We’ve seen this a lot of times that when it comes to buying computer casing and coolers, mostly, users buy the most expensive product randomly without knowing its specs and performance. That might work something but not every time because mostly some hardware is not compatible with others, and you have to make sure that they fit best with each other. There are hundreds of CPU coolers out there in the market, but a few only are specific for compact builds. We’ve picked the best low profile CPU coolers that offer the best performance as well as aesthetics.
Before looking at the list, I would like to tell you a few things that you need to consider before buying the best CPU cooler for you. Low profile or compact coolers don’t support overclocking and make sure you don’t have any plan to do in the future. Also, these coolers don’t recommend high TDP processors as the maximum TDP these coolers can support is 130W. And don’t waste too much money on expensive coolers as they will not give you more performance but only aesthetics and RGB lights. So, without doing any further ado, let’s check out the list.
List of 8 Best low Profile CPU Coolers
We have seen several coolers in the market by Noctua, but most of them are bulky and large, so there we’ve picked a compact cooler by this company. On the top of our list, we got the Noctua L9i, which is the best small cooler on the list, and I’m talking about a practically compact design. The height of this cooler is roughly 37mm, while its weight is only 420g, which is impressive. Taking care of ITX motherboards, the company made it as small as possible as its size doesn’t exceed a hundred millimeters in length and width. Just for an idea, this cooler has 37m in height from which there is a 14mm fan on the top, which makes it the compact cooler in this list.
Fitting this cooler in your PC is not a big deal as it takes much time to describe how to fix it, and in less time, you can install it. For small builds, you first have to install this cooler on your motherboard before mounting the board in the casing. This cooler has two aluminum pipes along with the heatsink, which provides decent cooling. The multi finned aluminum array on this heat sink allows you to install any processor with a TDP of 65W or less, but make sure that you are not going above that. Even you will not be able to run older processors like the I7 3770k with this cooler, which has a TDP of 75W.
Noctua NH-L9i is no doubt a great addition to the compact coolers list, but this one is not recommended for budget builds. The price of this cooler is a bit high as compared to other competitors in the market, and I would say a cost cut down would be much better. The compatibility of this cooler is good with the AM4 socket processors, but for Intel, it is limited with very few sockets. Those who got a CPU with a TDP higher than 65W might find this cooler unusable because it can’t handle that processor. Under high loads, the temperature of this cooler goes high, but the good thing is it doesn’t go loud like other coolers. Overall we can say it’s a good CPU cooler for the TDP we have mentioned.
|Cooler Model||Noctua NH-L9i|
|Socket||LGA 1151, AM4|
|Material||Copper, Aluminum, Plastic|
|Fans||1x on top|
Cooler Master is one of the well-known brands in CPU coolers and cases as they are manufacturing these products for a couple of years. There we got something unique and attractive for Compact builds from this company, and I’m sure you will never skip this option. The Master Air G100M comes in a UFO-like shape, which makes it unique from other coolers in the market, and it’s a compact cooler practically. Not sure if Cooler Master took the idea and design of this cooler from some Sci-Fi Alien movie, but that’s something unusual, they did. Along with its design, the company also made it best for the performance so users can consider it without having any problem.
Master Air G100M is compatible with most of the Intel and AMD sockets out of the box, but for thread rippers, this one doesn’t have proper mounting equipment. The Master G100M comes with a 90mm diameter fan from the Cooler master, which has RGB lights on the bottom. The fan RGB lights support six different effects and various RGB effects, and you need a 4-Pin fan header on the motherboard to connect it. You might already listen about the Cooler Master’s new Heat Column Technology, which consists of 45mm of copper columns. These columns dissipate the heat on the aluminum fin array, which allows better cooling than ordinary coolers.
There we have the compact coolers for ITX builds, which you know are suitable for a small form factor PC and light in weight. The main thing I found with this cooler is it’s a bit bulky and substantial but still suitable for small builds as the lower part of it doesn’t take much space. If you own an entry-level processor, then it’s okay; otherwise, it can’t handle mid-range or high-end processors. The fans of this cooler go loud when running on high loads, and that seems annoying. Those who are non-techies may find the installation of this cooler bit difficult. Also, if you consider overclocking, I would not recommend this cooler because it can’t handle much heat.
|Cooler Model||Master Air G100M|
|Socket||LGA 1151, AM4|
|Material||Heat columns, Aluminum|
|Fans||1x on top|
be Quiet! Never disappointed their users as their products give the best value for their price, and I like the build quality of their products the most. The next on our list of Best low-profile Cooler is the Shadow Rock LP from being Quiet! Which is another top-notch cooler of this company? I was not expecting much performance from this cooler, but this one impressed me with its excellent performance with 130W TDP processors. The height of this cooler is roughly 75mm, and it’s one of the tallest and features-rich mini ITX CPU coolers on this list. So, let’s check what’s good and bad in this cooler, and you need to buy it for your compact build.
