CPU is the most critical part of your PC and you need to do just one thing to make it perform efficiently:
Keep it cool.
Cooling down your CPU is one of the most important things that you have to take care.
Sure, Intel and AMD do sell stock coolers and some of their CPUs do come with stock coolers as well.
But what is important here to understand that if you are looking to overclock your processor, or if you are buying a processor that inherently runs hotter, then you are going to need a good CPU cooler to get the job done.
Best CPU Coolers For 2019
But if you've ever search online for a CPU cooler, you'd know that it's not that easy.
There are different types of coolers in terms of technology, and also in terms of seizes, like 120mm ,140mm etc.
For those confused people, today, we are going to be looking at some of the best CPU coolers 2019 available in the market.
Best CPU Cooler 2019 Review Guide
In order to make sure that we are being fair, we are reviewing both air coolers, as well as closed loop liquid coolers. So, let us have a look.
NZXT Kraken X72
Best 360mm Liquid Cooler 2019
The first cooler that we are going to be looking at is the NZXT Kraken X72. This is the 360mm version of the famous Kraken X52, and X62. NZXT has done a great job with their coolers, making them one of the best in the market, for a great price as well.
The good thing about the Kraken X72 is that it actually comes with a great performance that allows you to not worry about your CPU. I have tested this cooler on the Intel Core i7 8700K, that happens to be one of the hottest processors available in the market.
The good thing is that the temperatures were really good. Additionally, the cooler’s water block looks one of the best in the market, making this cooler one of the best looking and best performing options in the market.
Last but not the least, the NZXT Kraken X72 comes with full support for AMD’s TR socket, meaning that you will not have to separately purchase the bracket for Threadripper processors.
Overall, the NZXT Kraken X72 is one of the best 360mm coolers available in the market. The only downside for me is that you have to use NZXT’s CAM software. It should not be a problem, but the software itself is not stable, and that can be an issue for many people.
- Great performance.
- Supports AMD Threadripper socket out of the box.
- The waterblock is one of the best looking
- NZXT CAM is hit or miss.
Corsair H100i Pro
Best 240mm Liquid Cooler 2019
It was a great to see when Corsair decided to revamp their lineup of hydro coolers. For the longest time, Corsair was creating some of the best coolers in the market, however, their coolers were old. Plus, there were not enough higher end options available either.
Today, we look at the Corsair H100i Pro, although the cooler is a 240mm option, it is one of the best offerings available in the market.
To start off, the performance remains one of the greatest benefits of Corsair; even at 240mm, it still manages to outperform some of the top performers in the market. Not only that, the waterblock looks absolutely stunning, and if you have other RGB equipment from Corsair, you can have that cohesive element without any issue.
Corsair does include powerful fans as well, ensuring high airflow. The Corsair Link has improved a lot, and now works in tandem with Corsair’s iCUE software, ensuring that you get the best possible performance.
I do not think there are any shortcomings present in the cooler that could make the overall user experience any worse.
- Great performance.
- The fans that come with the cooler are actually really good.
- The waterblock looks one of the best with cohesive, and even lighting.
- Can sync with other Corsair components with ease.
- Software control is great.
EVGA CLC 280
Best 280mm Liquid Cooler 2019
The tech world was in a shock when EVGA came for the with their own closed loop liquid cooler. Mainly because before that, we only saw graphic cards, power supplies, and motherboards from EVGA.
So, keeping that in mind, it was surprising to see the company release a closed loop liquid cooler in the mainstream market.
Today, we look at the EVGA CLC 280; a 280mm liquid cooler that gets the job done for those who are looking for a decent cooling performance.
If performance is what you are after than the CLC 280 will get the job just fine as it happens to be one of the best performers on our list.
Additionally, the VRM cooling is exceptional whenever you out the cooler on the top. The cooler comes with PWM fans as well as its own fan controller; however, you can connect the fans to the motherboard as well, and you would still get full control over the fans.
There is nothing to hate about the EVGA CLC 280, however, on full speed, the fans tend to get noisy. However, that should not make your overall experience any bad, because you can always change the fans later down the road should you wish to.
Overall, the EVGA CLC 280 is one of the best performing closed loop liquid coolers available in the market. It gets the job done every time.
- Exceptional performance.
- On-board fan controller.
- Great cooling for VRMs.
- Fans are noisy.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120R RGB
Best 120mm Liquid Cooler 2019
Cooler Master’s revamped list of liquid and air coolers have made quite a name for themselves in the market, and for all the reasons.
These coolers are offering a pretty decent performance so if you are looking for something that actually is a great performer, then Cooler Master is a great option.
Today, we are looking at the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120R RGB. A budget, 120mm liquid cooler with the greatest gift of proper RGB lighting that makes things right for a lot of people looking for aesthetics.
