Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

CPU Socket Supported All Intel 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4
Noise Levels 36 dB
Fan Size 120mm
Heat Pipes 4 Copper Heatpipes
Cooler Height 157.48 mm

The number one and aftermarket CPU cooler with an admirable price tag is none other than Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. So if you are on a tight budget, our quick recommendation is to grab this item without any delay.

The Hyper 212 Evo comes with an innovative base design and has a powerful PWM fan. If we talk about the build quality, it has a sturdy build and is a durable solution for enthusiast overclockers. The cooler comes with four heatpipes and would keep your rig cool during extensive gaming or high-end video editing.

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For some users, the installation might not be that simple. You also don't get any fancy lighting in this cooler which can be justified due to its lower price range. The cooler also lacks a second fan and has no splitter for the second fan.

The CPU cooler comes with an Airflow of 82.9 CFM and Noise levels of 36.0 decibels. It means that you will get a quiet working and silent cooler. In its price range, such features are highly appreciated by high-end users. Value Verdict

The cooler Hyper 212 EVO sits under the price range of 50 bucks and carries with it enough pros for any enthusiast gamer. So it's our definite and top recommendation for budget gamers who are not concerned about the fancy stuff.

  • Affordable price tag
  • Decent build quality
  • Impressive cooling capacity
  • Silent while working
  • No fancy lighting for geeks

Be Quiet! BK008 Pure Rock Slim

CPU Socket Supported All Intel 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4
Noise Levels 13.1 — 25.4 dB
TDP 120 W
Heat Pipes 3 Copper Heatpipes
Cooler Height 125 mm

The cheapest in terms of pricing and famous in terms of performance is none other than Be Quiet! BK008 Pure Rock Slim. Comparatively smaller in size and having only 3 heatpipes, Be Quiet is still leading the game.

The cooler isn't the most powerful on the market, but it's lightweight, agile, and designed for 'smaller builds. It's tiny, but it's deadly quiet, and it's powerful enough to cool even a Core i5 9600K which it's not an easy task.

The BK008 Pure Rock SLIM is suitable for use in space-saving but efficient desktop systems and home theatre PCs due to its small size and decent cooling capability (at a reasonable price).

Be Quiet! Pure Rock Slim cooler is unique as it is scaled halfway between low-profile coolers like the Cryorig C7 and more traditional air tower coolers like the Hyper 212 Evo.

It is, however, simple to mount, as it employs the same classic push-pin process as Intel's stock coolers.

There's no denying that the Pure Rock Slim is a stylish piece of gear, thanks to its polished finish and Heatpipe caps.

However, an air cooler must be able to effectively cool a CPU, and the Pure Rock Slim came a little less effective in cooling than Hyper 212 EVO. I understand why some people prefer a small air cooler, but given that the Hyper 212 LED works considerably better and isn't much larger, it seems to me to be a better bet in most cases.

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The Pure Rock Slim's noise levels aren't any better, as they're in the middle of the scale, neither the quietest nor the loudest air cooler we've checked.

Value Verdict

The Pure Rock Slim cooler is designed for small and basic PC builds, and it's a good fit for an HTPC because of its low profile. As compared to full-size versions, cooling efficiency is mediocre, but it is justified by its price.

  • Cheapest in price
  • Small and compact size cooler
  • Ideal for small factor PCs
  • AMD bracket included
  • Cooling performance is reasonable
  • There is no thermal paste tube in the package.

Corsair Hydro Series H115i

CPU Socket Supported All Intel 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4
Noise Levels 20.4 dB(A)
Fans 2x ML Series 140mm PWM Fans
Fan Max Speed 1200 RPM
Radiator Height 143mm

The best liquid cooler for i5 9600k on the list is none other than Corsair Hydro Series H115i. With a little touch of RGB, Corsair is promising to offer a silent and efficient cooling solution for enthusiasts.

The H115i cooler features a 280mm radiator and two 140mm fans. The "I" in the name suggests the linking software. The link software would help you control your processor's overall cooling functionality.

The cooling capacity of this cooler is enough to keep your processor cool with the help of two ML (Magnetic Levitation) PWM-dependent fans and the radiator. You can also configure LED lighting directly from the software using Corsair's Link applications.

Corsair's LINK software is compatible with the H115i PRO. After connecting the LCS device to a USB port, you can use the software to program, customize, and track this simple liquid cooling solution.

The all-black style, combined with subtle grey areas, creates a visually appealing product. The chrome module and LED unit on the cooling block are brand new and fully programmable. It happens and appears to be subtle, and it can be customized to your liking. And if you're not a fan of the RGB buzz, simply turn it off and your problem will be solved.

