The Best Quiet CPU Cooler for Gaming PCs

Photo by Abdullah Abid on Unsplash
1 year ago
This article showcases our top picks for the Best Quiet CPU Cooler. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

be quiet! Pure Rock 2 Black (BK007), 150W TDP, CPU Cooler

This product was recommended by Jonathan Tian from CreditYelp

This Pure Rock 2 from be quiet is the best quiet CPU cooler with silenced-optimized operation at only 26.8 dBA. It has a compatible compact design with asymmetrical construction that doesn’t block your memory slots. You will also love its elegant black surface and aluminum caps that give it a classy appearance. Besides, this CPU cooler has 150W TDP for excellent cooling efficiency for your graphic and multimedia system. They also come with high-performance heat pipes that transport heat to the cooling fins’ optimal locations.

Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120 SE CPU Air Cooler

This product was recommended by Melissa Terry from VEM Tooling

The Peerless Assassin 120 SE from Thermalright is a steal at its pricing point and provides the highest performance of any air cooler we’ve tested on Intel’s Alder Lake. Cooling our Core i9-12900K was so effective in our tests that we had to run the benchmarks multiple times to ensure accuracy. The Peerless Assassin 120 SE cooled the CPU at almost 200 watts better than the competition we tested, and it outperformed the competition at lower thermal/TDP settings as well.

DeepCool AK500 CPU Air Cooler

This product was recommended by Melissa Terry from VEM Tooling

The DeepCool AK500 performed admirably with an Alder Lake Core i9-12900K under loads of over 200W, keeping the CPU cool and operating quietly. As of the time of writing, the AK500 could be purchased for as little as $55, and it offers an unparalleled blend of silence, performance, and value.

Zalman CNPS10x Performa Black

This product was recommended by Melissa Terry from VEM Tooling

The Zalman CNPS10x Performa Black is a mid-sized quad-heat pipe cooler with a sleek black design and a single, whisper-quiet 135mm fan that quickly dissipates the heat generated by your multi-core desktop enthusiast processor.. The Zalman CNPS10x Performa Black, with its competitive $45 pricing and cooling potential that nips at the heels of the pack leaders, is a top choice for system builders that need to stretch their budgets. Zalman has provided the PC hardware world with a fantastic, no-frills cooling alternative that still looks nice and frees up cash for other important components.

Noctua NH-U14S, Premium CPU Cooler

This product was recommended by Irene Graham from Spylix

Whisper-quiet cooling with major league thermal performance is what the Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 offers, and it’s the kind of overclocked Threadripper performance that slips into premium 360 AIO cooling performance. The NH-U14S TR4-SP3 is an ultra-quiet thermal assassin compatible with AMD processors. It features six nickel-plated copper heatpipes and a 140mm PWM fan made by NF-A15. This cooler meets the needs of enthusiasts and overclockers both when it comes to Threadripper air cooling.

Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capellix Liquid CPU Cooler

This product was recommended by Irene Graham from Spylix

With the Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capellix, you can do just that. This CPU cooler features a 280mm radiator with two fans, an RGB pump head, and a split-flow cold copper plate. The H115i fans are the middle ground between the smaller H100i and the bigger H150i, with better cooling than the former but a more compact design than the latter. The bigger fan diameter can move more air at lower fan speeds.

Noctua NH-U12A Single-Tower CPU Cooler

This product was recommended by Derrick Hathaway from VEM Medical

This strikes a good balance between quiet cooling performance and acoustics. While you will certainly find coolers with better TDP ratings, it is great if you plan on overclocking high- TDP processors like the Intel 12900K or AMD 5950X. It’s a 110mm fan, but the company claims to have designed it as competition for the 140mm fan market.

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition RGB CPU Air Cooler

This product was recommended by Derrick Hathaway from VEM Medical

This is not the highest-performing CPU cooler, but as a budget-friendly and entry-level model, it certainly holds its own. It has a TDP of 140W and a noise level of around 40 dB. Considering the price range, this isn’t a bad choice at all.

Noctua NH-U12S 120mm Single-Tower CPU Cooler

This product was recommended by Derrick Hathaway from VEM Medical

If you are familiar with the air cooler market, it will come as no surprise that Noctua is one of the biggest companies for quiet CPU coolers. The Noctua NH-U12S is my top pick for the best value-for-money product because its noise level is 18.6 dB to 22.4 dB, meaning it is marginally quieter. Its maximum airflow is 55 CFM at 1500 RPM, which is lower and slower than other coolers.

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler

This product was recommended by Gretchen Boyd from NYC House Cleaners

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is exceptionally silent. The 250W TDP Dark Rock Pro 4 delivers exceptional cooling performance and practically silent operation. Excellent for demanding workstations and overclocked systems. Two silent Wings PWM fans have smooth 6-Pole motors and cutting-edge fluid-dynamic bearings. Funnel-shaped front quiet Wings frame. Seven 6mm copper heat pipes with cutting-edge technology are used in the Dark Rock Pro 4 to increase heat conductivity. The cooler’s mounting kit is entirely black, perfectly complementing the cooler’s all-black aesthetic. The flawless transfer of heat is made possible by the unique black covering with ceramic particles.

David Friedland

Bit of a gear addict.

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