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Noctua NH-U9S, NH-D9L and NH-La9-AM5 review: Three powerful air coolers for economical CPUs

Quality has its price! Noctua offer a wide portfolio of high-performance air coolers and have been regarded as a top brand for years when it comes to the topic of air cooling. In this short review, we have taken a closer look at the Noctua NH-U9S, the NH-D9L and the NH-La9-AM5, which can be fitted into many cases thanks to their size. Additionally, we have tested whether the three test subjects could tame an AMD Ryzen 5 7600X.
Noctua NH-U9S, NH-D9L and NH-La9-AM5
Noctua NH-U9S, NH-D9L and NH-La9-AM5

When it comes to PC air cooling, the name Noctua very quickly comes to mind. The Austria-based manufacturer has been in the business for years and as a result, brings with it a lot of expertise. They make suitable cooling solutions for all common sockets and processors. We were already able to see how effectively the Noctua NH-D15 could cool a powerful system based on an AMD Ryzen 9 7900X with Noctuas NH-D15. However, cases aren't always able to accommodate such large coolers. On top of this, a lot of efficient processors don't always require cooling units to this extent. The three test subjects (Noctua NH-U9S, NH-D9L and NH-La9-AM5), which we have taken a closer look at in this test, represent relatively compact models produced by the premium manufacturer.

Noctua don't specify a TDP value for their models, which is often listed by other manufacturers. Instead, the spec sheet lists an NSRP value (Noctua's standardized performance rating). Please refer to the Noctua homepage for more details on NSRP values. For this reason, we used the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X as a basis for this review.

The Noctua NH-U9S in detail

Noctua NH-U9S
Noctua NH-U9S - scope of delivery
Noctua NH-U9S - accessory box
Noctua NH-U9S
Noctua NH-U9S
Noctua NH-U9S
Noctua NH-U9S
Noctua NH-U9S
The Noctua NH-U9S on our test system
Noctua NH-U9S - Specifications (source: Noctua)
Noctua NH-U9S - Chromax Black edition (source: Noctua)
Noctua NH-U9S - Chromax Black edition (source: Noctua)

The Noctua NH-U9S is a tower cooler with 5 heat pipes that dissipate the processor's heat from the base plate to the fins, which in turn are cooled by a 92-millimeter fan. The cooler was easy to set up in our AM5 test platform - the NH-U9S comes with everything you need for assembly. As expected, the cooler has a very good quality build and our test model didn't have any flaws whatsoever - which is to be expected from a premium product in this price range. Furthermore, the manufacturer also includes tools for assembly and a tube of thermal paste. We tested the standard version of the Noctua NH-U9S with nickel-plated surfaces and the typical Noctua fan. If you're not a fan of this design, the Noctua NH-U9S also comes in a Chromax Black version.

The Noctua NH-D9L in detail

Noctua NH-D9L
Noctua NH-D9L - scope of delivery
Noctua NH-D9L - accessory box
Noctua NH-D9L
Noctua NH-D9L
Noctua NH-D9L
Noctua NH-D9L
Noctua NH-D9L
The Noctua NH-D9L on our test system
The Noctua NH-D9L on our test system
Noctua NH-D9L - specifications (source: Noctua)

The Noctua NH-D9L is built similarly to the Noctua NH-D15 and is a dual-tower cooler. In total, the Noctua NH-D9L is equipped with 4 heat pipes to quickly lead heat to the fins. Active cooling is handled by a 92-millimeter fan that is fitted right between the two towers. As with the Noctua NH-U9S, we can find everything needed for installation in a separate box. The installation on our test system went similarly to that of the Noctua NH-U9S. The appropriate tools, as well as thermal paste and two retaining clips to install a second fan, are all included. The build quality of this cooler meets the Noctua standard and is also flawless. All surfaces are nickel-plated, which gives the cooler a premium feel. Unlike a lot of the other Noctua coolers, the Noctua NH-D9L doesn't come in the Chromax Black version.

The Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 in detail

Noctua NH-L9a-AM5
Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 - scope of delivery
Noctua NH-L9a-AM5
Noctua NH-L9a-AM5
The Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 on our test system
The Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 on our test system
Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 - specifications (source: Noctua)
Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 - Chromax Black edition (source: Noctua)
Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 - Chromax Black edition (source: Noctua)

The Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 is a low-profile CPU cooler, which is suitable for very compact cases due to its very low height. This version of the cooler is only suitable for the AM5 socket. You can find specially adapted versions of the product for the AM4 socket - this should be taken into account when purchasing. Likewise, you can also find custom-fit low-profile coolers for Intel systems under the name NH-L9i.

