The 9 Best Low Profile CPU Coolers 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide

The 9 Best Low Profile CPU Coolers 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide



Whether you are using a compact mini ITX case for your computer or using large and tall RAM sticks on your motherboard, you will likely face clearance issues with your CPU cooler especially if you are using an air cooler.

To prevent such issues, it is highly recommended to get something like the best low profile CPU coolers mentioned here that have been chosen based on these features:

  • Fan Size: Even if you are getting a low-profile CPU cooler made for compact computers, you would still want it to be powerful enough to properly cool your CPU. One easy way to ensure this is to check the fan size of your CPU cooler since a 120 mm fan is most likely going to offer better performance than a 60 mm one.
  • Fan Speed: Another factor that can affect the cooling performance of your CPU cooler is the fan speed which is given in RPM. Because a faster spinning fan offers more airflow and thus better cooling, a 2500 RPM fan is better than a 1500 RPM in most cases. Although, a high fan speed can also result in higher fan noise which can be quite frustrating.
  • Cooler Height: If you are buying a low-profile CPU cooler, you would want it to have a low height. Thus, it is highly important to check the cooler height rating and ensure that it can fit inside your mini ITX case. Some of the common cooler height options out there can range from 30 mm to 60 mm or something similar.

Even though these features are highly important, there is still more to consider because of which the various low profile CPU coolers stated here also have their significant details and specifications along with a complete buying guide down below which can be handy.

Best Low Profile CPU Coolers

Best Low Profile CPU Coolers Reviews

1. ARCTIC Alpine 12 LP – CPU Cooler

ARCTIC Alpine 12 LP - CPU Cooler

Arctic is a highly popular brand of computer cooling accessories including both high-end and entry-level CPU coolers that generally tend to offer great performance for the price.

The Arctic Alpine 12 LP low-profile CPU cooler is present in the 1st position in this list since it is the cheapest option stated here. Even at its given price tag, you get a fairly large 92 mm PWM fan with this cooler. With this fan, it is able to offer a cooling performance of up to 75 watts.

Despite being so small in size, it still manages to offer this TDP rating thanks to its fan speed of up to 2000 RPM. As Arctic is a fairly popular brand of computer components, you get a 1-year long warranty even with this budget option. Unfortunately, this low-profile CPU cooler is only made for Intel sockets and not AMD ones.

Best Features:

  • Fan size: 92 mm
  • Fan speed: 2000 RPM
  • Fan noise level: 35.8 dBA
  • Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA1151/1150/1155/1156/1200
  • Dimensions (L X W X H): 95 x 95 x 53.5 mm/3.74 x 3.74 x 2.10 inch
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros:

  • Highly affordable CPU cooler
  • Great for replacing faulty stock cooler
  • Quite small and compact

Cons:

  • Not compatible with AMD sockets

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2. StarTech CPU Cooler Fan

StarTech CPU Cooler Fan

While StarTech is primarily a brand of basic computer accessories, it also offers a few internal components like its entry-level

StarTech’s 1U TX3 FAN3701U low profile CPU cooler is present in the 2nd position in this listicle as it is a great affordable option for many. Starting with its fan size, it is one of the smallest options out there as you get a 60 mm fan size with it along with copper construction for decent cooling.

Even at its given size, you get fairly good cooling performance out of it because of its excellent fan speed of up to 4800 RPM. StarTech also includes a 1-year long warranty with this low-profile CPU cooler. However, if you have an AMD motherboard, you should elsewhere since this one is not compatible with it.

Best Features:

  • Fan size: 60 mm
  • Fan speed: 4800 RPM
  • Fan noise level: 28 dBA
  • Power consumption: 2.64 watts
  • Socket Compatibility: Socket A and Socket 370
  • Dimensions (L X W X H): 100 x 30 x 146 mm/3.94 x 1.18 x 5.75 inch
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros:

  • Very small and compact CPU cooler
  • Excellent fan speed rating
  • Decent value for money

Cons:

  • Does not work with AMD sockets

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3. Be Quiet CPU Cooler

Be Quiet CPU Cooler

Be Quiet offers some of the best performing PC fans and CPU coolers which are quite silent at most times including its low-profile unit mentioned here.

This Be Quiet Shadow Rock LP BK002 low profile CPU cooler is present in the 3rd position in this article because it is a great high-performance option. You get a very large 120 mm fan with this CPU cooler which is able to offer an excellent maximum TDP support of up to 130 watts.