Another advantage of using LINK is that you can match any RGB color to the color animation of the Corsair logo embedded in the cooling block.\ Due to its mounting system, the H115i Pro is a breeze to set up. The module is pre-filled with coolant in a closed loop at the factory. Mount the backplate and standoff screws, then place and fix the cooler. This kit will look fantastic on any PC thanks to its black style.

It's simply a decent alternative to heat-pipe coolers, with the added advantage of being relatively quiet and attractive. Other than the need for ten minutes to install the kit, no 'advanced' skills are needed.

Value Verdict

Enthusiasts looking for an advanced cooling solution with some RGB beauty added would definitely go for Corsair Hydro Series H115i Pro. It is a decently liquid cooler for i5 9600k at a justified price.

  • RGB lighting for its fans
  • Easy to install the cooler
  • Silent cooling solution
  • Justified price range for its features
  • A bit expensive item on the list

NZXT Kraken M22 120mm

CPU Socket Supported All Intel 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4
Noise Levels 25 dB
Cooling Method Water
Pump Height 52.9mm
Warranty 6 Years

The Kraken M22 provides surprising storage efficiency in a condensed cooling kit, making it ideal for a small home theatre or compact gaming build. For a truly dynamic lighting experience, advanced lighting modes with an infinity mirror design add incredible color and lighting to your CPU cooler.

The Kraken series from NZXT has become famous for its high AIO cooling. However, the company is expanding its range, including the Kraken M22, which has a 120mm aluminum radiator and a signature RGB-accented center hub that we are reviewing here. Despite its small size, does the NZXT Kraken M22 have the value and feature set to make it stand out? The simple answer would be; Yes!

This CPU cooler would help you attain superior cooling at minimal noise levels. Using the CAM desktop or mobile app, you can manage efficiency with consistency and make adjustments easily with CAM.

The NZXT's CAM software offers a user-friendly interface for controlling and tracking your entire device, including other components such as hard drives, GPUs, and RAM, but it does not regulate the pump speed of the cooler. However, the CAM software would require you to install Windows 10 or any updated version.

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The NZXT infinity mirror design on the top of the Kraken M22 block hits the spot by being incredibly reflective. You may not be able to see the adjustable lighting effects atop your CPU depending on lighting conditions.

Value Verdict

The NZXT Kraken M22 is a smart, high-performance liquid cooler with sleek styling and vivid RGB lighting options, as well as compatibility with existing AMD and Intel processor sockets. However, it is not compatible with the Threadripper platform.

  • Compact, sleek cooler design
  • Efficient CAM software
  • Effective cooling solution for gamers
  • Beautiful RGB lighting
  • NZXT cloud services collect information from CAM software

BE QUIET! Dark Rock Pro 4

CPU Socket Supported All Intel 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4
Noise Levels 24.3 dB
Cooling Method Fan
Material Copper
Wattage 125

Another best CPU cooler for i5 9600k in line is the Dark Rock Pro 4. In a market flooded with air-cooler options, this one provides powerful cooling and decent style.

The Dark Rock Pro 4 manages to bridge an additional cooling fan between its twin pair of aluminum-fin cooling towers by using both 135mm and 120mm fans. The 120 x 25mm SilentWings fan in the front pushes air into the first tower, where it reaches the 135 x 22mm SilentWings fan in the back. The air stream is then pushed through the second tower and out the back of the cooler by the second fan.

It comes as no surprise that Be Quiet!'s Pro 4 is comparable to the Dark Rock Pro 3 in certain ways. However, time brings maturity, and while the Dark Rock Pro 3 was a fantastic product, a glance at the Dark Rock Pro 4 shows it to be a worthy successor.

The Dark Rock Pro 4 doesn't have the same sleek appearance as the Pro 3, but that would be forgiven because the modern mounting hardware is so much simpler to use. I'm very pleased to see the Dark Rock Pro 4's improved mounting style.

Installing it on smaller form factor motherboards like mATX and ITX is a lot simpler than it was with the Dark Rock Pro 3, and it doesn't take much time. You can say that they have made the updates to Pro 4 keeping the user-friendly factor in mind.

Value Verdict

Some users are annoyed by the extra noise that a liquid cooler makes. This cooler might be a home run for you. In conclusion, if you are unhappy with your liquid CPU cooler's extra noise, you can opt for BE QUIET! Dark Rock Pro 4. It will keep your system cool and your room quiet at least less than a liquid CPU cooler.

  • Efficient cooling performance
  • Decent build and design quality
  • Silent working even during high-end usage
  • Almost all modern CPU sockets are supported
  • Comparatively larger

Noctua NH-D15

CPU Socket Supported All Intel 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4
Noise Levels 24.6 dB
Cooling Method Air
Wattage 1.56 watts
Maximum Fan Speed 1500 RPM

Noctua is a well-known brand for manufacturing powerful cooling solutions. Let's have a peek at its NH-D15 CPU cooler to see if it will be the right option for your gaming system based on the i5 9600k.

