We rated, reviewed, & compared 12 of the best CPU coolers on the market. The guide is broken down into two sections: the best air-based CPU coolers & the best closed-loop liquid coolers.
|EVGA CLC 280||/10|
|Arctic Liq. Freezer 120||/10|
|CM Hyper 212 EVO||/10|
If you don’t plan on overclocking and you don’t mind the look of a stock CPU cooler, it is not absolutely necessary to go out and get an aftermarket CPU cooler. However, CPU coolers really aren’t that expensive (especially if you go with an air CPU cooler) and they can give you better cooling and help put the finishing touches on a nice-looking build.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best CPU coolers for gaming currently on the market. We have looked at six different air coolers and six different closed-loop liquid coolers.
For liquid coolers, the absolute best-case scenario for extreme builders is a custom loop liquid cooling setup. However, these aren’t as simple and straightforward as the closed-loop options currently available and are really only items that people looking to do some extreme overclocking, or people who really want to build something aesthetically superior should look into.
And, for the most part, air coolers compete fairly similar to closed-loop liquid coolers, despite costing less. Although, if you’re going for a really clean look, perhaps nothing can accomplish that more than a closed-loop liquid cooler.
Ultimately, if you aren’t planning on going with a custom liquid cooling setup, but you want something a little more than the cheap stock fan that your CPU will come with, this guide will help you make the best choice for your needs.
BEST AIR CPU COOLERS
Air CPU coolers are, on average, less expensive than closed-loop liquid coolers. And, for some of the more high-end air coolers out there, they are even able to perform on par with the top closed-loop liquid coolers on the market.
But air CPU heatsinks are much bigger and bulkier and don’t quite offer that clean look that closed-loop liquid coolers do.
So, if you are looking for something that can keep your system cool, give you good temperatures, and won’t cost you as much as a closed-loop system, and you don’t mind having a bulky air cooler take up a ton of space on the inside of your computer case (for aesthetic purposes), then an air cooler will be your best bet.
What follows is a list of six of the best CPU heatsinks currently on the market.
Best CPU Coolers (Air) Comparison Chart
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Featuring an asymmetrical heat sink design for maximum compatibility, the Noctua NH-D15 uses special rubber mounting brackets on both the fans and the heat pipes to minimize vibrations and keep the noise low, making it the best quiet CPU cooler available. It uses dual radiators and 6 heat pipes to provide extra cooling and supports up to 3 fans.
|DIMENSIONS||6.5″ x 5.9″ x 6.3″|
|SOUND||19.2 dB-A max|
Noctua NH-D15 Overview
High-quality components, excellent cooling, and brilliant noise control. The Noctua-DH15 is one of the few air coolers that can actually match up to the cooling power of a closed-loop liquid cooler, and it does so without punching a hole in your wallet.
The heat sink is asymmetrically designed, so unlike the Phantek cooler, you don’t have to worry about the fans hitting your RAM sticks. The heat sink is split into two sections, hence it is called a “C-tower” heat sink, and draws heat from the CPU with the help of six 8-mm pipes.
There are two fans included with this unit, with the option to attach a third fan.
Setting up and installing the cooler is incredibly simple as it will easily fit on any AMD socket, and accepts all Intel sockets released after 2011, including the LGA 2011. The cooling is provided by 2 Noctua NF-A15 140 mm fans, installed in a standard 2 fan push-pull configuration.
These fans come with automatic speed control and don’t rev up until your CPU needs the extra speed, thus keeping system noise to a minimum unless you are gaming, in which case these fans unleash their full potential and spin at 1500 rpm to send 140 cubic feet of air flying out per minute. And all of this happens while keeping the sound levels under 24.6 dB-A. And if you install the low noise attachment (included), the noise levels go further downwards to just 19.2 dB-A.
If you are overclocking, makes sure that it is an LGA 2011 or 115x series CPU in the case of Intel, and a FM-series socket based CPU in the case of AMD. This cooler can comfortably handle the highest overclocking levels as long as the CPU’s base TDP is 140 W or lower.
It measures 165 x 150 x 161 mm in height, width, and depth respectively. There is an impressive 6-year limited warranty on this cooling unit.
