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The Best Low Profile CPU Coolers in 2022

best low profile cpu coolers


Are you looking for the best low profile CPU cooler but not sure what specs and features it should have?

Luckily, you are in the right place. We will give you a short guide on how to choose the best low profile CPU cooler, and afterward point out some of the coolers we found to be quite useful and of great performance.

Let’s get straight to the point!

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Last update on 2022-10-06 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon

How to Choose the Best Low Profile CPU Cooler

It might sound simple, but actually, there are several things you should know and consider before buying a CPU cooler. If not done properly, it might damage your PC, or you won’t even be able to run it.

Can it fit?

When talking about fitting, we don’t necessarily mean that it should physically fit your PC, even though it’s, of course, highly important!

But the most problematic part is whether it will fit the CPU socket of your motherboard or not. Since the space around the CPU socket is limited, you need to think of size. In this case, size matters!

Should we point out what problems the improper size of the cooler might cause? Any kind of physical interference inside your PC box is highly unwanted and a shortcut to numerous problems.

Just because the cooler is low profile, doesn’t mean it’s compact and that can fit anywhere. You need to check the dimensions.

A nice thing to know is that the bigger coolers are much more efficient. They are much quieter as well. You’d like to use that free space as much as possible – the bigger the better.

3 Pin or 4 Pin connectors

4 pin connectors is your goal. Why is that? Well, mostly because their adjustability is far beyond the one that 3 pin connectors offer.

Namely, you can change the speed and volume of the fan with 4 pin connectors. Either you’ll be able to do it through the motherboards, or via some software.

When it comes to 3 pin connectors, you won’t be able to make those changes. The important thing is to pre-check whether your motherboard can support 4 pin connectors (and if there are 4 pin headers).

If yes, you are good to go, and you would be able to run even 3 pin connectors, but if your motherboard has 3 pin headers, you won’t be able to run 4 pin connectors, normally. To understand the importance of this, be sure to check the explained difference between 3 and 4 pin connectors!

Noise and aesthetics

Now, who would care about the cooler aesthetics? It will be buried deep inside your PC and no one will ever notice it.

However, for those that actually care about it, there are various shapes and interesting designs, rather than just 5-6 classic blades running in circles.

But, the more important thing is the noise. You don’t want something that will make your machine sound like it’s launching to the Moon.

Keep in mind that the smaller coolers will most likely be the loudest ones. There are two things you should consider: sometimes, a manufacturer includes the noise ratings, and when that isn’t the case, be sure to check consumer reviews.

Price

Obviously, one of the most important things is the price. Now, when talking about the coolers, we are basically talking about your PC’s insurance.

Because a good CPU cooler is practically insurance for a user that he will get an optimum performance throughout the next 7-8 years. So, yes, investing a bit more should be a smart thing to do, especially if you got a CPU for $500 or more.

Thermal design power

It’s called this way, but to simplify it, TDP represents the power. It’s the max power a device can dissipate when running real applications. So, if you have a PC that’s running a little hot, you might consider higher W TDP coolers to keep things cool. Let’s say that the average is around 100W TDP. Everything above will do the job just fine.

8 Best Low Profile CPU Coolers

SCYTHE Big Shuriken 3 (SCBSK-3000)

The Best Simple and Classic Cooler

scythe big shuriken 3 scbsk-3000
If you are looking for a thing that perfectly suits small itx builds, then you are looking at your top choice. Therefore, it’s a great solution for small form factor systems. And with its height of only approximately 7cm, it will fit almost anywhere.

It has a smart cut-design, which ensures that the cooler won’t interfere physically into adjacent components on your motherboard. Now, what you can expect is nothing but a great airflow, and even ventilation – everything your PC needs.

H.P.M.S III system is there for you – it will ease the whole installation procedure enormously, by offering a perfect contact pressure on all platforms and sockets.

Pros:
  • Even airflow
  • H.P.M.S III system for easier installation
  • Smart cut-design prevents physical interference
  • Perfect for small form factor systems
Cons:
  • None so far

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Noctua NH-L9x65

Ultra Quiet Option

noctua nh-l9x65
Even though quietness is quite important, that’s not the only thing that beautifies this low profile CPU cooler. With the height of only 7.5 cm, this one is perfect for small form factor builds, HTPCs, and ITX.

