Last Updated on August 8, 2020 by Scott
Intel has done it again, releasing a new generation of processors that finally pushes the envelope. After several generations of sub-par improvement that have battled AMD and Ryzen mildly, Intel has released a stellar i9 processor that blazes ahead.
It’s fast, it’s powerful, it’s all you’ll want for Gaming, editing Media, and much more.
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Where the processor needs a little help though is in an external cooler. Why have all this power and settle for the low-quality speed that a trashy cooler allows for? Your CPU needs a cooler than brings out the best in it and if current tests are any indication, the i9-10900K is about to turn heads.
Best Coolers For Intel i9 10900K Buying Guide
I don’t recommend overclocking to the inexperienced, especially when you are dropping all the cash a nice CPU demands. I do however recommend those with the right knowledge and experience look into pushing equipment like it’s designed. The right cooling setup and motherboard can often keep your equipment pushing the limit in a relatively safe and low-risk manner.
Why does cooling matter? Without proper cooling, the average processor would burn up in seconds. If you ever experience bizarre artifacts like purple textures popping up, janky framerates, and the occasional green emblazoned text, there is a good chance it is heat related.
The worst part about heat related failure is it often has done damage by the time you catch it. It’s best to boot up a friendly temperature monitoring program and get those temps cool long before you see the negative effects. Worse yet, it’s downright embarrassing to blow so much money on a CPU and burn it out in a week! Cooling matters.
My list here has the four best coolers out today for your i9 10900K and they’ll help you chill that beast of a machine while using your i9 for whatever glorious purposes you intend.
Best Cooler For i9-10900K Buying Guide
Note: We have published a separate blogpost regarding cooling solutions for i7-10700K as well. Check that out if you’re planning to go for an i7 instead.
Best Air Cooler For Intel i9 10900K
The NH-D15 comes from a long-line of really amazing coolers. In fact the previous generation, the NH-D14 won more than 250 awards and recommendations from those in the industry. Anything chosen that much by the overtly critical tech industry has to be doing something right!
The Noctua NH-D15 not only has a sick sounding name, it lives up to that latin root word of night, as in it’s quiet enough to use late at night. This cooler does not sound like a helicopter. That’s a great thing. Often fans use a large amount of RPM’s to get up to those fast speeds and blow heat outside the case. You don’t want that though.
Rather you want a cooler that is using state-of-the-art design and incorporating heatsinks into it. As luck has it, the Noctua NH-D15 has 6 heatpipes! That means they built this with light overclocking in mind. The design allows you to start off right without having CPU issues.
I’ll never forget that time I purchased an E-Machine, these outdated computers, and slapped a proper GTX card into it. In 20 minutes the machine would go from functional to glitchy and eventually shutting off. You need to avoid that when you have the raw unfurled power of the i9 10900K in your rig.
While this is an Intel centric hardware roundup, you can put this on leading AMD processors as well, it’s a perk but we all know you came here to play with the new ruler of CPUs, the 10900K. The Noctua is a fantastic piece of equipment but it isn’t liquid cooling. In today’s industry that’s becoming the norm. I do think this is about as good as you can get with a fan based system though.
- Stunningly Quiet
- Safe in the hands with Noctua’s renowned pedigree and 6-year manufacturer warranty
- Works with a wide range of Intel and AMD products
- Slightly expensive for an air cooler
- State-of-the-art dual-tower design with 6 heatpipes and 2 fans provides class-leading cooling performance for overclocking or near-silent systems
- Successor of the classic NH-D14; more than 250 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware websites and magazines
- 2 highly optimised NF-A15 140mm fans with PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptors for automatic speed control and ultra-quiet operation
EVGA CLC 240
Best 240mm AIO Cooler For Intel i9 10900K
EVGA is usually known for building GPU which is why taking the same excellence in design to the CPU world makes them excellent manufacturers for cooling. The EVGA CLC 240mm offers liquid cooling AND RGB at a really affordable price.
Ok, so the RGB is kind of not worth it. It only lights up the word EVGA leaving the huge fan part out of the loop. That being said, some EVGA parts like the GPU do connect and give this RGB a little bit more shelflife. Really it’s not a huge issue though because I don’t recommend picking any parts just because they have pretty lights.
We recommend looking elsewhere if you need a lightshow. While traditional heatsink and fan combos help lower temperatures, nothing beats the power of liquid cooling. It’s the best way to start getting into overclocking with a degree of illusionary safety. EVGA has some of the best software I have seen so far.
It makes changing the fan speed and adjusting things quick and painless. They also did a bang up job with the design. Sleek black and solid feeling. It is notable that I found the fans noisier than the Noctua and some online have even reported they switched out the fans (Ouch!) to reduce noise pollution. That’s ok though.
