Last Updated on July 1, 2020 by Scott Krager
The Core i5-10600K is the new midrange processor by Intel and a part of its Comet Lake desktop processor series.
Featuring 6 cores and 12 threads, the 10600K offers significant improvement over its predecessor i5-9600K in the form of hyperthreading and higher clock frequencies, and competes with the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X.
When it comes to gaming performance, the 10600K offers a good lead over both 3600 and 3600X – in 1080p as well as 4K. And it’s not just the 3600 and 3600X as the higher base clock frequency allows the 10600K to almost match the 10900K in some of those games.
In fact, it manages to take the edge over 10900K (a processor that costs more than double the price of 10600K) in games as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Red Dead Redemption 2. All of this has led the i5-10600K to be called “best gaming CPU for 2020” so far.
Sure, 10900K still manages to beat it in majority of the games but when you compare the price and performance difference between these two, 10600K proves to be a better bang for the buck. Another reason you might prefer 10600K over its big brother is the relatively easy overclocking.
In multi-threaded productivity apps, AMD’ 3600/3600X offerings still take the lead because of their 7nm architecture but not by a margin most of us anticipated.
Overall, it’s a compelling option for any gaming enthusiast who does not a have a big interest in multi-threaded applications.
Intel has clearly done good job in squeezing more juice out of their old architecture but that has resulted in a relatively higher power consumption and TDP of 125 Watts.
This is the reason why Intel had to launch Z490 motherboards for these new processors and why the CPU cooler you would pair up with your 10600K must be of high quality.
Best CPU Coolers For Intel i5 10600K
In this roundup, we have included AIO as well as HSF options but I would advise you to be on the safer side and go for an AIO cooler – especially if you plan to overclock the CPU later.
DEEP COOL Assassin III: Check Price On Amazon
Best Air CPU Cooler For Intel i5 10600K
Assassin III is the latest high-end air cooler by Deepcool.
Except the black color scheme, it looks like Noctua NH-D15 due to its dual-tower design. There are two 140mm fans and each of them has a stack of 44 aluminium fins (D15 has 45) at its back. These fin stacks are further connected with each other by seven 6mm copper heatpipes (D15 has six heatpipes).
There’s nickel coating on those heatpipes as well as the thermal transfer plate.
Dimensions wise, there isn’t any big difference between the Assassin III and D-15 either but the former takes a slight edge because of it being less wide at 140mm. It means it’ll take slightly less space and cause less compatibility issues.
The one area where the difference between these coolers is big, however, is the weight. Assassin III is more than 100 grams heavier than D15, with both fans installed. It means your motherboard should be tough enough to handle this extra weight.
In terms of performance, we found the Assassin III to be fractionally better than D-15 in heat dissipation – in idle as well as under load. Although it must be noted that D-15′ fans ran slightly quieter at the maximum temperature.
That’s why it comes down to one’s individual preference in the end. If you don’t mind a few extra decibels of noise under full load, this is the best CPU air cooler for i5-10600K.
If I were to nitpick some issues here, first one would be the clearance for tall RAM modules for which you may need to adjust the fans. Secondly, it may block the first expansion slot of your motherboard – especially if you’re planning to go for a mini-ITX or mATX model.
If you take aesthetics seriously, then this is the cooler you should go for because Noctua’s color scheme is not everyone’s cup of tea.
NZXT Z73: Check Price On Amazon
Best 360mm AIO Cooler For Intel i5 10600K
The Z73 is the latest flagship AIO cooler by NZXT.
Based on the Asetek’s 7th-gen pump (I think Z series is the only one to feature it as of now), it promised more durability, lower temperature and less noise than ever before.
One big problem AIO coolers are facing right now is that they all look similar and you can hardly differentiate one from the other based on looks only.
This is the major reason why companies, in order to stand out from the pack, are trying to customize the pump heads for quiet some time.
Here NZXT has put a 60mm 24-bit LCD screen that can be used to display different system stats in real time as well as custom images and GIFs.
All of this customization is done through CAM software app that has undergone big improvement over some time. This software features a lighting tab and drop-down list of different PC statuses such as clock frequency, CPU or GPU temperature etc. You can even customize the text and background colors here.
This pump head has low profile as well which helps in removing the possibility of DIMM or PCIe slot compatibility.
Although we’re discussing coolers for i5-10600K only, Z73 comes with mounting hardware support for AMD platform as well, although you’ll have to get an additional bracket if planning to use it with a Ryzen threadripper CPU.
Being a 360mm cooler, Z73 features three 120mm AER P120 fans with fluid-dynamic bearings.
I our testing, we found it to be better than the likes of NZXT X62 and Corsair H115i Platinum – at both idle and load stages.
It does make slightly extra noise so if you really care about that, the balance performance profile is the best option because it offers a middle way between the cooling and the noise level.
If we talk about the downsides, I think the biggest one among all is the extra price. Yes, you get some extra bells and whistles but even then the extra cost is hard to justify for most of PC builders out there.
So, if you think that LED screen to be more of a gimmick, you can check out X73. It’s identical to the Z73 except that LED screen on pump header and costs almost $100 less.