The best CPU coolers: air and water coolers for every budget

Recommendations for every type of use.

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Introduction

A good processor cooler is an important part of the computer. Besides appearance and size, there are two aspects that are important when choosing a cooler: noise production and cooling performance. These are two issues that are in fact at odds with each other, so the best cooler offers a balance between them. Which CPU cooler should you buy then?


MSI Core Frozr XL Tower

Every year, we test a mountain of processor coolers, gathering and processing large amounts of test data into comparative tests of air coolers and water coolers. In this article we will take a different approach and give you specific tips for which cooler to buy, depending on your wishes and budget. Looking for the lowest temperature? The answer is here! Would you rather have a good mix between cooling performance and noise? We have it too! Looking for an affordable model, or a water cooler? In this article we will tell you directly which model a good choice is.

No graphs

Unlike otherwise, this article does not contain graphs with test results. At each segment you will find a link to a comparison table, on the basis of which you can make graphs of the test results and properties that are important to you to your heart's content. The reason we don't show the graphs here is that it would make the article too long and we don't want to deter potential readers. Do you not agree with this consideration, let your voices be heard in the comments. And don't worry: we also continue to publish our famous comparative tests, complete with (many) graphs.

You can find our extensive comparison test of 49 air coolers here.

You can find our extensive comparison test of 32 water coolers here.


Also read these cpu cooler articles on Hardware.Info

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