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

Results: Cooling And Fan Speed

Unable to fit into our ASRock M8 project but still barely qualifying as low-profile, Noctua’s NH-L12 leads the cooling charts. Remember that these tests are based on a low CPU core voltage to compensate for reduced cooler capacity.

SilverStone’s NT06-Pro takes second place in the cooling chart, though it wouldn’t have room for air circulation in the M8 chassis. Thermalright’s 2.8”-tall AXP-200R is the best performer to fit that specific enclosure, followed closely by Scythe’s lower-cost Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B.

Adding the included resistor wires to the NH-L12 lowers fan speed significantly, but with only a minor increase in temperature. Higher overclocks might have changed this scenario, but we’re trying to use settings that all of these coolers can support.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.