So, you want to buy a compatible CPU Cooler for the new Alder Lake-S CPUs, but are confused about which one to get?
Intel’s Codename for the 12th gen series, the Alder Lake-S CPUs (12900K, 12700K, 12600K, KF, and non-K, etc., Z690 chipsets), is based on a hybrid architecture applying Gracemont power-efficient cores and Golden Cove High-performance cores. So, not all CPU Coolers you see in the market support intel’s 12th gen CPUs. After testing over 173 CPU Coolers over the past few months, I found that only 14 of them are worth buying. Out of which, Noctua NH-U12S is the best value CPU cooler for i5 12th gen processor because of its longevity, rigidity, and price value for most people.
Best CPU Coolers for i5 12600K – Our Recommendations
- Best Value CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S
- Best mini-ITX CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i-17xx:
- Best premium dual-tower CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15S
- Best White CPU Cooler: Lian Li Galahad AIO 240
- Best All-in-One CPU & Memory Cooler: Thermaltake Floe RC360
- Top Flow CPU Cooler: Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 110
- Best budget air cooler for 12600K: ID-COOLING SE-226-XT
- Best CPU Cooler for Overclocking the i5-12600K: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240
- Best 360mm AIO for 12600K with out-of-box LGA 1700 Compatibility: MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360
- Quietest CPU Cooler for i5 12600K: be quiet! Dark Rock 4
- Best 240mm AIO Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB PLATINUM SE
- Best 280mm AIO Cooler for i5 12600K: Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT
- Quietest CPU Cooler with Aesthetic Design: Arctic Freezer 50
- Budget-friendly CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition
Note that, the coolers mentioned in this list are tested and are reviewed according to the performance reports. After testing around 173 coolers (aio, argb, liquid, air), I shortlisted only 14 of them.
Here are the best coolers for Intel Core i5 12600K:
The Noctua NH-U12S is the best performing CPU Cooler over time. Its slim shape design ensures 100% compatibility with taller RAMs. Additionally, it has a standard single tower heatsink with a minimalistic design around the metal components. Overall, the Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler has a complete balance between outstanding performance, quiet operation, and excellent compatibility.
The cooler comes with a double-coated hard cardboard box. Along with the cooler, you will get all the accessories and SecuFirm2 Mounting System equipment separately for Intel and AMD processors. Overall the accessories contain – Common Parts (NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound, Low-Noise Adaptor, 2x Metal Fan Clips), 1x Metal Noctua Case Badge, 1x Screwdriver, 4 anti-vibration rubbers, 2x rubber strips, 2x brackets for installation, 4x screws, 4x plastic spacers.
The cooler uses five heat pipes made up of nickel-plated copper. Each Heatpipe has an outer diameter of 6mm and all of them are arranged in a U-shaped to provide the best possible heat transfer. Along with that, 50 Aluminium fins of the Heatsink are attached to all the heat pipes for better thermal flow.
I especially Like the premium finish of the cooler. On the top, the endings of the heatpipes are machine smooth. It’s a matter of noticing because most manufacturers don’t care about the endings of the heat pipes in their CPU Coolers.
The base of the cooler is made of nickel-plated copper with a very smooth glossy surface with subtle circular marks across the plate. Note that: These circular marks don’t affect the thermal compound o the evenness of the spread.
Fans used in this cooler are the classic Noctua NF12 PWM Model. With a minimum speed of 300 RPM and up to 1500 rpm max. However, you can lower the maximum speed of the cooler to 1200 rpm by using the Low Noise Adapter (which comes with the cooler).
One point that needs total clarification is the difference between the Noctua NH-U12S and the NH-U12S Chromax.Black Edition. Keep in mind that the Chromax Black Edition Cooler is a completely different cooler with a different price range.
People seem to be giving Noctua a lot of flak for the brown/white color combo. For me, it gives a modern feel to it and not to mention, iconic colors to tell you it’s a Noctua brand.
- Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD
- 100% compatibility with taller RAM Modules
- Low-noise adaptor included
- No FM2+ bracket included
- No RGB
- Single pre-installed fan
The Noctua NH-L9i-17xx is the ultimate revision of Noctua’s award-winning NH-L9i low-profile CPU cooler. Even on tightly packed mini-ITX motherboards, the NH-L9i-17xx provides easy access to near-socket connectors. This cooler is the best mini-itx CPU cooler for its super-compact, premium-quality package for ITX Builds.
