Let’s see the best-performing low-profile CPU coolers that offer excellent performance when achieving higher clock speeds or overclocking.
Tips to make your CPU cool
You must remove and disable viruses and other memory-hungry programs for efficient CPU performance. Occasionally overclocking your CPU can release a lot of heat that is quite difficult to manage while using your PC. To that end, buying the best low-profile CPU cooler for overclocking is essential to keep your system cool.
Top 10+ best budget low-profile CPU coolers for overclocking in 2023
The low-profile CPU coolers listed here are long-lasting and increase the efficiency of your computer.
1. Dark Rock Tf, BK020
Dark Rock Tf is a premium, high-quality low-profile cooler. It handles stock as well as overclocked performance well. Dark Rock Tf is amazing for a low-profile CPU cooler, this cooler has a very aesthetic look, and I think it’s worthy of praise. The Dark Rock Tf features two 135mm fans that run at high speeds but try to keep the sound as low as possible.
This cooler easily fits into a small form factor board, measuring 162.6 x 140 x 130.8mm and weighing 810g. Between the fins are six high-performance 6mm heat pipes. The cooling performance of Quiet Dark Rock Tf is amazing. In stock and overclocked idle, the Dark Rock Tf maintained a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.
Things a step further, this cooler maintained 58 and 70 degrees Celsius for non-OC and OC loads, respectively. Under very strenuous loads, the CPU seldom rises above 80 degrees Celsius. For a low-profile cooler, this is a really good number. The quietness made people know that these dual 145mm fans would be very quiet.
Even after pumping the fan to full speed at 1400RPM, the noise level does not exceed 34 dBA. The Dark Rock Tf features a dual-fan design with a heatsink sandwiched between them. Installation is not as easy as the two Noctua coolers above. Mount the backplate on the socket and apply thermal paste. Then attach the appropriate mounting bracket and screw it in place.
Finally, attach the fan over the heatsink. The installation process can be a bit tricky for beginners who are not familiar with it. The dual 135mm noise fans, advanced hydrodynamic bearings, and 6-pole motor help decrease noise levels.
The Dark Rock Tf cooler is a fantastic product. It’s a huge improvement over the stock coolers you can usually get on AMD and Intel CPUs. You can get what you paid for with a Dar Kk Rock Tf cooler, which will give you big money back.
2. NOCTUA NH-L9i
The Noctua NH-L9i is the best low-profile CPU cooler and currently leads the market with the highest review rating. It has fairly good specs compared to other CPU coolers. Optimized and works great in powerful conditions. Noctua NH-L9i is an air-cooled cooler that can be used in confined spaces. It measures 95x95x37mm and weighs 420g. A small cooler with an attached fan and heatsink material made of aluminum and copper.
Compatible with both Intel and AMD processors. However, it is important to discuss here that this low-profile CPU cooler can manage overclocking at a low level. Please note that it makes no sense if you plan to use it for heavy overclocking. But it is the best choice for HTPC and gaming.
Who enjoys buzzing while using a PC? No one appreciates being distracted while working on a computer. For anyone who is easily addicted to noise, the NOCTUA NH-L9i is the best choice. This CPU cooler is known for its top quality. We have already mentioned that this is the best low-profile CPU cooler.
3. Cooler Master i71C RGB
The Cooler Master i71C offers a huge advantage in terms of buck performance. You don’t have to invest a lot of money, and in the end, you get a keyboard that offers a huge thermal improvement over a basic cooler. You can also get a cooler with rocking RGB lighting that can be synchronized with various other vendors for under $20.
The Cooler Master i71C is a significant improvement over conventional coolers. In stock, the load temperature did not exceed 65 degrees Celsius. The performance started to drop slightly on overclocking as the temperature approached 90 degrees Celsius. Overall, this cooler could improve over the standard coolers shipped with Intel or AMD CPUs.
The PWM fan is adjustable in speed from 600 to 180u0 RPM. Besides, the fans were surprisingly quiet. The noise level did not exceed 30 dBA. Add all this to the RGB effect, and you can safely say this is one of the best low-profile RGB CPU coolers out there.
The design is simple: a metal heatsink with 57 fins and a 120mm fan. You can see through the fan’s blades, which helps with this cooler’s RGB lighting. The heat pipes are exposed to copper and are closely connected via fins on the i71C. The copper insert provides excellent heat dissipation, which helps to cool the CPU.
This cooler is compatible with LGA115x chipsets. Align the Cooler Master i71C’s backplate with the socket and screw the fan. Add some thermal paste and secure the mount bracket. This cooler is slightly taller at 60mm tall and weighs 385g.
4. Arctic Alpine 12
Arctic Alpine 12 is an economical cooler. Alpine 12 uses superior heat sink material, and its traditional and unique design makes it suitable for small PC cases. Its height of 42mm is perfect for a mini gaming PC. However, it is a low-profile CPU cooler with a simple and smooth architecture that can handle mid-range gaming processors.
It also has a push pin system with most existing Intel coolers, making installation easy. But it can be used for overclocking. A CPU cooler that can work perfectly with a processor with 4 cores. However, you cannot exceed more than 4 cores as the additional cores generate more heat.