With this model, the manufacturer takes a different approach when it comes to installation due to its design. The Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 has to be screwed in from the back of the motherboard. With a little bit of finesse and good finger dexterity it is securely fixed, although installation was a lot easier with the two tower coolers from this review. As expected, the build quality of the Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 is also excellent. At just under 500 grams, this compact cooler weighs quite a bit - but this means that the manufacturer didn't skimp on materials despite the cooler's compact size. This model includes the required screws, appropriate tools, a tube of thermal paste as well as a low-noise adapter to minimize the fan's speed. By the way - this low-noise adapter can be found in all Noctua fans we tested.

NH-U9S, NH-D9L and NH-La9-AM5 performance comparison

In our tests, we compared the performance of all three test samples. For context and to better understand the results, we also put the larger NH-D15, NH-D12L and NH-U12A models through these tests. However, the results showed no significant differences between them. All three test samples couldn't keep the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X from surpassing the thermal limit of 95 °C. However, with a maximum of 142 watts, the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is also much more powerful than what the three coolers can compensate for.

The maximum values were determined in the Prime95 stress test, which simulates an extreme scenario that is not realistic in everyday use. In order to simulate heat development with a non-X processor, we limited the power of the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X to 88 watts - and the results already looked much better. Only with the Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 were we able to measure values above the 90 °C mark.

Although we initially saw high temperatures in the stress tests, their performance as measured by the CPU benchmarks proved to be almost identical to the more powerful coolers. This leads us to believe that an AMD Ryzen 5 7600X as well as an AMD Ryzen 5 7700X with up to 142 watts of power consumption are able to be effectively cooled during everyday use. 

Stress test with PPT restricted to 88 watts (Noctua NH-U9S)
Stress test with PPT restricted to 88 watts (Noctua NH-U9S)
Stress test with PPT restricted to 88 watts (Noctua NH-D9L)
Stress test with PPT restricted to 88 watts (Noctua NH-D9L)
Stress test with PPT restricted to 88 watts (Noctua NH-La9-AM5)
Stress test with PPT restricted to 88 watts (Noctua NH-La9-AM5)
Temperatures - CPU Temperature Prime95
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
96.1 °C 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
96.1 °C 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
96.1 °C
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
96.1 °C 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
95.6 °C -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
94.6 °C -2%
Performance Rating - Percent
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
66.1 pt
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
65.6 pt
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
65.6 pt
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
65.5 pt
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
65.5 pt
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
64.2 pt
Cinebench R23
Single Core
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
1967 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
1967 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
1965 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
1965 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
1962 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
1953 Points -1%
Multi Core
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15402 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15402 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15236 Points +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15115 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15054 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15006 Points 0%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
764 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
762 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
761 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
760 Points -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
760 Points -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
759 Points -1%
CPU (Multi Core)
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
6040 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
6040 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
5936 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
5918 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
5910 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
5882 Points 0%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
314 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
314 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
314 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
314 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
313 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
311 Points -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2533 Points +3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2533 Points +3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2519 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2484 Points +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2470 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2434 Points -1%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
3.72 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
3.71 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
3.71 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
3.7 Points -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
3.69 Points -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
3.68 Points -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
28.69 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
28.69 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
28.12 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
28 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
27.89 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
27.79 Points -1%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15957 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15957 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15952 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15948 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15898 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
15797 Points -1%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
91128 Points +3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
91128 Points +3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
90485 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
88875 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
88760 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
88546 Points 0%
Blender - v2.79 BMW27 CPU
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
214 Seconds * -3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
209 Seconds * -0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
208 Seconds *
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
206 Seconds * +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
204 Seconds * +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
204 Seconds * +2%
wPrime 2.10
32m
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2.933 s * -4%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2.933 s * -4%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2.808 s *
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2.755 s * +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2.741 s * +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2.709 s * +4%
1024m
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
82.19 s * -0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
81.957 s *
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
80.828 s * +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
78.814 s * +4%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
75.144 s * +8%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
75.144 s * +8%
Geekbench 5.5
Multi-Core
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
12099 Points +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
12080 Points +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
12017 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
12003 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
11892 Points -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
11093 Points -8%
Single-Core
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2228 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2223 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2217 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2216 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2211 Points -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2159 Points -3%
Geekbench 5.0
5.0 Multi-Core
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
12075 Points +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
12042 Points +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
11982 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
11974 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
11783 Points -2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
11123 Points -7%
5.0 Single-Core
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2133 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2127 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2126 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2120 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2116 Points -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2070 Points -3%
Geekbench 4.4
64 Bit Single-Core Score
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
9048 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
9032 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
9021 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
9013 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
9009 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
8596 Points -5%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
47836 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
47770 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
47694 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
47687 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
47187 Points -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
45422 Points -5%
7-Zip 18.03
7z b 4
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
70133 MIPS +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
69441 MIPS +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
68882 MIPS
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
68878 MIPS 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
67076 MIPS -3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
65569 MIPS -5%
7z b 4 -mmt1
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
8101 MIPS 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
8065 MIPS 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
8064 MIPS
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
8053 MIPS 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
7969 MIPS -1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
7661 MIPS -5%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 - 4k Preset
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
21.2 fps +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
21.1 fps +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
20.9 fps +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
20.7 fps
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
20.3 fps -2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
20.2 fps -2%
R Benchmark 2.5 - Overall mean
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
0.395 sec * -6%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
0.3844 sec * -3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
0.3788 sec * -2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
0.3782 sec * -2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
0.3742 sec * -0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
0.3726 sec *
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AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
36.7 s *
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
36.6 s * -0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
36.5 s * +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
35.3 s * +4%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
34.8 s * +5%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
33.2 s * +10%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
450 ms * -0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
449 ms * -0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
448 ms *
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
448 ms * -0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
446 ms * -0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
446 ms * -0%
CrossMark
Overall
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2256 Points +3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2204 Points +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2193 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2193 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2183 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2104 Points -4%
Productivity
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2189 Points +3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2131 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2129 Points 0%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2096 Points -2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2092 Points -2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2088 Points -2%
Creativity
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2404 Points +4%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2393 Points +3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2352 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2335 Points +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2313 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2162 Points -7%
Responsiveness
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D15)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2068 Points +2%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2054 Points +1%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
2036 Points
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
1979 Points -3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D12L)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
1975 Points -3%
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U12A)
R5 7600X, 4700 MHz
1920 Points -6%

