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

SilenX EFZ-100HA2

Does anyone remember flower-style coolers? Few of us would claim to be old enough, though some may have forgotten about this design. Fortunately, it still has some merit.

Low manufacturing cost of this sheet-aluminum design is probably the biggest benefit of SilenX’s EFZ-100HA2. After all, easier manufacturing leads to a supremely-attractive retail price.

Smashing those fins tightly together allows SilenX to machine a smooth surface upon the EFZ-100HA2’s base. Aluminum rivets hold it all together.

Designed to clip onto AMD’s Socket 462, the manufacturer must have been thrilled when AMD decided to keep those clips for generation-after-generation of AM and FM interfaces. SilenX adds an adapter bracket for LGA 775 and LGA 1156, and must have been similarly thrilled when Intel decided to keep the 1156 hole spacing for LGA 1155 and 1150. Locking pins sit in oval holes to allow the builder to select between LGA 775 and LGA 115x compatibility.

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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"