Best CPU Cooler for i7 9700k with Liquid AIO & Air

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Intel’s 9th generation of processors is a further refinement of their 14nm technology, and i7 9700K remains one the most powerful processors on the market in 2021 and a favorite of millions of gamers and content creators.

Unfortunately, the i7 9700K comes with the highest thermals of any Core i7 processors we have tested in the past.

To keep those thermals in check without compromising the performance, a robust cooling solution is a must. We tested dozens of air and liquid cooling solutions from reputable manufacturers and narrowed our list down to eight best CPU coolers for i7-9700k that deliver reliable performance with unique features.

If you were actually looking for the best CPU cooler for i7-8700k, we got you covered. Check them out!

Cooling: Air Coolers vs. Liquid AIO Coolers for i7-7900k

Before we jump into cooler reviews, it is essential to differentiate between the two major cooling technologies on the market. Air coolers display a more traditional design featuring a heatsink and a fan or fans attached to it for cooling.

Air coolers offer reliable cooling, often at budget prices, and are easy to install and repair. Quality air coolers are also able to handle overclocking but often run into issues with fan noise.

Liquid AIO CPU coolers are much more complex, using a radiator with fans, piping, a water pump, and a water block to keep the i7-9700k cool. They are more expensive but also deliver low-noise levels and better cooling performance than air coolers in general.

An additional downside is a more complicated installation and the danger of water leaking into the PC case and destroying expensive hardware components.

Best Coolers for i7 9700K in 2021

It is time to get down to business. This is our list of eight best coolers for i7 9700k. It was a challenge to cut this list down to eight entries, and we had to leave some fantastic products off of it. Yet, we are confident that our choices go that extra mile and satisfy even the pickiest PC enthusiasts.

ImageProductRatingPrice
TOP OVERALL CHOICE
Noctua NH-D15
Noctua NH-D15

Cooler Type: Air
Noise: 24.6 dB
Fan Compatibility: 140 x 140mm, 120 x 120mm
Rotational Speed: up to 1,500 RPM
Size with Fan (HxWxD): 165 x 150 x 161mm
Socket Compatibility: LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1200, LGA2011, LGA2066, AM4, AM3(+), AM2(+), FM2(+)

9.9
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OVERCLOCKERS’ CHOICE
Cooler Master V8 GTS
Cooler Master V8 GTS

Cooler Type: Air
Noise: up to 36.0 dB
Fan Compatibility: Dual 140 x 140 x 20mm
Rotational Speed: up to 1,600 RPM
Size with Fan (HxWxD): 154 x 149.8 x 166.5mm
Socket Compatibility: LGA2066, LGA2011-v3, LGA2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150, LGA775, FM2+, FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2

9.6
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GAMERS’ COOLER
MSI Cooling Core Frozr XL
MSI Cooling Core Frozr XL

Cooler Type: Air
Noise: up to 33.6 decibels
Fan Compatibility: 120 x 120mm MSI TORX
Rotational Speed: up to 1,800 RPM
Size with Fan (HxWxD): 150.4 x 170.0 x 129.8mm
Socket Compatibility: LGA 2066, 2011-v3, 2011, 1366, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 775 and AM4, FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2

9.4
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BUDGET AIR COOLER
Cooler Master Hyper 212
Cooler Master Hyper 212

Cooler Type: Air
Noise: 26.0 dB
Fan Compatibility: 120 x 120 x 25mm
Rotational Speed: up to 2,000 RPM
Size with Fan (HxWxD): 120 x 79.6 x 158.8mm
Socket Compatibility: LGA2066, LGA2011-v3, LGA2011, LGA1200, LGA1151, LGA1150, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1366, AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1

9.2
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MID-RANGE & SILENT
Cryorig H5 Ultimate CR-H5B
Cryorig H5 Ultimate CR-H5B

Cooler Type: Air
Noise: 14 to 23 dB
Fan Compatibility: 140 x 140 x 25.4mm
Rotational Speed: up to 1,300 RPM
Size with Fan (HxWxD): 110.9 x 143 x 160mm
Socket Compatibility: LGA2066, 2011-v3, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200 and FM1, FM2, FM2+, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4

8.8
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BEST AIO FOR i7 9700k
Corsair Hydro H150i PRO
Corsair Hydro H150i PRO

