Top CPU Coolers

Top CPU Coolers

Top Air and Water Coolers for CPU [ Full Guide]

A good CPU cooler keeps you cool. After all, it’s in the job title! A CPU cooler keeps your CPU from overheating, allowing for optimal performance. If you’re new to overclocking, a CPU cooler will help you unlock your CPU’s full potential.

Both casual users and PC gamers have various alternatives when it comes to choosing the finest CPU cooler. Play the latest Steam games while staying cool. A properly-designed air cooler should work well. If you want to overclock, you should use an AIO cooler. Gaming PC CPU coolers can be daunting, but don’t be! We’ve chosen the top CPU coolers from brands like Noctua, Cooler Master, Be silent!, MSI, and NZXT. We’ve also got a tutorial on the finest AIO coolers, and we can help you overclock your CPU.

There are two methods of cooling: liquid and air. Air coolers are still the most prevalent method. A metal heat sink absorbs and dissipates heat from the CPU. using a fan to cool the chip For a more energy-efficient and quieter cooling solution, use liquid or water cooling. You may also design an unique water cooling loop that cools both the GPU and the CPU. Still, tube bending and extensive installation are required, which is not advised for novice PC builders.

Our tips on the best AIO and best air cooler for CPUs each have their advantages and disadvantages. Each cooler on this list has been thoroughly tested in our PC Gamer laboratories, so we know which ones provide the most value for money. Check out our guide to the best PC fans for other methods to boost your system’s cooling performance.

A good CPU cooler keeps you cool. After all, it’s in the job title! A CPU cooler keeps your CPU from overheating, allowing for optimal performance. If you’re new to overclocking, a CPU cooler will help you unlock your CPU’s full potential.

Both casual users and PC gamers have various alternatives when it comes to choosing the finest CPU cooler. Play the latest Steam games while staying cool. A properly-designed air cooler should work well. If you want to overclock, you should use an AIO cooler. Gaming PC CPU coolers can be daunting, but don’t be! We’ve chosen the top CPU coolers from brands like Noctua, Cooler Master, Be silent!, MSI, and NZXT. We’ve also got a tutorial on the finest AIO coolers, and we can help you overclock your CPU.

There are two methods of cooling: liquid and air. Air coolers are still the most prevalent method. A metal heat sink absorbs and dissipates heat from the CPU. using a fan to cool the chip For a more energy-efficient and quieter cooling solution, use liquid or water cooling. You may also design a unique water cooling loop that cools both the GPU and the CPU.

Still, tube bending and extensive installation are required, which is not advised for novice PC builders. Our tips on the best AIO and best air cooler for CPUs each have their advantages and disadvantages. Each cooler on this list has been thoroughly tested in our PC Gamer laboratories, so we know which ones provide the most value for money. Check out our guide to the best PC fans for other methods to boost your system’s cooling performance.

 

Benefits of Low Profile CPU Cooler

Low Profile CPU Coolers are ideal for Mini-ITX or similar sized gaming systems with limited airflow. The Best Low Profile CPU Coolers have enough space for RAM modules, M.2 SSDs, and, of course, your beloved GPU. Because of the higher RPMs required to ensure efficient airflow, smaller fans are notoriously louder. Conventional air coolers from Noctua and BeQuietgreatest! aren’t quiet enough to compete with the legendary quietness of Low Profile coolers. This is because the radiator is horizontally placed on top of or below the fan. As a result, the radiator also serves as a sound dampener. It’s worth noting that even when these smaller fans are running at full speed, they may be audible. The sound profiles of manufacturers differ..

Drawbacks of Low Profile CPU Cooler

Unfortunately, even the Best Low Profile CPU Coolers will struggle to provide any overclocking headroom at all. These CPU coolers already work hard enough to keep high temperatures at bay during normal workloads, let alone gaming or overclocking scenarios. This is due to manufacturers being forced to compromise on the cooler’s heatsink and radiator in order to package the unit into one convenient size, resulting in comparatively sacrificed airflow and reduced performance.

In general, the Low Profile CPU Coolers, like all other Mini-ITX compatible components, are not cheap. In terms of pricing, high-performance Low Profile Coolers from industry-leading manufacturers such as Noctua lead the way. You could get a moderately strong to high-end conventional air cooler for the same price with a much better price-to-performance ratio, but you’d also have to deal with a larger overall profile. The fact that the smaller fans used in Low Profile coolers are constantly run at comparatively higher speeds is nothing new.