Another great thing about this low-profile CPU cooler is that since the fan only goes up to 1500 RPM, it is also quite silent. You can use this CPU cooler with both AMD and Intel motherboards since it supports most popular socket types. Apart from offering high-performance products, Be Quiet also ensures that they are highly reliable since you get a 3-year long warranty with it.

Best Features:

  • Fan size: 120 mm
  • Fan speed: 1500 RPM
  • Fan noise level: 25.5 dBA
  • Power Consumption: 1.1 watts
  • Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA775/1151/1150/1155/1156/1366/2011 and AMD AM4/FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
  • Dimensions (L X W X H): 160 x 140 x 170 mm/6.3 x 5.51 x 6.69 inch
  • Warranty: 3 year

Pros:

  • Excellent cooling performance
  • Pretty silent fan during operation
  • Fairly reliable for long term usage

Cons:

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4. Cooler Master CPU Air Cooler

Cooler Master CPU Air Cooler

While you may know Cooler Master for its computer cases and other accessories, it also offers a few CPU coolers that are fairly feature-rich.

Unlike most other options out there, the Cooler Master MasterAir G200P low-profile CPU cooler is the most customizable option stated here. This is primarily due to the reason that you get an RGB 92 mm fan with it that can be changed to any color of your choice. Even with an RGB fan, this cooler is quite low in height at just 39.4 mm.

Unfortunately, because its RGB fan goes up to 2600 RPM it is a bit loud when compared with most other options. You will be glad to know that this CPU cooler can work with most CPU sockets including both AMD and Intel ones. Similar to its computer cases, Cooler Master also includes a 2-year warranty.

Best Features:

  • Fan size: 92 mm
  • Fan speed: 2600 RPM
  • Fan noise level: 28 dBA
  • Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA1151/1150/1155/1156/1200/1366/2011/2066 and AMD AM4/FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
  • Dimensions (L X W X H): 94 x 91 x 40 mm/3.7 x 3.6 x 1.6 inch
  • Warranty: 2 year

Pros:

  • Includes RGB lighting
  • Works with most motherboards
  • Quite a low profile CPU cooler

Cons:

  • Slightly loud compared to others

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5. Silverstone  CPU Cooler

Silverstone  CPU Cooler

Silverstone Tek is another brand of computer cases that is similar to Cooler Master as it also offers a few CPU coolers other than its cabinets that can be ideal for many buyers.

If you have a fairly large mini ITX case, then the Silverstone Tek low profile CPU cooler can be a great high-performance option for you. This is primarily possible thanks to its 92 mm fan size which is quite good for cooling. Although, it does result in a height of 58 mm which is a bit higher than others.

Fortunately, the larger size is worth it because you get a pretty high TDP rating of 95 watts more. You get such a high TDP rating with this included fan that goes up to 2500 RPM. Apart from being a high-performance option, it is also a highly versatile one because you can use it with either an AMD or an Intel CPU as per your choice. Silverstone offers a decent 2-year long warranty with its CPU cooler for reliability.

Best Features:

  • Fan size: 92 mm
  • Fan speed: 2500 RPM
  • Fan noise level: 28.3 dBA
  • Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA1151/1150/1155/1156 and AMD FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
  • Dimensions (L X W X H): 165 x 140 x 69 mm/6.5 x 5.5 x 2.7 inch
  • Warranty: 2 year

Pros:

  • Great cooling performance
  • Long warranty period
  • Silent and high-performance fan

Cons:

  • Slightly larger than others

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6. Thermaltake Engine CPU Cooler

Thermaltake Engine CPU Cooler

Apart from its high-end and large liquid CPU coolers, Thermaltake also offers one of the most unique low profile CPU cooler options out there.

When compared with most other options out there, the Thermaltake Engine 27U 1U low profile CPU cooler includes an all-metal design with a unique design. As for its fan size, it is quite small at just 60 mm along with a cooler height of just 27 mm.

To ensure that you get decent cooling performance at the given size, you still get a fairly high fan speed of up to 2500 RPM with this CPU cooler. However, if you have an AMD motherboard, you should look elsewhere since this one is only made for Intel motherboards. A great thing about Thermaltake is that you get a 3-year long warranty with it as well.

Best Features:

  • Fan size: 60 mm
  • Fan speed: 2500 RPM
  • Fan noise level: 25 dBA
  • Power Consumption: 1.1 watts
  • Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA1151/1150/1155/1156
  • Dimensions (L X W X H): 91 x 25 x 91 mm/3.6 x 1 x 3.6 inch
  • Warranty: 3 year

Pros:

  • Very small and low profile CPU cooler
  • Decent cooling performance for the size
  • Ideal for long term usage

Cons:

  • Not the most versatile option

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7. Scythe Big Shuriken CPU Air Cooler

Scythe Big Shuriken CPU Air Cooler

Scythe is a fairly small brand of computer components when compared with other CPU cooler offerings out there that can be a viable high-performance option.

