Micro Center Champions Recommend: CPU Coolers

This discussion has a more recent version.

With AMD's recent 7000 Series launch, you may be looking for a new processor cooler. Whether you're upgrading your current system and just need some more cooling power or building a full new system, our champions have some recommendations for great cooling systems.

First Build by Jason l

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB V2 120mm Water Cooling Kit by @tbarggs

Liquid cooling is an amazing option for keeping your processor cool, as it will keep your PC running smoothly regardless of environment. But the words “Liquid Cooling” can be a daunting term to newcomers. Don’t worry, though, as most modern AIOs are incredibly first-time-friendly and not as scary as they sound. Most AIO, including my recommendation, do not require any maintenance, meaning you won’t have to worry about leak testing or draining any sort of liquid. So before you write off that AIO as "too risky" or "too much work," check out some of the recommendations. You'll almost certainly be surprised!

The Cooler Master ML230L 120mm AIO Liquid Cooler is one of my favorites. I personally use this liquid cooler and have loved it ever since I got it. Since it requires only a single 120mm slot to mount the radiator, its a perfect option for almost any case! The fan speeds on this cooler range from 650 RPM to 1800 RPM, which means this cooler is going to run very quietly regardless of load. On top of that, the fan included is RGB, and who doesn’t love customizable lighting? The ML120L is a very budget-friendly cooler and I recommend this cooler for anyone with an entry-level to mid-range processor.

EKWB AIO D-RGB 360mm Water Cooling Kit by @w8deywins

Having trouble trying to pick out the perfect cooler for your CPU? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. This is an important step for the overall health and performance of your whole build. Choosing to go with an average cooler will give you average results. This is why I suggest taking the “no messing around” route and investing in a top-of-the-line cooler. I recommend the EK-AIO 360mm D-RGB and just going all the way with a closed-loop liquid cooler. Typically AIOs offer more efficient cooling for your processor than standard air coolers (and a bit more RGB too!). EKWB knows how to design an eye-catching cooler, and the block is absolutely the centerpiece. Combining the elegant aesthetics, state-of-the-art pump design, and high-static pressure fans results in a cooler that rewards any user with a truly premium experience. It comes with some great quality-of-life features as well, as it sync’s up with most Motherboard RGB software and supports a wide variety of CPU sockets - EKWB will even send you a compatible socket upgrade kit for new CPUs. And here's the kicker: these gorgeous high-end AOIs retail for only $163! So if you happen to see one of these EKWB AIO CPU Coolers at your local Micro Center, I strongly recommend adding it to your build - you won't regret it!

be quiet DARK ROCK PRO 4 CPU Cooler by Matthew Price

Piecing out a new build is an exciting part of the building process. In what feels like an RGB-centered market, it can be overwhelming when trying to coordinate performance with style. For those looking for a great build that can be left out of sight and out of mind, the overall look of the build is less important. 

That's where the DARK ROCK PRO 4 CPU Cooler from be quiet comes in! Using their “Silent Wings 3” fan with a funnel-shaped design, it offers incredibly quiet cooling performance, perfect for your average builder! It also allows users to add an additional fan for more efficient cooling. PC builders at all levels will appreciate the user-friendly design and installation kit, especially if they're looking to stay away from water cooling and RGB for their latest build.

NZXT Kraken X53 240mm Water Cooling Kit by @ChaosDTV

If it's not obvious by now, CPU coolers are absolutely one of the most important tools any PC builder will need. While each component is important for a successful PC build, without proper cooling your PC will shut down immediately, if it turns on at all. This goes doubly so if you plan on doing anything intensive, such as gaming or video editing. Undercooling will leave your computer running slow and potentially blue-screening as a result of overheating.

If you're looking for a good mid-sized cooling solution, I recommend the NZXT Kraken X53 240mm cooling kit. A minimalist design and great, clean aesthetic thanks to NZXT's color scheme make this a fantastic option for your next build. At only 240mm, it can fit in most cases, making it perfect for mini-ITX builds. With NZXT CAM software integration, you can customize the fan speeds and LED functionality. ensuring your cooler hits that sweet spot where you've got sufficient cooling but aren't drowning your whole room in fan noise. Plus, the Kraken cooler is compatible with AM4 (and AM5!) builds and any Intel builds ranging from LGA 1150 to 2066, covering all o your modern computing bases.

More from the Micro Center Community:

Looking for more information about Building a PC? We’ve got PC Build Guides as well as articles on How to Choose Parts for you Custom PC BuildProduct Reviews, and Part Comparisons. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to post a new discussion and the Community will be happy to help!


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