Quietest CPU Coolers: The Ultimate Guide

Written By Steven Arends

Are you looking for the quietest CPU cooler? Then you are certainly at the right place.

As a PC enthusiast and gamer, I spend most of my time on my PC.

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I find the constant whirring sound from the CPU cooler distracting me from my work/play.

That’s why when building a PC; I always make sure to put a quiet cooler on the system so the user can concentrate on work or games.

If you are in a similar position, I’ve got your back.

In this post, I have gathered some of the quietest CPU coolers in the market for you.

These CPU coolers provide a near-silent PC experience while making sure the CPU gets proper cooling.

So keep reading the post to know about the quietest CPU cooler for you.

Also, Check out our expert-recommended best low-profile cpu cooler for your chassis.quietest-cpu-cooler

Top 9 Quietest CPU Coolers Overview

RankAwardCPU Cooler Name
1Quietest CPU cooler for overclocked CPUsScythe Ninja 5
2Best bang for buck quietest CPU coolerScythe Mugen 5 Rev.B
3Quietest low-profile CPU cooler for Intel CPUsNoctua NH-L9i chromax.Black
4Quietest dual tower CPU coolerScythe Fuma 2
5Quietest 250W TDP CPU coolerbe quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
6Quietest cheap ARGB CPU coolerupHere N1055 ARGB
7Quietest low-profile CPU cooler for both AMD and IntelCryorig C7G
8Quietest ARGB CPU coolerID-COOLING SE-224-XT ARGB V2
9Quietest CPU cooler for compact PCsNoctua NH-L9i

Not all CPU coolers work the same way. Some CPU coolers have optimized heatsink and fan blades that help to reduce vibration and noise.

The fans also have optimized fan bearings and anti-vibration technologies that allow for less noise output and more performance.

So, here are the top 9 quietest CPU coolers:

1. Scythe Ninja 5

The Scythe Ninja 5 is the best quiet CPU cooler for overclocked CPUs.

Top highlights of the Scythe Ninja 5:

  • 4 – 14.5 dB(A) noise output
  • 120mm single tower air cooler
  • black top-cover
  • 2x Kaze Flex 120mm 800 RPM fans
  • Sealed Precision Fluid Dynamic Bearings
  • HPMS III mounting system
  • 55mm RAM clearance

scythe-ninja-5Check Today's Price of Scythe Ninja 5 ➜➜

At first glance, you might think that the Scythe Ninja 5 is a dual tower design. But actually, it’s a single tower heatsink. The heatsink is massive and provides a vast surface area for heat dissipation.

The tower needs two fans to provide enough airflow. It has two Kaze Flex 120mm fans to do that job. The fans are in a push-pull configuration, and they can rev up to 800 RPM. They also have anti-vibration pads going in.

And I must say,

These are some of the quietest CPU cooler fans I’ve come across. They top out at only 14.5 dB(A), even under heavy loads. With Sealed Precision Fluid Dynamic Bearings, they are astonishingly silent.

Also, don’t forget to check out our best fanless CPU cooler for silently operating your PC.

The heatsink has recessed fins so that you can install up to 55mm tall RAM modules, so there’s enough clearance. The CPU cooler height is 155mm, which should fit in most regular-sized PC cases.

With the massive heatsink, its large surface area, and the quiet fans, this cooler is very efficient. It is guaranteed to work with the latest and greatest processors.

You can even cool overclocked CPUs with the Scythe Ninja 5, which is insane. It performs toe to toe with some of the better AIOs in the market.

I just wish the fans had more RPM, but even without so, for the price, the Scythe Ninja 5 is an efficient, quiet, heavy performing CPU cooler that is an easy recommendation.

Pros
  • »can cool an overclocked CPU
  • »insanely low temperatures for an air cooler
  • »highly efficient
  • »high TDP support
Cons
  • »fans max out at only 800 RPM
  • »might not fit all PC cases

2. Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B

The Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B is a near-silent CPU cooler that provides the best price to performance ratio.

Notable features of the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B:

  • a sound level of 4 – 24.9 dB(A)
  • 120mm single tower heatsink
  • spring-loaded design
  • six heat pipes and copper base
  • 1x Kaze Flex 120mm fan with Sealed Precision Fluid Dynamic Bearing
  • 55mm RAM height clearance
  • HPMS II mounting system

scythe-mugen-5Check Today's Price of Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B ➜➜

It is hard to say enough good things about the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B. You would struggle to find a CPU cooler at such an affordable price that performs as decent as it, let alone a quiet one.

The Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B hovers around 4 to 24.9 dB(A), so it’s almost silent. And the best part is, you won’t even hit the peak noise level so often as it’s highly efficient.