The Scythe Big Shuriken 3 low-profile CPU cooler is a great high-performance option thanks to its given size. To be precise, you get a fairly large fan size of 120 mm with this CPU cooler. This is combined along with a fairly high CPU cooler height of 69 mm which is great for high cooling.

Apart from being large, it also uses a fairly powerful 1800 RPM fan which is great for proper cooling. Just like most other low-profile CPU coolers out there, this one also supports both Intel and AMD options. Unfortunately, this CPU cooler does not come with any warranty as Scythe is a fairly new brand of computer components.

Best Features:

  • Fan size: 120 mm
  • Fan speed: 1800 RPM
  • Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA775/1151/1150/1155/1156/1200/1366/2011/2066 and AMD AM4/FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
  • Dimensions (L X W X H): 122 x 122 x 69 mm/4.80 x 4.80 x 2.71 inch

Pros:

  • Highly affordable CPU cooler
  • Great for replacing faulty stock cooler
  • Quite small and compact

Cons:

  • Does not fit in tight mini ITX cases
  • Lacks any manufacturer warranty

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8. Noctua CPU Cooler

Noctua CPU Cooler

Whether it is computer case fans or CPU coolers, Noctua is the best option out there if you want class-leading cooling performance with great acoustic performance.

Notua’s NH-L9x65 low-profile CPU cooler is the most powerful option stated here which is the perfect option if it can fit inside your mini ITX case. Since it is a bit large at 65 mm cooler height, you should first ensure that it is compatible with your computer case. If it does, then you can expect almost silent operation from its 92 mm.

Despite being a fairly silent fan, it still operates at up to 2500 RPM which results in excellent cooling performance thanks to its heating pipes that it uses. You get the same level of performance on both Intel and AMD sockets which is always great to have. Apart from being a high-performance option, it is also a very reliable one since you get a 6-year long warranty with it.

Best Features:

  • Fan size: 92 mm
  • Fan speed: 2500 RPM
  • Fan noise level: 24.6 dBA
  • Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA1151/1150/1155/1156/1200/2011/2066 and AMD AM4/FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
  • Dimensions (L X W X H): 95 x 50 x 95 mm/3.74 x 2 x 3.74 inch
  • Warranty: 6 year

Pros:

  • Superb cooling performance
  • Excellent reliability and durability
  • Works with both Intel and AMD platforms

Cons:

  • Cooler height is a bit higher than others

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9. ID-COOLING CPU Cooler

ID-COOLING CPU Cooler

ID-Cooling can be a viable option for those who are on a budget but still want a fairly high-performance CPU cooler.

This ID-Cooling IS 30 low-profile CPU cooler is a great small and compact option that still manages to offer decent cooling performance. While it comes with a common 92 mm fan size, you do get a pretty low CPU cooler height of just 30 mm with it.

You also get quite high fan speeds of 3600 RPM with this CPU cooler that offers great cooling at the cost of fan noise. Even at its given price tag, you get the support for both AMD and Intel platforms with this CPU cooler. ID-Cooling even includes a 2-year long warranty with it for peace of mind.

Best Features:

  • Fan size: 92 mm
  • Fan speed: 3600 RPM
  • Fan noise level: 35.8 dBA
  • Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA1151/1150/1155/1156/1200 and AMD AM4/FM2+/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
  • Dimensions (L X W X H): 93 x 100 x 30 mm/3.66 x 3.93 x 1.18 inch
  • Warranty: 2 year

Pros:

  • Great for compact mini ITX cases
  • Fairly great cooling performance
  • Affordable and budget-friendly CPU cooler

Cons:

  • Fan can be a bit loud at times

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Buying Guide for the Best Low Profile CPU Coolers

Apart from buying high-end components like CPU, GPU, RAM, and others for your computer, it is also highly important to keep them cool especially if you are using a compact case with limited airflow.

In such compact cases, you can consider using one of the best low-profile CPU coolers present above. To help you in picking the right one for you, all of them also have their significant details and features explained above. And if you want to know, even more, consider going through the following buying guide for the best low profile CPU coolers:

Fan Size

Similar to a standard-sized CPU cooler, the fan size of your low-profile CPU cooler can affect its cooling performance by quite a lot. Generally, a larger size fan offers higher airflow resulting in better cooling performance. Some of the common fan sizes that you will find among CPU coolers include 60 mm, 92 mm, and 120 mm where 92 mm offers a great balance between cooling performance and form factor.

