The Best CPU Coolers 2021

dacoll

Posts: 6   +4
Bought some 'affordable' Deep Cool coolers back in 2011 for my Phenom II x4, switch to skylake platform but I lost all the necessary addendum to put it on Skylake so I used the standard Intel cooler. Fast forward to February 2020 Im switch to Ryzen and bought used R52600 processor that came with no fans, Im digging my storage and try to put the cooler on the Ryzen, didn't work the first time although I read about it online that any AM3 cooler would fit with AM4. After some trial and error I found that you just need to unscrew the mounting on the motherboard a bit so it will elevated enough so that the cooler bracket can reach the mounting. And its works quite alright all this time
 

pcnthuziast

Posts: 1,165   +891
Got the Dark Rock 4 Pro back in 2016 and it's awesome. I'm equally fond of it's performance, quietness and aesthetics. A triple threat indeed!
 

Grinnie Jax

Posts: 19   +49
Was surprised not to see Scythe Mugen 5 and Zalman CNPS10X Performa Black among the air coolers and Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 / 360 among the AIOs. Mugen 5 and CNPS10X are near legendary among home builders due to outstanding price/efficiency. And Arctic Liquid Freezers are higher quality and more efficient than proposed AIOs.
P.S. Deepcool AS500 is a real hit of 2021
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 550   +425
Was surprised not to see Scythe Mugen 5 and Zalman CNPS10X Performa Black among the air coolers and Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 / 360 among the AIOs. Mugen 5 and CNPS10X are near legendary among home builders due to outstanding price/efficiency. And Arctic Liquid Freezers are higher quality and more efficient than proposed AIOs.
P.S. Deepcool AS500 is a real hit of 2021
I have the Scythe Mugen 5 in two of my PCs - very happy with it - assume the Scythe listed is very similar - have a Noctua in my 3rd one - still going strong aftter a lot of years
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,699   +1,775
Corsair H100i V1 or gtfo!
Still running strong. RMA'd for bad bracket on reinstallation after the first year it came out. Has the perfect tube length and overall look. I'll cry when it dies.
 

theruck

Posts: 377   +213
The cooler master ml120 is the shitiest aio on the market
it makes noise either from day 1 or after few weeks just see the user reviews on some websites even on youtube
 

envirovore

Posts: 295   +585
TechSpot Elite
This year is the first time I've decided to go with after market cooling.
Picked up a Fuma 2 and threw an extra variable speed fan on it.

Very happy with it. Even during our little heat wave we had this last week it kepty 3700x under 65c while doing a video encode pass.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 791   +612
Can’t stand AIOs, you have to have a top panel open for them to work, so to me they are louder as I lose the soundproofing on my case. Also then I can’t put anything on top of the case. More things to go wrong too. The only advantage over my NHD15 is it looks prettier.
 

3volv3d

Posts: 409   +209
Can’t stand AIOs, you have to have a top panel open for them to work, so to me they are louder as I lose the soundproofing on my case. Also then I can’t put anything on top of the case. More things to go wrong too. The only advantage over my NHD15 is it looks prettier.

Do you have to? Can't any cases run a radiatior at the front, as it would make more sense to suck cool air in to the case over the radiator, then expel hot air however. I mean my set up is as you say, but then mines not been noisy, or I don't care, unsure which.
 

enemys

Posts: 260   +288
TechSpot Elite
Can’t stand AIOs, you have to have a top panel open for them to work, so to me they are louder as I lose the soundproofing on my case. Also then I can’t put anything on top of the case. More things to go wrong too. The only advantage over my NHD15 is it looks prettier.
Not really, I am using a front-mounted AIO without any issues.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 791   +612
Do you have to? Can't any cases run a radiatior at the front, as it would make more sense to suck cool air in to the case over the radiator, then expel hot air however. I mean my set up is as you say, but then mines not been noisy, or I don't care, unsure which.
Yeah I used to have a Corsair H110i and having it mounted in the front meant it blew warm air over my GPUs which were noticeably warmer and I couldn’t have any hard drives installed.
 

silversea

Posts: 43   +66
I had custom water coolers for over 10 years until I tried my first air cooler, a Noctua NH-D15 and I say without a doubt I will never go back to water cooling unless I am forced into a smaller case.
 

