Best Low Profile CPU Coolers 2021

NOCTUA NH-L9A

The best 0-46mm CPU cooler. The NH-L9A tops out at max height of 37mm and in our testing was matching the 47mm Cryorig C7G in our Prime95 CPU stress test. The CPU cooler has no motherboard or ram compatibility issues.

ALPENFOHN BLACK RIDGE

The Black Ridge v2 CPU cooler give the best cooling performance in its class. The only downsides being its compatibility issues with some motherboards and only supporting Low Profile RAM with max height of 33mm. The BRB supports an additional slim 120×15/25mm top mounted fan increasing its height to 62/72mm. The 62/72mm config managed to match and in some cases beat the 70mm Noctua L12S in our Prime95 CPU testing.

SCYTHE BIG SHURIKEN 3

Scythe’s Big Shuriken 3 is 69mm in height at default, with comparable performance to the Noctua L12S. The Scythe Big Shuriken 3 features an offset cooler design, so the cooler covers I/O shroud instead of the RAM, as with the Noctua L12S. This means the cooler has no RAM compatibility issues.

NOCTUA NH-L12S

The Noctua L12S is by far one of the best CPU cooler between 70mm-95mm. Its price to performance ratio is unmatched and our favourite low profile CPU cooler where 70mm of CPU cooler clearance is available. This coolers height can be increased to 95mm by adding a 25mm thick top fan, however we recommend using a slim 15mm fan instead giving total height of 85mm.

NOCTUA NH-C14S

The NH-C14S is a top-flow CPU cooler that is both efficient and highly compatible. Featuring deep fin stacks and the renowned NF-A14 fan, this single fan NH-C14S provides similar quiet cooling performance to its dual fan predecessor while remaining versatile: with the fan installed on top of the fins, the coolers height is 140mm. With the fan installed underneath the fins, the total height of the cooler is only 115mm, making it suitable for use in many Mini ITX cases.