A Guide to the Best CPU Coolers for i7 9700k in 2023

The latest member of Intel’s gaming CPU line is the Core i7 9700k. It’s a dynamic beast that can handle any type of gaming. If you’re looking for a CPU that can perform light tasks and be used for gaming, this is a perfect choice. However, you have to ensure that your cooling setup is good enough to match it.

The powerful Core i7 9700k can get hot, though it will run at low temperatures during gaming. If you plan on using it exclusively for gaming, you might want to consider using a cooler that can keep the CPU’s thermals under control. There are plenty of options out there, and choosing the right one can be challenging.

Therefore, we can help you find the right one for your needs by reviewing five of the best CPU coolers for i7 9700k. 

5 Best CPU Coolers for i7 9700k in 2022

  1. EVGA CLC Liquid CPU Cooler 240mm – Best Liquid CPU Cooler for Core i7 9700k
  2. Noctua NH-D15 – Best CPU Air Cooler for Core i7 9700k
  3. Scythe Big Shuriken 3 – Best Low-profile Air Cooler for the Core i7 9700k
  4. Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro – Best for Quiet Operation
  5. NZXT Kraken Z73 AIO CPU Cooler – Most Customizable CPU Cooler for Core i7 9700k

EVGA CLC Liquid CPU Cooler 240mm – Best Liquid CPU Cooler for Core i7 9700k

Our Pick

EVGA CLC Liquid CPU Cooler 240mm

4.5/5 3,282 Reviews

One of the best liquid cooling solutions is the EVGA CLC. It can provide excellent performance even under low fan speeds, similar to what more expensive models offer. However, the noise produced by running the pump and fans at high speeds can be loud.

  • The design is quite attractive
  • Thermal paste is pre-applied
  • Fans are controllable
  • Sturdy build
  • No issues with heating and leakages
  • Control systems can be buggy and difficult

The EVGA CLC is an excellent choice for users looking for a great price-to-performance ratio. It features full RGB support and is cheaper than other fans in the market. This model is a must-have for aesthetics if you want something that performs well without too much noise.

Noctua NH-D15 – Best CPU Air Cooler for Core i7 9700k

Our Pick

Noctua NH-D15

4.9/5 10,249 Reviews

The Noctua NH-D15 is an all-black CPU cooler that can go well with different color schemes and LED lights. It features dual 140mm fans and six heat pipes, which can keep the CPU cool while providing consistent airflow.

The NH-D15 is a step up from standard single-tower cooling systems. Its dual-tower design provides better airflow and increased surface area. In addition, its fine-tuning six heat pipes allow for even heat dissipation.

  • Elegant all-black design
  • Excellent cooling
  • Noctua’s reputable build quality
  • Quiet noise levels, even when overclocked
  • Exceptional temperature control
  • Quite expensive
  • Extreme width can be annoying to some users

The Noctua’s cooling efficiency is comparable to an all-in-one liquid cooling system. This makes it ideal for people who want to keep their computer’s CPU at a cool temperature without breaking the bank.

Also, the NH-D15 features plenty of RAM compatibility. Its lower fins have 64mm clearance, which can easily fit most memory modules. Hence, you can use this system for different tasks. However, the NH-D15 has a massive build. This can cause issues with RAM sticks with tall heat sinks.

The NH-D15 comes with a six-year warranty, which provides you peace of mind knowing that your purchase is protected. The premium features and reasonable price make the NH-D15 an ideal choice.

Scythe Big Shuriken 3: Best Low-profile Air Cooler for the Core i7 9700k

Our Pick

Scythe Big Shuriken 3

4.4/5 88 Reviews

The Scythe Big Shuriken 3 is a low-profile SFF cooler featuring exceptional performance and is ideal for the 9700K.

Although it will not provide the same performance as top air units, this Scythe Big Shuriken 3 will still allow you to boost your Core i7 9700k. While not the best thermal performer, the Scythe Shuriken 3 is still quiet. It is an excellent cooler for those planning on building a small ITX rig. Its noise levels are never going above 35 dBA, so it’s a quiet low-profile CPU cooler.

  • Easy to install
  • Big heatsink for RAM
  • Decreased interface
  • Compatible with most motherboards
  • Great design for improved performance
  • Too expensive
  • Clearance issues with some RAM sticks

Unfortunately, this cooler has some issues with its clearance due to the high-profile heatsinks of some RAM sticks. If you plan on getting this, read a guide on low-profile RAM.

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro – Best for Quiet Operation

Our Pick

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro

4.7/5 13,978 Reviews

The Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler is an excellent choice for users looking for quiet operation in their i7 9700K.

The Dark Rock Pro 4 utilizes two silent fans designed with advanced fluid-dynamic components. These fans have six-pole motors and are optimized for exceptional airflow.

  • The funnel-shaped frame controls high pressure
  • Easy installation
  • Supports an extra fan of 120mm size
  • Two silent wings for quiet operation
  • Double tower layout for safety
  • Issues with thermal paste not working properly
  • Requires big-size casing

This CPU cooler utilizes seven 6mm copper heat pipes to provide additional heat dissipation. Also, its wave-contoured fins with little dots on their surface can increase airflow.

Furthermore, thanks to its features, this product will keep your computer’s CPU running smoothly and quietly. Dark Rock Pro 4’s black ceramic coating will help you transfer more heat efficiently.

