I understand that I am looking for the best of many worlds here, but if I can satisfy these criteria it would be a huge help to me.
I recently bought a CPU cooler to replace the stock Intel one that came with my CPU (E97379-001 on an i3-2100). The cooler needed to be low profile, as good at cooling my i3 as the stock cooler, quieter than it, and also pretty cheap as I'm on a low income. The Arctic Freezer 11 LP was recommended in that thread and it seemed like the best fit.
The problem with the Intel E97379-001 stock cooler was that while it was usually relatively quiet at idle, it started to get loud at higher loads. After having received and installed the Arctic Freezer 11 LP, I've run into the opposite problem: its speed and sound is always consistently at the same sound level, no matter what the load seems to be, and that happens to be about as loud and about as annoying as the stock Intel one at full load.
I've also noticed that when I place my hand around the vicinity of the fan, I can't feel much air being moved around it like I could with the Intel cooler. This is despite the cooler being connected to the PWM pin and the fact that I've made sure it's properly installed. The review and tests here seem to make sense of this.
So here I am, looking for a quieter, low profile alternative to the Arctic Freezer 11 Low Profile at roughly the same price (ideally less than £20, but failing that, feel free to recommend alternatives and I'll select the cheapest). As always, I'm grateful to anyone who knows their way around the world of PC coolers and can help with this.