Geralt

Posts: 635   +911
Bought some 'affordable' Deep Cool coolers back in 2011 for my Phenom II x4, switch to skylake platform but I lost all the necessary addendum to put it on Skylake so I used the standard Intel cooler. Fast forward to February 2020 Im switch to Ryzen and bought used R52600 processor that came with no fans, Im digging my storage and try to put the cooler on the Ryzen, didn't work the first time although I read about it online that any AM3 cooler would fit with AM4. After some trial and error I found that you just need to unscrew the mounting on the motherboard a bit so it will elevated enough so that the cooler bracket can reach the mounting. And its works quite alright all this time
Evidently you like to save money.
 

TheMadcat

Posts: 6   +2
Just started using an Arctic Liquid Freezer 360 and I am pretty happy with it. Very quiet, beats the pants off the fractal pos I was using.
 

3volv3d

Posts: 409   +209
Yeah I used to have a Corsair H110i and having it mounted in the front meant it blew warm air over my GPUs which were noticeably warmer and I couldn’t have any hard drives installed.
See I'm thinkin, corsair 240 airflow. Then ya HDDs stay hot in the hot zone. And the radiator blows cold over the component's.
Obviously the ideal spot for the rad is intake at he front and cases usually stick HDDs in totally the wrong spot.
HDDs don't like going hot and cold. Ssds probably don't care as much and m.2 avoids the issue altogether.
Basically your case and components is wrong. As is mine. Although my h440 has ssds on the PSU shroud below the mobo which would be fine but I have 2hdds I think for games n stuff and they are in the way.
I will build my next one better but that's not for 5 more years I reckon.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 791   +612
See I'm thinkin, corsair 240 airflow. Then ya HDDs stay hot in the hot zone. And the radiator blows cold over the component's.
Obviously the ideal spot for the rad is intake at he front and cases usually stick HDDs in totally the wrong spot.
HDDs don't like going hot and cold. Ssds probably don't care as much and m.2 avoids the issue altogether.
Basically your case and components is wrong. As is mine. Although my h440 has ssds on the PSU shroud below the mobo which would be fine but I have 2hdds I think for games n stuff and they are in the way.
I will build my next one better but that's not for 5 more years I reckon.
Ah I’m not sold on AIOs. I used to like them but these days I prefer the simplicity of an air cooler. The NHD-15 I use gets the job done very well, doesn’t interfere with anything else on my board and it’s quieter and cheaper than any AIO I’ve ever used. It’s also less likely to fail, like the pump did on one of my previous Corsair AIOs.
 

ddferrari

Posts: 534   +265
TechSpot Elite
Another vote for Arctic.

Gamer's Nexus had a glowing review of the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280. It beat everything else, sometimes impressively. And it was quiet as well.

I picked up the 240 version and it has been brilliant. Temps are easily 20-35C cooler during heavy gaming and stress tests. That thick rad really does help.
 

Jo3yization

Posts: 25   +8
Take a look at the Dual Fan Deepcool Gammaxx 400 Pro or Gammaxx 400 Ex,, performance/value is great for about 50 bucks.
 
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Gezzer

Posts: 161   +83
Normally these type of reviews are backed by tests? This seems to be an opinion piece.

I totally agree, What's more I have a big problem with the stated disadvantages of AiO systems. The only disadvantages in a properly planned out system is weight and potential damage if it fails. The idea that you should only use them if you use your system for short periods sporadically? WTF?!?

The majority of AiOs will produce lower temps than moat air coolers and the ones they don't are usually monsters in both weight and size. I use air if it's a system I don't push to any great extent, water if I do. My main gaming system has both the CPU and GPU on water and is totally silent which is another advantage of water.
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,188   +1,005
Another shout to to DeepCool for anything budget orientated, easily some of the best bang for the buck cooling products, my go to use to be the CM 212 but the cheapest model still has the same pos fan they've been putting on it for over a decade and after changing out numerous fans on these heat sinks I had enough. DeepCool seems to have mastered the art of cheap fans that last, I've have several now and none have died or started to show signs of failure. Tried one of their 240mm AIOs and it too has had no problems running 24/7 in my home server for the last couple of years, handles my E5-2680 v3 with ease and ejects the heat right out the top of the case.

As far as best AIO, the CM Nepton 280L, replaced it with a full custom loop and saw a 2 degree reduction... Too bad that unit got canned, I think it was somehow infringing on the BS patent trolls who own the AIO patent that CM hadn't paid for, either that or the thing was just too damn good.