Read Review »
The MasterAir Maker 8 is highly customizable and can accept fans of multiple sizes thanks to a dedicated fan mounting bracket. There are a total of 8 heat pipes and two giant 140 mm fans that work on the aluminum radiator to dissipate up to 240 W of TDP from your CPU.
|DIMENSIONS||6.8″ x 5.7″ x 5.3″|
|SOUND||24 dB-A max|
MasterAir Maker Overview
Designed exclusively for gamers and overclocking enthusiasts, the MasterAir Maker 8 uses a unique design principle that separates it from the rest of the air coolers in the market. It does not use a heat plate to collect the heat from the CPU into its heat pipes.
Instead, it uses a special ultra-thin vapor chamber, similar to the ones used in high-end aftermarket graphics cards for cooling. When the heat from the CPU passes into the vapor chamber, it vaporizes the liquid coolant and sends it floating up through the 4 massive copper heat pipes.
From these 4 heat pipes, the heat gets evenly distributed into the heat sink with the help of another 4 U-shaped heat pipes.
As a result, the Cooler Master MasterAir Maker 8 manages to comfortably handle up to 240 W of TDP, which is more than you can expect from any air operated CPU cooler on this planet.
There are two 140 mm fans mounted in a push-pull configuration to flush out all that heat, and they barely generate any noise, since the sound levels for the entire unit looms between 8-24 dB-A. The fans are mounted on loop dynamic bearings and are self-lubricating with built-in anti-clog systems to increase operational life up to 160,000 hours- 4 times the life of a conventional air-based CPU cooler.
Obviously, it is more than equipped to handle the highest overclocks on both Intel as well AMD processors. LGA 2011, FX 8000, FX 9000- this beast can deal with all of them, and the Intel CPU’s don’t even get close to 60°C under load.
Power is supplied via a 4-pin 12 V connector and this unit draws a maximum of 1.8 W under full load, at which time the fans hit 1800 rpm, and pump out air at 66 CFM. The cooler along with the fans and heatsink, measures 172 x 145 x 135 mm in height, width, and length respectively.
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It keeps the CPU ice cool even under the heaviest loads and stays extremely silent at all times. The five 8-mm heat pipes are linearly aligned to ensure minimum air and thermal resistance, allowing for extra efficient and powerful heat dissipation. Even though there are two fans running in a push-pull configuration, this unit still sounds quieter than a single-fan air cooler.
|DIMENSIONS||6.3″ x 5.5″ x 5.3″|
|SOUND||38 dB-A max|
PHANTEKS PH-TC14PE Overview
The Phanteks CPU Cooler is built to keep gaming system CPU’s cool and maintain a low noise level at the same time. It features a unique patented PATS (Physical Antioxidant Thermal Spraying) heat plate that acts like a virtual vapor chamber, and efficiently transfers all the heat from the CPU to the five 8-mm heat pipes.
It also uses a special metal deposit at the base to transfer heat onto the copper joints more quickly, thus reducing the amount of time it takes to decrease the CPU temperatures.
The radiator is a C-tower type and holds two fans in a push-pull configuration for maximum efficiency. Each fan has a maximum airflow rating of more than 75 CFM, and measures 140 mm in diameter.
The bearings are designed to be extra durable and frictionless, which means the fan can spin faster with less power and also lasts longer. The premium quality PH-F140 fans on this Phantek cooler carry 9 curved blades that are optimized to scoop air away from the radiator while making as little noise as possible.
For all the gamers out there looking to overclock their CPU’s, this is one of the best CPU coolers for the job. It can keep an Intel Core i7 cool and below 60°C even while running the latest AAA titles.
The Phantek CPU Cooler can be mounted on any modern CPU socket, such as the AM and FM series for AMD, and the LGA 2011, 1155, 1151, 1150, and 1156 platforms for Intel. It is a tad bit large though, and on mid-tower cases, you might want to adjust the position of the front fan before attaching this cooler onto the socket, else you will end up hitting the RAM modules. Low profile RAM modules will do fine, as long as they are less than 30 mm in height.
This cooler measures 134 x 140 x 160 mm in length, width, and height respectively. The complete unit with heat sink and fans weighs about 2.5 lbs, so it is a bit on the heavier side. It also carries an exceptional 5-year standard warranty on manufacturing defects.