The single tower heatsink is a quality one. With durable aluminum construction, it feels and performs superbly. The six heat pipes conduct heat very fast, while the Kaze Flex 120mm PWM fan blows a high amount of air to dissipate the heat quickly.

Check out the award-winning best nzxt aio cooler this month.

Being PWM,

It automatically adjusts speed based on the heat output, and hence it produces significantly less noise when you’re not running heavy tasks. The fan is near silent with its Sealed Precision Fluid Dynamic Bearing and anti-vibration rubbers.

The CPU cooler has an asymmetrical design, and the fins are recessed on the lower side. So the RAM slots have clearance of up to 55mm, and the VRMs and the PCIe slot are also not covered or blocked.

If you are not into overclocking, you can safely get the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B at an affordable price that performs as good as coolers twice its worth but at a much less noise output.

Pros
  • »top-notch performance at an affordable price
  • »amazingly quiet for its performance
  • »easy installation
Cons
  • »none

3. Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black

The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black will be the best choice for anyone looking for the quietest low-profile CPU cooler for Intel CPUs.

Top highlights of the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black:

  • 8 – 23.6 dB(A) noise level
  • designed for Intel LGA115x sockets
  • 37mm extreme low height
  • 95x95mm minimal footprint
  • NF-A9x14 slim 92mm fan included

noctua-nh-l9i-chromax-blackCheck Today's Price of Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black ➜➜

Noctua designed this CPU cooler for Intel users with an all-black color scheme. The CPU cooler guarantees to work smoothly with any Intel CPU at stock frequencies.

Despite this, it can be used with AMD AM4 socket CPUs using the Noctua NM-AM4-L9aL9i adapter that you can order free of charge. Keep in mind that the AM4 bracket installation is not as easy as an Intel one.

The air cooler is one of the shortest in height, measuring only 37mm. It makes the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black the best option for Intel-based HTPC or ITX builds.

Due to its ultimate compact design, it’s not suitable for any overclocked CPU or CPU with over 65W TDP, so if you are planning on overclocking, there are other CPU coolers on this list.

Also, don’t forget to check out the best noctua cpu cooler available in the market.

What’s more?

The 95mm x 95mm footprint means that it is compatible with all sorts of RAM, SSD, and heatsink and will not cause trouble while mounting.

The Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black comes with the NF-A9x14 slim 92mm fan that is super quiet and impressively efficient in cooling CPUs. It’s a PWM fan with a low noise adaptor, so you get both the silence and efficiency here.

Unlike most compact CPU cooler fans, it maxes out at only 23.6 dB(A). What’s even more exciting is that it doesn’t even reach that noise level most of the time.

Therefore it’s safe to say that,

For anyone owning a small ITX PC case with an Intel CPU running at stock frequencies, the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black is a no-brainer as it offers the best value, best fit, and best performance with near-silent operation.

Pros
  • »excellent performance under load
  • »whisper quiet at idle temperatures
  • »NT-H1 thermal paste
Cons
  • »hard to install on am4 socket due to tight screws

4. Scythe Fuma 2

The Scythe Fuma 2 is an improved version of the highly praised Scythe Fuma.

Key highlights of the Scythe Fuma 2:

  • 7 – 23.9 dB(A)
  • 120mm dual tower design
  • black top-cover
  • 2x Kaze Flex 120mm fans included
  • +15% cooling performance over the previous generation
  • option to install 3rd fan
  • reverse rotation for high static pressure
  • HPMS III mounting system

scythe-fuma-2Check Today's Price of Scythe Fuma 2 ➜➜

Scythe took the already good Scythe Fuma and added some improvements on top of it to produce the Scythe Fuma 2. It boasts a 15% cooling performance increase over its predecessor. And it shows.

Scythe also made sure not to ruin the good things about the previous generation, so they stay here too. The Scythe Fuma 2 has a dual tower design with a black top cover. There are two Kaze Flex 120mm fans included. One fan goes at the front while the other goes in between the heatsinks.

And interestingly,

They rotate in opposite directions. It creates a high static pressure that helps to dissipate heat more efficiently from the two heatsinks.

You also get an option to install a third fan for maximum performance, so that’s a bonus. But even without it, the two fans provide enough cooling performance for most use cases. Unless you’re overclocking, it should get the job done efficiently.

Check out the cpu cooler with TR4 socket compatibility.

The benefit of staying with two fans is that it will be relatively quiet than other dual tower CPU coolers. The noise level goes as low as 2.7 dB(A) and maxes out at just 23.9 dB(A), which is impressive for a dual tower cooler with two fans. You will barely hear the fans during your regular PC use.

The asymmetrical design and the recessed fins help for maximum compatibility for a CPU cooler of this size. The HPMS III mounting system also allows you to install the CPU cooler without any hassle easily.