Cooler Type: Liquid
Noise: up to 20.0 dB
Fan Compatibility: 120 x 120mm
Rotational Speed: up to 1,600 RPM
Size w/ Fan (HxWxD): 396 x 120 x 27mm
Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066, AM2, AM3, AM4, FM1, FM2

8.8
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BEST RGB AIO COOLER
Thermaltake Floe Triple RGB 360
Thermaltake Floe Triple RGB 360

Cooler Type: Liquid
Noise: up to 24.7 dB
Fan Compatibility: 120 x 120 x 25mm
Rotational Speed: up to 1,400 RPM
Size with Fan (HxWxD): 393 x 120 x 27mm
Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA 2066, 2011-v3, 2011, 1366, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 775, AMD TR4, AM4, FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2

8.7
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BUDGET AIO COOLER
Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU
Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU

Cooler Type: Liquid
Noise: up to 29 dB
Fan Compatibility: Dual 120 x 120mm
Rotational Speed: up to 1,700 RPM
Size with Fan (HxWxD): 278 x 124 x 30mm
Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA2066, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 755, 2011-v3, 2011, 1366, 1200 and AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, 939, FM2+, FM2, FM1, G34, 940

8.6
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1. Noctua NH-D15 – Top CPU Cooler for i7 9700k

Premium CPU Cooler
best CPU cooler for i7 9700k

Noctua NH-D15

Noctua has been on the top of the air cooler game for years now, and their NH-D15 flagship cooler is a force to be reckoned with.

This unit just blew through all of our tests and made quite an impression. Top-notch performance is what we expect from Noctua, but we were impressed with low noise levels as well.

Equipped with iconic brown NF-A15 PWM 140mm fans, the NH-D15 moves a lot of air, enough to cool a furnace of a processor that is i7 9700K when overclocked. It manages to do that while maxing out at just 24.3 dB under load.

That kind of performance is hard to find in even 3 or 4 more expensive liquid AIO solutions.

The cooler’s aesthetics are not for everyone, and RGB enthusiasts will feel disappointed with the lack of RGB integration. Still, there is no denying the performance and value of this cooler and an easy choice for Top Overall Choice for best CPU air cooler for i7-9700k.

OUR TAKE AT A GLANCE
Of all the coolers we tested, the Noctua NH-D15 checked the most boxes. It is a fantastic performer and incredibly silent. You will never have to worry about the temperature of i7 9700k with this beast in your case.
PROs
  • Unmatched cooling performance
  • Low noise
  • Excellent build quality
  • Compatibility with numerous sockets
CONs
  • The color scheme might be off-putting to some
  • No RGB support

2. Cooler Master V8 GTS – Best i7 9700k Cooler for Overclockers

High Performance CPU Cooler
Cooler Master V8 GTS - Best i7 9700k Cooler for Overclockers

Cooler Master V8 GTS

Competitive gamers and high-end content creators, and professionals need the absolute best performance from their PC, which means unleashing the full power of a CPU like i7 9700k.

Overclocking is standard in this group, squeezing every ounce of performance that the CPU can offer.

This poses a massive challenge to keep the CPU cool enough to avoid thermal throttling and damage.

Cooler Master V8 GTS is the air cooler to rise to that task. Its horizontal vapor chamber design combined with a triple heatsink construction delivers outstanding cooling performance under heavy loads.

Related: Best Motherboards for i7 9700k

While Noctua NH-D15 is our top overall choice, it failed to keep up with V8 GTS when overclocking past the 5.1 GHz mark.

Unfortunately, all this performance does come at the expense of noise levels.

V8 GTS hit as much as 36 dB in our testing. Additionally, demanding users like gamers need RGB integration and support at this price level, and the V8 GTS only has a single-color LED light, red.

OUR TAKE AT A GLANCE
Cooler Master V8 GTS is an air cooler for those that value performance and overclocking above everything else. If you are willing to forgo RGB integration and higher noise levels do not bother you, this is the cooler for you.
PROs
  • Top-of-the-line cooling performance
  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent socket compatibility
  • Vapor chamber design
CONs
  • Noisy under heavy load
  • Quite pricey

3. MSI Cooling Core Frozr XL – Best i7 9700k CPU Cooler for Gamers

Gamers Look no Further
MSI Cooling Core Frozr XL - Best i7 9700k Cooler for Gamers

MSI Cooling Core Frozr XL

Like the previous entry on our list, MSI’s Cooling Core Frozr XL targets the hardcore gamers and professionals that need to unleash the power of i7 9700K through overclocking.