Be Quiet! Shadow Rock
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The Shadow Rock Slim has a unique slim profile that lets you fit it into most compact motherboards without blocking any RAM slots and its nickel plated copper base plate does a great job at transferring heat to the four 6 mm copper heat pipes.
|DIMENSIONS||6.3″ x 5.4″ x 2.9″|
|SOUND||23.7 dB-A max|
Noctua NH-D15 Overview
Be Quiet! loves to manufacture ultra-silent cooling fans, and they provide one of the best sub-$50 air cooling units with the Shadow Rock Slim.
It is great at doing two things- dissipating heat silently, and maintaining a low profile. This CPU cooler is fully capable of handling an overclocked Intel CPU, even the notorious Haswell series. In fact, this cooler can keep an unlocked Haswell i7 processor running under 40 degrees, even at a 4.5 GHz clock speed.
Those performance figures are mainly due to the 160 W TDP cooling capacity of this unit. Unfortunately, you cannot expect it to perform the same with an overclocked FX-8000 or 9000 series CPU from AMD, because they tend to have a base TDP of around 130 W, which can easily hit 190-200 with overclocking.
Nevertheless, this is an excellent CPU cooler for keeping your gaming system or workstation running quietly regardless of whether you choose to overclock or not. The fans are bigger than the ones on the Cooler Master 212 Evo, at 135 mm. Yet they manage to run quieter than the Evo, with a peak sound level of just 23.7 dB-A, which is much lower than the 36 dB-A of the Evo. Since the Evo itself is renowned to be super silent, you can imagine how quiet the Shadow Rock Slim truly is.
Keeping your CPU cool with its nickel-plated copper heat plate, the Shadow Rock transfers heat via the four 6 mm heat pipes. Once the heat reaches its aluminum radiator, it is thrown away from the system by a 9-blade fan which spins on extra durable rifle-bearings.
The Shadow Rock is also extremely slim, so it will fit into the most crowded and smallest motherboards without blocking any RAM slots. This air cooler measures 73.66 x 137.6 x 160 mm in depth, width, and height respectively. Warranty is a standard 2 year and is limited to parts and labor. Overall, this is probably the best CPU cooler under $50 currently on the market.
CM Hyper 212 EVO
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The Hyper 212 EVO air cooler is cheap, efficient, and silent. It offers unbeatable airflow and heat dissipation at this price range, thanks to its unique 4-pipe construction and the cleverly designed heat sink. Although most sub-$50 coolers aren’t meant for overclocking, this one might be capable of taking the heat.
|DIMENSIONS||4.7″ x 3.1″ x 6.2″|
|SOUND||36 dB-A max|
CM Hyper 212 EVO Overview
Cooler Master is renowned for their ingenious air cooling designs, and the Hyper 212 Evo is a model that has been the favorite of budget PC builders and casual gamers for quite some time now.
It uses a 4-pipe design to quickly and efficiently suck away the heat from your CPU and transfers that heat to its brilliantly designed aluminum fin heat sink which is optimized to dissipate heat equally well at both high as well as low fan speeds.
Cooler master utilizes a close contact heat dispersion system in their pipes, and they call it the Continuous Direct Contact (CDC) design. What it means is that the copper heat pipes are placed in direct contact with each other at the point where they touch the CPU.
This transforms the 4 individual pipes, into one continuous plate-like layer that sucks away the heat more efficiently than the simple pipe designs found on other manufacturers. This heat is carried to the aluminum heat sink and is then sent outside by the 120 mm PWM fan. The PWM fan can modify speeds based on the temperature input from the motherboards heat sensors, and it is whisper quiet at low speeds.
Even at high speeds, the fan generates only 36 dB-A of sound. That’s 36 dB-A for 2000 RPM if it runs at the minimum of 600 rpm the noise level decreases to just 9 dB-A.
This cooling unit supports all modern sockets created after 2011, including the AM and FM series sockets from AMD, and the LGA 2011, 1155, 1150, and 1156 for Intel processors. The dimension of the entire cooling unit is just 120 x 79.7 x 158.5 mm, meaning that it is compact enough to fit on most motherboards and cases.
Maximum airflow is a whopping 82.9 CFM, and yet it draws just 2.64 W of power. With all that airflow and the whisper quiet operation, this CPU cooler actually makes a decent overclocking cooler unit if you throw in a second 120 mm fan to run it in a push-pull configuration.
