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QOTW: Who makes the best CPU coolers?

by Parm Mann on 3 August 2018, 16:31

Tags: Corsair, Deepcool, Cooler Master, be-quiet, SilverstoneTek, Noctua, NZXT, Aerocool, EVGA, Arctic, Antec, Thermaltake (3540.TWO), Akasa, Scythe

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadv5n

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It was fascinating to hear your honest-to-goodness assessment of who makes the best motherboards. This week, we're moving the spotlight to another vitally important component; the CPU cooler.

A vast number of competitors fight it out in this field, and though performance tends to be the primary differentiator, there are plenty of other factors in play. These include warranty length, build quality, appearance, what's included in the bundle, and whether or not you fancy your chances of getting an adapter for a new socket 10 years down the line.

We have our own opinions, and regular readers will probably know which brand we favour, but it's always interesting to get feedback from actual customers so let us ask: who makes the best CPU coolers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.



HEXUS Forums :: 33 Comments

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Loads of good coolers out there (both air and AIO). But for air coolers, you can't beat Noctua in my opinion. As long as you are OK with their colour scheme. Price a bit steep, but you have to pay for quality in my opinion.

I have the Noctua U14S (push/pull) and even though it's been out for a while, it beats or comes very close to even the biggest air coolers. Also puts a number of the AIO's to shame.

Within 2 degrees of the HUGE Noctua D15 cooler!
https://www.overclockers.com/noctua-nh-u14s-heatsink-review-2/
I have to admit that when it comes to CPU coolers I not only look at the performance of the cooler (cooling vs. noise), but also the weight.

Can't quite remember when and where I read it, but I believe the maximum recommended weight is 450 g, since in most cases the cooler will hang off the motherboard at a 90 degree angle and might damage other components, if the worst came to happen and it would get loose and fall off.

Most of the best coolers exceed that recommendation by a large margin, which is why I rarely give them a second look. The best compromise for me has been the Cooler Master Hyper212 Evo. It's served me well for the last 5 years or so and I would happily buy it again.

Noctua and Thermalright are the names most often mentioned with regard to great coolers. I have no experience with the latter, but I've owned case fans from Noctua which had sub par performance and really weren't worth the money. Then again, that's my singular experience with Noctua.
Christmas on a bike I miss Zalman…
Again,I tend to look at reviews first. Like with motherboards you cannot just trust one company to always make an item which will fit what you need.
Be Quiet! and Noctua for air-cooling.

Don't see the appeal of AIOs and never managed to justify the cost of a custom loop myself - had one planned for my current build but picked up a 2nd 1080 Ti on offer instead. Even on air and in this heat I've never seen them top ~78C. Hotter than I'd like but not hot enough to justify another £600 on cooling IMO.