The packaging of the cooler is pretty much well upgraded and neat. After opening the box, you will see a 37mm low-profile cooler. And, Along the sides, there are the SecuFirm2™ mounting accessories (NT-H1 thermal compound, 4x screws, Low-Noise Adaptor).
The U12S model had an AMD mounting kit, but there won’t be any for this specific model. You have to buy the AMD-specific variant that supports the AM4 socket.
No doubt, the compactness of the cooler into Small Form Factor cases along with its NF-A9x14 PWM premium fan provides a whole new cooling performance under load, without making noise. You will receive a completely new remarkable quiet experience.
Here’s an interesting fact:
For an outstanding premium cooling performance, you can bridge the gap between the fan and perforated top or side case panel using the NA-FD1 fan duct kit. You can only use this kit for NH-L9 series coolers.
I have already installed the duct kit. Basically, The fan duct kit prevents the CPU cooler from taking in hot air, and through the perforated panels, fresh air is drawn in from the outside, which ultimately improves CPU temperatures by 5°C or more.
In short: The NA-FD1 Kit spices up the efficiency of the NH-L9i-17xx CPU Cooler.
This Noctua Cpu cooler ensures 100% RAM Compatibility as well (like the Noctua NH-U12S). This means that the cooler doesn’t overhang the RAM Slots and ensures no damage to VRM Heatsinks.
Overall if you want a CPU cooler that oozes quality as soon as you pick up the box, you should definitely go for this model. Do note that, this cooler is not for heavy overclocking.
- Quality Cooler
- Suitable for mini-ITX Builds
- Not good for heavy overclocking
NH-D15S is a premium dual-tower flagship CPU cooler with NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan designed for most µATX and ATX motherboards. With a maximum rotational speed of 1500 RPM, along with a low noise adapter, you will get a silent cooling performance.
Noctua D15S is the updated model of the D15 series. These coolers are exactly the same thing except that the base plate has been shifted to allow this to fit an X99 Platform with ease, without hitting the first 16-speed graphics port.
The D15S is just like any Noctua Product, Fantastic Build Quality, packaged so well. You get mounting kits for both Intel and AMD. After unboxing, my first experience was that everything was flush, there was no sharp edge on the cooler.
King of the dimensions themselves, the cooler measures 161mm wide by 150mm long and 164mm tall. It also got a 64mm of clearance there for the RAM in both a horizontal and vertical configuration on all platforms.
Coming to the base of the unit, you will see a mirror finish that is nickel-plated over copper and that extends to the nickel-plated copper heatpipes. All of the heatpipes are connected to the aluminum fins. The NH-D15S weighs around 1.15kg with one fan attached. Compared to the D15S, the D15 weighed around 1.3Kg with two fans attached. You will also get extra fan clips along with a low-noise adapter, and thermal paste solution (does a very good cooling job similar to the mx4).
Now, Keep in mind that:
This 95$ Noctua NH-D15S supports LGA 1700 Socket only if you separately buy the Optional NM-i17xx-MP83 mounting upgrade kit. However, the NH-D15 doesn’t need any optional mounting kits.
So, it’s better to stick with the Noctua NH-D15, if you don’t want to buy additional stuff for this premium cooler.
Overall, Noctua’s build quality and attention to detail are just absolutely amazing. They are the best when it comes to air cooling. The only drawback to the D15S is that it only comes with 1 fan. I think D15 was the king of the hill just because it had two fans for it to beat out all its competition at least when I did my benchmarks. Due to that one-fan difference, the D15S lose out on that performance.
But, on the Brighter side, with only one fan, the noise level becomes extremely low.
- Great Build Quality
- Solid Performance
- Easy installation
- Low Noise
- High Compatibility
- Only one Fan Included
Lian Li Galahad AIO 240
The Galahad AIO comes in two different sizes, 240mm (120 dollars), and 360mm (150 dollars). The cooler comes in a triple-chambered pump design. You will see the pump chamber, the connecting chamber, and the gold plate chamber. The pump chamber looks exactly like a CPU Block and has an aluminum housing which looks really good. You can either show the logo or you can cover it up using the magnetic cover provided by them (in case you don’t want any sort of logo).
