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

Nitrogon NT06-Pro Installation

Carriage-style bolts extend from the included support bracket through the motherboard, and are topped with plastic spacers, cross brackets, and nuts. LGA 2011 mounting instead uses a special set of screws to hold the same cross brackets and nuts.

With its fan out of the way, we can see how the NT06-Pro’s top mounting bracket connects to its cross brackets using spring-loaded cap nuts. Phillips head indentations allow cap nuts to be tightened through heat sink access holes using a screwdriver.

Exactly 1.2” of motherboard component and DIMM clearance remains after installing the included 120 mm x 20 mm fan. SilverStone recommends both updraft and downdraft configurations, so we tested it both ways.

The bottom of the fan sits next to our medium-height modules, preventing the installation of a second set. Memory upgrade options include using shorter modules or rotating the sink away from memory.

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  • LePhuronn
    Zalman CNPS2X conspicuous by its absence - 28mm tall cooler that claims to be able to shift 120W?
  • Sayken
  • tiu_sergiu
    There must be 2 winners
    Nocturna NH-L12 is best quality (Don't forgot about 6 ears of warranty)
    and Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet Smart Buy
  • Haravikk
    I'm a bit surprised by the Noctua offering, as they do have a much smaller only (37mm tall) but then I expect they wanted to use as much space as possible to ensure a good score.

    Also the NH-L12 I believe is compatible with Noctua's NF-A15 which is a 150mm PWM fan with 120mm mounting holes. In my perfect small form factor case I'd swap one of those as the top fan and just use a 150mm side vent as the only exhaust for the case, with other vents as intakes over the major components, or maybe leave off the top fan in favour of fitting an 200mm fan if space allows. That being for a high performance small case anyway, anything more modest I'd probably just go for the 37mm option.

    Another favourite option is Prolimatech's Samuel 17 cool (45mm) plus one of their 140mm x 15mm Ultra Sleek Vortex fans for a total height of ~60mm, which still tops out under 2.5"