Overclocking your CPU can provide significant performance gains, but it also increases the heat generated by the processor. To prevent damage from overheating, it’s crucial to have an effective cooling solution in place. One popular option is a CPU water cooler, which uses liquid to transfer heat away from the CPU more efficiently than traditional air coolers. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the best CPU water cooler for overclocking?
Here are some factors to consider when selecting a CPU water cooler:
- Radiator Size: The size of the radiator can affect the cooling performance of a CPU water cooler. A larger radiator will have more surface area for dissipating heat, resulting in better cooling. For overclocking, a 240mm or 360mm radiator is recommended.
- Pump Speed: The pump is responsible for circulating the coolant throughout the system, and its speed can impact the cooling performance. A higher pump speed can improve cooling, but it can also generate more noise.
- Fan Size and Speed: The fans on a CPU water cooler help to move air over the radiator and dissipate heat. Larger fans can move more air at lower speeds, resulting in quieter operation. Consider the noise level and airflow when selecting a CPU water cooler.
- Compatibility: Ensure that the CPU water cooler is compatible with your processor and motherboard. Some coolers may require specific mounting hardware or have size limitations.
Best CPU water coolers for overclocking:
Based on these factors, here are some of the best CPU water coolers for overclocking:
Corsair iCUE H150i Elite LCD
If you’re looking for the best liquid cooling solution to push your CPU to its limits, then the Corsair iCUE H150i Elite LCD is the ultimate choice. This beast of a cooler boasts a massive 360mm radiator, capable of handling even the most demanding overclocks and hottest CPUs.
What sets the iCUE H150i Elite LCD apart from other watercoolers is its Corsair ML RGB Elite fans, which can adjust their speed depending on the cooling needs of your system. But that’s not all, the RGB lighting on the fans can also be customized using the Corsair iCUE software to match your system’s aesthetic.
However, the real standout feature of the iCUE H150i Elite LCD is the pump’s 2.1-inch IPS LCD display. With 8-bit color depth, this display offers millions of color options and can even show off visual effects, memes, and GIFs at 30fps. Not only is it a stunning visual addition to your system, but it also provides handy system performance data like your CPU temperature.
In summary, if you’re looking for the best liquid cooling option for your overclocking needs, the Corsair iCUE H150i Elite LCD is the perfect choice with its massive radiator, adjustable fans, and eye-catching LCD display.
Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 is a reliable cooler that provides both exceptional thermal performance and silent operation. This cooler is a perfect match for AMD processors with its six nickel-plated copper heat pipes and a 140mm PWM fan.
The Noctua NH-U14S is so quiet that it can compete with 360 AIO cooling systems while providing overclocked Threadripper performance. This cooler is an excellent option for enthusiasts and overclockers who demand high-performance air cooling.
If you are looking for an affordable option for Threadripper air cooling, the Artice Freezer 50 TR might be an excellent choice for you. Although it is not as cool or as quiet as the Noctua NH-U14S, it comes with a lower price tag that can save you some money. The installation process is simple and secure.
The Noctua NH-U14S has excellent performance and is remarkably quiet. The installation process is straightforward and easy, ensuring a hassle-free experience. The cooler’s tall height might pose compatibility issues in smaller cases, so make sure to check your case specifications before purchasing. Although it comes with a premium price, the exceptional performance and quiet operation make it worth the investment.
NZXT Kraken X53
The NZXT Kraken X53 is a versatile liquid CPU cooler that has won the award for its extraordinary performance. Not only does it deliver top-notch cooling, but it also comes with some exciting features that make it stand out from the competition.
One such feature is the RGB lighting. Like most liquid coolers, the Kraken X53 comes with RGB lighting that gives your PC a stunning visual appeal. The top logo automatically powers on and performs a mesmerizing RGB dance, which can be customized using the CAM software.
