Page 1:Eight Low-Profile Heat Sinks For Your Compact PC
Page 2:Gamer Storm Gabriel
Page 3:Gabriel Installation
Page 4:Noctua NH-L12
Page 5:NH-L12 Installation
Page 6:Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Revision B
Page 7:Big Shuriken 2 Revision B Installation
Page 8:SilenX EFZ-100HA2
Page 9:EFZ-100HA2 Installation
Page 10:SilverStone Nitrogon NT06-Pro
Page 11:Nitrogon NT06-Pro Installation
Page 12:Thermalright AXP-200 And AXP-200R
Page 13:AXP-200R Installation
Page 14:Xigmatek Janus
Page 15:Janus Installation
Page 16:Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet
Page 17:CNPS8900 Quiet Installation
Page 18:Test Settings And Methodology
Page 19:Results: Cooling And Fan Speed
Page 20:Results: Noise And Acoustic Efficiency
Page 21:Cooling Value
Page 22:The Best Cooler For Compact Systems?
The Best Cooler For Compact Systems?
Noctua’s NH-L12 is the top performer in all of today’s tests, though attaining that status in our noise measurements requires installing resistor wires that also raises its temperature to third place. It's also the largest cooler in today’s tests, and fits only the most spacious of small enclosures, such as SilverStone's SG08. And we’re sure SilverStone would have something to say about that, following closely behind with its own NT06-Pro.
The rest of the field fits most compact enclosures with heights of less than 3”. The best cooling-to-price ratio among these comes from the SilenX EFZ-100HA2. If this were a comparison of basic replacement parts, SilenX’s low price would make it a top contender. But hot and cheap don't win any favors in the high-end cooling market.
Second in the value charts, Zalman’s CNPS8900 Quiet is best among the sub-3” coolers in our Acoustic Efficiency chart. It also takes second place behind the SilenX EFZ-100HA2 in our cost to benefit analysis. It's barely warmer and barely noisier than Noctua’s much larger NH-L12 in its top-performing low-speed mode, and has the added advantage of fitting most compact enclosures.
Two candidates emerge for our top-honor Elite award, the Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet that fits most "slim" enclosures and Noctua NH-L12 that fits only a few. But there can only be one best. And since one of the two products also qualifies for a value award, I’m bypassing the debate between performance superiority and enclosure compatibility.
The CNPS8900 Quiet combines good cooling performance, low noise, broad case compatibility, and a moderate price to make it the smartest choice for the majority of compact system builders.
- Eight Low-Profile Heat Sinks For Your Compact PC
- Gamer Storm Gabriel
- Gabriel Installation
- Noctua NH-L12
- NH-L12 Installation
- Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Revision B
- Big Shuriken 2 Revision B Installation
- SilenX EFZ-100HA2
- EFZ-100HA2 Installation
- SilverStone Nitrogon NT06-Pro
- Nitrogon NT06-Pro Installation
- Thermalright AXP-200 And AXP-200R
- AXP-200R Installation
- Xigmatek Janus
- Janus Installation
- Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet
- CNPS8900 Quiet Installation
- Test Settings And Methodology
- Results: Cooling And Fan Speed
- Results: Noise And Acoustic Efficiency
- Cooling Value
- The Best Cooler For Compact Systems?