Although it looks a bit bulky, fear not – it won’t overhang any adjacent slot, be it RAM or PCIe. What this one offers is a high-quality fan which has automatic speed control and the aforementioned ultra-quiet operation.

It’s quite easy to install it and includes multi-socket mounting system for both Intel and AMD. What’s more important, it has NT- H1 thermal compound and a warranty for quality that lasts for 6 years. Even though it offers outstanding performance in its class, it’s not suitable for overclocking and you should use it with care on PCs above 84W TDP.

Pros:
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Perfect for HTPCs, ITX, and small form factor builds
  • It won’t overhand any adjacent slot
  • Amazing performance and even distribution of airflow
  • 6 years warranty
Cons:
  • Not suitable for overclocking

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ARCTIC ACALP00027A

The Best Low-profile CPU Cooler Under $15

arctic acalp00027a
It’s not just about the looks, but we must commend what Arctic did with this model. It looks modern and like it can cool 5 PCs at the time.

Now, what this one offers for its price is quite amazing. It offers improved cooling performance and an extended life span thanks to its top-notch bearing. It offers low power consumption and surely minimized vibration.

You won’t need any tools to install this little thingy. There is a push pin that will help you go through the whole process within minutes. There is a pre-applied thermal paste, which will affect performance and ensure longevity.

If you just need a cheap solution, and a cooler that will do the job without any sacrifices of the performance, search no more.

Pros:
  • Affordable price point category
  • Pre-applied thermal paste
  • Great quality bearing
  • Low power consumption
  • Quiet operation, no vibrations
Cons:
  • The locking pins might be a bit problematic

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Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition

A CPU Cooler that Will Never Disappoint You

noctua nh-l12 ghost s1 edition
If you prefer more compact-sized computer configurations, such as ITX ones that save space, but deliver top-class performance at the same time, Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition low-profile CPU cooler is the thing for you.

Simply, this device delivers everything a high-end configuration might need. It is quiet, it offers great cooling performance, and it provides excellent compatibility that allows for its use with almost any modern Intel or AMD CPU.

Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition is fitted with a single, high-quality NF-B9 92mm fan that can be controlled through PWM connectors and can achieve speeds between 300 and 1600 RPM, as well a low-noise NA-RC7 adapter that is the key reason for this coolers super-quiet operations (along with the rubber strips on the bottom of the heatsink). Moreover, this CPU cooler comes with SecuFirm2 multi-socket mounting feature, improved NT-H2 thermal paste, and altogether brings sheer quality to the customer.

Therefore, if you are after an excellent low-profile cooling solution for your CPU, Noctua NH-L12 Ghost S1 Edition is a great choice.

Pros:
  • Excellent compatibility
  • Quiet performance
  • Six-year warranty
Cons:
  • Not the perfect option for overclocked CPUs

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Cooler Master MasterAir G200P RGB

The Ideal Mainstream, Low-Profile CPU Cooler

Cooler Master MasterAir G200P RGB

If you seek the ideal mainstream, a low-profile cooler that will do more than a decent work of cooling your CPU, Cooler Master MasterAir G200P RGB is the device for you. To be exact, with this cooler, you are getting nice RGB lighting and a built-in ARGB LED. Also, there is excellent compatibility that allows the cooler’s use with Intel’s LGA 1200, 115x, 2066, 2011 sockets, as well as AMD AM4, AM3, AM2, FM1, and FM2 socket, and many more.

Cooler Master MasterAir G200P RGB comes with a silent (28dB) 92mm fan and has a maximum speed of 2600RPM. Also, this cooler offers a compact build and has a TDP rating of 100W, which makes it a perfect option for any mainstream CPU.

In other words, if you are after a well-performing, yet not too expensive low-profile CPU cooler, Cooler Master MasterAir G200P RGB seems like more than a solid option.

