Noctua NH-L9i L-Type Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review

Admin Cooling 2973


If you search the internet looking for information on your next build, maybe some advice and pointers, from the experiences of people in your shoes, you’ll probably come away with more questions than answers. Lots of these posts ask the same question, “is this ok?” System builders, first timers or experienced, will also read reviews like this one and wonder if this is objective and impartial. The internet is a minefield of fake everything, and real everything too.

Today we are reviewing the Noctua NH-L9i Low-Profile CPU cooler, a case in point for try, try and try again, or at least, sometimes you just need to trust the specifications and marketing and go for it. You’ll learn faster and at least you now know and can answer some of those “is this ok?” questions.

A while back we contacted Inkubus, we had seen their 300µ mITX HTPC Personal Cube out there and loved the look, so we wanted in on the reviewing action. Inkubus were super supportive and we got a freshly hand built chassis for review. Our only challenge, a CPU cooler for the superb EVGA Z170 Stinger motherboard. We read some reviews and pondered, eventually putting our hands in our very shallow pockets and buying a Noctua NH-L9i CPU cooler.

We always strive to be objective, however, if there are any issues with the sample, we would discuss with the supplier first, this time, we won’t be.

Socket CompatibilityIntel LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156
Dimensions (without fan)23 mm x 95 mm x 95 mm (H/W/D)
Dimensions (with fan)37 mm x 95 mm x 95 mm (H/W/D)
Weight (without fan)345 g
Weight (with fan)420 g
MaterialCopper (base and heat-pipes)
Aluminium (cooling fins)
Soldered joints & nickel plating
Fan compatibility92x92x14mm
Fan ModelNF-A9x14 PWM
Fan BearingSSO2
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%)2500 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%)1800 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%)600 RPM
Max. Airflow57,5 m³/h
Max. Acoustical Noise23,6 dB(A)

The NH-L9i is a low-profile quiet cooler designed for use in small form factor cases such as HTPC systems. There is the NH-L9a for AMD processors also, so this review will apply to AMD owners too. This design has a compact set of fins, and a 14mm thick 92mm fan moving all the air.

Noctua NH-L9i L-Type Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review

Package - 9.3
Performance - 8.5
Price - 8
Consumer Experience - 9


Ok, so putting a dedicated mITX low-profile CPU cooler up against a serious desktop processor is a little out of context, but we managed to squeeze the Noctua NH-L9i L-Type Low-Profile CPU cooler into this window of performance, just. What does this mean? Well, you have your CPU limit for this CPU cooler, any further and you are in real thermal trouble. Any less of a CPU thermal design power (TDP) implementation, and you've got a great cooler.