Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
With rare exceptions, modern desktop CPUs require serious active cooling. And the more powerful the processor, the more efficient and reliable the cooling – here there is an almost direct correlation between the processor power in a broad sense and the cooling requirements. The expert council of the magazine studied the market in early 2020 and offered a selection of the best models of cooling systems for the central processor according to a number of important criteria.
- What are the cooling systems for the processor
- Criteria for choosing a cooling system for a processor depending on heat dissipation
- TDP up to 35W
- TDP up to 50W
- TDP up to 65W
- TDP up to 95W
- TDP up to 200W
- Rating of the best CPU coolers
- Best CPU coolers with aluminum heatsink
- Deepcool CK-11508
- Deepcool THETA 9
- PCcooler Q100
- AeroCool BAS
- Xilence I250PWM
- Best CPU coolers with aluminum-copper heatsink
- Deepcool ARCHER BIGPRO
- Cooler Master CK9-9HDSA-PL-GP
- Cooler Master C116 (CP6-9GDSC-0L-GP)
- Best Tower CPU Coolers
- Thermalright Macho 120 Rev. A
- be quiet! DARK ROCK PRO 4
- Thermalright AXP-100R
- PCcooler GI-X6R
- Deepcool ICE EDGE MINI FS V2.0
- Best liquid coolers for CPU
- Arctic Liquid Freezer 360
- NZXT Kraken X62 (RL-KRX62-02)
- Cooler Master Liquid ML240R RGB
- Alphacool Eisbaer LT120
What are the cooling systems for the processor
To begin with, let's clarify the main points about the types of cooling systems themselves, so that each of our readers can make an intelligent and informed choice.
- All cooling systems for microprocessor systems are divided into two large groups – passive and active cooling. The passive is, in fact, just a radiator, and we will not consider this type of accessories in this review.
- Active cooling presupposes, in addition to the radiator, the presence of a block that actively influences heat removal from the processor. There are also two types of systems here – air, which is a fan or a group of fans, and liquid – in this case, in addition to a radiator and a fan (cooler), circulating liquid is also used, mainly water.
- Another detail that for some reason is often forgotten, although it is important. The mounting of the contact group of the cooling system, which will be directly connected to the processor, must be compatible with the socket. It often happens that a cooler comes with several different mounts that allow it to be used on different sockets, but in any case, this point needs to be clarified.
- Less obvious, but also important, is the size of the cooling system. You need to understand that a powerful massive cooler may not fit corny in cases of a certain type, it may not 'miss' the RAM strips or even its weight (individual copies may weigh a kilogram or more) deform the textolite of the motherboard, sooner or later disabling it .
- I must say that the processor's demands on the massiveness of the cooler + radiator bundle with an inconvenient location of the RAM bars is by no means a verdict. There are tower models with a beveled radiator design, and this form factor can completely solve the problem of 'collision' between the radiator and the OP slots.
- An important point that many may not even suspect. If it is supposed to use ordinary thermal paste as a thermal interface, even with metal microparticles, then no matter what material the radiator will be made of. But if you plan to use liquid metal, then the contact part of the radiator should in no case be aluminum, since in contact with elements of liquid metal, aluminum is rapidly destroyed.
- A secondary characteristic is the noise level. Even efficient and expensive models of a comparable class from different manufacturers can be very different in this regard. And if you need maximum silence, it is worth studying not only the declared characteristics, but also the reviews of real users.
- Finally, a purely aesthetic detail is the presence and nature of the backlight. If the PC case with a transparent wall, then the presence of such an element can become a real decoration of the workstation. But this is a matter of taste and has nothing to do with the intended purpose of the cooling system.
Criteria for choosing a cooling system for a processor depending on heat dissipation
Now let's touch on the points that relate directly to the function of the cooling system for the processor, regardless of the form factor. Namely, the physical ability of the system to remove heat from the crystal with varying intensity. This definition is based on the main parameter – processor heat dissipation. It is designated in the technical characteristics of each specific model by the abbreviation TDP (thermal design power). To be precise, the TDP does not show exactly the heat dissipation of the processor, but directly indicates which thermal power should be removed by the processor cooling system. Measured in watts (W).
TDP up to 35W
This figure is typical for modern, but the most modest in terms of power processors – AMD Pro A-series or Intel Core T-line. The nominal clock frequency of such processors is within 2.5-3 GHz, in Turbo Boost mode for Intel Core – up to 4GHz, but the heat dissipation remains low. For such models, the simplest cooler on an aluminum radiator will be enough, even without heat pipes.
TDP up to 50W
This group includes processors Intel of the Celeron family, Pentium G-series, Core i3 and comparable 2-core models. The clock frequency can even reach 4GHz, but the modest architecture does not allow the crystal to heat up above the same 50W. Even for models with implemented hyperthreading, TDP 50W is often an excessive value. Therefore, exactly the same option as in the previous group is suitable here – a simple aluminum radiator with an elementary cooler.
