Top 10 Coolers: Ranked by Temperature and Sound


Thermalright Phantom Spirit 120 SE Manufacture's image
Thermalright Phantom Spirit 120 SE
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Metric Value
Brand Thermalright
Cooler Name Phantom Spirit 120 SE
Stated dBa 25.6
Number of Heat Pipes 7
Full Size (WxHxD): 125x154x135 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 7.3
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 7.9
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 6.0
Air Cooler Rating: Install 8 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link Phantom Spirit 120 SE Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The Phantom Spirit 120 SE is a stylish and high-performing cooler with a sleek design featuring a large aluminum heatsink, all-black fans, and a black top radiator. It has two 120mm fans that ensure your computer stays cool and runs smoothly, and it's compatible with various types of processors. With its seven heat pipes and ability to handle tough tasks and overclocking, the Phantom Spirit 120 SE is an attractive choice for computer enthusiasts of all ages who want a top-notch cooler without spending a fortune. Plus, it's available in different styles to match your preference.

Installation Insights

This cooler installation is very similar to Noctua's typical installation, which is one of the easier installation setups. However, it also faces similar issues regarding uninstalling this cooler, where the cooler is unable to slide/twist off the cooler to break the thermal paste seal. This might be necessary if the thermal paste has a strong hold between the cooler and the CPU.




Thermalright Frost Spirit 140 manufacture's image
Thermalright Frost Spirit 140
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Metric Value
Brand Thermalright
Cooler Name Frost Spirit 140
Stated dBa 25.6
Number of Heat Pipes 4
Full Size (WxHxD): 121x158x140 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 7.2
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 8.1
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 5.1
Air Cooler Rating: Install 7 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link Frost Spirit 140 Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The Frost Spirit CPU cooler offers a sleek design resembling the Frost Commander and Peerless Assassin 120. It requires extra effort to secure the fans to the heatsink due to the metal's firm placement. Despite its larger radiator, the Frost Spirit maintains a compact size with a single 120mm front fan and a 140mm fan between the heatsinks. It delivers impressive performance, rivaling Noctua's offerings, and is capable of effectively cooling powerful CPUs and managing overclocking. Notably, it stands out for its remarkably quiet operation, surpassing the noise levels of the Frost Commander 140, with a noise profile similar to the NH-D15. Overall, the Frost Spirit is a stylish, powerful, and quiet CPU cooler suitable for various computer setups.

Installation Insights

The cooler installation is quite similar to Noctua's easy setup and is identical to the Frost Commander's setup. However, during installation, securing the fans to the heatsink requires more effort (relative to the Phantom Spirit or Peerless Assassin), which is due to the metal securing the fans requiring much more effort to place. For this reason, it's also a lot easier to slightly bend the heatsink fins, but this can be fixed by bending it back with a credit card. </p><p> Additionally, like Noctua coolers, the Frost Spirit faces challenges in uninstalling when trying to break the thermal paste seal between the cooler and CPU, as it doesn't easily slide or twist off. This can be an issue if the thermal paste forms a strong bond.




Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 manufacture's image
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
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Metric Value
Brand Be Quiet!
Cooler Name Dark Rock Pro 4
Stated dBa 24.3
Number of Heat Pipes 7
Full Size (WxHxD): 136x162x145 mm
Radiator 1 (WxHxD) 136x106x47 mm
Radiator 2 (WxHxD) 136x106x47 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 7.1
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 6.6
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 8.9
Air Cooler Rating: Install 2 (Difficult)
Manufacture's Link Dark Rock Pro 4 Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler is perfect if you want a powerful, good-looking, and really quiet cooler for your computer. It's great at keeping your computer cool and is easy to put in, so it's a top choice for all kinds of people who build computers, whether for work or gaming. Just keep in mind that the installation can be a bit more challenging than other coolers, especially for beginners.

