Amazon Basics CPU Cooler Review: Quiet Air Cooling for Mainstream Rigs
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Amazon enters the CPU Cooling game with an affordable, quiet cooler
(Image: © Tom’s Hardware)
Tom’s Hardware Verdict
The Amazon Basics CPU Cooler isn’t the strongest cooler on the market, but it offers cooling performance sufficient for most tasks and impresses us with its whisper-quiet noise levels.
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Amazon may have started off selling books beforee becoming the world’s largest online retailer, selling just about everything. But part of its ascent includes the introduction of its Amazon Basics line, designed to provide commonly used items like batteries, trash bags or towels at value prices.
With the success of the brand, it grew to include basic electronics like USB cables and wall chargers, creeping ever closer to the realm of PC hardware. And then finally this year, Amazon partnered with Cooler Master to expand that lineup even further, with an air cooler that’s listed on the site, in true convoluted keyword fashion, as the Amazon Basics Computer Cooling Fan with Cooler Master Technology.
At $28.49 USD, this basic air cooler costs less than a tank of gas – but is it actually any good? We’ll have to put it through testing to see if it performs well enough to make our best coolers list, but first let’s take a look at the specifications from Amazon.
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|102 x 83. 4 x 136 mm
|Intel: LGA 1700, 1200, 115x
|AMD: AM5, AM4
|Direct Touch Copper Heatpipes
|Max TDP (Our Testing)
If it wasn’t obvious from the Amazon Basics Computer Cooling Fan with Cooler Master Technology name, the Amazon Basics CPU cooler is effectively a rebranded Cooler Master product. The user manual included lists the model number as RR-h510-20PC-AS, which is nearly identical to the model number of Cooler Master’s Hyper h510R RGB. The specifications are identical to that product, so it’s basically a more-affordable rebrand of the h510R RGB.
- Amazon Basics CPU Cooler (Silver) at Amazon for $28. 51
Packing and Included Contents
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
The Amazon Basics CPU Cooler arrives in a very basic small brown box and it is efficiently packaged. Taking off the top reveals the accessories box and removing that reveals the cooler protected by molded foam.
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Included with the package are the following:
- 240 mm radiator and CPU block
- Mounting for modern AMD & Intel Platforms
- RGB adapter
- Thermal paste
- Installation guide
- Safety manual
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
LGA 1700 Installation
Installation of the Amazon basics cooler was fairly simple, but not necessarily easy.
1. Attach the Intel mounting bars to the cooler’s base
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2. Apply thermal paste.
3. Take the backplate and hold it securely against the motherboard. While doing this, press the heatsink against the motherboard and secure it by screwing it into the backplate.
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
4. Snap the fan against the heatsink and connect the PWM and RGB cords.
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Features of the Amazon Basics CPU Cooler
With a height of only 136.5mm, the Amazon Basics CPU cooler can fit in tight builds and is ideal for Micro ATX and Mini ITX systems.
Four Direct Contact Heatpipes
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
The Amazon Basics CPU cooler has four copper heatpipes that make direct contact with the CPU for maximum efficiency of thermal dissipation.
Hardware RGB Controller
The lighting on this cooler uses the older 4-pin RGB standard, which some modern motherboards no longer support. Included with the cooler is a simple three-button hardware lighting controller, which allows you to change the brightness, color, and lighting patterns.
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
Stacked Aluminum fin design
The cooler heatsink is comprised of 40 fins, precisely stacked to increase the static pressure of airflow.
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
DF0922512RFHN 92mm Fan
There’s more to a cooler than just the heatsink or radiator, as the fan(s) impact both cooling capacity and noise levels. Included with Amazon’s cooler is a black 92mm fan with clear blades, listed as model DF0922512RFHN on its label.
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)Swipe to scroll horizontally
|92 x 92 x 25 mm
|600 — 2000 RPM
|Up to 34.73 CFM
|Up to 1.86 mm h3O
|Up to 30 dBA
While it was fairly easy with previous generations of CPUs for coolers to keep the flagship i9 processor well under TJ max (the maximum temperature a CPU can sustain without throttling) in tough workloads, this is no longer realistically possible on current generation CPUs (and the 13900K especially) without extreme cooling (or enabling power limits).
In the past, a CPU hitting its peak temperature was cause for concern. But enthusiasts are going to have to learn to accept high temperatures as “normal” while running demanding workloads with Raptor Lake and Ryzen 7000 CPUs. Modern AMD and Intel CPUs are designed to run fairly hot without any problems – up to 95 degrees Celsius for AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs, and up to 100 C for Intel’s Core i9-13900K. Similar behavior has been standard in laptops for years due to cooling limitations in tight spaces.
Furthermore, Intel’s Core i9-13900K supports Adaptive Boost Technology (ABT) which allows Core i9 processors to dynamically boost to higher all-core frequencies based on available thermal headroom and electrical conditions. This allows multi-core loads to operate at up to 5.5 GHz if the necessary amount of thermal dissipation is there. This feature works in a way that actively seeks high temperatures: If the chip sees that it is running underneath the 100-degree C threshold, it will increase its performance and power consumption until it reaches the safe 100 C limit, thus sustaining higher clocks (and providing better performance) for longer periods.
The increased cooling challenges posed by Raptor Lake mean that we’ve had to change some of the ways we test coolers. Some coolers were able to pass Cinebench R23 multicore testing with Intel’s 12th Gen i9-12900K when power limits were removed (although only the strongest models were able to pass that test). Most liquid coolers and all air coolers I’ve tested “failed” that test because the CPU reached TJ max in this scenario.
With Raptor Lake’s 13900K, not a single cooler tested has been able to keep the CPU under TJ max in this test – because as we pointed out, the chip is designed to dial up performance and power until it reaches that thermal result. We’ll compare performance instead by looking at total benchmark scores and clock speeds maintained.
I’ll be testing Intel’s i9-13900K CPU using Asus’ TUF Gaming Z690 Gaming Plus WIFI motherboard and Cooler Master’s HAF 700 Berserker computer case, with case fans limited to 35% speeds. The motherboard’s default fan curve is used for the CPU Cooler’s fans.
