10 Best CPU Coolers



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The heavy loads placed on a modern central processor lead to an inevitable increase in temperature indicators. Intensive heating is fraught with an increase in noise in operation (due to the maximum speed of the native “boxed” cooler), overheating of the CPU, frequent random reboots, and the risk of failure of the processor and motherboard. To ensure the long-term operation of all PC components, it is important to take care of their sufficient cooling, so consider purchasing a quality fan for your computer. And since they have different structure, efficiency and compatibility with processors, let’s first of all turn to the main selection criteria. Next, let’s see the best coolers for Intel and Ryzen processors.

What do you pay attention to when choosing CPU coolers?

  1. cooler type. Everything is simple here. Boxed coolers are those that the processor manufacturer bundles with its product. However, their effectiveness is low, akin to an integrated video card, which cannot compete with a full-fledged discrete board. For serious (including gaming) systems, cooling towers are suitable, with an aluminum radiator, a large fan and, which is not uncommon, copper heat pipes. Hybrid devices are also produced, their difference from tower ones is airflow around the socket space; they are expensive, but often more effective. There is an even more efficient alternative to coolers — liquid cooling systemsbut this is a fundamentally different solution.
  2. Compatibility. The most elementary criterion, but it is unacceptable to forget about it. Make sure that the cooler fits the required processor socket (we are talking about the socket API).
  3. physical dimensions. The cooler should fit into the case and not affect other components of the system unit. Chassis specifications often contain information about the height limit for a CPU cooler.
  4. Dissipated power. The unit of measurement for this quantity is watts. This indicator allows you to understand how much heat the cooling system can remove. Often manufacturers indicate an overestimated value for their products, so we recommend taking it with a margin. For example, for an overclocked Ryzen 5 2600, the power dissipation of the cooler should be at least 130 watts, ideally more. Savings in this case will result in serious heating in games.
  5. The presence of heat pipes. In the days of weak processors, which did not show high temperatures even with the «native» cooler, there was no need to transfer heat to the cooling surfaces. However, the increase in CPU performance has led to an increase in the amount of heat generated and the appearance of heat pipes on coolers. Since the effectiveness of such tubes is not affected by their physical parameters, you need to rely on their number. Roughly speaking, the more the better.
  6. Fan settings. There is an opinion that the number of fan revolutions “decides” in the matter of cooling efficiency. In fact, the physical dimensions of the turntable are much more important. With a large impeller diameter, more air is taken in per revolution, so the rotation speed can be reduced without compromising temperatures, and with it the noise of the cooler. That is, a 120 mm fan at 1200 rpm should work more efficiently than an 80 mm fan at 2400 rpm. There is also a difference in the type of bearing. The Ball bearing (hydrodynamic) type is durable and quiet, while the Slide bearing (“sliding”) is worse in this regard.
  7. Maximum airflow. Not all manufacturers provide such information, but we still recommend that you take an interest in this on the official website of the manufacturer of the selected model. This parameter directly indicates the efficiency of the cooling unit, the unit of measurement is cubic feet per minute.
  8. Power connector. The 4-pin connector will allow you to manually control the speed of the fans, adjust them to suit your conditions. 3-pin does not have this feature.

Best Budget CPU Coolers

5 Deepcool ICE BLADE 100

Let’s start, according to tradition, with the cheapest, but at the same time noteworthy product. This small cooler has a fan diameter of only 92 mm, which is enough to cool low-cost processors of not the newest type. So, «Intel» sockets 1150/51, 1155/56 and «AMD» sockets FM2 / FM2 +, AM3 / AM3 +, as well as some outdated connectors are supported.

To a certain extent, the small dimensions of the fan are compensated by its high speed of rotation — up to 2200 rpm. The maximum noise level is 31.6 dB, although some users say the turntable is noisy. The use of the patented Core Touch Technology offers a better grip on the surface of the processor. Deepcool has an excellent reputation in this market segment, and even such a mini-device of the company as ICE BLADE 100 was able to become in demand.

Pros:

  • Optimal for small cases and weak processors
  • Low price
  • Versatility in terms of socket support
  • Light weight, save space in the system unit

Minuses:

  • small fan
  • Not the quietest in operation, you can not adjust the speed

four PCcooler GI-X6R

Productive in terms of technical parameters, high-quality according to customer reviews and attractively priced cooler from a little-known brand. In the wake of the popularity of the GI-X5R model, which has some significant drawbacks, an improved version came out — GI-X6R, with a beautiful red backlight. This is a big aesthetic plus if the computer case cover is transparent or open.