Unlike V8 GTS, MSI’s Cooling Core Frozr XL did make sure that the aesthetics and other gaming features do not suffer because of that performance.

Besides the full RGB integration, Cooling Core Frozr XL offers adjustable fan height levels to allow higher profile RAM with RGB to be installed on the motherboard.

Unfortunately, the noise levels are once again high, although slightly lower than V8 GTS, at 33.6 dB.

OUR TAKE AT A GLANCE
MSI’s take on the high-end overclocking cooler for i7 9700K, the Cooing Core Frozr XL, delivers excellent performance and aesthetics that gamers crave. If you are a fan of RGB and need it in your system, look no further.
PROs
  • Excellent cooling performance for overclockers
  • Appealing design
  • RGB integration
  • Adjustable height fans
CONs
  • Noisy under heavy load
  • Mounting instructions were unclear

4. Cooler Master Hyper 212 – Top Budget RGB Air CPU Cooler for i7 9700k

RGB Black Edition
Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU Air Cooler - Top Budget RGB Air Cooler for i7 9700k

Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU Air Cooler

Not everyone can afford to have a high-end PC with the most expensive components and peripherals. Those who want that high-end performance on a budget and manage to save for an i7 9700K need a cooling solution that is easy on their wallet.

There is no doubt that Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition shines in this segment.

It is obvious that it’s a smaller unit than premium models, but it still packs a punch. It kept the i7 9700k cool on out-of-the-box clock speeds and even managed to stay quiet under low to moderate loads.

It does not support heavy overclocking, and it tends to get loud under heavy load. Yet this is expected at this price point. 

Hyper 212 offers additional value with excellent RGB integration and a separate RGB controller for synchronization with other RGB components in the system. Overall, none of the air coolers managed to offer so much at this price point, making the Hyper 212 our best budget CPU cooler for an i7 9700K pick.

OUR TAKE AT A GLANCE
A perfect cooler for those who need high-end performance on a budget. Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition offers unmatched value at this price segment.
PROs
  • Excellent cooling performance
  • Support for RGB integration
  • Excellent build quality
  • Fantastic value
CONs
  • The noise levels are relatively high under full load
  • Smaller heatsink requires the fan to work at high RPM often

5. Cryorig H5 Ultimate CR-H5B – Silent CPU Cooler for i7 9700k

Middle Range CPU
Cryorig H5 Ultimate with XF140 Fan - Silent CPU Cooler for i7 9700k

Cryorig H5 Ultimate with XF140 Fan

Air coolers tend to be noisy, especially when under heavy load. Some premium models that will cost you well over $100 can deliver low-noise with excellent thermals.

Yet, those who value silent performance on a budget do not have a lot of options. That is until now.

Cryorig H5 Ultimate CR-H5B is an excellent mid-range air cooler with outstanding acoustic levels.

The heart of the cooler is its unique heatsink design coupled with a quality 140mm fan that maxes out at just 1,300 RPM. This is more than enough to keep the i7 9700K cool at out of the box temperatures.

With noise-levels maxing out around 23 dB under load, that is one silent unit on a budget.

The smaller heatsink and low-speed fan on this cooler do not leave a lot of headroom for overclocking, and there are no fancy features like RGB. Yet, for those that put a premium on silence when working, Cryorig H5 Ultimate is a great value.

OUR TAKE AT A GLANCE
A quiet workplace is essential to some people’s productivity, and a PC should fit into it. Cryorig H5 Ultimate can handle the heat of a high-performance workstation with an i7 9700K while staying incredibly silent. All that for less than half the price that premium coolers go for.
PROs
  • Nearly silent operation
  • Unique heatsink design
  • Low-RPM fan
  • Excellent build quality
CONs
  • Little room for overclocking
  • No RGB and other fancy features

6. Corsair Hydro H150i PRO RGB – Best AIO CPU Cooler for i7 9700k

RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H150i PRO - Best AIO CPU Cooler for i7 9700k

Corsair Hydro Series H150i PRO

Corsair’s Hydro Series of AIO liquid coolers has been a step ahead of the competition, and their flagship model, H150i PRO RGB AIO Liquid CPU cooler, is a fantastic unit that sets the bar for high-end liquid coolers.