ARCTIC Alpine 12 is the best cooler for those on a small budget. You can get it for less than $15. It is popular in the community due to its low cost. But citing heat absorption, this cooler is not an elite choice. Most gaming PCs have high-end gaming processors that dissipate heat, and these coolers aren’t meant to handle the excess heat.
Also, if you’re going to overclock your processor, don’t expect it to be able to handle excessive overclocking. Designed for moderate overclocking. Higher levels of performance require more cooling fans because you can’t expect any special performance from this cooler.
5. Cooler Master MasterAir G100M
The Cooler Master MasterAir G100M is the best choice for cooling your running PC. Various internet platforms have highly rated this CPU cooler because of its cooling effect. It comes with an elegant design and innovative technology. It has nice pipes for heat which dissipates heat nicely.
Another thing is that it is easy to install and works well with any type of processor. If you’re a gamer and you’re using a high-tech processor on your PC, this cooler is your best bet. Aluminum fins work perfectly for heat dissipation and keep your PC cool for a long time.
Another feature is that it is not too expensive. You can experience a good CPU cooler at an affordable price. However, it lacks a few features, but it is not suitable as it is a low-cost CPU cooler. We can consider a noble CPU cooler in terms of overclocking and heat dissipation. It is said to be the best low-profile CPU cooler for overclocking as it works well for moderate overclocking.
6. CRYORIG C7
The Cryorig C7 is the best CPU cooler we have on the market. However, this cooler is slightly more expensive than the others. Works great on heavy CPUs and is also great for gaming PCs. This CPU cooler comes in various coolers and is compatible with all sockets. With a height of 47mm, it fits snugly in a mini case.
However, this cooler has 4 heat pipes that do a good job of removing heat from the PC. The Cryorig C7 can be expensive, but its outstanding features have made it popular among buyers. This CPU cooler can cool your PC efficiently. Also, having the right Cooler is one of the additional aspects.
Also, this CPU cooler doesn’t require a guidebook to install on your PC. You can easily do it yourself. This cooler works well under load and doesn’t make much noise during operation. This is a bit expensive, but because of its features, you can think of it as the best low-profile CPU for overclocking.
7. Cooler Master GeminII M4
The Cooler Master GeminII M4 is one of the best-quality CPU coolers. Four direct-contact heat pipes absorb heat efficiently. In this way, it becomes the basic part of the CPU. This CPU cooler directs the heat flow to aluminum fins dissipated by a 12mm slim fan. Compatible with Intel and AMD systems.
The most useful feature of the Cooler Master GeminII M4 is that it can be used even with excessive overclocking. It was surprising because of its unique style and design and is now a buyer’s priority. This is the age of modern technology, and we want to operate everything in our comfort zone.
Most of us are gamers, and the rest do office work from home. Some of us overclock our CPUs for efficient performance. However, we overlook that one-factor overclocking releases a large amount of heat that is very dangerous at the same time.
If you don’t consider buying the best low-profile CPU cooler for overclocking, you’re risking the life of the other components of your CPU. While we’re talking about overclocking and heat sinking, the Cooler Master GeminII M4 is better for overclocking and best suited for gaming and other purposes.
8. Thermaltake Engine 27
The Thermaltake Engine 27 is a decent CPU cooler with nice controls. With a height of 27mm, it is ideal for mini-ITX cases. The immense heat of the CPU can be controlled with this cool cooler. This is the shortest CPU cooler we have. The top-rated feature of this cooler is PWM technology. This technique is highly desirable and works well in these coolers.
The fan is fast and cools the processor. This factor excites most PC users. It’s metal and can control a large amount of heat emitted by the CPU. It’s perfectly designed and works great with your game processor. This cooler transfers heat instantly without delay.
In terms of overclocking, this is one of the best CPU coolers out there. But still can’t expect everything from this CPU cooler, but so far, it’s good for overclocking. According to the reviews, this cooler is one of our most versatile coolers. It works the same as promised. But above all else, compared to other coolers, you can see that the price is a bit high.
These coolers will perform well under heavy loads, even if they can withstand temperatures up to 65-70 degrees. According to the price, it should be more surprising and reliable. Nonetheless, these are the best low-profile CPU coolers for overclocking we’ve been discussing.
9. ARCTIC Alpine 11 GT Rev 2
The Arctic Alpine 11 GT is a bit of a performance upgrade, especially compared to the Intel stock cooler. A denser heatsink does a good job of dissipating heat, but the main advantage of this cooler over other basic cooling units is that it is much quieter.
The Arctic Alpine 11 GT is on our list for many good reasons. Multi-socket compatibility makes it a user-friendly device. Very low noise generation is the reason it is so popular. Not only is it very reasonably priced, but it’s also one step ahead of most stock coolers.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one cooler that runs quieter and delivers satisfactory performance for a fraction of the cost, the Arctic Alpine 11 GT is the right choice.
10. Cryorig C1
The Cryorig C1 is another low-profile CPU cooler on the list. You can choose this if you don’t want to use a regular cooler. C1 is the bigger and newer version of C7. It’s the only cooler on this CPU cooler with a large 144mm fan with a 140W TDP. Having a 144mm fan means you need a lot of space, so if you have space in your room, you can easily go there.
