The Intel i9 9900K is a powerful CPU widely used in gaming and productivity PCs. However, due to its high-performance capabilities, it can generate a significant amount of heat. Proper cooling is essential to ensure the CPU operates at its optimal temperature and prevent overheating and decreased performance.
This article reviews the best CPU coolers for the i9 9900K. It covers a range of cooling solutions, including air coolers and liquid coolers, to help you find the best option for your needs. Furthermore, the article discusses the factors to consider when selecting a CPU cooler and provides tips for maintaining optimal cooling performance.
The 6 Best CPU Coolers for i9 9900k – Top Picks
- Noctua NH-D15 Chromax – Overall Best CPU Cooler for i9 9900k
- NZXT Kraken Z73 – Best Customizable CPU Cooler
- Corsair iCUE H150i – Best Liquid CPU Cooler
- DeepCool Assassin III
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU Air Cooler
- be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 BK022
Read the full review for each of the best CPU coolers below. The review highlights the features of each cooler as well as its pros and cons.
The Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Dual-Tower CPU Cooler is highly effective at dissipating heat from the CPU and keeping it at a safe and stable temperature. It is efficient, even under heavy loads or overclocking.
The dual-tower design comes with six heat pipes and dual fans. It possesses an expansive exterior area and a high airflow capacity. In addition, the low-noise adaptors and PWM control for the fans keep it quiet. Therefore, it is a good choice for users who value a quiet computing experience.Pros: Cons:
Large dual-tower CPU coolers usually obstruct the RAM expansion slots on a motherboard. However, this particular cooler appears to have a low-profile fin architecture. Hence, it allows for more clearance space in its single-fan mode. This feature also makes the cooler more flexible and easier to use in various system configurations.
The Noctua NH-D15 has Intel and AMD processor compatibility. These include the Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen. The high-quality thermal paste and a secure mounting system also make installation easier. So it fits perfectly onto a range of motherboard types. Furthermore, it comes with a six-year warranty that attests to its efficiency and durability
The NZXT Kraken Z73 CPU cooler has several hallmarks for outstanding execution and soundness. Firstly, it has a customizable 2.36″ LCD screen with 24-bit color. This attribute permits you to tailor-make the outlook of the cooler and match it with your system’s color scheme.Pros: Cons:
Furthermore, it is congruent with a vast array of CPU sockets. These include most modern AMD and Intel models. These include popular series like the Intel Core i9, i7, i5, i3, and AMD Ryzen. The cooler has a motor speed of 800-2,800 RPM, providing an impressive cooling performance for various tasks.
The cooler features user-friendly software to manage its performance and appearance. Also, it has fluid dynamic bearings and a chamfered intake. This helps improve its silent operation and adds to its long-term reliability. Furthermore, the cooler is easy to install on any motherboard with its rotatable pump design
The Corsair iCUE H150i Elite Capellix Liquid CPU Cooler is an excellent option for i9 systems. It includes a pump head with 33 CAPELLIX RGB LEDs that provide lighting effects. Three 120mm Corsair ML RGB Magnetic Levitation PWM fans are included with the cooler, each with eight RGB LEDs.Pros: Cons:
Its Corsair iCUE Commander CORE controller lets you control the lighting and the speed. As a result, you can adjust fan speeds from 400 to 2,400 RPM via PWM. In addition, its zero RPM fan profiles in the Corsair iCUE software lets the fans automatically stop operations at low temperatures. This feature also helps eliminate unnecessary fan noise.
The cooler is compatible with various CPU sockets, including Intel and AMD models. It also comes with a mounting kit for modern CPU sockets. Also, its fan and radiator mounting screws and pre-applied thermal compound make installation easier.
