AMD small form-factor builds now have another stealth CPU cooler option
Noctua coolers and fans have long been popular with enthusiasts looking for top-notch cooling. Their heatsinks are efficient, and their fans push a lot of air at comparatively low noise levels. But while Noctua's choice of beige and brown fans has often been a point of contention, the arguments against them grew stronger as the trend shifted towards windowed cases and RGB lighting.
In mid-2019, Noctua introduced the Chromax.Black line of all-black heatsinks and fans to appeal to this market, starting with the large NH-D15 and NH-U12S alongside the small NH-L9i. The L9 series is designed in a way that requires specific versions for Intel and AMD sockets (i.e. no universal adaptor), so it seemed odd that consumers had an option for their Intel SFF builds while the increasingly popular high thread-count AMD SFF builds were left out.
Now it seems that Noctua has acknowledged this with the release of the NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax.Black. "AMD's Ryzen platform has become increasingly popular over the last few months, not only for high-end computers but also for compact HTPCs and small form factor systems," says Noctua CEO Roland Mossig (translated from our German press material).
The Chromax variant maintains the same compact dimensions (114 x 92 x 37 mm) and motherboard compatibility by not straying into the 'keep-out zone' specified by the AM4 socket. Like other Chromax products, the unique black coating doesn't impact on the airflow or cooling capabilities when compared to the standard product. The Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Chromax.Black will retail for US$50 and includes a low-noise adapter, NT-H1 thermal paste, and Noctua's standard 6-year warranty.
Noctua press material