I was totally impressed by the short in structure Noctua NH-L9i cooler. The cooler performed way better than the stock and allowed us to maintain our taller than normal memory modules. Granted chances are if you are deciding to use a cooler like this you are probably using it in a system where you don’t need high performance memory but it is nice to know you have the option. And using a 37mm tall cooler gives us that option. And if you are using an ITX motherboard, you have to give this cooler a look. It does not block the lone PCIe slot that the has.
Not only was the performance worth talking about so is the installation. With the cooler coming already with the fan attached and most of the SecuFirm2 equipment contacted all we had to do was apply some thermal compound to the CPU, aligned the contact holes and secure. One most also remember that the L9i is only designed for the socket 115x motherboards and no others. This is because this is the current range of Intel's lower TDP processors. If you are working with an AMD processor you will have to look at the NH-L9a cooler also from Noctua. So, a review is coming up for that as well.
Even with the representation that Noctua has for producing quiet fans, we had our doubts on a 92mm blow. But the doubts were quickly erased. When using the PWM function we did not hear a thing from the fan from the fan. Only when we forced it to run at maximum rotation did the noise come about. It was easily audible for not overwhelming.
We find the L9i pricing just under $50. Not a cheap price for the performance (remember it is small) but nice for all the other conveniences it offers.