Review: Noctua NH-U9S Heatsink

Noctua NH-U9S (7)


Unsurprisingly Noctua have another heatsink around. The company famous for making some of the best fans and heatsinks are dropping another heatsink aimed at bringing solid performance with a small size. The NH-U9S uses either a single NF-A9 fan with optional dual fan support. The heatsink has offers 100-percent RAM comparability and zero issues with all Intel ITX boards and most AMD based boards. The 95x95mm footprint is aimed at mini-ITX boards with limited space between Socket and PCI-E slots. Heatsinks design wise we have a 9cm size with 5 heatpipes. It has a 125mm height.

The NH-U9S offers the usual Noctua SecuFirm2 mounting system, making it as easy as other Notcua heatsinks to install. We have also the standard 6 year warranty as well. Below are some key points for the NH-U9S offering.

  • Award-winning NH-U series
    The NH-U9S stems from Noctua’s award-winning NH-U9 series. First introduced in 2005, the NH-U series has become a standard choice for premium quality quiet CPU coolers and won more than 800 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware websites and magazines.
  • S version with better compatibility
    Like its bigger brothers NH-U12S and NH-U14S, the NH-U9S features a revised, slimmer layout: Whereas the NH-U9B SE2 was 120mm deep with its two stock fans, the NH-U9S is asymmetrically built and measures only 95mm with its single, more efficient NF-A9 fan, thus providing better performance and compatibility at the same time.
  • 100% RAM compatibility
    With its 95x95mm footprint, the NH-U9S does not overhang the RAM slots on current Intel and most AMD mainboards. This gives the user full access to the memory modules and guarantees 100% compatibility with tall heatspreaders or optional memory fans.
  • 100% compatibility with PCIe cards on mini-ITX
    Many Intel LGA115x based mini-ITX mainboards have the PCIe slot sitting right next to the 95x95mm socket zone. While larger coolers that exceed this zone are likely to block the PCIe slot, the 95x95xmm sized NH-U9S provides full compatibility with PCIe cards, be it on ATX, microATX or ITX.

[accordion title=”Full Specifications” id=”specs”]


Socket compatibility Intel LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3(Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)
Height (without fan) 125 mm
Width (without fan) 95 mm
Depth (without fan) 68 mm
Height (with fan) 125 mm
Width (with fan) 95 mm
Depth (with fan) 95 mm
Weight (without fan) 524 g
Weight (with fan) 618 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP see TDP guide
Fan compatibility 92x92x25
Scope of Delivery
  • NF-A9 PWM premium fan
  • Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
  • NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
  • SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
  • Fan-clips for second NF-A9
  • Noctua Metal Case-Badge
Warranty 6 Years
Fan specifications
Model Noctua NF-A9 PWM
Bearing SSO2
Max. Rotational Speed (+/- 10%) 2000 RPM
Max. Rotational Speed with L.N.A. (+/- 10%) 1550 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed (PWM, +/-20%) 400 RPM
Max. Airflow 78,9 m³/h
Max. Airflow with L.N.A. 62,6 m³/h
Max. Acoustical Noise 22,8 dB(A)
Max. Acoustical Noise with L.N.A. 16,3 dB(A)
Input Power 1,2 W
Voltage Range 12 V
MTBF > 150.000 h


The NH-U9S

Noctua NH-U9S (1)

Noctua NH-U9S (2) Noctua NH-U9S (3)

The well package heatsink comes wrapped in cardboard. The nice packaging makes for a pleasurable unboxing. Which is always nice!

Noctua NH-U9S (6)

Noctua NH-U9S (5) Noctua NH-U9S (4)

Noctua are stars when it comes to supplies. As you would hopefully expect from a heatsink manufacturer, everything you need is there to install the heatsink. Including NT-H1 Thermal paste.

Noctua NH-U9S (10)

Noctua NH-U9S (8) Noctua NH-U9S (9)

Noctua NH-U9S (11)

The 5 heatpipes spread through the heatsink should do a great job displacing the heat pretty quickly.

Noctua NH-U9S (13)

Noctua NH-U9S (12) Noctua NH-U9S (14)

The included NF-A9 is a 92mm PWM fan. Noctua also included a Low-Noise adapter to drop the RPM from the maximum 2,000 down to 1,550. The fan includes Noctua’s SS02 bearing, offering the familiar level of precision and stability.


Test setup
Intel Core I7 4770k CPU
Gigabyte Z87X-OC Motherboard
Kingston HyperX Predator 2400Mhz
Corsair AX1200 PSU

It’s time to take a look at some results. Both stock and Overclock are below. Our tests are done using OCCT with 64bit mode/AVX/90-percent RAM. The Overclock tests are with the 4770k running at 4.4GHz @1.26V.

Stock Tests

Heatsink Ambient Temperature Delta Temperature Max Temperature
 Noctua NH-U9S 1 Fan  19  68  87
 Noctua NH-D9L 1 Fan  18  67  85
 Noctua NH-U12S 1 Fan  20  65  85
 Noctua NH-U14S 1 Fan  21  63  84
 Noctua NH-D14 1 Fan  21  62  83
 Noctua NH-D15 1 Fan  22  60  82
 Noctua NH-U12S 2 Fans  20  59  79
Noctua NH-D14 2 Fans  21  59  80
 Corsair H100i  21  55  76
 Noctua NH-U9S 2 Fans  19  55  74
 Noctua NH-D15 2 Fans  22  54  76
 Noctua NH-U14S 2 Fans  21  54  75
 Noctua NH-D9L 2 Fans  18  52  70


Overclock Tests

Heatsink Ambient Temperature Delta Temperature Max Temperature
 Noctua NH-U9S 1 Fan  19  74  93
 Noctua NH-D9L 1 Fan  18  74  92
 Noctua NH-U9S 2 Fans  19  69  88
 Noctua NH-D9L 2 Fans  18  68  86
 Noctua NH-D14 1 Fan  21  67  89
 Noctua NH-D15 1 Fan  22  66  88
 Noctua NH-D14 2 Fans  21  66  87
 Noctua NH-U12S 2 Fans  20  66  86
 Corsair H100i  21  66  87
 Noctua NH-U14S 1 Fan  21  64  85
 Noctua NH-U14S 2 Fans  21  62  83
 Noctua NH-D15 2 Fans  33  60  82


While the NH-U9S doesn’t offer the same level of performance as its giant siblings, espcially when overclocking comes into play. The stock results show the NH-U9S can definitely pull its own weight.. and then some. The aim of the heatsink is to get it into a small form factor, where space concerns are a big deciding factor of what components you can use. The NH-U9S will offer peace of mind when it comes to those decisions.  It’s a silent heatsink in a tiny package, that won’t cause any space issue.

Overclocking performance isn’t on the level anyone should feel comfortable with, due the temp being right on the threshold of the 4770k. A hot summer day would easily push that limit too far, even with a second fan.

When building a small from factor rig, the user will have to make those important choices. Luckily the NH-U9S does a pretty great job while staying tiny. We can definitely see it being a solid choice for those looking to build a nice tiny but powerful computer. Gold Award

Craig O'Sullivan

Creator of Passionate about Technology and always looking for that next cool gadget or app

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