CM Hyper T2
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Compact enough to fit inside any case, and silent enough to hide the fact that it is running- this affordable CPU cooling unit is definitely a great option for people looking to upgrade their stock CPU coolers. It works with both Intel as well as AMD processors and fits on most modern CPU sockets.
|DIMENSIONS||3.6″ x 3.1″ x 5.5″|
|SOUND||35 dB-A max|
CM Hyper T2 Overview
If you own any one of the latest Intel or AMD processors and are tired of the constant noise being produced by the stock coolers, then the Cooler Master Hyper T2 is an excellent replacement option that’s available at a very affordable price.
It is compact enough to fit inside most cases. Doesn’t matter if you have a full, mid, or mini-tower case, the entire T2 cooling unit measures just 93 x 80 x 140 mm. It also weighs a mere 12 ounces, so the pressure on your motherboard is kept to a minimum.
The fan itself is quite powerful for its size and generates only 35 dB-A of sound at the full speed of 2800 rpm. On the low side, running at 800 rpm it is virtually silent with just 17 dB-A of sound produced. The maximum airflow capacity of this 92 mm fan is actually surprisingly high, and it can hit 54.8 CFM at full speed.
Although this cooling unit is not really designed for overclocking, you can manage to get away with light overclocking on the lower TDP Intel CPU’s, especially the i5 processors. It is not recommended to try the same with any of the best AMD processors though, because they tend to have a pretty high TDP, typically beyond 125 or 135 W.
Talking of CPU’s, the Cooler Master Hyper T2 is compatible with most modern sockets, such as the AM series, and the FM series sockets for AMD processors. On the Intel side, it can be fitted on the LGA 1151, 1150, 1155, and 1156 sockets.
All factors considered this is one of the best CPU coolers if you are working with a tight budget. The dual heat pipe design on this Hyper T2 is much better at sucking away heat than the direct contact heatsinks found on stock CPU coolers.
BEST LIQUID CPU COOLERS
I will admit that, for my own personal tastes, I prefer an inexpensive air cooler over a high-end closed-loop liquid cooler. But, that’s mostly because I don’t try and overclock my CPU to insane levels and it’s really not necessary for my system to look perfect.
I’m mostly looking for practicality over aesthetics and high overclocks. So, choosing a more affordable air cooler that can do a similar job to a closed-loop liquid cooler is fine with me.
However, this doesn’t mean you should do the same. In fact, if you are planning on pushing your CPU to the extreme and you want something that will show off the aesthetics of the inside of your case, then a liquid cooler is probably more in line with your wants and needs.
So, with that being said, the list below goes over six of the best closed-loop liquid coolers currently on the market. This list will help you find the right liquid cooler for your needs.
Best CPU Coolers (AIO) Comparison Chart
EVGA CLC 280
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We may be a bit biased as we just reviewed the entire EVGA CLC lineup, but we feel like EVGA’s 280mm closed loop cooler offers the best price-to-performance among other AIO coolers currently on the market.
|DIMENSIONS||12.2″ x 5.5″ x 1.1″|
|SOUND||39.5 dB-A max|
EVGA CLC 280 Overview
Despite the fact that EVGA’s CLC series is the company’s first attempt at producing an AIO liquid cooler, they have done an exceptional job of delivering three coolers that can compete with companies who have been making closed loop coolers for years.
EVGA offers their closed loop coolers in sizes of 280mm, 240mm, and 120mm.
The coolers didn’t originally come with support for AM4 motherboards right out of the box, but I can confirm that they do now come with AM4 brackets. So, if you do want to use these coolers on a Ryzen-based build, you can definitely do so.
In terms of cooling performance, the 280mm option does offer the best thermals. However, if you are working with a case that doesn’t support a 280mm radiator, the 240mm option will work well, too.
Also, like the other top AIO coolers out there, EVGA’s CPU blocks contain EVGA’s logo and it is RGB friendly. And, if you have a EVGA graphics card with RGB lights, you can actually sync the two items together.
Ultimately, in our review of EVGA’s CLC series, we determined that they offer some of the best price-to-performance in liquid cooling currently on the market. If you want to read our full review on the coolers, please go here.