Installation Insights

Putting together the Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler can be tough, especially since it's a premium cooler. There are a few things that make it harder to install. First, it uses a metal bar to attach to the computer's motherboard, and it can be tricky to get it in the right spot. Second, the system for attaching the fan to the cooler isn't very easy to use because it doesn't have a helpful spot to lift the metal. You might need to use your nails or other tools to put the fan on, which makes it more complicated. Lastly, there's a metal plate at the top of the cooler that makes it look nice and helps with noise, but it also blocks your view of the middle fan and makes it harder to attach the cooler to the mount. </p><p> Because of its design, the Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler might be a better choice for people who have built computers before. If you're new to building computers, it could be pretty challenging. But there is a good thing about this cooler: it doesn't cause problems with fitting your computer's memory (RAM) in most setups, which is an issue with some other coolers.




Metric Value
Brand Noctua
Cooler Name NH-D15
Stated dBa 22.4
Number of Heat Pipes 6
Full Size (WxHxD): 150x165x161 mm
Radiator 1 (WxHxD) 150x102x50 mm
Radiator 2 (WxHxD) 150x102x50 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 7.0
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 8.2
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 4.6
Air Cooler Rating: Install 7 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link NH-D15 Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The NH-D15 is a dual-tower cooler with two aluminum heatsinks and a pair of Noctua's 140mm NF-A15 PWM fans, ensuring superior heat dissipation for a wide range of processors, even those with high TDPs. Its six heat pipes efficiently transfer heat, making it suitable for high levels of overclocking and demanding situations. With its signature beige and brown color scheme, the NH-D15 is not only known for its performance but also its quiet operation, thanks to the fans' design and included Low-Noise Adaptors for further noise reduction during intense workloads or gaming sessions.

Installation Insights

The NH-D15 features Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting system, ensuring compatibility with numerous Intel and AMD sockets. The installation process is made easy with the help of clear instructions and top-notch components. Additionally, Noctua includes a tube of their high-quality NT-H1 thermal compound for optimal heat transfer between the CPU and heatsink. However, the cooler's large size may make it challenging to maneuver around when installed within the case.




Noctua NH-U14S manufacture's image
Noctua NH-U14S
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Metric Value
Brand Noctua
Cooler Name NH-U14S
Stated dBa 24.6
Number of Heat Pipes 6
Full Size (WxHxD): 150x165x52 mm
Radiator (WxHxD) 150x115x52 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.9
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 6.3
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 8.0
Air Cooler Rating: Install 8 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link NH-U14S Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The Noctua NH-U14S stands out as an excellent cooler, offering a simple yet attractive design, top-notch cooling performance, hassle-free installation, and impressively low noise levels. It is the perfect choice for those looking for a reliable and quiet cooling solution for their PC.

Installation Insights

The NH-U14S boasts a user-friendly mounting system that is compatible with a wide array of Intel and AMD sockets. Its straightforward installation process is facilitated by clear instructions and high-quality components.




Noctua NH-D12L manufacture's image
Noctua NH-D12L
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Metric Value
Brand Noctua
Cooler Name NH-D12L
Stated dBa 22.6
Number of Heat Pipes 5
Full Size (WxHxD): 125x145x113 mm
Radiator 1 (WxHxD) 125x95x50 mm
Radiator 2 (WxHxD) 125x95x32 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.8
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 5.7
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 9.1
Air Cooler Rating: Install 8 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link NH-D12L Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The Noctua NH-D12L is a top-tier air cooler that offers excellent cooling capabilities and quiet operation. Its dual-tower design and exceptional build quality make it a top choice for users seeking a reliable and efficient cooling solution for moderate-performance systems.

Installation Insights

The NH-C14S features Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting system, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of Intel and AMD sockets and offering a straightforward installation process, typical of Noctua coolers. Clear instructions, high-quality components, and a tube of their premium NT-H1 thermal compound make it an easy and user-friendly experience, even for beginners. The cooler uses the original AMD backplate for AMD installations. However, one downside is that the cooler may stick to your CPU, and due to the screw setup, you can't slide the cooler off the CPU like with some other brands. Overall, the NH-C14S offers a relatively hassle-free installation process.




