The Cpu is the heart of a computer system. For obvious reasons such as durability, and to prevent thermal throttling, it is important to keep the chip at a relatively low temperature. The key to keeping your processor cool and keeping its performance to the same level as it was out of the box, even a few years down the line, is CPU coolers. Investing in a decent aftermarket cooler is one of the best choices you can make to ensure you avoid problems such as declines in efficiency for at least a few years. Keeping your CPU at a low temperature will also reduce the risk of failure and increase your processor’s lifespan. In this post, we will concentrate solely on coolers with low profiles, mostly seen in smaller sizes. If you build in an ITX motherboard system with limited space for a CPU cooler, the way is with the low
Cooling can easily become a problem in smaller cases because the small shape quickly overheats and makes it hard for many fans to fit. The most important thing in making a big little factor PC is to get the best low profile CPU cooler. We have rounded up our top 15 low-profile CPU coolers to analyze every single one and give you a clear idea which one is right for you, whether you are building a compact gaming rig or a simple work computer.
We based our selection on our own experiences and additional research from feedback and user reports with some of the world’s best CPU coolers. These are the best CPU coolers which you can buy in 2020.
- 1.Noctua NH-L12S
- 2.Cooler Master MasterAir G100M
- 3.Noctua NH-L9i
- 4.Noctua NH-L9x65
- 5.be quiet! BK002 Shadow Rock
- 6.ARCTIC Alpine 11 GT Rev 2
- 7.Cooler Master MasterAir
- 8.Thermaltake Engine 27 1U Low-Profile CPU Cooler
- 9.NZXT Kraken X72
- 10.NoFan CR-95C
- 11.Scythe BIG Shuriken 3
- 12.Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black
- 13.Scythe Mugen 5
- 14.DeepCool Gabriel Low Profile Cooler
- 15.SilverStone Tek NT06-Pro
- More from my site
Noctua is an Austrian company known for performing very well and being silent, though not very enticing to its visual audience. Their fans are specially designed to work at a high standard and have only been in a very disappointing two-tone brown color scheme before recent times.
Noctua provides coolers that can give their fans quiet, strong and, in this case, very low levels of performance that are also unrivaled. The Noctua NH-L12S is a small CPU cooler offering performance well above the low profile cooling standard.
First of all, it has a thermal design capacity of around 165 watts, which helps it to handle even the meager Intel processors and most AMDs without any problems as long as it has good airflow.
Most impressively, it can reach this cooling level only with a height of 70 mm and with a maximum of 23.9 decibels. It’s small enough to be inaudible in your average room even when working in full blast.
The first cooler we looked at might have been something for RGB fans or anybody looking for the cooler that looks best. Fortunately, the next cooler is a unique design that feels like something that would be the next suit by Tony Stark’s Iron Man.
The unique design of the Cooler Master MasterAir G100 M is not just for aesthetics though as the large shroud funnels the air from the fan down onto the large column of copper cooling in the center of the heatsink.
It gives a UFO-esque look to the cooler, which is particularly evident with the built-in RGB lights giving off their dazzling glow through the fan. This cooler is short enough to make this cooler a nice mini ITX CPU, but we should be aware that it can block some RAM from fitting into some motherboards by designing this cooler.
Because the cooler becomes wider in the middle, it can interfere with some large RAM modules, especially when your motherboard has RAM slots close to the CPU socket in particular. However, with 130W cooling while running at 30dBA, this cooler offers a stronger performance with its size!
With higher-end processors which need significant cooling, we wouldn’t suggest this. But it’s an incredibly fine choice to want a cool CPU cooler that suits your build and pairs it with a much lower-end processor.
When it comes to PC cooling technology, Noctua is one of the giants, so it is not shocking that you were on our lists. The NH-L9i is a versatile cooler that suits a variety of components and is perfect if you want a powerful PC solution.
The Noctua NH-L9i is an air cooler designed for operating with smaller systems and tight spaces. The height of the fan is only 37 mm. It weights 420 g and is 95 mm wide by 95 mm profound. It doesn’t take up much room in your case. If you use the Low Noise adapter that can bring down stuff to 14.8 dBA, it’s one of the quieter ones.
This CPU fan contains the mounting kit SecuFirm2 and is equipped with a thermal compound NT-H1. It is compatible with LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155 and LGA1156 in Intel sockets and sports a 6-year warranty, although the compatibility list is also required. This one is for Intel-only but you’ve got the NH-L9a covered if you rock an AMD chip.
The NH-L9x65 is a compact, 65 mm high low-film cooler making it the perfect choice for the development of HTPCs, ITX, and Small Form Factor. Instead of the normal two heat pipes, it has four heat pipes.
The NH-L9x65 is considerably more powerful. It can be used on Intel-based ITX mainboards with both RAMs and PCIs. This cooler, therefore, doesn’t overlap the motherboard’s near-socket connectors.
The NF-F12 120 mm based flow supplier is also available with the PWM for the regulation of speed. The NH-L9x65 also features the low-noise adaptor, which makes it surprisingly quiet to run. This CPU cooler comes with a multi-socket mounting system from SecuFirm2 which allows easy installation.
