The finest CPU coolers maintain your PC’s core at a low temperature and free of throttling. Gaming PCs may become hot, and you want to make sure your CPU stays cool, and you want a CPU cooler that won’t create too much noise. These CPU coolers perform admirably.
There’s plenty of room in the market for both, and we’ve got enough of each when it comes to the best CPU coolers for your gaming system. Every cooler on this page have been evaluated by us, and the top options come from our best AIO cooler for CPUs and best CPU air cooler recommendations.
Air coolers are still the most popular of the two chilling technologies. A metal heat sink draws heat away from the CPU before being blown away by a fan. However, you must take into account your CPU socket type, RAM, case size, and the present airflow within your computer with air coolers.
A liquid cooler, generally of the AIO (all-in-one) form, is another, more opulent choice. Liquid cooling is frequently a more efficient solution, and it may result in some flashy-looking components with crazy RGB lighting choices and even OLED panels. If you’re feeling very daring, you could potentially build a whole bespoke water cooling loop that includes GPU and CPU cooling. Still, that path leads to tube-bending and a lot of installation work—not ideal for first-time PC builders.
Each of the coolers listed below has been rigorously tested on our PC Gamer test rigs so that we can tell you which ones provide the best CPU cooling for your money under various workloads. If you’re searching for more methods to improve the cooling performance of your system, check out our guide to the best PC fans.
EK-AIO Basic 240
A step up from even the best air coolers
Intel LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200, 2011, 2011-3, 2066, AMD AM4 compatible sockets are supported.
275mm x 120mm x 27mm (total radiator dimensions)
550-2200 RPMN fan speeds
oise level: 33.5 decibels (A)
REASONS TO BUY
Cooling performance rivals 360mm coolers +Excellent value for money +No RGB
REASONS TO STAY AWAY
It is pretty plain-looking if you are bothered by cooler aesthetics.
EK is a name that requires little introduction in the realm of liquid cooling. The EK Basic series is focused on performance and value for money. It also lacks any RGB functionality. If this sounds appealing, the EK AIO Basic 240 is definitely worth considering. Its absence certainly aids in keeping prices down.
The EK Basic 240 is distinguished by its high build quality. It just seems solid and well-made. The EK- Vardar fans that come with the kit are excellent and have a large speed range. If you need some high-speed headroom, it’s a good idea to keep some on hand. Most of the time, it is virtually silent.
The cooling performance is what truly stands out for us. It comes very near to 360mm levels of cooling capacity. If you attempt to push an overclocked Rocket Lake CPU, it gets loud, but so does pretty much every other cooler.
The EK-AIO basic 240 is ideal for covert setups or closed case builds where illumination isn’t an issue. It’s a cooler you can set and forget, out of sight, out of mind, and out of earshot, thanks to its outstanding build quality and performance.
Deepcool Gammaxx L240 V2
Awesome bang for buck 240mm liquid cooling
Intel LGA20XX, LGA1366, LGA1200, 115X, AMD AM4, AM3, AM2, FM2, FM1 sockets are supported.
280mm x 120mm x 27mm (total radiator dimensions)
Fan speeds range from 500 to 1800 RPMN.
oise volume: up to 30 decibels (A)
REASONS TO PURCHASE
Excellent value +Excellent cooling capabilities +Effectively quiet at idle
REASONS TO AVOID
When the CPU is overworked, it might become rather noisy.
Deepcool is recognized for producing high-quality AIOs at low rates, and the Gammaxx L240 V2 is one of the most economical 240mm coolers on the market. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for consumers wishing to go from air cooling to AIO cooling.
The pump head and fans on the Gammaxx 240mm include basic RGB illumination. If you really want it, there’s a more costly ARGB version. Deepcool is proud of its ‘Anti-leak technology,’ which aims to keep the pressure inside the loop at an appropriate level. That can’t be a bad thing.
The Gammaxx 240 can cool most CPUs as well, however, like many of the chip chillers on this list, it can’t handle AMD’s Threadripper monsters. However, it maintains the rest of the system working quietly, which is one of the major reasons we suggest it.
The L240 is practically quiet when it is at rest. With high TDP CPUs, you should anticipate observing an increase in temperatures and noise levels, especially while overclocking. The maximum we’d consider suitable for a 240mm cooler is our 5800X CPU with PBO enabled. The supporters may and do speed up a lot while they’re working hard.
The Deepcool Gammaxx L240 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a 240mm AIO that’s affordable and quiet under less demanding loads. Sure, if you push it hard enough, the noise levels may skyrocket, but for this price, it’s a no-brainer.
Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2
Liquid cooling at air cooling prices
Intel LGA 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066, AMD AM4, AM3 & AM2 sockets are supported.