Noctua NH-U12A chromax.Black manufacture's image
Noctua NH-U12A chromax.Black
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Metric Value
Brand Noctua
Cooler Name NH-U12A chromax.Black
Stated dBa 22.6
Number of Heat Pipes 7
Full Size (WxHxD): 125x158x112 mm
Radiator (WxHxD) 125x105x58 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.8
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 7.4
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 5.4
Air Cooler Rating: Install 8 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link NH-U12A chromax.Black Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

Overall, the Noctua NH-U12A is a high-performance air cooler that offers excellent cooling capabilities and quiet operation. Its single-tower design and exceptional build quality make it a top choice for users seeking a reliable and efficient cooling solution for high-performance systems.

Installation Insights

The NH-U12A features Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting system, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of Intel and AMD sockets and offering a straightforward installation process, typical of Noctua coolers. Clear instructions, high-quality components, and a tube of their premium NT-H1 thermal compound make it an easy and user-friendly experience, even for beginners. The cooler uses the original AMD backplate for AMD installations. However, one downside is that the cooler may stick to your CPU, and due to the screw setup, you can't slide the cooler off the CPU like with some other brands. Overall, the NH-U12A offers a relatively hassle-free installation process.




DeepCool AK500 manufacture's image
DeepCool AK500
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Metric Value
Brand DeepCool
Cooler Name AK500
Stated dBa 25.9
Number of Heat Pipes 5
Full Size (WxHxD): 127x158x117 mm
Radiator (WxHxD) 127x105x89 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.6
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 6.4
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 6.7
Air Cooler Rating: Install 9 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link AK500 Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

This cooler has a moderately difficult installation, especially for AMD CPUs, due to its unique mounting setup. The installation process is similar to the AK400. The AK500 has a compact design, moderate cooling performance, and above-average noise levels. With a sleek, minimalist aesthetic, the cooler is suitable for various PC builds, offering a balance between cooling efficiency and acoustic performance for users seeking cost-effective solutions without top-tier cooling or silent operation.

Installation Insights

The AK500 has DeepCool's more modern installation designs as of 2023, which has more components than most for an easy install. The backplates are held down by single hand screwed nuts that also serve to hold the mount from the other side. This makes it easy to place the backplate correctly during the installation. The remaining portion of the install is similar to that of Noctua's typical installation, which makes it easy, but also can make the uninstallation challenging if the thermal paste sticks well to the CPU.




Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120 CPU cooler image
Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120
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Metric Value
Brand Thermalright
Cooler Name Peerless Assassin 120
Stated dBa 25.6
Number of Heat Pipes 6
Full Size (WxHxD): 125x157x135 mm
Radiator 1 (WxHxD) 125x115x40 mm
Radiator 2 (WxHxD) 125x115x40 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.6
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 6.8
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 5.9
Air Cooler Rating: Install 8 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link Peerless Assassin 120 Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

A notable feature of the Peerless Assassin 120 is its comparatively quiet performance. The cooler comes equipped with two 120mm TL-C12 PWM fans, engineered for optimal airflow and reduced noise levels. While it may be slightly louder than other coolers of a similar size, its impressive cooling capabilities make the Peerless Assassin 120 a strong contender for your PC setup.

Installation Insights

This cooler installation is very similar to Noctua's typical installation, which is one of the easier installation setups. However, it also faces similar issues regarding uninstalling this cooler, where the cooler is unable to slide/twist off the cooler to break the thermal paste seal. This might be necessary if the thermal paste has a strong hold between the cooler and the CPU.




Noctua NH-D15S manufacture's image
Noctua NH-D15S
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Metric Value
Brand Noctua
Cooler Name NH-D15S
Stated dBa 24.6
Number of Heat Pipes 6
Full Size (WxHxD): 150x160x135 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.5
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 6.5
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 6.3
Air Cooler Rating: Install 8 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link NH-D15S Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The Noctua NH-D15S is a versatile, high-performance air cooler that offers excellent cooling capabilities and quiet operation. Its asymmetrical, dual-tower design makes it suitable for various system configurations, and its exceptional build quality ensures long-lasting performance. For users seeking a reliable and efficient cooling solution, the NH-D15S is a top choice.

Installation Insights

The NH-D15S comes with Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting system, which provides compatibility with a wide range of Intel and AMD sockets. The installation process is straightforward, thanks to the clear instructions and high-quality components provided. Noctua also includes a tube of their premium NT-H1 thermal compound to ensure optimal thermal transfer between the CPU and heatsink.

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