The DeepCool Assassin III is a high-performance CPU air cooler. It has a powerful cooling capacity of 280W TDP. It also comes with 6mm nickel-plated heat pipes. In addition, its seamless pure copper base allows it to perform efficiently.Pros: Cons:
The cooler’s 140mm patented two-layer fans offer a maximum speed of 1400RPM and strong airflow of 90.37 CFM. This helps to rapidly carry heat away from the CPU and build an efficient air cooling system. The cooler is also designed for silent operation. It has a noise level under 29.5 dB(A), even at full load capacity. It also comes with an LSP that can help to further reduce noise levels to below 26.8 dB(A).
The Assassin III is a dual-tower CPU air cooler with two fans and a total width of 161mm. Additionally, it has a big heatsink for better heat dissipation. Additional space requirements may exist compared to a standard dual-tower CPU air cooler. It is perfect for AMD AM4 and Intel LGA sockets.
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 features direct contact technology and four heat pipes for excellent heat dissipation. The stacked fin array minimizes airflow resistance and allows cooler air to flow into the heatsink. Despite its high airflow rate of 42 CFM, the fan has a low noise level of 26 decibels. It is perfect for users who want good cooling performance without excessive noise.Pros: Cons:
The fan bracket design is intuitive, suggesting that installing and removing the fan is easy. It also makes it easy and convenient to upgrade or replace the fan if necessary. The cooler is compatible with various CPU sockets, including both Intel and AMD models. It is an excellent choice if you are looking for a cooler that you can use in different systems.
Furthermore, the cooler has a smart fan sensor. And this is especially useful for jam protection. This ensures its protection against damage from cables getting snagged or other similar issues.
The CPU cooler has a single fan, providing more clearance space for additional RAM. This is especially useful if you have a system with tall RAM sticks that a large cooler could otherwise obstruct.
The Dark Rock Pro 4 BK022 is a high-performance CPU cooler featuring a dual-tower design. It offers an extremely quiet operation regardless of workload. It comes with be quiet’s proprietary Silent Wing fans built on fluid dynamic bearings. So, it has a noise level of 24.3 dB(A) or lower. And this makes it an ideal cooling solution for those who want a cooler that they can use in a case with a sound-dampening tempered glass panel.Pros: Cons:
It is compatible with various CPU sockets, including AMD AM4 and AM5 and Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 2066, 1150, 1151, 1155, and 2011(-3) Square ILM.
The Dark Rock Pro 4 BK022 has seven high-performance copper heat pipes and airflow-optimized cooling fins. Furthermore, it comes in a compact size of 5.7 x 5.35 x 6.40 inches. Its cutouts are also designed to enhance RAM compatibility.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best CPU Coolers for i9 9900k
Choosing suitable CPU coolers for an improved PC takes time and effort for beginners. This guide will help you assess your options and pick the best for your needs.
The following are factors you should consider when choosing your CPU coolers:
You want to ensure the cooler is compatible with your motherboard and CPU socket. Using an incompatible cooler could cause issues with your system.
To check compatibility, you must know your motherboard and CPU model. You also need to know the socket type that they use. You can usually find this information in the documentation that came with your motherboard or CPU or by searching online for the product specifications.
It is best to consider the cooler’s fans’ size and the heatsink’s height. These can affect the overall size of the cooler and its compatibility with your system.
Checking for any clearance issues around your motherboard’s CPU socket and other components is also a good idea. For instance, larger coolers can cover extra RAM slots, making it hard to add more memory sticks.
Some CPU coolers can generate a lot of noise, especially if working hard to cool a high-performance CPU. To determine the noise level of a cooler, you can refer to the product specifications or read reviews from other users.
The noise level of a CPU cooler can depend on the fans’ speed, the heatsink’s design, and the cooler’s overall cooling performance. A cooler with larger or faster fans may generate more noise. However, it may also provide better cooling performance.
Consider looking for a CPU cooler with a low noise level, such as one specifically designed for quiet operation.
The i9 9900K generates a lot of heat. Therefore, it can benefit from a high-performance cooler capable of effectively dissipating that heat. You may consider a CPU cooler with a higher cooling capacity to keep your CPU cool under heavy load.