TDP up to 65W
Here we are already talking about more serious processors – 4-core Intel Core i5 and i7, AMD Ryzen without the X index, with or without hyperthreading. The clock frequency can reach 4GHz, but without overclocking the heat dissipation will be within the specified limits. AMD models can even be 8-core, but with a lower clock speed, which will also keep the heat dissipation within reasonable limits. In any case, a more serious cooling system is already needed here. Nominally – a 72-90 mm tower cooler on a radiator with one or better two heat pipes.
TDP up to 95W
Such heat dissipation is typical for processors of the top user segment – Intel Core i5 and i7 with index K, AMD Ryzen with index X. Clock frequencies here can reach 4.5 GHz for Intel and 4 GHz for AMD. With this architecture and the current capabilities of the process technology, this is the limit for a reasonable increase in heat dissipation. Minimum acceleration causes an avalanche-like increase in heating. Therefore, suppose that you will not overclock such powerful 'stones', in which case a super-cooler of an entry-class 90-120mm on a radiator with three or four copper heat pipes will be enough for cooling. And it already makes good sense to think about liquid cooling. It will not hurt in the previous case, but here it is still more relevant.
TDP up to 200W
Here we are already talking about either overclocked processors from the previous group, or about the top models Intel Core i7 and i9 X-series, or the AMR Ryzen Threadripper. In any case, only top-end super-coolers or a water cooling system can cope with such an outrageous heat release, and it is highly desirable that it be equipped with not one, but at least two fans.
Rating of the best CPU coolers
|Nomination||a place||Name of product||price|
|Best CPU coolers with aluminum heatsink||1||Deepcool CK-11508||184 r|
|2||Deepcool THETA 9||260 RUB|
|3||PCcooler Q100||RUB 290|
|4||AeroCool BAS||430 RUB|
|5||Xilence I250PWM||RUB 500|
|Best CPU coolers with aluminum-copper heatsink||1||Deepcool ARCHER BIGPRO||697 r|
|2||Cooler Master CK9-9HDSA-PL-GP||740 RUB|
|3||Cooler Master C116 (CP6-9GDSC-0L-GP)||RUB 530|
|Best Tower CPU Coolers||1||Thermalright Macho 120 Rev. A||RUB 3 375|
|2||be quiet! DARK ROCK PRO 4||RUB 5,940|
|3||Thermalright AXP-100R||RUB 3,543|
|4||PCcooler GI-X6R||RUB 1,575|
|5||Deepcool ICE EDGE MINI FS V2.0||453 r|
|Best liquid coolers for CPU||1||Arctic Liquid Freezer 360||RUB 9,700|
|2||NZXT Kraken X62 (RL-KRX62-02)||RUB 10,830|
|3||Cooler Master Liquid ML240R RGB||RUB 6,608|
|4||Alphacool Eisbaer LT120||RUB 7,240|
Best CPU coolers with aluminum heatsink
Let us now turn directly to the review of specific models and start with the most budgetary options, which cost literally a few hundred rubles, but they are completely enough to cool a low- and medium-power processor. The unifying feature of all these models is an exclusively aluminum radiator without inserts from other metals and alloys. This is not a drawback, but only a feature that limits the scope of application – such radiators are destroyed in contact with liquid metal, so only classic thermal paste is suitable as a thermal interface.
Let's start with the simplest and most elementary, but more than efficient and reliable cooler, which is optimal for office PCs. This is the cheapest model in the collection, but the well-known Chinese manufacturer did not disappoint with the quality here.
Externally, the cooler looks ordinary and without any frills. Fan dimensions – 92x92x25mm, overall dimensions – 95x70x95mm, weight – 245g. The radiator is completely made of aluminum. Suitable for sockets LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156. Formally, this makes it possible to use it to cool processors Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium G. However, the very modest possibilities for maximum power dissipation – no more than 65W – casts doubt on its ability to cool Intel Core i7 even without any overclocking.
One way or another, the direct technical characteristics of the model indicate a maximum fan speed of 2200rpm, an air flow of up to 40.9CFM and a maximum declared noise level of 20dB. Yes, the cooler is really quiet. There is no backlight here and the speed cannot be adjusted. Hydrodynamic bearing.
In general, the rather modest performance of this model cannot be qualified as a drawback, since the cooler initially does not pretend to be any superpowers, and its extremely affordable price combined with a well-made assembly, reliability and durability makes it one of the best solutions for completing office desktop PCs. .
The only drawback of the model, even at such an insignificant price, is that when replacing it, you will most likely have to dismantle the motherboard from the case. Fortunately, such an operation will have to be performed only once.
- extremely quiet.
- reliable and durable;
- the most affordable price in the group.
- inconvenient installation.
Deepcool THETA 9
The selection is continued by the super popular model of the same brand. THETA 9 is the youngest model in the THETA line. There is a slightly more advanced model THETA 20 in the series, we will briefly tell about its features.
So, THETA 9 is an ordinary cooler on an aluminum heatsink. Fan dimensions – 92x92x25mm, fan + heatsink bundle dimensions – 100x47x100mm, weight – 269g. Compatible with sockets LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156. The cooler has no backlight, but the fan blades are light blue, which the manufacturer already considers it moral right to call the cooler a gaming cooler, but this, of course, is just a symbolic definition. Nevertheless, the cooler looks nice in an open case or behind a transparent wall.
