The 10 Best RGB CPU Coolers
This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in December of 2018. Heat is an unavoidable byproduct of complex electronics, and in order to keep your computer running quickly and safely, you need to mitigate that excess thermal energy one way or another. The right water or air cooler will keep your CPU at the necessary low temperatures, ensuring it won't automatically throttle, or worse, catch fire in the middle of an intense gaming session. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 16, 2020:
First of all, we want to dispel a rumor that's particularly popular among PC enthusiasts, and that is the idea that water cooling is inherently more effective than air cooling. While many people will argue against this, real-world testing indicates the exact opposite - in many cases, air coolers such as the Cooler Master Hyper 212 and Thermaltake UX200 outperform all-in-one liquid variants while simultaneously making less noise. The Cooler Master MasterAir consists of several highly effective variants suitable for a range of needs, as well.
If you're not in need of high-performance cooling, the low-profile Cooler Master i71C is a good choice for an Intel chipset, and the AMD Wraith Prism is purpose-built for AMD CPUs. Far on the opposite end of the spectrum is the GeeekPi Fan, which won't work with PCs but can keep your Raspberry Pi from overheating.
That's not to say that liquid cooling systems are completely irrelevant. Two reasons often cited for their use are the premium appearance and added room for components that they deliver by moving the radiator and fan to the outside of the case. In this respect, both the Thermaltake Floe DX and Cooler Master MasterLiquid come in a wide variety of sizes and colors, and are suitable for builds of nearly any size. If all you want is a two-fan water cooler that's reasonably priced, the Corsair H115i should do the trick.
Alternatively, if you're looking for an eye-catching and highly effective water block for just your CPU, the Corsair Hydro X is worth a look, but beginners should be highly cautious, as designing your own custom loop solution can be both difficult and dangerous for the sensitive hardware in your PC.
January 07, 2019:
Heat is one of the mortal enemies of sensitive electronics... unfortunately, so is water. So while there are lots of pre-built water-cooling solutions around, BE VERY CAREFUL when choosing and installing them. Some all-in-one water blocks come with warranties that will even replace damaged equipment, should the cooler fail... but you'll likely need to have purchased all your components new and still have the receipt, and even then you may have issues. So if you decide to move liquid cooling, make regular checkups on the hoses, clamps, and seals a part of your routine. ThermalTake is one of the more reliable manufacturers that we recommend, and DeepCool also has a good reputation. EVGA also makes a pretty good, relatively inexpensive unit. For air coolers, a lot of users are familiar with Cooler Master's Hyper 212, as the non-RGB version is one of the most popular options ever, and the RGB model is even more powerful. The DarkFlash is great for lower-profile cases, as is the AMD Wraith, though it only works with Ryzen CPUs. If you have plenty of room in your build, and need exceptional performance, the DeepCool Neptwin may be the one for you.
EKWB Premium Liquid Cooling If you demand the highest-performing and best-looking hardware around, EKWB's widely known custom solution is the way to go. It will cost you a considerable amount and it's definitely not for beginners, but if you want to show off your rig or engage in considerable overclocking activities, it's worth considering. ekwb.com