Top 6 Best Air CPU Coolers in 2020 – The Complete Guide

No one asks for heating problems, especially during hard-core gaming sessions. To avoid all such consequences, we’d suggest you get a CPU cooler for your gaming machine to ensure its safety as well as to boost its performance.

You must be thinking which cooler you should pick up among the list of hundreds. Well, do not think much as we have made a complete list of top 6 best air coolers that are available in the market in different price tags.

So, without any further delay, let’s dig into the list of top air CPU coolers.

Top 6 Best Air CPU Coolers in 2020

1.
Best of All Time

Noctua NH-D15 - Best of All Time

  • Dual tower design with six heat pipes.
  • Profoundly affecting fans (NF-A15 140mm) with additional features like low-noise adaptors plus speed control.
  • NH-D15 has a wide range of socket compatibility.
  • Compatible with all recent processors.
  • 6 years warranty.
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Build Quality and Design

Noctua NH-D15’s 6 Heatpipe dual tower design provides the most premium looks with the most-efficient performance.

The previous model of Noctua, which was NH-D14, got many awards and recommendations from hardware sites plus magazines. After that, they decided to go a notch up and come with the latest model of it named NH-D15.

Noctua NH-D15 is considered as one the most exceptional heatsinks ever came in the market. This heatsink begins with dual NF-A15 fans which are much better than the ones which previously D14 had.

Cooling and Other Function’s Efficiency

Noctua NH-D15’s dual NF-A15 fans keep the whole system cool including the central processing unit. It also provides fluent airflow thoroughly inside the chassis. These fans ensure outstanding cooling performance.

The NF-A15 also supports some premium features such as automatic speed controller plus low noise adaptors, which keeps your gaming machine cool and calm at the same time.

Compatibility with Sockets

Noctua NH-D15 mounting system has been quite relaxing for the users as it supports many standard sockets, Noctua also provides an NM-13 mounting kit free of cost which gets used to make older sockets compatible with NH-D15 such as LGA1336 and LGA775 (sockets).

Drawbacks of Noctua NH-D15

There is no doubt that it is one of the best air CPU coolers available in the market, but still, it has some little drawbacks, which are explained ahead:

The first thing which has been noticed in the market recently is the price of NH-D15, it is a bit pricey and other than that there have been cases where it does not fit in smaller cases.

Despite these issues, it is still one of the best for you because of its recommendable performance.

Should You Consider this Air Cooler?

Well, yes, you should consider it unless you are on a tight budget. It provides outstanding performance which makes it worth the money.

PROS
  • Amazing performance with impressive build quality.
  • Easy installation plus 6 years warranty.
  • It does not make much noise.
  • Easy mounting system.
CONS
  • Expensive.
  • Color scheme (brown and beige) not for everyone out there.

2.
Quite yet Powerful

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 - Quite yet Powerful

  • Two silent wings fans.
  • Seven premium copper heat pipes.
  • Cooling fins specially optimized for fluent airflow in the cabinet.
  • User-friendly mounting system.
  • 3 years warranty.
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Build Quality and Design

Dark Rock Pro 4 comes with two heat sinks equipped which are made up of aluminium. With two heat sinks and seven 6mm copper heat pipes, all in black combination provides the cooler a premium look overall.

The mounting kit of the Dark Rock Pro 4 also comes in black combination which compliments the color of the cooler. Overall, this air CPU cooler provides a classy look.

Cooling Feature’s Efficiency

Dark Rock Pro 4 is equipped with two premium fans, and this air CPU cooler also allows you to add another fan of 120mm for better cooling by the proper air circulation inside the PC cabinet.

There are also seven heat pipes available which help to maintain the cooling inside the chassis by sucking all the heat from surroundings.

The immense cooling power of the Dark Rock Pro 4 can maintain the temperatures of the main components of the machine even at the maximum load provided.

Performance to Noise Ratio

This air CPU cooler is specifically known for its silent working. It’s air wings have unique features like fluid-dynamic bearings which helps the wings make no noise even at extremely high air pressure. That is the reason behind considering this air cooler quite yet powerful.

Drawbacks of Dark Rock Pro 4

There is not a significant drawback of Dark Rock Pro 4 other than of its outlook. Even though that is also not a problem but it may be for the ones who prefer RGB lights and all other twinkles inside their PC cabinets. This air CPU cooler provides a classy black-ish look that has its class.