Out of the box, you will find the cooler itself, a fan bundled, and some mounting gears with some manuals which will help you in installing it on your PC. The compatibility of this cooler is impressive, and you can install it on every Intel or AMD socket except a few ones like TR4, etc. Also, previously we’ve seen some coolers that even don’t support processors with a TDP of 100W, but this one got an advantage, and you can use a 130W TDP processor with this cooler. The size of this cooler is a bit large, and for some motherboards, you might need low profile memory modules; otherwise, it’s going to conflict with them.
When we see the design and dimensions of this cooler, this one doesn’t look like compact like other coolers in the market. For those users who like to overclock their processors, I wouldn’t recommend this cooler because it will not be able to manage that. The default orientation of this cooler might block the memory module, as I’ve mentioned before, so you need to change its orientation. However, it’s not mentioned in the manual how to change the orientation. Some users might find it hard to install the fan clips on the cooler. Installation of this cooler seems a hard process, and I would say it can be much easier than it is now.
|Cooler Model||be quiet! Shadow Rock LP|
|Socket||LGA 115x, AMx|
|Fans||1x on top|
I’m sure most of you haven’t listened about this company before, but CRYORIG has expanded them by releasing some lineups of CPU coolers and made their reputation in this industry. From design to performance, I found the Cryorig C7 one of the best low profile CPU coolers, and that’s the reason for including it in our list. One thing that impressed me about their products is they try to bring something new with every product, and with this cooler, you will get aesthetics as well as performance without paying premium prices at all. While buying computer cases and coolers, it is a bit hard to get the best aesthetics and cooling products, but for this, that’s not the case.
This CPU cooler is about 47mm in height and 97mm in length and width, and of course, it’s not the smallest cooler on this list. The thing that gives it an advantage over other coolers is its small size, and it supports 100W TDP processors that compact build users may like. Though with this TDP support, I would not say you can overclock with this cooler, it’s the right choice if you want to replace the stock Intel cooler. Also, for this replacement, you don’t have to pay very high prices as this one is very cheap and built for budget and entry-level builds.
The bad thing I found in this cooler is its socket support as it is not compatible with AMD processors, and for Intel, it supports very limited sockets. The TDP of this cooler is limited to 100W only and doesn’t go above this level; otherwise, you might face some serious problems with it. The packaging of this cooler is minimal, and it doesn’t provide any protection to the metal body, and that seems terrible to me as there are chances that the product might get damaged while shipping. The top fan of these coolers goes a bit loud when your processor is running on high loads.
|Cooler Model||Cryorig C7|
|Fans||1x on top|
|Max TDP||100 W|
Scythe got an excellent reputation in the computer coolers brand and other products, and they’ve released some of the best cooler series in the past few years. There we got the Scythe Big Shuriken 3, which is the best low-profile CPU cooler for small form factor computers, and the company claims that this cooler doesn’t interfere with the components and memory modules on the PC. The previous cooler from this cooler was a great edition, and it’s the redesigned version of it and offers better performance and aesthetics. As the last entry in this series, this one is also compatible with the Intel LGA 115x and AM4 sockets released.
Scythe Big Shuriken 3 is a bit large, but the good thing I found with this cooler is the company made it in such a way that the fan goes above the DIMMs and provides cooling to the processor and memory modules. It comes in a black and grey color scheme that offers excellent aesthetics, and the missing RGB lights might be appealing for some users. Also, this cooler works on a minimal noise level even under high loads, and its temperature doesn’t go much high if you are using some entry-level processor. Also, I’ve seen that Scythe also worked well on the build quality of this cooler.
This is one of the best coolers in the market if you consider simple looks with excellent performance, but there are some terrible things, I’ve noticed too in it. The missing RGB lights of this cooler might be appealing, but some users might find it wrong because most users like to have RGB products. We’ve tested this cooler while overclocking, but it doesn’t give us excellent performance in the tests. In some motherboards, this cooler might conflict with the memory modules and expansion slots, but in most of the case, it is compatible with most of the boards.
|Cooler Model||Scythe Big Shuriken 3|
|Fans||1x on top|
The Intel stock cooler is not that good, and I don’t like the execution of that cooler, especially when you have to overclock the processor. So, some aftermarket models from Noctua and other brands offer excellent alternatives to the stock cooler at a very affordable price. If you prefer aesthetics, this company is not for you because most of their coolers come in a brown theme color scheme, but there are some other choices too like some variants are available in black, etc. The good thing to consider in this cooler is its performance over the stock one because it gives decent performance for low-rated TDP processors.
