What is the best CPU cooler for i7-9700K?
Choosing the right cooler is not the easiest thing to do. Depending on the use of your PC setup, the cooling requirements will change significantly. Some essential questions to ask include: is the CPU going to be under high loads regularly? Want to overclock your CPU daily? Are you just looking to play online multiplayer games and rarely overclock or play triple-A, single-player titles? Depending on your answers to these questions, the cooling needs of the CPU will vary. Also, if you’re looking to build a small form factor to reduce the footprint of your PC, you’ll need an appropriate CPU cooler to fit your case. Let’s not forget all the popular RGB displays on the CPU coolers. Which will require AIO water cooling rather than airflow cooling, as choices for the former with RGB lighting and sufficient cooling are quite limited?
Intel® Core™ i7-9700K Processor
The mid-range choice of Intel, marketed mainly for gaming setups: the Intel i7-9700K. This CPU features eight cores and eight threads. The L3 cache of 12 MB and the operating and overclocking speeds of 3.6 and 4.9 GHz, respectively, also developed with Intel’s 9th generation 14 nm lithography. What the i7-9700 K does not come with, however, is a CPU cooler, and given that this processor has a TDP of 95W, it will need a considerable amount of cooling to maintain temperatures below 70 degrees Celsius, particularly with the use of its overclocking capabilities.
Best CPU Cooler For i7-9700K
Intel ‘s latest 9th generation i7 processor, i7-9700 K, can create plenty of heat when working hard. Keeping the cool processor lets you maximize output and avoid harm to your equipment.
But finding the best CPU cooler for i7-9700K will rely on how hard you ‘re going to push it.
To help you choose the best CPU cooler for the i7-9700K, we’ve come up with the best options for cooling airflow and RGB AIO water cooling, including multiple options for some categories, depending on your CPU usage level with the 9700K processor.
Noctua NH-D15 (Best Overall Air Cooler for i7-9700K)
DIMENSIONS: 160 × 150 × 161 mm
NUMBER OF FANS: 2
ADVERTISED ACOUSTICAL NOISE: 24.6 dB(A)
MAX FAN SPEED: 1500 RPM
The Noctua NH-D15 is the best cooler for the Core i7-9700 K period. The legendary beast is indeed the best cooler in the world. And note, Noctua only published this one way back in 2014. This cooler is useful both for running stock clocks and OC. There’s also a black edition if Noctua’s brown and beige color scheme doesn’t suit your gaming system. If you want an even sleeker look, you can opt for some specially made heatsink covers.
This can be very similar to AIO systems while keeping the noise lower than any AIO cooler out there. It can reach around 35 decibels under load. It’s a complete package at a high price, but it’s worth the performance. The thing is, the NH-D15 is pretty massive. This can cause problems with RAM sticks with high heatsinks.
It also covers a large part of the motherboard that prevents you from having easy access to the motherboard. Whether you want an alternative, get the better version of the NH-D15s. It features a fan instead of two found in the regular version. This is also displaced enough to prevent any issues with RAM heatsinks.
Performance-wise, the NH-D15s are almost as good as the original. Temperatures are going to be a few degrees higher, while the noise is going to be lower. The 15s are a little cheaper, too. It’s up to you to choose the one because they’re both awesome coolers. The NH-D15S doesn’t have a black edition, so you have to stick to getting the NH-D15 and cutting the side fan if that’s a priority for you.
Thermalright Le Grand Macho (Best Budget Air Cooler for i7-9700K)
DIMENSIONS: 150× 146.5 × 159 mm
NUMBER OF FANS: 1
ADVERTISED ACOUSTICAL NOISE: 20 dB(A)
MAX FAN SPEED: 1300 RPM
Thermalright Le Grand Macho is a solid alternative to the Noctua DH-15 that is a bit cheaper while offering almost the same performance. This one is a bit quieter, a definite plus. It can reach up to 33 decibels under load. It’s a great result when we introduce performance into the equation.
Furthermore, Le Grand Macho has a much smaller footprint than the NH-D15. Overall, this is another fantastic cooler that will be able to hold thermals under check even if you’re trying to overclock.