Fan Speed

Other than the fan size, you should also check the fan speed of your CPU cooler to get an idea of its cooling performance. Usually, you will find CPU coolers to include a fan speed rating in RPM which can include ratings like 1500 RPM, 2000 RPM, 2500 RPM, and others. Out of all these various fan speed ratings, the higher 2500 RPM fan speed is going to offer the best cooling performance thanks to its higher airflow output. Unfortunately, a higher fan speed also results in higher fan noise which can be quite frustrating at times.

Fan Noise Level

If you want to properly cool your computer’s processor, you can simply run the CPU cooler fan at a high speed. Although, while a high fan speed offers better cooling, it does result in high sound output or high fan noise at the same time. And if you wish to get a silent CPU cooler for your computer, checking its fan noise level is quite important. Any CPU cooler rated under 30 dBA should be fairly decent for most computer users.

Cooler Height

In case that you are getting a low-profile CPU cooler, then it is most likely due to the reason that you are using a mini case with limited CPU cooler clearance. Hence, it is quite important to check the cooler height of the unit that you are getting and ensure that it can fit inside your mini ITX case. While low-performance CPU coolers may have a height of 30 mm or similar, high-performance models generally tend to be around 65 mm for more heat pipes and better cooling. That being said, you should go with the largest size that can fit inside your computer’s cabinet.

Power Consumption

Even though it may not be very high, the cooler made for your computer processor also draws some power for powering its fan. Hence, checking the power consumption of your low-profile CPU cooler can be a great idea. Thankfully, generally, these have a power consumption rating between 2 to 5 watts, this should not be an issue at all.

Supported Sockets

Whether you are buying a standard-sized or a low-profile CPU cooler for your computer, it has to be installed on top of the CPU and along with the motherboard. Although, this is only possible when your CPU cooler is compatible with the CPU socket of your motherboard. Due to this, it is a great idea to check the socket compatibility list of your CPU cooler and ensure that it matches with your motherboard. Some of the common Intel and AMD CPU socket types that you will find in different motherboard models include LGA 775, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200, and others for Intel as well as FM1, FM2, AM2, AM3, and AM4 for AMD motherboards.

Maximum TDP

While the fan size and fan speed of your CPU cooler can be a great way to get an idea of its cooling performance, a lot of CPU coolers also include a maximum TDP rating. This simply tells you about the maximum CPU TDP or heat output they can handle. Similar to CPUs, you will find these TDP ratings like 60 watts, 75 watts, 90 watts, and even higher in some cases. If you want a high-performance low profile CPU cooler, it is advised to go with one that offers a higher maximum TDP rating support.

Warranty

Something as simple as a CPU cooler is pretty much going to last as long as your computer. Although, since the fan motor can possibly fail over time, it is still a great idea to get a reliable low-profile CPU cooler. One easy way to ensure this is to check the warranty included with your CPU cooler. Other than the typical 2-year long warranty or similar, a few highly reliable options may even include a 5 year long or longer for your peace of mind.

Conclusion

Even though almost all computer processors include a CPU cooler in the box, that may not be enough to properly cool it down. This becomes an even bigger issue if you want to get a small mini ITX case along with a CPU cooler that fits inside. If that is also the case with you, then we are here to help you out with the best low-profile CPU coolers stated above.

In case that you are still confused, here are our preferred picks when it comes to the best low profile CPU coolers:

  • The Noctua NH-L9x65 is the best-performing low-profile CPU cooler stated above. While it may be a bit tall at 65 mm, its fan size is fairly small at 92 mm. Speaking of the fan, despite going to up to 2500 RPM, it is the most silent option stated here. You also get the support for all popular sockets from both Intel and AMD making this a versatile low profile CPU cooler.
  • Unlike most other low-profile CPU coolers, the Cooler Master MasterAir G200P comes with an RGB fan which allows you to easily change to any color of your choice. As for the fan performance, it uses a 92 mm fan that manages to reach up to 2600 RPM for fairly decent cooling numbers. Similar to Noctua, this one also supports multiple Intel and AMD sockets.
  • Those of you who just want an affordable replacement to the included CPU cooler in case of fan failure can go with the Arctic Alpine 12 LP. Despite being highly affordable, it still uses a 92 mm fan that reaches a decent speed of up to 2000 RPM. Although, this fan cooler is only designed for Intel sockets and not for AMD ones.



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