Very few people today understand just how important a Best CPU Cooler is for a gaming system. Even though the CPU processors of today come with much better cooling systems than the ones a decade ago, there is still room left for improvement.
That is especially true if you are an overclocking fan, and you have chose one of the CPUs we have talked about on our Best CPU Processors for Gaming article. One the one hand that is because a processor will work better for a longer time if it is properly cooled, and that in itself should tell you why you need to buy an aftermarket CPU cooler.
However, on the other hand, whether you notice it or not, stock coolers make a lot of noise and that noise tends to be very tiring on the psyche. So taking all that in consideration we have come up with the following list of choices for the best CPU cooler for gaming of 2020.
1. Noctua 6 Dual Heatpipe SSO Bearing Fans CPU Cooler
Our first choice had to be an old school cooler just because they are still the simplest types of CPU coolers to install, they look familiar even to people who do not often open their PC.
Of course we have pretty high expectations even from an old school cooler, and we were very impressed by the Noctua 6 Dual Heatpipe cooler.
It is, in fact the best CPU cooler of its type we have ever seen and it is a better cooler than many liquid cooling systems.
It has 6 heat pipes that use what can only be described as two radiator systems placed back to back.
The two radiators are cooled by 2 different fans, one of 140 mm and the other of 130 mm. The reason for the side difference is so that you will be able to fit the cooler on any given keyboard. If they had used a 140 mm cooler on the outside too, it would have been impossible to fit the Noctua 6 Dual Heatpipe on many modern motherboards and it would have crushed the RAM memory modules.
It will keep the processor cool regardless of how much you decide to overclock it and it will stay silent all the way through. In fact we chose the Noctua 6 because of all the smart innovations they used when designing it. The notches on the edges of the fan blades are angled so they will minimize noise and the ridges on the cooler itself are designed so the air will flow through them without creating a lot of noise.
2. Cooler Master Seidon 120M CPU Liquid Water Cooler
If the size of the Noctua is daunting and you do not find it cool or visually pleasing in any way, the alternative is to choose a water cooled, self contained system.
We have chosen the Cooler Master Seidon 120M because it perfectly embodies the reasons why you would choose such a system.
It is actually cheaper than the Noctua, it is a lot smaller, even if you take into consideration the radiator and fan system, and, as far as the part that actually goes on the CPU, it is virtually undetectable.
Still, if you push both coolers to their maximum performance the Noctua 6 is just a little bit noisier than the Cooler Master Seidon 120M. The thing you need to understand is that, even though the Seidon also uses an 120 mm fan, it never has to run at full speed because the fan is facing the outside of the computer.
3. Corsair Hydro Series Liquid CPU Cooling for Gaming
Unlike most of our other articles, we have left the best for last.
The Corsair Hydro Series H100i is the ultimate cooling system, as long as you are not going to spend more on the cooler than you did on the processor it is cooling.
Everything about the Corsair is designed to dissipate heat away from the processor including the cold plate that you put on top of the processor.
It has micro channels that direct the heat away from the CPU and into the cooling liquid. From there the large diameter tubing quickly takes it away to the radiator.
The one thing that we need to mention about the tubes is that they feel extremely soft and elastic, so they are very comfortable to work with. Still, they are made from a low permeability tubing that will last a lot longer than the processor you are using.
The fans themselves are extremely quite but you can control their RPM through the provided Corsair software. You can also adjust the lighting of the fans, but that will have no effect on the performance.
What you will need to do, though, will be to monitor the temperature of the cooling liquid because that will give you an idea about how hot the CPU processor is running.
Make sure to check the expected working temperature of your CPU as different models will have different temperatures. Still, the one thing to remember is that, even on their highest setting, the fans will barely be audible.