The consumer market is full of CPU coolers to save the PCs from overheating, but almost every gamer and professional is looking for the best low profile CPU cooler. The gaming industry has caused big tech companies to push their limits to new heights. The amount of heat that gaming graphics and mechanics put on the processors and GPUs is unlike ever before. The bundles of electrons flowing through the small semiconductor circuits are the primary output that we see on our display. One of the main components put under intense processing requirements is the processor; this also causes a lot of heat production, which needs to be removed. Many other factors can actually cause an increase heat production, but mainly workload, architecture, and overclocking are the prime reasons for heat loads.
That’s where CPU coolers come in. Engineers have come up with unique solutions to cope with the heat produced by CPUs. Many types of CPU coolers high profile air-cooled heatsinks, water coolant-based CPU coolers, AIO coolers, and low profile air-cooled heatsinks. Out of the bunch, a cost-effective, efficient, and minimalist solution is air-cooled CPU coolers. We will be reviewing almost every best low profile CPU cooler currently available in the market. You might need to know a few things before buying such a low profile CPU cooler.
Would you like to look at some quick shopping tips that would surely help you choose the desired product!
Quick Shopping Tips
Socket Size: Socket size is vital in selecting a motherboard and essential in determining your heatsink. The space available around the socket should be the decisive factor. Take a good look at the socket and product dimensions before buying. Ensure you have enough space around your CPU on the motherboard.
Noise: This is the most crucial decision-making factor. Noise can distract you from being productive. Quiet cooler PCs allow gamers to focus and programmers and other professionals to be more productive.
Thermal Design Power(TDP): The approx amount of heat your processor may produce during operation may be influenced by some factors like overclocking and intensity of work. Check your processor’s max TDP before purchasing a cooler.
Price: Price is also an essential factor for some people because they have to purchase under their budget. So you must consider the best possible option under your budget.
Aesthetics: Aesthetics matter for some people, while some people require just the looks. Coolers include RGB with static color or colors that you can control via a controller because you might want to consider aesthetics in your purchase.
Our Recommendations For Best Low Profile CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 has been into the heatsink business for a long time, and their technology is proven to perform as advertised. They are built to be functional rather than form. Everything from the packaging to the material used in manufacturing feels premium. The low noise adapter comes with the box to reduce noise, although reducing noise means reducing RPM, which causes lower heat removal. It wouldn’t matter as long as you have the right TDP processor.
The color accent used in fans’ production does not go with most of the chassis available in the market, but that shouldn’t be a problem since most people building mini-ITX PCs do not require their components to be shown off. The price is a bit high compared to other low-profile CPU coolers, but due to efficient design and material, the cost goes up, and basically, you get for what you paid. It is only compatible with the AM4 socket.
The life span of this fan is estimated to be up to 150000 hours. Your PC would likely become ancient and irrelevant after that amount of time. The cooler is efficient in terms of noise. The noise is barely detectable. You would have to put in extra effort to hear the cooler whisper some air movement. The compact is one of the main factors that make this one of the best coolers in the business. It is built for ultra-low profile cases with the lowest height of all.
Cryorig C7-47mm heat sink has no other material except copper. We all know that copper is an excellent electrical conductor, which makes the heat sink an efficient heat conductor as well. One of the plus points of this heatsink is that it’s compatible with many sockets across generations and brands. Intel and AMD, both processors, are supported. It’s one for all solutions. This cooler is one of the best in terms of performance.
It can keep an i5 8400 running on 1.15v at temperatures around 58C. One of the downsides is that even though it’s compatible with most of the available processors in the market, you will need a mounting kit for the AM4 socket. The noise level also is noticeable when it reaches its 100% potential. Installation is also a bit tricky if the rest of the components have been installed. Besides that, it is one of the efficient designs in the market.
