Best Cpu Cooling Options

Best cpu cooling options

Intel introduced their 9th generation of processors in October 2018, and are currently the most up-to-date and powerful processors Intel offers.

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In their lineup, the i7-9700K and i9-9900K are the fastest processors for gaming in the lineup, and whilst the i9-9900K is the most powerful it is far more expensive for most PC builders. The i7-9700K, like its predecessors (the i7-8700K, i7-7700K), presents excellent value for money for its gaming performance and specifications, and opting for this chip is a great way to save $150 by not going for the illusive Core i9 brand.

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I won’t go into much detail about the performance of the i7-9700K, as given the topic of this article you are reading, you probably have done enough research and know enough already of what the Core i7-9700K processor is capable of.

In this guide, we will show you how to get the most out of the i7-9700K and make it run cooler by upgrading this processors stock cooling with an aftermarket air, AIO or liquid cooler.

Best cpu cooling options

Some CPU coolers perform far better than others with the i7-9700K and based on user experiences, testings and reviews we will show you the absolute best CPU coolers for the 9700K in 2019.

With the right cooler, you could see a 4-12% reduction (at least) in i7-9700K temperatures. Without further ado, here are the top air coolers, as well as AIO options and custom loop options for those looking to liquid cool the i7-9700K.

I would also like to mention that if you are looking to build an i7-9700K system in 2019, we have also produced a series of guides recommending parts for i7-9700K builds – including the best power supplies pairings, RAM and motherboards to pair with the i7-9700K processor.

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Our recommendations


Noctua NH-D15 – Best Air Cooler for 9700K

The Noctua NH-D15 really needs no introduction, it is hands down the best air cooler on the market, and if you’re looking for a CPU cooler to keep a high-end rig as cool as possible, with similar if not better performance than 240mm AIOs, then look no further than this air cooler for the i7-9700K.

For those looking to overclock the i7-9700K to 5GHz, the D15 is the best air cooler that should give you the best chance – but this will also depend on other factors such as case design, thermals and general airflow, as well as the overclock itself and amount of voltage needed will vary per chip.

If you do not plan on overclocking the i7-9700K and keeping it at stock then you can get away with going for a cheaper Noctua cooler (NH-D14) or the Dark Rock Pro 4 – without sacrifice in performance and saving a few dollars. The NH-D15 is so impressive that it performs on par with any 240MM AIO cooler for the i7-9700K and actually after a few hours of usage it performs better!


Best Budget Air Cooler for 9700K

For those looking to get cooler under $50 for the i7-9700K, whilst retaining high-end performance, we recommend the CRYORIG H5 Ultimate for budget air cooling the 9700K.

Best cpu cooling options

The H5 Ultimate is similar to the H5 Universal with the only difference being the inclusion of a full depth 140mm fan.

One Reddit user that is running an i7-9700K with the Cryorig H5 ultimate has reported ‘ridiculously low’ gaming temps at stock clocks, and at 5GHz with all core voltages at 1.3V, gaming temperatures are at mid-50s to low 60s – which is pretty impressive.

Best cpu cooling options

This CPU cooler, despite its relatively low price, does a great job of keeping the i7-9700K temperatures down, at idle and under load.

This cooler is one of the easiest air coolers to install and is super user-friendly, with 160mm height and 30-35mm of RAM tolerance height, this cooler should fit into most mid-tower and ATX builds.

Best cpu cooling options


Best AIO cooler for i7-9700K

When it comes to AIO coolers and the 9700K, it is hard to go wrong with any one from a top brand – since they are essentially Asetek components with the same pump – however some AIO coolers do marginally perform better than others despite this.

Aesthetics, reliability price are also important to consider, as well as size of the radiator that will fit in your PC case.

Given all of this, and reading many user reviews and experiences, we would recommend the Corsair H150i Pro as the best AIO cooler for the i7 9700K in 2019.

Best cpu cooling options

This product has excellent build quality (extremely large radiator) and offers impressive thermals and quiet performance. The H150i Pro has very similar (albeit worse) performance to the Kraken X72 but comes in about $40 cheaper – which for an AIO cooler is quite a considerable amount.

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In addition, the software Corsair provides is far better (in my opinion) than the NZXT software included with the X72 cooler.

Sure, the H150i Pro isn’t cheap when compared to an air cooler, but if you’re set on liquid cooling the i7-9700K, then the H150i Pro is probably your best bet.


Best Low Profile Cooler for i7-9700K (SFFPC builds)

In ITX builds where internal space is limited, you really have to think about what components will fit in your small form factor (SFF) build.

Best Budget Air Cooler for 9700K

Likewise with CPU coolers, then you are limited on the available cooling options for your i7-9700K, and you can’t necessarily go for the best performing such as the NH-D15 since it won’t actually fit in the build. It is important to get a well performing cooler in ITX 9700K builds since airflow is so restricted – the CPU cooler performance will therefore influence case thermals and temperatures the most.

The absolute top low profile CPU cooler for ITX builds we recommend for the i7-9700K is the Noctua NH-L12, which offers fantastic TDP performance given its tiny size, and coupled with the A12x25 fan below the heatsink, it also offers great noise performance too.

It is important to take note for some builds with the Noctua NH-L12 cooler, you may need to go for very low profile (VLP) ram to allow for enough clearance for the A12x25 fan.

If you’re looking to build an i7-9700K SFFPC build – then we recommending checking out our other guides such as the best mITX cases and SFX-L power supplies for SFF builds.


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Filed Under: CPU Coolers, Guides, i7-9700k