(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
In addition to testing Cinebench without power limits enforced, we’ll also be showing results when the CPU’s power consumption is limited to a more reasonable 200W. We’ll also show results at 125W for those who prefer whisper-quiet cooling, at the cost of some performance. For both of these results, we’ll show traditional delta over ambient temperature results.
We’ll provide noise level measurements recorded using a PSPL25 Sound Meter for all three power levels tested to compare how much noise each cooler makes in different scenarios. We expect most coolers to run effectively silently at 125W.
LGA1700 Socket Bending
Note there are many factors other than the CPU cooler that can influence your cooling performance, including the case you use and the fans installed in it. A system’s motherboard can also influence this, especially if it suffers from bending, which results in poor cooler contact with the CPU.
In order to prevent bending from impacting our cooling results, we’ve installed Thermalright’s LGA 1700 contact frame into our testing rig. If your motherboard is affected by bending, your thermal results will be worse than those shown below. Not all motherboards are affected equally by this issue. I tested Raptor Lake CPUs in two motherboards. And while one of them showed significant thermal improvements after installing Thermalright’s LGA1700 contact frame, the other motherboard showed no difference in temperatures whatsoever! Check out our review of the contact frame for more information.
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|Intel Core i9-13900K
|Comparison Air Coolers Tested
|Amazon Basics CPU Cooler
|Cougar Forza 50
|Iceberg Thermal IceSLEET G6 Stealth
|SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB
|Thermalright Assassin X 120 R SE
|Comparison AIO Coolers Tested
|Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360
|Corsair iCUE h270i Elite LCD XT
|Corsair iCUE h200i Elite Cappelix XT
|Enermax AquaFusion ADV 360
|Fractal Celsius+ S36 Prisma
|MSI MAG CoreLiquid P360
|SilverStone VIDA 240 Slim
|Asus TUF Gaming Z690 Plus Wifi DDR5
|Kingston Fury DDR5-6000
|Intel ARC A770 LE
|Cooler Master HAF 700 Berserker
|Cooler Master XG Plus 850 Platinum PSU
MORE: How to Buy the Right CPU Cooler
MORE: How to Check CPU Temperature
MORE: All CPU Cooling Content
Amazon Basics CPU Cooler: Price Comparison
Features and Specifications
Next Page Core i9-13900K Thermal Results
Albert Thomas is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering CPU cooling reviews.
Best CPU Coolers for PC in 2023
Modern CPUs often require powerful and sustained cooling to maximize their overclocked performance. Here are some of our best picks!
Aftermarket CPU coolers are now more of a necessity than a novelty and AMD’s 7000 series and Intel’s 12th and 13th generation have upped the ante significantly as their unlocked processors tend to push thermal boundaries. This essentially means that one needs to be picky while looking for value when it comes to a good liquid cooling or an air cooling option for the CPU which not only gets the aesthetics and performance you desire, but also delivers both in the price bracket you desire.
With Intel’s 13th generation pushing TDP requirements in excess of 300 watts and AMD not lagging too far behind thanks to its own implementation of a hard 95-degree limit that aims to maximize the benefits of a cooling solution, finding a good cooling solution for your CPU might be beneficial in terms of both raw performance and increasing the longevity of your PC hardware.
Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler
Best Overall CPU Cooler
The Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler is all about maximizing your CPU’s cooling, doing so with as little noise as possible. Using the bundled dual Noctua NF-A15 PWM fans and low-noise adapters, the NH-D15 is a capable air-based CPU cooler that has a no-frills, all-business approach to its job of cooling some of the beefiest CPUs available in the market assisted by the bundled high-end NT-h2 thermal paste.
- One of the best CPU Air coolers available in the market
- The Price of the NH-D15, while high for an air cooler, is lower compared to the many AIOs it tends to take on and regularly beat, making it a bargain for high-end cooling
- This is easily one of the most silent coolers on the market and is by far one of the most silent air-cooled solutions money can buy.
- No RGB support or implementation whatsoever
- Looks somewhat better in its black ‘Chromax’ trim which sells for a premium
$110 at Amazon $114 at Newegg
The Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler is the best-in-class contender for CPU air coolers, and as the successor to the NH-D14, it has huge shoes to fill but it does so easily. Coming in the standard Noctua brown color (It does sell in a different black theme for those of us wanting to get something matching their builds), it decimates most of the tests one can throw at it, delivering stellar cooling performance thanks to its 6 heat pipe tower structure with 2 powerful and silent Noctua NF-A15 fans in tow.
It comes with both, the excellent Noctua NT-h2 thermal paste and low-noise adapters. It also discards any attempts to push RGB or ARGB support that is quite popular with most people getting a gaming PC or in some cases, even workstations. Do note that if you go for this cooler, check its size specifications. It is larger than it looks in the pictures and some mid-tower cases that take liberties with the amount of space they offer might find this to be a very tight fit. That is if it fits at all; if it does, however, your system now houses arguably the best overall air cooler in the market right now.
ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 ARGB AIO Liquid Cooler
Best AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
$363 $395 Save $32
The ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 ARGB CPU Cooler is an excellent liquid cooler that comes with Noctua fans in the non-ARGB version looks great with Asus’s own ROG AF 12S ARGB fans too. With the Asetek 7th Gen pump coupled with a copper base and a tri-fan radiator, the Ryujin II 360 ARGB is designed to take on the fastest consumer-grade AMD and Intel chips you can throw at it while keeping them remarkably cool.
