Best CPU Cooler Reviews in 2017
Would you like to have the best CPU cooler in your PC?
Well who wouldn’t, as a well-designed cooler will reduce the CPU temperature and make it more stable, reliable and efficient, and it’s also going to reduce the risk of the graphics card overheating.
With thousands of products and thousands of reviews however, picking out the right one can take a long time. No worries though, as I have gone out and reviewed the top CPU fans today.
With the following, expect lower temperatures, better airflow and superior performance with regards to noise and cooling ratios.
Reviews of the Best CPU Coolers
1. Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
You’re looking for the best budget CPU cooler or the top cooler period, the Hyper 212 EVO is as good a choice as any. Design wise it is well balanced, with just the right level of optimization for the fin.
And there is no deterioration in performance whether at high or low speed.
The Hyper 212 EVO uses the Cooler Master CDC (Continuous Direct Contact) system, resulting in the ideal surface for conducting heat. It also comes with a PWM fan that has been specially designed to produce superior airflow.
The fan measures 4.7 x 4.7 x 1 inches and the heat sink is 4.6 x 2.0 x 6.3 inches, so compatibility won’t be an issue. Even though it only comes with one fan, the airflow is strong, plus there are clips if you want to add more.
For all its power the Hyper 212 EVO runs quietly so there’s no need to worry about the noise affecting your gameplay or other activities. Considering its efficiency and reliability, it’s no surprise this cooler is very popular.
While there are a lot of coolers for the PC, I have to say the Hyper 212 is definitely one of the best.
2. NZXT Kraken X61 280mm All-in-One Liquid Cooling
If you’re looking for the best liquid CPU cooler, check the Kraken.
Its radiator has greater surface than others, and it is equipped with 16" tubing cables for superior airflow and quick setup.
The Kraken is quiet, powerful and it is more reliable compared to other CPU cooling systems. Aside from having a 6 year warranty, the Kraken is compatible with a wide range of CPUs.
The Kraken is a closed loop cooler and has a speed pump built in. It is this pump that prevents the unit from generating a lot of noise, but it does so without compromising performance.
In addition the unit comes with software that allows you to adjust and control the fan’s speed and other aspects. The Kraken works very well especially for gaming systems.
When idle the temperature is around 28 C, but even when you’re playing full blast the temperature is not likely to go beyond 40 C, and that is crucial for extending the life of your PC.
3. Corsair Hydro Series High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
The Hydro rightfully belongs to any best CPU air cooler or liquid cooler list. The unit is self-contained and offers support for a wide range of Intel and AMD systems.
If you’ve got an old fan that needs replacement, the Hydro is a nice option as it is compact yet effective.
Performance wise the fan cools your system down significantly, reducing noise and protecting your PC.
The SP120L PWM fans are silent, so even if you’re quietly browsing you won’t hear any loud noise emanating from it. If your computer temperature is too high when you’re playing games or doing intensive graphics work, the Hydro is a suitable choice.
There is no adverse effect on your system and serves to reduce the temperature. Compared to your standard air cooling system, the Hydro produces a more significant drop in temperature, great if you live in a hot climate and your PC is constantly used.
It’s also good to know the cooler is to install and once in place is going to do its job. Considering the quality this is definitely a good buy and ideal if you are looking for a well-rounded cooler.
4. Cooler Master V8 GTS - High Performance CPU Cooler
Any discussion of the best CPU water cooler, or any type of cooler for that matter, should include the Master V8. The highlight here is the Horizontal Vapor Chamber technology as it cuts down the number of hotspots in your CPU.
Once installed the V8 will ensure the heat is uniformly spread in every pipe.
It is also these pipes that ensure cooling is optimized.
The PWM fans provide superior airflow. The default settings work fine but you can make adjustments to it, so if you’re an advanced user you can tweak the balance. The design also makes the V8 dustproof, and with a lifespan of 160,000 hours, you’ll be using this for a long time.
A lot has been said about the Cooler Master’s horizontal vapor chamber system, and I have to say it lives up to the hype. This chamber spreads heat more effectively than other cooling systems.
This is what keeps the heat load balanced and lets you use your PC for long stretches without fear of overheating.
5. Cooler Master Hyper T4 CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes
The Hyper T4 has one of the best CPU fan designs I have ever seen, and it has 4 direct pipes that enables contact between your CPU and the cooler.