Be quiet! Dark Rock PRO 4 (Best Silent Air Cooler for i7-9700K )
DIMENSIONS: 145.7 × 136 × 162.8 mm
NUMBER OF FANS: 2
ADVERTISED ACOUSTICAL NOISE: 24.3 dB(A)
MAX FAN SPEED: 1500 RPM
Be still, man! Dark Rock PRO 4 is the best quiet air cooler for the i7-9700K. It’s quieter than the three coolers described above. It barely goes over 30 decibels under load, which is incredible. Thermal efficiency is not at the same degree as our previous choices. It is strong enough to have solid thermals for both stock and moderate OC clocks.
Scythe Big Shuriken 3 (Best Low-Profile Air Cooler for i7-9700K )
DIMENSIONS: 122 × 122 × 69 mm
NUMBER OF FANS: 1
ADVERTISED ACOUSTICAL NOISE: 2,7 – 30,4 dB(A)
MAX FAN SPEED: 1800 RPM
If you’re designing a mini-ITX rig, take the Scythe Big Shuriken 3. This low-profile cooler delivers excellent performance in its category. It’s not going to get close to the performance of top air coolers, but for a low profile one, it’s rocking. You ‘re going to be able to overclock your Core i7-9700 K. Just make sure your case has a strong airflow.
Although not the champion of thermals, the Scythe Big Shuriken 3 is remarkably quiet. Again, not the greatest compared to standard air coolers, but perfect for creating a mini-ITX. With noise levels never going north of 35 dB(A), this is a quiet low-profile cooler.
The cooler has some clearance issues with RAM sticks and high-profile heatsinks. When you’re going to have this one, make sure your RAM sticks don’t have high heatsinks on them. And, that the heatsinks are uninstalling. You should also choose to spin the 180-degrees cooler. Again, Scythe Big Shuriken 3 is the best option for Core i7-9700K-based mini-ITX builds.
EVGA CLC 280 (Best Budget AIO RGB Cooler for i7-9700K )
DIMENSIONS: 280mm (312 × 139 × 27 mm)
NUMBER OF FANS: 2
ADVERTISED FAN NOISE LEVEL: 39.5 dB(A)
MAX FAN SPEED: 2200 RPM
AIO liquid cooling systems have some benefits over air coolers. While both AIO and air coolers have a solid cooling CPU when idle and in stock, the best AIO coolers produce better results under load and when the CPU is overclocked.
On the other hand, contrary to popular belief, AIO coolers can be louder than the average cooler. If the fans and the pump are running at high speeds, the noise can be very noticeable, even distracting. Liquid AIO coolers are also slightly more costly than air coolers.
You need a lot of space for them, too. 240 mm and 360 mm versions need space not available in all PC cases. So, make sure you have enough room for one of them before you pull the trigger. When you’re going to overclock your Core i7-9700 K from day one and don’t want to push your rig around all the time, having an AIO CPU cooler is completely justified.
The EVGA CLC 280 is a very good liquid cooler that won’t break the bank. It produces excellent results even at low fan speeds, in line with far more costly versions. The noise can be loud, but only when the fans work at the maximum volume. At 1050 RPM, which is enough for most users, the noise will reach about 37 decibels.
The cooler offers a great price-performance ratio. It’s pretty cheap compared to the competition when exchanging blows with top options, like the NZXT Kraken X62. If aesthetics are important to you, this model comes with complete RGB support. Overall, this is a great option that performs well, isn’t too loud, supports RGB, and competitively priced sports.
Fractal Design Celsius S24 (Best Budget AIO Cooler for i7-9700K )
DIMENSIONS: 284mm (284 × 122 × 31 mm)
NUMBER OF FANS: 2
ADVERTISED FAN NOISE LEVEL: 32.2 dB(A)
MAX FAN SPEED: 2000 RPM
The Fractal Architecture Celsius S24 is another budget choice on the market. It achieves excellent thermal efficiency, in line with more expensive versions. The noise levels are also quite impressive. At 50 percent fan speed (which provides excellent cooling), the noise is 37 decibels—the same thing as the EVGA CLC 280.
The Celsius S24 is the best option for those who are not hunting for fancy RGB coolers. This one looks kind of bland but still delivers excellent price results. If you have a budget and want RGB, get the EVGA CLC 280.
