In recent years there have been a couple of dominant companies in the cooling industry namely being CoolerMaster, Zalman and Scythe. These companies are great and churn out the products but what about the less talked about companies such a Noctua? Noctua has been around for about 4 years now and is going strong, they are consistently sending out great products which perform. Let’s see if they are keeping their form with the Noctua NH-U9B CPU Cooler:
Provided by: Noctua
As always the Noctua packaging is very well designed and you can easilly see the size of the cooler right off the bat
Once inside of the main box and then the two further internal boxes it is possible to see the CPU cooler.
It follows the generic tower layout but with 4 dual heatpipes and a few embellishments to the fin structure. The cooler is symmetrical and can have two fans mounted in a push/pull setup. It feels overall very good quality and very strong unlike many other coolers on the market.
The CPU contact base appears to be very shiny but it has that machined/ tooled look too it also. We will see during testing if this affects the results.
The various mounting kits are accompanied by a syringe of Noctuas NT-H1 thermal compound.
Let’s check out the Specs and Features:
Socket compatibility Intel Socket LGA 775, AMD AM2, AM2+ & AM3 AMD K8 (754, 939, 940) on request
Height (without fan) 125 mm
Width (without fan) 95 mm
Depth (without fan) 70 mm
Height (with fan) 125 mm
Width (with fan) 95 mm
Depth (with fan) 95 mm
Weight (without fan) 460 g
Weight (with fan) 550 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Application Intel all frequencies, AMD all frequencies
Scope of Delivery
· NF-B9 premium fan
· Mounting-clips for 2 fans
· Ultra-Low-Noise-Adaptor (U.L.N.A.)
· Low-Noise-Adaptor (L.N.A.)
· NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
· SecuFirm™ mounting kits for LGA & AM2(+)
Incl. Noctua NT-H1 high-end thermal compound
SecuFirm™ multi-socket mounting system
NF-B9 premium fan
Award winning NH-U design
4 dual heat pipes
Let’s check out the testing section:
Video Card ATI Radeon 2400 pro O/C
Power Supply: Tuniq Miniplant 950W
Hard Drive: 1 x 80 GB System & 1 x 120 GB Storage
Optical Drive: LG DVD-RW
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate SP1
For testing I will be comparing this cooler to the Gelid Solutions Silent Spirit. I will test Idle and Load states at both stock and overclocked frequencies. As with all CPU cooler testing I have done in the past I am going to use the same methodology as always. All of the testing is carried out with the side panel of the computer case on. All case fans are installed and are on their maximum settings. Ambient was 18C. To test we boot the PC up and measure temperatures under idle and load states. When performing the idle test we leave the PC to do nothing for about 30 minutes then take several temperature readings over a short period of time and calculate an average (all figures are rounded up to the nearest whole number).
For testing under load states we use a CPU loading program to load both cores to 100% to create maximum heat output and then take several temperature readings over a short period of time and calculate an average. Please note as these are averages they are a reflection of the performance over a period of time and not just a single reading taken once, this ensures that a longer term performance guide is shown. The ambient (room) temperature was 21c, case panels were on, fans speeds at normal settings.
Gelid Silent Spirit
Gelid Silent Spirit
As you can see from the results the Silent Spirit cooler trumps the Noctua by a single degree when overclocked and at idle states, perhaps this is due to the PWM fan and the advanced airflow feature on the Silent Spirit. But no matter the NH-U9B claws it back at stock speeds as it is more efficient at idle states. Also at load states when overclocked the Noctua cooler is 3 degrees cooler on average (at some points it was over 6 degrees cooler but it averaged out at only 3 cooler).
The NH-U9B has been a pretty solid performer, chucking out some nice cooling performance and some quite nice looks. For the price there are perhaps a few of coolers which can trump it, but for the money this is a cracking little cooler. The NH-U9B can be picked up for as little as $44.99. This is quite a high price for a CPU cooler but as it performs slightly better than the Silent Spirit perhaps the slight price difference between the two is justifiable. With regards to noise Noctua products rarely create audible amounts of noise. But this fan seemed to emit slightly more noise than normal but also more airflow. I think another point worth noting when comparing the NH-U9B to the Gelid Silent Spirit is that the latter spins at up to 2400rpm, which make’s it quite a bit louder than the NH-U9B’s 1600rpm fan.
Would I recomend this product? Yes, the over all performance while overclocked makes this a very decent budget cooler if you want to push just a little more out of your gaming or enthusiast rig.
- Low noise
- Great build quality
- Includes NT-H1 thermal compound
- It is a nuisance to install as motherboard must be removed
- 1336 mounting kit must be purchased separately