157mm x 120mm x 27mm (total radiator dimensions)
Up to 1700 RPMN fan speeds
oise volume: up to 28.3 decibels (A)
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent performance for the size of the radiator +Generally silent operation +Affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Would have difficulty with ultra-high-end CPUs.
The Corsair H60 has been on the market for quite some time. Tubing, fan, pump, and mounting have all been improved throughout the years. The 120mm AIO form factor isn’t for everyone, but it can perform as well as a respectable mid-range air cooler for individuals who need a tiny cooler for something like a small volume ITX setup. It is notable that there is no RGB lighting, albeit there is some white illumination around the head.
The H60 V2 is best suited to CPUs that don’t exceed 95 watts. Sure, a great tower cooler or AIO with a bigger radiator will beat it out, but their proportions frequently rule them out of SFF designs. Because heat is a system’s worst enemy, the H60’s capacity to evacuate hot air outside the casing will help the entire setup. Corsair adds their SP PWM fan, which runs at speeds ranging from 600 RPM (when it’s completely silent) to 1700 RPM. At that time, it becomes obviously audible.
The Corsair H60 V2 is an excellent choice for a small system. It’s inexpensive and should outperform most low-profile air coolers without making excessive noise. It won’t work with a CPU with a lot of cores or that is overclocked, but you shouldn’t expect it to. It’s simple advice with the correct partnership components.
Deepcool AS500 Plus
A fantastic all-round cooler that won’t empty your wallet
Intel 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 2011, 2066, AMD AM4, AM3, AM2, FM2 & FM1 sockets are all supported.
2x 140 mm PWM fans
Fan speeds range from 500 to 1200 RPMD.
140 mm x 102 mm x 164 mm in size (L x W x H)
Maximum noise level: 31.5 decibels (A)
REASONS TO BUY
Budget-friendly +Low noise levels +Efficient cooling +Build Quality
REASONS TO AVOID
Not designed for overclocked high-end CPUs.
When the Deepcool AS500 was first announced, it drew a lot of attention, but the AS500 Plus, with its extra fan, raise it to the level of being able to compete with any single tower cooler on the market. At the same time, it offers a lower price than its competitors. At this price, there aren’t many twin fan ARGB-supporting coolers. Even if you spend twice as much on a quality single tower cooler, the cooling performance will not be significantly improved.
Its cooling capacity belies its small size. Only more expensive dual-tower coolers come close to matching it, and even then, only by a small margin. Its twin fan design is undoubtedly beneficial. It’s also remarkably silent. The cooler does not get too noisy even when pushed aggressively. Cooling and low noise levels are appreciated, and when you throw in outstanding build quality and subtle ARGB decent aesthetics, there’s no reason to complain. It also comes with its own ARGB controller, and you can have it in white if you choose.
Deepcool’s AS500 Plus punches well above its weight class (and price). It keeps cool, is silent, has excellent build quality, a discreet ARGB splash with its own controller, and all of this on top of that. Finally, it offers excellent value when compared to many twin fan single tower coolers. The AS500 Plus checks all the criteria, excluding putting it to the test with a significantly overclocked high-end processor. It comes highly recommended.
Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2
An affordable and effective cooler that really can be quiet
Intel LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1200, 2011, 2011-3, 2066, AMD AM3 & AM4 compatible sockets are supported.
Fans: 2 × 120mm Pure Wings Fan speeds of up to 1500 RPMD are possible. 87 mm x 121 mm x 155 mm in size (L x W x H) Maximum noise level: 26.8 decibels (A)
REASONS TO BUY
Extremely silent operation +Affordable pricing +High-quality construction
REASONS TO AVOID
Extremely plain appearance -150W TDP is a little ambitious
The Be Quiet Pure Rock 2 is truly quiet if the name didn’t already give it away. It’s a single tower cooler with the company’s Pure Wings 2 PWM fan, which has a low noise rating of 26.8 decibels (A). That indicates it’s really silent. It also feels quite sturdy, indicating high build quality, and it is reasonably priced.
The Pure Rock 2 isn’t the most visually appealing cooler on the market. However, if you do have a windowed case, the black variant is surely more appealing than the plain metal finish of the standard version. The Pure Rock 2 is primarily intended to keep you cool, both visually and audibly. It’s designed to keep CPUs with a TDP of 150W cool.
Although this may be a little optimistic, this is due to the CPU manufacturer’s “real’ TDPs. The Pure Rock 2 will work with an Intel Core i5 11600K or AMD Ryzen 7 5800X processor.
Except for high-end CPUs, the Pure Rock 2 will keep your processor cool and silent. The Pure Rock 2 is a wonderful alternative if you don’t care about bling and want something that’s a step above bundled coolers. It will cool after it is out of sight, mind, and hearing range.