* ... smaller is better

010002000Tooltip
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-D9L) AMD Ryzen 5 7600X, AMD Ryzen 5 7600X: Ø2434 (2389.34-2468.07)
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-L9a-AM5) AMD Ryzen 5 7600X, AMD Ryzen 5 7600X: Ø2364 (2292.79-2470.81)
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X (Noctua NH-U9S) AMD Ryzen 5 7600X, AMD Ryzen 5 7600X: Ø2420 (2386.78-2443.49)

Verdict - premium coolers with good cooling performance

Noctua NH-9US, Noctua NH-D9L and Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 reviewed - provided by Noctua
Noctua NH-9US, Noctua NH-D9L and Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 reviewed - provided by Noctua

The Noctua NH-9US, Noctua NH-D9L and Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 are three compact yet very powerful CPU coolers. Nevertheless, the Noctua NH-9US and the Noctua NH-D9L are both tower coolers suitable for all common CPU sockets and are each equipped with a 92-millimeter fan. The Noctua NH-L9a-AM5, on the other hand, is a very flat top blower cooler perfectly suited for Mini-ITX systems due to its extremely flat design.

However, you can't demand too much from the coolers' performance. Both tower coolers can be used with CPUs with a power consumption of around 100 watts, but the flat Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 should only be paired with more economical 65-watt processors.

The Noctua NH-9US, Noctua NH-D9L and Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 all delivered good performance levels in our tests. The coolers' looks and feel are exactly what is to be expected from a premium product in this price range.

As always, design and feel-wise, we can't critique Noctua at all. The coolers are built very well and everything fits perfectly together during assembly. With a price of $44.95 for the Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 and up to $59.95 for the Noctua NH-9US, this is to be expected if you are paying such a premium price.

Prices and availability

All three Noctua CPU coolers from this review can be purchased from Amazon. The Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 starts at $44.95. The Chromax Black edition can be purchased for $54.95. The Noctua NH-D9L can currently be purchased for $54.95 and the Noctua NH-U9S can be had for $59.95. 

Transparency

The present review sample was given to the author by the manufacturer free of charge for the purposes of review. There was no third-party influence on this review, nor did the manufacturer receive a copy of this review before publication. There was no obligation to publish this review.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > Noctua NH-U9S, NH-D9L and NH-La9-AM5 review: Three powerful air coolers for economical CPUs
Sebastian Bade, 2023-03-29 (Update: 2023-03-29)