The pump has customizable Addressable RGB Lighting on it. The 60mm version has 47 LEDs in it, whereas the 240mm has 35 LEDs. The cooler does claim that the default pump speed is 3300 rpm. After installing the RGB AIO Cooler, I was assured that the system is completely running in silence. I didn’t have to adjust any settings by downloading any motherboard software. You can download any motherboard software and sync your components along.
One thing I like the most about this model is that you have the ability to rotate the block housing putting the tubes on any side you want to properly align the logo no matter what the orientation of the block is. I think that’s a cool way to separate this AIO Cooler from other competitions.
The Tube already has a white braided sleeving providing your rig an elegant look. The cables on the pump include a 5V 3-pin RGB Connector and also have a 3-pin PWM to connect to the available AIO Header available on the motherboard. The radiator has two aluminum shields on both sides to ensure proper durability.
In the case of performance, If I have to compare it against the Deepcool CASTLE 240EX and the Celsius+ S28 Prisma Fractal Design, the Fractal Design had a 44.6 Celcius idle temperature on average. I think this is slightly better than Deepcool and Lian Li, which is 46.1. All the coolers are completely Silent. The Load Temperature of Lian li is pretty good (66 degrees), compared to others (66 & 73 degrees).So, Overall, this model is a beast while working on overloaded temperature. 120$ for this AIO cooler is worth every single penny. Along with that, for adding this cooler to your 1700 socket, you have to buy the new Intel LGA 1700 bracket with $0.01 USD additionally.
- 17 lighting Effects
- Elegant Finish
- Aluminum Shielded Radiator
- Lack of software management User Interface
- Elevated fan noise at 100% RPM
Thermaltake Floe RC360
Thermaltake Floe RC is the world’s first CPU and memory AIO Cooler. Coming in 240mm and 360mm options, the flow RC is a superior quality all in one cooler. It includes a radiator, 2x water blocks, 1x ARGB controller, as well as 2-3x 120mm radiator fans.
At first, you might worry about the extra water block and long looping tubing. You might think that this cooler might look tricky to install. Well, rest assured that isn’t the case. The installation of the Floe RC Cooler is similar to installing a standard AIO Cooler. It won’t take you more than 10-15 minutes of your valuable time. On top of this, the RC360 provides maintenance-free operation. That means you don’t have to worry about changing your coolant.
The cable of the tubing is braided giving the CPU cooler a premium-sleek look. On top of this, Both Water Blocks and Fans come with 16.8 Million color RGB Illumination. These LEDs provide strikingly bright illumination allowing you to customize your lighting display in a way that is truly unique for you. It can also be synced to your motherboard software for incredibly simple customization.
The Thermaltake Floe RC provides exceptional cooling performance optimized for cooling both the CPU and RAM. The Floe RC works by running through the CPU Block > Radiator > Memory Block. This allows the Floe RC to achieve maximum cooling efficiency and thermal dissipation. The high-efficiency radiator fin density is designed specifically to accommodate high air volume. This improves cooling significantly when using the high-pressure fans allowing the cooler to speed up the heat dissipation.
Speaking of fans, the 120mm PWM Radiator Fans are specifically crafted to yield high pressure without sacrificing silent operation. The high-performance copper base plate water block provides high quality and reliable water circulation.
The Floe RC360 is specifically designed to work alongside the Toughram RC DDR4 Memory. This is the only RAM currently able to be used with the Floe RC due to the specifically crafted mounting mechanism on the Floe RC’s RAM Waterblock. Additionally, you do have to buy the ToughRAM RC separately to complete the setup.
Overall, for an AIO Cooler that is good in this price range, you should definitely go for the Floe 360 cooler with an upgraded mounting kit to support the LGA 1700 Socket.
- Easy to install
- High-Efficiency Radiator & Waterblock
- Motherboard RGB Sync Ready
- Heavy Cooler
- Can torque sockets if not handled delicately
Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 110
The Thermaltake Toughair CPU cooler comes in three different variants. The Tough Air 110, Toughair 310, and the Tough air 510. Each of these options provides peak performance and reliable cooling. However, all of them are slightly different, so keep reading to find the perfect CPU Cooler for you.
The Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 110 variant is a top-floor design cooler with a single fan attached at the top of the heatsink that can support up to 140 Watts. This model is a great option for PC Cases with less clearance space. On the other hand, the TOUGHAIR 310 is a tower CPU Cooler with a single fan supporting up to 170 Watts. This size cooler is a great option for someone running a new CPU that is turning hotter. Finally, the Likewise tower designed TOUGHAIR 510 comes with two fans and supports up to 180 Watts. You can run these two fans at a lower RPM making the cooling performance even quieter.