Speaking of CAM, it is a dedicated software that allows you to set different fan profiles, making it an ideal choice for overclocking enthusiasts. The software also allows you to customize the RGB lighting and monitor system temperatures.
The design and layout of the Kraken X53 are impressive. It features a delicate yet robust design that ensures your CPU remains intact and functional even when running at high overclocked frequencies. The cooler is equipped with dynamic bearing for silent operation, and it makes use of nylon mesh sleeves and rubber tubing for added durability. Additionally, the cooler features an 80 x 80 x 55mm fan that runs at a speed of 800-2800 RPM and has noise levels in the range of 21-36dBA.
Overall, the NZXT Kraken X53 is an excellent choice for those looking for a versatile liquid CPU cooler. While it may come with a premium price tag, its exceptional performance, quiet operation, and robust design make it a worthy investment. However, it’s worth noting that its fan size may pose compatibility issues in smaller cases.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition
When it comes to keeping your CPU cool, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition is a top performer. This air cooler is perfect for extreme overclocking and offers a number of impressive features.
Let’s start with the design and airflow. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB comes equipped with an anodized gun-metal shroud with a polished aluminum surface. This not only looks great, but also helps to eliminate erosion and the effects of gusts of wind. The stacked fin array acts as a mesh-like filter, allowing air to flow through the heatsink for efficient cooling. The nickel-plated fins enhance the radiating performance, making this cooler a powerful choice.
The direct contact technology used in this cooler is also impressive. The metallic bars absorb the heat and conduct it through to the air, reducing the temperature of your CPU. And of course, we can’t forget about the RGB fan. The black design, silvery plate, and jingling lights create an aesthetically pleasing sight for gaming enthusiasts.
Other features include a push-pull fan configuration that dynamically scales the fan’s spinning speed, an RGB controller for customizing profiles and modes, and a fan speed that ranges from 650 to 2000 RPM with an error rate of only 10%. The fan is also impressively quiet, with a noise level between 8 and 30 dBA depending on fan speed. With four heat pipes, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB can achieve a maximum airflow of 57.3 CFM, making it an excellent choice for any CPU cooling needs.
MSI MAG Coreliquid
MSI MAG Coreliquid is an all-in-one RGB cooler that is sure to impress fans of MSI products. With exceptional durability and performance, this cooler boasts a 270-degree rotating blockhead that helps to keep temperatures low. Plus, users can customize RGB profiles using the provided software to elicit the cooler’s core aesthetics.
But that’s not all – this cooler also features a dedicated pump design for sound dampening and noise reduction. Liquid coolers are notorious for being noisy due to their enhanced performance module, but the MSI MAG Coreliquid breaks the mold with its low noise levels, providing a user-friendly experience with minimal noise.
When it comes to thermal dissipation, this cooler is one of a kind. It boasts a split pathway that aids in heat dissipation, along with three layers of netted plastic tubing and a reinforced mesh exterior for added durability and performance.
One particularly intriguing feature is the low noise level of just 24dB – a characteristic more commonly found in air coolers. This makes the MSI MAG Coreliquid an excellent choice for those who want the performance of a liquid cooler without sacrificing a quiet workspace.
What’s more, this cooler is compatible with both AMD and Intel, indicating no rivalries or exclusiveness for one CPU brand. However, it’s recommended to use the cooler with AMD Threadrippers or Intel Core i9 or i7 with “K” variants for optimal performance. Overall, the MSI MAG Coreliquid is an exceptional all-in-one cooler that combines durability, performance, and aesthetics into one sleek package.
The Noctua NH-D15 is a top-of-the-line CPU cooler that boasts exceptional performance and functionality. While some have criticized Noctua fans for their lack of aesthetic appeal, the NH-D15’s simplicity is its strongest feature. The classic design is refreshing and provides a minimalist style that caters to those who prioritize performance over aesthetics.
