Top 5: Best CPU Cooler 2020 (budget air & liquid/water)

Jacob Jacob 04 June 2020
Top 5: Best CPU Cooler 2020 (budget air & liquid/water)

The race in the CPU market is hotter than ever, with more powerful CPUs being released more frequently. If you are going to use your PC for gaming or more substantial tasks, it is vital to get a perfect CPU cooler to match your unit, usage, and budget. In this article, we’re going to look at the top five CPU coolers available on the market today. We made this list based on our own opinion, research, and customer reviews. We’ve considered their quality, features, and values when narrowing down the best choices possible. So, here are the top five Best CPU coolers:

5. Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

Top 5: Best CPU Cooler 2020 (budget air & liquid/water)True to its name, Cooler Master has been an absolute master in the cooling department for quite some time now. The Hyper 212 Evo is a slightly updated version of the very popular budget CPU cooler Hyper 212.

It comes with all the necessary features to make a perfect cooler. It is 4.7 inch (11.94 cm) long, 3.1 inch (7.87 cm) wide, and 6.3 inch (16 cm) tall, making it compatible in almost all typical computer cases.

Even though it strikes as a basic CPU cooler, the Hyper 212 Evo comes with four direct contact heat pipes for optimal heat conduction. It also has an improved aluminum heatsink and a 120-millimeter-high airflow fan that comes with anti-vibration rubber pads to eliminate any unnecessary noise.

The fan speed is 600-2000 RPM and you can hook up another fan on the other side to make it more powerful. The Hype r 212 Evo is also compatible with Intel LGA 775 to 2066 sockets, AMD AM2 to AM3+, FM1 to FM3+, and AM4 sockets. That's what I call versatility! It is tested and proven that Hyper 212 Evo can reduce CPU temperatures by up to 20 degrees Celsius compared to stock cooling.

Its pros are:

  • Thanks to a fantastic price tag, it is very affordable
  • It is compatible with almost all currently used CPUs and sockets
  • Its cooling power can be cranked-up even more with an additional fan.

However, the cons are:

  • It is a bit loud when the cooler is at its max performance
  • The cooler doesn’t come with thermal paste

However, considering the amazing value it gives at that price point, the noise is something that anyone can get behind. It is, in fact, the best budget CPU cooler out there.

4. EVGA CLC 240

Top 5: Best CPU Cooler 2020 (budget air & liquid/water)Who wouldn’t like to liquid cool their CPU and not worry about thermal throttling and even go to the extremes of overclocking? Well, with the EVGA CLC 240 you can now get the experience of a liquid cooler on your PC for an affordable price.

EVGA is a PC hardware manufacturer that is famous for producing more budget-friendly products in the market than other manufacturers. The CLC 240 is a mid-range liquid cooler that is compatible with the Intel LGA2066, 2011, 2011-v3, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, and 1366 sockets, as well as the AMD AM2-AM4, FM1-FM2, and TR4 sockets.

Its 240-millimeter aluminum radiator is equipped with two 120-millimeter fans. Its water block is also up to the standards and is 100 percent copper, and also features a customizable RGB logo.

The overall quality of the cooler is exceptional with sleeved tubings. It comes with excellent software that allows you to control the pump, fan-speed, and lighting. Even though the CLC 240 doesn’t have all the fancy features like flashy RGB lighting or a built-in display, this affordable liquid cooler provides value for the money you spend. This beast will fulfill all your CPU cooling needs without much effort.

Its pros are:

  • It is one of the most affordable and quality liquid coolers on the market
  • The software support for the cooler takes the experience a step further
  • It has its own unique look with the RGB pump head

However, even though it does the typical job of a liquid cooler, it can get very loud at max speed. But you won’t have to worry about the noise at all because the cooler delivers good temperatures without needing to reach its full capacity.

3. NZXT Kraken Z63

Top 5: Best CPU Cooler 2020 (budget air & liquid/water)This next cooler might not be for everyone, but its aesthetics and performance cannot be ignored in our rankings.