However, it is cheaper than the C7. Due to its large size and less attractive construction, most users do not admire it. In terms of overclocking, this is the best choice if you want moderate overclocking. However, it doesn’t work well on high-tech processors and excessive overclocking.
This CPU cooler can absorb heat well, which is your best choice if you’re not a heavy computer user. But keep in mind that the C1 cooler also requires low-profile memory. The Cryorig C1 is the best choice for individuals with a limited budget.
This is because it is cheaper than the Cryorig C7. But I think C7 has better heat absorption and size than C1. Any CPU with a decent level of overclocking can buy it. It serves a CPU cooler’s primary purpose and supports Intel and AMD processors.
Best Low Profile CPU Cooler Buyer’s Guide
When buying the best CPU cooler, the first thing that comes to mind is that you should buy one with the best cooling performance. Below we have mentioned essential things to consider when choosing a low-profile CPU cooler.
One thing to consider when buying a low-profile CPU cooler for overclocking is the 3-4 pin. And the 4-pin connector is much better than the 3-pin connector. The 4-pin connector lets you easily modify the fan’s speed and volume. All of these connectors are user-friendly and very light in weight.
The 3-pin connector does not allow you to make certain adjustments, such as changing fan speed or anything else. The 4-pin connector is more secure than other pins.
When we talk about fittings, we don’t mean that a low-profile cooler has to fit your PC physically. Although required! One of the areas at issue is whether it fits perfectly into the CPU socket on the motherboard. The space around the CPU socket is tight, so size should be considered.
Keep in mind that size matters. Any kind of physical interference in your PC box is undesirable and is a way to cause a bunch of other problems. The low-profile cooler doesn’t mean it’s still compact enough to fit almost anywhere. Dimensions must be taken into account.
3. TDP (Thermal Design Power)
Thermal Design Power measures the cooling performance of a CPU cooler. The TDP rating is directly proportional to the amount of cooling required. So if you have a high wattage rating, you should buy a cooler with a good rating. You need to look at the type and grade of your CPU.
Once you know, you need to find a slightly higher cooler. You don’t want to climb too high, which means money is wasted. But keep a fair margin, so there are no problems.
4. CPU cooler size
Low-profile CPU coolers aren’t as flexible as those for ITX-sized cases or boards. There isn’t much real estate to work in. You can guess the size of the cooler by looking at the size. With that in mind, don’t block adjacent ports; choose the one that fits your motherboard.
CPU cooler fan noise is just annoying. There are no two ways about it. I don’t want the computer to make the airplane engine sound. Some coolers keep noise levels low by decibels, and others do not. The fan’s RPM is directly related to how loud the cooler is.
Generally, a noise level of less than 30 dB is acceptable. Cases and other environmental noises suppress sound well. Noise levels higher than that can be annoying.
6. RGB aesthetics
The Noctua cooler is simply fantastic but follows a very nice Cooler scheme. This scheme can taste bad on a PC that looks great overall, with RGB lighting illuminating and changing colors. Some coolers provide a significant temperature drop without compromising the look at all.
Intel and AMD currently have two of the most popular chipsets. Intel has long dominated the market, but the number of AMD processors is also rising. However, not all coolers support these different types of chipsets. You should check which chipset you have and whether the cooler you are looking for supports that chipset.
In the list above, we’ve tried to cover various factors, including the prices of coolers. In general, the more you invest, the better you start looking for products. However, plenty of decent coolers out there do more than just a satisfying job and don’t cost much.
Another important factor that people usually ignore when buying a CPU cooler for overclocking warranty. The best CPU coolers also come with a warranty.
1. What is a low-profile CPU cooler?
Low-profile coolers are not designed to provide advanced heat. If you’re planning to build a mini-ITX gaming PC or other small form factor system, the low-profile option may be the only option you should consider.
Does the size of the fan matter?
Simply put the size of the fan matters. The 120mm fan is the most popular fan for low-profile CPUs. A larger fan can push more air than a smaller one, running at the same RPM.
3. Which low-profile cooler is right for you?
A suitable low-profile cooler works effectively and can withstand heavy loads. It should be possible enough for optimal performance without making as much noise that is more likely to cause a disturbance.
What is the difference between a 3-pin connector and a 4-pin connector?
The 4th pin has a built-in PWM pin and high-efficiency speed control. It will help you adjust the fan speed and set the ideal RPM.
On the other hand, a 3-pin fan doesn’t use PWM to control its speed. Instead, it uses variable voltage control and adjusts the speed accordingly.
How long does the thermal paste need to be replaced?
Generally, thermal pastes last about 2-3 years. But that may depend on how hot your CPU can get. The paste dries faster if the CPU runs at high temperatures frequently. A good quality thermal paste will last a long time and provide a temperature drop of several degrees.
With all of this, you should know the best low-profile CPU cooling fans for overclocking and non-overclocking. A buyer’s guide will also help you decide what to keep in mind when making a decision. For further queries, feel free to ask in the comment section below.