The NH-D15’s dual tower design is impressive, as it utilizes sophisticated dual fans to enhance heat dissipation. The fans work in tandem with sophisticated aerodynamics acceleration channels for efficient heat elimination, and their efficiency always stays at 100%. This means that users get exactly what’s stated in the manual and brand description.
While there has been a long debate about whether the cooler curbs the space for RAM, Noctua NH-D15 ensures that all necessary requirements are fulfilled. For instance, the single fan-mode offers enough space for RAM and provides enhanced compatibility. The 64mm clearance is enough for using 64GB of RAM (if each one of them is 16 gigs).
As far as the specifications of the fan are concerned, the NH-D15 comes with 2x NF-A15 PWM premium fans that offer dual usage, 2x low noise-adapters, and a y-cable for powering on. Additionally, the fan comes with Noctua metal case-bridge and mounting holes for the CPU, making installation a breeze. However, it is worth noting that the noise levels may not be appealing as Noctua focuses more on efficiency and performance than on layout, design, and sound levels.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid
The Cooler Master MasterLiquid has been awarded as the best RGB liquid CPU cooler in the market. This is mainly due to the dazzling RGB lights that Cooler Master incorporates into its models.
Design The MasterLiquid utilizes five separate components to create a mesmerizing and functional CPU cooler. These components include a dual chamber, pump, stylish radiator, double tubing, and MF120R ARGB Fans. The dual chamber system allows for hot air to be expelled from the chamber while cold air is drawn in, making it an excellent solution for reducing high temperatures. The pump and stylish radiator also play an essential role in maintaining optimal temperatures while enhancing the cooler’s aesthetic appeal.
RGB Lighting The MasterLiquid makes extensive use of wash-over RGB lights, which provide your system with a unique look. The RGB lights can be easily synced with other Cooler Master components installed in your system through the proprietary software. Additionally, the RGB patterns and modes can be easily customized to suit your preferences.
Other features One of the cooler’s most notable features is its compatibility with both AMD and Intel sockets, making it an excellent choice for users with varying systems. Additionally, the cooler features an aluminum radiator metal that provides it with robustness and durability. The cooler’s fan speed ranges from 650-2000 RPM, delivering a withstanding airflow of 66.7 CFM. Remarkably, the noise levels remain between 6-30 dBA, which is notably quiet for a liquid CPU cooler.
Thermaltake TH120 ARGB
Thermaltake has always been a go-to brand for many cooling enthusiasts, and the Thermaltake TH120 ARGB is one of their best entries yet. It’s a great value for what it offers and it’s easy to see why many people love this cooler.
One of the best features of the TH120 ARGB is its dedicated addressable Aura headers. This allows for enhanced connectivity, simply connect the addressable header to your motherboard and voila, your RGB lights will turn on. On top of that, you also get a Digital pin header for RGB Fusion 2.0, RAINBOW header for mystic light sync, and LED header for polychrome RGB, giving you a variety of options to choose from.
The cooler also comes equipped with an ARGB controller that lets you change between different RGB patterns like flow, ripple, pulse, blink, wave, full light, RGB spectrum, and more. The controller requires a 5V addressable header to work.
Also read: Best Water Coolers for i9 9900K: Ultimate Performance and Cooling Efficiency
I hope you found this article informative and helpful in your search for the best CPU cooler. It’s important to note that the list we’ve provided is not exhaustive, and there are many other coolers available on the market. However, the coolers we’ve featured here have been extensively tested and are some of the best available.
If you’re looking for a reliable and versatile CPU cooler, I would highly recommend checking out Corsair liquid coolers. They have a reputation for excellence and offer a range of options to suit your needs. Of course, there are many other great options out there as well, so be sure to do your research and choose the cooler that’s right for you.
In conclusion, investing in a high-quality CPU cooler is essential for maintaining the health and performance of your system. Whether you’re a casual user or a hardcore gamer, a good cooler can make all the difference in keeping your system running smoothly. So take your time, do your research, and find the cooler that’s right for you.