The 7 Best Computer Heatsinks

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This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in February of 2019. If you want to ensure the long life of any computer, whether it's an always-on server, a heavily overclocked gaming rig, or an ultra-compact Raspberry Pi, heat management should be among your chief concerns. Luckily, no matter the component or its purpose, there are products available to mitigate excess thermal energy. One of these heat sinks will be a great first step to protecting your system. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Lanpu Kit

2. NoFan CR-80EH

3. Enzotech BCC9

Editor's Notes

January 21, 2021:

Some of the most useful applications of these are inside Raspberry Pis and other similar single-board computers. The Lanpu Kit and EasyCargo ES-V10, for example, come with enough varied sizes to accommodate a wide range of projects. The Cosmos Lost Ocean and Enzotech BCC9 are both good choices for PCs, and can help to keep VRAM, VRM, and other chips from overheating. The Arctic Alpine Passive is a good choice for low-power CPUs, while the NoFan CR-80EH is surprisingly effective for a fanless CPU cooler. The EK Water Blocks EK-M.2 is an even more specialized unit that's built specifically for NVMe SSDs, which is especially useful for anyone running a custom water loop.

February 21, 2019:

Excess heat is the bane of computers, whether they're built to play high-end games, or perform a single function without wasting much space. And while some people are okay with whirring fans or buzzing pumps, there are some situations where those noises aren't acceptable (and people who simply won't accept distraction). For those times and users, there's a huge selection of heat sinks on the market, though it is a bit of journey to wade through them all. If you're trying to replace your CPU fan with a solid-state cooler, well, you're a much braver soul than me, and you should consider the NoFan and the Arctic Alpine. We at EZVid wish you the best of luck at not frying your processor. The GDSTime is extremely versatile, as its approximate 40mm by 40mm size will fit a decent range of use cases. On the other end of the size spectrum, the Enzotechs are super useful, partially because of those extra-long fins. Of course, if you're elbow-deep (knuckle-deep?) in IoT devices like the Raspberry Pi or anything Arduino, we've got you covered. Depending on your needs, the Lanpu, Lost Ocean, and either EasyCargo will almost certainly be able to help you out. As far as actual user PCs go, the Arctic Accelero accommodates mid-range GPUs quite well, and often better-so than the stock heat sink could. Also, don't forget one of the newest, ultra-hot components: if you've installed a blazing-fast NVMe drive, you may want to slap an EK Water Blocks sheath on it, to ensure your data stays safe.

Special Honors

SilverStone HE02 Essentially the same as a high-end CPU cooler but just without the fan, this powerful option is outfitted with six soldered heat pipes and a huge stack of fins to dissipate heat. It's one of the few that can allow some efficient desktop processors to actually run at their full speed without throttling.

4. EK Water Blocks EK-M.2

5. EasyCargo ES-V10

6. Arctic Alpine Passive

7. Cosmos Lost Ocean

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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