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10 Best CPU Coolers in 2020 [Buyers Guide]

Published by Atif Liaqat on

Best CPU Coolers 2020

It is never easy to pick a CPU cooler for any system. Deciding between liquid or air CPU coolers is like one of the major steps of buying a CPU cooler. Other than that, there are so many high-end brands that offer durability and quality at the same time. Still, it is very tough to make up our minds about a particular type or brand.

You can’t find the right answer to these questions by just window shopping – literally from outside a CPU cooler store. You have to be brave enough to go inside the store and check out the latest innovations and ask the seller to provide you some information about the brand, type, and specs.

However, when you combine a good cooler with nice cooling practices, a large amount of processing power will be delivered to you within seconds. Of course, there are different types of CPU builds, but, as usual, it is tough to get your hands on the most compatible one.

Now, let’s move onto the purpose – why do you need a CPU cooler and for what purpose? If you want to purchase the best CPU particularly for gaming, and preferring not to buy a CPU cooler, you won’t be able to get the most power from your processor.

These days, all the modern CPU innovations are mostly unlocked, which means that they require unlocking and they require a vast amount of clock speed, and that helps the user to keep everything within its limits.

Luckily, CPU coolers provide some of the best levels of performance. However, when choosing between an air and water CPU cooler, you need to consider your computer’s aesthetics and factors. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a wrong fit.

You can have an unlocked, or a mega-high performance processing unit right now, but with a little bit of effort and research, you can add a CPU cooler to the already high-end CPU of yours and receive ultimate performance.

Here, we have gathered the list of some of the most reliable and high-quality CPU coolers of all time. If you are interested in buying the best CPU cooler for your CPU, then keep reading because there is more you need to know.

Following is a list of some of the best CPU coolers in 2020 suitable for most CPUs that offer maximum performance.

Top 10 Best CPU Coolers 2020

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Noctua NH-D15

Noctua NH-D15

As mentioned in the beginning, there are a lot of brands and techs that provide good quality of everything, but Noctua is a very famous electronics brand that has never ceased to amaze us.

This brand-new flagship cooler from Noctua is everything in performance and size. The most exciting news about this product is that it is based on the recently awarded NH-D14 tower CPU cooler.

The successor, NH-D15, is a brand innovation to the former. This CPU cooler has a unique Heatpipe dual warmer build to enhance cooling performance and eliminate noises. Another amazing part about this cooler is that the dual warmer lets you use two 140mm fans, which are included in the system.

Other than that, the Noctua NH-D15 is pretty much one of the best product manufactures from Noctua so far.

You all need to know that the Noctua NH-D15 is an air cooler that is built with two huge aluminum heatsink towers, smooth copper baseplate, six copper heat pipes in every tower, two 140mm fans and more amazing features.

Each feature improves its performance to a higher level. Also, the head pipe is designed to work efficiently. When you add an innovation like that to your PC, there is no way you can go wrong with it.

So, Noctua outdid itself by manufacturing the NH-D15, because it is the largest and most efficient air cooler that has ever been on the market.

On the upside, you can buy it from Amazon, and you can even get a good deal on it.

Specifications:-

Brand NameNOCTUA
SeriesNH-D15
Item Model Number2.87
Dimensions9.2×11.7.5 inches
ColorBrown
MemoryDDR3 SDRAM

Summary:

In short words, the Noctua NH-D15 is a modified version of the NH-D14 with high-end features and more efficient components. It is known to be the largest air cooler from Noctua that offers performance and quality at the same time.

No doubt, it is the best air cooler to buy for your PC, if you don’t spend a lot of time on it, but even if you do, the Noctua NH-D15 will accommodate you in every possible way with stunning performance and great features.

Pros
  • Amazing cooling output
  • Runs smoothly and silently
  • User-friendly attachment
  • Stunning build quality
  • Six-year warranty
  • Nicely rounded bundle
Cons
  • Beige and brown is not suitable for everyone
  • Very expensive

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition

For those of you who demand a serious level of cooling, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition is perfect. We can add this air cooler to the category of beefy global coolers that offer stunning performance with relatively minimum levels of noise, and it even makes the system look cool to boot.

The four direct-contact copper heat pipes, a strong 120mm fan, and a dense aluminum heatsink, you can assure yourself that this air cooler will fulfill your needs in every way, and it is known to be the keenest of overclockers.

What’s more? The Hyper 212 is right now the most popular aftermarket air coolers in the market. With its high-end features, it can outperform both AMD and Intel stock coolers in every possible way: noise generation, temperature underloads, and idle temperatures.

