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Noctua NH-U9B CPU Cooler Review

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AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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Conclusion

Conclusion


In many ways the U9 is its own worst enemy, since it is almost as expensive as its bigger brothers yet can’t quiet live up (let alone surpass) the U12 and C12's performance shadow. The fan which it comes with is quite decent as a value added fan but it really is not in the same league as its bigger brother the NF-P12 which also comes with both the U12 and C12. However if you can look past Nocuta’s other lines of products, you get to see exactly how good a CPU cooling solution this is for its class. Of course the operative word here is “class”, as it does blow away all the other 92mm fan-based coolers we have reviewed and it did so with a style all its own. However, it is an expensive unit and there are cheaper 120mm based cooling systems out there which will your CPU off with a bit more efficiency.

When all is said and done there is a lot to like about the U9. Unlike some coolers in its price range it actually comes with a decent fan which you really don’t need to swap out unless you plan on doing heavy overclocking. Of course if you are planning on heavy duty overclocking or sticking this on a fireball CPU you're probably not going to be looking at this cooler in the first place.

Unfortunately, this cooler really is best summed up as “a jack of all trades master of none”, as it can’t perform at the levels the other Noctua coolers can; yet it may be to big to fit in some Small Form Factor enclosures due to its height. This does have a tendency to limit its appeal to a rather small niche of the market. Of course this is most likely Noctua’s main goal as their other coolers simply don’t fit comfortably in this niche and while it may only be a small slice of the pie, the Air Cooling pie is quite large indeed.

If you are looking for a smaller package than the U12, yet are not interested in the C12, then you should take a long hard look at this cooler as it really is a well designed and executed piece of kit. Likewise, if you are space limited and simply can’t fit a U12 in your case than the U9 is once again a very good choice.


Pros:
- Really good performance for a 92mm fan based Air Cooler
- Decent fan
- Excellent construction
- Excellent warranty
- Relatively lightweight yet comes with a backplate


Cons:
- Fan can be annoying at high speed
- Price
- Maybe too tall for some SFF cases
- Performance is not up to Noctua's other coolers
- Classic Noctua color scheme is not to everyone’s liking



Thanks to Noctua for providing us with this review sample
 
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