This particular cooler isn’t suitable for overclocking, however. And so it shouldn’t be used on CPUs with a TDP greater than 84W.
Every time a company uses the word “quiet” in its moniker, they must be able to produce a product that lives up to the type. We are happy to say that the thoughts are quiet! It has been delivered as the quietest cooler to cut with Shadow Rock LP.
This CPU cooler has the same design as the rest of the pack, but its performance distinguishes it. Well, that and the level of noise. This is impressive at full speed, rated at 25.5 dBA, and the 120 mm Pure Wings 2 PWM fan will certainly keep things cool. It also gets some help from a powerful heat sink which has 54 aluminum fins at the top and 32 at the bottom. The be quiet! Shadow Rock LP is 134 MMX 122 mm x 75.4 mm unmounted, weighing 390 g.
This cooler is a bit taller than others but twice as quiet, and that 1,500 RPM fan has an 80,000-hour lifetime to boot. The be quiet! BK002 is compatible with AM2(+), AM3(+), AM 4(+), FM1 and FM2(+) sockets. The BK002 is fitted with 3 year warranty. Intel’s 775/115X/1366 and LGA2011 are available.
The ARCTIC Alpine 11 is a portable cooler which can be used in 70 Watt TDP systems. The Alpine 11 GT is a great option for small form factor PCs, because it can draw air from the side and has a low profile.
The Alpine 11 comes with an incredibly quiet 80 mm PWM fan. The fan is running at a speed of between 500 and 2000 RPM. It is also fitted with an optimized heat sink that contributes to better cooling performance of the Alpine 11 GT.
This features both an impeller with low noise and a proprietary fan holder. It makes the Alpine 11 GT even at its full speed a virtually silent cooler. In the meantime, you can adjust the fan speed to the CPU temperature with the PWM control. And so the noise level is reduced, which makes this cooler a silent choice. The Alpine 11 is compatible with 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156 and 775 Intel processors.
The ALPINE 11 also comes with a special mounting system with push pins. It makes deployment faster and provides excellent stability.
The MasterAir G100 M is about 74.5 mm long, making it much bigger than some other options. Small form factors and HTPC are however a good option.
This CPU cooler features a 92 mm PWM fan with a speed ranging from 600-2,400 RPM. It also features an RGB Ring that lights up the cooler. The RGB Ring, as well as the fan, is deemed compliant with the RGB software of the motherboard manufacturer.
The Cooler Master MasterAir G100 M comes with a heat column. It enables the transfer of a large amount of heat, as it increases the area of direct contact. Because this cooler is compact, it can provide better cooling performance.
However, if you are looking for something that happens to be aesthetically pleasing, the MasterAir G100 M is a colourful choice. It comes with a wired RGB controller that allows you to customize the fan’s colors and different effects. This cooler does not need an RGB board, because instead, it comes with remote control.
This CPU Cooler mounted on a fan is also compatible with both Intel and AMD processors. It is suitable for some processors including the Intel LGA2066, LGA2011-v3, LGA2011, LGA1151, LGA1150, LGA1156, LGA1155, and LGA1366.
The Thermaltake’s Engine 27 is a special, low-profile cooler. It’s a small cooler for CPUs. It is 27 mm height, making it the ideal choice for ultra-slim PCs, HTPCs, POS terminals and mini PCs.
The cooler of the CPU uses an all-metal design, with a base of copper and nickel. This makes it possible for heat to properly dissipate.
The fan is compact and is 60 mm in height. It is an ideal choice for applications involving small form factor. Also, the cooler features a built-in PWM fan equipped with metallic blades and fins.
The Thermaltake Engine 27 comes with a PWM-fan of 40 blades. It helps the fan to reach speeds between 1500-2500 RPM; meanwhile, it has a 13-25dBA decibel level, too. Thus the Engine 27 operates at a low noise level without sacrificing on the cooling efficiency.
If you’re looking for a CPU cooler that works silently and delivers a great deal of performance, then the Kraken X72 model of the NZXT is the perfect one for you. It has a 360 mm warming mount and it is a liquid cooler. Another very creative thing about this CPU cooler is to have CAM software in it. This feature allows you to configure, track and program, making it your processor’s best liquid cooler. It contains three PWM fans to go with and good warmer performance. It offers a nice amount of results, with being silent. NZXT also provides the most impressive LED lighting system.
For all kinds of applications, for gaming, content creation and heavy work purposes, you can use this CPU cooler. Because it is a liquid cooler, it can meet all of your PC requirements, so make sure you know what you need.
Most of the problems you have with your PC would vanish if you consider buying the X72. You have to figure out if you need a liquid cooler or not. Of course, there are plenty of other liquid CPU coolers on the market, but this one is something special.
Here’s a bit of company description here. NoFan is a Korean company with hundreds of products being launched. NoFan’s most important and impressive manufacturing is its CPU coolers, which are in enormous demand on the PC market.