Still, the AMD’s specter cooler has undergone a lot of improvements, yet they are still limited when compared with the advantages they have over the Intel stock coolers.

So, all of this is very important to keep in mind if you are planning to upgrade your stock specter. But, for Intel users, Master Cooler 212 RBG will blow their stock ones out from the box from every aspect.

Specifications:

Brand nameCooler Master
Model numberRR-212S-20PC-R1
Weight2.06 pounds
Dimensions6.3×3.93×9.09 inches
ColorNon led

Summary:

Master Cooler 212 is a big YES when it comes to performance and overclocking. There is no reason not to buy this CPU cooler.

Sure, it is an air cooler, and air coolers do not provide a huge amount of performance, but you can rely on Master Cooler 212 to provide you with both extra overclocking and performance at the same time.

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Superb performance
  • Reasonably priced
  • Best when compared to other Hyper coolers
Cons
  • Limited upgrade
  • Not so great compared to other Cooler Master products

Noctua NH-L9

Noctua-NH-L9

Let’s explain this model for a big; it is a stunningly built low-profile model from Noctua. Of course, Noctua is a well-established electronics brand about which half of the universe knows about.

With that being said, the Noctua NH-L9 is only 37mm high, and it has the capacity to it in every type of PC case with no struggle. Without any complications or doubts, this CPU cooler is the only aftermarket CPU cooler that is performance filled, and that can be used by every PC user, for the very common reason that it can fit in every PC.

Of course, there are other strong and performance filled coolers in the market, and they are mostly wider and taller than the NH-L9. But, when you want a small CPU cooler that has everything, the NH-L9 is what comes to mind. It is a great combination of amazing performance and ultra-less noise than the Intel heatsink – which makes it a win-win.

On the other hand, Noctua has updated all of its products to contain the AMD brackets, but the NH-L9 demands a unique layout to use with AMD sockets, so if you have an AMD processor, it is best suggested to purchase an AMD version of this cooler.

Specifications:

Brand nameNOCTUA
SeriesNH-L9i
ModelNH-L9i
Weight14.7 ounces
Dimensions3.7×3.7×1.4 inches
MemoryDDR3 SDRAM

Summary:

The brand says it all; the NH-L9 is known to be one of the smallest and high-performance based air coolers of all time. You can rely on this product if you want an air cooler that works on minimum wage and fits your time-to-time computer using needs.

Pros
  • Amazing performance
  • Ultra-low noise
  • Can fit in every PC case
  • Compact size
  • An air cooler
  • Manufactured from Noctua
Cons
  • It contains AMD components, which requires an AMD processor
  • Not for excessive overclocking
  • Only suitable for small computer jobs

Corsair H100i Pro

Corsair H100i Pro

In the past few years, Corsair had always been slammed for low performance and expensive productions, but after a long time, Corsair has finally released something worth the talk. When the Corsair H100i Pro was tested, a huge turning point in the history of Corsair took place.

The most important part about this CPU cooler is that it belongs to the category of liquid/water coolers, which makes it ideal for heavy PC usage. This latest production of Corsair is equipped with a dual-fan 240mm warmer.

You can find thousands of reviews on the web related to the Corsair H100i, but none of them will tell you that the ‘i’ in the name indicates that the product is Software controllable and contains the CUE software. And as you know, liquid coolers tend to accommodate powerful usage; with that being said, the system lets you power several profiles.

You have to purchase this product if you use your PC a lot, and for all sorts of purposes, because it will offer you a lot of benefits.

So, it is clear to see how much progress Corsair has made with the H100i Pro. If you want to purchase this product, you can easily find it from Amazon, plus Amazon is always offering great deals and sales on all of its products so you can find yourself in a nice discount position.

Specifications:

Brand nameCorsair
Model numberCW-9060033-WW
Weight1.64 pounds
Dimensions10.9×4.7×16.8 inches
Processor count1

Summary:

To describe the Corsair H100i Pro is easy and clear words; it is a well-designed liquid CPU cooler that is huge, contains high-end features, and costs less.

Pros
  • Powerful performance
  • Liquid/water CPU coolers
  • User-friendly assembling
  • Strong high-flow fans
  • Desktop UI and customization
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Not able to offer reasonable RGB
  • No elimination of noise
  • The system still heats up

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240P Mirage

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240P Mirage


In the modern space, Cooler Master is known to be a very recognizable brand that offers a wide selection of heatsinks, cases, heatsinks, power supplies, fans, and, most importantly, liquid CPU coolers.

To every computer enthusiast, Cooler Master has a very popular name. For years, Cooler Master has served the world of innovation with willingness and adaptability and has gained a lot of respect because of that.