Thermaltake Water 3.0
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The Thermaltake Water 3.0 is an extremely customizable and powerful, yet incredibly easy to use AIO closed loop liquid CPU cooler. The 240 mm radiator features twice the surface area of conventional radiators and supports 4 x 120 mm fans.
|DIMENSIONS||4.7″ x 10.6″ x 1.1″|
|SOUND||26.4 dB-A max|
Thermaltake Water 3.0 Overview
If you use an air cooler, you know that there is not a whole lot to maintain other than occasionally dusting the fans. But with liquid CPU coolers you have to keep on monitoring the tubes for leaks, clean out the radiators, and change the thermal paste.
Thermal paste is changed more frequently in the case of highly overclocked systems, which is what you are planning on running if you want to buy the Thermaltake Water 3.0. It is capable of handling extreme overclocking levels on both Intel as well as AMD processors and comes with a universal socket mount that will conveniently fit onto any modern Intel or AMD CPU socket.
This CPU cooler is slightly smaller than the 280 mm radiator cooler models but delivers a better cooling than most normal 280 mm coolers because of its high surface area design.
Thermaltake claims that the Water 3.0’s radiator packs twice the surface area of a conventional 240 mm radiator, also there is always the option to load an extra 2 fans on the back if you like. That will further amp up the airflow and speed cooling. However, the fascinating thing about this cooler is that fact that it is basically zero-maintenance.
The pump comes loaded with self-replenishing coolant, so you don’t have to go through the process of cleaning the base plate, and changing out the paste every few months. The self-lubricating bearings on the fans are ceramic and ensure smooth, turbulence-free operation to keep noise levels at a minimum.
The tubing is extra thick and well shielded to protect your system from leaks, and there is an intelligent hardware monitoring system built into this cooler that lets you observe, and manipulate the fan speeds, lighting, temperature, etc. Similar to the Corsair Link, and the NZXT CAM, except that this time you also have an actual hardware panel mounted on the front of your CPU case that directly controls your fan speeds and lets you monitor CPU temperatures.
This cooler will fit onto any standard 240 mm fan mount and the dimensions of its radiator are- 270 x 120 x 27 mm for width, height, and depth respectively. The fans generate a maximum sound of 26.4 dB-A at the full 1500 rpm speed, and each fan pumps out 40.6 CFM of air. There is a 3-year standard warranty on parts and labor for this cooler.
NZXT Kraken X62
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The NZXT Kraken X62 features a unique variable speed pump that can increase or decrease its coolant pumping rate depending on the CPU temperature. This helps eliminate unnecessary fan operation during low loads, and keeps the system quieter. The two 140 mm fans are fine tuned to deliver maximum static pressure and are mated to a specially designed large surface area radiator.
|DIMENSIONS||12.4″ x 5.6″ x 1.2″|
|SOUND||38 dB-A max|
NZXT Kraken X62 Overview
Everything single part of the Kraken X62 is designed to deliver maximum performance. From the variable speed pump to the large surface are radiator- the X62 is built to keep the hottest processors ice cool, and an intelligent PWM fan interface helps cut down on unnecessary noise.
This closed loop liquid cooler keeps any processor cold no matter how much you overclock it, or what application you run. There are two FX140 V2 fans mounted on the radiator that can be monitored and controlled through NZXT’s CAM software.
The radiator itself is not very large, but it packs 36% more surface area on the inside compared to conventional 280 mm radiators. This allows for quicker, more efficient heat dissipation and lower CPU temperatures.
The variable speed pump operates on the basis of how hot the CPU is and alters its pumping speed constantly, to keep the fan noise at minimum whenever possible. Extra-long 16″ tubing lets you comfortably mount this cooler inside your full tower case without having to stretch or strain any cables. It is compatible with all modern Intel and AMD sockets.
The radiator measures 140 x 280 x 27 mm in width, height, and depth respectively. Its 140 mm fans can manage 106 CFM of airflow while running at the maximum speed of 2000 rpm, with noise levels ranging between 19-37 dB-A depending on fan speed.
There are RGB LED lights on the CPU block, and you can control their color and intensity through the proprietary CAM software. Warranty is a standard 6 years on parts and labor.