Because smaller fans are subjected to more stress, you may experience fan failure sooner than with other conventional air coolers on the market. This raises concerns about durability and longevity, but as you’ll see later in this article, we’ll explain and detail the methods by which manufacturers back up their Low Profile CPU Coolers offerings, including, but not limited to, warranties and after-sales services.

Water cooling – Best AIO cooler for CPU – Full Review

 

#1. EK-AIO Basic 240

 

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In the world of liquid cooling, EK is a household name. The EK Basic series is focused on value and performance. Furthermore, there is no RGB at all. If this appeals to you, the EK AIO Basic 240 is well worth considering. Its absence also helps to keep prices low. The EK Basic 240 stands out due to its high build quality. It just feels solid and well-made. The included EK-

Vardar fans are excellent and have a wide speed range. It’s always a good idea to have some high-speed headroom on hand in case you need it. The majority of the time, it is completely silent. The cooling performance on offer really impresses us. We found it to be very close to 360mm levels of cooling capability. It does get noisy if you try to push an overclocked Rocket Lake CPU, but so does almost every other cooler. The EK-AIO basic 240 is ideal for stealthy builds or closed case builds where lighting isn’t an issue. With its high performance and high build quality, it’s a cooler you can set and forget, out of sight, out of mind, and out of earshot.

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#2. Deepcool Gammaxx L240 V2

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Deepcool is known for producing capable AIOs at reasonable prices, and the Gammaxx L240 V2 is one of the more affordable 240mm coolers on the market. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for users looking to transition from air cooling to AIO cooling. The pump head and fans on the Gammaxx 240mm have basic RGB lighting. If you really want it, there’s a more expensive ARGB version. Deepcool is proud of its ‘Anti leak technology,’ which aims to keep an optimal pressure balance inside the loop.

That can’t hurt, can it? The Gammaxx 240 can also cool most processors, though it, like many of the chip chillers on this list, does not support AMD’s Threadripper beasts. However, it keeps the rest of the system running quietly, which is one of the main reasons we recommend it. At idle, the L240 is virtually silent. With high TDP processors, you can expect to see an increase in temperatures and noise levels, especially when overclocking. Our 5800X CPU with PBO enabled is about as powerful as we’d consider suitable for a 240mm cooler.

The fans can and do ramp up quite a bit when under load. If you’re looking for a 240mm AIO that’s cheap and quiet under low-load conditions, the Deepcool Gammaxx L240 is a great option. Sure, if you push it hard enough, the noise levels can skyrocket, but at this price, it comes highly recommended.

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#3. Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2

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The Corsair H60 has been on the market for quite some time. Its tubing, fan, pump, and mounting have all been upgraded over the years. The 120mm AIO form factor isn’t for everyone, but those who need a compact cooler for a small volume ITX build will find it performs just as well as a decent mid-range air cooler. It is notable that it lacks RGB lighting, though there is some white lighting around the head.

The H60 V2 is best suited to processors with less than 95w. Sure, a decent tower cooler or AIO with a larger radiator will outperform it, but their dimensions frequently rule them out of SFF builds. Heat is an SFF system’s worst enemy, so the H60’s ability to eject hot air outside the case will benefit the entire system. Corsair includes its SP PWM fan, which operates at speeds ranging from 600 RPM (completely silent) to 1700 RPM. At that point, it is clearly audible.

The Corsair H60 V2 is ideal for a small system. It’s reasonably priced and should outperform most low-profile air coolers without generating excessive noise. It won’t work with a high number of cores or an overclocked processor, but you shouldn’t expect it to. It’s an easy recommendation with the right partnering components.

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Air cooling – Best CPU air coolers

 

 

#1. Deepcool AS500 Plus

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The Deepcool AS500 received favourable reviews when it was first released, but the AS500 Plus, with its additional fan, elevates it to the level of competition with any single tower cooler on the market. Simultaneously, it undercuts competitors in price. At this price, there aren’t many dual fan ARGB-compatible coolers. Even if you spend twice as much money on a premium single tower cooler, your cooling performance will not be significantly improved.

Its cooling capacity belies its small size. Only more expensive dual tower coolers outperform it, and even then, only marginally. Its dual fan design is undoubtedly beneficial. It’s also unusually quiet. Even when pushed hard, the cooler does not become overly loud. Cooling and low noise levels are appreciated, and when combined with great build quality and subtle ARGB good looks, there’s nothing to complain about.

It even has its own ARGB controller, and there’s a white version if you prefer. The Deepcool AS500 Plus outperforms its competition (and price). It cools well, is quiet, has a high build quality, a subtle ARGB splash with its own controller, and on top of that. Finally, it is an excellent value in comparison to many dual fan single tower coolers. Except for a heavily overclocked high-end processor, the AS500 Plus checks all the boxes. It comes highly recommended.