Now, enough about the company, let’s talk about the product. The Cooler MasterLiquid ML240P Mirage is an RGB-processed liquid CPU cooler. Just from the name, you can judge that the system contains a complete RBG functionality and contains an RGB hub with manual controls and one with software supports that works from the MasterPlus app.

When it comes to the size, the Master Cooler ML240P Mirage is a 240mm liquid cooler that has it all. Other than that, it contains a lot of extra special features, which include the outer ring fan blade, cable sleeving, and braided tubing, transparent pump top, and an addressable RGB LED lighting system.

So, it is impossible to say no to this CPU Cooler because it is absolutely the best.

Specifications:-

Brand nameCooler Master
Item model numberMLY-D24M-A20PA-R1
Weight3.64 pounds
Dimensions12.9x11x5.5 inches

Quick Description/Summary

The Cooler Master ML240P Mirage is very famous because of its lighting feature, and not to mention, it has a unique design that pleases everyone. Although it is a bit pricey, yet it is so feature-filled.

If you have the budget, you can buy this CPU cooler and make the most out of your PC using experiences.

Pros
  • Nice lighting effects
  • Pump top
  • Threadripper support
  • Controller hub as an accessory
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Not so good with performance

NZXT Kraken X72

NZXT Kraken X72

If you are in search of a CPU cooler that works silently and offers a great amount of performance, then the NZXT’s Kraken X72 model is the perfect one for you. It is a liquid cooler and has a 360mm warming mount.

Another very innovative part about this CPU cooler is that it contains CAM software. With this feature, you can customize, monitor and program, which makes it the best liquid cooler for your processor.

It contains three PWM fans and a good performance warmer to go with. With being silent, it offers a nice amount of performance. Other than that, NZXT offers the most amazing LED lighting system.

You can use this CPU cooler for all kinds of purposes, for gaming, content creating, and work heavy work purposes as well. As it is a liquid cooler, it can fulfill all of your PC requirements, so make sure to know your needs.

Most of your PC related problems will vanish if you consider buying the X72. You need to figure out whether you need a liquid cooler or not. Sure, there are a lot of other liquid CPU coolers available in the market, but this one is really something special.

You can buy it from anywhere you like; from a retailer or from an online store called Amazon, choose whichever suits your needs and go for it.

Specifications:

Brand nameNZXT
Model numberRL-KRX72-01
Weight2.84 pounds
Dimensions15.5×1.1×4.7 inches
ColorBlack

Summary:

The NZXT Kraken X72 is a combination of a wonderful RGB lighting feature, and a 360 AIO cooling feature. It offers a user-friendly interface and stunning cooling performance. It is a great CPU cooler that can fit every innovative CPU.

Pros
  • Amazing cooling
  • Unique design
  • Best RGB lighting
  • Great features
  • Usable with AMD
Cons
  • Pricey
  • NZXT’s cam software

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120R RGB

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120R RGB

In every player’s office, the Cooler Master has always been the favorite. You will find the Cooler Master ML120R RGB in the category of “best performance CPU coolers.”

In the past, it was always a challenge to cool heated up CPUs, but these modern innovations have made things a lot easier for us. This CPU cooler is a liquid cooler, and it will do a fine job keeping your CPU cool.

The only not so good thing about this product is that it is a bit expensive, and people will do anything to get a cheap product with maximum features. But, it is possible to find a product that is reasonably priced and offers the best value, but one doesn’t always get that lucky.

When we talk about style and appearance, the NZXT’s Kraken is pretty much the best example of RGB lighting when it comes to impressive liquid cooler style, but the master cooler ML120R RGB has a much higher level of appearance.

Other than that, it contains a compact pump, which is the main reason to choose this liquid CPU cooler over an air cooler. Also, Master Cooler has used a dual-chamber creation that provides support to heat the entire heat transfer process.

If you are willing to purchase this liquid CPU cooler, then you can easily purchase it from Amazon and enlighten yourself with its best deals and offers. Also, if you feel that the product is a bit pricey, the discount deals will get you a good offer.

Specifications:

Brand nameCooler Master
ModelMLY-D24M-A20PA-R1
Weight3.64 pounds
Dimensions12.87×11.02×5.55 inches

Summary:

This is a very reliable liquid air cooler if your only preferences are quality, features, and performance. It offers the best RGB lighting features and has even broken the record of NXZT’s Kraken. It is great for gaming or performing any other tasks that require a lot of heavy PC usage.