The technical capabilities of THETA 9 are as follows. The rotation speed is 2000rpm, which in combination with the diameter and shape of the blades, provides an air flow up to 36.5CFM. In this case, the noise (declared) does not exceed 22.5 dB, which is quite good. Hydrodynamic bearing fan. In total, these characteristics, according to the manufacturer, should provide a maximum power dissipation of up to 82W. But this is exactly what the maximum indicator that the device in real working conditions is not always capable of achieving. Recommended for processors Intel Core from i3 to i7, but, of course, without overclocking and not at maximum loads.
The THETA 9 is powered by the motherboard via a 3-pin connector. Speed control is not provided. The older model of the THETA 20 line differs, in fact, only in a more massive (significantly) aluminum radiator and a slightly larger fan diagonally. The heat dissipation capabilities are practically the same, and the price is almost exactly the same – less than 300 rubles.
There are some inconveniences with the installation. When assembling it yourself, it is recommended to first install the cooler on the motherboard, and only then mount the motherboard in the case. Otherwise, it will be difficult to mount a cooler on an already installed motherboard.
THETA 9 is backed by a 183 day manufacturing warranty. The package includes thermal paste.
- combination of price and durability;
- thermal paste included;
- nice appearance.
- no speed control;
- not the most convenient installation.
The selection of the cheapest models of coolers for the processor is continued by the Q100 model of the PCcooler line produced by the Chinese company Shenzhen Fluence Technology PLC. This is also an elementary cooler at a price higher than the previous one with comparable capabilities, but in absolute terms it is still the cheapest segment – less than 500 rubles.
Externally, the fan blades, as in the previous case, also have a bright color, only this time they are already orange, and only because of this, the manufacturer positions the cooler as a gaming cooler. There is no backlight either. The fan dimensions are 100x100x25mm, the overall dimensions are 100x50x100mm, that is, the radiator here, as in the previous example, is not too massive. Weight – 215 g. Structurally suitable for sockets LG A775, LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156, AM2, AM2 +, AM3 / AM3 + / FM1, AM4, FM2 / FM2 +. Hydrodynamic bearing.
This model has a declared heat dissipation capacity of up to 75W. But this is also the maximum value, and the model, of course, is not suitable for powerful, moreover, overclocked processors. The fan speed varies from 1200 to 2000 rpm, but the cooler itself 'decides' at what speed to rotate it, and there is no manual speed control. The noise is also variable – within the range from 16 to 20 dB.
The device is powered by the motherboard via a 4-pin PWM. The stated uptime is 30,000 hours.
Some users have unpleasant incidents when the fan does not start with the system, presumably due to insufficient electrical impulse, and starts to rotate if it is 'helped' with a finger. Our experts did not consider this a disadvantage, since such cases are rare and most likely the reason is not in the cooler itself.
- automatic speed control;
- thermal paste included;
- budget, but 'high-tech' radiator;
- attractive appearance.
- there is no manual adjustment of the rotation speed.
Now let's look at another interesting model of a cooler on an aluminum heatsink of the AeroCool trademark. In fact, there is nothing exceptional about it, but the design of the fan blades allows it to provide sufficient air flow at far from maximum speeds, which, in combination with some other design features, gives a record low noise level.
The fan is quite large here – 120x120x25mm, which is another factor of low noise. The overall dimensions of the cooler are 122x63x122mm. Compatible with sockets LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156. Hydrodynamic bearing. Provides airflow up to 55.6CFM at a maximum RPM of only 1200rpm. The turns are not regulated either manually or automatically. The cooler is powered by the motherboard through a 3-pin connector.
All the listed technical characteristics in total give not only the maximum noise level of 19 dB (practically silent), but also the ability for the maximum dissipated power up to 100 W. And this figure is quite real – many independent tests show that in most cases this model is quite 'pulling' such a load.
The manufacturer's stated uninterrupted service life is 60,000 hours. The warranty period is 183 days.
Taking into account the minimal noise of the cooler with maximum efficiency, the experts decided not to consider the lack of the possibility of adjusting the speed as a disadvantage. The cooler is practically silent and does not need any adjustment.
- high efficiency at relatively low rpm;
- affordable price;
- durability and reliability;
- the lowest noise level in the collection.
- no obvious deficiencies were identified.
The selection of the cheapest CPU coolers from the category of the best, according to the expert group of Epertology magazine, is completed by a slightly more expensive, but still generally cheap (less than 700 rubles, and even much cheaper at some points of sale) cooler made by a relatively young German-Chinese company Xilence Technology.
The situation with positioning is exactly the same as in the two previous cases – since the blades are brightly colored, it means a gaming cooler. This, of course, is not so, although the bright red blades in a black 'hoop' look, of course, spectacular, although there is no backlight here either.
Fan dimensions – 92x92x25mm, overall dimensions – 95x70x95mm, weight – 326g. Aluminum radiator, hydrodynamic bearing. Suitable for sockets LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156.