 

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#2. Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2

71PhMEFhuuL. AC SL1500

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If the name didn’t already tell you, the Be Quiet Pure Rock 2 is extremely quiet! It’s a single tower cooler outfitted with the company’s highly regarded Pure Wings 2 PWM fan, which has a low noise rating of 26.8dB(A). That means it’s extremely quiet. It also feels very solid, which is an indication of good build quality, and it is reasonably priced. The Pure Rock 2 isn’t the most visually appealing cooler on the market.

However, if you have a windowed case, the black version is certainly more appealing than the plain aluminium finish of the base version. The Pure Rock 2 is primarily intended to keep you cool – both visually and audibly. It’s designed to cool CPUs with a TDP of 150W. Though this may be a little optimistic, it is due to the CPU manufacturers and their’real’ TDPs. The Pure Rock 2 will work fine with an Intel Core i5 11600K or AMD Ryzen 7 5800X processor. Except for high-end CPUs, the Pure Rock 2 will keep your chip cool and quiet. If you don’t care about bling and want to upgrade from bundled coolers, the Pure Rock 2 is an excellent choice. It will cool out of sight, mind, and hearing distance.

 

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3. Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black

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Many people believe that the Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black is the best air cooler on the market. We adore it as well, and it’s an easy addition to our list of recommended coolers. It performs admirably, has excellent fans that are a welcome black colour rather than the rather unsightly beige and maroon (sorry, Jacob), has excellent build quality, and Noctua’s packaging, accessories, and documentation are second to none.

Only 360mm AIO coolers outperform it in terms of performance. If you’re looking for an air cooler that can handle any consumer CPU on the market, you might find one that matches the Noctua flagship, but nothing truly beats it. Under normal conditions, the NH-D15 is completely silent. When pushed hard, it becomes louder than expected, such as when hammering out an AVX load, but we don’t mind having some optional cooling headroom when you need it.

Even a Core i9 11900K running at 5GHz or higher will run quietly while gaming. So why isn’t it at the top of our list? The only drawbacks are its high price and, possibly, its sheer size. Notably, Noctua has a long history of supporting new sockets. An investment in an NH-D15 Chromax Black means you’ll have a top-tier cooler for many years.

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Passive cooling

The best passive CPU cooler

 

#1. Noctua NH-P1

71ZvvhV5YGL. SL1500

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These are the best CPUs for gaming right now, and they should be the foundation of your gaming rig. The Noctua NH-P1 is a niche CPU cooler, but it’s also an exciting one because it redefines what a completely silent chip chiller can do. Previously, if you wanted a passive cooler, you had to pair it with an underpowered processor or severely limit the clock speed of your chip.

The Noctua NH-P1, on the other hand, can handle relatively high-end CPUs and run them at, or very close to, their standard performance. Essentially, this is a passive cooler that can keep a good gaming processor running. The NH-P1 was tested on our Core i7 10700K open test bench, which has no fans and thus completely unoptimized airflow, and while it throttled on seriously CPU intensive benchmarks, it flew on our standard gaming tests. That chip is slightly more powerful than Noctua’s own recommendations for the NH-P1, but you can check its compatibility centre to see if your CPU is supported by this chonky chip chiller. And, yes, it is large.

The RAM clearance is adequate because Noctua designed it to sweep away from dual-channel DIMM slots, but it will still take up a significant amount of space in your chassis. If you want to get the most out of it, you’ll also need some good airflow in your case. Unless you’re going for a completely fanless look. The Noctua NH-P1 is a well-designed, powerful passive cooler that may be able to keep your gaming PC quiet. I’m afraid it won’t help with that ruckus from the graphics card.

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#3. Noctua NH-L9i Chromax.Black

Best Overall Low Profile CPU Cooler

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Specifications: Type: Single-fan Low Profile Air Cooler | Fan: 1x NF-A9x14 HS-PWM Chromax.Black | Fan Speed: 600-2500 RPM | TDP: 95W | RGB: No | Dimensions: 95 x 95 x 37mm | Socket Support: Intel LGA 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150 & AMD AM4 (with NM-AM4-L9aL9i)  

A well-known name in PC gaming, Noctua Noctua’s Best Low Profile CPU Coolers have been acclaimed by renowned journalists worldwide, including our committed crew here at Tech4Gamers. The Noctua NH-L9i Chromax.Black is Noctua’s next Low Profile CPU Cooler attempt. As expected, we’ll discuss the NH-L9i Chromax.pros Black’s and con’s. The Low Profile CPU Cooler Revolution from Noctua. Noctua chose a tiny 23mm heatsink with two 6mm U-shaped copper heatpipes for cooling. NH-L9i Chromax.baseplate Black’s Designed for greater heat transfer. It has a mirror-like radial polish. A symmetrical taper off the heatpipe ends gives the Noctua Low Profile CPU Cooler a clean, beautiful aesthetic. These protruding extremities detract from the overall aesthetic. The heatsink also has 55 black-coated aluminium fins with good FPI. These 95mm broad 18mm aluminium fins Fins are typically pressed onto heatpipes. The thermal expansion coefficients of copper and aluminium may cause this fitting to loosen over time.