Price can vary significantly depending on the cooler’s type, size, and performance. Firstly, consider your overall budget for your PC build and how much you will spend on a cooler. Keep in mind that higher-priced coolers may offer better performance and features. However, they may not always be the best value for money.
To find a cooler that offers good value for money, you can compare the price of the cooler to its performance, features, and overall quality. You can also read reviews from other users to get a sense of the value of the cooler.
It would be best to research the brand reputation of a CPU cooler before buying it. You can read reviews from other users and consult with experts or technical support representatives. You can also look for information about the brand’s customer support policies.
Most CPU coolers come with a warranty from the manufacturer. The warranty can range from a few months to several years, depending on the brand and model of the cooler. The warranty may cover issues such as defects in materials or craft or failure of the cooler under regular use. It is a good idea to check the terms and conditions of the warranty before purchasing a cooler.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a CPU cooler for the i9?
It is generally recommended to use a CPU cooler with the i9 9900K. It can help dissipate heat from the CPU and improve its overall performance and stability. Without a CPU cooler, the heat generated by the CPU can build up. And this could lead to overheating and decreased performance.
What is the maximum temperature an i9 9900k should reach?
The temperature of your i9 9900K will depend on various factors. These include the ambient temperature of your environment, the cooling system you are using, and the workload of the CPU.
In general, the i9 9900K has a maximum operating temperature of 100°C. However, it is generally recommended to keep the temperature of the CPU below 80°C to ensure its long-term stability and reliability.
If your i9 9900K consistently reaches temperatures above 80°C, it may be worth considering upgrading your cooling system. You may also want to improve the airflow in your computer case. You can use a hardware monitoring tool to track the temperature of your CPU in real time.
Will a 240mm liquid cooler be sufficient for the i9 9900K?
Generally, a 240mm liquid cooler should be sufficient for the i9 9900K, especially if you are not planning to overclock the CPU. However, if you plan to overclock the CPU or want additional headroom for cooling, a 280mm or 360mm liquid cooler may be a better choice.
How much does the cooler’s TDP rating matter for the i9 9900K?
The TDP (thermal design power) rating of a cooler refers to the amount of heat it is designed to dissipate. A cooler with a higher TDP rating may handle a more powerful CPU or a CPU that is overclocked to a higher level. However, it is essential to note that the TDP rating is not the only factor to consider when selecting a cooler. Factors such as the size and design of the cooler and the overall cooling performance will also play a role in its effectiveness.
Should I get a closed-loop or custom-loop liquid cooler for the i9 9900K?
Choosing between a closed-loop and custom-loop liquid cooler will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Closed-loop liquid coolers are generally easier to install and require less maintenance. But they may not offer as much cooling performance or customization as a custom loop cooler. Custom loop liquid coolers require more effort to set up and maintain. However, they can offer better cooling performance and more customization options.
What is the best CPU cooler type for a gamer?
The best cooler types for gamers depend on your preferences. There are two main options: air coolers and liquid coolers.
Air coolers are popular for gaming PCs due to their low cost and easy installation. They use a heatsink and fan to dissipate heat away from the CPU. Some popular air coolers for gaming PCs include the Noctua NH-D15, the Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 and the Thermalright True Spirit 140 Direct.
Liquid coolers are another excellent choice for gaming PCs. They offer better cooling performance than air coolers, especially when CPU overclocking. They use a water block, radiator, and pump to circulate coolant and dissipate heat away from the CPU. Some popular liquid coolers for gaming PCs include the Corsair H100i RGB Platinum, the NZXT Kraken X62, and the EVGA CLC 280.
Proper cooling is essential for the i9 9900K to ensure optimal performance and stability. A variety of CPU coolers are available on the market. They include air and liquid coolers, each with its benefits and drawbacks.
When selecting a CPU cooler for the i9 9900K, it is crucial to consider factors such as the type of cooler, the size and design, and the TDP rating. By following the guidelines in the buying guide, you should find a CPU cooler that is well-suited to your needs and helps to keep your i9 9900K running at its best.