With a little care, you can build a Mini-ITX system that packs the punch of a PC many times larger. Keeping a high-end Mini-ITX machine cool usually involves liquid-cooling, though, as giant heatinks don't tend to fit in compact ITX cases. Folks who are amenable to trading available space for cooling performance might favor the new version of Thermalright's Silver Arrow cooler, appropriately named the Silver Arrow ITX-R.
This actually isn't the first time Thermalright has shrunk the Silver Arrow to fit on ITX motherboards. In this iteration, though, most of the reduction in mass seems to have come from trimming a little off the cooler's top. Thermalright's new design stands just 150mm above the CPU socket, versus 165mm in its last ITX incarnation. The new cooler comes with one of Thermalright's TY-129 fans that uses the mounting points of a 120-mm spinner but has a larger inner diameter.
Like the previous Silver Arrow ITX, the ITX-R's towers have bottom sections with substantial clearance and graduated steps to the sides. Thermalright says those steps allow the cooler to better fit on cramped ITX motherboards with tall VRM heatsinks and memory. The company apparently designed the Silver Arrow ITX-R specifically to fit on the Asus ROG family of ITX motherboards, though there's no reason why it can't fit on almost any other model.
There's no pricing info yet, but the current Silver Arrow ITX is selling for $80 at Amazon. We don't expect the new ITX-R variant to stray too far from that price.