ReviewsCoolersNoctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler Review

Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler Review

After testing tens and hundreds of coolers, I just got my hands on the Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black, and now I'm bringing you its thorough review based on thermal performance, installation, clearance, and design.

Expert Verified By

Excellent Choice For SFF Builds!

Review Summary

The Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black is a stylish, low-profile cooler perfect for SFF and HTPC builds, offering a black color scheme that fits well in themed setups. It features a compact design with a nickel-plated copper base, black-coated aluminum fins, and 6mm thick copper heat pipes for efficient cooling. The included NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black fan ensures low-noise operation and effective airflow. While it excels in moderate gaming and general use, handling loads up to 140W, it’s not suitable for high-intensity tasks. Priced at USD 69.90 and backed by a six-year warranty, it’s a premium option for those seeking a balance of aesthetics and performance in a small form factor.

Hours Tested: 5

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10
  • Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Design - 9/10
    9/10
  • Performance - 8/10
    8/10
  • Features - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

Pros

  • Solid Thermal and Noise Performance
  • Black Color Theme
  • Convenient Installation
  • Bundled Screwdriver
  • Noise Performance
  • Excellent Clearance
  • Build Quality
  • 6-Year Warranty

 

Cons

  • A bit pricey

Noctua has released two new coolers in the low profile and 3U server cases category. They are NH-L9x65 chromax.black and NH-D9L chromax.black. The chromax version is the same as the regular edition except that the complete assembly is black color spray coated, and the fan is also black.

I am taking a look at a low profile cooler NH-L9x65 chromax.black in this article. This cooler has a small footprint and is compatible with Intel LGA1851/1700/1200/115x/20xx and AMD AM5/AM4 sockets. This cooler has an overall height of 65mm, including the 14mm thick fan.


Key Takeaways

  • The Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black is a sleek, compact, and efficient low-profile cooler designed for small form factor builds.
  • You should get the Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black if you want a low-profile cooler with black aesthetics and solid performance.
  • You should not get the Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black if you are on a tight budget or if your case can support 120mm AIO.

The salient specifications include:

Dimension with fan 95x95x65mm (WxDxH)
Dimension without fan 95x95x51mm (WxDxH)
Net Weight 314 g
Fan Compatibility 92x92x14mm, 92x92x25
Warranty 6 Years
Fan NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black
Bearing SSO2
Max Speed 2500 RPM ± 10%
Min Speed 600 RPM ± 20%
Airflow 57.5 m³/h
Noise Level 23.6 dB(A)
MTTF > 150,000 hours

Packaging And Unboxing

Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler — Packing Box 1024x96
Packing Box (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Noctua ships this cooler in a standard cardboard box in Noctua’s standard chromax theme. The following are included in the box:

  • 1x Heatsink
  • 1x Fan
  • 1x NM-IBP4 Intel Backplate
  • 2x NM-IMB2 Intel Mounting Bars
  • 4x NM-ICS1 Intel Clip-On Spacers
  • 4x NM-STS1 Thumb Screws
  • 4x NM-IBT5 Intel Bolts
  • 4x NM-IPS1 Black Spacers for Intel LGA115x/1200
  • 4x NM-IPS3 Blue Spacers for Intel LGA1700
  • 1x NM-AMB121 AMD Mounting Bar
  • 1x NM-AMB12b AMD Mounting Bar
  • 4x NM-APS4 AMD Grey Spacers
  • 4x NM-ALS1 AMD Long Screws
  • 1x NT-H1 Thermal paste
  • 1x Screw Driver
  • 1x NA-RC7 LN Adapter [Low Noise]
  • 1x Noctua Badge
  • 1x User Guide

Design

Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler — Featured Picture 1024x82
The Cooler In All Its Glory! (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black is a low-profile cooler. It has a compact design making it suitable for the SFF/HTPC builds. Overclocking is not in this cooler’s bound. The cooler has a dimension of 95x95x65mm (WxDxH). Alternatively, the user can install a 25 mm-thick fan in 95×95 size.

Black Heatsink

The fan comes pre-installed on the heatsink. I have removed the fan to take the above picture. The complete assembly is soldered using 49 black-coated aluminum fins and 4x copper heat pipes that are also in black.

There are two large-size cutouts on the sides to provide access to the pre-installed spring-loaded screws. The heat pipes are in a U shape coming from the base towards the top. There is a Noctua branding in the middle of the top plate. You can see the terminating tips of two heat pipes, whereas the other two heat pipes are taking an inside turn on the opposite end.

Looking at the back or rear of the heatsink, we can see that it is identical to the front, except that there is no Noctua branding. I am showing a clear view of the heat pipes. They make contact with the base on the underside, for which there is a separate housing provided under the base. The mounting plates are removable. This makes this cooler compatible with Torx mounting kits from Noctua. The heat pipes are 6mm thick.

Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler — Pre installed Screw 1024x77
Pre-installed Screw (Image By Tech4Gamers)

I am now showing the spring-loaded screw in close-up. There is enough sized cutout to provide comfortable access to the screwdriver tip and shaft. The sides have insets to catch the fan clips.

Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler — Base 1024x91
Base (Image By Tech4Gamers)

This cooler has a nickel-plated copper base. It is finished in a chrome mirror. The base has a dimension of 38x40mm.

NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black Fans

Let’s talk about the fan of this cooler.