One thing to note is that all of the TOUGHAIR CPU Coolers feature at least one enhanced 1200mm high static pressure fan. The fans boast speeds of up to 2000 rpm providing a high level of cooling performance to the CPU, keeping temperatures nice and low.
Coming to the heatsink, All 3 coolers feature an asymmetrical fin structure. The main purpose of this is to allow a larger intake of air to move through the fins. This type of asymmetrical design helps lower any air turbulence aiding in a direct airflow and making it easier to disperse air evenly through the fins.
Additionally, the TOUGHAIR Coolers feature high-performance copper heat pipes. These 4 heat pipes intersect directly with the CPU and thermal paste providing direct and exceptional heat dissipation to your CPU.
The 510 and 310 variants both have heat pipes engineered in a U-shaped design creating great circulation creating higher quality cooling performance. While the 110 variant doesn’t feature the U-shaped design due to prioritizing keeping its clearance nice and low. But, it still has 4 heat pipes providing great quality cooling.
Due to its awesome cooling performance, compatibility with LGA 1700 socket, and great flexibility, I assume it is a very competitive cooler.
- A great option for PC Cases with less clearance space
- Superb Flexibility and Rigidity
- Doesn’t have a U-shaped heatsink design
- No RGB Lights
ID-COOLING SE-226-XT ARGB
The ID-Cooling SE-226 XT ARGB comes with a black-coated micro wave 41 Aluminum heatsink with 6 heat pipes and a copper base plate. A 120mm fan is installed in this CPU Cooler. This cooler is designed to cool those processors that have a Thermal Design power of up to 250 Watts.
This series is built with a solid heatsink that is specially designed with 100% RAM Compatibility. For SE-226-XT ARGB, the included ARGB fan is built with 2 ball bearings and has 8 pieces of rubber dampeners on all corners of both sides.
Now, let’s talk about the installation part of the SE 226 XT ARGB with the latest Intel LGA 1700 socket. The metal mecha mounting kit is quite impressive. While re-installation, I found out that the thermal paste spread evenly throughout the entire CPU. That’s the flagship for the ARGB CPU Cooler.
Well, After testing this CPU cooler, I found out that this cooler is quite loud. The sound I received was in between 15.2 to 35.2 dBA. ID Cooling’s amazing way of using the saw-toothed pattern in the fan is remarkable considering the fact that, it would disrupt the airflow when air enters the tower and also offer a bit of pressure beforehand.
Well, if you are into a budget-friendly CPU cooler with a cool matte-finished product, you should definitely go for this model. Its design is completely different from the other CPU Coolers listed above. And also, you don’t have to buy any additional socket brackets for your chassis like the others.
- aesthetically to be attractive
- hefty offering in single-tower designs
- lack of presence for sale
Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240
Liquid freezer 2 is a Multi Compatible All-in-One CPU Water Cooler. Its performance is insanely good except the only drawback is the mounting method. The Arctic makes some incredibly good air coolers, like the freezer 34 esports duo, which is still my go-to recommendation for a budget air cooler.
However, for a budget liquid cooler, you should definitely check out the Liquid freezer ii. This cooler is a package. The cooler comes with a thick radiator. Without the fans installed, the radiator is 38 mm thick. Compared to a standard AIO Cooler, the radiator is around a centimeter thick. Well, Good to know that the P12 pressure-oriented fans come pre-installed in the box. So, they can push air through with good static pressure through the radiator.
Now let’s talk about the tubing. The Tubing is sleeved throughout the whole run and actually does the same thing that my current AIO Cooler, the Fractal design S24 does. That is, all of the fans and pre-connected to the pump and routed through the sleeving. So, there’s only one 4-pin PWM fan header you need to connect to make this entire cooler work. That means, no more mess of cables.
The pump block unit comes with a unique design with a small fan attached. This fan is designed to spread out the air around the motherboard’s VRMs, the power delivery for your CPU. The new Intel Chips draw around 200-300 Watts even at stock, and so it worth’s having a bit of airflow in your rig. The Liquid Freezer does its job effortlessly. You will have a silent cooling performance due to that tiny fan on the pump block unit. Even with the side panel off, I couldn’t hear any sound.