The aesthetics of the cooler make it look cool. The white fan on a copper fin gives it a performance look. The height is just 47mm, which can easily fit into any case. The TDP is also high enough to support most processors in the market. Especially AMD processors. The temperatures are easily maintained around 60C. Overall it’s a sturdy, long-lasting, and efficient product for its price.
Cooler Master has been making PC components for a long time, and it has made a name for itself to provide cheap yet functional devices. The Cooler Master MasterAir G200P is one of the ultra-low profile coolers. The height is just 39.4mm, which makes it fit in any small form factor case. The performance of this can be judged with an Intel i7-9700k running at stock clock speed. The temperatures don’t seem to cross the 90C mark.
The fins are thinner than its counterpart, which reduces their weight overall. A controller for RGB is provided inside the box to change color.
The cooler has a 100W TDP at such a low profile, which is impressive as its competitors support less than what this more relaxed offers. The cooler screws are not visible and hidden under the heatsink away from the sign giving it a sturdy look. The base plate is smoothened to provide maximum contact area and efficient heat transfer. The 60 m3/h flow rate ensures that max heat can be removed from the minimal site.
If you own a productivity system with light gaming and content creation, this cooler will be the best choice as the best low profile CPU cooler. The noise reduction will keep your background noise under control while recording a video for YouTube or want to work on your excel sheet quietly. The height of this air cooler is only 37mm.
The maximum TDP supported by Noctua NH-L9i is low compared to other alternate options. It’s because of the reduction in height and the use of aluminum fins to control cost. If your processor has a TDP lower than 95 W, you will appreciate the overall price and performance. It performs better than Intel’s stock coolers and looks way better.
The cooler comes in a chroma black variant, which will make it subtle and blend in with your black motherboard. You can use this low profile cooler with a 100W TDP processor, but the seller does not recommend it as it will maintain your processor core temperatures at a higher value. The compact design is the central aspect of this air-fin cooler. It will not interfere with other hardware installed on your PC.
It is the ultra-affordable and compact-sized CPU cooler, which serves as an excellent alternative for the stock coolers that come with Intel processors. The all-black design attracts gamers running on low budget gaming PCs. Most people will use it as a replacement for their failed stock fans on Intel. The relief would, indeed, look more compact and perform efficiently.
The main drawback of having a small compact design with cost-cutting material is that high TDP processors’ performance takes a hit. It is suitable for a mini-ITX board, which has tight space to accommodate a large heatsink. The SilverStone NT08-115XP is small enough to fit in all motherboard brands. It is suitable for home theatre, and SFF PC builds.
The plus point of this cooler is the pushpin installation design. It makes replacing and installing the new CPU cooler easy for everyone. It runs quieter than the stock intel cooler and takes up less space. The contact plate or base plate at the bottom of the cooler is larger than the stock, allowing more significant heat transfer and lower operating temperatures.
The every best low profile CPU cooler that we have reviewed, most of them either take up a lot of space to give the required high TDP, and some are extremely compact but are suitable for low-end processors. That’s when the cooler master decided to make a Cooler Master MasterAir G100M. It has the looks, and when it comes to functionality, it offers 130W TDP. It makes your rig stand out and allows the performance that is required for a high-end gaming PC. The CPU cooler looks like a UFO.
This cooler can obstruct the high profile RAMs in two of your DIMM slots but allows you to install normal heightened RAMs easily due to the curved heat fin profile. Expect your 130W or more processor to reach greater than 80C with Intel’s Turbo Boost turned ON. For AMDs, the processor is already below the max TDP supported by this cooler, which should help it run cool.
Besides keeping the build aesthetically attractive they Coolermaster decided to add RGB to help it blend in with your computer build environment. Controllers can determine effects and color depending on the user’s choice. It is capable of syncing with most motherboards to allow GUI based tweaking.