This cooler comes with an NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chormax.black fan. Here HS refers to the High Speed. This fan has 9x blades. There are cut-to-size anti-vibration pads on the mounting corners. The frame of this fan has a stepped inlet design. There are stripes on the trailing edges of the blades to provide maximum airflow.

Looking at the backside of the fan, you can see a 4-arms assembly. Each arm is quite wide, and this would disrupt the focused flow. Seems like the idea is to get maximum airflow in all directions. CHROMAX branding is quite apparent on the label. This fan has a 0.21A rating providing 2.52W at 12VDC.

Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler — Fan Power Cable Connector 1024x76
Fan Power Cable Connector (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The fan has a sleeved cable which is common on Noctua fans since Noctua does not use flat cables. This cable has a 4-pin PWM connector. This fan uses SSO2 bearings. There is a Low Noise Adapter cable provided that can optionally be used to reduce the noise level of the fan by reducing the fan’s speed.

Installation

Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler — Mounting Hardware 1024x92
Mounting Hardware (Image By Tech4Gamers)

I have installed this cooler on an Intel core i7 13700k using the GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS Elite AX motherboard. The installation steps are as follows:

  • Prepare the Intel backplate using 4x NM-ICS1 Intel Clip-On Spacers and 4x NM-IBT5 Intel Bolts.
  • Place the backplate over the backside of the motherboard.
  • Insert blue color spacers on the bolts.
  • Install Intel mounting brackets using thumb screws.
  • Apply the thermal paste over the CPU.
  • Place the heatsink over the CPU by aligning the spring-loaded screws with the standoffs on the mounting brackets.
  • You can take the fan off as well before installing the heatsink.
  • Use a screwdriver and complete the installation.
  • Connect the power cable to the fan header, and you are done.

Clearance

Let’s talk about the clearance of this cooler.

Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler — Clearance 1024x93
Clearance (Image By Tech4Gamers)

This single picture covers all bases for the clearance. This cooler does not obstruct the first DIMM slot and the first PCIe x16 slot on this motherboard. Similarly, there is no clearance issue towards the rear and top of the motherboard.

This cooler would be a perfect fit on the ITX motherboard. It has a height of 65mm in total, so it would be a good fit in the majority of the ITX cases.

Testing

I have used the mentioned configuration to test the performance of this cooler: –

Here is the settings table for testing:

All Cores 5.4GHz on P-Cores, 4.2GHz on E-Cores
VCore (V) Auto
Power Limits Removed, 125W
Thermal Paste Pre-applied
Test Run Time 30 minutes CINEBENCH R23.2
Idle Time 10 minutes
Fan/Pump Speed 100% PWM Duty Cycle
Monitoring Software HWInfo64
Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black CPU Air Cooler — Test Bench 1024x102
Test Bench (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Here is the final build. Let’s jump into the thermal performance.

Thermal Performance
Thermal Performance (Image By Tech4Gamers)

 I tested the cooler with power limits removed and then loaded the Intel defaults, and this cooler could not handle the 250W load using Cinebench R23.2. This is why I have shown 0 for these tests.

Next, I set the power limits to 125W and retested the cooler. This time it did 90ᵒC under stress test. This shows that this cooler might handle 140W load at best. But it can handle your gaming load.

Should You Buy It

Buy It If

✅You are looking for a beefy low-profile cooler: The Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black is a low-profile cooler with a beefy heatsink in its range. It has a dimension of 95x95x65 and provides a good cooling solution for up to 140W approximately.

✅You want a black cooler to fit in a themed build: If you are doing an SFF build with the black color theme, then this cooler would be an ideal fit.

Don’t Buy It If

❌You already own a low-profile cooler: You don’t need this cooler if you already have a good-performing low-profile cooler.

❌You are on a budget: This cooler has an MSRP of USD 69.90. This is a bit steep, but you can have a regular edition of this cooler for USD 52.35.

❌Your case supports 120mm AIO: If your ITX case supports AIO then this cooler has got some serious competition. In that case, make sure to check our recommendations for the best 120mm AIO CPU Coolers.

Final Words

The Noctua NH-L9x65 chromax.black is a black edition of the regular NH-L9x65. This is a low-profile design with a compact layout making it an ideal fit for the SFF and HTPC builds. This cooler is compatible with Intel 1851/1700/1200/115x/20xx sockets and AMD AM4/AM5 sockets. The salient feature of this cooler is its total black color.

This cooler has a single heatsink comprising 49 aluminum fins. This is a soldered design where heat pipes are soldered to the base. The fins have joints on the sides. There are two large-size cutouts on the sides of the heatsink to provide access to the spring-loaded screws.

This cooler has 4x copper heat pipes which are also black. They are 6mm thick. Two of them terminate on one end, whereas the other two terminate on the other end. The front side has Noctua branding in the middle.

This cooler has a copper base which is nickel-plated, and a chrome mirror finish. It has a size of 38x40mm. Noctua has provided a screwdriver and a tube of famous NT-H1 thermal paste along with a low-noise adapter.

Noctua has provided NF-A9x14 HS-PWM chromax.black fan. This fan has a dimension of 92x92x14mm. Optionally, you can also install a 25mm thick in the same size on this cooler. You would need to buy a 25mm fan for that.

This cooler has a good clearance for near-socket area and DIMM slots/PCIe slots. It is a good fit for an ITX motherboard. This cooler has an MSRP of USD 69.90, and it has Noctua’s 6-year warranty. This cooler can handle a load of 140W or so under all core stress tests, so gaming load would not be an issue.

 
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