As foretold by its latest roadmap, Noctua has released the NH-L9a-AM5 low-profile AMD coolers. The new product, available in both Noctua’s traditional brown and cream color combo or chromax.black, finally brings the successful NH-L9 series of low-profile CPU coolers to AMD’s latest generation platform. Moreover, this 37mm tall cooler for ultra-compact and SFF builds is claimed to be ideal for AMD’s recently released 65W Ryzen 7000 series CPUs.
These coolers aren’t 100% new, but new editions of the tried and trusted low-profile NH-L9 series are made necessary by AMD’s AM5 mounting design change. The original NH-L9a coolers for AM3 and AM4 were simply too different to be fitted to the AM5 platform with a mounting kit upgrade, and luckily AMD assures that it will be sticking with AM5 until at least 2025. Similarly, Noctua had to provide new NH-L9i cooler SKUs for Intel’s LGA1700 socket platforms in November 2021.
To provide some background to the Noctua NH-L9 series pedigree, we reviewed the Noctua NH-L9i with factory-installed Intel LGA 115x mounts way back in 2014. Throughout the lineage outlined above, the NH-L9 series has offered a premium low-profile air cooling solution for compact PC builds such as HTPCs, Mini-ITX and/or SFF systems.
On the topic of suitable processor pairings, Noctua boss Roland Mossig says the new NH-L9a-AM5 products “can easily cool the new 7900, 7700, and 7600 at ultra-quiet fan speeds.” Mossig adds that the new coolers offer plenty of headroom above and beyond the standard 65W TDPs of the example processors. He adds, "we’ve actually been running up to 130W on the Ryzen 7950X and 7900X.”
Nevertheless, we must warn readers that the CEO’s comment about using the NH-L9a-AM5 on a Ryzen 9 7950X or 7900X is beyond the official specification. The screenshot below shows that Noctua’s online compatibility center warns that these processors are “incompatible” with the new low-profile cooler, as the “cooler cannot handle base clock.”
Noctua’s new NH-L9a-AM5 provides 100% RAM and PCIe compatibility within the confines of a tightly packed system. The optimized NF-A9x14 92mm fan supports fully automatic speed control via PWM at speeds between 600 and 2,500 RPM. The max noise it will produce is claimed to be 23.6dBA, but using the supplied NA-RC7 Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A) can cut this to 14.8dBA (with a cut to max fan speed of 1,800RPM).
The new Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 SKUs are available immediately, and you can grab the regular and chromax versions from the official Noctua Amazon stores worldwide. Unfortunately, however, I couldn’t find them listed on the Noctua Amazon US store at the time of writing. Therefore, the suggested pricing is UR 49.90 / USD 44.90 for the traditional Noctua color version or EUR 59.90 / USD 54.90 for the chromax.black edition.