Best Low Profile CPU Coolers – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

by May 24, 2018

We rated, reviewed, & compared the best low profile CPU coolers across various budgets. These coolers are perfect for a Compact Mini-ITX build.

Best Low Profile CPU Cooler

 NameFan SizeCPU Cooler Height 
best low profile slim cpu coolerNoctua NH L12120mm66 mm

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best low profile coolerCyrorig C792mm47mm

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best mini itx cpu coolerBe Quiet’s Shadow Rock LP120mm75mm

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Noctua NH L12

best low profile slim cpu cooler

What We Loved

  • Variable Height
  • Efficient cooling

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Quite big in size

Cyrorig C7

best low profile cooler

What We Loved

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Good cooling performance
  • Only 47mm in height

What We Didn’t Like

  • None

Be Quiet’s Shadow Rock LP

best mini itx cpu cooler

What We Loved

  • Flexible mounting orientation
  • Extremely quiet
  • Budget friendly

What We Didn’t Like

  • Overhangs DIMM slots in its default orientation

There aren’t many low profile CPU coolers in the market and only a few of them provide efficient cooling. Doesn’t matter if you are looking for a low profile cooler for Mini-ITX build or an HTPC, These coolers will provide you with the best performance while maintaining great value for money.

Intel CPU comes with their stock cooler, which as we know doesn’t perform well but a good side of it is it’s small size, It easy to make space for an Intel’s stock fan in small pc cases. This is where low profile CPU coolers come into play. Most of them consume just as much space as a stock cooler. Therefore they are very space efficient.

This list has been aligned after intensive research and testing by our experts. So, Let’s EXPLORE IT.

Finding The Right Low Profile CPU Cooler

Several factors have been accounted while making this list; Major ones being – Cooling Efficiency, Cooler Height and Heatsink height.

Cooling Effeciency

Low Profile CPU Coolers basically refer to small CPU coolers. Due to their smaller size, Cooling efficiency might suffer. Therefore it is an important factor to consider.

In order for a CPU cooler to work efficiently, It is important that your computer case has an optimal air pressure. If you are not sure what is it, Here is a quick summary.

Basically, There are two types of air pressure inside a computer case.

  • Positive Air Pressure
  • Negative Air Pressure

Too much of any can lead to a disaster, It is important to maintain a balance between both. You can read how it’s done here.

Once you have an optimal case pressure, the efficiency of the CPU cooler will enhance immensely. While talking about low profile CPU coolers, It can be challenging to achieve efficiency.

To understand this we first need to know how does a heatsink work. With low profile coolers, we not only have to deal with small sized heatsinks but also fans, These fans can sometimes be incapable to provide the required performance. Though these fans are easily replaceable but it’s better to just buy an efficient cooler which is capable of providing the required the performance that we require.

Cooler Height

The reason for taking this factor into account is quite obvious. Low profile coolers are expected to be slim and using this factor we made sure, We only let slimmest coolers pass through.
Heatsink height

Why bother about heatsink height if the cooler height has already been considering?

This is an interesting one.

Fans of these CPU coolers are easily replaceable and can be replaced with a slimmer fan. Some of the heatsinks are slimmer than others, By using the low profile heatsink with a slim fan, You can achieve the slimmest CPU cooler.