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Mini-ITX CPU Air Cooler Round-Up

Today we're reviewing the SilverStone Argon AR06, Reeven's RC 1001 Brontes, ID-Cooling's IS-VC45 and the Shadow Rock LP from be quiet!.

Our Verdict

For the price, SilverStone's AR06 delivers average performance in a very compact footprint, and therefore receives our approval for anyone looking for a good, budget oriented compact cooler.

For

  • Price
  • Size

Against

  • Lacks compatibility for Intel sockets other than LGA 115x

Introduction And Specifications

One of the nice things about requesting review items is that manufacturers always want to send you a myriad of extras to test along with the product you requested, which is just one of the many benefits of being a Tom's Hardware product reviewer. A handful of compact cases we requested also showed up with an extra CPU cooler (or two) for us to test. In addition to the extra coolers that showed up, we've also received a couple of CPU coolers from other manufactures that requested we test their products. With a fair assortment of compact CPU coolers now on hand, we decided it's time for a round-up.

Since we already have a reference platform put together for testing Mini-ITX computer cases, we'll be using it for today's tests. Additionally, we'll be using the Cougar QBX as our go-to case for compact cooler testing as it's specifically designed to handle small coolers that pull air in from the side of the case and vent it down towards the motherboard. Finally, to improve airflow and reduce heat inside the case, we're swapping out the reference platform's power supply for SilverStone's modular SX600-G 600W power supply.

For today's round-up, we'll be reviewing coolers from SilverStone, Reeven, ID-Cooling, and be quiet!. Additionally, we'll be using the well-reviewed NH-L12 from Noctua as a baseline for today's tests.

Specifications

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  • megamanxtreme
    I was hoping for one that can be mounted like the stock AMD cooler, without having to rely on pulling-out the motherboard to install the back plate.
    Reply
  • why_wolf
    For these kinds of small form factor coolers I would greatly appreciated seeing the stock Intel cooler in there. No point in buying 3rd party if it can't beat stock.
    Reply
  • farlandprince
    What kind of a roundup is this?

    you missed like 10 available coolers ...
    Reply
  • Onus
    The Reeven appears to be available at Newegg, but all their products also tack on a $20 shipping charge.
    Reply
  • SuperBox
    The Shadow Rock LP does not require the use of low profile memory, standard memory without a tall heat spreader can fit.
    Reply
  • Calculatron
    I love cooler round-ups!

    Please tell me that more are coming!
    Reply
  • DonkeyOatie
    Shame some of the older coolers you have reviewed, like the RAIJINTEK Pallas or Xigmatek Januscould not have been included, so the earlier reviews could be 'normalized' with this hardware kit
    Reply
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Cryorig?
    Reply
  • NMOGV2
    How about the inclusion of the scythe big suriken 2 rev. b? For 40$ it's an amazing little cooler.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    No GeminII M4? :(

    I wish you guys can include them, as well as include (when available) the new boxed cooler from AMD, plus Intel boxed coolers.

    Cheers!
    Reply