Corsair Hyrdro H115i
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The Corsair Hydro H115i Extreme is a beastly AIO cooler, designed to be used in high end gaming desktops or workstations. Installation requires cases that have at least one 280 mm, or larger fan mount. It’s built in Corsair Link cable lets you closely monitor and control your fan speeds, lighting, and CPU temperature.
|DIMENSIONS||5.5″ x 12.3″ x 1.0″|
|SOUND||40 dB-A max|
Corsair Hyrdro H115i Overview
The super large 280 mm radiator and high power pump on this H115i makes it a truly enthusiast grade AIO closed loop CPU cooler that is perfectly suited to cool high TDP gaming or workstation CPU’s.
It is basically a modified version of the H110i and features larger, more powerful SP140L PWM fans. The 140 mm SP140L fans are designed to deliver more static air pressure and feature less turbulence and noise.
The turbulence is controlled by the special rubber padded fan mounts and the rubber coating on the fan blades. Special bearings extend the fan life and increase efficiency by decreasing friction.
The first thing you will notice about this closed loop CPU cooler is the large size. Its radiator measures 140 x 312 x 26 mm in height, width, and depth respectively. The fans measure 140 mm each, and are mounted next to each other so you’ll need a 280 mm fan mount on your case to support one of these coolers. Then, you have the specially designed pump block which goes on top of your CPU.
The cool plate comes with a layer of thermal paste applied onto it, and is built from extremely heat conductive alloy to transfer heat from your CPU to the pipes as efficiently as possible.
Once the CPU starts heating while running a demanding game, the radiator fans crank up their speed according to the CPU temperature, which you can monitor using the Corsair Link software.
You can either choose to let the software automatically adjust the fan speeds, or manually change the speeds with the Corsair Link. You can even change the LED lighting on the CPU header and set it so that the Corsair logo changes colors according to the change in temperature.
The pump block can be mounted on any modern Intel or AMD processor socket, and comes with a mounting kit that includes an easy to follow mounting guide. Just a few minutes with a screwdriver is all it takes to mount this beast in your PC case. And then, you can overclock all you want because this cooler can easily handle TDP’s as high as 250 W, which is something you might encounter if you run a FX-8000 or 9000 series AMD CPU in that box.
Arctic Liq. Freezer 120
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With a slim design and intelligent PWM fan monitoring, the Artic Liquid Freezer 120 might just be the most silent low budget dual-fan liquid cooler in the market. It is extremely efficient in terms of cooling, and the compact closed loop radiator can be mounted on any 120 mm case mount, which lets you liquid cool any CPU irrespective of the case size.
|DIMENSIONS||6.1″ x 4.7″ x 1.9″|
|SOUND||22.5 dB-A max|
Arctic Liquid Freezer 120 Overview
Just like the Corsair H60, the Artic Liquid Freezer 120 is a closed loop, dual-fan, liquid-cooling system for your CPU. It is extremely compact and easy to install, and can prove to be an really efficient water cooling solution for entry level to mid-range gaming PC’s.
If you want to overclock your i5, or FX 8370, then this is the perfect budget cooling solution for either case. Often times, you will be able to squeeze an extra 10-20% performance out of a cheap or mid-range CPU with the help of some decent overclocking.
But air coolers capable of handling such high TDP’s (the Artic Freezer 120 can cool a 250 W TDP processor) are very expensive, and are heavier on your motherboard. Also, they don’t cool as well as a liquid cooling system.
There is an intelligent PWM fan control on the Freezer 120 that picks up temperature data from the heat sensors on your motherboard and transfers it to the fans, which can then speed up or slow down accordingly.
This makes sure the fans only works as hard as they needs to, and results in much lower average noise levels over a period of time. Talking of fans, the ones that are mounted on the radiator of the Freezer 120 are extremely silent and durable, their liquid suspension bearings ensure smooth and silent running, while the curved blades scoop out extra heat from the radiators. As opposed to the H60, the dual fans on the Freezer 120 can operate in a push-pull configuration, resulting in faster heat dissipation compared to the Corsair.
The fans generate a maximum sound level of 22.5 dB-A at the full speed of 1350 rpm, and push out 74 CFM of air (per fan of course).
The dimensions on this ultra-affordable cooler are- 155 x 120 x 49 mm for the radiator, and 82 x 82 x 40 mm for the heat pump that is mounted on the CPU socket. It fits on all modern AMD and Intel CPU sockets, and the low 49mm depth on the radiator leaves plenty of room for graphics cards and tall RAM modules in even the most compact of CPU cases.