Should you Consider this Air Cooler?

Yes, you should definitely consider this one as long as you are not looking for some RGB air cooler. In this price tag, Dark Rock Pro 4 is a great option available for you.

PROS
  • Impressive performance.
  • Great build quality.
  • Classic Looks.
  • Does not make any noise.
CONS
  • Tricky mounting system.
  • Huge.

3.
Best Budget Pick of All Time

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - Best Budget Pick of All Time

  • Four heat pipes with continuous, direct contact technology.
  • PWM fan with an exceptional blade design for airflow.
  • User-friendly mounting system.
  • Optimized fins for low and high-speed operations.
  • Impressive plus balanced cooling performance.
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Build Quality and Design

The Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler has a very unique and aesthetic design, four (CDC) heat pipes are attached at the base of the cooler. The fins at the front of the CPU cooler are made up of aluminium, specially equipped to get all the high-speed and low-speed operations maintained.

The Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler supports a dual-fan design at the front with the unique shaped blade design.

Cooling Feature’s proficiency

The four heat pipes equipped on the cooler which are made up of aluminium provide maximum heat dissipation as they use continuous, direct contact technology which helps in fast heat conduction.

The Hyper 212 Evo also supports dual fan design. You can attach an additional 2nd fan of 120mm to increase the cooling performance inside your chassis.

Mounting System

The mounting system of the Hyper 212 CPU cooler is quite user-friendly it supports all the standard Intel and AMD’s sockets.

Drawbacks of the Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler

There are not any significant drawbacks of this router, there are few things which could be improved such as its installation method plus there is no lighting feature available in this air CPU cooler. Other than that, it is a great option.

Should You Get the Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler?

Yes, definitely as it provides excellent performance in such a decent price tag. You should consider this one if you are on a tight budget for an air CPU cooler.

PROS
  • Great Value for Money.
  • Great build quality with Excellent performance.
  • Unique look.
  • Not too noisy.
CONS
  • Complicated installing method.

4.
Best Low Profile CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-L9x65 - Best Low Profile CPU Cooler

  • NF-A9x14 fan of 92m with features like automatic speed control plus and low-noise adapter.
  • The low profile CPU cooler, great for ITX and HTPCs builds.
  • User-friendly mounting system.
  • Comes with NT-H1 thermal compound.
  • 6-year warranty.
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Design and Build Quality

This CPU Cooler is a well known low profile CPU cooler in the market. It is also called the advanced version of Noctua NH-L9. It is quite powerful in terms of performance, and its build quality is excellent.

Noctua NH-L9x65 is 65mm tall; that is why it is more suitable for small form factor cases and HTPCs. The fan used in this CPU cooler is NF-19×14 which is 14mm thin.

Overall, this cooler is a solid piece.

Cooling Efficiency and Other Features

Noctua NH-L9x65 is quite efficient when it comes to cooling. Its premium fan includes Noctua’s proprietary (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation). The PWM fans have all other features such as noise reduction and automatic speed control.

But we must admit that it’s cooling is not for the big powerful processors, it has some cooling expectations. It suits for HTPCs more than large systems.

Compatibility of NH-L9x65 with Sockets

The NH-L9x65 is compatible with most of the standard sockets. The company also provides NM-13 mounting kit to make it compatible with the sockets where the cooler can’t be equipped. Sockets such as LGA775 and LGA1366. The mounting kit does not cost a penny as it is provided by Noctua for free.

Further, this air CPU Cooler can be mounted with all the common Intel sockets and AMD’s.

Drawbacks of NH-L9x65

One of the significant drawbacks of this cooler is that it is expensive as a low profile cooler plus as I have mentioned earlier it is not for the large systems, it suits low profile system as the cooler itself is very small, so is its cooling efficiency.

Plus the colour combination it comes with is not for everyone.

Should You Consider this CPU Cooler?

There are many factors which should be considered before buying this one. If you are planning to get it for your recent heavy build, then I won’t recommend this air CPU cooler.

But if you are getting it for small form factor cases and HTPCs and SFF PC Setups, then you must get it. Another this you should have in mind that as a low profile cooler, it is a bit expensive.

PROS
  • Simple and small design.
  • Easy installation.
  • User-Friendly mounting system.
  • Best for Sff PC setups and HTPCs.
  • 6-year warranty.
CONS
  • Cooling limitations, not for the high-end systems.
  • Expensive as a low profile cooler.