In addition to its silent performance, this product comes with a 250W thermal design that can help keep your CPU cool even when running heavy. Two aluminium heat sinks are included with the Dark Rock Pro 4, so it can work with most RAM models.

NZXT Kraken Z73 AIO CPU Cooler – The most customizable CPU Cooler for the Core i7 9700k

Our Pick

NZXT Kraken Z73 AIO CPU Cooler

4.6/5 17,620 Reviews

If you’re looking for a customizable CPU cooler, then the Kraken Z73 might be the right choice. This model is part of the Kraken Z series, which allows you to customize your liquid cooler in an unprecedented way.

The Kraken is a CPU cooler featuring a bright, 2.36-inch LCD screen that can render 24-bit color. You can customize it according to your preference and current setup.

  • Low noise levels
  • An attractive advanced lighting system
  • New radiators improve the liquid cooling system
  • Compatible with AMD and Intel processors
  • Steady performance
  • Poor coverage from thermal paste
  • The pump is noisy at start-up

This CPU cooler is excellent for beginners building their first PC. Hence, it’s very easy to use, and it comes with a variety of functions. Its user-friendly software allows you to operate it with ease, while also allowing you to customize its design.

In addition, the Kraken Z73 is built with a smooth and silent design. Its dual fluid dynamic bearings and chamfered intake ensure it can endure regular use and operate with minimal sound. This model is ideal for those looking for a quiet CPU cooler.

Also, the Kraken Z73 features integrated fans. These fans are known as Aer P fans, designed to help provide consistent cooling for your CPU. They’re great for keeping your system cool and your device running smoothly.

How to Choose the Best CPU Coolers For i7 9700k

Choosing the best CPU cooler for your needs can be very challenging. This is why it’s essential to thoroughly research the product before making a purchase.

In the market, there are various CPU coolers for the i7 9700k. In this guide, we’ll talk about some of the most crucial features that you should consider when choosing the best CPU cooler for your i7 9700k PC:

Heat Dissipation

A CPU cooler’s thermal design power rating is known as its TDP (Thermal Design Power). It shows how much heat the device can dissipate in watts. So, if it can’t keep the CPU cool enough, it may slow down or even stop working.

The power rating of an Intel CPU is indicated in terms of its processor base and maximum turbo power. A CPU cooler can help keep the device’s thermal design cool while maintaining maximum power. However, once the device reaches a certain frequency, it will start to throttle itself to allow it to cool down.

The TDP on the Core i7 9700k is 95 watts. A CPU cooler with a lower thermal design power rating can still work with an Intel CPU with a higher maximum power rating. However, the device will eventually start throttling itself to maintain its optimum performance.

Types of Coolers

An air cooler combines fans and heat sinks for effective cooling. While air coolers are the cheapest, they’re also the loudest. A closed-loop cooler, also known as an all-in-one, is a type that is ideal for simplifying setups.

Although liquid cooling can improve the performance of your computer at lower noise levels, it’s more expensive and takes up more room. The size and number of fans and their radiator can also affect how well they can cool the CPU.

Open-loops are generally more flexible than traditional liquid cooling solutions and can be harder to set up. Therefore, these cooling systems can also be used to keep the graphics card or other peripherals cool.

Mounting Brackets

Cooler fans can utilize different mounting brackets for different socket sizes. It’s vital to ensure that the one you choose comes with a compatible fit.

One of the easiest ways to find a good CPU cooler is by searching by socket type. For instance, if you’re looking for an LGA 1151 socket for the 9700K, you’ll probably find it through this search.

Sometimes, there may not be a lot of compatible CPU coolers when a new socket size is introduced. You can usually find a separate mounting kit in that case.


An important factor you should consider when choosing an AIO CPU cooling kit is the amount of room it will require. While some cases will allow you to fit a 240mm or 360mm model, ensure you have enough space for one before using it.

Before buying a new cooler, ensure your system case and motherboard have room.

Also, ensure that the other components of your motherboard are not interfering with one another due to size constraints. For instance, if your memory modules have tall heat-spreading components, they might not work properly.


Contrary to popular belief, an AIO cooler can be louder than an air cooler. The noise produced by running the pump and fans at high speeds can be distracting and loud. Also, compared to air coolers, liquid models are more expensive.


Compared to liquid cooling systems, air-based models are generally cheaper. Also, cooler models that support higher TDP are more expensive.

Additionally, advanced lighting features are usually more expensive. With that in mind, you can choose between a practical, low-cost solution and a dazzling display.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the i7 9700k have a CPU cooler?

Intel’s i7 9700K is designed for overclocking, so it’s up to the user whether or not they want to go all out.

Does the i7 9700k require a CPU cooler?

It definitely does. Even if the i7 9700k doesn’t have a built-in CPU cooler, you should upgrade to something more serious. Intel’s stock cooler isn’t that great.

Does the i7 9700k get really hot?

The CPU is designed for overclocking and can get hot if the system is not optimized for airflow. While it’s less powerful than the Intel i9-9900K, the i7 9700k still runs cooler. So, it’s essential to remember that having more cooling is safer than having too little.


Besides getting the most out of your CPU, a good CPU cooler will help your computer run smoothly. The different CPU coolers we have featured will ensure that your device will stay cool no matter how hard it is working.

If you still have questions about which CPU cooler to choose, we recommend the NH-D15 from Noctua. It is one of the best-value CPU coolers on the market and has a reputation for being one of the most effective. Also, its all-black construction adds a sleek and elegant touch to your computer’s design.