As a result of its 17 years of experience, Noctua has developed a unique method of directly soldering the fins to the heatpipes. Noctua’s NF-A9x14 HS-PWM Chromax.Black fan is also included. Simply said, this fan is grateful. 92mm PWM-enabled fan with 4-pin connector for motherboard control. At 2500 RPM, it produces 33.9 CFM and 23.6 dB(A). Still not happy with the sound? The Noctua Low Noise Adaptor (LNA) reduces the fan’s maximum speed to 1800 RPM, reducing airflow to 24 CFM and noise by 38% to 14.8 dB(A). The LNA is included in the price. A9x14 HS-PWM Chromax.Black bearing from Noctua. The SSO2 improves precision and longevity over ball, sleeve, and hydrodynamic bearings.

Thanks to this extra magnet, Noctua can now boast a fan MTTF of over 150,000 hours! A9x14 HS-PWM uses Noctua’s flow acceleration channels to improve efficiency and reduce noise. Noctua AAO frames with inbuilt Chromax. All of these features work together to improve cooling performance and efficiency while decreasing noise. The NF-A9x14 also includes a 30cm black NA-EC1 cable. With Noctua’s NA-EC1 cables and NA-YC1 y-cables, you can run two 4-pin PWM fans on a single fan header, with your motherboard controlling both fans’ speeds simultaneously.

Noctua NH-L9i Chromax 95mm LW 37mm H (24mm height without the fan). Definetly compatible with tall RAM modules and GPUs in the adjacent PCIe x16 slot. It comes with Noctua’s NT-H1 pro-grade thermal grease, which is preferred by gamers and overclockers worldwide. The NH-L9i Chromax.Black is mounted using Noctua’s SecuFirm 2 mounting system, which eliminates the need for a backplate. Noctua also provides the free NM-AM4-L9aL9i mounting kit. Regardless, we believe the NH-L9i has limited compatibility. And the NH-L9i Chromax. Except for the nickel-plated copper baseplate, the fan, anti-vibration pads, heatsink, and aluminium fins are all black. Because of its low profile, Noctua warns against utilising high-wattage processors and overclocking the NH-L9i. Noctua has assured us of the NH-L9i Chromax’s longevity with a 6-year guarantee and a 150,000+ hour MTTF. Black. Noctua also offers a metallic casing badge to proudly display on the front or sides of your gaming PC, but it lacks the Chromax. Blackening.

It’s difficult to describe the Noctua NH-L9i Chromax.Black. That’s why Noctua wowed us with their sleek black appearance and great build This model has an NF-A9x14 HS-PWM 92mm fan. The NH-L9i Chromax offers a 14mm Low Profile design for installation in tiny form factor PCs like Mini-ITX chassis, and alternative coloured cables allow you to tailor the colour scheme. Best-in-class performance as long as you don’t overclock your CPU, and the unrivalled SecuFirm 2 Mounting System. Re-installation is tough because Noctua delivers a whole tube of its NT-H1 thermal compound. The NH-L9i Chromax.Black is hard to dislike.

The NH-L9i Chromax.Black is flawless. Use the NH-L9i Chromax.Black with an AMD AM4 CPU requires an optional Noctua mounting kit. So, Noctua will provide you with free essential stuff. This card’s biggest flaw is its inability to overclock beefier processors. TDP is 95W according to Noctua. Choosing a CPU with that wattage may result in reduced performance due to overheating concerns. With an Intel Core i9-9900K at factory settings and under full load, the NH-L9i exhibited superb cooling performance around the 80 degree Celsius mark. The Noctua NH-L9i Chromax.Black failed to sustain temperatures after overclocking the CPU to 5.0 GHz, forcing a shutdown.

The Noctua NH-L9i Chromax sets new benchmarks in a 37mm SFF profile. The monochromatic black appearance sets Black apart from the competition, earning it a spot on our list of the Best Low Profile CPU Coolers in 2022.

