Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 CPU cooling fan review

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The Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 low-profile cooler is the latest version for AMD Ryzen processors, compatible with AM5 sockets and available in two variants: the normal and the Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 The only practical difference between them is the color, and there are no apparent differences compared to the L9a-AM4 version, except for the fixing screws. Let’s see what it can offer us with the Ryzen 5 7600X in normal mode and with a TDP limitation of 65W. Let’s get started!

External design

Both the normal and versions of the Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 have exactly the same design and construction, except that one of them will be completely black. In fact, if we compare it with the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4, there are no differences in terms of design details. All models in this and the previous generation have dimensions of 114 x 92 x 37 mm with a fan and 114 x 92 x 23 mm without it.

It is the most compact cooler available for AMD Ryzen processors and is designed for models with a TDP limit of 65W, namely the Ryzen 9 7900, 7 7800 and 5 7600. The mounting is flush with the rear port panel of the motherboard, making it ideal for HTPC assemblies and SFF chassis where it is impossible to use any other type of cooler.

The heat sink consists of an aluminum block with vertically dense fins arranged transversely. It is constructed in aluminum with fully polished faces. Two copper-nickel-plated heat pipes pass through these faces and are attached to the cold plate, making a curve at the end to cover the entire outer edge of the block on both sides. This maximizes the distribution of heat. The ends are reinforced with thicker plates and the lateral edges of the fins are joined to prevent them from bending.

At the contact base, we have a copper cold plate coated with nickel with exquisite polishing that maximizes the effectiveness of heat exchange in the contact area. This block extends to the ends of the cooler and the 4 anchoring points are placed on it through screws that are exactly the same as those in the AM4 version. The screws are screwed from the back of the motherboard.

Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM fan

Moving on to the Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM fan located at the top of the Noctua NH-L9a-AM5. It is exactly the same version as the one found in the AM4 version. It would be a good idea for the folks at Noctua to at least modify the RPM configuration to differentiate it a bit.

The ventilation unit will have dimensions of 92 x 92 mm and a low profile of 14 mm, anchored to the heat sink with 4 screws. However, the heat sink also supports 25 mm units like the Noctua NF-A9 PWM, including the installation screw kit for it. The standard version comes with a beautiful fan with a beige chassis and brown blades (our favorite), while the Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 version comes in a completely black variant. Rubber anti-vibration covers have been placed on both sides of the corners to minimize noise.

This fan operates at a speed between 600 and 2500 RPM and incorporates a PWM control system with a four-pin header directly connected to the motherboard, including an LNA adapter limited to 1800 RPM. It uses a dynamic fluid bearing motor (Noctua’s own SSO2). At maximum capacity, it generates an airflow of 57.5 m3/h and a maximum noise of 23.6 dB. Its lifespan is expected to be over 150,000 hours.


Let’s proceed with the assembly of the Noctua NH-L9a-AM5, which is perfectly compatible with the AM5 socket and follows the same system as the AM4 in terms of the position and height of the screws. A Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste syringe has been included, which is undoubtedly one of the best in its category.

The assembly process is quite simple. We just need to remove the fasteners that come by default on the motherboard, place the heat sink on the CPU and secure it with the screws from below. However, a potential inconvenience is that the heat sink can move a lot when applying the thermal paste, making it difficult to hold it with one hand while screwing it from the backplate of the socket. But with a little skill, this process should take us between 1 or 2 minutes.

Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 CPU cooling fan

Conclusion on the Noctua NH-L9a-AM5 CPU cooling fan

Undoubtedly, this heat sink is a clone of the L9a model launched for the AM4 socket. It is identical in design, dimensions, and even the fan. The only distinction we can appreciate is that the fastening screws have been modified.

The heat sink comes in two variants: the standard, which is our favorite, and the, which is completely black, although technically they are the same. The manufacturing quality is exceptional, as is characteristic of the brand, and has performed outstandingly with the CPU in ECO mode limiting its TDP to 65W, as is the case with the compatible Ryzen 7000 CPUs, excluding X models.

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