Top 10 Coolers: Ranked by Temperature and Sound


Assassin IV Manufacture's Image
DeepCool Assassin IV
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Metric Value
Brand DeepCool
Cooler Name Assassin IV
Stated dBa 29.3
Number of Heat Pipes 7
Full Size (WxHxD): 147x164x144 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.4
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 8.6
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 1.5
Air Cooler Rating: Install 7 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link Assassin IV Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

Installation Insights

Installing the Assassin IV is made easier with its smooth setup process. However, because it's small and designed with a lot of details, getting it installed correctly might be a bit tricky if you don't follow the instructions they give you. This cooler uses a bracket that's almost the same as premium coolers and attaches to the motherboard in a way that's like the AK620 model. Figuring out how to put the cooler onto the brackets might be a bit puzzling because its design is so seamless and neat. The top metal mesh that covers the fan sticks on with a magnet, so you can easily access and remove the middle fan during installation. Then, you can attach the cooler to a two-point system and put the middle fan back in place. However, this cooler doesn't put it's fan in the front like most other coolers, so the exposed fan faces the rear. One neat thing is that the fans are already connected, so you only need one plug to turn on both fans and the cooler's LED DeepCool logo. There are additional brackets to potentially add a third fan to the front of the cooler.




Thermalright Frost Commander 140 manufacture's image
Thermalright Frost Commander 140
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Metric Value
Brand Thermalright
Cooler Name Frost Commander 140
Stated dBa 30.2
Number of Heat Pipes 5
Full Size (WxHxD): 140x158x121 mm
Radiator 1 (WxHxD) 143x120x46 mm
Radiator 2 (WxHxD) 143x120x46 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 5.7
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 8.3
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 0.0
Air Cooler Rating: Install 7 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link Frost Commander 140 Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The Frost Commander is a sleek, dual-tower CPU cooler with an asymmetrical design, featuring 5 heat pipes for efficient heat dissipation and a unique hidden heat pipe end design. It offers impressive performance, capable of cooling powerful CPUs and handling overclocking, making it a strong contender for various computer setups. However, with two differently sized fans, it generates above-average noise levels compared to quieter alternatives like the NH-D15 or Peerless Assassin 120, so those seeking a quieter setup may want to consider other options.

Installation Insights

The cooler installation is quite similar to Noctua's easy setup and is identical to the Frost Spirit'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 Frost Commander 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.




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.




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.




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.




DeepCool Assassin III manufacture's image
DeepCool Assassin III
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Metric Value
Brand DeepCool
Cooler Name Assassin III
Stated dBa 29.5
Number of Heat Pipes 5
Full Size (WxHxD): 140x165x161 mm
Radiator 1 (WxHxD) 138x108x50 mm
Radiator 2 (WxHxD) 138x108x50 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.4
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 7.8
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 3.7
Air Cooler Rating: Install 5 (Moderate)
Manufacture's Link Assassin III Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The Deepcool Assassin III is an impressive dual-tower air cooler that offers excellent cooling capabilities, quiet operation, and a visually appealing design. Its performance makes it a popular choice for PC enthusiasts seeking a reliable and efficient cooling solution for their high-performance systems.

Installation Insights

The Deepcool Assassin III features a versatile mounting system compatible with a broad range of Intel and AMD sockets, and the installation process is user-friendly and straightforward. Although there are more steps involved with this cooler's installation, the parts for both Intel and AMD are well-labeled, and the steps are intuitive and easy to follow without much difficulty. It's important to note that this cooler has a large mounting footprint, which may require some consideration in terms of case and RAM clearance. As a result, checking compatibility before purchasing is essential to ensure a hassle-free installation experience.




DeepCool AK620 manufacture's image
DeepCool AK620
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Metric Value
Brand DeepCool
Cooler Name AK620
Stated dBa 28.0
Number of Heat Pipes 6
Full Size (WxHxD): 138x160x129 mm
Radiator 1 (WxHxD) 127x109x40 mm
Radiator 2 (WxHxD) 127x109x40 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.3
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 7.4
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 3.3
Air Cooler Rating: Install 9 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link AK620 Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The AK620 is a high-performance cooler with a dual-tower design, six heat pipes, and two FK120 PWM fans that effectively dissipate heat, making it suitable for powerful processors and demanding workloads. Its sleek appearance features a black top, black fans, and a silver aluminum radiator, adding a refined touch to any computer setup. While the cooler generally operates quietly, it may be louder than some similar-sized alternatives, and occasional increased fan noise at mid RPMs is possible. Nevertheless, the AK620 is an appealing choice for those seeking top-tier performance on a budget.

Installation Insights

The AK620 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.




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.




Noctua NH-C14S manufacture's image
Noctua NH-C14S
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Metric Value
Brand Noctua
Cooler Name NH-C14S
Stated dBa 24.6
Number of Heat Pipes 6
Full Size (WxHxD): 6x140x115 mm
Radiator (WxHxD) 163x48x135 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.2
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 7.2
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 3.8
Air Cooler Rating: Install 8 (Easy)
Manufacture's Link NH-C14S Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The NH-C14S cooler, compatible with a wide range of Intel and AMD sockets, offers a straightforward installation process with Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting system, clear instructions, and high-quality components. Featuring a low-profile design, large aluminum heatsink, and a single 140mm NF-A14 PWM fan, it provides excellent compatibility and clearance for various PC cases and motherboard layouts. The cooler delivers exceptional performance with its six heat pipes and accommodates mainstream to high-end CPUs, even with moderate to high levels of overclocking. The NH-C14S stands out for its quiet operation, ensuring users enjoy a noise-free experience during heavy workloads or gaming sessions.

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.




Artic Freezer 34 eSports Duo Manufacture's Image
Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo
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Metric Value
Brand Arctic
Cooler Name Freezer 34 eSports Duo
Stated dBa 18.0
Number of Heat Pipes 4
Full Size (WxHxD): 124x157x103 mm
Radiator (WxHxD) 124x108x48 mm
Air Cooler Rating: Overall 6.5
Air Cooler Rating: Temperature 7.0
Air Cooler Rating: Noise 5.6
Air Cooler Rating: Install 6 (Moderate)
Manufacture's Link Freezer 34 eSports Duo Manufacture's Link

Product Links

Link Type Value
Amazon.com

General Comments

The Arctic Freezer 34 eSports cooler is a top choice if you want something that works well, looks great, and is quiet. It's efficient, well-priced, and easy to install, making it perfect for all kinds of people who build computers, from casual users to serious gamers.

Installation Insights

The installation process of the Freezer 34 eSports Duo is moderately complex. It utilizes the default AMD backplate, secured with four independent screws, which then connect to the cooler mounting system. However, due to the four independent connection points, achieving a secure connection with all screws can be challenging compared to other systems that only have two. Furthermore, the cooler features a distinctive fan mounting system that attaches directly to the unit. While innovative, the placement of the fans can prove challenging, as the mounting system may detach from the cooler during fan installation.

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