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: 6.25.5400
– 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 Noctua NH-U9S has a great memory clearance, thanks to the offset design of the heatsink. The fan does not reach the first RAM slot of the motherboard.
The PCIe expansion slot clearance is also good, with approximately 34mm of space between the heatsink and the graphics card.
The Noctua NH-U9S is a good CPU cooler that offers a great clearance for both the RAM slots and the graphics card. The performance can be further improved with the usage of an additional 92mm fan, however that will also increase the overall cost.
The build quality is very good, the edges of the cooling fins are smooth and uniform, while the baseplate surface is polished to a mirror like reflection.
The mounting system has been refined and today, it is one of the best on the market. It is solid, with mostly metal made components, and easy to install.
The performance is good for a small cooler that uses a single 92mm fan. While I would not recommend using a high TDP CPU that is overclocked, with this cooler, it is possible. From a performance standpoint, the NH-U9S offers a good ratio between size, noise and temperature.
In conclusion, the Noctua NH-U9S is a good and small CPU cooler, that that offers a great performance and clearance for both the RAM modules and the graphics card. The build quality is great, and the Secu Firm mounting system is one of the best around.