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

Thermalright AXP-200 And AXP-200R

A red-and-black fan color scheme differentiates Thermalright’s AXP-200R from its more pedestrian sibling, and the firm even rates both product's fans at the same speed. Since they employ the same fan motor and design, readers should be confident of identical performance. The AXP-200 sells for between £40 and £50, and we estimate the special edition version in our lab is at the upper end of that range.

The AXP-200R includes a multi-sized fan adapter plate in addition to its Intel LGA and AMD four-hole mounting kits. Users can substitute the original slim fan for full-sized fans up to 140 mm, as well as Thermalright’s own 150 mm x 26.5 mm unit.

Thermalright polishes its CPU interface better than most competitors, though this does appear to affect flatness slightly near its edge. Nickel plating prevents surface oxidation.

The AXP-200's support plate is drilled for all consumer-oriented Intel and AMD processors, replacing manufacturer-supplied brackets for AMD coolers as far back as Socket 462. Extra holes near its center fit around the screws of Intel’s original support plates, and LGA 2011 users can instead use their original threaded mounts with a set of supplied standoffs.

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  • LePhuronn
    Zalman CNPS2X conspicuous by its absence - 28mm tall cooler that claims to be able to shift 120W?
  • Sayken
    Nice
  • 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"