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

Gabriel Installation

The Gamer Storm Gabriel by DeepCool (and likely to be imported by Logisys) doesn’t weigh much, so it doesn’t need much contact pressure. Rather than add a socket support plate, the firm simply attaches this cooler using screws and insulating washers. These protrude through the back of the motherboard to connect standoffs and mounting brackets seen on the previous page.

With 1.1” of clearance for voltage regulators and memory, and around half an inch of offset in two directions, the Gabriel CPU cooler can be rotated to fit most motherboards. Buyers should still measure their boards to assuage any fitment concerns, though.

A low-profile fan clips on to finish the installation, bringing total mounting height to a mere 2.4”. This one would have definitely fit into our ASRock M8 build, though its clips wouldn’t have supported our thicker fan upgrade.

Since the Gabriel is offset in two directions, it shouldn’t be too difficult for most users to find a mounting orientation that supports a second pair of tall DIMMs. If that’s not an option, we’d suggest low-profile 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"