There cooler carries a 5-year warranty on parts and labor.
Read Review »
The Deepcool Captain 120EX CPU all-in-one cooler is a mid-priced option that both works well and looks awesome. It includes a 120 double-blade fan, a motor with three-phase induction, and a lifetime ceramic bearing that will last for up to 120,000 hours of gaming.
|DIMENSIONS||6.1″ x 4.7″ x 1.1″|
|SOUND||31.3 dB-A max|
DeepCool Captain 120EX Overview
Unlike some products that look good aesthetically but lack in performance, the All-in-One CPU cooler from Deepcool not only does the job, but it looks mighty fine doing it.
The Captain 120Ex model features an upgraded high-density water microchannel that dissipates heat from your gaming system 10% more efficiently than the previous version.
While it’s not the most effective option available, it will support most gaming systems without issue and is a mid-priced choice with a lot of power.
This model features a near silent 120 double-blade fan design that does an adequate job of keeping everything cool, even when playing games on an overclocked CPU. The motor features three-phase induction and has a lifetime ceramic bearing that boasts a mean time between failures (MTFB) of 120,000 hours.
The construction is designed to be both visually attractive and functional. The red and black combination looks fierce, and you’ll see a bionic red LED breathing light that both looks cool and lets you know the system is operating efficiently. The manufacturer says the Captain 120EX has a steampunk appearance, and the reactor-style pump housing is a feature that’s completely unique to this model.
When it comes to installation, this option doesn’t require any tooling. The material clip is 100% metal, though the backplate is made of plastic. Other upgrades include an anti-explosion rubber tube and materials that are resistant to corrosion, being crushed, and that are thermostable. The hoses, fan, and pump cables all feature high-quality braiding and are made to last.
Corsair Hydro H60
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The H60 is a simple to install and super-efficient closed loop CPU cooler, built for people with a really tight budget who really want to buy a liquid cooling system. It is extremely quiet, and is really reliable as well with the special non-conductive coolant fluid that prevents any circuit damage in case an accidental leak occurs.
|DIMENSIONS||6.0″ x 4.7″ x 1.1″|
|SOUND||34.2 dB-A max|
Corsair Hydro H60 Overview
The Corsair H60 is a no-frills, simple to use, and highly compact liquid cooling system that will fit into the budget of any casual gamer or cash-strapped PC builder who wants to get the power of liquid cooling, but does not want to spend a fortune on it.
Because the high-end DIY liquid cooling systems may end up costing more than a cheap AMD processor and you definitely do not want to spend a fortune on something that you don’t really need. The H60 is the perfect cooler to squeeze some extra frames per second out of that budget CPU without burning it down.
First of all, the H60 is a closed-loop CPU cooler. It consists of a pre-assembled liquid cooling kit, and all you have to do is fit the cooling head and backplate onto the CPU socket.
Unlike air coolers that sit on the motherboard and need a lot of adjustment to avoid congestion, this closed loop cooler comfortably sits on the air vent in your CPU case, and only requires clearance for one fan since the radiator is pretty compact at 120 x 152 x 27 mm, and can fit on any standard 120 mm rear or top fan mount in the case.
The copper cold plate comes with thermal compound pre-applied to the surface and fits onto any standard AMD (FM or AM series sockets) or Intel socket, even the LGA 2011.
The H60 will give you temperature drops of at least 5-10°C compared to even the high-end air coolers, and runs really quiet, producing just 34.2 dB-A of sound on max fan speed. You can swap out the fan with any other aftermarket fan of your preference to further increase performance and get even lower noise levels.
There is a standard 5 year warranty on this cooler, and it comes with an easy to understand quick start guide that will help you install the whole system within minutes.
The first decision you need to make when choosing a cooler for your new gaming computer build is whether or not you’re okay with sticking with your stock cooler or if you need something a little bit more powerful.
Then, if you have decided you want a better CPU cooler, your next step is to decide whether or not you want an aftermarket air CPU cooler, a closed-loop liquid cooler, or if you want to build your own custom liquid cooling setup.
And, if you are looking for an air cooler, or a closed-loop liquid cooler, this guide will help you find an option that will work for you.