6 Best CPU Coolers for Desktops in 2024

In the realm of PC building, few components are as crucial to the longevity and performance of your system as the CPU cooler. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast pushing the limits of overclocking or a casual user seeking a reliable solution for everyday computing, the right CPU cooler can make all the difference.

Welcome to our in-depth exploration of some of the top CPU coolers currently available on the market. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of air and liquid cooling solutions, dissecting their features, performance, and real-world usability.

6 Best CPU Coolers for Desktops

From sleek and efficient air coolers to sophisticated all-in-one liquid cooling systems, we’ll leave no stone unturned as we navigate the landscape of cooling solutions designed to keep your CPU running at optimal temperatures.

Join us as we embark on a journey through the realm of cooling technology, equipping you with the knowledge and insights needed to make an informed decision for your next PC build or upgrade. Whether you’re seeking maximum performance, whisper-quiet operation, or a balance of both, our guide will help you find the perfect CPU cooler to suit your needs.

1. MasterAir High-End CPU Air Cooler


After encountering inefficiencies with my Thermaltake CPU fan, I sought a replacement from the retailer. They provided me with the Cooler Master MasterAir MA824 Stealth Dual Tower CPU Air Cooler, renowned for its efficient cooling abilities, especially for processors like the i7-9700k. What struck me the most was its remarkably quiet operation, seamlessly integrating into my setup without drawing attention.

Primarily, I found installation much more straightforward when the motherboard is out of the case. Once mounted, the cooler activated promptly upon powering up my PC. Pushing its performance boundaries with a 4.5GHz overclock revealed temperature peaks in the low 70s during stress testing, showcasing its capability.

The cooler’s design is impeccable, boasting clean aesthetics, although its larger-than-expected size may require careful GPU placement. In my setup, space constraints necessitated removing the rear fan, though RAM clearance wasn’t an issue.

Following the CPU installation instructions is crucial, particularly regarding the bracket attachment. Despite challenges, aligning and securing the cooler proved smoother than previous models like the hyper 212 plus, thanks to a redesigned mounting system.

Regrettably, my customer service experience was lackluster, characterized by cumbersome registration processes and unsatisfactory responses to reported issues. Obtaining Return Materials Authorization was needlessly difficult, exacerbated by ambiguous manual instructions.

However, the cooler’s quiet operation, earning its “Silencio” moniker, overshadowed these drawbacks. Its barely noticeable noise levels, even under heavy loads, were a significant advantage.

Overall, despite encountering hurdles, this affordable cooler exceeded my expectations. For those seeking budget-friendly cooling solutions without compromising performance, I wholeheartedly recommend giving this cooler a try.

  • Aesthetic Design
  • Versatile that Can Be Used For Many Chipsets
  • Big Heat Sink
  • Fast, Silent And Quiet CPU Fan
  • RGB Lights Flashing
  • Very Cheap Pricewise
  • Air Flow Is Way Easier To Design With A Stand-Up Fan Blowing From Front To Back
  • Big Sized
  • If Your RAM Has Extra Heatsink, It Might Be Hard To Fit
  • RGB Controller Can Only Be Accessed By Opening Case
  • No Preset Thermal Paste
Buy on Amazon

2. Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler Fans:


After extensive research, I opted for a Noctua cooler to revamp my PC. As a first-time Noctua cooler buyer, I approached the purchase with curiosity.

Being meticulous about my purchases, I delved into thorough research, scouring reviews and videos. The consensus was clear: Noctua coolers are top-tier, highly praised products. With the company selected, my next task was choosing the ideal model for my CPU’s motherboard and promptly installing it.

Navigating to Noctua’s official website, I verified compatibility with my Black Edition motherboard, a feature accessible to all users. After cross-referencing models with my board, I placed my order.

Pairing the cooler with my recently acquired i7 PC, I seamlessly installed it on my ASUS Sabertooth X99 alongside ADATA DDR4-2800 32GB RAM. The installation process was hassle-free, with comprehensive instructions at every step.

While packaging typically garners little attention, Noctua’s packaging was exceptional—elegant, well-labeled, and effortless to open.

Noteworthy was Noctua’s stellar customer service. A query during installation received a prompt response within 24 hours, reassuring compatibility with my chosen motherboard. Their support team, manned by real individuals, provided precise assistance until resolution.

Dispelling rumors, I found Noctua’s overseas support robust, catering to customers globally.

Comprehensive inclusions accompanied the Noctua cooler, including a Y-connector for insufficient fan connectors on the motherboard and a low-noise adapter for quieter operation.

Upon receipt, the cooler’s substantial size initially surprised me, yet Noctua’s meticulous packaging ensured safe transit, with each component individually wrapped and surrounded by foam.

