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Eight Low-Profile CPU Coolers For Your Compact PC, Reviewed

Xigmatek Janus

Initially available to U.S. customers from a single exporter in Singapore, Xigmatek’s Janus now sells for $40. A quick comparison of current Xigmatek products leads us to believe the eventual price will be around $30.

That price range gets buyers a dual-fan sink and two coolers: 120 mm x 15 mm on top and 80 mm x 10 mm on the bottom. Two sets of brackets fit all consumer-oriented Intel and AMD sockets from LGA 775 and Socket AM2 forward. Bolt-through installation supports all of those sockets except LGA 2011, for which Xigmatek includes a special set of standoffs.

The Janus we received was polished only half-way, showing its original machining grooves across most of its surface. These grooves are shallow and should fill nicely with paste to provide a fairly good thermal interface, and are protected from oxidation with nickel plating.

Xigmatek's submission uses a carriage-bolt design variation with threaded standoffs and insulating washers to fit onto the board from above. Most installations require users to reach around the back of the board to secure the cooler with nuts, but LGA 2011 instead requires that you reach between the motherboard and cooler with a supplied wrench.