Like I said earlier, the only drawback to this cooler is the mounting method. The Arctic is using effectively a one-size-fits-all bracket technique. What you have to do while mounting is, remove the standoff brackets. Put two white plastic spacer rings down over it. And then place another bracket on top of that. Then use two screwdrivers only screws to bolt that down. Repeat the same on the top for a total of four tiny plastic spacers. If you are one of those gaming freaks who wants to install an AIO Cooler once and don’t have to look at it for a couple of years, then this cooler is suitable for you.
If you are using an ITX Motherboard or mini-ITX where things must be a little tighter, you might have difficulty fitting this cooler on an intel board because of those arms. If you get over with the mounting method, I assure you will receive no complaints from this AIO Cooler.
The final reason why you should be buying this AIO is its price. A Corsair H100i platinum is around 137$. If you want to buy the fancy RGB elite capellix, that will cost around 175$. But, this cooler comes around 124$. Buy some RGB Strips with that saved 40$ instead.
- Cheapest AIO Cooler
- stealthy fan cabling
- single PWM connection
- Troublesome installation
MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360
The Coreliquid S360 is MSI’s newest top-of-the-line AIO Cooler with a thick 360mm radiator, 3 Silent Gale P12 fans, and a very powerful pump. Similar to its beefy cousin, K360, the S360 comes with a pretty 2.4 inch LCD screen to show off the performance numbers.
Coming to the performance, I cooled my Ryzen 9 5900X + MSI X570 Unify inside the Phanteks lancool 2 mesh. And Also, as a competitor, chose the NZXT Kraken Z73. At idle, MSI S360 averages at 44.2 degrees celsius peaking at 46.5 degrees. The Kraken Z73 has a lower average of 40.1 degrees celsius. But peaks at a highest 63.8 degrees. To push these coolers further, I used the AIDA64.
The S60 averages at 66.1 degrees and peaks at 76.1 degrees. The Z73 has a lower average temperature of 60 degrees and peaks at 76 degrees.
As for sound levels, this cooler is really loud. Because there’s only one exhaust fan that is working the most to push heat out of the system. If you face any sound problems, you can go to your default fan curves in your BIOS. set the radiator fans to run at low RPM when the system temperature is below 80 degrees.
Like the Z73, the S360 uses four prongs design method to mount the water block. Frankly speaking, the design of the prong is way good than the latch system. Make sure to check out the Intel and AMD brackets before swapping them. The S360 uses the Asetek mounting design. So, swapping the mounting bracket is very easy. Just turn and pull out the bracket you don’t need, put a new bracket, and lock it back in.
Overall, if you are someone who likes fancy branded stuff, then this cooler is for you. But, if you are a beginner who is building a PC, I wouldn’t recommend it. Rather, just go for the Kraken Z73. But from my side, yes, it is the best 360mm AIO for 12600K so far.
- Fancy AIO Cooler with LCD
- RGB Lighting
- Too many wires come out of the block
be quiet! Dark Rock 4
The be quiet dark rock 4 has been on the market for quite some time now. However, it is still regarded as the greatest alternative to other good-quality air CPU coolers. Mainly, thanks to its design and excellent operation. The Dark Rock 4 is available for around 70$. I have found this cooler with multiple prices, so your mileage may vary.
The cooler comes with 6 manuals, 2 sets of metallic clips, a Philips screwdriver, a tube of thermal compound, mounting kits. However, I had to order the LGA 1700 socket compatible bracket apart from the cooler itself.
This air cooler is using a single 145mm fan and sports a stylish all-black design with a ceramic coating applied. The heatsink of the dark rock 4 is using a single tower design and has approximately Aluminum cooling fins stacked over 6 copper heat pipes. The heatsink itself has a nice copper top plate made of aluminum featuring a linear brushed texture rather than being circular. You can give some extra design points for the highly reflective be quiet logo on the center of the plate. It really enhances the beauty of the cooler in a subtle yet effective way.
The endings of the heat pipes are not sharp at all. Rather, they are covered with metallic caps offering a sleek look for the entire cooling assembly.
Fans used in this cooler are the be quiet silent rings PWM model that uses a fluid dynamic bearing system with a minimum and maximum speed of 500-1400 rpm. You will be stunned to know that this cooler doesn’t have any rubber pads on its corners or frames to dampen vibration. This is because the heatsink itself has two pre-installed rubber strips that run along the entire length of the cooler. It provides a solid base for the fan to sit on and also dampens vibrations.
