Eight Low-Profile CPU Coolers For Your Compact PC, Reviewed

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lowguppy

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It is really nice to see a low profile round up when a year ago it was hard to find low profile coolers at all. I have to ask though, were these tested on an open bench or in an enclosure? I think to really judge them you have to put them in a box. Maybe not that silly ASRock chassis, but something a like a BitFenix.

Also, every mini-ITX motherboard is a little different. It would take some work, but it would be nice to see coolers cross referenced with different motherboards for compatibility. Just reading reviews it is pretty common to find one or two "Didn't fit my board" comments while other reviewers found the coolers to fit perfectly.
 

GoliathPtXs

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i feel that only a few of them ( like 3 or 4 ) are really low profile coolers, rest are just normal size, bearing in mind that the big ones are labeled as tower coolers...
 

AJSB

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Those things are WAY TOO BIG for really compact mITX systems....

I'm using one from Titan that is really small: 107x70x12.5mm (official dimensions are incorrect) for the skived copper heatsink and can use 60mm or 70mm fans...i'm using a Titan fan that is 70x70x10.

Really compact....check my build at www overclock net:D

I i will add soon more pics and you will see something that is really small.
 

toms asked the vendors. may be coolermaster chose not to participate or didn't meet the set conditions. 8 vendors sent their samples according to the article.
 

RedJaron

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I agree, these need to be tested in a tight case, preferably one where the low height is needed ( so no Prodigy, no HAF XB since those can fit normal tower coolers. ) The numbers here show what they can do in a normal ATX case, and that's a valid as some people don't like the torque of a 1kg sink hanging off their CPU. But since you were specifically asking for low-profile clearance for something like the Tiki and M8, these coolers need to be tested in that type of environment.

Guppy is right, you can't test every case and mboard combo, but if you could somehow finagle a run of three common boards and cases, it'd be very appreciated.
 

noob2222

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If tested outside the case will change the results dratically if the heatsink is next to the lid and no exhaust holes directly above it. The shrouded fans will be struggling to get any air flow into it. This is where the silverstone, zalman, and silenx will be better.

Ths silverstone may even pull ahead since it has the lowest mounted fan in the group, the air wil still be pulled through the heatsnink. the zalman should be able to pull some air from the sides if mounted next to the lid.

the 92mm fan on the silenx is its major flaw.
 


As an NH-D14 owner, I can't agree more. But the fan cowling color is not "pink". It's more of a very light pale beige... almost skin colored (typical non-tanned white person's skin). I honestly don't think Noctua could have chosen a more ugly color combo. Seriously. I took mine apart and painted it with matte (flat) black model paint (cowling, fans) and it looks awesome...disappears into the case if you will and doesn't look so obnoxious.

 

buzznut

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This is great, seems like a pretty good lineup. Not sure I would have included the Noctua, although the cooling results are significant I suppose. I have a couple of mini itx builds in my future, so this is very handy.
 

slomo4sho

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Definitely not pink :)



The word was that there would be black versions of the fans but there has been no official release date yet...




Then again, there is also these yellow ones...



 

Crashman

Polypheme
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And here I thought we'd be getting "stuck" :p

It's the reality of living in the USA. Furniture is measured in inches, so you pick a case to fit it in inches, and that leads to cooler height in inches. Fan frames have been standardized in millimeters, as have system temperatures. And if you give most US citizens a cooler weight in grams, they'll need a slide rule to figure out what that means.

 


Yeah, it's a shame. I would have loved to see it up there in the charts.

Cheers!
 
Excellent article.

The ITX board used in the review is atypical with its CPU layout, though. Most ITX board place the CPU right next to the PCIe. It would be nice if the review included a measurement of how far each heatsink extends beyond the Intel "square" that is drawn on the PCB to see if they would block the PCIe slot on a traditional ITX board.
 
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