Low Profile CPU Coolers

Introduction

Generally, low profile coolers: Have a low profile design,   Are made to work with small cases, Are usually manufactured by smaller companies or un-established brands.

The Thermal Design Power (TDP) must be lower than 95W. The heatsink’s total height must be less than 125mm, or the width of the fan(s) must be smaller than 25mm.

If you’re building an HTPC, media center PC, compact computer, or mini-ITX (a form factor in the size range of 6.7″-17.0″ x 6.7″ – 17.0″) you need low profile coolers to fit into smaller cases with limited space, without sacrificing performance and cooling properties.

Low profile CPU heatsinks: Have a low profile design, Are made to work with small cases, Are usually manufactured by smaller companies or un-established brands.

You don’t necessarily have to sacrifice the cooling properties of your CPU when you use a low-profile cooler. There are several HSF (heatsink fan) models that can be installed instead of an Intel or AMD stock cooler.  Motherboard chipsets and OEMs have made it possible to fit a powerful motherboard and CPU cooler in very small cases.

A CPU cooler is a device used to remove the heat generated by computer components and keep it in thermal equilibrium. It is usually placed over the CPU surface (heat sink contact). A fan may be used to move air through a case (passive cooling), or across an air-cooled heat sink (active cooling). A heatsink’s primary function is to conduct heat away from its source, which in most cases is the CPU. A heatsink usually consists of a metal or ceramic base with bumps, fins, and/or protuberances to increase its surface area; heat is transferred by conduction from the source through these surfaces to the air flowing past it, carrying it away.

A fan requires more space than a heatsink but is able to provide additional cooling capacity. It works by drawing cooler air into the heatsink cavity through an input opening, usually in the center of the fan or at its side, and exhausting warmer air out through an output opening on the other side or at the back. A thermal compound is used to improve heat transfer between a heatsink base and CPU surface. Thermal interface material (TIM) is used between the heat-spreader on the CPU and the heatsink.

For overclockers, we’ve created a list of CPU coolers to help you choose the best low-profile CPU cooler. Before going to the list we have some buying tips for the best low-profile CPU Coolers.

Tips Before Purchasing

Base Height:

The height of the actual CPU contact surface. The lower the better, but also depends on your motherboard/ram slots. The Mini ITX CPU Cooler is the best low-profile CPU cooler.

TDP:

Thermal design power or TDP is a representation of the maximum amount of heat generated by a computer chip for a computer system. This number can be used in conjunction with the cooling system specifications, such as the thermal resistance (inverse of thermal conductivity) to determine the maximum amount of heat that a particular computer chip can dissipate.

Socket: 

LGA 775 is the oldest socket that still has low profile CPU Coolers. LGA 1156, AM3/AM2+/AM2 are the most common sockets for low profile CPU coolers due to their popularity. AM4 is a low-profile socket but it has a higher TDP.

Aesthetics:

A good-looking cooler can add a nice touch to your small case, but is less important than the other factors.

Let’s Dive into the list of the best low profile CPU Coolers.

Best Graphics Cards:

The Best Low Profile CPU Coolers You Can Purchase Today!

Noctua NH-L9a-AM4

Noctua-NH-L9a-AM4
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 (Image credit: Amazon)

Best High-End Low Profile CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 1.45 x 4.48 x 3.62 inches – Base Height: 1.45 inches – Weight: 1.02 pounds – Fans: One – Socket Support: AM4 – Warranty: 6 Years

Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 is the top best low profile CPU Cooler because it has a very low profile. The heatsink base is only 1.45 inches high, which makes it one of the best low profile CPU coolers. This CPU cooler has a total weight of 1.02 pounds and measures 1.45 x 4.48 x 3.62 inches.  It is becoming more popular due to its low-profile design and affordable price. This CPU cooler is powered by one 60mm fan that can rotate at speeds ranging from 300 to 1200 RPM. This fan has an ultra-thin profile of only 1.2 mm and can deliver excellent airflow with minimal noise.

It is compatible with the most recent AMD processors, including socket AM4 Ryzen, Athlon X4 950, A-Series, and E-Series APUs. It is the best low-profile CPU cooler for AM4 sockets with its small size and affordable price.

The Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 is a compact cooler designed for small form factor systems. With its total height of only 37mm, the NH-L9a-AM4 is the ideal choice for mini ITX builds. A highly compact heatsink with heat pipe direct touch (HDT) technology allows for efficiently coupling the heat generated by the CPU to the radiator. Thanks to Noctua’s time-tested SSO-Bearing, the NH-L9a-AM4 runs whisper-quiet while offering long-term dependable operation.

Topped off with the pro-grade SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting system, Noctua’s proven NT-H1 thermal compound, and a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-L9a-AM4 forms a complete premium-quality solution that combines outstanding performance and superb acoustics for mini ITX builds.

Pros
  • Easy to mount
  • Excellent size/cooling capacity
  • Extraordinary low 37mm profile
Cons
  • AM4 socket only
  • Odd color theme

Cryorig C7-47mm

Cryorig C7-47mm (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Premium Low Profile CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 1.85 x 3.82 x 3.82 inches – Base Height: 1.85 inches – Weight: 0.78 Pounds – Fans: One – Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 – Warranty: 5 Years

Cryorig C7-47mm is the second-best low-profile CPU Cooler. It is extremely light and small, making it one of the best choices for a compact build. The heatsink base is only 1.85 inches high, which makes it one of the best low profile CPU coolers. This CPU cooler has a total weight of 0.78 pounds and measures 1.85 x 3.82 x 3.82 inches.

It is a small form factor heatsink with a sleek design to fit in small cases and systems such as micro ATX and mini ITX builds. This CPU cooler is powered by a 120mm fan that can rotate at speeds ranging from 500 to 1500 RPM. The C7-47mm heatsink has a total height of only 40 mm, which will allow you to fit this on almost any low-profile case or motherboard available.

The Cryorig C7-47mm heatsink consists of a copper base and aluminum fins. The cooler comes with a single tower-type fan that ranges from 600 to 1500 RPM and can move up to 70 CFM of air.

This all-aluminum heatsink is compatible with both LGA115x and AM4 sockets and comes with a 5-year warranty.

This CPU cooler is compatible with the most recent AMD processors, including AM4 Ryzen, Athlon X4 950, A-Series, E-Series APUs. This CPU cooler gets a little warm which is why it’s the second-best low-profile CPU Cooler.

Pros
  • Visually pleasing
  • 100W TDP with low-profile
  • Upclose chassis compatible
Cons
  • No fan replacement
  • Limited socket support

Cooler Master MasterAir G200P

Cooler Master-G200P
Cooler Master MasterAir G200P (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Overall Low Profile CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.6 x 1.6 inches – Base Height: 3.6 inches – Weight: 1.15 pounds – Fans: One – Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 – Warranty: 2 Years

Cooler Master MasterAir G200P  is the third-best low-profile CPU Cooler. It is extremely light and small, making it one of the best choices for a compact build. The heatsink base is only 3.7 inches high, which makes it one of the best low profile CPU coolers. This CPU cooler has a total weight of 1.15 pounds and measures 3.6 x 3.6 x 1.6 inches.

It is a small form factor heatsink with a sleek design to fit in small cases and systems such as micro ATX and mini ITX builds. This CPU cooler is powered by a 120mm fan that can rotate at speeds ranging from 1000 to 2000 RPM. The G200P heatsink has a total height of 1.6 inches, which will allow you to fit this on almost any low-profile case or motherboard available.

The G200P heatsink consists of a copper base and aluminum fins. The cooler comes with a single tower-type fan that ranges from 1000 to 2000 RPM and can move up to 80 CFM of air.

This all-aluminum heatsink is compatible with both LGA115x and AM4 sockets and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Thermal paste included
Cons
  • No RGB Sync
  • Small warranty

Noctua NH-L9i

Noctua NH-L9i (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Flagship Low Profile CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 3.74 x 1.45 x 3.74 inches – Base Height: 1.45 inches – Weight: 0.76 pounds – Fans: One – Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 – Warranty: 6 Years

Noctua NH-L9i is the best low-profile CPU Cooler. It is extremely light and small, making it one of the best choices for a compact build. The heatsink base is only 3.74 inches high, which makes it one of the best low profile CPU coolers. This CPU cooler has a total weight of 0.76 pounds and measures 3.74 x 1.45 x 3.74 inches.