Black is a deep hue. The Noctua NH-L9i Chromax.Black is the Best Mini-ITX Cooler for a tiny PC. Even the screws that keep the heatsink and fan together are all black. The Noctua NH-L9i Chromax.Black puts all longevity and durability fears to rest, enticing futureproofing enthusiasts while providing outstanding RAM and GPU clearance. We think the Noctua NH-L9i Chromax.Black is the best low profile CPU cooler in 2022.

 

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#4. Cooler Master MasterAir G200P

Best Low Profile RGB CPU Cooler

71Gckr23CHL. AC SL1500

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Specifications: Type: Single-fan Low Profile Air Cooler | Fan: 1x Cooler Master 92mm PWM | Fan Speed: 800-2600 RPM | TDP: 95W | RGB: Yes | Dimensions: 95 x 92 x 39.4mm | Socket Support: Intel LGA 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 2011, 2011(-3), 2066 & AMD AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1

Cooler Master is known for their exotic PC enclosures, power supplies, and cooling solutions. Taiwanese company Cooler Master produces top liquid AIOs (All-in-One). The Cooler Master MasterAir G200P is a small CPU cooler with the brightest RGB lights you’ve ever seen. Cooler Master could have chosen a different name. Let’s see if the MasterAir G200P lives up to its name. Beginning with the MasterAir G200P’s dual-heatpipe architecture in the shape of a ‘C’ or U. Cooler Master has machined these copper heatpipes’ terminals. Less is more with this black plastic backplate. 55 88mm wide x 19mm high fins are wedged between them.

When it becomes heated, a 92mm 4-pin PWM Cooler Master fan can ramp up to 2600 RPM. As a result, the MasterAir G200P only delivers 35.5 CFM of maximum airflow. Although the MasterAir G200P’s fan is quiet at low speeds, it becomes irritating at higher levels. Even when fully loaded, the MasterAir G200P consumes 1.44W at a rated current of 0.12A, according to Cooler Master. In comparison, competitors claim MTTFs of 50,000-100,000 hours! Examine the G200P’s main defence. 9 white fan blades with diffusers on 92mm PWM fan, Cooler Master MasterAir G200P has the most beautiful RGB of our picked Low Profile RGB CPU Coolers. Dispersers prevent RGB fade at the fan blade ends.

The MasterAir G200P’s RGB capabilities require a 4-pin 12V RGB connector. It won’t function with your motherboard’s 3-pin 5V A-RGB connectors, which is a shame because it’s the most extensively utilised by both users and manufacturers. Cooler Master softens the sting by including a custom wired RGB controller. The Cooler Master MasterAir G200P’s cable management should be improved.

The LED cables strewn the fan assembly. The MasterAir G200P’s cable management shows a lack of detail. Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0 and MSI Mystic Light Sync are compatible with the Cooler Master MasterAir G200P. This makes the machining done between the low profile cooler and the MasterAir G200P meaningless. The MasterAir G200P has an aluminium matte finish with a lot of flex. But once fitted, the cooler is rigid. Making the nuts easy to install would have helped. Interfering cables aren’t an issue because the MasterAir G200P is mounted far away. The Cooler Master MasterAir G200P also has unparalleled compatibility, supporting virtually all recent Intel and AMD CPU releases.

Contact Cooler Master ahead of time to check if they have a mounting kit for Intel’s new Alder Lake CPUs. Visit the Best LGA 1700 Coolers! Before installing the MasterAir G200P, apply the Cooler MasterPro thermal compound on the copper plate. Cooler Master’s guarantee is just 2 years, but others are 4-6 years. The MasterAir G200P may not last as long as Cooler Master intends. We Dig One of the industry’s main motherboard manufacturers’ RGB software is supported, as is a wired RGB controller. The MasterAir G200P also comes with mounting kits and brackets for virtually all modern Intel and AMD CPUs. Its ultra-compact design cannot be missed in this post about the Best Low Profile CPU Coolers for Mini-ITX Gaming PCs. In compact PCs, its 39.4mm profile allows enough of room for surrounding components.

We Despise A few things stand out about the MasterAir G200P. Benchmarks and real-world testing show that stock Intel CPU coolers are cheaper and perform better than the Cooler Master MasterAir G200P. The MasterAir G200P’s cable management system appears to CoolerMaster waited too long, resulting in a bad viewing experience. We dislike the MasterAir G200P’s tough installation. The MasterAir G200P’s 92mm fan has an MTTF of 40,000 hours. Considering the short warranty period, customers looking to future-proof their gaming PCs should look elsewhere. What makes the MasterAir G200P unique? Amazing starry RGB arrangement on the MasterAir G200P. To those who do not have the required RGB header on their motherboards, Cooler Master has included a proprietary RGB controller in the box.

