NH-U9S Features and Cooler Design
Courtesy of Noctua
- Award-winning NH-U series
- S version with better compatibility
- 100% RAM compatibility
- 100% compatibility with PCIe cards on mini-ITX
- NF-A9 premium fan
- PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptor
- Dual fan ready
- SecuFirm2™ mounting system
- Compatibility with past and future sockets
- NT-H1 thermal compound
- 6 years warranty
Touting the same over-arching system compatibility as the NH-D9L, the Noctua NH-U9S CPU cooler is a high performance, single tower cooler, designed for maximum compatibility with any standard or small form factor-based system. The cooler features a single front-mounted 92mm fan, nickel-plated copper heat-pipes and CPU base plate, and a densely-finned aluminum radiator. Noctua designed the unit's fove integrated heat-pipes out of nickel-plated copper to optimize heat absorption from the CPU base plate and heat transfer to the aluminum radiators. The aluminum radiators were designed to facilitate optimal transfer of the heat from the heat-pipes to the air medium. The thin nickel plating encasing the base plate and heat-pipes give both corrosion and scratch resistance, while not inhibiting heat transfer between the cooler's interconnected components.
Courtesy of Noctua
The NH-U9S's single radiator was were constructed with a fin density of 12 fpi (fins per inch) with a thickness of almost 3x that of a standard fan. Such a thick radiator requires a high pressure fan to drive the air effectively through the tower, working against the unit's default single fan design. However, the radiator also add a huge amount of surface area for very effective cooling when paired with an effective fan solution. The heat-pipes are individually soldered to each of the aluminum radiator layers, ensuring an optimal heat transfer between the two dissimilar metals.
From a side view of the cooler, you can easily see the how the design works to enhance the air flow through and heat dissipation of the radiator. The integrated heat pipes are staggered form four lines form front to back, the staggered layout aiding in uniform heat distribution along the entire surface of the radiator fins. Noctua strengthened the sides of the radiator with an integrate line of spacers at the 1/3 and 2/3 depth points, giving the radiator more structural integrity as well as an air guide to help channel the air through the radiator fins. The NH-U9S comes standard with a single front mounted 92mm fan, but supports a dual fan configuration.
Integrated into the cooler's base is its top mounted hold down plate with two spring-loaded screw-in nuts and giving the unit more than enough force for a solid CPU surface mount. Unlike the NH-D9L's hold-down mechanism, the NH-U9S is meant to be mounted by default in a vertical (front-to-back) orientation on the motherboard. The front mount point sits directly under the front fan, acting to hide the mount as well as giving the unit a smaller footprint even with the front-mounted fan. The rear mount sits flush with the vertical plane of the radiator, requiring the integrated semi-circular channel in-line with the mount screw for mount/dismount of the unit.
The radiator's rectangular layered construction gives it the ability to maximize its internal surface area while minimizing its height and width footprint for motherboard compatibility when used in its default or dual-fan configuration. The top plate is stamped with the Noctua name and acts at the termination point for the five embedded heat pipes. The heat pipes are soldered in place and capped to ensure heat pipe integrity, keeping the contents under pressure and promoting the phase change required for the heat pipe transfer medium to maintain its effectiveness. Integrated into the sides of the radiator are the standard hook configurations designed into most Noctua radiator-based coolers, used to hold the fans in place. The wire fan holds have two set of straight sections that lock into the hooked sections of the radiator to firmly secure fans to the front and/or rear sides of the radiator.
The unit's base plate is a seamless copper plate with nickel-plating to prevent corrosion and surface scratches. The base plate is fixed to an upper plate to which the hold down assembly is fixed, sandwiching the copper heat pipes. The heat pipes run through the center portion of the base plate to ensure optimal heat transfer. The base plate is machined flat and polished to a mirror-like sheen, ensuring a near perfect mating surface with the CPU.
Because of its single tower design, the NH-U9S fits even better into the space constrained CPU region on the Z87-based board then the NH-D9L. All DIMM slots remain accessible and unencumbered even with the front fan in place because of the designed in front-fan depth compensation. Additionally, neither the heat pipes nor the radiator come even close to contacting the surrounding VRM heat pipes.
From the closeup board shots, the NH-U9S's compatibility-driven design becomes even more apparent.