It is a small form factor heatsink with a sleek design to fit in small cases and systems such as micro ATX and mini ITX builds. This CPU cooler is powered by a 92mm fan that can rotate at speeds ranging from 600 to 2000 RPM. The NH-L9i heatsink has a total height of only 40 mm, which will allow you to fit this on almost any low-profile case or motherboard available.

The Noctua NH-L9i consists of a copper base and aluminum fins. The cooler comes with one tower-type fan that rotates between 600 and 2000 RPM and can move up to 42 CFM of air. This all-aluminum heatsink is compatible with both LGA115x and AM4 sockets and comes with a 6-year warranty.

Pros
  • Ultra-low profile
  • 14.8dbA with LNA
  • Premium grade fan
Cons
  • Low TDP
  • Beige-brown color

SilverStone NT08-115XP

SilverStone-NT08-115XP
SilverStone NT08-115XP (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Budget Low Profile CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 3.98 x 1.34 x 3.98 inches – Base Height: 6.81 inches – Weight: 4.58 pounds – Fans: Two – Socket Support: LGA1200, LGA1151, LGA1156, LGA1150, LGA1155 – Warranty: 6 Years

SilverStone NT08-115XP is the fourth-best low-profile CPU Cooler. It is extremely light and small, making it one of the best choices for a compact build. The heatsink base is only 3.98 inches high, which makes it one of the best low profile CPU coolers. This CPU cooler has a total weight of 4.58 pounds and measures 3.98 x 1.34 x 3.98 inches.

It is a small form factor heatsink with a sleek design to fit in small cases and systems such as micro ATX and mini ITX builds. This CPU cooler is powered by two 92mm fans that can rotate at speeds ranging from 600 to 2000 RPM. The NT08-115XP heatsink has a total height of 7.81 inches which will allow you to fit this on almost any motherboard available.

The NT08-115XP heatsink consists of a copper base and aluminum fins. The cooler comes with two tower-type fans that rotate between 600 and 2000 RPM and can move up to 54 CFM of air. This all-aluminum heatsink is compatible with both LGA115x and AM4 sockets and comes with a 6-year warranty.

Silver stone NT08 is the best choice for your compact build if you are looking for a low-profile CPU cooler.

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Small 1.34” Height
  • Intel stock cooler replacement
Cons
  • No RGB
  • No overclocking

Cooler Master MasterAir G100M

Cooler-Master-G100M
Cooler Master MasterAir G100M (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Enthusiast Low Profile CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 5.7 x 5.7 x 2.9 inches – Base Height: 2.9 inches – Weight: 0.8 pounds – Fans: One – Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 – Warranty: 2 Years

The Cooler Master MasterAir G100M is the third-best low-profile CPU Cooler. It is extremely light and small, making it one of the best choices for a compact build. The heatsink base is only 2.9 inches high, which makes it one of the best low profile CPU coolers. This CPU cooler has a total weight of 0.8 pounds and measures 5.7 x 5.7 x 2.9 inches.

It is a small form factor heatsink with a sleek design to fit in small cases and systems such as micro ATX and mini ITX builds. This CPU cooler is powered by a single 92mm fan that can rotate at speeds ranging from 300 to 1100 RPM. The G100M heatsink has a total height of only 2.9 inches which will allow you to fit this on almost any motherboard available.

The MasterAir G100M consists of a copper base and aluminum fins. The cooler comes with one tower-type fan that rotates between 300 and 1100 RPM and can move up to 33 CFM of air. This all-aluminum heatsink is compatible with both LGA115x and AM4 sockets and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Pros
  • Unique heat column design
  • OC potential with 130W TDP
  • RGB control with UFO design
Cons
  • 30dbA noise level
  • Tedious installation

Noctua NH-L9x65

Noctua-NH-L9x65
Noctua NH-L9x65 (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Mid-Range Low Profile CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 12.6 x 5.51 x 1.18 inches – Base Height: 2.5 inches – Weight: 2.16 pounds – Fan: Two – Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 – Warranty: 5 Years

Noctua NH-L9x65 is the second last best low-profile CPU Cooler. The heatsink base is only 2.5 inches high, which makes it one of the best low profile CPU coolers. This CPU cooler has a total weight of 2.16 pounds and measures 12.6 x 5.51 x 1.18 inches.