All in all, the Scythe Fuma 2 is an excellent CPU cooler that’s astoundingly quiet for its cooling performance and provides enough thermal capacity for most CPUs. Just make sure it fits into your PC case, and you’re good to go.

Pros
  • »highly efficient
  • »superb cooling
  • »affordable
Cons
  • »looks can be more polished

5. be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

The be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is one of the most silent CPU air coolers with 250W TDP support.

Key highlights of the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4:

  • maximum 24.3 dB(A) noise
  • 250W TDP support
  • 1x Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM fan
  • 1x Silent Wings 135mm PWM fan
  • seven copper heat pipes
  • brushed aluminum top-cover

dark-rock-pro-4Check Today's Price of Dark Rock Pro 4 ➜➜

The main selling point of this air cooler is its low noise output with high-TDP support. Even under full load, the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 produces only 24.3dB of sound. It is incredible to consider that it cools down powerful workstation CPUs with up to 250W TDP and has two fans running.

The air cooler is massive. Despite this, it has recessed fins and a small front fan size of 120mm. It gives enough room to fit slightly taller than average-sized RAM modules. The CPU cooler measures 146mm in length, 136mm in width, and 163mm in height. Make sure you have enough room inside the PC case to fit this beast.

The be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 has two Silent Wings fans. There is a 135mm PWM fan between the two heatsinks and a second 120mm Silent Wings 3 PWM fan sitting at the front.

Don’t forget to check out the best alternatives to dark rock pro 4 cpu cooler.

Here’s the great thing about this air cooler:

The front fan produces a high static pressure for optimized cooling with the help of the funnel-shaped air inlet. Both the fans have fluid dynamic bearings and airflow optimized fan blades for silent cooling operation.

The dual heatsinks are optimized, too, with wave-contoured aluminum fins and a unique black ceramic coating. All of it contributes to high efficiency and low noise cooling performance.

All in all, the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is a great air cooler that boasts ultimate cooling for high-end workstation CPUs at an unrivaled low noise.

Pros
  • »great cooling performance
  • »very quiet compared to its cooling capabilities
  • »high-quality materials
Cons
  • »might not fit on some PC cases

6. upHere N1055 ARGB

If you’re into RGB, the upHere N1055 ARGB might be your favorite quiet CPU cooler.

Prime features of the upHere N1055 ARGB:

  • 15 – 25 dB(A)
  • five copper heat pipes
  • 5V 3-pin ARGB
  • 120mm PWM fan with maximum 1800 RPM
  • 180W TDP support

uphere-n1055cf-cpu-coolerCheck Today's Price of upHere N1055 ➜➜

The upHere N1055 ARGB supports ARGB on its fan. It includes a 120mm PWM ARGB fan that can go up to 1800 RPM. It produces very low noise for such high RPM.

The noise level hovers around 15 – 25 dB(A), making it one of the quietest ARGB CPU air coolers. The cooling performance is also decent, with five heat pipes and an aluminum fin heat sink.

Amazingly, it supports CPUs with up to 180W TDP. That being said, don’t expect the upHere N1055 ARGB to cool overclocked CPUs.

Also, check out our expert’s recommended best cooler master cpu coolers.

As for the ARGB,

It looks gorgeous. The top cover also has ARGB strips that sync with the fan lighting. You can control the RGB lighting via the 5V 3-pin ARGB header on the motherboard.

The installation process is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t come as an obstacle for most people.

Overall, if you want a quiet and good-looking CPU air cooler, the upHere N1055 ARGB is a good deal.

Pros
  • »great aesthetics with ARGB
  • »decent cooling
  • »easy installation
Cons
  • »not for overclocked CPUs

7. Cryorig C7G

The Cryorig C7G is a low-profile top-flow design CPU cooler that aims to be as quiet as possible.

Notable features of the Cryorig C7G:

  • the maximum sound output of 30dB(A)
  • Graphene coating
  • top flow design
  • maximum 125W TDP supported
  • 97mm PWM fan

cryorig-c7gCheck Today's Price of Cryorig C7G ➜➜

The central aspect of the Cryorig C7G is the form factor. It is one of the quietest low-profile CPU cooler with a height of just 47mm, which can easily fit in most compact cases. The footprint measures 97×97 mm, making it suitable for ITX motherboards.

It doesn’t hinder the RAM slots or the PCIe slot, so this is a decent choice if you want easy access to those.

Here’s the unique part:

The Cryorig C7G has a Graphene coating on its heatsink fins. Graphene is an expensive material that has a thermal conductivity almost 10x more than aluminum or copper. Hence it manages to cool CPUs up to 125W relatively quickly, despite the compact size.

If you want to overclock your CPU, here are some awesome budget best cpu cooler for overclocking.