- Can handle pretty much every processor on every socket it supports, from powerful ThreadRipper CPUs to Intel’s power-guzzling 13th-Gen Core i9 chips
- Excellent looks and aesthetics, even more so thanks to the new ARGB bundle with the 3.5′ LCD display making for an excellent information relay or simply to customize the system to a certain theme
- The embedded fan inside the pump is a nice touch; it allows nearby VRMs and M2 slots to remain cool, offering a more stable system
- Comes with a comprehensive 6-year warranty from Asus to cover pump failures if they do occur
- Somewhat expensive compared to the competition
- To get the most out of the Ryujin II 360 in terms of customization users must install Asus’s own proprietary Armory Crate software; Some in the industry feel it is somewhat bloated in its current implementation
$400 at Amazon $363 at Newegg
The ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 ARGB CPU Cooler is an AIO-based CPU cooler that looks, feels, and performs the part of a premium cooling solution. While it abandons the more silent Noctua fans from its last iteration in a bid to offer ARGB ASUS-themed fans this round, the Ryujin II’s ARGB variant is no slouch when it comes to delivering on performance. It can keep some of the beefiest processors available to date easily well under their optimal temperature limits.
Running a fully maxed-out 13900K in the 70–80 degrees range is no mean feat and the Ryujin II does more than deliver on this front with our test unit. It was paired however with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Extreme and the Thermal Grizzly 12th generation contact frame. The 3.5′ LCD screen is impressive and quite customizable using the bundled Armory Crate software.
All in all, the ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 ARGB CPU Cooler is a beefy, but stylish AIO, that delivers on the performance end while using top-notch hardware backed by a comprehensive 6-year warranty. The price might be an issue for some, but we feel it earns its place as both, our best overall cooler and the best AIO cooler simultaneously.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 120
Best Small Form Factor AIO CPU Cooler
The Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 120 gives PC builders the experience of liquid cooling at a budget price. This water cooling system features a low-profile dual-chamber pump design and a low-vibration pump for near-silent performance. The substantial FEP tubing reduces evaporation and keeps liquid flowing at the highest rates possible. The 120 mm air balance fan ensures that the system runs quietly and fits in most PC cases.
- Very affordable price
- Compact size makes it easy to fit any case
- Cannot handle intense overclocking
$68 at Amazon
Even though the Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 120 is not the newest AIO available, it does do one thing a lot of its newer competitors cannot. Fit in about pretty much any case, and be incredibly affordable. For just about $70, you can pick up this AIO cooler and make your next small form factor build a breeze. That being said, if you are looking to overclock your CPU, this might not be the right cooler for you. Although, with how thermal-hungry modern CPUs are, overclocking might not have been in the cards for your small form factor build anyway.
This cooler is pretty much universal with any CPU socket, regardless if you are an AMD or Intel user. The thermal performance of the Lite 120 is also excellent, especially when considering the price point. Except for some of the top-of-the-line CPUs, you can expect to see some great cooling performance from this little AIO. Plus, the included 120mm fan is nice and quiet.
Best Small Form Factor CPU Cooler
$45 $50 Save $5
The Noctua NH-L9i is the ideal air CPU cooler for HTPC or small form factor PC builds. The NH-L9i stands at a height of only 37mm and yet its 2500 RPM fan outputs enough airflow to cool LGA115x and AMD 4 series processors. The NH-L9i is an excellent choice for Mini ITX motherboards, designed not to block other components even with limited space to work with.
- Compact design
- Minimal fan noise
- No clearance issues, even with tiny motherboards
- Cannot handle overclocking
$45 at Amazon $45 at Newegg
When it comes to air cooling solutions, it is hard to go wrong with a Noctua cooler, like our best overall choice, the NH-D15. But when you are building in a smaller case, the NH-D15 can be a bit of a problem. That is where the NH-L9i comes in. This little CPU cooler measures in at an incredibly small 95 mmx95 mmx37 mm, making it super easy to fit in any case and still get excellent cooling performance. If you are not a fan of the ubiquitous brown-on-tan color scheme that Noctua has, this cooler also comes in an all-black variant as well.
Regardless of your build, the NH-L9i should fit in easily regardless of RAM size or if your GPU is a quad-slot monster. Although if you are building a small form factor PC, chances are you are not using one of the GPUs anyway. Unlike most CPU coolers, Noctua makes installing coolers such a simple process. There is no finicky bracket, just 4 screws which makes it incredibly easy. Just make sure you use a diagonal screw pattern so you place even pressure onto the cooler and CPU.
ID-COOLING FROSTFLOW X 240 Snow CPU Cooler
Best Budget AIO Liquid Cooler
The ID-COOLING FROSTFLOW X 240 Snow CPU Cooler is an excellent budget cooler that offers a somewhat longer tubing than most competing brands’ 360 mm coolers while offering decent cooling and acceptable LED lighting that can help you build an excellent system without punching your wallet repeatedly.
- Compatible with a wide array of processors including AMD’s Threadripper, AMD’s 7000 series and Intel’s 12th and 13th gen processors
- Has somewhat longer tubing than its competition which could also be viewed as a con but it can be used to place the cooler better in larger cases
- Excellent value for money given the price point it sells at while delivering acceptable performance in a sleek package
- Users have complained about spare parts quality (screws) in the past
$55 at Amazon
The ID-COOLING FROSTFLOW X 240 Snow CPU Cooler is an interesting pick on our part, and it was made with much consideration at our end. It does offer a slew of features: wide compatibility, a dual fan radiator, LED lighting, and acceptable performance while looking much more premium than the sub $50 price it commands currently. That being said, it can handle most, if not all the CPUs that are available currently with ease, though it may falter somewhat with Intel’s top-end Core i7/i9 offerings that can push TDPs of 250-300W, requiring better cooling than most when overclocked or boosting beyond rated frequencies.
Interestingly, the ID-COOLING FROSTFLOW X 240 Snow CPU Cooler also supports AMD’s Threadripper platform and while untested by us or our partners on this processor line, it is a nice option to have. While there are some quality control qualms across some platforms, it doesn’t change the fact that the Frostflow 240 cooler is a capable performer, and if you are miffed about the white LEDs being the only option available to you on a liquid cooler, it is built to spec, and you can pick up any cheap pair of ARGB 120 mm fans to make it look and perform like a more expensive cooler whether you desire more color options, more airflow or simply quieter operation.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Halo White CPU Air Cooler
Best Budget Air CPU Cooler
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Halo White CPU Air Cooler is a budget CPU air cooler that considerably ups the ante on stock coolers while delivering solid air-cooled CPU performance potential in a small, inexpensive package that works well for most CPU’s thermal needs.
