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Noctua NH-U9 TR4-SP3 Review: Strong Threadripper Cooling, Compact Form

Editor's Choice

Our Verdict

The NH-U9 TR4-SP3 should most definitely reside on any builder’s list for a compact Threadripper build.

For

  • Excellent cooling ability
  • Simple installation
  • Perfect for compact Threadripper builds

Against

  • Fans might not be quiet enough for some users

Features & Specifications

Noctua has released a trio of coolers directly targeted at AMD's Threadripper and Epyc sockets in the NH-U12S TR4-SP3, NH-U14S TR4-SP3 and, today's subject, the dual-fan NH-U9 TR4-SP3. Designed with a shorter cooling tower, the twin, 92mm NF-A9 PWM fans team up in push/pull configuration to direct airflow through the six-heatpipe cooling stack and produce the same cooling potential of larger coolers. As a somewhat compact cooling powerhouse, the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 is impressively capable of taming overclocked Threadripper CPUs in cramped system builds.

Shipping as a dedicated socket cooler for both AMD TR4 and SP3 CPUs, the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 requires only the accompaniment of PWM (pulse width modulation, for controlling fans) splitter and speed reduction cables, a tube of Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound and an angled hex-key wrench for torquing down the necessary cooler mounting hardware. Never skimping on the quality of components, Noctua also includes a metal case badge in the accessory box, complete with adhesive backing.

Specifications

Height4.94 inches / 125.4mm
Width3.8 inches / 96.3mm (fin assay.), 4.62 inches / 117.4mm (mount base)
Depth2.81 inches / 71.3mm, (4.65 inches / 118.1mm w/fans)
Base Height1 inch / 25.1mm
Assy. Offset0.0 inches (centered), 1.1 inches / 27.94mm (w/fans), Adjustable -3mm, -6mm
Cooling Fans(2) 92 x 25mm
Connectors(2) 4-pin PWM
Weight30.2oz / 856g
Intel Sockets
AMD SocketsTR4, SP3
Warranty6 years

The NH-U9 TR4-SP3 is shorter than most standalone cooling towers, with all six of its nickel-plated copper heatpipes clustered closely together across the depth of the cooling tower. Utilization of dual 92mm fans also enable the the NH-U9's narrow shape. 

Seen as small machine screws along the mounting rails, the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 allows adjustment of the cooler to account for any hardware offset and prevent mounting incompatibility. The hex-key wrench fits both the adjustment screws and the spring-tensioned mounting bolts at the cooler’s perimeter corners.

The cooler's thickness requires two NF-A9 PWM fans to focus airflow through the cooling tower stack for maximum cooling potential. The fans come equipped with rubberized mounting tabs to prevent vibration noise and come in everyone’s favorite color combination, Noctua’s traditional cream and reddish-brown brick tones. The NF-A9 fans are rated up to 2,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) and are 4-pin PWM capable.

At the base of the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 rests a solid copper base plate that is nickel-plated to match the heatpipes and aluminum cooling fins of the tower.  The base itself retains very fine orbital milling traces, but is otherwise smooth. At 2.76 x 2.21 inches (70 x 56mm), the base makes for complete coverage of the entire Threadripper CPU IHS package.

Installation of the NH-U9 TR4-SP3 ws relatively simple since the mounting hardware aligned perfectly over our MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard’s mounting inserts. With or without the fans mounted, we could easily torque the bolts properly with the hex-key wrench. We used our rear 140mm Corsair fan as a sizing reference to put the compact size of the NH-U9 into better perspective.

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