Finding the perfect CPU cooler for your PC can be confusing. Trust me. I’ve been there. The confusion increases when you want to find a CPU cooler for the newest Intel LGA 1200 socket. After testing over 149 CPU Coolers, I have found that the Noctua NH-D15 CPU Air Cooler and the Thermaltake TH240 Water Cooler are the best intel LGA 1200 socket compatible CPU coolers for people who consider budget and performance as their first priority.
Top 5 Best CPU Coolers For Intel LGA 1200 Socket
|1||Best liquid cooler||EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB|
|2||Best air cooler||Noctua NH-D15|
|3||Best affordable ARGB cooler||Thermaltake TH240 ARGB|
|4||Best looking AIO||NZXT Kraken X53 RGB|
|5||Best bang for buck air cooler||Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition|
Intel released the LGA 1200 socket in 2020 for the Intel 10th and 11th gen CPUs. These CPUs come with a high core/thread count and more performance than the previous generation.
Thus you need a decent cooling solution to get the maximum performance out of them. It’ll help you get a stable performance in intensive tasks like gaming, editing, etc.
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So, here are the top 5 best CPU coolers for Intel LGA 1200 socket:
1. EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB
The EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB is one of the best AIOs in the market in terms of thermal performance.
Key features of the EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB:
- 360mm AIO
- 6x EK-Vardar 120mm ARGB PWM fans
- EK-hub for cable management
- Nickel cover on CPU block
The AIO has a solid build quality. Nothing on the liquid cooler feels cheap or low quality. It ensures reliability and longevity for a hassle-free experience.
The EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB is a beast in terms of cooling capabilities. The SPC-style pump generates a powerful flow, which transfers heat rapidly through the optimized dense radiator fins for quick heat dissipation.
Here’s the unique thing about the AIO:
It includes six EK-Vardar 120mm PWM ARGB fans. You can install them on both sides of the 360mm radiator in a push-pull configuration for the ultimate cooling performance. However, it will increase the noise levels.
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If there’s less space, you can install three fans on the radiator and the rest three on the PC case itself for high airflow. It’ll also help to cool down other components in your PC. Thus the six fans come in handy in a lot of ways.
The fans have Addressable RGB on them, along with a slight hint of ARGB on the elegant CPU block. It gives you the ability to customize the looks to your liking and make the color scheme personal.
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Are you worried about cable management?
The EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB comes with the EK-hub, which contains seven sets of ARGB and PWM headers. Therefore you get to run all the fan cables to a single place which tidies up the PC build by a considerable margin.
All in all, the EK AIO Elite 360mm D-RGB is a well-thought-out complete package with all the necessary components plus some extra allowing you to install it as your liking. The AIO also aces at being a high-performance and elite liquid cooling solution.
- »top performance
- »easy installation
- »quiet pump
- »push-pull configuration
- »cable hub included
- »can become loud on use of all six fans
Also, check out our separate post on will a CPU cooler work on a GPU.
2. Noctua NH-D15
The Noctua NH-D15 is one of the best CPU air coolers in the market.
Key features of the Noctua NH-D15:
- 140mm dual tower CPU cooler
- 160mm in height
- 2x NF-A15 140mm PWM fans
- SecuFirm2 mounting system
- NT-H1 thermal compound
Noctua is a renowned name in the world of CPU coolers. The Noctua NH-D15 is a top CPU cooler from them.
The thermal capacity of the CPU cooler is incredible. It provides a jaw-dropping cooling performance. The dual-tower design has optimized aluminum fins for maximum heat dissipation.
It comes with two Noctua NF-A15 140mm PWM fans. They operate at very low noise, and you could barely hear them. They are some of the most efficient CPU cooler fans because of their high airflow at low noise.
First, you have to make sure it fits inside your PC case, as it has a massive dimension. If it does, the installation process won’t bother you due to the SecuFirm2 mounting system. It’s as straightforward as it can get.
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Noctua designed it, keeping motherboard clearance in mind. So it won’t block VRMs, PCIe slots, or memory slots on most motherboards. You get more memory height clearance of 64mm by using a single fan. If you use two fans, you can install RAM modules of height up to 32mm.
Overall, the Noctua NH-D15 is one of the best CPU air coolers you can buy that aces at thermals, acoustics, reliability, and compatibility. It’s hard to find such a combination in a single CPU cooler.
- »superb cooling
- »quiet operation
- »stable performance
- »easy installation
- »might not fit some PC cases
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3. Thermaltake TH240 ARGB
Need an affordable RGB liquid cooler? The Thermaltake TH240 ARGB is an excellent option for you.