It is a small form factor heatsink with a sleek design to fit in small cases and systems such as micro ATX and mini ITX builds. This CPU cooler is powered by two 92mm fans that can rotate at speeds ranging from 600 to 2500 RPM. The NH-L9x65 heatsink has a total height of 7.11 inches which will allow you to fit this on almost any motherboard available.

The NH-L9x65 consists of a copper base and aluminum fins. The cooler comes with two tower-type fans that rotate between 600 and 2500 RPM and can move up to 82 CFM of air. This all-aluminum heatsink is compatible with both LGA115x and AM4 sockets and comes with a 5-year warranty.

Pros
  • Noctua NF-A9x14 fan
  • High-end material quality
  • 100% RAM and PCIe clearance
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No overclocking potential

ID-COOLING IS-60

ID-COOLING-IS-60
ID-COOLING IS-60 (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Looking Low Profile CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 18.66 x 5.75 x 7.28 inches – Base Height: 2.5 inches – Weight: 5.34 pounds – Fans: Three – Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 – Warranty: 5 Years

ID-COOLING IS-60 is the last best low-profile CPU Cooler. The heatsink base is only 2.5 inches high, which makes it one of the best low profile CPU coolers. This CPU cooler has a total weight of 5.34 pounds and measures 18.66 x 5.75 x 7.28 inches.

It is a big form factor heatsink with a sleek design to fit in large cases and systems such as micro, ATX, EATX, etc. This CPU cooler is powered by three 120mm fans that can rotate at speeds ranging from 400 to 1400 RPM. The IS-60 heatsink has a total height of 6.1 inches which will allow you to fit this on almost any motherboard available. The IS-60 consists of a copper base and aluminum fins. The cooler comes with three tower-type fans that rotate between 400 and 1400 RPM and can move up to 57 CFM of air. This all-aluminum heatsink is compatible with both LGA115x and AM4 sockets and comes with a 5-year warranty.

Pros
  • Premium material
  • 130W OC capable TDP
  • 120mm standard fan size
Cons
  • No RGB Lightning
  • No direct contact Heatpipe

Conclusion

CPU coolers are an important component of your computer’s cooling system. They keep the CPU cool, ensuring that it lasts longer and does not overheat. The CPU gets heated as a result of the electricity flowing through it. When we increase the amount of work on the CPU, the cooling fan speed will also rise, keeping it cool. Most users are worried about noise when using their personal computers.

We’ve shown some highly low-noise, small-footprint CPU coolers that keep the temperatures in check. It’s very tough to create something like this in a tiny area with room for overclocking CPUs. We’ve included some unusual UFO-like designs that are not only appealing but also use complex two-phase phenomena with copper particles to enhance heat transfer efficiency while still leaving adequate space for overclocking high-end CPUs. We hope you find the best low profile CPU cooler for overclocking among our selections.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal low-profile CPU cooler?

The best low profile CPU cooler with a 183w TDP is the MasterAir G100M from Cooler Master. It’s sleek and has RGB illumination. The features are well-balanced overall. This CPU cooler will be a fantastic option for any SFF case with a transparent panel since it is the greatest low profile am4 CPU cooler.

What is the quietest CPU cooler that I can buy?

The Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 is the quietest CPU cooler with only 14.8dbA of noise when LNA is connected. You can remove heat from your CPU while keeping temperatures stable by using this heatsink. It’s ideal for computing on the 7nm Ryzen processors, which are in great demand. They may be run at their clock frequencies effectively using this heatsink. The material and manufacturing quality are exceptional.

What is the best type of cooling for a CPU?

The finest cooler for a CPU, according to the user’s need, is an air-based ID-COOLING IS-60 cooler. It has few moving components and a solid warranty to back its quality. It also has decent overclocking headroom for both Intel and AMD processors with 130W TDP.

Is it true that liquid cooling is quieter than fans?

In general, liquid cooling is considerably quieter than air-based coolers with fans. Consider the case of a typical air cooler, such as the SilverStone NT08-115XP. It has a low TDP and is designed to remove power at base clock frequencies. Although it has a small surface area, the liquid cooler features radiators with a huge surface area that allows for improved heat transfer efficiency and quieter operation with fans operating at reduced speeds on the radiator.

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