Best CPU Coolers For 2018 – Remastered Buying Guide For CPU Coolers
Almost all CPUs come with a stock cooler with the exception of for instance Intel Skylake K-series CPUs, where a third-party cooling system is needed. That’s really no surprise since no overclocker would want to use the stock HSF anyways. If you haven’t got a dedicated CPU cooler on your PC, then this is certainly the first upgrade that you will want to consider, and we highly recommend it if you want to overclock your CPU for higher performance.
But which CPU cooler is right for you and your budget? Do you want to achieve a lower noise, a higher overclock or just want it to look awesome if you have a window in your best PC case.
This buyer’s guide will aid you in the process of selecting your next CPU cooler. We have much experience in building PCs and we have tested out many CPU coolers on the market, including all the popular choices that seem to be mentioned everywhere we go. This guide is updated on a monthly basis to ensure that all the picks mentioned in this guide are up-to-date.
Best CPU Coolers Available In 2018
|Type||CPU||Size (W x D x H)||Sound Level|
|Best Budget Case Fan||Corsair Air Series AF120||120mm x 25mm||25,2 dBA|
|Corsair Air Series AF140||140mm x 25mm||25,5 dBA|
|Best Budget CPU Cooler||DeepCool 12cm CPU Cooler||119mm x 91mm x 111mm||21 dBA|
|Best CPU Cooler For The Money||Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO||120mm x 80mm x 159mm||31 dBA|
|Best CPU Air Coolers In 2018||Noctua NH-U12S||125mm x 45mm x 158mm||22,3 dBA|
|Noctua NH-U14S||150mm x 52mm x 165mm||24,6 dBA|
|Best CPU Air Coolers For Overclocking||Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3||140mm x 150mm x168mm||24,7 dBA|
|Noctua NH-D15||152mm x 163mm x 163mm||29,7 dBA|
|Best CPU Liquid Cooler For The Money.||Arctic Liquid Freezer 120||R: 120mm x 155mm x 49mm|
F: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
|Ultimate CPU Water Cooler System||Corsair Hydro Series H100i v2||R: 125mm x 276mm x 30mm|
F: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
|Corsair Hydro Series H115i Extreme Performance||R: 140mm x 312mm x 26mm|
F: 140mm x 25mm
Disclaimer: Clicking on a product name link will bring to you to the appropriate Amazon.com (.co.uk, .de, etc) product listing, where you can check the price, customer reviews and more information about the product or similar products.
Best CPU Coolers – Buyer’s Guide
Some things to keep in mind when selecting the best CPU cooler for your needs are:
- Larger coolers will in most cases perform better, but keep size in mind, as you can run into some clearance issues with your graphics card, RAM and perhaps even the side panel of your case if the cooler is very large.
- Larger fans are less noisy because they run at a lower RPM to get the same cooling effect as smaller fans.
- Coolers that are taller than 160mm will probably not fit in a mid-size case. Coolers with 140mm fans are usually taller than 160mm but double-check to be sure.
- Tower-style coolers are better than downdraft coolers if they are the same size or price.
Air Coolers vs Liquid Coolers
Are you wondering if you should get a liquid cooler? We recommend them in the following use-cases:
- You are overclocking to a very high level on a quad-core, hexa-core or even octa-core processor with a lot of extra voltage.
- You need extra space in your case for components and your hands.
- You need a very good cooling setup for a build that does not offer much space for an air cooler of the tower-style.
- You move your PC very often so you need a CPU cooler that will not be dismantled in the process.
Keep in mind that liquid coolers are never quiet, even at idle work, because of the pump noise. Air coolers are quiet at idle work. Also, keep in mind that a CPU cooler is a PC component that doesn’t need to be changed every few years. They don’t really change over the years and they can be re-used again and again. The only thing you have to change is the thermal paste (thermal interface material, also known as TIM or TP) and the best products in this category are the Arctic Silver 5, Arctic MX4 and Noctua NT-H1. Learn more about the thermals paste here.