Fan speed is 1000 rpm minimum and 1800 rpm maximum, airflow is 35-65 CFM, with maximum noise up to 26.5 dB. The ability to dissipate energy is TDP 160W. Many sockets are supported, including the Intel LGA115x and the relatively new AMD AM4. The warranty period is 1 year. Among the shortcomings, there is a meager equipment in the form of thermal paste and a plastic frame with latches.

Pros:

  • Efficient heat dissipation
  • 5 heat pipes
  • No noise at work
  • Backlight
  • Replaceable stock fan

Minuses:

  • Tight mounting latches
  • Inaccurately processed «sole»

3 Zalman CNPS10X Optima

A budget option from a well-known manufacturer that has received a lot of feedback from users, most of them positive. The vertical design cooler has four copper tubes and dissipates up to 130 W of heat. The radiator is made of a combination of aluminum and copper. The cooler’s fan rotates at a speed of 1000 to 1700 rpm. It copes with the task of cooling the processor perfectly, but it is difficult to call it completely silent. The “tower” itself does not heat up at all even under conditions of intense gaming loads.

In the package you can find thermal paste (very good quality) and several mounts for different sockets. The easiest installation awaits owners of a motherboard with an AM3 connector.

Pros:

  • Quality cooling
  • Thermal paste ZM-STG2M included
  • Universal mounts for all sockets
  • Reliable fixation on the motherboard
  • It is possible to install a second fan

Minuses:

  • Not very easy installation, requires reading the instructions
  • Poor polishing of the contact surface to the processor

2 Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (RR-212E-16PK-R1)

«Old doesn’t mean useless.» Released in 2011 as a representative of the third generation of the 2007 Cooler Master cooler, this cooler is still capable of silently cooling powerful processors with comfortable acoustic pressure, including during overclocking loads. What, in fact, explains its demand in the market.

The single-tower design and heat exchanger with direct contact technology is complemented by 4 flattened tubes that completely cover the heated part of the processor, which gives a much better heat dissipation compared to the closed base design. Even overclocked modern Ryzen processors are not able to leave this cooler out of work. The universal mounting system allows installation on the LGA 2011-V3 connector.

Pros:

  • Efficient cooling
  • Noiselessness
  • Vertical and horizontal installation
  • Possibility to replace the fan
  • Great thermal paste included

Minuses:

  • Difficulties with fixing on the processor

one Deepcool GAMMAXX 300

The most popular cooler that earns its price by 200%. In terms of price-quality ratio, this solution has practically no equal. GAMMAXX 300 does an excellent job of cooling low-end and mid-range processors, as the power dissipation reaches 125W. If you need to cool the top «stone», then you need the appropriate cooler segment.

The model is universal, suitable for almost all processor models. The kit includes the necessary mountings and soles. For the production of the radiator, aluminum plates were used, supplemented by 3 copper tubes. The fan does not make much noise in operation even at maximum speed, which can be 1600 rpm. Air flow force — 40 CFM.

Pros:

  • Excellent reputation among the people
  • Efficient cooling
  • Relatively quiet operation
  • Reliability
  • Best value for money
  • Automatic fan speed control

Minuses:

  • Uncomfortable clips with unreliable plastic «ears»
  • Tight mount for AMD

Best Premium CPU Coolers

5 Deepcool Fryzen

The best cooler for Ryzen processors is Fryzen. Deepcool positions this product as one of the best options for the ultra-powerful AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor. Despite the standard fan diameter (120 mm), the cooler has a rather large footprint. At first glance, the bright design with RGB lighting on the blades catches the eye.

Maximum power dissipation — 250 W, airflow — 64 CFM. The manufacturer did not hesitate to announce a rather high noise threshold — 41.5 dB, which is more than many analogues. In the package you can find a syringe tube with thermal paste, high reliability fasteners, power adapters. Buyers note the quality of the aluminum frame and the durability inherent in the radiator.

Pros:

  • Massive copper base
  • X-shaped fan cover with LEDs
  • Cute design
  • Relatively easy installation
  • Easy dust removal

Minuses:

  • Small fan compared to competitors
  • Big weight

four be quiet! DARKROCK PRO 4

In this model line, there have been decent solutions before, but the fourth generation has undergone several important changes. Of course, if your processor has DARK ROCK 3, it makes no sense to change it to the 4th PRO-shku, but if the choice is between buying «3» and «4», it is better to prefer a newer sample, given the absence of a fundamental difference in price.