The fan speed is variable from 800 to 2500 rpm, but also without manual speed control. The noise, respectively, can vary from 17.6 to 26.4 dB. Provides airflow up to 44.25CFM. It is powered by the motherboard via a 4-pin PWM. Real cooling capabilities allow us to recommend this model for class Intel Core i3 processors, maximum i5 without overclocking potential.
The Xilence cooler line includes a very similar model, but with a different index – A250PWM. It has a slightly wider fan speed range and a wider range of socket compatibility. The price is almost the same.
- reliable and durable;
- quite convenient installation, albeit very tight springs;
- spectacular appearance.
- no manual speed control.
Best CPU coolers with aluminum-copper heatsink
The second selection in the review of the best cooling systems for the processor according to the version includes a selection of the same models of the classic design, which involves direct installation of the fan on the radiator and the same direct installation on the socket. The only important difference is the presence of a copper contact insert in the heatsink design, which in itself increases the cooler's heat dissipation capabilities, and also makes it possible to use liquid metal as a thermal interface.
Deepcool ARCHER BIGPRO
First, we will consider the most inexpensive model in the collection, which even 'asks' for the budget category, but still significantly surpasses any specimen from the previous group in terms of characteristics. This is a representative of the ARCHER line of the Chinese manufacturer already featured in our review.
In some points the cooler resembles the above-described THETA 9 model – the same blue fan blades in a similar case. But the dimensions are different here: the dimensions of the fan are 120x120x25mm, the overall dimensions are 124x70x121mm, and the weight is 380g. Structurally suitable for sockets LG A775, LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156, AM2, AM2 +, AM3 / AM3 + / FM1, AM4, FM2 / FM2 +. Hydrodynamic bearing. There is no backlight. Powered by a 4-pin PWM.
Another point that fundamentally distinguishes this cooler from any of the previous group is the composition of the radiator material. In addition to aluminum, there is also copper – a polished contact insert, which increases the possibilities of heat removal and makes it possible to use liquid metal as a thermal interface.
The fan speed varies from 900 to 2000 rpm, but only in automatic mode. Manual speed control is not provided. The maximum declared noise level is 29.7 dB, which, in principle, is within the normal range, but some users at maximum load make the sound of the fan uncomfortable. The maximum air flow is 60.19CFM.
If we sum up all these factors, then we get the declared possibility of heat dissipation up to 125W. As with the above-described model of the same manufacturer, this indicator is clearly exaggerated, and in reality, such heat dissipation should not be counted on.
In general, this model can be safely recommended for processors of level Intel Core i5 and lower, but with overclocking one should be careful and prudent. In any case, for stock processors in terms of price-performance ratio, this is one of the best solutions on the market in early 2020.
- copper contact insert;
- branded thermal paste included;
- fairly simple installation;
- price / performance ratio;
- attractive appearance.
- no manual speed control;
- some of the users seem to be noisy.
Cooler Master CK9-9HDSA-PL-GP
The second number in this collection is a cooler manufactured by the famous Taiwanese private corporation Cooler Master Co., Ltd. – model CK9-9HDSA-PL-GP. Its distinguishing features are its focus on AMD sockets and twice the speed of any of the above models.
Outwardly, the cooler is no longer replete with a variety of colors, like the examples described above, it looks modest – a black case, black blades, an aluminum radiator with a copper contact insert. Fan dimensions – 95x95x25mm, overall dimensions – 95x71x95mm. Plain bearing. There is no backlight. Power is supplied from the motherboard via a 4-pin PWM. Suitable for sockets AM2, AM2 +, AM3 / AM3 + / FM1. This means compatibility with AMD Phenom II / Phenom / Opteron / Athlon II / Athlon 64 X2 / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 / Sempron processor.
As already mentioned, this model differs in speed. Indeed, this figure varies from 800 to 4200 rpm, but it is still impossible to manually set the speed here. Provides airflow up to 64.1CFM. In sum, these characteristics give the manufacturer's declared ability to dissipate heat up to a maximum of 125W, and here it looks more like the real capabilities of the device. In stress tests, however, the maximum indicator from this model cannot be achieved, but in any case, it is close to this.
The manufacturer's declared uptime is 40,000 hours. In general, this is not far from the real state of affairs, since, according to user reviews, Cooler Master CK9-9HDSA-PL-GP has been working properly for years.
Users' complaints are caused by the standard thermal paste already applied to the contact surface. It is recommended to replace it with something more productive, even at least KPT-8. And one more quite expected moment – at maximum revs it suddenly becomes uncomfortably noisy.
- Quiet enough, but not at maximum speed;
- high revs;
- copper core;
- value for money;
- overall high efficiency;
- ease of installation.
- 'inadequate' standard thermal paste;
- harsh noise at high speeds.
Cooler Master C116 (CP6-9GDSC-0L-GP)
The selection is completed by another very inexpensive cooler from the same Taiwanese manufacturer as the previous one with no less capabilities, but already focused on processors Intel. There are no such crazy maximum revs as in the previous model, but this is not a drawback, but a feature, since the declared power dissipation is surprisingly true.