The top flow design and four 6mm heat pipes also help in the process. The Cryorig C7G is one of the best coolers for compact PC cases or ITX builds in performance.

It is accompanied by a 97mm PWM fan that rotates at a maximum speed of 2500 RPM. That is enough airflow for such a compact, low-profile cooler, and you will get excellent thermal performance out of it.

Now let’s talk about the noise. Though it’s certainly not the quietest in this list, it manages to stay below 30 dB(A) most of the time, so that’s a low-enough output.

However, if you prefer even less sound, swapping the fan for a Noctua low-profile fan would be a great alternative. Besides this, the Cryorig C7G sums up to be a pretty decent low profile cooler with high thermal capacity.

Pros
  • »high TDP support
  • »expensive Graphene coating
  • »efficient thermals
  • »fits into most PC cases/motherboards
Cons
  • »the included fan is not the quietest

8. ID-COOLING SE-224-XT ARGB V2

The ID-COOLING SE-224-XT ARGB V2 is an affordable ARGB-supported CPU cooler that runs quietly.

Key features of the ID-COOLING SE-224-XT ARGB V2:

  • 2 – 31.5 dB(A)
  • 1x 120mm PWM fan with ARGB
  • top cover ARGB lighting
  • wired controller included

id-cooling-se-224-xtCheck Today's Price of ID-COOLING SE-224-XT ➜➜

It is surprising to find a top-performing CPU cooler at such an affordable price with ARGB. So the ID-COOLING SE-224-XT ARGB V2 has a lot going for it.

For starters, the cooling performance is excellent. It is not as massive a CPU cooler as some others in this list, but it performs reasonably well. You will see a considerable temperature drop by replacing the stock cooler with it.

The top cover and the included fan have ARGB lighting. You can either control them via the 5V 3-pin ARGB header on the motherboard or via the included wired controller if your motherboard lacks the header.

Don’t forget to check out the list of the best cpu coolers for LGA 1200 socket compatibility.

The RGB lighting is nicely done, and it looks pretty decent. The fan itself is a 120mm PWM fan with a maximum speed of 2000 RPM.

The fan aces at noise levels too. Most of the time, you will not hear the fans as they produce very low noise between 16.2 and 31.5 dB(A). You would only be able to listen to them at their 100%, but since it’s PWM, it won’t bother you for long, if any.

So there you have the ID-COOLING SE-224-XT ARGB V2, an ARGB-enabled air cooler with outstanding performance, excellent clearance, and low noise. That’s an impelling package, especially when you consider the price.

Pros
  • »great looking ARGB lighting
  • »excellent cooling
  • »clearance for RAM modules and PCIe slot
  • »near-silent most of the time
Cons
  • »can be loud at 100% fan speed

9. Noctua NH-L9i

The Noctua NH-L9i is one of the quietest compact CPU coolers out there.

Top features of the Noctua NH-L9i:

  • 8 – 23.6 dB(A) noise level
  • specially made for Intel LGA115x sockets
  • a low height of 37mm
  • 1x NF-A9x14 slim 92mm fan included

noctua-nh-l9iCheck Today's Price of Noctua NH-L9i ➜➜

The CPU cooler is very compact. Its height is only 37mm, while the length and width are both 95mm. It makes the Noctua NH-L9i the best option for HTPC or ITX builds. It provides enough clearance for all sorts of RAM, SSD, and heatsink and will not cause trouble while mounting.

Due to its super compact design, it’s not suitable for any CPU with over 65W TDP. Another fact is that the CPU cooler is designed for Intel LGA 115X based CPUs. You can also use it on an AMD AM4 CPU by using a bracket available from Noctua.

Now let’s talk about the fan.

The Noctua NH-L9i comes with the NF-A9x14 slim 92mm fan that is super quiet and impressively efficient in cooling CPUs. It’s a PWM fan with a low noise adaptor, so you get both the silence and efficiency here. The fan maxes out at only 23.6 dB(A), and it doesn’t even reach that noise level most of the time.

If you have a specific color scheme or RGB in your PC, the brown and beige color scheme might not suit the setup. Otherwise, the build quality of the CPU cooler is very premium and rigid.

Therefore,

For anyone owning a compact ITX Intel PC, the Noctua NH-L9i is an excellent choice for offering the best fit, best performance with a quiet operation. What it loses in its aesthetics, it gains back that in its thermal and acoustic performance.

Pros
  • »top-notch cooling performance
  • »whisper quiet at idle temperatures
  • »premium build
Cons
  • »some might not like the color scheme

Final Thoughts

So which CPU cooler do you think fits your criteria? I find the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B an excellent choice for its top-notch cooling at a reasonable price. I also like the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.Black due to its high thermal capacity at such a compact form factor.

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