Three Low Profile CPU Coolers Tested

Written by Harry Butler

June 11, 2009 | 09:34

Tags: #group-test #low-profile #low-profile-cpu-cooler #performance #review #roundup #tested #testing

Companies: #akasa #bit-tech #gelid #zalman

Installation


Akasa Low Profile Cooler AK-CC044

As it uses the same standard LGA 775 push pins as the reference cooler is very easy to fit, and with its very small dimensions won’t cause any problems with motherboard incompatibility at all. As it’s been designed specifically for use in cases with very limited space and airflow like the Akasa Enigma, this makes it ideal for even the smallest and most cramped of Mini-ITX builds.

Low profile CPU coolers on test Installation Low profile CPU coolers on test Installation
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Gelid Slim Silence 775

While the GELID is even lower than the Akasa, its back plate mounting system makes it a little trickier to install, although it’s still a fairly simple process requiring the tightening of just four screws which fasten the cooler to its back plate. While the GELID is slightly larger than the Akasa, it’s still well within the LGA 775 dimensions and thanks to being slightly elevated above the CPU socket, won’t interfere with caps, chokes or resistors near your CPU socket.

We fitted it to both the Intel DG45FC and Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX as well as the Intel P35 motherboard we use for testing coolers without issue in any orientation, so it’s a safe bet.

Low profile CPU coolers on test Installation Low profile CPU coolers on test Installation
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Zalman VF-2000

Because it is so much larger than the other coolers, the VF-2000 will have compatibility issues with some motherboards. You’re only able to install the cooler in one orientation, with the cooler placed laterally across the motherboard with curve of the heatpipes facing inwards. Trying to install the Vf-2000 any other way will meet in failure unless the motherboard’s chipset is non-existent.

The mounting mechanism itself is pretty complex, as all the mounts are interchangeable for AM2, LGA 755 and a huge amount of graphics cards. After assembling the mounts the cooler is secured by poking fittings through the LGA 775 mount holes and screwing sprung screws from the back side of the motherboard. It’s a tricky process involving not a small amount of finger gymnastics, but once in place the fitting is perfectly secure.

Low profile CPU coolers on test Installation Low profile CPU coolers on test Installation
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Once we had figured out the correct mounting orientation for the VF-2000 we were surprised to find it happily fitted onto both the mini-ITX motherboard as well as our P35 board, so it’s most definitely a mini-ITX option, although the cooler’s fin stack and heat pipes did extend beyond the boundary of the motherboard, making the VF-2000 less ideal for systems in very cramped conditions.
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