Simply mentioned, the Cooler Master MasterAir G200P is flawed. Less efficient than the competition, the MasterAir G200P is overpriced with a limited guarantee. While the MasterAir G200P has limitations, the Low Profile CPU Cooler is worth considering if you prioritise looks over performance. The MasterAir G200P is unbalanced since it prioritises RGB effects above cooling. If you can afford it, this reputed Taiwanese manufacturer’s cooler will enhance your PC’s appearance. To summarise, Cooler Master isn’t new to the CPU cooling game. The MasterAir G200P does not support Cooler Master 95W TDP CPUs. Without a doubt, in 2022, the Cooler Master MasterAir G200P was the Best Low Profile RGB CPU Cooler.

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#5. Enermax Aquafusion 120 – Best Low Profile AIO Cooler

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Specifications: Type: Single-fan 120mm AIO | Fan: 1x 120mm Enermax SquA RGB | Fan Speed: 500-2000 RPM | Tube Length: 400mm | TDP: 300W | RGB: Yes | Dimensions: 154 x 120 x 27mm | Socket Support: Intel LGA 1200, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 2011, 2011-3, 2066 & AMD AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, FM2+, FM2, FM1

PC peripherals include power supply, enclosures, and coolers from Enermax (especially AIOs). The Enermax Aquafusion 120 AIO is no exception. Which AIO CPU Cooler is Best? Aluminium radiator with well-designed channels and thin fins for improved heat exchange. With the Enermax Aquafusion 120, you get a ceramic pump bearing that reduces noise and increases longevity. Enermax estimates the pump’s MTTF at 50,000 hours, which should provide you 6-9 years of service, if not more. The pump’s maximum voltage and current are 12V and 0.7A, respectively.

Enermax’s waterblock has a patented dual-chamber design. To cool the CPU’s hot areas and reduce heat surges, the Aquafusion 120mm AIO uses a CCI on the hot plate and an SCT on the cold plate. The unique design shortens the coolant flow channel by up to 30%. In addition to the typical 16.8 million colours, Enermax’s ‘Aurabelt’ can display a unique rainbow effect, much to our RGB palette’s delight. White distinguishes the Enermax Aquafusion 120 from other Low Profile AIO units on the market. There’s Enermax’s addressable RGB software, as well as ASUS Aura Sync and Razer Chroma RGB. Is there aRGB header? Customers can select from ten preset lighting effects, brightness, and speed.

Enermax used a 120mm SquA RGB fan with a reinforced vortex frame. An AIO of this size can offer focussed airflow up to 79.8 CFM, which is unheard of. Surface area increases airflow (which is 40 percent higher on average than traditional round-shaped fans). Depending on your usage, your motherboard may automatically adjust the fan speed from 500-2000 RPM. The Aquafusion 120’s performance limitations may cause temperatures to reach 80C when fully loaded. A small overclocking clearance and a maximum sound profile of 32.6dBA from the SquA fan allow the Aquafusion 120 to perform well for its class.

Long-term users will appreciate Enermax’s fan MTTF of over 100,000 hours. Despite being designed for SFF PCs, the Enermax Aquafusion 120 may be used in mid-to-tower PCs. In addition, Enermax contributed 400mm of outstanding thick-sleeved tubing. Dow Corning TC-5121C thermal paste is also included by Enermax. Because of this, the Enermax Aquafusion 120 is backwards compatible with almost all recent Intel and AMD CPUs. Enermax has made the installation process more difficult by employing thick tubing. In some cases, you might need to position on either side of the glossy acrylic waterblock. Finally, Enermax backs the Aquafusion 120 with a 5-year warranty.

A dual-chamber design with CCI and SCT for enhanced heat exchange makes the Enermax Aquafusion 120mm AIO stand out. In terms of airflow circulation, the Aquafusion 120 is a behemoth, providing reasonable cooling with some opportunity for CPU overclocking. It’s still a quiet 120mm AIO. The Aquafusion 120’s 400mm tubing allows it to be installed in almost any PC chassis, albeit it is ideally suited to Mini-ITX. Enermax supports a wide range of CPU sockets and has unbeatable MTTFs.

Let’s ignore the Aquafusion 120mm AIO’s many advantages. For easier installation, Enermax might have made the tube smaller. While the Enermax SquA RGB fan and the Aurabelt with its 3D layer design may not be to everyone’s taste, the Aquafusion 120mm AIO is. The Aquafusion 120 is also more expensive than comparable 120mm AIOs. Considering the Enermax Aquafusion 120mm AIO’s small size, RGB capabilities, and cooling prowess, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Enermax Aquafusion 120 offers dual-chamber water blocks, vortex frames, 400mm of quality tubing, and universal compatibility with all modern Intel and AMD CPUs (Home-Theatre PC).