The looks of this cooler are straightforward, but its performance is going to impress you as for its small size, it can easily handle processors of TDP of 130W. The operation of this cooler is done at a minimal noise level, and you are not going to listen to fans’ noise from it. The excellent thing about Noctua coolers is the build quality as the company did the best with the product quality and offers the best performance. Also, the installation of this cooler is too easy, and it’s not going to take more than a minute to install. The socket compatibility of this cooler is also excellent, and you can easily mount it on LGA 1151 and AM4 sockets.
This cooler is a bit large, and in a real sense, this one is not the smallest CPU cooler in this list as there are some other low options too listed. In some ITX motherboards, this might conflict with the expansion slots and the DIMMs, and you will not be able to use it. I’ve also reviewed the original Noctua NH-L12 and found that one an excellent choice over this one and recommend you to get that one. Some users found the brown color theme of this cooler good, but most of the users don’t like this color scheme, but that’s everyone’s personal opinion.
|Cooler Model||Noctua NH-L12S|
|Socket||LGA 1151 AM4|
|Fans||1x under heatsink|
I’ve already reviewed two Noctua coolers in this list and got the third one from them and found it better than other options in the low profile am4 cooler catalog, so I’ve decided to include it in this list. The height of this cooler is 65mm and it’s compact in design, which makes it the best cooler that supports 130W TDP in this list. Previously we’ve seen coolers with a height of 75mm that supports this TDP, but this one comes with a height of 65mm. The heatsink of this cooler comes in black or silver color while the top fan comes in a brown color theme, which some users don’t like, but that’s everyone’s personal opinion.
The width and length of this cooler are roughly 95mm, and it doesn’t conflict with the expansion slots and memory modules as it is designed in such a way. The material used in the heatsink is copper and aluminum fins array, while it has two pipes that connect the bottom end with the top side for better heat dissipation. One thing that I would like to mention there is this cooler is only compatible with the AM4 socket, but there is a different version for the Intel processors. The build quality of this cooler is good enough, and it comes in well packaging.
Noctua did a great job with this cooler and made this the right choice for AMD owners who are willing to make a compact PC. Noctua did a very niche-specific job with this cooler, and it will be much better if the same cooler supports both of the sockets. The performance of this cooler is excellent, but its performance is not the same as the other competitors on this list. The brown color theme of this cooler might not look appealing to all of the users as some users like that while some don’t. Overall, I would say it’s the best low-profile CPU coolers if you prefer performance with a cooler packed in a small size.
|Cooler Model||Noctua NH-L9x65|
|Fans||1x on the top|
|Max TDP||130W TDP|
There we got another Cooler Master choice on our list, and we are ending this with Cooler Master I70C, which offers excellent performance as well as looks. The company did well while manufacturing this cooler as it comes with a single heatsink that is responsible for most of the heat transfer. We’ve seen that most CPU coolers transfer heat with the heatsink pipes, but this one has a heatsink with flattened fin arrays that give maximum heat dissipation. This CPU cooler is 60 mm tall and fits best in the compact cooler category. Also, this size includes the heatsink with fan size, while the only heatsink is much smaller than this.
Cooler Master I70C got a practically compact design that offers decent performance for a meager price. This cooler provides excellent cooling performance, but only if you own a low or entry-level processor. This cooler runs at a shallow temperature, and with 2600k, which max outs at 98C, this one can take it to 80C at full load, and you are not going to see noisy fans on high loads. The height of this cooler is 60mm, and it is designed in such a way that it doesn’t conflict with the other components on the motherboard and memory modules.
Cooler Master I70C is no doubt a great cooler in this series, and the company did best with this piece of the product, but there I found something terrible with it. The performance of this cooler is not that good if you consider overclocking with it, and also, its temperature goes high if you are using a high-end processor with it. The socket compatibility of this cooler is also not that good as it is compatible with a few Intel sockets only. We did a test with this cooler and got the Intel i7 2600k. It wasn’t able to manage to run it at the high clocks.
|Cooler Model||Cooler Master I70C|
|Fans||1x on top|
When it comes to buying a computer cooler, most of the users there just go to the shopping websites and buy random pieces of products for their builds. That’s not an excellent way to buy the coolers as every hardware is compatible with some other, and you have to make sure that fits best with each other to get the full performance out of them. There we’ve listed the best low-profile CPU cooler, which offers excellent performance for their price as well as aesthetics but packed in small size. The best cooler you can get is to be Quiet! Shadow Rock LP offers excellent performance for their price.
Those users who are looking for something unique can go with the Cooler Master – Master Air G100M, which comes in a UFO-like shape and offers the best performance for their price. There are also some other choices too listed there which you can consider for this processor. The thing you need to know about these coolers is they can’t support much overclocking even if your processor supports it. Also, don’t spend much money on these coolers as they are not going to give you more performance for that additional price, but the only thing they offer is aesthetics.