Thermalright AXP-100

The majority of SFF MicroATX and in particular Mini-ITX cases are let down when it comes to cooling as they cannot support high-end air-coolers such as the Thermalright Archon, as they stand more than 160mm tall --or 170mm in the case of the Archon.

While the Silverstone SG10 provides quite a lot of headroom supporting up to 165mm as we just mentioned, this is hardly a common feature. The older SG04, for example, supported a maximum cooler height of 82mm, while the Thermaltake Armor A30 went as tall as 90mm.

This rules out most traditional tower style heatsinks, leaving users to seek out a decent low-profile CPU heatsink. While there are plenty on offer, many are no better than the stock coolers that ship with AMD and Intel CPUs.

Recently Thermalright set out to create a universal low-profile heatsink for ITX and HTPC systems that stands just 58mm tall including a 100mm fan, while it is possible to fit larger 120mm and 140mm fans.

The AXP-100's heatsink measures 121mm (L) x 105mm (W) x 44mm (H) and weighs 320 grams, which is quite heavy for a compact heatsink. This is partly because of the C1100 pure copper nickel plated base and six 6mm copper heatpipes.

In total there are 39 fins which are just 0.5mm thick and are gapped at 1.9mm, covering an area that is 17mm deep by 105mm long and 90mm wide. The base is 40mm x 42mm which is just large enough to connect the six 6mm heatpipes.

Pushing air through all of those fins is the Thermalright TY-100 fan which measures 108mm (L) x 101mm (H) x 14mm (W) and weighs just 40 grams. The TY-100 is rated between 900 - 2500RPM generating 22 - 30 dBA of noise and moving 16.0 - 44.5CFM of air.

As mentioned earlier, the AXP-100 comes with mounting clips that also support 140mm and 120mm fans if you wish to drastically increase air-flow over the AXP-100.

Thermalright claims almost full compatibility with HTPC and ITX cases/motherboards and we certainly had no trouble fitting it to the Asrock Z87M Extreme4 or inside the Sugo SG10. Despite having just 35mm of space between the motherboard and the bottom of the fins, the AXP-100 was able to clear the heatsinks on the Z87M Extreme4.

Thermalright provides a comprehensive list of cases that the AXP-100 is and isn't compatible with. All small form factor Silverstone cases are supported while there's just a select few Lian-Li cases such as the PC-Q12, PC-Q09 and PC-Q05 which are listed as not compatible.

The AXP-100 supports all modern sockets and platforms which includes AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2 and Intel LGA2011/LGA1366/LGA1156/LGA1155/LGA1150/LGA775. The installation process is virtually the same on both platforms, though we found the LGA2011 to be the easiest as there is no need for the back plate.