- Is one of the latest iterations of the celebrated Hyper 212 CPU cooler lineup
- Is aesthetically pleasing and has a very nice ARGB fan to go with it
- Costs under $50 while offering compatibility across the board for Intel 12th/13th gen, AMD AM5 and other sockets
- Might underperform with higher-end processors which have TDPs > 150W
$50 at Newegg $49 at Amazon
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Halo White CPU Air Cooler is one of the latest versions from the Hyper 212 CPU cooler lineup from Cooler Master. The Taiwan-based PC cooling and power supply specialists have always delivered with the Hyper 212 lineup that serves as a stellar and inexpensive alternative for most stock coolers and also provides some headroom for unlocked mid-range processors to achieve high clocks with a no-nonsense approach to a CPU cooler that just works.
The Halo White edition of the same promises the same performance but invests significantly in the aesthetics aspect of the cooler as it faces increasingly competitive coolers that also attempt to go for the no-nonsense approach to CPU cooling and sometimes even exceed the Hyper 212 in terms of performance. The Hyper 212 does edge its competition in some key factors however; It benefits from being relatively low-profile, coming with a compact form factor while looking better than the competition with a polished white design in tow.
The fact that it has a low noise profile when operating at full capacity means that it can be used in both office and gaming setups easily. While it is not the cooler you want to pair with the latest Intel Core i9 or Ryzen 9 processors, it does do a better job than any of the stock coolers available across both current-gen lineups while providing acceptable performance across the board for all but the highest end processors in either product line.
How To Pick The Right CPU Cooler For You?
Unlike some PC components, there is actually a fairly straightforward process for picking a CPU cooler. Ultimately it comes down to a couple of factors.
First, what kind of processor are you using? Make sure you are looking at coolers that are compatible with your processor. Secondly, are you looking for an air cooler or a water-cooling solution? This one comes down to more of a personal preference but also what your thermal needs are. Finally, what aesthetic do you want for your overall PC build? If you want to be proud to show off your PC build, as you should be, a CPU cooler that doesn’t fit the theme can really ruin the look. These questions will also be listed below for easier reference while searching.
- What Processor are you using, and is the CPU cooler compatible with that socket?
- Do you want an air cooler or a water-cooling solution?
- What kind of aesthetic do you want for your PC build?
Q: Is an Air Cooled or Liquid Cooled CPU cooler better?
This is a question that will not have a single option. AIOs are perceived as generally superior overall but good CPU air coolers can do a similar, if not a better job at times. The real question is whether your casing can move the heat being pulled away by the CPU air cooler out. That means that a good CPU air cooler might also need help from the case to keep the ambient temperature inside the case lower to work optimally. AIO coolers do not generally have that restriction since they are mounted at the exhaust or intake points of a casing.
Q: Why do some high-end CPU coolers not have RGB?
Because RGB is purely aesthetic and adding or removing it from a CPU cooler does not benefit or degrade performance one way or another. Performance PC parts by companies such as Noctua and BeQuiet! Focus on maximizing their cooling effectiveness with any aesthetic gains being a secondary factor for their coolers. As a result, the approach they go for when it comes to their coolers is less-is-more, and it does work — Asus’s earlier version of the Ryujin II sported Noctua fans, backed by popular consumer demand.
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About The Authors
As a hobbyist system builder that made it a professional engagement, Rahim tends to know more about computers than the average Joe. It comes at a price: He won’t let you get away without getting the best value-for-money PC components out there.
Marc Storch is a tech writer currently based in Denver, Colorado. His experience includes extensive work training senior citizens in the ever-changing world of technology. He is passionate about making tech accessible to all and being excellent to each other. Outside of writing about tech and video games, Marc has a background in video editing and broadcasting. When not writing or playing games with his friends (He is currently on a break from Breath Of The Wild due to a misunderstanding over mushroom-to-diamond exchange rates), Marc enjoys being a camera operator and broadcast tech for an indie wrestling league and traveling with his partner all over the world. Marc feels it is vitally important for readers to note that all his work is carefully proofread by his black cat Rue who has very strong opinions and will only accept payments in the form of cheese.
Best CPU Coolers in 2023
We take a look at the best AIO fans and CPU coolers on the market for different budgets and needs.
While the best CPU cooler will certainly help your gaming PC perform at its best, it’s not always an important part of the equation. There are a number of factors that affect the performance of a gaming PC, and the best CPU cooler is an important factor. Whether you’re just looking to expand your gaming system’s capabilities and boost performance, or get serious about overclocking, you’ll need a CPU cooler that fits and meets your needs. Poor cooling will result in reduced performance.
CPU coolers come in many shapes and sizes. Air coolers, for example, use fans to move air through the CPU; water coolers, on the other hand, use a closed system for this. In general, air coolers are more affordable than water coolers, but they are also less efficient at cooling the CPU. Water coolers are more expensive, but they also cool the CPU more efficiently. As a result, it is important to consider both the cost and performance of a CPU cooler before purchasing.
The article contains some equipment from 2022 and earlier. This is because we consider iron to be relevant even in 2023. If something changes, we will promptly update the article.
You can always get by with the stock cooler that comes with your processor, but either way, cooling this component is vital to its longevity and performance. But what if your processor does not come with a stock cooler:? Since most new processors do not do this, we have to come up with our own solution and find the right cooler on our own.
- Best CPU Cooler 2023
- Asus ROG RYUJIN II 360 CPU Cooler
- Corsair iCUE h250i Elite Capellix Liquid CPU Cooler
- Noctua NH-D 15
- NZXT Kraken Z63
- Scythe Ninja 5 CPU Air Cooler
- Thermaltake Floe
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition
- Best CPU cooler of 2023: what to look for
- Noise level
- Should I use air or liquid cooling for my CPU in 2023?