This air cooler proves how well a product can be made without the use of RGB LEDs. This cooler will cover the first RAM slot of the motherboard but thankfully will not interfere with the second one.
Overall, the dark rock 4 is ideal for a powerful gaming system that also needs to be silent and look good.
- Sleek Design
- Low-Noise Operation
- Not Good for High-end Overclocking
Corsair H100i RGB PLATINUM SE
Corsair has been a staple in the AIO Liquid Cooling Market working to produce a range of flexible options. Lots of manufacturers are packing LEDs and RGB functionality into their coolers, and corsair is no exception. There new Hydro Series H1100i adds to their product name Platinum, which as with Power supplies suggests an air of Supremacy.
In the box, you will get the cooler itself along with a ton of mounting hardware for current Intel and AMD mounts. Also, you will be getting a couple of RGB ML Series 120mm fans and a few pieces of documentation (warranty, installation manuals).
In order to get the cooler up and running with the software, you will also get a micro USB to the internal USB connection cable. If you have already used a Corsair Cooler, then you might have seen such cables before.
The Corsair RGB Platinum SE is a complete comprehensive package. With a Lot of RGB Coolers tested recently, I found that they do come along with a lot of cables and controllers. So, wiring up everything does require the notebook (if overly complicated). However, the H100i is pretty self-contained.
On each 120mm fan, you do have not only a 4-pin PWM connection cable but also Corsair’s proprietary RGB LED connector. Both of these cables do run directly to the CPU Coolers pump. The pump features a connection for all the fan cables (both PWM & RGB LED) as well as a SATA power connection and a 3-pin fan cable.
On the block, there is a small connection point for attaching the micro-USB to the internal USB Header cable. It’s really cool to have a CPU Cooler this easy to set up and cable manage and get up and running. The block and radiator look really premium and the tubing is also braided. The tubing is around 35 cm long which allows easy installations. Keep in mind that, the thermal paste is pre-applied.
The block features a similar design to Corsair’s older coolers. And the RGB Lighting styles (breathing, static, rainbow) can be changed easily using Corsair’s software. All of these lightings can be synced with your existing Corsair peripherals. The block is heavily decked out with lights and that somewhat looks incredibly cool at night.
- Easy installation
- Functional Lightings synced with Corsair Software
- Good Looks And Build Quality
- Fans are Audible at full load
Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT
Corsair H115i Pro is the upgraded version of H115i with a redesigned pump block for a rack of more RGB goodness. Moreover, there is a massive upgrade on the magnetic levitation fans to increase the performance.
Right from the box, you will be seeing a cooler itself, 2 magnetic levitation 140mm fans, and all the mounting hardware you need for all the supporting sockets (includes LGA 1700 socket). Threadripper isn’t supported by default out of the box, but you can get an optional accessory to connect and mount to the TR4 sockets.
The H115i Pro XT itself has a redesigned pump dimension. The micro USB port is pushed to the mini USB port (changed from the bottom to the left-hand side). The small and thin flexible tubing comes out from the right-hand side.
Speaking of the 280mm radiator, the N tanks on the radiator are actually tiny and you also do have the Corsair Logo embossed in a Chrome Finish on the sides as well. The cooler comes with thermal paste pre-applied. You don’t get any tube of it, so don’t mess with thermal paste. You can do buy some thermal paste from the market. But do remember to remove the plastic cover before you start mounting.
The mounting is very easy and decent. I was using the Intel i5 12600K. Just use the included backplate with the included mounting screws to mount the cooler on the motherboard. Place the cooler on top, plug everything in, and use the four screws to hold in, otherwise, the cooler will fall off.
The biggest problem I faced is the number of wires that come out of the cooler once you have fully installed it. Initially and pre-attached, you have the SATA power cable (for power), splitter to connect the fans to the pumps for easy controls, a 4-pin PWM splitter cable, and a 3-pin fan header, pump header to connect to your CPU header. To control every lighting, you do have to connect the micro USB cable as well. That means, there is a whole wealth of connections and cables coming out of the pump. It is quite hard to hide them and clean them on a monthly basis.
The Corsair Link software is definitely you need to get to sync all your Corsair components with Lighting effects. You may need to update the firmware on the cooler to ensure everything (temperature profiles, RGB) is working properly.
