Top 10 Best CPU Air Coolers for Overclocking

By Jim Jones

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You have probably heard of overclocking when it comes to your PC, and are wondering how it can be useful for you. Well, overclocking is when you run a computer at a speed that it wasn’t designed for. This can speed up slower PCs, give you more power when it comes to performing tasks, and can improve your components.

However, overclocking can produce a lot of heat on your PC, and to overclock effectively you will need a CPU air cooler to compensate for the increased heat. We’ve assembled a list of the ten best CPU air coolers, but you will need to make sure that they fit your machine before you buy them.

This first CPU Air Cooler is a single tower cooler armed with one fan, and don’t let its small size fool you. It does the job extremely well and can provide a lot of cooling for your machine while it is overclocked.

Additionally, the purchase of the air cooler comes with all of the items needed to mount it. So, if you are a first time user and are going to be installing a new fan yourself, this is the perfect beginners’ air cooler. Finally, for a large fan, it is not that loud. Even when overclocked the noise level doesn’t go above 20 dBA.

If you have some good headphones on, chances are you won’t even hear the fan.

Pros:

  • – Low noise
  • – Very Easy to Mount
  • – Very Effective at Cooling your CPU

Cons:

  • – Is very large and heavy
  • – Can look out of place on some PCs

Corsair has always been a good builder of gaming products, and their introduction into the air cooling scene has been no different. Rather than being an all in one air cooler, this machine is a dual tower cooler. Unlike their competitors, Corsair’s tower uses two different heat pipe dimensions and a slide-and-lock height adjustment to improve cooling.

Additionally, the mounting and installation are very easy to do, and you will be able to get some good airflow out of the fan. It does run at 36 dBA, which can be a bit loud, but the noise would be more of white noise than anything intrusive.

The tower is good, but it is also expensive, and unless you want to buy everything Corsair ever makes you might be off with a better tower.

Pros:

  • – Easy Installation
  • – Dual Tower cooler

Cons:

  • – Can be loud at max speed
  • – Heat pipes are in direct contact, which can impede performance.

This CPU air cooler is one of the hidden gems of the cooling world, especially if you are looking for something both effective and quiet. This fan runs at a very low RPM, making sure that you won’t hear any loud fan noise as you are gaming or streaming. This is a fan that will give you a quiet experience, but there are better cooling options out there.

So it depends largely on what you want. Do you want quiet fans or efficient fans to cool your computer? If you are looking for quiet, then this fan will work for you.

Pros:

  • – Very low RPM
  • – Easy to install

Cons:

  • – Can be outperformed by some louder options.

This CPU air cooler is very budget-friendly and perfect for a PC gamer who has a budget. If you’ve been in the PC business for a long time, then this product is a throwback to the older Hyper 212 models. It is very easy to install, and can even support an additional fan if you want to increase airflow.

It is a very effective fan for its price and is very silent as well. Plus, the minimalist design makes sure it will fit in any case.

Pros:

  • – Very budget-friendly
  • – Easy to install
  • – Makes little sound even when overclocked

Cons:

  • – Doesn’t prevent thermal throttling

Once again Scythe makes the list with a good showing in the Scythe Fuma 2. It is cheap, quiet, and should be very compatible with all your gaming setups. Once again everything you need to install the product is inside the box, and it also comes with three fan brackets. Unlike other fans, two of them go clockwise while one goes counterclockwise to maximize airflow.

It can cool almost any system, and won’t be intrusive even when you are overclocking. The Scythe Fuma 2 is a fan that checks all the boxes for a cheap price and is an accessory you need to snatch up.

Pros:

  • – Silent when overclocking
  • – Budget-friendly
  • – Designed to work with and on all systems

Cons:

  • – Might not be as effective on high-end computers.

This cooler is large and expensive, and you’d expect a lot out of a cooler this size. Thankfully, it comes with everything you need to install it and a very clear manual. This makes it very easy to install, and while it isn’t as effective at cooling as some of the smaller coolers, a few degrees isn’t the end of the world.

But when it comes to acoustics, you won’t need to worry. The large fans are almost dead silent whenever you use them normally, and an overclock only gives you a quiet humming sound. This is an amazing find to grab when you build your gaming PC, and we really enjoy it.

Pros:

  • – Easy to install
  • – Quiet even while overclocked

Cons:

  • – Expensive
  • – Not the best cooling option out there

Noctua is one of those fans that is simple. You have a single tower design, has one fan, and you won’t have to worry about overtaking the motherboard. The NH-U12A from Noctua does all of that while still being effective. The cooler also offers a six-year warranty, which is something we don’t see a lot of.

The cooler is easy to install, very quiet, and is very budget-friendly. Although it can fall behind some of the bigger and heavier coolers in the temperature range.

Pros:

  • – Easy to install
  • – Dead silent, even when overclocked
  • – Single tower design

Cons:

  • – Not as effective as larger air coolers.

With a name like be quiet, you can certainly expect that the Dark Rock Pro 4 will be a silent option for your PC needs. Thankfully, it lives up to those standards with near-silent operation regardless of the fan speed, and will still be able to cool your PC down.

Once again this package comes with everything you would need to install the air cooler, and it works for all processors except for the AMD Threadripper, so you will have to look elsewhere if you own one.

But it is easy to install, and while you do give up some cooling when compared to the Dark Rock Pro 3… you won’t be hearing from this fan at all!

Pros:

  • – Easy to install
  • – Silent at all fan levels

Cons:

  • – Not as good cooling wise as the Dark Rock Pro 3

For those people who love Noctua’s products, there’s always been one typical drawback for them: the brown color. In a world of black and grey PC cases, the fan has stuck out like a sore thumb for most users. But not anymore, as we can now get all the benefits of the Noctua brand in black!

Other than the color change, it isn’t that different from the other Noctua models. You have your copper heat pipes, dual tower design, and good cooling on overclock speeds. The biggest drawback that might stop you from purchasing this black beauty is the price.

However, if you want both style and substance, then this is the best thing for you to grab.

Pros:

  • – A nice black finish
  • – The same Noctua quality

Cons:

  • – Expensive
  • – Very large

This large and in charge air cooler is designed to meet all of your computer needs, no matter what motherboard or parts you have. The package contains everything you need to install it, as well as several accessories.

There are seven heat pipes inside the cooler, with all of them running the height of the cooling tower. You can install the Deep Cool Assassin very easily and it is compatible with all PC builds and systems.

It can go head to head with some of the biggest air coolers on the market when it comes to temperature control and silence, and it also has a warranty of five years.

Pros:

  • – Budget-friendly
  • – Can handle hot systems
  • – Uses 140 mm fans

Cons:

  • – Reaches 30 dBA, so slightly louder than competitors.

Conclusion

As long as you know what you want out of an air cooler, and how often you plan to overclock your system, then you should be able to find the cooler that works for you easily. Just make sure that whatever cooler you pick will fit your system, and then you can push that system to the limit!