- Why are CPU coolers so important?
Best CPU cooler 2023
Here we take a look at the best CPU coolers we have selected for 2023. Without further ado, here they are.
- CPU Block Dimensions — 78.15 x 87.5 x 81 mm
- Socket Support — Intel: LGA 1150, 1151, 1152, 1155, 1156, 1200, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066 AMD: AM4, TR4*
- Fans — 3 Noctua NF-F12 InductrialPPC 2000 PWM fans
- Features — 3.5″ full color LCD screen
- 9001 7 LCD screen
- High performance
- Aesthetically one of the most beautiful AIO On the market.
- More affordable options with similar specs
ASUS ROG RYUJIN ii is a great choice if you need to keep a high performance processor under control . This high performance CPU cooler is designed to handle the most demanding CPUs both in terms of performance and TDP. Originally developed for the 12th generation platform, RYUJIN can be used with a wide range of equipment due to its impressive cooling capacity.
One of the outstanding features of RYUJIN ii is its LCD screen which can display any image or GIF of your choice. In addition, the screen has full support for AIDA64, which allows you to display system status information in real time on a 3.5-inch full-color display. Not only does this feature look great, it’s also functional and can be very useful for monitoring your system’s performance.
In addition to the impressive LCD screen, RYUJIN ii boasts a 380mm thick rubber sleeved tube that not only enhances the durability of the cooler, but also enhances its appearance. The tube is also designed to be more visually appealing than the soft standard tube used in many other coolers.
All in all, ASUS ROG RYUJIN ii is a premium CPU cooler that offers great performance and a range of features that make it an attractive choice for high-end users who want their CPUs to stay cool and stable.
- Product dimensions LxWxH — 15.63 x 4.71 x 4.71 inches
- Brand — Corsair
- Cooling method — Water
- Noise level — 36 dB
- Quiet operating volume — This system should rarely exceed 36 dBA.
- RGB — Bright and vibrant, these RGBs will breathe new life into your case.
- Pump construction. The split-flow copper cooling plate and multiple micro-ground fins maximize the performance of the processor.
- Price. You may need to liquidate your assets in order to afford this liquid asset.
- Installation. Fans can be difficult to screw into place.
Corsair h250i iCUE Elite Capellix is a highly regarded CPU cooler that has been on the market for some time. As a popular brand in the refrigeration industry, Corsair has established itself as a supplier of first-class products, and the h250i is no exception.
One of the outstanding features of the h250i is its impressive cooling performance. This is partly due to the large 360mm aluminum radiator and three 120mm Corsair RGB fans. These components work together to keep your processor cool and stable, even when performing demanding tasks.
However, the h250i isn’t just a workhorse, it’s also designed with aesthetics in mind. The cooler is available in both black and white, and users can add RGB fans for extra style. With a sleek and modern design, the h250i is sure to complement any high-end system build.
For those who want even more customization options, the h250i can be equipped with an LCD screen. This update allows users to display system information and user images on the cooler’s 3.5-inch screen, similar to RYUJIN ii. With this update, the h250i becomes almost identical in performance and design to the RYUJIN ii.
All in all, the Corsair h250i iCUE Elite Capellix is a great choice for users looking for a reliable and attractive CPU cooler.
- Type — Air
- Max. rpm — 1500 rpm
- Maximum noise — 24.6 dB
- Dimensions — (H) 165 x (W) 150 x (D) 150 mm
- Relatively expensive
- Huge size
- Type — Liquid
- Max. rpm — 1800
- Maximum noise — 38 dBA
- Dimensions — 30 (H) x 143 (W) x 315 (D) mm
- Excellent thermal performance with high TDP
- Incredible aesthetics
- LCD screen
- Type — Air
- Max. rpm — 800
- Maximum noise — 14.5 dBA
- Dimensions — (H) 135 x (W) 155 x (D) 180 mm
- Extremely quiet
- Stylish design
- Large size can cause compatibility issues
- Type — Liquid
- Max. rpm — 1400 rpm
- Maximum noise — 24.7 dB
- Dimensions — H(394) x W(120) x D(52) mm
- Quiet operation
- Superb RGB lighting
- Quiet pump
- Very expensive
- Type — Air
- Max. rpm — 2000 rpm
- Maximum noise — 26 dBA
- Dimensions — (H) 120 x (W) 77 x (D) 158.5 mm
- Cooling performance outstanding
- Relatively quiet
- High value
Noctua is a very popular brand in this industry due to its expertise in cooling products , and Noctua NH-D15 is a recognized leader in cooling. It performs just as well as several liquid CPU coolers in the mid-range category, which also makes it one of the best CPU coolers not only for gaming, but in general.
Looking at what’s included, you have two 140mm fans. These fans were surprisingly quiet even when running at max for gaming. With a noise level of 24.6 dBA, it is unlikely that you will hear how it works. While the performance is not much different from the D14, it does seem to perform better acoustically.
The negative for some will be oversized, the heatsinks are quite large, which means your RAM may not fit depending on your setup, and in some cases there may be gap issues. While it’s true that you can move the front fan up to increase the RAM clearance, the positives of its size definitely outweigh the negatives if it fits into your setup.
Noctua explained this with a second, smaller version: NH-D15S. However, the performance was noticeably worse than this model, which means that you could find a better solution outside of these two products.
Some consider the color to be random, but it’s barely noticeable on your system, and I personally really liked the aesthetic. Despite what you think about the design, this processor is a serious piece of kit and one of the few air coolers that can cool a modern overclocked processor.
NZXT’s Kraken line has been growing in popularity in recent years, and this is not only due to their high-quality build and dazzling design. The NZXT Kraken Z63 is the latest iteration of the already impressive X63, only with an LCD panel on the pump. While the panel offers nothing more than an aesthetic touch, it is unique and a step up for those who want more than just raw performance.