Pros
  • Amazing RBG lighting features
  • Superb cooling
  • Easy to use software
  • Customization level is amazing
  • The controller works with or without the RGB motherboard
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Not reliable when it comes to the warranty

Arctic Liquid Freezer 120

Arctic Liquid Freezer 120

The Arctic is a well-recognized brand that offers some of the best air cooling products of all time. The Arctic has been serving the generation for quite some time now, and it has pretty much marked its territory with amazing quality.

If you demand a CPU cooler that offers quality, easy installation, and perfect performance with no noise, the Arctic Liquid Freezer 120 is the best one for you. That is why this product is called “freezer,” it is because it takes out all the heat from the system and keeps the environment cool as if the processor is put inside a freezer.

When it comes to the buying process, you can easily purchase this product from Amazon with great offers and deals.

Specifications:

Brand nameArctic
Weight953 g
Dimensions11.9×15.5×9.1 cm
Model numberACFRE0016A
ColorBlack

Summary:

A feature-filled liquid cooler that offers maximum build, quality and performance with a great number of features that enhance every user’s PC using experience.

Pros
  • Solid performance
  • Easy to use
  • No noise
  • Quality
  • Compatible with AIO models
  • Inaudible fans
Cons
  • Have fixed tubes

Corsair Hydro Series H5 SF

Corsair Hydro Series H5 SF 768x589

This review is about the Corsair’s Hydro Series H5 SF. You might be thinking of this product as a very strange looking system, but this is also for a good cause, this liquid cooler is known to be the first AIO liquid cooling system for small ITX problems.

That’s right; you heard us right, this liquid cooler will climb on top of your motherboard equipped with a powerful processor that offers great cooling performance.

If you have the chassis to handle this unit, you can go for it. This is a very smart looking liquid cooler that is based on high levels of performance. You can buy this product from anywhere you want, from a retailer or an online store, the choice is yours.

Specifications:

Brand nameCorsair
Item modelCW-9060023-WW
Weight1.9 pounds
Dimensions13×3.7×9.3  inches

Summary:

Do not be confused by its size, it is a compact, yet it is highly feature-filled and has the capability to go with almost every type of PC. It offers solid performance to those who demand it.

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Compatible with most PCs
  • Cools overclocked processors as well
  • Reasonably priced
  • Solid performance
  • New radiator and fan
Cons
  • Does not contain a fan splitter
  • Less room to adjust the cables under the stove

NoFan CR-95C

NoFan CR-95C

Here’s a little bit of description about the company. NoFan is a Korean company that has launched hundreds of products. The most important and impressive manufacturing of NoFan is its CPU coolers, which are in huge demand in the PC market.

When we talk about the CR-95C, it is very large and cylindrical, which makes it quite difficult to assemble on a fan, which directly indicates the manufacturer’s name. You can buy this product in two combinations: Plain copper and nickel-plated black pearl.

It has a very radial type of structure and contains four heat pipes built from NoFan’s IcePipe innovation. However, not much info has been released about IcePipe, but all we know is that they are lighter, wickless, and slimmer.

Other than that, you will be happy to know that the product easy to clean and often doesn’t get dirty.

So, if you like the sound of all of this, then go ahead and figure out whether it will suit your PC or no. If you aren’t sure about the fitting, you can ask the retailer for information as well.

Specifications:

ManufacturerNOF-CR-95C-CU
Weight2.6 pounds
Dimensions12.4x6x11.4 inches
ASINB009OXB1ZM
Model numberCR-95C Copper

Summary:

It is a fun-shaped liquid cooler that offers solid performance with a lot of other capabilities, and it does not make any noise during processing.

If you plan on overclocking your PC, the most important aspect to consider is the pick the right CPU cooler. The picking process usually varies on the limiting factor to the overclocking you need, particularly for constant loads.

You can create a lot of performance-based differences by just purchasing a cooler, plus you will only notice changes in the noise output as well. So, whether you need a CPU cooler to accommodate its stock settings or for overclocking purposes, the most important benefit you achieve from a CUP cooler is the no amount of throttling you get.

With a CPU cooler, your system can be able to work on thousands of tabs without having to heat up or make any noise.

Furthermore, in this section of this content, you will get to know about the types of CPU coolers, which one is the right one for you, and how to buy one. Let’s begin.

Pros
  • Good cooling capabilities
  • Does not make any noise
Cons
  • It is quite huge
  • A bit expensive

Types of PC Coolers

A CPU cooler contains hundreds of small components, even inside a component, and you have a lot of choices when it comes to selecting the perfect cooling system for your PC. 

First of all, the buyers need to decide whether they need a liquid cooler or an air cooler. After selecting the type, next, you have to figure out if you need a carbon-based paste or a silicone-based paste.