Noise is expected, you just need to know what you are getting when you buy it. This cooler is also usable on a wide range of AMD and Intel products but it deserves to find a home on an i9-10900K.
- Water Cooling really lowers those temps
- 240mm Fans chill the CPU quickly
- Budget friendly water-cooling
- Fans this size can be noisy
- RGB lighting is sort of a joke
- Compatible with Intel LGA2066/2011/2011-v3/1200/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366 and AMD AM2/AM3/AM4/FM1/FM2/TR4 and upcoming variants
- 240mm Dual Fan radiator
- Rgb LED's, can be synced to other EVGA RGB components
Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280
Best 280mm AIO cooler For Intel i9-10900K
ARTIC has some gorgeous products. I think just the tactile feel of the liquid cooling cables sort of puts most other cooling products to shame. The Liquid Freezer II 280 is for those who are serious about controlling temps and basically builds the foundation of your epic liquid cooling solution.
Always innovating, the high-quality pump mechanism lowers power consumption and doesn’t run at full speed when your computer is doing normal tasks. This means considerably less noise pollution. I love the nifty little fan that they put on the front end of the Liquid cooler.
It’s not only adorable, it gets you a bit less terrified to overclock those cards. Once while building a new gaming rig, my i7 was skyrocketing in temperature. Come to find out it had been overclocked automatically by the new gaming motherboard I had purchased.
I was lucky not to lose the CPU and frustrated that the BIOS had done that. The reality though is that a cooling system like this would have prevented the repeated shutdowns and two days of maintenance. IT simply would have not gotten hot.
You want that type of cooling, the high-quality legendary cooling that saves your machine. One of the best things about this is the closed loop system. Some Liquid Cooling needs to replenish water or additives. The design is good enough that you can run indefinitely without those sorts of worries.
- Excellent temperature control
- Powerful fans and liquid cooling
- Additional CPU fan is pretty neat
- The price is pretty steep
- COOLER THAN OTHER AIO WATER COOLERS: The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 has a more efficient cool plate, pump and radiator that makes a difference among other AIO water pc fan coolers
- 15°C LOWER VOLTAGE REGULATOR TEMPERATURE: A VRM additional 40 mm fan next to pump cools the area of the voltage regulators and can improve the situation dramatically if otherwise airflow is absent
- INTEGRATED CABLE MANAGEMENT: The PWM-cable of the fans are integrated into the sleeved tubing. Thus there is only one short cable visible from the pump to motherboard replacing the usual cable mess
Cooler Master Liquid ML360R
Best 360mm AIO Cooler For Intel i9-10900K
If you’ve been around computers for awhile, you may have been wondering where the big dog was. Cooler Master is my absolute favorite maker of coolers. I remember a time when switching processors to a newer i5, I had to pick up a non-stock cooler.
My experience had often been terrible but I saw they recommended the classic Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. Listen, the 212 isn’t top-tier stuff but even as a just average option, it dropped my temperatures by insane amounts.
The best part was though that it was just simple to install. Coolers tend to have instruction manuals that are as confusing as IKEA products. The M360R takes everything that is good about the easy to use and powerful Cooler Master product lines and makes them better.
Stronger. Faster. While expensive, this is some of the top-quality you can find in liquid cooling and even has some sick RGB touches. The RGB is phenomonal, the cooling is THE best you’ll find at this price point, and it’s a breeze to install. I know if you had to pick one cooler form this list. This is the one.
- Cooler Master is the lead in the best products
- Liquid Cooling Solution that really drops those temps
- Very simple installation
- RGB is fantastic
- Pricey but you did buy an i9…
- Exclusive tech cooler master controls quality and builds on decades of innovation with 100 percent in house design and manufacturing
- Dual dissipation our low profile dual chamber pump enhances performance and durability over our last gen single chamber pump designs; Sizable performance leaps over last gen technology
- 360 millimeters radiator our aluminum 360 millimeters large surface radiator will remove excess heat from the CPU and cool with maximum efficiency
Getting a next generation processor can be thrilling, especially if you work in a CPU intensive field like Media.
Editing with the i9 10900K will probably make you cry tears of joy, it’s just going to annihilate render times and make the process quicker. It’ll do pretty swell gaming as well. Yet something this pricey and incredible needs some good protection.
Losing your CPU to overheating would SUCK! You need a cooler, so you might as well make it a great one. If one of these four coolers has stood-out, make that purchase! Stock coolers are trash and high-end processors don’t even come with them.
You’re really just buying something you literally need. Plus, a chilly gaming rig or workstation makes it last for years to come. We hope you will love my picks, I trust these as industry winners. As always, thanks for joining us as we roundup hardware and show you the best of the best in PC Gaming.
Last update on 2020-09-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API