Outwardly, the cooler looks more interesting than the previous model, but slightly ambiguous, because the traditionally black casing has pink (!) Fan blades. This should be taken into account by those who have gender biases about the color design of gadgets and accessories.
The fan dimensions for this model are 92x92x25mm, overall dimensions are 92x60x92mm, and the weight is 373g. Compatible with sockets LG A775, LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156. The heatsink is mostly aluminum, but with a copper core.
The maximum fan speed for this model is 2200rpm, providing a maximum airflow of 41.43CFM. The declared noise level should not exceed 30.82dB. Together, these characteristics give a maximum heat dissipation capacity of up to 100W. And surprisingly in stress tests the cooler is really capable of handling such loads. In general, for processors of the level Intel Core i5, even with TurboBoost, it can be safely recommended.
This model, like the previous one, uses a sleeve bearing. It is powered by the motherboard through a 3-pin connector. There is no backlight, the speed is not regulated either manually or automatically – the cooler always works 'at maximum'. And there are still some difficulties with installation – you can confidently install the cooler on a motherboard not in a case. Therefore, if a replacement occurs, then most likely the motherboard will have to be first dismantled from the case.
The manufacturer's declared uptime is 25,000 hours.
- compliance of the declared performance with the real one;
- reliable and durable;
- copper core;
- value for money, quality and features;
- nice appearance.
- inconvenient installation;
- rpm is not regulated either manually or automatically.
Best Tower CPU Coolers
The third selection of devices in the review of the best cooling systems for the processor according to the version includes coolers of a fundamentally different type than the previous two groups. These are the so-called tower coolers. They differ from the classic ones primarily in their design. In this case, the fan is not located on top of the processor and heatsink (very massive), but on the side. Most often, heat transfer to the radiator in tower models is carried out by means of copper pipes with high thermal conductivity. Modern tower coolers, by their technical characteristics, are by definition designed for cooling obviously 'hot' crystals of processors of the class Intel Core i7 or higher and comparable processors from AMD. Of course, such coolers are incomparably more expensive than even the top classical models – the average cost is in the thousands of rubles.
Thermalright Macho 120 Rev. A
As the first number in the selection of tower coolers, we will consider a new revision of a very successful and time-tested model of an air cooling system for the Macho 120 processor from the well-known manufacturer Thermalright. However, years have passed since its release, and Rev.A has earned the most positive user feedback.
The overall dimensions of the cooler are 150x120x102mm, the fan dimensions are 120x120x25mm. Outwardly, it looks restrained, but pretty due to the combination of a black case and white fan blades. The design and dimensions of the radiator allow the installation of one more fan (standard – Thermalright TY-121BW on a sleeve bearing). The device weighs 745g, of which 600g is for the radiator.
In terms of construction and materials, this is a fairly typical tower cooler, which uses a copper base through which five nickel-plated copper heat pipes pass. Tube cut diameter – 6mm. Heatpipes transfer heat to the main radiator block made of 30 aluminum plates 0.4mm thick each with an intercostal distance of 3.1mm.
The fan speed in the Thermalright Macho 120 Rev. A ranges from 600 to 1300 rpm. The maximum air flow is 46.2CFM. The maximum declared noise level is 25.4 dB.
This model is compatible with processor sockets Intel – LG A775 / 115x / 1366/2011 and AMD – Socket 939 / AM2 (+) / AM3 (+) / FMx (+ ).
The package includes proprietary thermal paste and even an unexpectedly high quality chrome-molybdenum screwdriver for installation. By the way, the complexity of installation is the weakest point of this model. The initial assembly will be time-consuming and require a certain level of skill and knowledge.
The manufacturing guarantee for this model is 24 months.
- effective power dissipation up to 120W;
- suitable for both Intel and AMD processor sockets;
- equipment (high-quality, good-quality screwdriver including);
- nice appearance.
- difficulties with installation.
be quiet! DARK ROCK PRO 4
The second number in the magazine's selection of the best tower coolers for processors according to the magazine is the real 'monster' – the DARK ROCK PRO 4 made by the German company be quiet! The model was presented at CES in early 2018 and made a splash. In some circles, the cooler has even been called the 'liquid cooling killer'. This model costs twice as much as the previous one. Let's figure out why he is so good.
The overall dimensions of the cooler are 136x163x146mm, the fan dimensions are 120x120x25mm, the total weight is 1130g. The device looks extremely impressive – a severe monochromatic black color, the ribbed surface of the blades – all this looks very impressive. The fan runs on a hydrodynamic bearing. There is no backlight. Power supply via 4-pin PWM.
Structurally and due to complete mounting kits, this model is compatible with sockets LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156, LG A2066, LG A1356 / S1366, LG A2011 / 2011-3 (Square ILM), AM2, AM2 +, AM3 / AM3 + / FM1, AM4, FM2 / FM2 +.
The maximum fan speed is 1500 rpm. The maximum noise level does not exceed 24.3dB. From the copper base, heat is transferred through seven copper heat pipes to the aluminum radiator. The maximum power dissipation of this model inspires respect – up to 250W, and the device copes with the declared characteristics without any problems in real working conditions.