NZXT Kraken X62 (Best AIO Cooler for i7-9700K )
DIMENSIONS: 280mm (315 × 143 × 30 mm)
NUMBER OF FANS: 2
ADVERTISED FAN NOISE LEVEL: 38 dB(A)
MAX FAN SPEED: 1800 RPM
The NZXT Kraken X63 is probably the perfect liquid cooler for your CPU right now. It’s not too big with a 280 mm radiator so it can fit in most standard PC cases. First, the Kraken X63 offers excellent thermal efficiency, no matter whether you run your CPU on stock or OC clocks.
First, the output is very good at low RPM while keeping the noise low. You can anticipate around 35 decibels at 1050 RPM, while at 1500, the noise can go north of 45 decibels. Not ideal, but even 1050 RPM can produce more than satisfactory thermal performance, even when overclocking.
The alternative, if you have a room, is the X72 Kraken. This one has a bigger radiator and better temperatures. And all this with a noise level below 40 decibels. But it’s slightly more expensive than the X62, which still produces outstanding performance. Finally, both coolers come with full RGB support for the goodness of the light show.
Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro RGB (Best Silent AIO Cooler for i7-9700K )
DIMENSIONS: 360mm (396 x 120 x 27 mm)
NUMBER OF FANS: 3
ADVERTISED FAN NOISE LEVEL: 25 dB(A)
MAX FAN SPEED: 1600 RPM
The Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro is not the best AIO cooler in the world. It’s huge, and it’s very expensive. It’s not giving the best thermal efficiency. So if you’ve got the money and you want to create a silent Mac, go for it.
Since it is so large, it performs excellently on both stock and OC clocks, even at low fan speed (800 RPM). This means fewer than 35 decibels of noise, which is an amazing result. This isn’t the price of a performance champion, but we have to recommend it because it’s very quiet while at the same time maintaining lower temperatures than smaller and similarly big coolers. And indeed, this one is full of RGB.
Frequently Asked Questions??????
Do I need a CPU cooler for the i7-9700K?
It’s absolutely. It doesn’t come with one, but even if it did, you ‘re supposed to replace it with something more serious than the stock coolers you get with Intel CPUs are nothing to brag about.
Does the i7-9700K come with a cooler?
No, no. Its twin, the i7-9700, comes with one, but it’s very dark and shouldn’t be used. Since the i7-9700 K is designed for overclocking Intel, it’s up to you to determine how wild you want to go with it.
How hot does the i7-9700K get?
As the CPU is supposed to overclock, it can get pretty hot if your machine isn’t designed for airflow, and you’re stressing it. Still, the i7-9700 K runs cooler than the i9-9900 K, for example, because it doesn’t get as much power. It’s always safer to have more cooling than too little and have to deal with throttling.
Which Is Better: Air Coolers vs. Liquid AIO Coolers
Air coolers are the most common because they are more affordable, and, generally speaking, there is a wider range to choose from. They have a much higher ratio of value to performance compared to AIO liquid coolers.
They ‘re also much easier to manage and easier to mount because you simply screw them down and plug them in. Liquid coolers have a little more finesse and need more setup.
As liquid coolers become more and more efficient, air coolers are starting to lag. Water cooling provides better overall cooling, but not by much, which is where the price difference comes into play. The biggest problem anyone could find is that the air coolers are much larger than the AIO liquid coolers.
I just managed to fit my Noctua NH-D15 with a few millimeters in my case, because it’s a tank!
So if you have a smaller case or are looking for a more minimalist setup, you might want to consider a liquid cooler over an air cooler.
Liquid coolers are gaining popularity due to their low form factor and customization choices. These also have the highest results in terms of their raw cooling capacity. Water cooling can also run a lot smoother with zero fan noise, which some may consider distracting.
The disadvantages of liquid cooling are that they are much more costly than air coolers. The price disparity will often outweigh the advantages that a liquid cooler can offer you, depending on the product you want.
An often worrisome thought when it comes to liquid cooling is the prospect of it bursting, leaking, or in some way, breaking down. Nowadays, though, liquid coolers have come a long way, and it’s safe to say that this is a rare occurrence and should not be something you should be concerned about.
The Last Word
It can be difficult to pick up a CPU cooler for your i7 9700k with the amount of choice out there. The main thing to keep in mind is whether or not you think it’s worth getting an AIO liquid cooler over an air cooler.
The air cooler will give you better value for your money, but the liquid coolers are more elegant, quieter, and lower profile. Overall, I think it’s hard to see beyond the Noctua NH-D15 with its impressive results and price point. If you could fit it into your car, this will be my pick-up.
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