Noctua has encouraged us to share our thoughts on the NH-D15 dual-tower CPU cooler due to its performance and features. They listened to their customers and retained all of the stuff that worked well, while also making a few new improvements to not only address the problems but also to ensure that, with the introduction of the latest sockets, the cooler is completely prepared to support such memory configurations.

While successful AIO units are trending nowadays, air coolers are still valued due to certain features they carry around. The biggest pro or positive factor of the traditional CPU coolers like Noctua NH-D15 is performance. In addition to being well performers, the traditional CPU coolers are also noiseless or less noisy as compared to the modern AIO units.

Two NF-A15 140mm fans with PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptors are included in the package for automatic speed control and ultra-quiet operation. However, the bigger cooler size might be problematic for some users with large form factor boards.

The installation is fairly easy and comes with the necessary accessories. For easy and swift installation, includes high-end NT-H1 thermal paste and SecuFirm2 mounting system.

Value Verdict

While the large size of Noctua NH-D15 might be problematic for some small factor boards, it's still a nice beast and has its crowd. So if you are looking for optimal performance and a solid cooler, look no further and grab this item.

  • Solid build and design
  • Silent cooler during high-end usage
  • High RAM compatibility
  • Affordable price range
  • The large size of the cooler not ideal for small form factor boards

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB

CPU Socket Supported All Intel 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4
Noise Levels 26 dB
Cooling Method Air
Air flow 57.3 CFM
Power Connector Type 4-Pin

Cooler Master's well-known and appreciated cooler, the Hyper 212, now has RGB functionality, and it proves to be the true successor to the legendary Hyper 212 legacy. Although the RGB fan offers marginally better thermal efficiency, the extra features do not come at a higher cost.

The Hyper 212 family from Cooler Master is without a doubt one of the most important CPU air coolers in the industry, with the 212 EVO dominating sales in the DIY category for years now, according to Amazon rankings. The RGB edition is no exception here!

Cooler Master has rendered the entire cooler black, with four nickel-plated copper heatpipes, a single tower build, and a 120 mm RGB cooling fan. The top cover is anodized gun-metal black with a polished aluminum surface finish for a classier look.

The stacked fin array provides the least amount of airflow resistance, allowing cooler air to flow into the heatsink. Radiation cooling efficiency is also improved by the nickel-plated jet black.

The cooler is also loaded with 4 heat pipes with patented Direct Contact Technology for efficient and reliable heat dissipation. It features a unique RGB LED controller that lets you easily configure your RGB devices even without an RGB-capable motherboard or software. With the press of a button, you can have the bright rig you've always wanted.

Value Verdict

In conclusion, if you want to add some fancy stuff to your rig at an affordable price, the Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition from Cooler Master is a fantastic choice that lives up to the Hyper 212 name.

  • Easy to install
  • Affordable price range
  • Beautiful RGB for its fans
  • Improved and silent performance
  • None, apparently

Cooler Master MasterLiquid LC120E RGB

CPU Socket Supported All Intel 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156 & AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4
Noise Levels 31.5 dB
Cooling Method Water
Wattage 40
Air Flow 66.7 CFM

Those who are interested to have a cooler for small form HTPC or want to overclock their rigs reasonably can opt for the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RG. The cooler features RGB lighting that is elegant, easy to set up, and not overpowering.

Cooler Master is different from the large array of liquid cooling AIO manufacturers in that they built their own pump. Rather than licensing Asetek's pump design, they created their own Dual Chamber pump, which has proven to be extremely successful throughout their entire product line.

Here, we'll be looking at the MasterLiquid ML120L V2 RGB's 3rd Generation Dual Chamber Pump, which is a refresh of the original Cooler Master ML120L RGB, as you would assume from the name.

Rather than being mirror-smooth, the Cooler Master ML120L RGB uses an oval type of copper block with a lateral grain finish. The major purpose is relying on thermal paste application, mounting pressure, and thermal load to maximize contact with the CPU over the many sockets supported.

If you're planning on building a quiet PC, the reduced noise levels are also worth considering. I assume Cooler Master is targeting the MasterLiquid ML120L V2 RGB at people who have already purchased the first-generation MasterLiquid ML120L RGB, rather than people who are upgrading from mid-range or entry-level air coolers because it is competitively priced to compete with them while providing an impressive level of efficiency.

Value Verdict

Finally, if you were searching for a robust and innovative AIO cooler with RGB and silent working, the MasterLiquid LC120E RGB is our ultimate recommendation.

  • Compact 120mm cooler
  • Offers RGB LED Motherboard Compatibility
  • Reasonably priced item
  • All modern CPU sockets supported
  • Best only for mild overclocking