Noctua is known for its low profile fans with the lowest noise possible, but that came at a cost, i.e., support for lower TDP processors. Noctua came up with a solution and made a highly efficient design with minimum dimension Noctua NH-L9X65. Being a low-profile cooler, it is capable of supporting 140W TDP processors. At the height of 55mm, it is capable of supporting gaming processors for high-end PCs. Running an AMD on this cooler will be a breeze.
One of the drawbacks is that the beige with brown accents is not inline with the latest colors that most gaming builds. We need to keep in mind that this is made for small form factor chassis and is not manufactured for overclocked CPUs. The price is a bit high, but due to Noctua’s excellent after-sales and warranty, it’s worth the money
The height of the fan is just 14mm in size. The efficiency in building such a fan is fantastic and still manages to reach 2500rpm and an airflow of 57 m³/h. The base plate is large enough to ensure efficient heat transfer. The material used is also premium, and the heat pipe’s ends have been rounded off to blend it with the design. Dimensions are all on point and small enough to fit an SFF case easily.
ID-COOLING IS-60 is low profile with high performance, and the TDP support concerning RPM is excellent for its size. The design efficiently uses copper heat pipes to carry heat from the base plate and effectively disperse it into the fins evenly. The pipes have been Nickel plated to ensure long-lasting looks and avoid any degradation due to a moist or humid environment.
Like most low profile coolers, this one also does not allow high profile RAMs in two DIMM slots. The stock fans look cheap, but the heat dissipation capability overcomes this con. The fan is noisy due to the amount of flow it has to deal with to dissipate 130W of heat load. The height is 59mm, including the screws used to install the fan.
The package comes with an installation kit containing high-quality thermal paste. The 120mm fan has a unique design. The fan profile changes right in the middle along the length of the blade. The mounting mechanism helps installation easier for new builders. This cooler is the best in the class under 60mm.
Our list of reviewed products contains low profile coolers and outstanding fan technology in terms of noise. At the same time, some products have a higher profile with low noise. It is not easy to declare the best low profile CPU cooler from the bunch. It’s utterly dependent on the user requirement. The user can go for four DIMM slot based motherboards and compromise the two DIMM slots for a better cooler or go for two DIMM slot based motherboards that can house a giant CPU cooler. If the user has a higher TDP processor, then one will have to compromise on the noise as a smaller heat sink with the low flow will cause your processor to reach temperatures above 80C. Users can also decide based on price/performance or aesthetics. Some offer RGB with control, while there are products with no RGB. As a general rule, smaller enclosures have smaller TDP processors as they are built for functionality. Therefore we recommend going for a premium product low profile with LNA in the box. If you have a bit of room, then go for a higher profile but better TDP cooler. We hope you will get for what you pay.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best low profile CPU cooler?
Noctua NH-L9x65 can be named as the best low profile CPU cooler. Many factors make it the best choice for a low profile. The heat that it dissipates within the dimensions it has is remarkable. The heatsink has been designed with aesthetics in mind, and the performance with LNA does not significantly affect the TDP.
What is the quietest CPU cooler?
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 is not only the most premium looking CPU cooler. Using the LNA reduces the noise to a pin drop silence level. You can barely hear the noise outside your chassis. The material used is also of premium quality, and heat transfer properties are excellent for productive work. The low profile with efficient utilization of size makes it an ideal choice for work.
What is the best cooling for a CPU?
Air cooling is the most preferred form of cooling in modern PC builds. The air-cooled heat sinks have minimum moving objects, which allow the least energy to operate. MasterAir G100M is one of the excellent examples of quality with aesthetics. The 130W TDP is a high enough capacity for any modern processor running on stock speeds.
Is liquid cooling quieter than fans?
Liquid cooling is based on moving liquid using a pump and dissipating the heat using a radiator. The radiator dissipated heat using air blown by a set of fans. The bigger the radiator lowers the noise, but it takes up a lot of energy and space inside the chassis. Coolers like the Cryorig C7-47mm run on low noise and consume less power with minimum equipment. If you are not overclocking, consider an air-cooled solution.
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