With its lengthy installation and unique design, the Aquafusion 120 is a wonderful choice. We think you’ll agree that this AIO is the most elegant White 120mm AIO we’ve ever seen. The Enermax Aquafusion 120 wins Best Low Profile AIO Cooler.

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Top Air Coolers

#1. Noctua nh-d15

91cEA XeEkL. AC SL1500

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The Noctua NH-D15 is the best air cooler. This Noctua CPU cooler is a big one, with two 140mm fans and two heatsinks that work with both AMD and Intel sockets. Despite its drab brown and beige colour scheme, it’s the best air cooler on the market, with temperatures that are almost identical to some water cooling solutions under full loads – and it’s still relatively quiet in all situations.

It’s a genuinely top-tier CPU cooler at a reasonable price, and if you have one of the best gaming CPUs, its high TDP (thermal design power) rating means it’ll be more than up to the task. The pre-applied and highly regarded Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste has a five-year lifespan. Because of the size, smaller PC chassis may have space issues, so double-check the dimensions before you buy.

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#2. Deep Cool Gammaxx GTE V2

81lJruTW+ML. AC SL1500

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The Deep Cool Gammaxx GTE V2 is the best budget CPU cooler. The Deep Cool Gammaxx GTE V2 demonstrates that good budget CPU coolers do exist. This stylish cooler will not only look great in your new PC case, but it will also keep temperatures low without breaking the bank. It’s even adorned with white LEDs, so it should look pretty cool whirling around inside your rig.

If you intend to install the Deep Cool Gammaxx GTE V2 on an Intel Alder Lake CPU, the included brackets should make the process easier. Sure, if you want to overclock the blue team’s best CPU, you’ll have to spend a little more money. However, if you simply want to keep your processor from thermal throttling, this low-cost CPU is more than adequate.

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#3. be quiet! Dark rock 4

514qeBDsYyL. AC SL1000

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The Be quiet! CPU cooler is the best quiet CPU cooler. 4. Dark Rock Do you want a nearly silent air cooler? Dark Rock 4 by be quiet! – There’s a hint in the name – fits the bill perfectly with a sound level of only 21.4dB under full load, which is the equivalent of a whisper. Despite this, it maintains respectable temperatures when compared to its stock counterparts. This cooler is neither visible nor audible due to its stealthy black design.

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#4. Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition

81n4HFa4rKL. AC SL1500

 

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The Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition is the best RGB CPU cooler. You’re probably already using RGB lighting on your best gaming mouse, so why not go all out and use it on your CPU cooler as well?

This cooler is based on the same cooler we chose as our top budget option, but as the name implies, the fan has been replaced with an addressable RGB fan and a black aluminium cover for added pizazz, with a small price increase for the privilege.

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#5. MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360

71ykdI6yrZL. AC SL1500

 

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The MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360 is the best AIO cooler. Water cooling your processor is great for overclocking and getting uncompromised performance without the added noise tax, and what better way to avoid the hassle of a custom loop and instead opt for a plug-and-play AIO cooler? None are better than the MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360, which packs three Silent Gale P12 fans into one of the coolest and quietest solutions available, and even goes the extra mile with a 60mm fan on the pump to keep your motherboard’s VRMs from overheating.

While there is no RGB here, there is a fancy 2.4-inch IPS screen that manages to outperform other display-infused AIO solutions. Simply enter the MSI Center, and you can display your system temperature, personalise your gaming PC with your favourite GIF, and even play.mp4 videos without hearing them. Even better, you won’t have any problems with Intel’s latest 12th generation CPUs because all modern CPUs are seamlessly supported right out of the box. If money is no object, no other AIO cooler can compete with the MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360.

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#6. NZXT Kraken Z63 280mm

71+4KDq+esL. SL1500

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The NZXT Kraken X63 is the best AIO cooler. If you’re serious about overclocking your CPU, an AIO water cooler is one of your best options. NZXT’s 280mm liquid cooler is our top pick. The radiator’s nearly silent fans use fluid-dynamic bearings, which give them a longer lifespan and quieter operation than any other fan technology.

Naturally, there’s RGB lighting on the pump cover to let everyone know you’re not running a stock solution. Idle and load temperatures on the X63 are in a league of their own when compared to air coolers. If you’re going to overclock, make sure you get one of the best gaming motherboards to go with it, as well as the best PC case that has room for that 280mm radiator.