Due to its exceptional efficiency, DARK ROCK PRO 4 is quite suitable for completing gaming computers with overclocked processors.
- high power dissipation;
- reliability and durability;
- compatibility with many sockets for processors Intel and AMD.
- spectacular appearance;
- some users consider the price too high.
The review continues with one more model of the Thermalright trademark, but in this case the cooler has a narrower specialization, namely, for low-profile systems. That is, its dimensions allow it to be placed in a compact case with a lack of free space. The placement is also facilitated by the beveled design, which allows the cooler to 'miss' the block of RAM strips without any problems.
The overall dimensions of this model are 122x58x106mm, the fan dimensions are 100x100x14mm, the total weight is 360g. The design assumes the ability to install another larger fan – up to 120mm in diameter. Heatsink material – aluminum and copper. As with previous models, six copper heat pipes run through a copper base to a low-profile aluminum radiator.
The fan speed for this model varies from 900 to 2500 rpm. Corresponding air flow rate of rotation is from 16 to 44.5CFM. In this case, the noise level ranges from 22 to 30 dB. With such characteristics, the cooler is able to cope with CPU heating up to TDP 150W. This does not look very impressive against the background of the mighty DARK ROCK PRO 4, but remember that this is a low-profile cooler, and its heatsink is not even close to the size of the previous two models. In general, this is a top model for a low profile.
- efficient heat dissipation;
- reliability and durability;
- design that allows the cooler to be placed in a low-profile system;
- you can install a large fan;
- spectacular appearance.
- some of the users seem to be noisy.
Now let's pay attention to another extremely interesting model of the PCcooler trademark. This cooler is interesting for its amazing combination of performance, quality and cost. The latter is several times lower than that of any of the tower coolers discussed above, even almost half the price of Thermalright Macho 120 Rev. A. There are good reasons for this, but the GI-X6R has more than decent specs.
Let's say right away that this is the first cooler in our review to be equipped with a backlight. This is a simple luminous ring around the circumference of the case, but its reddish glow against the background of the other charcoal-black parts certainly adds to this model's advantages, if the cooler is equipped with a PC with a transparent side wall, or an open one.
The overall dimensions of this model are 148 × 126 × 80mm, the fan dimensions are 120 × 120 × 25mm, the total weight is 638g, of which 493g belongs to the radiator. The design is made using HDT technology – five copper heat pipes with a diameter of 6 mm each, and the pipes themselves are part of the base in contact with the crystal. The radiator fins are aluminum, there are 40 of them in total, the thickness of each is 0.45mm, the intercostal distance is 2mm. The total calculated area of the radiator is 4810 cm. Sq.
A few words about the fan. This cooler uses the SilentPro PWM Corona LED model with a rotation speed of 1000 to 1800 rpm. Airflow from 35 to 65 CFM is provided. The maximum noise level in this case is 26.5, there may be an excess of no more than 10%. All these characteristics together give the PCcooler GI-X6R the ability to remove heat from the processor with heating at the TDP level of 160W. The cooler is structurally compatible with sockets Intel LG A775 / 115x or AMD Socket AM2 (+) / AM3 (+) / AM4 / FM1 / FM2 (+).
The amazingly affordable price could not but affect at least something. In this case, it affected the configuration. So, the kit contains only a plastic frame with clamps and thermal paste. The manufacturing guarantee for this model is 1 year.
- efficient heat dissipation;
- affordable price;
- spectacular overall appearance.
- poor equipment.
Deepcool ICE EDGE MINI FS V2.0
At the end of the magazine's selection of the best tower coolers, we will consider another extremely remarkable solution from the Deepcool brand. And it is noteworthy, first of all, for its ultra-affordable price, which does not fit in with the tower form factor and average prices for such coolers. This model costs about 500 rubles, which is practically free for a tower cooler.
At such an incredible price, the ICE EDGE MINI FS V2.0 is surprisingly efficient and well built from fairly high quality materials. You also need to take seriously the wording 'MINI' in the model nomenclature, since the cooler is really the most simplified, which is quite expected considering the price.
The overall dimensions of the cooler are 112x130x75mm, the fan dimensions are 80x80x25mm, the total weight is 276g. The manufacturer is well guessed in the appearance of the cooler – exactly the same blue blades as in other models from Deepcool in our review. A big plus of ICE EDGE MINI FS V2.0 is wide enough compatibility with sockets even with such a simplified format – LG A775, LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156, LG A1356 / S1366, AM2, AM2 +, AM3 / AM3 + / FM1, AM4, S754, S939, S940. Powered from the motherboard via a 3-pin connector.
An active role in heat dissipation is played by two copper heat pipes passing through the contact base and transferring heat to a rather compact aluminum radiator. The fan uses a fluid dynamic bearing. Rotation speed – 2200 +/- 10% RPM with airflow up to 25.13CFM. The nominal noise should not exceed 24.7dB.
The dissipating power of the cooler is not as impressive as that of the models described above, but this is not a drawback – do not forget about the compact size and negligible cost. And there is also a slight differentiation depending on the socket. So, according to the manufacturer, the cooler copes with cooling processors Intel with TDP up to 95W and AMD with TDP up to 100W.