Main highlights of the Thermaltake TH240 ARGB:
- 240mm liquid cooler
- ARGB lighting on fans and CPU block
- 2x 120mm ARGB fans included
- smart ARGB controller included
- low evaporation tubing
The liquid cooler provides an excellent value for the price, especially when considering that it has Addressable RGB, silent operation, and adequate performance.
The ARGB lighting on the AIO looks excellent. The CPU block has an ARGB LED ring around it with a logo at the center. The fans also have ARGB. All of it looks great and changes the look of the entire gaming rig.
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If you don’t have a 5V 3-pin ARGB header on your motherboard, the AIO comes with an ARGB controller that works flawlessly. You can switch between different light modes and presets.
The build of the AIO is pretty good. The construction feels rigid, and no part of it resembles anything cheap. It has a reinforced tubing for low evaporation of coolant and a lengthy lifespan.
As for performance,
The cooler offers decent performance for the price. For most people, this AIO would be more than enough to cool the CPU. However, if you’re running a high-end or overclocked CPU, spending more cash on a more performing AIO would be wise.
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Despite the high-speed fans providing massive airflow, they are adequately quiet. It is undoubtedly not bothersome and runs silently at idle to medium loads.
In a nutshell, the Thermaltake TH240 ARGB is a solid choice as a cheap ARGB AIO with good performance.
- »decent cooling
- »great ARGB
- »solid build quality
- »low noise levels
- »not for demanding CPUs with high TDP
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4. NZXT Kraken X53 RGB
The NZXT Kraken X53 RGB is a premium and gorgeous RGB AIO with a stable performance.
Key features of the NZXT Kraken X53 RGB:
- 240mm radiator AIO
- rotating infinity mirror design with ring LED
- 2x Aer RGB V2 120mm fans
- fluid dynamic bearing
- fine nylon mesh sleeves
The AIO would lure anyone coming across it by the gorgeousness and the premium build of it. It is super sleek and elite-looking. From the infinity mirror on the CPU block to the beautifully designed Aer RGB V2 fans, everything looks just amazing.
The RGB lighting is another area where the NZXT Kraken X53 RGB shines at. The infinity mirror looks like no other CPU cooler with the ring LED around it, and the two included 120mm Aer RGB V2 fans also have stunning RGB lighting on them. If you’re interested in RGB, it should be at the top of your list.
Controlling the RGB is relatively easy, as it’s compatible with the NZXT CAM software. It’s pretty intuitive and easy to use. The fans use fluid dynamic bearing and are quiet.
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The CPU liquid cooler is a decent performer when it comes to cooling. While it’s not the best in this aspect, you wouldn’t come across issues related to thermals on this AIO. NZXT uses the latest pump design and optimized radiator for efficient cooling.
The only thing frustrating here is the installation process. It’s not complicated, but there’s a lack of proper instructions, and most people will be confused while installing it.
To sum up, the NZXT Kraken X53 RGB is a solid option as a premium and incredible-looking AIO with a decent performance and low noise output.
- »premium build and design
- »decent cooling
- »low noise
- »intuitive software
- »confusing installation process
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5. Cooler Master Hyper 212
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition is a redesign and improved version of the best-selling Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo.
Notable features of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition:
- 120mm single tower air cooler
- 1x Silencio FP120 fan included
- four CDC 2.0 heat pipes
- anodized gun-metal black design
- nickel-plated jet black fins
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition tries to keep all the good things about the legendary Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo and improve the product further where possible. And I’m happy to say it succeeded.
You still get the same highly efficient cooling performance at a slim form factor and affordable price. What’s improved over the previous product is the reduced noise levels and better looks.
The CPU cooler gets a new anodized gun-metal black finish on the outside, and the heatsink gets new nickel-plated jet black fins. It looks sleek and stunning over the previous generation.
The cooling performance stays as great as it was before. The stacked array fins and four heat pipes with Continuous Direct Contact (CDC) technology help dissipate heat quickly.
The highly optimized 120mm Silencio FP120 fan puts massive airflow at a surprisingly low noise output. As such, it maxes out at 26 dB(A). The installation process is nothing complicated.
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Want even more cooling?
You can install a second fan with an adapter already included in the box to increase the thermal capacity of the CPU cooler. It would come in handy, especially when you’d like to cool high TDP or overclocked CPUs.
Overall, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition is a highly affordable and capable CPU cooler that is a direct successor to the battle-tested Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo.
- »excellent cooling performance
- »high value for money
- »silent operation
- »sleek design
Which CPU cooler craves your attention? For liquid cooling, the EK AIO Elite 360mm D-RGB is a no-brainer for the top performance. If you want to go the air cooling route, the Noctua NH-D15 is an excellent choice.
If you’re short on budget and want the best value for money, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition is the one to get.