The seller’s meticulous packaging guarantees flawless delivery, unmatched by competitors. Given its unparalleled performance and volume, there’s little reason to consider alternative air coolers, warranting a 5-star rating.

Compatible even with premium memory like the Corsair Dominator series, the Noctua cooler reigns supreme in power and performance.

Noctua emerges as a well-managed company, priding itself on quality products and customer service, earning my wholehearted recommendation. Amidst a landscape where profit often precedes quality, Noctua’s commitment to customer-centric practices is a refreshing anomaly.

Their dedication to local, understandable support underscores their customer-first ethos, securing a lifelong patron in me.

  • Contains two 140mm fans
  • Exceptional cooling performance
  • Good RAM clearance
  • The mounting system is User-friendly
  • Excellent build quality
  • Runs silently
  • Covering Limited area
  • High Price
Buy on Amazon


3. NZXT Kraken CPU Liquid Cooler


Choosing between the Cryorig H7 and the NZXT Kraken 280 RGB posed a dilemma within my budget. After extensive online research and YouTube comparisons, the NZXT Kraken 280 RGB emerged as my preferred liquid cooler.

Despite the slight price difference—just $5 more for the NZXT Kraken 280 RGB—I deemed it a worthwhile investment for superior CPU cooling. With my decision made, I opted for the NZXT cooler.

As someone who primarily uses their CPU for general tasks and occasional gaming, I didn’t subject it to pressure or stress tests. However, for those seeking quality cooling within a tight budget, the NZXT Kraken 280 RGB proves ideal.

This cooler is truly remarkable, delivering significant PC cooling with customizable features like the 1.54″ LCD display for performance metrics and images. Equipped with a high-performance pump and two F140 RGB core fans, it ensures efficient cooling.

Installation is a breeze, accompanied by clear instructions and all necessary components provided. Remarkably quiet operation distinguishes this cooler, with fans quieter than many competitors at a similar price point. Even under heavy loads, optimal temperatures are consistently maintained.

Whether coding or gaming, the CPU remains cool and barely audible under load, a testament to the NZXT Kraken 280 RGB’s efficiency.

In my experience with the NZXT Kraken 280 RGB, its affordability doesn’t compromise quality. Engineered for efficient cooling and offering customizable features, it’s an excellent choice for those seeking a high-performance liquid cooler.

  • The Cryorig is very easy to install.
  • Keeps CPU very cool!
  • Fits very nicely
  • fans are reticent.
  • Manageable price with effective performance
  • Poor customer support
  • No AM4 bracket
  • The computer wouldn’t boot due to CPU Fan Error.
Buy on Amazon

4. DeepCool Liquid CPU Cooler


When running multiple programs and games simultaneously on my high-performance PC featuring an i5-4670k processor, 16GB of RAM, GTX 980 Ti Classified graphics card, and more, heat management becomes crucial. The DeepCool LT520 240mm Liquid Cooler proves invaluable during demanding tasks, effectively dissipating heat and ensuring optimal performance.

Packaged neatly with all necessary mounting components, including a convenient tube of thermal compound, the DeepCool LT520 impressed me from the start.

Initially drawn to the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler, I was pleasantly surprised to find the DeepCool LT520 listed at a competitive price. Notably, its compatibility with AM4 CPUs is highlighted, boasting straightforward installation without additional hardware.

Despite initially considering water cooling, space constraints led me to explore air coolers, ultimately leading me to choose the DeepCool LT520. As I write this, my CPU temperature sits comfortably at 36°C, showcasing the cooler’s efficiency.

While the value and performance of the DeepCool LT520 are commendable, I advise against it for novice builders due to its challenging installation process. The design could benefit from simplification, especially considering the limited space it leaves within the case after installation.

Installing it on an already mounted motherboard proved particularly arduous, especially for Intel setups, requiring delicate maneuvering of plastic components. In hindsight, opting for a system including a backplate and screws would have been preferable.

Despite installation challenges, I’m thoroughly impressed with the DeepCool LT520. Its aesthetic appeal and ease of setup, especially when paired with matching DeepCool RGB fans, make it a standout choice. As I anticipate gaming sessions on my newly built PC, I’m confident in the DeepCool LT520’s ability to maintain optimal temperatures. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

  • Stars Awesome little cooler and has beautiful lighting!
  • Looks nice
  • Works well, RGB is great
  • Inexpensive,
  • Syncs with Asus aura
  • Comes with brackets to mount 2nd fan in push-pull,
  • Mounting can be slightly tricky with finding the right bracket.
  • Cheap aluminum
  • Wrong height listed
  • The aluminum isn’t coated black or super thin, so it looks good, just not great.
Buy on Amazon

5. MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360 – AIO CPU Liquid Cooler

In my quest for an AM4-compatible CPU cooler, I encountered some hurdles before finding the right fit. Initially torn between the MasterLiquid Lite 120 and the MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360, I ultimately settled on the latter, despite its higher price tag at the time.