Overall, The cooler is quiet enough. I mean, you can hear it with a side panel off, but not much. But, when you turn on the side panel, you won’t hear any whizzing sounds. If you want an impressive cooler that cools CPU even after overclocking, then this is the one!
- ICUE compatibility
- ARGB pump lighting
- Best value for money
- No RGB Fans
Arctic Freezer 50
The Arctic Freezer 50 is a multi-compatible dual tower CPU Cooler with ARGB. It looks very similar to the Arctic Freezer 50 TR. With its pressure-optimized fans, push and pull configuration, fluid dynamic bearing, and easy mounting solutions, this multi-compatible Cooler is a bang for the buck.
After opening the box, you will see a QR Code sticker. You can scan the code to bring up the installation manual. You will get the standoffs, brackets for Intel 1700 sockets, MX4 thermal paste solution, and screws. Except for the mounting of the bottom of the cooler, the cooler is identical to the Freezer 50 thread ripper.
In the TR version, the number of heat pipes is 8, and in the Freezer 50, there are only 6 heat pipes in a compact way. One biggest issue I faced while testing the TR, is the clearance for memory because of the way the thread rippers memory pushes all the way up to the socket, you have to have a really low profile. So, if you wanted an RGB RAM in there or anything with a larger heatsink, it won’t fit. However, This is the case also in terms of Arctic 50.
There is no pre-applied thermal paste. The front side fan intakes air and blows through the central fan, which you can open to see. So, it’s basically a sandwiched model. Connected is a 4-pin fan connector, and another 4-pin comes from the front fan. Anf the RGB header for the motherboard to light up the entire cooler.
After testing, I found that the sound levels are 45.6 decibels. Obviously, the fan speed was not set to auto. Because it will automatically adjust the fan speed to adjust the temperature to optimal temperature and can affect the results. The idle temperature was found to be 20 degrees celsius with 50% fan speed. And at fully 100% fan speed, the temperature went to 58 degrees. And after overclocking, the temperature rose to 72 degrees.
- Aesthetic ARGB implementation
- Moderately priced
- Mouldings casing around the fan
- Need Low-Profile RAM to fit
Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition
The master hyper 212 is a legendary air cooler with a sleek jet black finish. The aesthetic cooling, price, and precise airflow make this cooler stand out compared to its competitors.
The cooler comes under 40$ and essentially everything on this cooler including mounting brackets, thermal paste, screws, nuts, and extra side brackets. The color is actually not black. It is anodized aluminum that has a gunmetal black finish to make the cooler look premium at this budget range.
The cooler has 4 heat pipes at the bottom that is attached to the cold plate to help dissipate as much heat as possible and also comes with the cooler master’s Silencio 120mm fan. Attach the fans using the paper clip style brackets. Also, as mentioned, the cooler master adds a set of these brackets if you want to add more fans to it for a push-pull configuration.
This cooler works with every Intel and AMD Sockets except for the Threadripper lineup. Other than that, the cooler will give you guys no issues regardless of tall your RAM is. Here’s a suggestion; Install the RAM first, and then attach the cooler. The cooler is 150.8mm tall, so you will notice a tight fit that doesn’t cause that much of problems. This cooler will fit in the vast majority of mid-tower and full-tower cases.
I tested this cooler by playing some highly graphical games like Fortnite, CSGO, Valorant, WOW, and MK 11, and the temperature didn’t go over 55 degrees with the Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition and the stock Silencio Fans.
As far as the sounds are concerned, you won’t hear much difference even on full work-load. It is silent compared to my Arctic Freezer. The Silencio fans normally max out at 1400 rpm, which is not bad in this price range.
So, should you buy this cooler at this price?
Well, CPU coolers are nowadays crowded in this price range. If you won’t be overclocking, or you’ll be doing light overclocking in your system, then I think it is a great choice.
- Aesthetic Finish
- Great Performance
- Silent Cooling
- Simple Installation
- Underperforms compared to similar Cooler Master products
With so many coolers on the market, it is difficult to choose the best suitable one for your rig. However, if you want any suggestions, I would recommend buying the Noctua NH-U12S. I have been using this cooler for a year now, and no complaints regarding it. Its simple installation, silent cooling, and 100% compatibility with taller RAMs add icing to the cake.