Finding the best CPU cooler for the brand new i9 12900K CPU can be confusing.
TLDR: Get the MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360, and you’re good to go.
As a PC enthusiast, I can understand the situation. It’s always challenging to fix the perfect CPU cooler that meets all your needs.
Hence, I am writing this post to point out the pros and cons of some best CPU coolers in the market.
Keep reading the entire post, as it will make your decision-making much smoother.
Also, check out the best CPU Coolers for i7-11700k.
Top 7 Best i9 12900K CPU Coolers
|1||Best 360mm AIO||MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360|
|2||Best affordable 360mm ARGB cooler||Thermaltake TH360 ARGB|
|3||Best air cooler||Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black|
|4||Best looking 240mm AIO||MSI MAG CoreLiquid P240|
|5||Best dual tower compact CPU cooler||Noctua NH-D15S chromax.Black|
|6||Best single tower cooler||Noctua NH-U9S chromax.Black|
|7||Best air cooler for ITX case||Noctua NH-L9i chromax. Black|
The Intel Core i9 12900K is a 16 core, 24 thread monstrous CPU released in 2021. It features entirely new technology with a mix of efficiency and high-performance cores.
The CPU has a TDP of 125W. As you can guess, it needs more than average cooling to give you a sustainable and stable performance.
The top CPU coolers listed below will ensure that you get the best performance from your shiny new CPU.
Do check out the best CPU Coolers for i9-11900k.
So, here are the top 7 best i9 12900K CPU coolers:
1. MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360
If you are looking for the best of the best, the MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360 is the one to buy.
Top highlights of the MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360:
- 360mm liquid cooler
- 4″ customizable LCD
- Asetek 7th gen pump
- 3x 120mm PWM MSI TORX fan 4.0
MSI made a superb liquid cooling solution with the MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360. It excels in cooling, design, airflow and has some extra features.
The AIO looks amazing with its sleek look and ARGB lighting. The three MSI TORX fans have ARGB lighting. The pump has a 2.4″ customizable LCD where you can display PC stats, images, or other stuff you like.
The cooling system is revamped in the MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360. It has the latest Asetek 7th generation pump built into it. The pump also has an embedded fan to boost the cooling performance.
The three MSI TORX fan 4.0 included here are on a league of their own. They can ramp up to 2500 RPM, has PWM functionality and a new optimized fan blade design for the best efficiency.
You can control all the PWM functionality, the ARGB lighting, and the pump speed through the MSI Center software.
The fans do tend to be noisier than other fans on the list, but they are also pushing more air at high RPM.
To summarize, the MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360 is the best choice for the Core i9 12900K CPU if you want a 360mm liquid cooler.
Also, check out our expert’s recommended best CPU cooler with screen.
- »excellent looking
- »customizable LCD
- »powerful fans
- »latest generation pump design
- »can be louder than others
2. Thermaltake TH360 ARGB
If you are looking for the best affordable 360mm cooler with ARGB, the Thermaltake TH360 ARGB is the perfect choice for you.
Top highlights of the Thermaltake TH360 ARGB:
- 360mm AIO cooler
- 3x120mm ARGB fans
- smart ARGB controller in the box
- sleek design
The Thermaltake TH360 ARGB maintains an excellent balance between low cost and high performance. It also provides ARGB lighting and is aesthetically pleasing.
High TDP CPU like the Intel Core i9 12900K can help from the high cooling capacity of the Thermaltake TH360 ARGB. The 360mm AIO has three 120mm fans that blow air at high speeds.
Despite such high airflow, they produce much less noise than expected. Together with the sleek design, you get a stealthy snd silent liquid cooler for your CPU.
The ARGB lighting is done right on the Thermaltake TH360 ARGB. It has ARGB lighting on the fans as well as the CPU block. The Thermaltake logo on the CPU block glows quite well in the dark.
One of the best things about the cooler is the inclusion of a smart controller. The Thermaltake TH360 ARGB comes with a smart controller that allows you to control the ARGB without an ARGB header.
The AIO has a reinforced tubing that helps in the coolant’s low evaporation. So your coolant can be in service for longer than the average timespan.
As the Thermaltake TH360 ARGB balances between cooling performance and price, it is not the best-performing one. Hence, there are better alternatives if you are after cooling performance than anything.