However, is the cooling performance actually good?
Surprisingly, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120R RGB offers one of the best cooling performance in the 120mm bracket. Additionally, the addressable RGB lighting on the water block along with the fan is one of the best, and looks really good.
The pump itself is low noise, so I can assure you that you will not run into any issues with the noise.
While the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120R RGB is certainly a great cooler, however, there are some drawbacks. For starters, you will have a lot of cables to deal with, and the software is a hit or miss at the given time.
Overall, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120R RGB is a great liquid cooler for anyone who is on a budget, but still want good looks.
- Decent performance.
- Looks great with addressable RGB.
- Great value for money.
- Comes with two RGB fans.
- Too many cables.
- Software is a hit or miss.
Best Air CPU Cooler 2019 Overall
For those who are not looking for a good liquid cooler because they are worried that the leaks might happen, or the pump might die, then don’t worry as we have more options for you. Today, we are looking at the Noctua NH-D15.
The Noctua NH-D15 is one of the best coolers from Noctua, and it actually is one of the top performers. In fact, In many situations, the NH-D15 is more powerful than much expensive liquid coolers.
As far as the Noctua NH-D15 is concerned, the good thing about this cooler is that it offers a stellar performance through and through. Additionally, the overall noise factor is on the lower side as well, so I can assure you that your cooler will not be making a lot of noise.
Another great factor is the price here as the Noctua NH-D15 is cheaper than the competition and manages to easily outperform some of the heavy hitters in the market.
Last but not the least, the Noctua NH-D15 is backed with the trusty Noctua warranty so there is nothing to worry about.
On the flipside, there are some concerns that people have; for starters, the Noctua NH-D15 is heavy at 3 pounds, and you might have some clearance issue with taller RAM modules.
- Great thermal performance.
- Low noise.
- Competitively priced.
- Comes with trustworthy Noctua warranty.
- The cooler is on the heavier side.
- Might run into some clearance issues.
Cryorig H7 Quad Lumi
Best Midrange Air CPU Cooler
Cryorig is another company in the long run of great companies making some great coolers available for people who are looking for high performance options as well as budget oriented options.
Today, we are looking at the Cryorig H7 Quad Lumi, the successor to the famous H7 that has been one of the leading coolers in the market.
The H7 Quad Lumi is made for people who are looking for performance as well as some RGB lighting for their build.
The performance on this cooler is one of the best in its price range, and not just the performance, the cooler also runs fairly quiet, so you will not be hearing the fans whirling all the time.
Additionally, the cooler offers great clearance, so you can install it without running into issue. It does come with dual fan support, and is backed by 3 years of warranty that extends to 6 year upon registering.
To be honest, there are a few downsides. If you are already using the original H7, then the Quad Lumi is not a big improvement, and the bundled fans do not come with RGB lighting and that can be a concern for some people.
- Runs quiet for the most part.
- Great cooling.
- The RGB lighting is tastefully done and not over the top.
- 6-year total warranty.
- Can support up to two fans.
- Can be installed without clearance issue.
- Not a substantial upgrade over the original H7.
- The bundled fans are not RGB.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Best Budget Air CPU Cooler
If you are in the market for something that is cheap, and gets the job done exceptionally well, then Cooler Master has something for you.
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO has been the mainstay for people who are looking for a budget cooler that performs really, really well and allows you to overclock your CPU on a budget.
Now the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO does not come with the fancy RGB lights and looks that are becoming more and more common with modern day CPU coolers, but looks aside, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is an exceptional performer, and you can overclock your CPU as well.
Additionally, the overall build quality is surprisingly good for the price you are paying. The mounting system is pretty flexible so that is another good thing.
Overall, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is a surprisingly great cooler, however, there are some setbacks. For starters, installing the cooler is a bit finicky, and additionally, support for AM4 socket is not available right out of the box.
If you are okay with these minor setbacks, then the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is one of the best coolers available in the market, and should get the job done without any issues whatsoever..
- The performance is impressive especially with the low price tag.
- Great build quality.
- Decent overclocking potential.
- Great price.
- Has support for another fan.
- No support for modern sockets out of the box.
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3
Quietest Air CPU cooler 2019
As a company, Be Quiet! Has been one of the best in the business for the longest time. They have released some impressive coolers in the market, as well as some other components.
Today, we are looking at one of the most legendary air coolers that have been released in the market by Be Quiet!.
Say hello to the Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3. A tower CPU cooler that promises on silent operations, and more importantly, great value for anyone looking for a great performance.
The performance on the Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 is obviously one of the strongest things about this cooler, but additionally, the fact that despite having 2 fans, the cooler manages to remain silent throughout most of the operations.
