You will agree with me when I say:
Doesn’t it make sense to use a very powerful CPU with the fear of burning it, right? That’s why we need a great CPU cooler.
Follow me in this guide. Or click here to scroll directly to REVIEWS OF DISSIPATORS.
GUIDE TO HEATERS FOR CPU 2019
The factory sink that we usually find on PCs is something very basic. For this investing in a CPU cooler nowadays has become mandatory, this way you can cool the CPU, reduce the noise that generates the computer and potentially make it even a little faster.
Not to mention the possibility of being able to attempt much more daring overclocking once you are safe in terms of temperatures.
The great news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your CPU cool, obviously the more you spend the better the quality and safety, but it is not about fainting in this case.
In the guide that we will present we will discuss the best CPU coolers on the market in 2019.
How loud should a sink be?
One of the main reasons to invest in a CPU cooler is to reduce the noise coming from your PC. You can buy a totally passive cooler like the Zalman FX70 to make your PC completely silent.
If your case is placed on the desk, near you, it is better to aim for a heat sink below 30db.
If instead you have the PC under the desk, then you can afford a little more noise, say around 35db, and you would have a product that is already completely inaudible in a domestic environment.
Otherwise if you work in a very noisy office, you won’t hear any noise unless it exceeds 40db.
How much do CPU coolers cool?
All modern CPUs have a built-in sensor to make sure it never overheats, causing the temperature to drop in case of overflow until it returns to normal.
Overheating generally occurs in those cases where the temperature exceeds 90 ° C, although this varies between chips.
It is a good idea to always keep your PC below the maximum recommended temperature.
Any sink that can hold your CPU below 70 degrees is already doing a good job, but under 60 degrees it’s great.
And let’s talk about the CPU that runs on the CPU, not a light or standby use. Even when playing games, most CPUs don’t even come close to 100% usage.
In those situations a good heatsink should remain almost totally silent keeping your CPU only a few degrees above room temperature.
The heat pipes are copper pipes that contain liquid that vaporizes when it heats up. This steam then travels through the inside of the pipes to the heatsink outlet where it condenses, releasing the hot steam in the air and preventing the CPU from overheating.
Used in the most modern heatsinks, the heatpipes are very efficient at dispersing the heat from the very small area on which the CPU resides.
The more modest sinks will have two or three, while the more professional and large ones can even have six or more.
All-in-one heatsinks don’t need them since the liquid they have inside serves the same purpose.
How to install a CPU cooler?
One thing we will often mention in our reviews is how easy it is to install the heatsinks in your PC.
Some larger coolers require you to create a larger housing in the computer case, which means having to remove the entire motherboard if the PC does not have a place to install it.
Other heat sinks have a complicated system that makes them really difficult to install. This is a secondary problem, since most of us do not install heat sinks every day, but if you are a person who often lacks your hardware it is better to opt for one that is easy to install and remove.
How we did the test
Each of our test’s CPU coolers was installed on an Intel Core i5-6600K processor mounted on an Asus Z-170A motherboard
We used an open case to ensure impartiality in the tests.
Temperature and noise level are measured while the PC is on standby on Windows 10 and therefore under a 100% CPU load using the Prime95 program.
The difference between the temperature of the CPU and that of the room where the test takes place makes it possible to measure how big the cooling is.
Noise is measured 30cm from the cooler and reported simply in decibels. The ambient room noise is around 30dB.
What are liquid coolers?
For years, the hallmark of a true nerd and PC enthusiast has been to use water cooling.
In general, less noisy and more efficient than air, it is also nice to see when well done.
However it is really difficult to install, it can lose water and it is very expensive.
Furthermore, even cheap air coolers usually do a good job and remain very quiet.
Plus if you need more cooling, an all-in-one liquid cooler is a great option.
This way you can have at the same time the cooling power of the water but the speed and ease of installation of an air sink.
The guide to the best CPU coolers of 2019
1. Be Quiet dark rock pro 3 – Dario’s choice
2 120mm fans
The quietest heat sink in our tests
Be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 is a very large and high-end heat sink, but with impressive performance and almost zero noise.
The sink is fantastic: finished in black, with aluminum decorations on the fan part. Plus it’s a bit smaller than the Noctua NH-D15, although you measure 150 x 137 x 163mm, it’s still big enough to be a heat sink.