5.
Low Profile RGB Cooler

Cooler Master i71C RGB - Low Profile RGB Cooler

  • Super thin design, perfect for small form factor cases.
  • Black aluminum fins, great for heat dissipation.
  • Does not make much noise (25. 0 decibels).
  • Compatible with common sockets such as LGA1151, LGA1156, LGA1155, etc.
  • Supports features like Gigabyte RGB fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync.
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Good Value for Money

The Cooler Master i71C RGB delivers excellent performance and at a low price. The cooler replaces your stock cooler keeping your CPU temperature down that will increase the lifespan of your pc parts significantly. The temperature Cooler Master i71C RGB keeps your CPU is 35 at idle and 65 when under load using a 120 mm fan. So for a cooler this price this is a go for budget consumers. Keep in mind that actual temperatures may vary as they depend on several factors such as the thermal paste used and the case setup.

RGB lighting

Not only does it help in lowering the temperatures down of your CPU, but it also does it with style. RGB aesthetics are trendy among PC gamers as it helps to show off your sweet build. The RGB comes with a controller and offers you to customize the fan according to your needs. It allows you to fix the fan according to the theme of your beast rig. It also comes with support for Gigabyte RGB fusion, Asus aura sync; rock RGB LED and MSI Mystic light sync.

Intel only

This might be a turn off for people with AMD setups as this cooler works only with INTEL which makes it a drawback for anyone trying to pair it up with an AMD.

Not suitable for more massive builds

The Cooler Master i71C RGB is suitable for builds looking to upgrade from their stock cooler but will not give the performance required for bulkier builds, for example, one using a 9700k.

Should you go for the Cooler Master i71C RGB?

The Cooler Master i71C RGB is perfect for people looking for an upgrade from their stock cooler as it performs better and quieter for a suitable price.

PROS
  • Budget-friendly.
  • RGB lighting.
  • Quieter than the stock cooler.
CONS
  • Only for INTEL

6.
Budget-Friendly Powerful Tower Cooler

ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports DUO - Budget-Friendly Powerful Tower Cooler

  • Heat Sink contains 54 cooling fins such that it leads to ideal performance.
  • Intel sockets compatible: 34: 115x, 2066*,2011-3*, AMD sockets: AM4.
  • Easy Installation.
  • Great for high-end CPUs.
  • Push-pull-mode, a special mode that helps to maintain the airflow inside the casing.
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Design

The design of the Arctic freezer 34 is unique. It comes with advanced fans and fin array. It provides a funky look, and another thing which needs to be discussed here is its weight, it is not that heavy. It is a light-weight air CPU cooler.

Installation

Arctic Freezer 34 is very easy to install, but its compatibility with sockets is not. It only supports some limited Intel’s and AMD’s sockets.

Performance

The performance of Arctic Freezer 34 is quite impressive as it comes with two BioniX P-fans which works on push-pull-mode, this mode helps improve the airflow inside your system. It also allows CPU to provide its maximum performance as it keeps the temps low.

Further, there are offset direct-touch heat pipes equipped on the CPU cooler, which helps to attain ideal heat dissipation. All the features make Arctic Freezer 34 an excellent option for the high-end CPUs.

Drawbacks

One of the significant drawbacks of Arctic Freezer 34 is its mounting system as it’s only compatible with few sockets. This could leave the audience frustrated. Other than that, it has no RGB lighting effects.

Despite these issues, this air cooler is a great option.

Should You Consider This CPU Cooler?

Yes, you should definitely consider Arctic Freezer 34 as long as you have a new high-end system. You cannot get anything like this in such price tag.

PROS
  • Cheap
  • Great Performance.
  • Cool Design.
  • It does not make much noise.
CONS
  • Limited compatibility with sockets.

Best Air CPU Coolers
Complete Buyers Guide


CPU Cooler is one of the most underestimated parts of a build. It needs much more attention then it gets.

Because neglecting it or getting a lousy CPU cooler can create a lot of complications in your system.

Your system won’t be able to perform adequately if you don’t have complete control over its temperatures.

Air CPU Coolers 2020

What CPU Cooler Actually Does?

The CPU cooler is a device or PC part which is used to cool and maintain the system components, even at the maximum usage. If you do not use a CPU cooler then you may face some heat issues, such issues could affect your PC’s working efficiency.

