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Noctua NH-S12L & NH-L9a-AM4 Low Profile CPU Cooler Review

Posted November 14, 2017 by Brendan van Varik in Cooling


Price at time of Review: $49.99 $ $39.99 Respectively


Solid Cooling Performance for the Size, Excellent quality, Good Value for SFF


As always, Noctua offers an excellent option for cooling, especially in the SFF market.
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by Brendan van Varik
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Whether you’re in the market for a new cooler or not, you cannot deny that the miniature PC world is coming in and it is happening fast. Noctua have become infamous in the IT industry and it seems that we just can’t get enough of their light brown and maroon-ish colors. There’s a good reason behind it, even if they recently started producing all-black “Industrial” fans to cater to a wider audience in recent times. They produce some of the very best fans on the market, and their coolers are right up there too. Their NH-D14 reigned supreme for multiple years, with nothing being able to touch it without applying masses of airflow through the heatsink. That has, of course, been refreshed into the D15 that we know and love today, but instead of looking at massive apartment buildings that aim to cool down your CPU, we are going to look at two of the smallest coolers that have just been refreshed for AMD’s new Ryzen CPUs on the AM4 platform. Meet the NH-S12L and the NH-L9a-AM4.

They’re both dainty little coolers with maximum cooling performance in mind. The larger of the two, the S12L, is only 95mm tall at its tallest, while the L9a-AM4 is a mere 37mm tall with the included fan. How well will they be able to cool an R7 1700 at stock as well as at 3.7 GHz? Let’s crack open, unbox these little beauties, and then get on with the testing. I have high hopes given that they are from one of the best air cooler manufacturers out there, but we will have to wait for the results to determine where they ultimately land.

Due to the specifications being incredibly long and a little poorly laid out for us to copy to our site directly, here are the links which you can browse at your own leisure to see the in-depth specs of each cooler.

Noctua NH-L12S – $49.99 at the time of writing.
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 – $39.99 at the time of writing.




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