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The best CPU coolers in 2019

The best CPU coolers in 2019

Slotting one of the latest CPUs into your freshly rebuilt gaming rig is a great feeling, but you need to care for it. Even if you’re not planning on aggressively overclocking it, you should consider one of the best CPU coolers on the market to ensure your processor doesn’t overheat and, well, cost you money to fix or replace. There’s nothing exciting about a CPC cooler, but for any serious PC built with gaming in mind, it’s a necessity.

The decision you need to make when buying the best CPU cooler for you is whether you want air cooled or liquid cooled. Generally speaking, liquid cooling is more expensive but also more effective and quieter, so it really depends on your needs vs. your actual budget. Some have additional flourishes, like RGB lighting (is there anything that doesn’t have RGB nowadays?) but all will do the job of cooling your CPU by at least 20 degrees or more. We’ve selected a handful below, to suit a range of budgets and needs. And if you’re looking to upgrade, here are the best CPUs for gaming in 2019.

NZXT Kraken X62

The best liquid CPU cooler with excellent RGB lighting

Type: Liquid cooling | Compatibility: Intel 1150-1156,1366,2011,2011-3,2066 AMD TR4, FM1-FM2+ AM2-AM4 | Fan speed: 500-1800RPM | Noise volume: 21-38dBA | Dimensions: 315 x 143 x 56 mm | Weight: 2.84 lbs (1.29kg)

 Great performance/software

 Best RGB lighting 

 Not compatible with all cases 

Like Corsair, NZXT is also one of the first manufacturers to bring all-in-one liquid coolers to market. The company’s original Kraken X40 and X60 were the first to integrate software controlled RGB lighting to the pump head so it’s only fitting that NZXT was also the first to introduce addressable RGB lighting with the Kraken X42 and X62. Available for close to two years now, the Kraken X62 has developed a very strong reputation thanks to its chart topping performance and unique aesthetics. The pump head features a nifty infinity-mirror design that really accentuates the addressable RGB lighting while sleeved tubing and sleek fans also help make this cooler stand apart from the crowd. We chose the 280mm X62 because of its balanced performance and price, but the 360mm X72, 240mm X52, 140mm X42 and 120mm M22 are also all great choices using the same beautiful design.    

Noctua NH-D15

The best air cooler you can buy in 2019

Type: Fan and heatsink | Compatibility: Intel LGA 1150 – 2066; AMD AM2 – AM4, FM1 – FM2+ | Fan speed: 300-1500RPM | Noise volume: Up to 24.6dBA | Dimensions: 165 x 150 x 161 mm | Weight: 2.91 lbs (1.32kg)

 Excellent quiet performance

 Dual 140mm fans included 

 Bulky and heavy

 Very expensive  

It may be one of the most expensive air coolers we’ve tested but Noctua’s flagship NH-D15 is our top choice for high-end air coolers. Based off of the company’s award-winning D14, the NH-D15 performs just as well as a handful of all-in-one liquid coolers and even beats a few of them both in performance and noise levels. The cooler features a dual tower heatsink and comes with two high airflow 140mm fans. Even working at 100 percent speed the cooler ran quieter than just about all of its competitors. If you aren’t a fan of liquid cooling or don’t have the space to mount a radiator, the NH-D15 is about as good as it gets for air cooling. The only downside we could find is its bulkiness which could potentially cause problems with RAM clearance.


Liquid cooling at an affordable price

Type: Liquid cooling | Compatibility: Intel LGA2066/2011/2011-v3/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366 AMD AM2-AM4, FM1-FM2, TR4 | Fan speed: 500-2400RPM | Noise volume: 16-40dBA | Dimensions: 276 x 122 x 53 mm | Weight: 1.8 lbs (.82kg)

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