There are now 360mm options that are better suited for higher TDP overclocking, but we think the Z63 strikes the perfect balance of aesthetics, cooling efficiency, acoustic performance and compatibility, which is likely to fit a wider range of PC cases.
The two 140mm fans really dissipate that heat really well, and the included CAM software is one of the best, with impressive customization and intuitive controls.
We understand that if the extra cost of the LCD panel is too high and the X63 performs just as well, but in terms of superior aesthetics and cooling performance, the Kraken Z63 is definitely one of the best AIO coolers out there right now.
- 900 17 Excellent thermal performance at a price
Scythe Ninja CPU cooler 5 is one that many consider rivaling the impressive Noctua D15 when you factor in the price. This is almost half that of Noctua and offers similar levels of thermal and acoustic performance.
This is one of the quietest fan coolers on the market and by no means small as we see a large heatsink and two 120mm fans. The heatsink is powered by six heatpipes that distribute heat over a large heatsink. The fans may not be as efficient as the Noctua, but they do an excellent job of circulating cool air through the fins and deliver top-notch results.
The cooler is equipped with 2 PWM fans with fluid dynamic bearings, the rotation speed of which is only 800 rpm, so the noise level does not exceed 14.5 dBA. As you’d expect from a cooler that claims to be quiet, it comes with rubber corners to limit vibration noise, which is nice.
This cooler supports a wide range of sockets from both Intel and AMD and will keep a top-notch processor at a reasonable temperature. Installation is actually relatively easy, and only the sheer mass of this cooler makes it a bit more difficult than a regular sized cooler. This is highly recommended as it truly is one of the quietest coolers on the market and the fact that it comes at a budget price is excellent.
- 90 017 Lighting compatible with most connectors motherboard.
Our best RGB CPU cooler is the massive Thermaltake Floe Triple Riing RGB 360 TT Cooler. This cooler features some of the best RGB lighting you’ll find on this list and comes standard with Thermaltake’s «Riing» fans that feature three lighting circuits.
This cooler measures 360mm; so you’ll need a fairly large case for this, but it’s worth noting that the extra lighting cables add clutter.
The processor unit backlight can be synchronized with up to three fans to create an impressive image. The product comes with a Thermaltake fan controller, which allows you to add additional Thermaltake Riing fans to the case.
Cooling performance may not be as good as some of the coolers on this list, but with quality aesthetics, we can tolerate a few degrees here or there. This AIO is surprisingly quiet, even though the maximum fan speed is only 1400.
While it may not be ideal for a powerful overclocked processor, it still offers good enough thermal performance to make it on this list!
- Limited for higher TDP overclocking
PCU coolers on the market. This model is the successor to the incredibly popular EVO model and packs in some impressive specs for the price.
This «no-thrill» cooler makes efficient use of four heatpipes and aluminum fins and produces a maximum fan noise level of just 26dBA, which is actually relatively quiet, but largely depends on the fan speed you set it to. Other features include precise airflow with CFM 42, an intelligent fan sensor that prevents cable snags, and a wide range of CPU socket support.
Performance is technically the worst in the review, but that’s only if you’re going head-to-head with some of the best coolers in the game. The fact remains that not everyone needs huge heatsinks or liquid cooling, and this kind of consistent performance may be ideal for many.
Best CPU cooler of 2023: what to look for
When buying a CPU cooler, there’s more to consider than just «whether it will fit». Below are a few key factors that you should research and understand before making your final purchase.
All of the CPU coolers on our list perform well in terms of value. The cooler’s only job is to keep temperatures low and give you, the consumer, more bang for your buck.
So having a reliable cooler can help you squeeze extra power out of your CPU if you go down the overclocking path, and it’s best to keep it as cold as possible.
CPU coolers are expected to be loud when running at maximum, which is often the case, for example, in a game. Air coolers usually produce more noise than liquid coolers, but not always. Cooler manufacturers test maximum noise levels so we can see what kind of noise impact certain coolers will have on our system.
It’s important to work with manufacturers that produce high quality products, and this is especially true when it comes to liquid cooling solutions.
There have been cases where liquid coolers with a closed circuit leaked, so we tried to provide quality offers!
Often any aftermarket cooling solution is better than the stock fan that comes with some processors. If you’re not sure how powerful your fan should be after reading everything here, then it’s best to overdo it, as it’s safer than undercooling your CPU.
If you buy an extra powerful CPU cooler, you may not need to upgrade it the next time you upgrade your CPU. If money is tight, save money and choose a reliable air-cooling solution.
Before you can figure out what size cooler you need (and how much money you should budget), you first need to know how much heat your processor generates.
Fortunately, this is a lot easier than you think, because you just need to know the TDP.
This information is usually found on the box of the CPU and should tell you everything you need to know.
If you no longer have a CPU box, just go online and enter your CPU model number, then go straight to the Specifications tab and look for TDP.
Should I use air or liquid CPU cooling in 2023?
Both air and liquid CPU cooling have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best option depends on your specific needs and preferences.
CPU air coolers are generally more affordable and easier to install than liquid CPU coolers. They also tend to be more reliable as they have fewer moving parts and are less likely to leak. In addition, some high performance air coolers such as the Noctua NH-D15 and be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 can deliver superior cooling performance that matches or even surpasses some liquid coolers.
On the other hand, liquid CPU coolers can provide excellent cooling performance, especially for high performance CPUs that generate a lot of heat. Plus, they’re more visually appealing, as they often come with RGB lighting and sleek designs that can enhance the overall aesthetic of your PC. However, liquid coolers tend to be more expensive than air coolers and require more maintenance as you need to periodically check for leaks and replace the coolant.
Ultimately, the choice between air-cooled processor and liquid-cooled processor depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re on a budget and want a simple cooling solution, an air cooler might be your best bet. If you have a high performance processor and want the best cooling performance and aesthetics, a liquid cooler may be worth the investment.
Why are CPU coolers so important?
CPU coolers are important for PC performance because they help regulate CPU temperature and prevent it from overheating. Overheating can cause the CPU to slow down or shut down to prevent damage, which can negatively impact performance and stability.
