking into account the small size of the heatsink and the used 92mm fan. While no heavy overclocking should be attempted with this CPU cooler, the NH-D9L was capable of keeping an i9 9900K CPU under control, with the stock frequency.
The build quality is very good and as usual, it is on the same level as the flagship cooler, the Noctua NH-D15. The aluminum made cooling fins are solid and also smooth on the edges, while the heatsink has a solid construction.
The clearance offered by the cooler is very good, thanks to the small footprint of the cooler on the CPU socket.
The installation process is made very simple thanks to the Noctua SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system which is one of the best around. This mounting system also uses only solid metal components and a metal backplate.
In conclusion, the Noctua NH-D9L is a good small form factor CPU cooler that offers a good cooling performance and a low noise output. For a cooler of this size, the performance is great and the cooler can handle high TDP CPUs such as the 9900K but, without any overclocking.