What changed? The radiator is painted strictly black, ceramic particles are used in the coating. The cooler has got new Silent Wings 3 fans, which are supported by the quietness of the three-phase motor and reduced power consumption. Also improved mounting and simplified installation on the CPU.

What can boast in general? The model performs well in the reviewers’ tests, showing noiselessness during overclocking. Supports processors with TDP 250W. There is potential for equal competition with liquid cooling systems.

Pros:

  • 2 fans + 7 heatpipes
  • Style and severity of appearance
  • Quiet in all modes
  • Gorgeous packaging and accessories
  • Smart fastening

Minuses:

  • Price with 120mm fan
  • On microATX, the nearest RAM slot is blocked

3 Thermalright Archon IB-E X2

At a lower price than DARK ROCK PRO 4, you will get a high-performance cooler with a fan diameter of 140 mm, versatile and rich in kit. The model bypasses many competitors in various test scenarios, and all thanks to the presence of a second regular fan. And even though it has a rather thin radiator, this does not prevent it from competing with large analogues with double radiators.

The maximum noise level is 21 dB, although experts note that at high fan speeds, the audibility of the cooler is very noticeable. But the maximum power dissipation is an impressive 320 watts. Due to the dimensions of the device, it is recommended to check the compatibility if you want to place it in a narrow case.

Pros:

  • Two fans
  • High power dissipation
  • AM4 socket support out of the box
  • Does not cover the first RAM slot
  • Fits perfectly into ATX cases
  • Reliability and simplicity of design

Minuses:

  • Noise at high speeds

2 Noctua NH-D15S

On the second line is a lighter version of our first line. With the release of Noctua NH-D15S, the Austrian manufacturer managed to eliminate the problem of compatibility between the cooler and other components of the system unit — RAM and video card, thanks to an asymmetric heatsink. In addition, the NH-D15S offered the performance of the NH-D15 at the price of the NH-U14S, which caught the attention of buyers.

Unlike the older version, this one received only one fan. The serious price of the device is due to the high-quality cooling of the hottest “stoves” with minimal noise output. Complete versatility, ease of mounting and the ability to install a second fan are provided. Buying such a cooler, you will forever forget about checking the temperature of your processor, compatibility issues and intrusive noise.

Pros:

  • Quiet and efficient
  • Long life fan
  • Reliable fastening of SecuFirm2
  • 6 years manufacturer’s warranty
  • High quality thermal paste for repeated use
  • Mini-ITX Compatible

Minuses:

  • Dimensions and weight
  • Price

one Noctua NH-D15

Looking for a good Intel CPU cooler? Your choice is Noctua NH-D15. The flagship solution that replaced the NH-D14 and proved that in terms of cooling computer processors, you can show even higher efficiency at a lower noise level. This became possible with new fans and a slightly modified design. From its predecessor, the model has adopted high manufacturing quality, easy installation, generous packaging and a 6-year warranty.

The best use case is Intel LGA2011 sockets or ATX boards (or larger ones) with new AMD sockets. For the MicroATX form factor, this is not the best solution. In the 30-minute AIDA64 stability test, the maximum temperature was 55 degrees, and at the highest fan speeds.

There is a solution with black coloring Chromax.black, released specifically for those who do not like the signature milk chocolate color of Noctua products.

Pros:

  • High Efficiency Cooling
  • Reliability and durability
  • Rich equipment
  • Quality service from Noctua
  • No noise
  • Excellent thermal paste

Minuses:

  • Massiveness
  • Price

What is the best PC cooler to buy?

In fact, the purchase of a cooler to replace the boxed one is not necessary for everyone and not always. Most often, owners of AMD processors turn to this issue, offhand they recall the FX-4xxx and FX-8xxx lines, which could easily heat a room of 10m2

As soon as you start to notice that the noise from the fan is increasing, spontaneous reboots of the computer appear, and the CPU temperature rises above 60-70 degrees, then there is an urgent need for a new air cooling system. You should also think about purchasing it when assembling a productive gaming system.

A budget cooler with limited cooling efficiency and modest technical parameters is suitable for most computers, as it still does not allow the CPU to heat up to critical levels. The use of expensive coolers and advanced water cooling systems makes sense only under conditions of critical loads on the computer hardware, when the purchase of such coolers is dictated by an urgent need. The rule “like the processor, like the cooler” comes into play.

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