A properly functioning cooler helps maintain the ideal temperature range for the CPU, ensuring it can run at peak speed and efficiency. In extreme cases, overheating can cause permanent damage to the CPU, requiring costly repairs or replacements.
A good cooler helps extend CPU life, improve system stability and prevent performance degradation, making it an essential component of any system.
This concludes our list of the best CPU coolers currently on the market. We have included several air and liquid cooling options with chillers to suit different budgets and needs.
Best branded backlit fans
Introducing a selection of backlit case fans from the world’s leading manufacturers with the best price/quality ratio.
Thoughtful and well-organized ventilation of the case is the key to long trouble-free operation of the computer and the maximum possible performance for your hardware.
In the last article, we reviewed the best non-illuminated PC case fans that do their job of providing efficient and quiet cooling at an affordable price.
But who said that the installation of fans should be a boring and uninteresting activity that does not bring any aesthetic pleasure to the user, but only frustrates him with additional costs.
This small selection includes the best value-for-money backlit case fans that will also cool your computer well and quietly, plus make it more beautiful and not overly burden the budget.
- 1. Cougar Vortex LED 120 FAN
- 2. Thermaltake Riing 12 LED
- 3. Corsair CO-
- 4. Aerocool Orbit
- 5. Cougar Vortex RGB
- 6 Deepcool 120 RGB
- 7. Cooler Master MasterFan MF121L RGB
- 8. Corsair SP120 RGB LED
- 9. Thermaltake Pure Plus 12 RGB
- 10. Recommendations
themselves models with a sufficiently powerful air flow at a low noise level (usually these are models at 1000-1500 rpm).
These include brand fans: Cougar, Thermaltake, Corsair, Aerocool, Deepcool, Cooler Master. Just like in the previous article, let’s go from cheaper models, we will describe the characteristics and main differences between more expensive solutions.
1. Cougar Vortex LED 120 FAN
This is the bare minimum where quality backlit fans start.
The illumination here is one-color and is made in the form of a fairly large and bright ring in three colors — red, blue, white.
Specification Cougar Vortex LED 120 FAN
|3-pin (MP) / Molex (PSU)
|below average / low
|screws, PSU adapter
For those who are not in the subject, I will briefly explain.
This fan has a low speed and a low air flow of 36 cfm.
It connects to the motherboard (MP) with a small 3-pin connector and supports speed control by changing the voltage (DC), which most motherboards can do.
Fluid dynamic bearing provides longer life than the cheapest plain bearing (sleeve) and less noise than rolling bearing (ball).
At maximum speed, the fan makes less noise than most fans with the same speed, and when connected through an adapter, it is not audible at all. Therefore, using such fans, you can build a fairly quiet PC.
The kit includes standard screws, as well as an adapter for connecting the fan to the power supply (without speed control). There are no rubber mounts to reduce the transmission of vibrations to the case.
According to the manufacturer, 33 LEDs are used in the backlight, which ensures high brightness and uniformity of the glow.
Since the speed is regulated here by changing the voltage, at a lower speed, the brightness of the backlight will decrease slightly, but this is not critical for this model.
These fans are best suited for mounting on the front of the case, as this is where the noise is most audible and the airflow is not required. Of course, it can also be installed on the back for blowing (so that everything is in the same style), but due to the weak airflow, it will remove heat somewhat worse than more powerful models.
Fan Cougar Vortex LED 120 FAN
2. Thermaltake Riing 12 LED
These fans also have ring lighting, but it is located not on top, but in the middle of the fan and has a low brightness.
They are delivered to us in four colors — red, blue, green, white.
Specification Thermaltake Riing 12 LED
|3-pin (MP) / Molex (PSU)
|screws, fasteners for CBO, step-down adapter for MP and PSU
You may notice that at higher maximum speeds this fan does not move much more air. The fact is that the design of the blades is sharpened here not for a large air flow, but for creating a high static pressure. This improves airflow through small openings (cooler heatsinks, coolers, case grilles, and dust filters).
These coolers are best suited for installation under a fine grill at the top for blowing out and on the front panel for blowing out in quiet mode. In these places, they will do a good job of their tasks without making too much noise.
High quality workmanship and hydraulic bearings make these fans less noisy than many others at the same speed. An additional plus is the presence of two step-down adapters for connecting to the motherboard and power supply, limiting the maximum speed to 1000 rpm.
In this way, you can also create a quiet system using these fans. However, it should be borne in mind that the brightness of an already dim backlight directly depends on the supply voltage.
So this solution is more suitable for lovers of not flashy design.
Fan Thermaltake Riing 12 LED
3. Corsair CO-
Also very high quality fans from an almost flawlessly proven brand, but with a different blade shape.
Here the emphasis is mainly on the highest possible air flow at a low noise level.
Features Corsair CO-
As you can see, at the same speed, this fan pumps more air, but the downside is a lower static pressure. It will be more difficult for him to pump air through a fine grille at the top of the case, but such fans will work well forward for blowing in and back for blowing out.
They are available in four illumination colors:
15-RLED — red
15-BLED — blue
15-PLED — purple
15-WLED — white
The fans have translucent blades and 4 matching color LEDs that illuminate the impeller creating a glowing circle of medium brightness. During operation, swirls of the light flux, characteristic of fans with such an arrangement of diodes, are also visible.
In cheap fans, the backlight organized in this way looks unimportant, some people like it, some don’t (it’s a matter of taste). But here it is a completely different matter — all the colors look beautiful and rich. All in all, Corsair fans are a great choice.
Fan Corsair CO-
4. Aerocool Orbit
This is the most inexpensive of more or less high-quality multi-color RGB fans.
In general Aerocool brand is not famous for fans, the quality of most of them leaves much to be desired, but this is an exception.
Features Aerocool Orbit
|3-pin (MP) / 3-pin (5V ARGB)
Despite the low speed, this fan produces a normal air flow and at the same time has a low noise level, which is a merit of a successful design of the blades.
