Our Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black review talks about this cooler from Noctua. The company just recently released the full Chromax Black variants of their famous coolers. One of them is the NH-L9a-AM4.
A lot of people are running their systems out of specifications, with advanced top-notch cooling solutions, that are either air or liquid. It’s to keep thermals produced by the processors in check.
Stock solutions may be alright at stock speeds, yet aren’t efficient when increasing the clock speeds. It’s somewhat fine unless you’re searching for better than OE coolers. Or, if you want to set your processor in a little ITX enclosure and board.
With that, you’ll need a cooling solution that doesn’t only fit like an OE solution. It should also provide optimised thermal margins when placed in a smaller build.
For that specific purpose, the NH-L9a-AM4 makes for an ideal low profile cooling solution. It’s designed for situations where cooler clearance is cramped.
Is it as good as the other coolers that Noctua offers? Does it perform excellently? Let’s find out here in our Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black review.
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black Packaging
This part of our Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black review focuses on the cooler’s packaging and its contents.
The Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black came in a stylish looking package, but it’s like every other cardboard package around. It’s a tad bit smaller since it doesn’t take up a lot of space, and that’s a good thing.
Noctua opted for a different colour scheme, as well as the design of all their black coolers. It is actually an expected move from them since the company’s been utilising various colour schemes for the Chromax products and accessories.
When we opened the box, we were amazed by how neat and organised Noctua packaged their product. All the items were segregated, and everything was in place. The unit was secure, and you won’t have to worry about it acquiring damages while in transit.
The items in the package are NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black heatsink, NF-A9 x14 HS PWM Chromax Black fan, and NA-RC7 LNA.
You’ll also find the Black SecuFirm2 AM4 mount kit, an NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound, plus black screws for the fans.
Lastly, Noctua included a metal case badge for convenience.
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black Review – Design and Functionality
Now in our Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black review, we’re going to talk about the cooler’s design and functionality.
The NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black cooler is generally a low-profile cooler designed to be both compatible and efficient. It comes with a 92mm fan, horizontal radiator between its base plate and fan. The cooler also features copper nickel-plated heat pipes.
Although the cooler is a bit wider, it’s still within the 96 x 114mm range of the AMD keep-out zone. So, it’s still compatible with higher PCIe cards and memory modules.
Similar to the NH-L9i Chromax Black, the NH-L9a AM4 Chromax Black’s heat pipes and base are made from copper. Its cooling fins make use of aluminium.
Two copper heat pipes extend from the cooler’s base. It goes through the aluminium fin to conduct heat away from the bottom. The available copper base is nickel plated for optimised heat transfer.
Key Features of the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black
This part of our Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black review will cover the key features of this product.
Thousands of enthusiasts around the world rely on the quality and performance of the NH-L9a-AM4. Also, above 50 international magazines and websites recommend the original model. It’s known as one of the best low-profile coolers for AMD Ryzen processors.
With the stylish Chromax Black design, more and more people are getting their hands on this cooler.
Chromax Black Design
The NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black has a black finish from head to toe. Its heatsink, fan, vibration pads, fan screws, and mounting parts all feature a beautiful black design.
This makes it easy to integrate with your rig, no matter what colour scheme you use.
Compact and Low Profile
The NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black’s 23mm heatsink and 14mm low-profile fan, this cooler is ideal for a compact chassis.
100% RAM and Compatibility
The compact footprint of the NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black complies with AMD-specified socket keep-out zones. With that, the fan nor the heatsink will overhang the RAM, and the cooler allows easy access to the slots. It’s also compatible with tall memory modules.
Some mini-ITX motherboards that are AMD-based have their PCIe slot close to the processor’s socket zone. When installing a large cooler, it usually exceeds this area and blocks the PCIe slot.
You won’t have to deal with size issues and PCIe slots with this NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black cooler.
Access Near-Socket Connectors with Ease
A lot of low-profile coolers utilise huge fans and heatsinks for sufficient cooling performance. However, these protrude over the socket zone in mini-ITX motherboards. As a result, it becomes difficult or impossible to reach connectors close to the sockets.
With the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black’s compact design, all components and connectors are easy to access.
NF-A9x14 PWM Premium Cooling Fan
The NF-A9x14 is an award-winning cooling fan from Noctua. It has the company’s exclusive AAO frame and aerodynamic design.
Also, it supports PWM for fully automatic speed control and quiet performance.
With its Low Noise Adaptor or LNA, you can achieve a near-silent setup.
Custom SecuFirm2 Mounting for AM4
The custom SecuFirm2 mounting is solely for AMD Ryzen’s AM4 socket. You can install the heatsink from the back of the motherboard to make things easier for you.
Noctua’s NT-H1 Thermal Compound
The NT-H1 thermal compound is a professional-grade solution that offers the least thermal resistance. It’s easy to use and highly reliable, that’s why it’s always the first choice of overclockers and enthusiasts worldwide.
Soldered Interface between Fins and Heat Pipes
Most heatsinks have press-fitted fins onto the heat pipes. This can loosen over the years due to varying thermal expansion coefficients of aluminium and copper.
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black doesn’t let you experience this problem. Its fins are soldered to its heat pipes for superior thermal interface. Even after long years of use, it won’t loosen.
150,000-Hour MTTF and 6-Year Warranty
Noctua’s products are known for their quality, longevity, and impeccable quality. Aside from its MTTF of 150,000 hours, the NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black is also covered by a 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black is compatible with the AMD AM4 socket and is compatible with fans measuring 92x92x14mm & 92x92x25mm.
Without the fan, the cooler measures 23 x 114 x 92mm (H x W x D), and weighs 390g. When you include the fan, it’s 37 x 114 x 92mm (H x W x D) and is 465g.
Its base and heat pipes are made from copper, while the cooling fins are aluminium-made. There are also soldered joints and nickel plating present.
The Noctua NF-A9 x14 HS PWM Chromax Black has an SSO2 bearing. Its input power is 2.52W, the Voltage range is 12V, while its MTTF is >150.000h.
Maximum rotational speed is 2,500 RPM (+/- 10%); with LNA, it’s 1,800 RPM (+/- 10%). For its minimum rotational speed, it reaches 600 RPM (PWM +/-20%).
Maximum airflow is 57.5 m³/h; with LNA, it’s 40.8 m³/h. Maximum acoustical noise with and without LNA is 14.8 dB(A) and 23.6 dB(A), respectively.
Hands on with the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black
Now, we will get more hands-on with the cooler here in our Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black review. Let’s begin with the noise.
We were both surprised and amazed at how low its noise level was. When we tried it with 100% load, it was still quiet, making it even better. The fan is definitely an award-winning product, and it shows how well it performed.
The cooler performed magnificently, and it worked smoothly with our processor. Even under load the CPU stayed nice and cool and the temperature was consistently low.
Overall, the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black performed excellently, and we didn’t experience any issues with it too. It has a sturdy and durable build, and its fans were silent all-throughout.
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black Review Summary
The Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black is for mini ITX motherboards and small chassis. It’s good to note that it’s not for general use, so it can’t be utilised for such purposes.
With that, it’s not meant to compete with high-performance coolers that can handle intense overclocking.
This compact CPU cooler is rich with excellent features. Aside from its size and cooling capabilities, it’s highly compatible with different components on a motherboard. This made installation easier and more convenient for us.
Also, its new all-black design is something fresh from Noctua, which impressed us a lot. With that, you can set any colour for your system since its colour can match any theme.
In conclusion to our Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax Black review, we were satisfied with this cooler, and we highly recommend it.
If you want to purchase this product, check out the store locator for authorised shops and resellers.