Overclocking and CPU Cooler

If you overclock your processor, then a third-party CPU cooler is a must for you. Because overclocking a component means you are forcing the part to run at a higher speed than its actual rate intended by the manufactures. In such cases, the part releases an extra amount of heat, that heat could create a lot of problems in your system if it is not handled correctly.

To handle the heat, exerted by the overclocking PC parts you need to attach a third party cooler. We have mentioned the best air CPU coolers above in the article, scroll above and find out which one suits you.

Things to Know Before Buying a Air CPU Cooler

Compatibility with Sockets

Before anything technical, you need to make sure whether you will be able to mount this air CPU cooler to your system or not. To do that, check-out the CPU sockets available on your motherboard, you could find it on the box of the motherboard too.

Once you know what CPU socket is available on your motherboard, then make sure the air CPU cooler you are going to buy is compatible with that socket. If it looks compatible, then you are good to go. Make sure you review other features and functions of the CPU cooler. For complete guidance, keep following the article.

Size and RAM Clearance

Before buying an air CPU cooler for your build, a significant thing that should be considered is the size of the air cooler you are planning to purchase and RAM clearance. Some air CPU coolers are so big that they block DIMM slots of RAM, blockage of RAM slots means you won’t be able to insert the RAM sticks on your motherboard and you cannot afford that.

So before considering any CPU cooler, check out the dimensions of the CPU cooler and make sure that there won’t be any RAM slot blockage. In some cases, the tall CPU coolers get stuck against the wall of the casing. So, It is also recommended that you also have a look at the dimensions of your PC cabinet before buying a CPU cooler so that such problems do not occur.

RGB Lights Controller

Yes, it is true that RGB light customises your system and makes it look good. There are CPU coolers that come with RGB fans and lightings. If you plan to buy one of the RGB CPU coolers, make sure you check out, if there is any way to turn off the lights without switching off the computer.

Because, it is possible that sometime, you might feel turning off the lights. So make sure, there is a built-in controller or something to turn off the RGB lights without turning off the computer.

Noise Issues

Well, no one loves useless noise. That is the reason some people get frustrated by some CPU coolers as they create so much noise. More fans are nice for better cooling, but not for creating unnecessary noise. So, it is necessary to do complete research before buying an air CPU cooler.

Always, try to look for the air CPU coolers which are quite yet impressive with their performance.

CPU Cooler Component Terms You Need to Know

  • Heat Sink: It is one of the main components of the CPU cooler as it absorbs the main heat from the CPU.
  • Heat Pipes: They are liquid-filled pipes made up of metals like aluminum and copper. When the CPU releases heat, the liquid inside the pipes suck them and get warmer. At the radiator, the cooling fans blow the cold air which reacts and converts the temperature inside the pipes into vapors.
  • FANS: They are the essential part of a CPU cooler as they are responsible for airflow and cooling inside the PC casing.
  • Cooling Fins: Cooling fins are a component in CPU coolers which help to increase the surface area where heat can be radiated away. Their effectiveness depends on their placement, angle, and quantity.

FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs
Does a liquid cooler perform better than an air CPU cooler?

Yes, liquid coolers are indeed more efficient, but at the same time, they are costly. If you are on a limited budget and going with a custom build, then we’d recommend you to go for an air cooler.

Does an air CPU cooler make more noise than a liquid cooler?

Yes, it is right, but there are air coolers that are quiet yet impressive with their performance. Pick cooler for your build from the list we have made above. You won’t face any kind of noise issue hopefully.

How long does an air cooler last?

A good air cooler lasts around 4-6 years as long as no unexpected problem occurs.

Will the CPU cooler that comes with Ryzen processors enough for me or do I need to get a separate one?

It depends on your usage and overclocking, as long as you have a decent casing with good airflow with regular usage you won’t be facing any problem, but if you decide to overclock your CPU, then you may need one.

Should I get a small CPU cooler or a large one?

Start by emphasizing your needs, your casing size, and your CPU model. Do a complete research on all the factors and then decide whether you need a small cooler or a big one according to your gaming PC needs.

Conclusion

I have picked up the six best air CPU coolers for you. Check them out one-by-one and select one for your build according to your requirements.

Let us know in the comments section that how this guide helped to select an air CPU cooler for your rig.

Best Air CPU Coolers to buy in 2020

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