The cooling power is excellent, this being the most effective heat sink we tested, after the Noctua.
It is also the quietest, touching only 33.9db at maximum operating speed.
There is however a problem: the complicated installation. Not only do you need to screw it through 4 points, instead of two, use hexagonal screws for this connection.
This means that it is not possible to simply use a long screwdriver to reach them, you need to strive to be able to tighten each screw in an inexplicably frustrating way.
But it must be said that the sink is excellent, so once installed it can be forgotten, because it does an excellent job.
2. Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, excellent low-noise cooling
OFFER NOW 1%
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU fan ‘4 Heatpipes, 1x …
- well balanced cooling performance provides optimizations with perfect balance between high and low speed operations
- the structure of the four nickel-plated copper heat-pipes that are in direct contact with the IHS of the processor, resulting more effective and the glossy surface allows better heat conduction
A 120 mm fan
Very little noise
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is one of the most popular coolers that exist on the market, and there is a good reason.
Very similar to the Raijintek Themis, the Hyper 212 Evo has the same finishes as this. But the heat pipes have been added, and they are 4. The fan is translucent.
The difference with the Raijintek is that while this sacrifices noise for cooling performance – the fan practically runs faster – the Cooler Master is quieter but not as efficient at cooling.
It is certainly possible to control the way in which the motherboard supplies the current voltage to the heatsink and make it turn faster, thus making it more powerful than the Raijintek. The extra heatpipes will also be good for something.
By default, as expected from the use of the two brands, the Raijintek offers a better compromise between cooling and noise.
However unlike the Raijintek, this Hyper 212 Evo has a better mounting system. He uses a conventional 4-screw X system.
3. Arctic Freezer 7 Pro, the best among the cheap ones
OFFER NOW 21%
ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro – Processor Heatsink with Fan …
- A 92 mm PWM fan, 45 fins, 3 double-sided copper heatpipes in combination with a pre-applied MX-2 high performance thermal compound provides excellent cooling performance
- Thanks to the PWM control, the fan speed is adjusted according to the CPU temperature and the noise level remains minimal
1 92 mm fan
Very simple mounting system
Economical and very light
Performances not comparable to those of the major cousins
The Arctic Freezer 7 Pro is economical, small and easy to install, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to spend too much.
The sink is tiny. Use 3 heatpipes and have no aesthetic frills.
Another very important factor that made us choose it for our guide is that it does not need a motherboard support.
It uses a system similar to that of Intel’s stock cooler. Which allows it to rest directly next to the CPU, without too many headaches.
Obviously a system of this kind is much less secure than those of more expensive competitors, but at the same time the sink is so light that it will not give problems.
As for the performances, obviously these cannot compete with those of the major cousins, but the same has behaved well in our tests keeping the CPU well below 70 degrees centigrade.
It is obviously the most noisy heatsink among those we have tested, but only because the others are particularly quiet. In fact, the noise it produces is absolutely bearable, and if you work in a slightly noisier house it is not even perceptible.
So until you do not push your CPU 100% every day (and remember that most games don’t even come close to this load) and you have your PC under your desk and not near your ears, you can sleep peacefully and spend little.
The most important part, to be so cheap, is at the same time a great upgrade compared to stock mounted heat sinks on motherboards.
4. Noctua NH-D15 a super-performing beast
Noctua NH-D15, Quality double tower heat sink …
- The state-of-the-art dual tower design with 6 heatpipes and 2 fans offers leading-edge cooling performance in the category of overclocking and maximum silence
- Successor of the classic NH-D14; over 250 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware websites and magazines.
2 120 mm fans
The best heat sink on the market
The Noctua NH-D15 is a coarse heat sink that cools down amazingly and is extremely quiet. Obviously these wonderful features make them pay.
Given its 165 x 150 x 161mm size it won’t be easy to get it into some homes. We therefore need to take the measurements well before buying it.
The noise level is well below 34db. It is not the most silent of those we have tested, but the second.
Despite its size, it is quite easy to install. Use crossbars that attach with two simple screws. All you need is a screwdriver long enough to get there.
It is quite expensive, but it is the price to pay for having the best heat sink on the market. If you don’t want to rely on water cooling, or all-in-one coolers, this is the best you can buy.
