Noctua NH-U9 TR4-SP3: Keeping Threadripper Running Happy With Air Cooling

Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 21 September 2017 at 10:48 AM EDT. Page 1 of 2. 8 Comments.

We recently looked at several Noctua cooler options for Intel's Core X-Series while today the tables have turned and we tried out Noctua's TR4-SP3 heatsink that is capable of cooling the high-Wattage Threadripper and EPYC processors with air cooling.

With the Threadripper 1950X review kit, a Thermaltake water cooling system was included for keeping the 1950X running well. The Threadripper 1950X as a reminder has 16 cores / 32 threads and a turbo core speed of up to 4GHz. This large processor has a 180 Watt TDP, thus needing water cooling or quite a mighty heatsink. When moving the Threadripper box to a 4U chassis that will be rackmounted, it's much easier dealing with air cooling than fitting a water cooling unit and radiator into a 4U chassis plus needing to maintain that, etc.

I ended up purchasing the Noctua NH-U9 TR4-SP3 heatsink for being able to properly cool the Threadripper CPU while fitting within 4U height requirements. The NH-U9 TR4-SP3 is designed for Threadripper/EPYC exclusively with the processor's large physical size, the heatsink base will not fit to other CPU sockets. The TR4-SP3 features dual 92mm fans, 70x56mm copper contact base, SecuFirm2 mounting system, aluminum cooling fins, and is nickel plated.

Included with the Noctua NH-U9 TR4-SP3 was the NF-A9 PWM fans, low-noise adapters, NT-H1 thermal compound, SecuFirm2 mounting kit, and anti-vibration pads. Like Noctua's other cooling products, the TR4-SP3 heatsink is backed by a six year warranty.

The heatsink with fans installed are 125 x 95 x 120mm. The NF-A9 fans are rated for up to 78.9 m3/h maximum airflow or 62.6 m3/h with the low noise adapter. The noise ranges from 16.3 dBA to 22.8 dBA.

The Threadripper 1950X was running with the Gigabyte X399 AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard and 4 x 8GB DDR4-3200 GSKILL memory. Unfortunately, the height of the DDR4 modules and their proximity to the CPU socket ended up obstructing the fans from fully fitting as designed. I ended up having to offset the fan on top of the memory modules.

Fortunately, this still squeezed in within 4U height requirements and didn't seem to impact the cooling performance at least any dramatic.

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