When we’re talking about the CR-95C, it’s very large and cylindrical, which makes mounting on a fan that clearly shows the name of the maker very challenging. This product can be purchased in two combinations: copper and black nickel.
It contains a very radial structure and four heat pipes made from the innovation of NoFan’s IcePipe. Not much information about IcePipe has been published, though, but all we know is they’re lighter, wickless, and slimmer.
Other than that, you’re going to be glad to know the product is easy to clean and often doesn’t get dirty.
So, if you like the sound of all this, then go ahead and see if it’s going to suit your PC or not. If you are not sure about the match, you can also ask the retailer for information.
In the Shuriken 3, Scythe has created a fantastic cooler. The contact plate has 10 copper heat pipes connected to it in support of heat transfer (5 on each side). This is a perfect way to transfer heat away from your processor to the fan and cooling fins. The total height of 60 mm is also remarkably small.
The included fan is of the PWM variety, just like the other options mentioned here. The fan is of the 120 mm variety which is a great way to make sure your small PC case keeps the chip cool. In a slim 68 mm, the height is wise, which means it is ideal for a small shape factor.
It supports a wide range of AMD and Intel sockets about its compatibility. The 3 also supports the AM4 platform compared to the previous model. So with this cooler, you can use Ryzen CPUs.
For years the Cooler Master has produced some of the best budget CPU coolers, with the legendary Hyper 212 series being a genuine flagship in this area. Unfortunately, the 212 Evo is not supported without an upgrading kit from the latest generation of AMD’s CPUs, putting more dollars in the price, taking it over US$ 40. Luckily, the 212 Black is perfectly capable of supporting everything out of the box.
This cooler has an understated look, with a nickel-black paintjob and a similar dark fan, with a good all-round output. It quickly and efficiently cools the expanding fins with a 120 mm fan with eight heat pipes away from the CPU core. The choice is to add a second for a slightly improved airflow in a push-pull system.
But that cooler’s big sales point is the expense. The stock cooler sold by Intel or AMD is significantly better, but it costs well below $50.
The design and building efficiency of this product are also very creative. This includes a large fan called the 120 mm Kaze Flex fan.
The fan allows good airflow and maintains everything by static pressure. At the same time, it’s a very low noise device so you should be relaxed if you are concerned that the fan makes a huge noise because you know that this product will solve the problem.
Customers often love the pipe capacity and sizes, and you can have six in this product that can do a heavy-duty job. This allows for continuous heat outflow, which remains important for holding the temperature down through the entire CPU process and at an optimum level.
It has versatile RAM flexibility so you’re good at making whatever RAM choices you want. That said, the device is also compatible with Intel L.G.A. and AMD processors, so you can have a bit of flexibility about what you’d like to have in your system.
The weight is light and since it was introduced into the marketplace the overall product has gained a good reputation. The manufacturer also boasts 120,000 hours of total product lifespan.
Last but not least is the DeepCool Gabriel, on our list of the best low profile CPU cooler. With a nickel-plated base and heat sink, this 60 mm high CPU cooler guarantees optimum cooling and life.
Deepcool Gabriel features a PWM-enabled 120 mm fan that controls speeds from 900–1800 RPM. It provides approximately 62CFM airflow which is quite adequate to cool down your gaming rig.
You must have read about the nickel-plated base plate above but Deepcool Gabriel brings things to the next level with the nickel-plated entire heat sink. This guarantees increased heat dissipation across all fins. Four heat pipes made of copper are soldered on the base plate; all plated with nickel.
Nickel also prevents oxidation from ensuring a longer lifespan of the heat sink, in addition to better thermal transfer. I like the ultra-silent operation with a minimum noise level of around 18dB which is almost zero.
All in all, Deepcool Gabriel is a good solution for building an ultra-slim gaming PC as an efficient, low-profile CPU cooling device.
Without mentioning SilverStone, this list can not be completed. I’m specifying the low profile CPU cooler of Silverstone Tek NT06-Pro which measures 82 mm. Do not be fooled by the height, however, because that has more for you.
The primary highlight of this low profile CPU cooler is the six soldered heat pipes with a copper base plate. SIX, yeah! This list of six heat pipes has no other option. Why is it good? Now, the more heat pipes there, the thermal transfer to the heat sink will be more efficient.
And the heat sink is made of aluminum, with the heat pipes placed through it at the same distance to ensure the heat dissipation is well spread.
Unlike the popular fan-over-heatsink design, Silverstone Tek NT06 Pro features a 120 mm PWM fan below the heatsink that produces airflow from the bottom up. This also facilitates cooling of other components around the CPU area.
Depending on the fan you are using, the CPU TDP will vary from 95-130W. The fan speed will vary between 1000-2200 RPM with PWM support. This low-profile CPU cooler is compatible with all the popular Intel sockets and AMD sockets except for the AM4/TR4 which requires a separate bracket.
Silverstone Tek NT06 Pro is the most powerful low profile CPU cooler with a maximum cooling capacity of 74CFM which is ideal for overclocking but not suitable for very compact builds.