Some computer operations are difficult, if not impossible without certain components. But if you have to prioritize, then the processor will probably come out first. It is in charge of all the calculations. Also, the overall performance of the operating system, the display speed, and the stability of the frame rate in the games depend on the processor as well.
For a stable operation of the “stone”, you must observe the optimal temperature regime, because otherwise the computer will not be able to provide maximum performance and will even start to shut down due to overheating. In this review, we will look at the best CPU coolers that will effectively deal with heat dissipation.
CPU cooler: which manufacturer is better
- Noctua … The legendary Austrian company that produces first-class air cooling systems. Their main advantage is the very quiet operation of their CPUs.
- Be quiet! This brand is known for its power supplies, chassis, and, of course, cooling systems with incredible quietness and incredible efficiency.
- DeepCool … A Chinese company that competes on an equal footing with global brands. The company produces both fans and ventilation units at a very attractive price.
- Zalman … South Korean giant, one of the leaders in its segment. The brand focuses on low noise levels, which is confirmed by many buyers.
- Refrigerator master … Private Taiwanese corporation, founded in 1992. The company has repeatedly received prestigious awards for cabinet design and quality of CO.
- NZXT … A relatively young American manufacturer that quickly gained market leadership in gaming. NZXT products are excellent, but not cheap.
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The best CPU coolers
Air cooling is most common in home and work machines. Its advantage is the ease of installation and availability. A relatively efficient cooler can be purchased for relatively little money, and simple solutions suitable for entry-level processors are included.
However, for users who want to take advantage of the overclocking option and try to achieve a silent system, these conventional coolers won’t be suitable for them. In this case, it makes sense to buy something better.
1. Noctua NH-D15
Our review on the best CPU coolers starts with an ideal combination of price and quality. The Noctua NH-D15 comes in a solid box with several smaller boxes inside. They contain the device itself with the main fan, an additional “turntable” and accessories for it, dividers and resistors to reduce the speed, as well as clips for systems based on Intel and AMD with detailed installation instructions.
A Phillips screwdriver and a tube with high-quality thermal paste are also included, so if they are not available, you will not need to spend extra.
This cooler can definitely be called a gaming cooler, as it will handle the best blue and red processors not only in stock but also in overclocking. The design of the NH-D15 model resembles its predecessor – a two-piece radiator weighing 1 kg. To this must be added the weight of one or a pair of “turntables” of 320 grams each. But on the other hand, such a system provides very efficient cooling with a noise of 25 dB.
- the highest quality of assembly
- silence and cooling efficiency
- 6 years official warranty
- rich delivery set
- ease of installation.
- impressive size.
2. Thermalright Macho Rev. A
One of the quietest coolers in our review – from 17 to 21 dB at maximum load. This model is equipped with its own fan TY-140. Its rotation speed (from 900 to 1300 rpm) is controlled by the PWM method.
The Macho Rev.A radiator turns out to be quite massive.
It consists of 6 copper heat pipes, the radiator itself includes 31 aluminum fins. The base of a box with a cooler is not ideal, but it is better to check it for a specific case. However, the slight curvature does not interfere with the effective heat dissipation, so the fan does not have to run at full capacity.
- quiet at high speeds
- good screwdriver included
- motivating costs
- brackets for two fans
- excellent efficiency.
- noticeable traces of soldering
- not the easiest installation.
3. Be quiet! Clear rock (BK009)
A highly efficient CPU cooler and has been one of the most popular on the market for several years. It is equipped with four 6-millimeter heat pipes and a 120-millimeter fan with 9 blades.
Their shape is designed in such a way as to provide the best result at low noise levels. Even at 100% rpm, the reliable Pure Rock cooler (BK009) emits less than 27 dB of noise. Confirmation of peace! is a three-year official warranty.
- Low price
- efficient work
- ease of installation
- 3 years warranty
- strict design
- decorative caps
- flat base
- almost silent.
- full thermal grease.
4. Zalman CNPS10X Optima
The review continues with one of the best CPU coolers for the processor – CNPS10X Optima from Zalman. This model features an interesting design of the blades, which will make you think of the so-called “shark fins”.
According to the manufacturer, this increases efficiency while reducing noise levels. As for the characteristics of the “turntable”, it has a standard size of 120 mm and can accelerate up to 1700 rpm.
