Whether you’re looking for impressive CPU overclocking or building a quiet PC under load, your cooler should be chosen carefully. Choosing the best CPU cooler for your processor is an important decision in upgrading your CPU or building a new PC. The best CPU coolers can make a big difference in system temperatures, noise, and even performance, especially if you’re overclocking.
If your CPU cooler cannot keep up with the heat your processor generates, it can result in poor processor performance or shortened processor lifespan.
Also, don’t forget to consider thermal paste or another thermal interface material (TIM). Most coolers come with some sort of paste, either in a small syringe or pre-applied to a metal cold plate. Find the best thermal paste for your CPU by checking out our many thoroughly tested products for the most efficient heat transfer between your CPU and cooler plate.
best CPU cooler for you
If you’re debating whether to go for air cooling (a big metal heatsink with a fan) or AIO for water cooling (a pump attached to a radiator and fan), there are a few things to consider. Large air coolers tend to occupy space inside PC cases. Or at least you’ll need more vertical clearance from the best motherboards, which can limit your case choices. Also, air coolers can be louder and less efficient than liquid coolers at pulling heat away from the CPU and out of the chassis. But these days, it’s not cut and dry. If you can go the ultimate route, there are also fanless air cooling options like Noctua’s Colossal NH-P1 for the ultimate, truly silent cooling option, but to expel warm air from the case You will need a case fan.
Air-cooled coolers are typically cheaper than AIOs, but while high-end air-cooled coolers approach and sometimes reach prices in the $100s and beyond, AIO coolers are becoming more and more affordable, so the The lines are blurring, too.On the extreme air side of the cooling line, the Ice Giant Prosiphon Elite has an MSRP of $170, competing with many larger AIO coolers. Also, Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid PL360 is indeed a neat (and pretty big) AIO cooler for $190.
If money isn’t a big deal and quiet operation and low temperatures are important, you may want to consider a custom cooling loop. See features. Just know that custom cooling loops will always be much more expensive than nearly any other cooling alternative, and future component upgrades can be much more complicated.
Here are our tested picks for air and liquid cooling options. But first, let’s talk about some quick shopping tips to help you choose the best CPU cooler for you.
Consider the following points when choosing the best CPU cooler for your needs:
- Got a recent Ryzen CPU? You may not need to buy a cooler, but it depends on the model. Most Ryzen 2000 and 3000 series processors and some older Ryzen models come with coolers, and many of them can handle moderate overclocking. However, Ryzen 5000 CPUs do not ship with Ryzen 7/9 series coolers. Details about the included Ryzen 7000 cooler are still a bit unclear. If you want the highest possible CPU clock speed, buying an aftermarket cooler is usually recommended. But for many Ryzen owners who aren’t willing to push their silicon to its limits, the best CPU cooler may be the free one in the box.
- If you choose a large air cooler, be sure to check the clearance before purchasing. Bigger coolers and thinner models can bump into taller RAM and VRM heatsinks. Also, tall coolers can cause clearance issues with case doors and windows. Always check the dimensions and advertised clearances for the cooler and case you are considering before purchasing. please give me.
- Other things being equal, the more fans you have, the better the cooling effect, but the louder the noise. The best coolers for pushing warm air out of your CPU and case are often the loudest as well. If fan noise is an issue, you need a cooler that strikes a good balance between noise and cooling. If you can set the cooler’s fan speed based on the temperature in his BIOS of the motherboard, that should help too.
For more information on how to choose the right cooler (and cooler type), check out our 2021 CPU Cooler Buying Guide.
The best air cooler you can buy today
Cooler Master has gone to great lengths to release a superior option in the massive heatpipe cooler arena. The MasterAir MA624 Stealth trades a beating for some of the best CPU coolers we’ve tested, and it even comes with a third 120 mm fan in case his tall DIMMs create clearance issues can be used. The MasterAir MA624 Stealth doesn’t glow with RGB lighting that many people find refreshing. But unless you count Threadripper, it stands out on its merits as an effective, near-silent thermal solution for some of the most powerful desktop CPUs from both Intel and AMD.
read: Cooler Master MasterAir MA624 Stealth Review
Equipped with twin cooling towers, 7 heatpipes and 2x 140mm fans, Deep Cool’s GamerStorm Assassin III achieved the lowest temperature of any big air cooler. Its thermal performance combined with low noise makes it the choice for air cooling large CPUs, and as a bonus it looks great and is easy to install.
read: Deepcool Assassin III Review
Much like DeepCool’s AS500, DeepCool’s new AK500 is a great alternative for those who don’t have the space or budget to purchase a true large air cooler.It tops its cooling class and offers excellent temperatures at an MSRP of $59.99.
Cooler Master The MasterAir MA410M is a mid-sized air cooler that performs well, especially considering its aggressively designed exterior shell and the inclusion of addressable RGB lighting from the cooling tower itself is what we chose. At the high end of the affordable range, $67 (£60) may deter budget system builders a bit, but the features and performance are definitely worth those few extra bucks. There is none.
read: Cooler Master MasterAir MA410M Reviews
The Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 offers whisper-quiet cooling with big-league thermal performance, the kind of overclocked Threadripper performance that creeps into quality 360 AIO cooling performance. Equipped with 6 nickel-plated copper heatpipes and an NF-A15 140mm PWM fan, the AMD friendly NH-U14S TR4-SP3 is a silent thermal assassin. When it comes to Threadripper air cooling, this cooler meets all requirements for enthusiasts and overclockers.
read: Noctua NH-U14S review
Best Threadripper Cooler Alternatives: Arctic Freezer 50TR (opens in new tab)
Not as cool or quiet as Noctua’s NH-U14S, the Artice Freezer 50 TR caught our attention for its low profile. price. This value advantage is AMD’s previous generation 2000 series parts.
The Zalman CNPS10x Performa Black is a mid-sized quad heatpipe cooler that features jet black styling and a single ultra-quiet 135mm fan to cut through the CPU heat loads of multi-core desktop enthusiast processors.
With its $45 price tag and cooling potential approaching the leader in the pack, the Zalman CNPS10x Performa Black is strongly positioned to become a system builder’s favorite when you need to spend extra money on other components. increase. Zalman has provided the system building community with a great, no-frills cooling option that looks great and lets you focus your money where you need it.
read: Zalman CNPS10x Performa Black Review
Best Budget Air Cooler Alternatives: keep quiet! Shadow Rock Slim 2
Save on Best CPU Coolers
Whether you’re buying one of the products that made our best CPU cooler list, or one that isn’t, you may be able to save by checking our list of Newegg Promo Codes or Corsair Coupon Codes.
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