Usually when Thermalright has sent me an aftermarket cooler, whether it is for a CPU or a GPU, they tended to be built with the bigger is better theme to them. I haven't personally seen a lot of their earlier coolers, but with coolers like the Shaman, Silver Arrow and even the TRUE Black, there was never really a space saving thought in the whole designing and building process. Thermalright is seeing the market swing in custom built PCs, and currently that move is to either go to a gaming HTPC setup for your living room, or you just got tired of the huge cases and full ATX, and decide to save a ton of room at home and move into SFF builds. While there aren't a whole lot of options out there for Micro-ATX, the sensible move for most is to a Mini-ITX motherboard.
This is where Thermalright decides that maybe the bigger is better tactics that worked for so long, may not be the right idea to stay with in today's needs and wants in aftermarket cooling. The latest cooler to arrive takes in a few concerns of the very compact and not very space friendly cases associated with SFF builds or home theater cases. With home theater, there is usually a bit more room in most of the cases, but efficient cooling is always a concern and silence while doing so is a must. As for the SFF cases, and the use of a Mini-ITX motherboard, space is very limited, and depending on the socket location, things like the memory and video card are very close to the socket, leaving Thermalright with very little room for error if they plan to cool these boards as well.
This is why Thermalright has released the AXP-100, a low profile and very compact CPU cooler. This is a C-style cooler, just squished almost flat onto the base, but at first glance you realize right away that this is a Thermalright cooler. The ticker fins, the nickel plating, the finely polished base, and much like Noctua does, this Thermalright offers very unique colors for the frames and blades.
Even with the compact nature of the AXP-100, I plan to put this cooler through all the testing, and see if the AXP-100 can keep the heat at bay with the stock runs, but I also plan to see if this cooler will allow for any overclocking headroom. That in mind, let's jump into the specifications and pricing, so we can get a much closer look at the AXP-100, and see just how efficient this new low-profile CPU cooler really is.