The power connector is 4-pin, and the radiator is made of 47 aluminum plates with a thickness of 0.5 mm each ( the distance between them is 2.5 mm) and nonlinearly located copper heat pipes. Assembled, all this weighs a relatively modest 630 grams.
- attractive design
- moderate size and weight
- efficient cooling
- excellent combination of price and quality
- motivated price mark
- low noise.
- instruction without Russian
- not perfect polishing of the base.
5. Deepcool GAMMAXX 400 Blue
The list goes on with a budget processor cooler manufactured by Deepcool. The GAMMAXX 400 has an incredibly smooth sole surface, and four copper heat pipes connect directly to the processor. The cooling system itself is very compact.
The reviewed model is also available in a version with a red “turntable”.
At a modest price of below $30, the 120mm cooler boasts of its lighting that corresponds to the color of the blades. The fan is very efficient here and easily outperforms the more expensive competitors! such as Noctua. But, alas, the noise is higher here.
- small thickness
- efficient cooling
- moderate price
- easy installation
- fan lighting.
- unimpressive design
- the noise level is high.
6. PCcooler GI-X5R
Another popular model of aluminum radiator cooler with direct contact with copper heat pipes. The device comes in a black cardboard box, decorated with its image and technical specifications. Inside is a pre-installed cooler for AMD-based systems, an adapter for motherboards with Intel processors, a syringe with medium thermal paste, and an English manual.
According to the manufacturer, this model is sufficient for a processor with heat dissipation of up to 160W. The speed and noise level of the GI-X5R fan is limited to 1800 RPM and 27 dB.
- recommended price
- solid workmanship
- minimum dimensions
- circular lighting
- low noise.
- installation of Intel sockets
- declared working life.
7. Arctic Freezer 34 eSports
Next is the best CPU cooling system in terms of design in the budget segment. The main color of this device is black (even the radiator fins are painted in it). But for the fan, you can take a few accents: green, white, yellow, or red.
The four copper heat pipes are also black, except for the point of contact with the processor. Their surface is perfectly flat, with excellent heat dissipation. The standard 120 mm fan boasts a low noise level and the ability to operate at speeds from 200 to 1200 per minute. Freezer 34 has a maximum power dissipation of 200 watts.
- cool appearance
- ease of installation
- extremely quiet operation
- thermal grease MX4 included
- online instructions only.
8. LED Cooler Master GeminII M5
If you are planning to assemble a system in a compact case, then you need a low-profile cooler for this. Among the interesting solutions in this segment, we will mention GeminII M5 from Cooler Master. The model in question is installed as simply as possible. Please note that the GeminII M5 cooler will not work for new AMD processors.
The device consists of 48 aluminum fins, between which there are 5 copper heat pipes. The top of the structure is covered by a 120-millimeter fan equipped with 13-wave blades. Incidentally, the heat pipes are in direct contact with the processor cover, thus providing increased operational efficiency.
- high performance
- low coolant profile
- democratic spending
- removes heat effectively
- moderate noise level.
- for AM4 only new revisions
- will not fit on all motherboards.
9. Deepcool ICE EDGE MINI FS V2.0
And the compact tower cooler closes the Deepcool category, which has already been mentioned in the review. ICE EDGE MINI FS, version 2, is suitable for entry-level and mid-range processors with heat dissipation below 100 W.
The heatsink is slightly more efficient than its predecessor due to an enlarged aluminum heatsink and redesigned heat pipe geometry. The cosmetic changes are insignificant, the device looks quite attractive and fits well in compact cases.
- minimum dimensions
- excellent value
- declared noise about 25 dB
- high speed of rotation
- ease of installation and cleaning
- easy to replace the fan.
- the base is slightly rough
- turns are not adjustable.
The best liquid coolers for processors
Water cooling systems do not belong to the mass segment. Assembling a really high-quality SVO requires certain knowledge and skills. Of course, you can opt for pre-packaged kits, eliminating the need to purchase components separately.
It is true that the cost of liquid cooling systems (LSS) still significantly exceeds the cost of a good tower cooler. Who is this option suitable for? Mainly for users looking for maximum performance. And also thanks to LSS, you can design the software in an original way if it is installed in a prominent place.