The manufacturer's warranty period for this model is 183 days.
- sufficient efficiency with a compact size and only two heat pipes;
- broad socket compatibility;
- nice appearance;
- the most inexpensive tower cooler.
- most motherboards will not have RPM control;
- some users seem to be noisy.
Best liquid coolers for CPU
Finally, the final and, perhaps, the most interesting selection of the best cooling systems for a processor according to the magazine's version are liquid cooling systems (LSS). These are complex systems that include a radiator, one or more often several fans, plus a circulating liquid, mainly water. It is advisable to install such systems on the most productive and, accordingly, hottest processors. Most often, LSS is installed on gaming desktop computers due to the deliberately exorbitant loads on the central processor, even with a powerful video card.
Arctic Liquid Freezer 360
First, let's look at one of the best mass-produced CPU water coolers on the market. It is not the most top-notch and not the newest, but it is well-tested by time, during which it has earned the deep trust of users. Arctic Liquid Freezer 360 entered the market in the second half of 2016 as the flagship of the series.
Arctic Liquid Freezer 360, like most other LSS of this brand, is a product of cooperation between the Swiss manufacturer Arctic itself and its ideological colleagues from the Danish company Asetek. This is a large-sized LSS focused on top-end processors Intel and AMD (compatible with sockets Intel – LG A 1150, LG A 1151, LG A 1155, LG A 1156, LG A 2011-3 and AMD – AM2, AM2 +, AM3, AM3 +, FM1, FM2, FM2 +). The design includes a water block with an integrated pump, a 390mm radiator and a series of six Arctic F12 PWM fans.
Waterblock height – 40mm, diameter – 82mm. The power consumption of the pump is 2W. The 27mm thick radiator is made of aluminum; a water block is connected to it by means of 326mm hoses with an inner diameter of 6mm and an outer diameter of 10.6mm. The dimensions of the fans are 120 × 120 × 25mm, and with such an array there is no need for a high rotation speed – here it varies from 500 to 1350 rpm. Fans with hydrodynamic bearings. The copper base on the back contains an array of copper micro-plates. The total weight of the system is 1428g.
All of the above characteristics add up to the performance of heat dissipation and dissipation from a processor with a TDP heat dissipation of 300W. And this is only the recommended value, and the maximum TDP value that this model can handle is even more – 350W. But it's still better not to go to such extremes in order to avoid. LSS does not threaten anything, but an expensive processor may well.
Arctic Liquid Freezer 360 comes with mounting plates, mounting hardware and 0.8 g of thermal paste. Packaging dimensions – 450 × 119 × 136mm. The manufacturer provides a two-year warranty for this model.
This model is still in sufficient quantity on the Russian (and in general) market, but, unfortunately, it has already been discontinued. So, if the described characteristics seem attractive to you, you should not hesitate with the purchase.
- exceptional efficiency;
- reliability and durability;
- quiet work;
- attractive appearance;
- two years warranty.
- there may be difficulties with the availability for sale (in online stores it is abundant).
NZXT Kraken X62 (RL-KRX62-02)
The magazine continues the selection of the best liquid cooling systems for central processors according to the magazine, which is comparable in price to the previous one, but outwardly may seem much more modest in terms of capabilities. But this impression is deceiving, and the Kraken X62 can surprise in some places. The manufacturer is the American company NZXT headquartered in California and production in the Middle Kingdom.
The Kraken X62 has undergone several series of improvements and modifications since its announcement in the fall of 2016 – it is normal NZXT policy to constantly improve its products. Therefore, we immediately point out that within the framework of this review we will consider a specific modification of the RL-KRX62-02.
So, let's take a look at the design features of the Kraken X62 first. The overall dimensions of the system are 315 × 143 × 30mm. Aluminum radiator with dimensions of 315 × 143 × 16mm with 17 channels and 20FPI ribbon-type fins. The total weight of the system with two fans is 1328g. The model is compatible with sockets Intel LG A115 (x) / 1366/2011/2011-v3 AMD Socket AM2 (+) / AM3 (+) / FM1 / FM2 (+).
The system is equipped with two Aer P140 fans with dimensions 140x140x25mm each with hydrodynamic bearings. The rotation speed varies from 500 to 1800 rpm with a fairly large permissible error – about 300 rpm in both directions. Airflow from 27.27 to 98.17CFM is provided. The noise, depending on the speed, ranges from 36 to 64 dB. Rated voltage – 12V, starting voltage – 2.7V.
Pump diameter – 80mm, height – 52.9mm. The declared speed of the pump rotor is from 1600 to 2800 rpm. The speed indicators measured by independent researchers were not only not lower than the stated ones, but even slightly higher. The pump is connected to the radiator by flexible 400mm hoses reinforced with nylon braid. The outer diameter of the hose is 11mm, the inner diameter is about 6mm, that is, more or less standard. The waterblock is made of nickel-plated copper with an optimized microchannel structure. The pump impeller has software control and can reach speeds from 1600 to 2800 rpm. At the same time, the noise level varies from 36 to 41dB, that is, it is practically inaudible, especially from a closed case.