All thanks to the amazing Silent Wing fans that come with the cooler. The build quality is one of the best I have seen, and the cooler itself looks great with its muted, black looks. Last but not the least, it is backed by a 3-year amazing Be Quiet! Warranty.
There is nothing wrong with the Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 that can potentially break the experience, but the fact that the RAM clearance can be an issue is something you should not forget about.
- Exceptionally quiet.
- The performance is consistent.
- Looks great.
- The 3-year warranty is a saving grace.
- Comes bundled with 2 fans.
- The RAM clearance can be an issue for taller RAMs.
Things To Look For In A CPU Cooler
But before starting this roundup, we are going to discuss different factors to consider while buying a CPU cooler for yourself.
1. Use Case
Before anything else, you need to ask yourself about the purpose of that CPU cooler.
If you have a budget-oriented PC build, and you don't have any overclocking plans, then an entry-level cooler (or even the stock CPU cooler) should suffice. New Ryzen CPUs in particular run OK with their stock cooler even if you do a little bit of overclocking.
On the other hand, if you want to get as much power juice out of your processor as possible, then there no option other than having a good quality high-end CPU cooler.
2. Air vs AIO Coolers
The other thing you need to decide is whether you want an air CPU cooler or a water CPU cooler.
This debate is endless among PC building community, and there are strong argument on both sides. So we'll try to give you best advise without being biased towards any method.
First one are air coolers. They have two main components: a) Fan b) Heatsink.
The heatsink is usually made up of some thermo-conductive metals, and its purpose is to draw the heat away from the CPU and absorb it into itself.
The fan, then, spins continuously to move the cooler air through the heatsink and dissipate the heat (and prevent the heatsink itself from overheating)
Note: For more info, check this PC fans guide.
Highlights of Air Coolers
- Are less Expensive than liquid coolers and have more durability
- Give you great price-performance ratio.
- Suitable if you don't want to get into overclocking.
Liquid coolers work on a bit different principle, and usually involve following parts: a) Pump b) Radiator c) Hoses d) Fan e) Coolant reservoir
The pump pushes the water (or some other coolant) into tubes which are attached to the CPU. After this, the pump pushes the water into the radiator , and that radiator cools it down because of fans pushing the air through that radiator.
The heat then goes from the radiator to the case, and now it's the duty of your case fans to move that heat out from your PC. The water goes into the hoses again, and this process continues.
Water cooling is further divided into three types.
- AIO or All-In-One coolers
- Cooling Kits
- Custom Loops
Here on this roundup, we'll only discuss AIO coolers because they come pre-assembled, and are inexpensive and easier to install.
Highlights of AIO coolers
- Keep your CPU much cooler as compared to air coolers.
- Have more gorgeous looks than air coolers
- Suitable if you want extreme CPU overclocking
3. Thermal Design Power
Thermal Design Power (TDP) is the maximum amount of heat a component (such as CPU) can produce over heavy work-load, that can be dissipated by a cooling system.
Both CPU and CPU cooler come with a TDP rating that can be listed in the specs area, or the manual that come along with those components.
Ideally, your CPU cooler should have a higher TDP rating than your CPU because if it's the other way around, your cooler won't be able to cool down your CPU.
Some argue, however, that having a cooler with a slightly less TDP than that of your processor would be fine too, since your processor won't able to hit its maximum potential all the time.
But, in my opinion, it's better to play safe here, and go with the convention, especially if you're planning for some overclocking.
Although most CPU coolers in the market will fit with most of the CPU sockets, there exist some exceptions where a cooler will only be compatible for a certain socket.
So, to avoid any mishap, do prior research about what CPU cooler(s) your motherboard + CPU support. You can find that information by simply reading your motherboard and CPU specs sheet.
Apart from this, you also need to make sure few other things.
- If you're going for a large cooler, make sure that your case is big enough to fit it.
- Make sure your selected cooler isn't too bulky for your case. Too bulky coolers can cause problems for other components too.
- If you're going for an AIO cooler, make sure that your PC case has the ability to adjust the radiator of that cooler. Smaller cases can't have big radiators in them. If you're not sure, head over to the specs sheet of your case, and check the biggest radiator size it can accommodate.
When it comes to PC building, aesthetics play a big role. Bigger than what many think about it.
If you're wondering how a particular cooler will look once it's inside your build, look for finished build pictures others have shared on the internet, or you can also ask on PC building forums.
6. Noise Level
A majority of PC builders want to make their PCs as quiet as possible, and due to being equipped with fans, CPU cooler is one of loudest PC components out there.
A typical solution of having a quiet cooler, is to buy one that has larger fans because larger fans don't have to spin as faster as their smaller counterparts, in order to produce similar amount of airflow.
You can also check out a cooler with multiple fans, which means those fans won't have to run as fast as a single fan would do.
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