1. Alphacool Eisbaer 420
And the best liquid cooling system Alphacool Eisbaer 420 launches this category. Unlike its competitors, this model has received an all-copper radiator. Its dimensions are quite impressive (489 × 144 mm), so the SVO does not fit in any case. With a total radiator thickness of 30 mm, its working area is 17 mm.
The radiator outlets are standard size G1 / 4, which allows the user to easily change the cooling system in the future. In standard delivery, hoses with a length of about 27 cm and a diameter of 8 mm lead from the pump to the radiator. One of them has a shut-off valve that allows you to add a video card water block to the circuit without draining the fluid from the system. The hoses are also well protected against kicking.
- copper radiator
- high-quality hoses
- the possibility of change
- high efficiency
- very quiet fans
- suitable for high-end processors.
- impressive size
- the hoses are short.
2. NZXT Kraken X72
NZXT continues our review of the best CPU cooling systems with its excellent SVO Kraken X72. The device comes in a huge box, and its design, like the system itself, is minimalist. In the box, everything is well packed. The package includes all the necessary stands, screws, washers, frames, and other accessories. There are also clear installation instructions.
NZXT offers its own cooling management software. The programming interface is simple and will be understandable to any user.
The Kraken X72 heatsink is as similar as possible to other devices manufactured under license from Asetek. The pump is connected to it with high-quality rubber hoses with a length of 40 cm, placed in a strong plastic sheath. The outer diameter of the hoses is 11 mm and the inner diameter is about 7 mm.
The cylindrical water block, as usual in the finished kits, is combined with a pump. The top is covered with a translucent mirror.
- high productivity of water supply
- color ARGB lighting
- high-quality pump
- user-friendly branded software
- high quality long hoses
- excellent appearance
- minimum noise level.
- for the declared value, aluminum radiator.
3. The Deepcool 240 RGB V2 lock
Today, the processor has many stylish and efficient water cooling systems. But many consumers are afraid of the possibility of leaks, so they remain supporters of the classic solutions. But not only does this result virtually never happen with high-quality LSS, but there are also models like the Castle 240 RGB V2 that use an overpressure compensation system.
However, this is not the only advantage of this device. An important plus against the background of competitors for many will be the low price. Yes, it is still comparable to the top coolers of the tower from the aforementioned Noctua, but it no longer looks outrageous. The water block of this model looks like a trapezoidal tower, which is covered with a plastic body, and the top is decorated with ARGB lighting.
The device received a powerful induction motor, whose minimum service life, according to official information, is 120 thousand hours. At the base of the water block is a square copper plate with a side length of 55.5 mm; its flat area, limited by fasteners, is 47 × 47 mm. There are two power connectors: one for the cooling system itself and the other for the backlight control.
- lighting of the water block and the fans
- high performance
- branded protection against leaks
- chic equipment
- even suitable for Threadripper
- remote control for ARGB effects.
- noise at maximum speed.
How to choose a CPU cooling system
First of all, you need to decide on the type of CO. For water you should keep in mind:
- Water block material … The better its thermal conductivity, the higher the efficiency. However, the correct design of the coolant also affects the operation.
- Pump power … Low power solutions are usually combined with a water block. To choose a more powerful option, the other components of the CBO must be combined. It is a misconception that pump power always improves performance.
- radiator … In addition to the appropriate material, this component must be different in size so that the heat can be dissipated quickly. Also keep in mind that the radiator will not work well without powerful fans.
- pipes … PVC and silicone solutions are usually used. The thickness of the pipes must be chosen individually based on the fluid flow in the system.
Are you interested in buying an air cooler? Then pay attention to:
- base … The smoother and smoother it is, the better the cooling system will dissipate heat from the processor.
- heat pipes … The more, the better the dispersion. But the right geometry is also important.
- fan … In addition to efficient operation should be quiet because few people want to hear the constant rustling in the system unit.
- Thermal paste … As a rule, the set contains a tube or a thermal paste should initially be applied on the base. But it must not always be of good quality.
Which CPU cooler is better to buy
The best liquid cooling system is the Alphacool model. However, the company NZXT is not far behind the competitor, and consumers like it even more in appearance.
If you want to save money, we recommend Deepcool. You can find cheap CO air from the same company. They are also available from the brands Cooler Master and Zalman. But if price is not important, but you just need the best CPU cooling systems, then take a closer look at popular manufacturers be quiet! and Noctua.