As for backlighting, this uses what is known as addressable RGB lighting, which requires an appropriate 5V 3-pin ARGB connector on the motherboard. using special software (ASUS Aura, MSI Mystic Light, Gigabyte Fusion, ASRock Polychrome) and create unique effects.
Also, some motherboards can be equipped with 4-pin connectors for lighting control (12V GRB) with a supply voltage of 12 V, with which accessories with the corresponding connector are compatible.
In addition, some fans are equipped with their own proprietary lighting control connector, which only connects to lighting controllers and cases from the same manufacturer.
If your motherboard does not have the header required for the fan, it will work without a backlight. But this is solved by purchasing a kit, which usually includes 3 fans, a controller and a remote control for setting the backlight.
In general, these fans deserve attention — they work quietly, cool normally, look beautiful and all this for a very reasonable price.
Aerocool Orbit RC fan
5. Cougar Vortex RGB
These fans are similar to Cougar’s single color models, but the lighting is multi-color like the Aerocool.
There are several versions of this model, differing in speed and connectors for both speed and backlight control.
Cougar Vortex RGB Mods
|3-pin (MP) / 3-pin (Cougar)
|4-pin (MP) / 3-pin (Cougar)
|screws, PSU adapter, 5V ARGB adapter
The FCB model differs from the single color models only in the presence of an additional cable with a proprietary 3-pin connector for connection to the Cougar lighting control controller. But the controller itself is not included in the kit, so this fan can only be considered as an addition to a set of coolers or to a Cougar case with a built-in backlight controller.
The HPB model is faster and has a PWM controller for RPM control, but for this the motherboard must have the appropriate 4-pin connector and PWM RPM control.
This fan has the same connector for connecting the backlight to a proprietary controller, but it comes with an adapter to a 5V ARGB connector for connecting to appropriate motherboards.
Moreover, with the help of such adapters, you can connect several fans, which allows you to control the illumination of all fans from just one motherboard connector and does not require an additional controller.
But, if your motherboard does not have such a connector, you will have to purchase a fan kit with a controller. The manufacturer indicates that 18 evenly spaced LEDs are used in the backlight and it looks beautiful.
Fan Cougar Vortex RGB FCB 120
6. Deepcool 120 RGB
Despite the fact that these fans belong to a budget brand, we decided to include them in the selection, as the reviews for them are positive.
There are two versions of this cooler, differing in the type of connection and backlight.
Deepcool 120 RGB Mods
|4-pin (MP) / 3-pin (5V ARGB)
|4-pin (MP) / 4-pin (12V GRB)
In general, the fans are very similar, they provide a medium airflow with a medium noise level and are equipped with a PWM speed controller. The differences relate to connectors and backlight technologies.
Model CF 120 has a 3-pin connector and address lighting, i.e. An ARGB-enabled motherboard can change the color of each LED individually, creating color transition effects. Due to this, the fan itself is more expensive.
Model RF 120 has a 4-pin connector without address lighting. This means that your motherboard must have an appropriate 12V power connector, and the color of the LEDs is not adjustable separately, but only all together. In this case, you can also create various effects with changing colors, but without rainbow effects (when different LEDs glow at the same time in different colors).
If your motherboard does not have connectors for backlight control, then a kit complete with a controller will again come to the rescue.
There are kits with both RF 120 and CF 120 fans — choose according to your taste and budget, but don’t mix it up.
Deepcool RF 120 fan
Cooler Master MasterFan MF121L RGB
This well-known manufacturer has many fans, including several models similar to this one.
However, only this model has a good price / quality ratio and a relatively low noise level.
Features Cooler Master MasterFan MF121L RGB
|3-pin (MP) / 4-pin (12V GRB)
The fan is made of good quality materials, but does not have high airflow and requires a 4-pin connector for lighting control.
It is more suitable for installation on the front or top of the case and as an addition to the Cooler Master case, where such fans are already installed.
Their distinguishing feature is the location of the LEDs in the center of the impeller, which provides a more uniform illumination of the circle formed by translucent blades.
Cooler Master MasterFan MF121L RGB
8. Corsair SP120 RGB LED
Corsair makes many excellent fans that are high quality and low noise.
The range includes turntables tuned for maximum airflow, high static pressure, or the perfect balance of both. Moreover, all of them are distinguished by a minimum noise level in comparison with any other fans of the same speed. Therefore, you can’t go wrong with any of them, this fan is simply the most affordable model with RGB lighting.
Spec Corsair SP120 RGB LED
|3-pin (MP) / 4-pin (Corsair)
|screws, controller (optional)
This model does not have a PWM controller, but there are models where the speed is controlled using PWM. Backlight control for Corsair fans is implemented using a proprietary hub and appropriate software.
It is worth noting that Corsair fans can be supplied individually, in packs of 2 or 3 pieces, complete with or without a controller, so everyone will find what they need.
Corsair SP120 RGB LED Fan
9. Thermaltake Pure Plus 12 RGB
The pinnacle of RGB fan evolution and Thermaltake’s most affordable variant of this kind.
They are of excellent quality and performance — the perfect balance between airflow and very quiet operation at medium speeds.
Specification Thermaltake Pure Plus 12 RGB
|screws, studs for CBO, controller
These fans are sold as a set of 3 with controller.
Speed and backlight control is performed using a controller connected to the internal USB 2.0 connector of the motherboard and proprietary software.
In addition to the Windows program, there is also an Android application that includes a voice control function. With such fans, you will definitely surprise your friends.
There are many other excellent beautiful fans from this manufacturer — it’s all a matter of your taste and budget.
Thermaltake Pure Plus 12 RGB fan
Choose the best quality and quietest fans whenever possible, especially when installing three or more. The loudest noise is heard from the fans on the front and top panels of the case.
If your case has large enough intake and exhaust openings, then choose models with more airflow, this is especially important when installing a fan at the rear for exhaust.
If the fans will blow air through a fine grill or dust filter, then models with a higher static pressure will be more efficient (this data is indicated on the manufacturers’ websites).