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#7. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ARGB

71Q1TtiFYUL. AC SL1500

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The NZXT Kraken X63 is the best AIO cooler. If you’re serious about overclocking your CPU, an AIO water cooler is one of your best options. NZXT’s 280mm liquid cooler is our top pick. The radiator’s nearly silent fans use fluid-dynamic bearings, which give them a longer lifespan and quieter operation than any other fan technology.

Naturally, there’s RGB lighting on the pump cover to let everyone know you’re not running a stock solution. Idle and load temperatures on the X63 are in a league of their own when compared to air coolers. If you’re going to overclock, make sure you get one of the best gaming motherboards to go with it, as well as the best PC case that has room for that 280mm radiator.

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Best CPU cooler FAQ

Do I require a CPU cooler?

Most Intel and AMD CPUs ship with stock coolers, which aren’t necessarily bad. If you’re just going to use your gaming PC for casual gaming or non-intensive tasks, you can probably just use the fan that came with your processor. Of course, if you want to squeeze every last drop of performance out of your gaming PC, whether through overclocking or simply playing games in 4K resolution, you’ll want to go with a cooler that can drop temperatures as low as they can go.

Do I require a liquid cooler?

AIO coolers, on the other hand, are extremely beneficial to those who intend to overclock their chip. Even if you don’t want to tinker with your gaming PC but can afford the price increase, they provide significantly more headroom, chipping degrees off your peak temperatures. The main question on everyone’s mind is whether it’s worth the risk of putting liquid in your system’s innards, but leaks large enough to damage your components are much more common than you’d think. Furthermore, if there are any hiccups along the way, you will always be supported by excellent aftercare and warranties.

Do CPU coolers include mounting brackets?

Although your CPU cooler should come with a variety of mounting brackets, processor designs and shapes are constantly changing. If your preferred cooler was released prior to the new Intel Alder Lake series, it may not come with an LGA 1700 bracket. Fortunately, a new bracket is relatively inexpensive, and newer cooling options should not be a problem.

Are stock CPU coolers adequate?

The days of the included coolers sounding like a jet taking off when you boot up a game are long gone. If you’re not looking to overclock or build the best cheap gaming PC, the latest stock coolers from Intel and AMD are more than adequate.

How do you test CPU coolers?

The right CPU cooler, like most components, is determined by a number of factors, including performance requirements, case compatibility, budget constraints, and aesthetics. To find the best CPU coolers, we put them through extensive stress testing with Prime95 and a variety of modern PC games. Our top picks were determined by thermal performance, noise, value, and overall feature sets.

How do I pick the best CPU cooler for me?

If you’re not sure whether you need an air cooler or a liquid cooler, the decision comes down to cost and compatibility. We’d never recommend a stock cooler to a PC gamer until AMD released its Wraith coolers (and then took them away again). Those on a tight budget, however, may no longer need to consider an aftermarket air cooler.

If you have a little more money to spend, liquid coolers can provide a lot more, including advanced RGB lighting and intelligent software control. Some of you may be concerned about putting liquid near your expensive components, but rest assured that all of the coolers recommended in this guide are backed by excellent warranties that will cover you in the event of a manufacturer failure—colossal leakage is an uncommon occurrence, to begin with.

Is liquid cooling less noisy than air cooling?

An all-in-one liquid CPU cooler will generally be quieter than an air cooler mounted directly on top of the processor. Because the fans attached to the cooling radiator are generally larger, they can spin at a slower rate than an air cooler.

Water pumps are often well insulated, so they don’t make much noise. However, there are large air coolers with large heatsinks and fans that can compete with the noise generated by an AIO liquid cooler. The most silent of all would be a completely passive cooler with no moving parts. However, they are not always capable of handling the most powerful and heavy CPUs.

Is liquid cooling required if I do not overclock my CPU?

While liquid cooling can undoubtedly provide your processor with the thermal headroom it requires to run comfortably overclocked, there are other reasons you might want to include an AIO in your system. The most vain is the aesthetic—having a Perspex peephole to show off your components rather than a huge hulking heatsink clogging up your chassis is often desirable. This can also contribute to having a smaller chassis. Liquid coolers can frequently provide the thermal performance required to run a high-spec CPU in a small chassis that would otherwise only fit a weaker, small form factor air cooler.

So, how exactly does liquid cooling work?

The coolant circulates through a closed-loop via a plate attached to your CPU, and it cools the CPU in conjunction with the attached radiator and fan. It’s simple and a hundred times easier to set up than a full water-cooling loop.

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