The Noctua NH-D9L and NH-U9S coolers both performed admirably in testing at stock speeds, maintaining Noctua's high standards of superior performance with minimal noise. Overclocked-based performance was trickier for both coolers, especially with the Intel Haswell CPU. Neither cooler could maintain system speed and stability expectations in stock configurations with the NH-D9L only able to keep the system stable with dual fans. The Haswell-E CPU seemed better paired with the NH-U9S with its greater radiator surface area more optimized to handle the larger CPU die in comparison to the dual radiator design of the NH-D9L.
As of March 28, the Noctua NH-D9L CPU cooler was available at Amazon.com for $59.99 with free shipping.
NH-D9L CPU Cooler
NH-U9S CPU Cooler
The Noctua NH-D9L and NH-U9S CPU coolers provide an interesting comparison to the normal super high-end air coolers we've seen from the vendor. Both feature the standard stunning aesthetics common to Noctua coolers – chromed bodies with tan and brown fans. They also feature all of the design aspects we've come to expect from Noctua – nickel-plated copper base plate and heat pipe assemblies, aluminum radiators, and attention to detail with respect to their construction. At stock, both coolers perform admirably as expected. Its under CPU overclocking conditions that shows the Achilles heel of both coolers. As discussed previously, the NH-D9L seems better designed to accommodate the smaller, hotter die size of the Haswell processor. The NH-U9S seems better equipped to dissipate the larger die-sized Haswell-E. For a small form factor build, or a build where space is at a premium, the Noctua x9x series coolers definitely fit the bill.
- Performance under stock CPU operating conditions
- NH-U9S cooler performance with overclocked Haswell-E processor
- Build and machining quality of the cooler
- Size compatibility with most motherboard configurations
- Fan noise in all tested configuration
- Manual quality
- Performance with overclocked Haswell processor