Haskell micro-ATX build will not fit a Prolima Genesis nor a Scythe but Noctua NH-12L works well.

Gosh what a pain, last year we were building very fast Haswell systems in micro-ITX. We could get two dual slot graphics cards in there and it sounded like a freight train, but could get overclocking to 4.5GHz or so with the Noctua NH-12L which is low profile with great clearance underneath. One fascinating thing though is that by the numbers, the NH-12L with both fans installed is very efficient. Although low profile it seems to work as well as the big ones. It needs modules to be 43mm or less so it is a tight fit with the ADATA V3 at the 92mm fan spot. I normally use slot 2 and 4 and this is fine.

But this was not the most efficient setup as there is plenty of top clearance in the case for a full height cooler. We got the Prolima Genesis which is basically the best cooler around according to SilentPCReview. Unfortunately, it didnt’ quite fit with the Adata XPG V2 memory. You really have to know the heights of various systems. The cooler has very low clearance at the 1st and second slot. I could actually get it to fit if memory were just in slot 3 and 4, but unfortunately on the Asrock Z97M OC, for interleaving, it needs slots 1 and 3 or 2 and 4, so we are stuck.

In looking at the specifications of the Genesis it shows that a nice chart where the maximum height is 32mm at slot 1 (won’t fit) and 44 mm at slot 2 then 55mm which actually does work. Just move things to slot 3 and 4. But the deeper problem is that it is too long for a small case. It is 216mm long and over hangs into the space for the power supply in the tiny Silverstone SG10-B case which the specs show can support 165mm high coolers (The Genesis is 159mm so tight but that’s the point). The Genesis actually protrudes over a micro-ATX motherboard rear edge and hits the Power supply. If you want to use the genesis you have to use a larger case in summary.

Next up was to try the Scythe Big Shuriken Rev B. This is also a low profile unit, but with a 120mm downfacing fan, it has a ram height clearance of you can’t tell from the product page, but certainly doesn’t fit the 44mm highs, it looks like you need very low profile particularly in slot 1. This is a model that works well if you have low profile Ram.

The next one on the list is the Thermalright Silver Arrow. This one looks like a decent fit. The product spec shows it is narrower so will fit withint a micro-ATX footprint (unlike the Prolima Genesis), and in it has a 160mm height. The Ram heights are 45mm so it will fit at the furthest, but slot 1 may not work as those clearances look like 30mm and then 38mm.

One simple solution to these problems is to get lower profile memory. The gamers stuff adds kind of ridiculous coolers that add 13mm to the height, but the new ADATA V3 let’s you remove those fins. These things are usually glued on so you can remove them. But memory is still expensive at $110 per 8GB, so it is cheaper to get a better cooler or figure out a way to take these things off.