The PWM fan runs fine as it is, but it does allow you to tweak the settings and achieve maximum airflow.
You can also adjust the settings to make it more quiet, not that it makes a lot of noise.
You can also adjust the settings to make it more quiet, not that it makes a lot of noise. The unit is easy to install thanks to the snap on brackets.
With the brackets it’s also easy to replace, clean or remove the heat sink or the fan if need be. As you might expect the cooler works with a wide range of Intel sockets so compatibility won’t be a problem.
The fan’s speed range is wide, and the design makes it easy to use on different types of PCs including those which are self-built or meant for gaming. Even if you use your computer to play games like Crysis 3 or Bioshock, the temperature is kept low and the fan doesn’t generate any noise.
6. Corsair Hydro Series H100i v2 Extreme Performance
Corsair has always been known for their quality products and the Extreme Performance from the Hydro series is no exception.
It ranks up there with the best water cooler available.
The first thing I want to point out is the dual fan monitor, which at 240 mm has greater surface area than others, allowing for better cooling. The Extreme also has an enhanced pump design, so it provides lower temperatures without producing a lot of noise.
The fan has a sophisticated design. You can customize the speed and it’s good at producing high static air pressure.
The fan also comes with the Corsair link so you can check the coolant temperature, the CPU and make adjustments to the fan speed, all from your desktop. Style wise the Extreme looks good, and you can replace the inserts for the pump cap and radiator to correspond with your system.
The cooler is easy to install and should keep your system cool even when it’s fully loaded. If you have never had a closed loop water cooler in your computer before, don’t worry as installation is easy as with a regular heatsink. Lastly, the fan runs quietly and shouldn’t cause any issues while you’re playing games.
What to Look for in a CPU Cooler
You need a CPU cooler, and If you’re looking for one now, you need to familiarize yourself with the various options available in the market. There are a lot of coolers, but we can divide the category into two general types, air and liquid coolers.
- Air Cooling Systems Air cooling systems use fans, and they’re more popular for many reasons. For one thing, they’re easy to set up, and second, widely available. Your graphics card has a fan built in and if it needs replacement, you just get a similar model and your PC should be fine. If you are not satisfied with the performance of your fan, you can get aftermarket products online.
There are two basic heatsink types: passive and active:
- Passive heat sinks do not come with any mechanical parts. They are often constructed of metal, and consistent air flow is needed for this to work. Essentially these sinks work by transporting the heat from your processor in the sink.
- Active heat sinks utilize power, typically a fan with a cooling mechanism. There are many types of active heat sinks, but basically they are a combination fan and passive heatsink. However the way these fans work varies according to the manufacturer, so you should check the product description to be sure.
Another advantage of aftermarket air cooling fans over the ones that come with graphics cards is they’re more powerful. Most of them have been designed to handle overclocked CPUs. If you’re a heavy gamer who overclocks the CPU and video card, you will need a powerful air cooling fan to keep the temperature down.
Aside from the noise however, another potential drawback for fans is they may not be able to cool your system down as effectively as a water based cooling system. This is especially true if you’ve got a powerful system.
If you want to go with an air cooling system, get one from a reputable brand. Lastly, you need to consider the size of the fan; some of them can be really big.
- Water Cooling Systems A liquid cooling system is usually found on advanced PC systems. One of the advantages is you can be very specific about the setup. Second, a water cooling system can cool the components in your system to a lower degree compared to fans.
- If you’re a hardcore gamer who likes to overclock, this can really help with prolonging your system lifespan. While liquid cooling systems are commonly found on gaming PCs, you may want to consider this even if you’re not a gamer. For one thing, water cooling systems are quieter.
- If your fan sounds like an airplane and it’s distracting you, a water cooling unit might be the better option. CPU liquid based cooling units don’t take up a lot of space either, so if your case is crowded, this is the better option. There is also the aesthetic factor; while most everyone uses fans, your system is going to stand out with its tubes.
Look up the words best CPU cooler online and you’re going to find a lot of products claiming to be just that. Hopefully with these reviews I was able to help you find the right cooler, and also help you understand the factors that determine their qualities.
Even though these PC coolers and heatsinks may look the same, they have unique characteristics which you have to be familiar with. Now that you are, all you have to do is pick and choose what you think is best for your PC. Good luck!