My journey began with the MasterLiquid Lite 120, only to realize upon installation that it lacked the necessary AM4 instructions and brackets, rendering it incompatible with my system. Disappointed but undeterred, I pivoted to the MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360, which thankfully included all the required components for seamless integration with my AM4 motherboard.

Installation proved surprisingly straightforward, though some components were initially confusing. The cooler’s adjustable faceplate allowed for versatile positioning, ensuring an aesthetically pleasing setup. While connecting the fan to the heatsink posed a minor challenge with its fan hooks, overall installation proceeded smoothly.

Performance-wise, the MSI Cooling CoreLiquid S360 exceeded expectations. Operating almost silently, it only occasionally ramped up during CPU-intensive tasks, quickly returning to near-silent levels once temperatures stabilized. The cooler effectively maintained my Ryzen 1600X at consistently low temperatures, even during idle periods.

Notably, the cooler’s ease of installation was a highlight, facilitated by its compatibility with the AM4 socket on both my motherboard and the cooler itself. This compatibility, coupled with efficient cooling, resulted in impressively low temperatures, with idle readings hovering between 26-28°C and full-load temperatures peaking at 48°C under stock settings.

With plans to overclock in the future, I’m confident that the MSI Cooling CoreLiquid S360 will continue to deliver exceptional performance, keeping my CPU cool even under increased stress. Utilizing tools like Ryzen Master and HWInfo64 for temperature monitoring further assures me of the cooler’s reliability and effectiveness.


6. Noctua NH-U12S – Premium CPU Cooler with NF-F12 120mm Fan

I’ve been a loyal user of the Master Hyper series since day one, trusting in the quality that Master products consistently deliver. However, when my Master Hyper 212 started underperforming, I decided to explore alternatives. Fortunately, I stumbled upon an exceptional sale on Noctua cooler fans, leading me to opt for the Noctua NH-U12S premium cooler, renowned for its distinctive brown color.

Replacing the Hyper 212 Evo with the Noctua NH-U12S was a revelation. Installation was a breeze, mirroring the simplicity of the Hyper 212 Evo setup. I encountered no compatibility issues with my high-profile memory cards, and configuring it with push and pull setups proved effective, maintaining temperatures within the optimal range of 27 to low 30 degrees Celsius.

One of the standout features of the Noctua NH-U12S is its impeccable design, boasting 100% RAM compatibility across all platforms and standing at a height of only 158mm. This compact size ensures seamless integration into nearly all mid-tower cases supporting CPU coolers up to 160mm in height.

In terms of performance, the Noctua NH-U12S exceeded my expectations, outperforming my old Hyper 212 with ease. While the brown color scheme may not be the most visually appealing, its stellar performance more than compensates for any aesthetic preferences.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Noctua NH-U12S is its near-silent operation. Unlike its predecessor, this cooler operates quietly, seamlessly blending into the background during music playback or gaming sessions. Its whisper-quiet performance, coupled with exceptional cooling capabilities, solidifies its status as a top-tier CPU cooling solution.

The fan mounting system is both simple and effective, and the inclusion of anti-vibration rubber ensures minimal noise and vibrations. Additionally, Noctua provides extra anti-vibration padding for added convenience.

Considering its compact size, competitive price point, and impressive performance, the Noctua NH-U12S offers exceptional value for money. While the customer service may not be exceptional, it surpasses that of many competitors. I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try for anyone seeking reliable and efficient CPU cooling.

  • First-class Build Feature – fins do not curve
  • Hi Cooling Performance
  • Great performance for its size
  • Solid and Effective Mounting Tools
  • Extra Accessory Package – includes extra fan clips and thermal paste
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Push-Pull configuration
  • Tremendous Acoustic Performance
  • May block top expansion slot
  • Multi-colored cables on fan
  • Cost of adding a second NFA15 PWM fan


As we conclude our exploration of the top CPU coolers in today’s market, it’s evident that the world of cooling technology is vast and diverse. From the towering heatsinks of high-performance air coolers to the sleek radiators of liquid cooling systems, each solution offers its own unique blend of performance, aesthetics, and usability.

Whether you’re an overclocking enthusiast pushing your hardware to the limit or a casual user seeking reliable and efficient cooling for everyday tasks, there’s a CPU cooler out there to suit your needs. By understanding the key features, advantages, and limitations of different cooling solutions, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your priorities and budget.

We hope that our guide has provided valuable insights into the world of CPU cooling, empowering you to make the right choice for your PC build or upgrade. Remember to consider factors such as thermal performance, noise levels, compatibility, and ease of installation when selecting a CPU cooler.