Pros:
  • Quiet
  • Good compatibility
  • Compact
  • Nice RGB lighting
  • Very good performance
Cons:
  • Not the perfect fit for high-performing CPUs

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Cooler Master MAM-G1CN-924PC-R1 MasterAir G100M RGB

The Best Among Them All

cooler master mam-g1cn-924pc-r1 masterair g100m rgb
Ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at our absolute favorite when it comes to low profile CPU coolers. It’s so powerful that we can even proclaim it as a cooler perfect for CPU for gaming.

We know it’s not about the looks, but this one is quite something. As said, appearance it’s not what puts it on top of our list, but its performance and amazing features. What makes the difference between this one and the other low profile coolers is a custom copper heat technology.

The direct contact enables the exceptional transfer of heat, and unseen cooling performance. Aluminum components are in charge of heat dissipation. Needless to say, as you can see, it has a RGB ring, which illuminates beautifully.

It offers dual fan (120 mm) design for improved performance and 4 direct contact heatpipes. Unlike generic metal bases, these heatpipes will ensure great thermal dissipation.

Moreover, with the help of a controller, you will be able to switch the colors and modes within the touch of a button.

Shortly, this one offers everything you’ll need, whether you are a gamer or just a person with 10000 tasks handling at once.

Pros:
  • Dual fan design, 120 mm for improved performance
  • Aluminum heatpipes ensure thermal dissipation
  • RGB ring for improved appearance
  • Affordable price point category
  • Controller included
Cons:
  • The instructions might be a bit confusing

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Noctua NH-L9i

One of the Best Low-Profile CPUs for SFF Cases

Noctua NH-L9i

Noctua NH-L9i is another well-built, solid-performing, low-profile air cooler from the Noctua that continues the successful work of its predecessors and brings just what the best low-profile CPU coolers should. To begin with, there is the quiet performance that is rated at 23.6dB, as well as the pretty solid compatibility that allows its use with Intel’s 115x, 1200, and other sockets.

Noctua NH-L9i is a compact, 37mm low-profile CPU cooler that presents the ideal option for SFF and HTCP cases. Its speed is rated at 2500rpm, while the existence of a six-year warranty presents a nice bonus and a convincing argument about this cooler’s longevity.

For that reason, if you are looking for the best low-profile CPU cooler in the mainstream market, Noctua NH-L9i is the device to consider.

Pros:
  • Six-year warranty
  • Compact
  • Solid performance
  • Quiet
Cons:
  • Not Made For High-End CPUs

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Thermaltake UX100

An Affordable Low-Profile CPU Cooler

Thermaltake UX100

Thermaltake UX100 is a reasonably priced, solid-performing low-profile CPU cooler that offers excellent RGB lighting and great compatibility in one. This is a pretty silent cooler, with a self-lubricating, nine-blade fan and the speed of 1800rpm that offers more than enough air cooling for lower speed and mainstream CPUs.

Moreover, Thermaltake UX100 is compatible with Intel’s LGA1200, 115x, and 775 sockets, as well as AMD’s AM4, AM3, AM2, FM1, FM2, and other sockets. In other words, it offers great universality.

Thermaltake UX100 comes with a two-year warranty and features 15 addressable LEDs that bring nice-looking lighting effects, while the cooler itself supports 5V RGB and has a built-in ARGB LED.

In short, there is everything needed for a solid cooling performance. Therefore, if you are after the best low-profile CPU cooler in the budget-friendly area, Thermaltake UX100 is more than a good option.

Pros:
  • Nice looking
  • Good compatibility
  • Decent performance
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Compact
Cons:
  • Not the best fit for high-performing CPUs

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Conclusion

In the light of everything we mentioned above, these are some of the very best samples of low profile CPU coolers. It might sound like an easy job, but there are a lot of things you need to check on your list before rushing into decisions.

Hopefully, you are now step closer to picking the right low profile CPU cooler that will fit both your and your CPU’s needs.

About author

Miodrag Matović is a tech geek who loves writing about everything related to computers. He’s a graduate graphic designer, but found his passion elsewhere. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his family, dance with his wife, and put together new computers.
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