NZXT Kraken X62 is characterized by a record total heat dissipation area for this class of LSS – 9200 cm2. The manufacturer does not directly indicate what TDP this model is capable of coping with, so our experts had to obtain information on their own during a series of tests and compare it with the results of other researchers. In all cases, the results were beyond praise – Kraken X62 effortlessly cools Intel Core i7-4960X in overclocking to acceptable temperatures, leaving far behind top supercoolers, such as, for example, Noctua NH-D15S.
The rated service life of Kraken X62 declared by the manufacturer is 60 thousand hours.
- efficient heat dissipation;
- high-performance pump;
- ratio of noise and heat removal efficiency;
- software that allows you to fine-tune the operation of the system;
- customizable backlight LEDs;
- the most positive feedback from users;
- rich equipment.
- very noisy at maximum load (you rarely have to face such a problem).
- refrigerant cannot be replaced or refilled.
Cooler Master Liquid ML240R RGB
The third number in the selection of the best liquid cooling systems for the processor according to the version, we will consider a truly gaming model, or at least a model for those who like to have as much electronics as possible shimmering with all the colors of the rainbow in the workplace. The manufacturer is the Taiwanese private corporation Cooler Master Co., Ltd., which was already featured in our review, founded in 1992.
This model is compatible with sockets Intel: LG A 2066, 2011, 2011-v3, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 1366, 775; AMD: AM4, AM3 +, AM3, AM2 +, AM2, FM2 +, FM2, FM1. Equipped with two axial (axial) fans of the MasterFan120AB ARGB model with 12V power supply via a 4-pin connector, plus a 3-pin one for addressable backlight control.
The dimensions of one fan are 120 × 120 × 25mm, the dimensions of the aluminum radiator are 277 × 119.6 × 27mm. The lead-in is made in the form of fluoroplastic hoses, reinforced with braiding. The pump is integrated with a copper heat sink. The water block consists of two chambers. Pump dimensions – 83.6 × 71.8 × 52.7mm. The pump noise is not higher than 15dBA. The pump, by the way, is also equipped with a backlight – 12 addressable RGB-LEDs, controlled from the outside.
The rotation speed of each fan varies from 650 to 2000 rpm, providing a capacity of up to 113 m³ / hour. In this case, the noise level, according to the manufacturer, should not exceed 30dBA. The power cable for each fan is not that short, but for some systems 'back to back' – only 30cm. However, if you take into account another 23cm length of the splitter, plus 10cm 'tails', then the total length should be enough for any case.
The delivery set of this model includes: fans; a radiator with an already connected pump, a mounting kit, a backlight controller kit, splitters for powering fans and backlights, thermal grease in a syringe and documentation.
The line includes the older and more advanced model ML360R. It cannot be said that it is much better than the ML240R, but there are still certain differences: large heatsink size; three, not two fans; and a number of less essential details. If the specs of the ML240R aren't enough for you, you might want to check out the ML360R.
- effective cooling;
- cooler speed control;
- rich equipment;
- controlled RGB lighting;
- 2 years warranty.
- uncomfortable noise of coolers under load.
Alphacool Eisbaer LT120
And the review of the best cooling systems for the processor is completed by a liquid cooling system from among the single-section, which experts considered the best on the market in this category. The Eisbaer LT120 is part of a family that includes two more models, the LT240 and LT360. The numbers in the nomenclature indicate the size of the radiator – 120, 240 and 360mm, respectively. These dimensions automatically assume the number of fans installed – 2 on both sides, 2 on one side and 3 on one side, respectively. We'll be focusing on the smallest single-bay LT120, but for higher performance you can look at the other two.
This model is compatible with sockets LG A775, LG A1150 / 1151/1155 / S1156, LG A2066, LG A1356 / S1366, LG A2011 / 2011-3 (Square ILM), S604, LG A771, AM2, AM2 +, AM3 / AM3 + / FM1, AM4, FM2 / FM2 +, G34, S939, S940. Its 'trick' is that the radiator is made entirely of copper – recall that in all the other models described above, the radiators are aluminum, and only copper heat sinks, with the exception of the very first selection in the review, where only aluminum is the material.
The dimensions of the fan in the Alphacool Eisbaer LT120 are 120x120x25mm. The overall dimensions of the fan plus radiator bundle are 150x120x75mm. The dimensions of the water block are the same for all modifications – 69 × 69mm horizontal and 39mm in height. The dimensions of the copper contact plate are 56 × 56mm. The water hoses are made of PVC and are 320mm long and 8mm inside diameter. The pump in this model operates at a speed of 2600 rpm, cycling up to 70 liters of fluid per hour. The power consumption of the pump is 4W. The fans on the Eiswind 12 run on sleeve bearings at speeds ranging from 550 to 1700 rpm. Noise should not exceed 29dBA. The system is powered by a 4-pin PWM.
- reliability and reliability;
- Quiet enough work;
- high-quality efficient fans;
- wide compatibility with different sockets, new and old;
- all copper heat sink.
- some users still seem excessively noisy.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.