NZXT Kraken Z63 is a bit on the premium side of the market. While most of the other manufacturers tend to show off their aesthetics through RGB lightings, NZXT has taken a different and brilliant approach to their coolers by introducing a bright 2.36 inch LCD screen. This innovative screen can be customized to display the system's temperature, a single color, a custom image, or even a GIF.

Regardless of the fancy display, the cooler itself is a solid 280-millimeter compatible with almost all sockets like: Intel LGA 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, and 2066, as well as AMD AM4, sTRX4, and TR4 sockets. Just like NZXT’s other Z series’ line-up coolers, it also does an amazing job handling extreme CPU temperatures.

It has a top-notch Water Block and a powerful pump with two 140-millimeter fans that bring out its incredible cooling powers. Kraken Z63 also comes with amazing user-friendly software that allows you to control its speeds, pump powers, and the LCD.

Its pros are:

  • It delivers one-of-a-kind aesthetics with innovative use of the LCD screen
  • The cooler itself is made with high quality material. It has the premium look-and-feel you are looking for
  • The display can also be rotated 90 degrees with the app's help so that it is usable in all scenarios

However, it is quite expensive and may even cost more than your CPU itself. But if you are after the aesthetics and have that extra cash lying around, Kraken Z63 is one of the most exceptional CPU coolers in the industry.

2. Noctua NH-D15

Top 5: Best CPU Cooler 2020 (budget air & liquid/water)The NH-D15 might just be expensive for an air cooler, but it is cheaper than opting for a liquid cooler.

The dual fan setup delivers outstanding performance with a very good cooling capacity right out of the box. This flagship cooler from Noctua is amazingly quiet and efficient. It is stacked with NF-A15 140-millimeter fans with PWM support for automatic speed control. It allows you to not worry about the temperatures. It keeps the system cool.

This award-winning cooler even outperforms some of the all-in-one liquid coolers out there. It has 6 heat pipes in a dual-tower design, which helps distribute heat efficiently, and the two fans will take care of the rest. It is compatible with Intel LGA 1150 to 2066 sockets, as well as AMD AM2 to AM4 and FM1 to FM2+. What is extraordinary about this cooler is that it is comparatively quieter than any of the other high-performance units out there, even at 100 percent speeds.

Its pros are:

  • It is mind-blowingly quiet at even maximum speeds
  • Both fans are included. These 2 fans and the dual tower setup outperform other designs out there on the market

However, the cons are:

  • It is bulky and heavy, maybe even causing compatibility problems. The whole cooler takes up quite some space
  • This amazing cooling performance comes with an expensive price tag

Nevertheless, if you have enough space in your PC to fit this cooler in, then Noctua NH-D15 is one of the best air CPU coolers that you can buy.

1. Corsair H115i RGB Platinum

Top 5: Best CPU Cooler 2020 (budget air & liquid/water)Compared to all the CPU cooler technologies and models, liquid cooling is superior to any other modes. So why not get the best liquid cooler?

The H115i Platinum is undoubtedly the best in the market right now with incredible cooling power for any type of heavy work and overclocking. This cooler is superior in any aspect, whether it's performance or aesthetics. It is stunning with some of the best RGB lightings on fans and water blocks anyone has ever seen.

Its 280-millimeter radiator and the two 140-millimeter ML series' fans allow this system's extreme cooling capabilities. It supports all sockets, including Intel 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, and 2066, as well as AMD AM4, AM3, AM2, sTRX4, and sTR4.

On top of these, the Corsair iCUE software allows the user to monitor the performance of this cooler by customizing the RGB lighting and even synchronizing with other compatible hardware. Although this cooler is around the premium price range, it is undoubtedly the best cooler you can get right now with all cool aesthetic features and low noise modes.

Its pros are:

  • Its cooling power is phenomenal compared to other top models
  • The lighting is fully customizable and synchronizable with other hardware
  • It also comes in an all-white variation which is stunning
  • Its incredible cooling powers allow you to work without turning on the fans at low temperatures

However, just like other high-performing coolers, this cooler is expensive but so worth it. The Corsair H115i RGB Platinum is a top-notch choice. And that’s all for our top five CPU coolers on the market.

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