The Noctua NH-L9i side profile is very flat and with no overhangs, what you see is what you get. It’s only a little wider than the four LGA 15xx mounting holes, so it has a relativity small motherboard footprint.
The small footprint is essential for mITX motherboards, and just like the EVGA Z170 Stinger motherboard, they tend to pack a lot in a small space.
The baseplate is well refined and flat, though not the most reflective baseplate we have seen. As noted in our other reviews, it’s not always an issue, a good thermal paste will be your heat conduit. As always, we would always advise you rub thermal paste into the baseplate before mounting, this will fill a good number of scratches or imperfections that may cause performance issues.
You may not see any but this always takes out the guess work. You could consider lapping the baseplate, this also helps to get the best performance out of any CPU cooler, even the stock coolers.