To sum up, the Thermaltake TH360 ARGB is a top-notch option as an affordable AIO with high cooling capacity. Do check our latest post on the best CPU Coolers for i5-10600k.
- »affordable for a 360mm AIO
- »decent cooling capacity
- »great ARGB
- »low noise operation
- »not the best performing
3. Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black
If you are an air cooling fan, you cannot go wrong with the Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black.
Main features of the Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black:
- 140mm dual tower air cooler
- 2x NF-A15 140mm PWM fans
- NT-H1 thermal compound included
- SecuFirm2 mounting system
The Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black is a super powerful air cooler that goes toe to toe against the best liquid coolers.
Noctua is a veteran name in the CPU cooler industry. They produce some of the finest air coolers in the market. The Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black is one of them.
Also, don’t forget to check out the best noctua cpu cooler available in the market.
The air cooler is huge with its dual tower design. With a 160mm height, it can be tight in some PC cases. So before anything, make sure your PC will fit this monster.
The cooling system on the CPU cooler is superb. The six heat pipes and the dual tower heatsink give the cooler an extensive surface area to dissipate heat.
The two NF-A15 140mm PWM fans are highly acclaimed among PC enthusiasts for their great cooling capacity. They also excel at being silent and therefore are the perfect package.
Overall, the performance of the Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black is nothing to worry about. It sits at the top league of CPU coolers easily.
The aesthetics of the CPU cooler is rather interesting. The chromax.Black version means that it has an all-black color scheme. The sleek CPU cooler has a premium look to it.
The dual-tower cooler has lower RAM clearance. However, if you use only one fan, you get up to 64mm of RAM clearance.
For a flagship CPU like the Intel Core i9 12900K, the Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black is a perfect choice as an air cooler. Also, check out the best CPU Coolers for i9-10900k.
- »excellent cooling performance
- »premium build
- »quiet fans
- »low RAM height clearance
4. MSI MAG CoreLiquid P240
If you want a gorgeous-looking AIO for your build, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid P240 is the top choice for you.
Key highlights of the MSI MAG CoreLiquid P240:
- 240mm AIO cooler
- 2x 120mm fans
- double ball bearing in each fan
- diamond-cut design
MSI makes some great looking CPU liquid coolers. The MSI MAG CoreLiquid P240 is one such product.
Thanks to the diamond-cut design, the liquid cooler has a gorgeous and elite look to it. The rough edges and the silver color scheme take the aesthetics to the next level.
When it comes to cooling performance, it is no slouch. The MSI MAG CoreLiquid P240 has a decent cooling performance. Two 120mm fans can spin up to 2000 RPM and blow away the heat rapidly. They also have double ball bearings for smooth operation.
Moreover, the pump is integrated into the radiator for better heat dissipation. The three-phase motor is highly efficient in pumping liquid resulting in quick cooling.
As a result, the liquid cooler stands clear in terms of cooling performance and design.
My only gripe with the AIO is its noise levels. Compared to other CPU coolers in the list, the fans here are quieter.
Overall, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid P240 is a great option for you if all you want is a gorgeous looking AIO with excellent thermals.
Also, don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide on best low profile CPU Coolers.
- »excellent cooling
- »gorgeous design
- »efficient motor
- »noisier than others
5. Noctua NH-D15S chromax.Black
If you want a compact air cooler, the Noctua NH-D15S chromax.Black will be a great choice for you.
Main highlights of the Noctua NH-D15S chromax.Black:
- dual tower 140mm air cooler
- compact size with recessed lower fins
- 1x NF-A15 PWM 140mm fan included
- optional NA-HC3 and NA-HC4 heatsink covers
If you like the Noctua NH-D15, but your PC case cannot fit it, you should take a look at the Noctua NH-D15S chromax.Black. It is a single fan version of the NH-D15 with an asymmetrical design.
The dual-tower cooler has an asymmetrical design that helps it to reduce the height and also increase the RAM clearance. You can install RAM of up to 65mm in height.
Here’s a complete guide on how to fix CPU fan not spinning.
The asymmetrical design ensures the main PCIe slot has clearance. The Noctua NH-D15S chromax.Black is perfect for motherboards where you have RAM slots on both sides of the CPU.
Though it has a single fan, the air cooler keeps the dual tower functionality of its big brother. Hence, cooling performance is comparable to the Noctua NH-D15.
