Mini-ITX CPU Air Cooler Round-Up

ID-Cooling IS-VC45

The next cooler in our round-up features a very innovative design not found in many other CPU coolers. The IS-VC45 from ID-Cooling sets itself apart from the other coolers in our round-up with its use of a specially designed vapor chamber in its base, in place of the normal heat pipes. Fundamentally, the vapor chamber operates in the same manner as traditional heat pipes, except it sacrifices a bit of cooling power for a large reduction in the amount of space required to operate. Another advantage of the vapor chamber design is that it's immune to the effects of gravity and can be mounted in any orientation. Finally, even with the slight reduction in cooling power, the IS-VC45 is still rated for CPUs with a TDP up to 130W, which makes this a very promising cooling solution.

At only 45mm tall, the IS-VC45 is the smallest cooler in our round-up and it should have no problems fitting into all except for the smallest of compact cases. The cooler comes in a rather plain box with an instruction manual, 92 x 15mm cooling fan and tensioners, thermal paste, back plate, and four standoff screws for LGA-2011x installations. Unfortunately, for AMD users, the IS-VC45 only supports Intel CPUs in the LGA-115x and 2011x sockets.



The IS-VC45 comes with an extremely flat, finely polished and plated base. The cooler's installation is also the simplest of all of the coolers in today's round-up. Installation is accomplished by applying thermal paste to the CPU, attaching the adhesive backed back plate to the motherboard, and then placing the cooler on the CPU and tightening the four screws that are permanently mounted to the cooler. The installation is then completed by securing the fan to the cooler with the provided tensioners and plugging the fan into the motherboard's CPU fan header.

As with the other coolers we're reviewing today, the IS-VC45 also fits completely within the space provided around the CPU socket, and poses no RAM clearance issues, which are common in larger coolers.

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21 comments
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  • megamanxtreme
    I was hoping for one that can be mounted like the stock AMD cooler, without having to rely on pulling-out the motherboard to install the back plate.
  • why_wolf
    For these kinds of small form factor coolers I would greatly appreciated seeing the stock Intel cooler in there. No point in buying 3rd party if it can't beat stock.
  • farlandprince
    What kind of a roundup is this?

    you missed like 10 available coolers ...
  • Onus
    The Reeven appears to be available at Newegg, but all their products also tack on a $20 shipping charge.
  • SuperBox
    The Shadow Rock LP does not require the use of low profile memory, standard memory without a tall heat spreader can fit.
  • Calculatron
    I love cooler round-ups!

    Please tell me that more are coming!
  • DonkeyOatie
    Shame some of the older coolers you have reviewed, like the RAIJINTEK Pallas or Xigmatek Januscould not have been included, so the earlier reviews could be 'normalized' with this hardware kit
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Cryorig?
  • NMOGV2
    How about the inclusion of the scythe big suriken 2 rev. b? For 40$ it's an amazing little cooler.
  • Yuka
    No GeminII M4? :(

    I wish you guys can include them, as well as include (when available) the new boxed cooler from AMD, plus Intel boxed coolers.

    Cheers!
  • 10tacle
    I'm curious what the requisites were for just these four coolers being tested. Was a notification sent out to all the mITX cooler makers to ask for a sample product to test and these are the only four that were sent? Or was it a case of not all mITX cooler makers were reached out to? It's not real clear in the intro.

    Tom's tested eight of them back in Nov. 2013:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/low-profile-heat-sink-mini-itx,3639.html
  • Crashman
    202972 said:
    I'm curious what the requisites were for just these four coolers being tested. Was a notification sent out to all the mITX cooler makers to ask for a sample product to test and these are the only four that were sent? Or was it a case of not all mITX cooler makers were reached out to? It's not real clear in the intro. Tom's tested eight of them back in Nov. 2013: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/low-profile-heat-sink-mini-itx,3639.html
    You'd probably be upset if you found out that these were leftover samples sent with things like the big coolers that I test and the small cases that he tests, so let me be nice and say that he has the full license to pick up on small cooling reviews where I left off. So this is just the intro to a series of reviews.
  • 10tacle
    8708 said:
    So this is just the intro to a series of reviews.


    Ah....I had to read the intro again to fully understand after your response. Thanks Crashman! Fully understood.
  • cmiconi
    As Crash mentioned earlier (and as I mentioned in the article), most of these coolers came with the mITX cases I received. We also had a couple requests from manufactures to test their products. I've still got a couple of coolers on hand that need to be tested at some point, but I've shifted my focus back to cases for the time being, so it's going to be a bit.

    That does leave me some time though to start sending out requests for samples and I'm open to suggestions on what to request. Also, if there's enough demand for a particular theme (i.e. budget coolers) I can also put together another round-up.
  • Janemba
    What about AMD Wraith ? Its Mini-ITX cooler
  • gadgety
    I'd like to see tests based on cooler height: This is the best performer up to 40 mm, 45 mm, 50 mm, 55 mm, 60mm, 65mm etc. At least when I go searching for a cooler one of the first questions I ask is "will it fit." In addition it makes the comparison more relevant. A 75mm cooler will likely be better than a 45, or 58mm. The second question is "how does it perform" and the third "how much is it". Q2 and Q3 I might switch but the first one is not negotiable. I also think that the stock cooler should be in all comparisons.
  • bit_user
    Thanks for the article.

    879769 said:
    I'm open to suggestions on what to request. Also, if there's enough demand for a particular theme (i.e. budget coolers) I can also put together another round-up.
    I'd love to see how Scythe Big Shuriken II Rev. B compares. I have one paired with a Noctua 140 mm fan on my Sandybridge-E. I don't know if it's compatible with Skylake, though.

    Something I've seen on at least one other site is to take another set of cooling measurements using a common reference fan. This is helpful for those of us who would swap fans anyway, and it's a more direct apples-to-apples measurement of cooling efficiency.
  • Daniel Ladishew
    Thank you for testing a product in the environment it was meant to be used in! This is a great start to a (hopefully) comprehensive series of reviews and a truly useful roundup. Thanks guys!
  • RedJaron
    Do you per chance have an ITX FM2+ board to check RAM clearance when you review these?
  • Crashman
    570460 said:
    Do you per chance have an ITX FM2+ board to check RAM clearance when you review these?
    First of all, I'd like to appologize to everyone for the missing information.
    The NH-L12 for example has 0.5" of offset. That's important to know if you're wondering "can I turn this thing to fit the other way". I later started listing which directions the offset pointed (front/rear left/right). When you have both the dimensions AND the offset, you can figure out what the biggest cooler to fit your board will be.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/low-profile-heat-sink-mini-itx,3639.html

    Second of all, one reason the NH-L12 was included in both articles is so that a reader could compare the differences of various coolers (such as "this one is cooler than the NH-L12, what does the previous article say about the other one). So the NH-L12 is the "conversion factor" cooler.
  • GeoDash
    Quote:
    Cryorig?



    Not always the best. They're still beat by other companies.