5. Rajintek Themis, the best quality price
1 120 mm fan
High cooling power
The Raijintek Themis is perhaps the best quality price compromise on heat sinks.
The design is no-frills.
It has 3 heatpipes. And it is the third most powerful heatsink we have tested, keeping around 34 degrees centigrade.
The installation system is brilliant. As for the Phanteks, it connects to the motherboard thanks to two screws. Remember to remove the fan, however, before attaching the base.
The only drawback of this sink is noise levels.
In fact, it is the noisiest second of our test. But for such a surprising price you have to be satisfied.
At the time of review, the Rajintek Themis was available for £ 25.
6. Phanteks PH-TC12DX, the best premium heat sink
2 120 mm fans
Excellent installation system
The Phanteks PH-TC12DX is not the cheapest sink, let alone the quietest, but it crosses good performance and a good design with a decent price, which make it the best Premium heat sink available on the market right now.
Available in white, red, blue and black, the PH-TC12DX features great color coordination. The quality of construction is great. The heat-pipes are particularly beautiful to look at, shiny. The finishes are excellent.
Despite being quite large, it is not as oversize as the Noctua NH-D15 or the Be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3. It means that you won’t have problems installing it in most homes and won’t interfere too much with other components.
The installation system is excellent. Once you have it installed, it only needs two screws to stay in place.
The performance of the PH-TC12DX is also very good. It cannot be compared to the top-class for cooling power or silence, but it is very close to it.
The noise level is around 34db.
7. Noctua NH-U12S
Easy to assemble
Fantastic vintage design
Here is the younger brother of the D15 of Noctua, but this does not mean that the performances are negligible … quite another.
That vaguely vintage and cyberpunk brown design is always a guarantee of great quality.
Inside the package we find first the syringe with thermal paste (reusable several times, there is enough …) compatibility is ensured with the list of the following sockets:
Intel LGA2066, LGA2011-0 & LGA2011-3 (Square ILM), LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150 & AMD AM2, AM2 +, AM3, AM3 +, FM1, FM2, FM2 + (backplate required), AM4 with NM-AM4-UxS
The heatsink weighs a good 580 grams, together with the fan it weighs 755g.
Weight is at the limit to avoid problems with the motherboard, trust me.
It is very easy to assemble it as it is enough to have access to the motherboard at the back, make sure before buying it that it is otherwise so it will be an additional operation, that is the one to remove the blackplate.
The fan mounted by this Noctua NH-U12S is of the PWM type. It runs up to a ceiling of 1500rpm, not bad for a heat sink in this price category.
In terms of noise there is nothing to complain about, in fact we are very close to absolute silence.
The performances are very high, in fact when the fan works at half its total possibility you can keep the cpu under control even by squeezing it to the limit, for example with very demanding video games or with video rendering.
It is the recommended heat sink for those who are equipped with high-end CPUs, but anyone who decides to buy them will not find themselves completely unsatisfied since we are in the presence of a great product.
At such a price it is difficult at this time to find better on the market, of course some users on the forums complain that they would have preferred a better fan, but at such a price it seems an exaggeration to ask for more.
Personally I mounted it on a computer that I use for video editing, I do 4k 3D post production of television themes, with two monitors turned on all the time, I let you imagine how far you get to squeeze the cpu, for hours and hours.
It’s amazing how much this Noctua NH-U12S manages to keep the temperature under control always ensuring the maximum performance of the whole computer. Hard to ask for something better.
I’m excited about this purchase and I’m thinking of mounting it on my computer when I go down to my parents’ house.
Then you want from me, I’m a nostalgic fan of vintage things, and a design like that can’t leave me indifferent, I know it’s locked inside the house, but it’s those people who like to have socks and underwear in shades. Maybe I’m crazy, or I’m simply gifted with style, even when it comes to the design and colors of the machines I use in everyday life.
However, a highly recommended product.
The CPU cooler market is very large and can cause some confusion for those approaching it for the first time.
Whether you choose the cheapest or the Noctua, if you rely on this list the final choice will still be excellent because we have only selected the best CPU coolers of 2019. Despite the differences in performance they are all very quiet and efficient.
No need to look any further, make your choice now, your CPU will be grateful.
See you next friends!
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