The dual aluminum heatsink and the NF-A15 140mm PWM fan makes sure cooling performance is up to the mark. The fan is quite silent and one of the best in terms of noise to airflow ratio.
Everything else about the Noctua NH-D15S chromax.Black is the same as the Noctua NH-D15. It has the same all-black stealthy aesthetics and premium build quality. A high-quality thermal compound is provided with the cooler.
All in all, buy the Noctua NH-D15S chromax.Black if you want a top-performing air cooler at a slightly compact package. For higher performance, you have to compensate in terms of clearance and go for the Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black instead.
Here’s a quick review of the best CPU Coolers for i7-10700k.
- »excellent cooling for the price
- »quite in operation
- »decent compatibility
- »premium build
- »not the best performing air cooler
6. Noctua NH-U9S chromax.Black
The Noctua NH-U9S chromax.Black is the best-performing single tower cooler for the Intel Core i9 12900K.
Some features of the Noctua NH-U9S chromax.Black:
- single tower air cooler
- 125mm compact height
- 1x NF-A9 92mm fan
- NT-H1 thermal compound included
If your PC case is not big enough to fit a dual tower air cooler, you can go for this single tower beast.
The chromax.Black version of the Noctua NH-U9S comes with a full black color scheme and a premium build. It will increase the beauty of any gaming PC it goes into.
The cooling performance of the Noctua NH-U9S chromax.Black deserves a lot of praise. The single tower cooler has an aluminum heatsink and efficient heat pipes to dissipate heat quickly.
The included NF-A9 92mm PWM fan blows air rapidly with low noise output. As such, you get both the high cooling performance and less noise.
As it is a single tower cooler, it is compact enough to fit into a typical PC case. The 125mm height certainly does not impose any restrictions when it comes to clearance.
Compared to other single tower coolers, the Noctua NH-U9S chromax.Black is slightly more expensive. But it is justifiable as it covers up the extra price with its performance.
Though you can get smaller air coolers, the Noctua NH-U9S chromax.Black strikes a decent balance between size and cooling capacity. As such, if you are looking for such a cooler, it is the perfect choice for you. Also, don’t forget to check out our best fanless CPU cooler for silently operating your PC.
- »excellent cooling performance
- »premium look
- »quiet fan
- »compact form factor
- »slightly expensive for single tower cooler
7. Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black
If you want to use the i9 12900K CPU in an ITX casing, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black is the best choice for you.
Top features of the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black:
- 95mm slim air cooler
- 19dB low noise output
- 37mm minimal height
- 1x NF-A9x14 slim 92mm fan included
Noctua, a veteran name in CPU cooler industry, has a CPU cooler for everyone. If you are planning to use the beast i9 12900K CPU in an ITX case or in an HTPC, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black is the way to go. Let me explain why.
The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black has a minimal footprint of only 95x95mm. Together with a 37mm height, it is super compact and can easily fit into any ITX case. Check out the award-winning best nzxt aio cooler this month.
You might ask, is the CPU cooler enough to cool down the 125W CPU?
The answer is yes. It is true that the cooling performance will not be comparable to the likes of MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360 and Noctua NH-D15 chromax.Black, but for the size, it punches way above its limit.
In fact, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black is one of the very few air coolers that you can pair with the 12900K CPU in an ITX casing. The efficiency of the air cooler is incredible.
Moreover, the 92mm fan runs incredibly quiet. With only 19dB of noise output, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black is virtually inaudible. The PWM fan ensures it runs according to the temperature of the CPU and keeps the noise output minimum.
In terms of aesthetics, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black is premium and sleek, just like the other Noctua air coolers on the list.
Overall, everything about the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black is great, and for an ITX build, you cannot go wrong with this one. Sure, you will not get as much of a cooling performance as the other big coolers on the list, but that’s expected given its size.
Check out our experts tested and reviewed the best Water Cooling Kit for gaming PC.
- »excellent cooling for the size
- »virtually silent
- »premium construction
- »might run hot under load
So which CPU cooler do you want?
I like the MSI MPG Series CORELIQUID K360 for its feature-rich profile and high cooling performance. The Noctua NH-D15S chromax.Black is a great choice for air cooling if you have a regular-sized PC case.