A CPU cooler varies of different noises, speeds, and sizes. Other than that, the assembly procedure of the cooler is also something to consider, depending on whether you have an Intel or an AMD CPU system.

Most coolers are modified with CPU hollow sizes that fit either Intel or AMD. Now, let’s discuss the two types of coolers in detail.

1.Air CPU Coolers

Air CPU coolers only benefit the general computer users. They are very affordable, and they can even be used as stock air coolers. Air CPU coolers contain heat fins that dissipate the heat from the system. Due to these moving fins, the temperature in the system remains low.

Other than that, air CPU coolers are ideal for miniature custom PCs and desktops that demand additional cooling waves beyond supply model coolers.

On the downside, air coolers are huge. A traditional aftermarket air cooler is huge when compared with water cooling systems. It means that these systems are not ideal for al PC cases.

Plus, if you are creating a PC, particularly for gaming or any other system that will frequently be running on high temperatures, an air cooler might not be the best choice for your needs.

2.Liquid/Water Coolers

When compared to air coolers, liquid/water coolers are built with higher standards of technology, and they do a much better job of controlling the heat of your processor.

However, liquid/water coolers are not suitable for builders whose systems do not overheat, or those who don’t use their PCs frequently. If the user has a low-level gaming setup or just uses a computer traditionally for work purposes, an air cooler would be the best option for them.

The upside to liquid/water coolers is that they contain low levels of RPM, which plays a vital role in making them less noisy than air coolers because the hot air passes through water/liquid that stays inside the unit.

Plus, liquid coolers are built with versatile technology and contain modern GPU cooling components based on liquids.

The downside to using liquid coolers is that they can pose a threat to electrical units, but only in case of a leak. But, this is a very rare thing to happen.

CPU Cooler Terms Know-how

If you want to purchase a quality-filled CPU cooler, you must know a little information about CPUs. By only learning the following terms, you can be able to create a high-level conversation with a retailer, and it is definitely for you to end up with a compatible CPU cooler for your PC.

Heat Sink

A heat sink is basically known as a component built from metal, and its basic purpose is to absorb and spread the heat out from the CPU.

Heat Fins

Heat fins are usually made of aluminum, and they are one of the key components of every CPU cooler. The performance of heat fins varies on their construction, placement, quantity, shape, and spacing. Intel CPU coolers mostly offer a heat fin-based cooling fan.

Heat Pipes

Heat pipes are built either made of aluminum or copper, and they are filled with a watery substance that allows the hot air to pass through the fan’s heat fins. After that, the heat is transformed into vapors, which revert to liquid after cooling. The number and construction of heat pipes tell us about the overall performance of the burning unit.

Heat Base

The heat base is made from either aluminum or copper, where the base of the heat sink makes a connection with the IHS. Heat bases contain two types; direct and flat contact. The flat surface offers considerable support for contact purposes, while the direct contact contains strands of coils near the heat pipes.

Some Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a CPU Cooler

When it comes to choosing the perfect CPU cooler, your needs are important to consider. If you have a PC for moderate use only, using your stock cooler can be the ideal option, but if you want to take things to another level, going with an aftermarket air cooler can be a viable option.

Contrary to this, if your PC is used for heavy gaming, content creation, or streaming purposes, then it will be best to go with a liquid/water cooling system.

However, if you still want something higher than liquid coolers, you can purchase custom liquid cooling systems, but they require extra building capabilities.

Now, everything is clear for you, just make sure to know your needs and then choose between a type, and then a model.

Conclusion

Either you want to overclock your computer to the highest level of performance or prevent it from throttling at certain events, you need to pay special attention to a CPU cooler.

We know that there are a lot of innovations in this world, and you can pretty much find whatever you need within seconds. With that being said, it is a piece of cake to find the perfect CPU cooler for your PC. With just a little amount of effort, you can succeed and achieve the best amount of performance.

In the beginning, all the CPU coolers that we have reviewed in this content are all performance and quality-based. Every product has something you need, and you can even find one that has it all. Who knows, you might even leave right now and head to the retailer to get yourself one of our best-reviewed CPU coolers.

So, the bottom line is, you need first to figure out the purpose of needing a CPU cooler, whether it’s for gaming or for just demanding speed, be sure to know your needs. That way, you can end up making the right purchase, and you will get what you need.

Categories: Buying Guides

Atif Liaqat

I have been fond of computer technology for a long time, ever since childhood, and was always meddling with various hardware and software. With graduation in computer engineering from a recognized university like NUST was a dream come true and enabled me to pursue my dreams in swift ways. Currently, I am working for various websites as a hardware reviewer and content writer.