It ran away from the competition as our best liquid CPU cooler for i7 9700k.

It features the triple-fan design with three 120mm Corsair ML Fans moving enough air to keep the i7 9700K cool even when overclocked heavily. We are talking about the best-in-class cooling while keeping the noise incredibly low at just 20.0 dB.

If it were not for our GPU’s noise, we would have trouble hearing the unit at all!

All the advanced features, like RGB integration and premium build quality, are standard at this price. Besides the price, the only real downside we found with this unit was the radiator’s size and how it limits the PC build options only to large ATX cases.

OUR TAKE AT A GLANCE
Top-of-the-line cooling performance combined with nearly-silent operation makes the Corsair Hydro Series H150i PRO RGB AIO the best CPU water cooler for i7 9700k.
PROs
  • Fantastic performance
  • Nearly Silent
  • RGB synchronization on the water block
  • Premium build quality
CONs
  • Quite expensive
  • Size limits it to larger factor PC builds

7. Thermaltake RGB 360 TT Premium – Top RGB AIO CPU Cooler for i7 9700k

Ready AIO Liquid Cooling
Thermaltake Floe Triple Riing RGB - Best RGB AIO Cooler

Thermaltake Floe Triple Riing RGB

Let’s face it. Aesthetics matter and most of us love to show off our PC build. Finding an AIO cooler that delivers superior aesthetics and does not compromise on performance is a challenge.

A challenge we believe that Thermaltake has aced with their Floe Riing RGB 360 TT Premium Edition liquid AIO cooler.

RGB lovers will rejoice at the RGB integration on both the fans and the water block. Thermaltake’s Ring Plus ecosystem offers endless customization and synchronization, although we experienced some bugs with the software.

This stunner also delivers excellent cooling performance while staying quite silent at 24.7 dB under load.

OUR TAKE AT A GLANCE
If the aesthetics and RGB integration are high on your priority list for your PC setup, Thermaltake has hit the sweet spot with Floe Riing RGB 360 TT Premium Edition.
PROs
  • Excellent cooling performance
  • Low noise levels
  • Thermaltake’s Riing Plus RGB ecosystem
  • Amazing aesthetics
CONs
  • The size limits this AIO cooler to larger format PC builds
  • Buggy software for RGB controls

8. Alphacool 11285 Eisbaer 240 – Best Budget AIO CPU Cooler for i7 9700k

Black Water Cooling
Alphacool 11285 Eisbaer CPU Cooler - Best Budget AIO Cooler

Alphacool 11285 Eisbaer CPU Cooler

Looking for a high-quality budget AIO solution is a daunting task. To lower the AIO cost, manufacturers often cut too many corners and compromise the cooling performance.

German Alphacool has been in the cooling game since 2003, and they delivered an excellent budget AIO. 11285 Eisbaer 240, for just a fraction of the price of the premium models.

There is no way around it. This is a barebone AIO, as there is no RGB support, and the aesthetics are too put it mildly passable. Yet, the cooling performance of the 11285 Eisbaer 240 is on par with the more expensive models.

OUR TAKE AT A GLANCE
If you can overlook the bland design, the Alphacool 11285 Eisbaer 240 is a fantastic budget AIO that will keep your i7 9700K cool.
PROs
  • Fantastic value
  • Solid cooling performance
  • Modular design
  • Easy installation
CONs
  • Bland aesthetics
  • No RGB

CPU coolers for i7 9700k FAQs: 

Do I need a CPU cooler for my i7 9700k?

Yes. Intel’s i7 9700K is a high-performance desktop CPU that gets very hot under load. To prevent damage to the CPU, a robust cooling solution is an absolute must.

Is a liquid cooler better than an air cooler for an i7 9700k CPU?

It all depends on the cooler. In general, liquid coolers offer better temperatures and lower noise but at a higher price. Still, high-end air coolers are on par with the best liquid cooling solutions on the market.

What to look for in a CPU cooler for i7 9700k?

With the amount of heat that i7 9700K produces, a cooler must keep the temperatures low enough to avoid thermal-throttling, decreased performance, and damage to the chip. Low noise, build quality, and socket compatibility are other factors you must consider when buying a cooler.

How to install a CPU cooler on i7 9700k?

Installing a CPU cooler on i7 9700K is straightforward. For air coolers, make sure to first install the CPU mounting bracket on the motherboard’s back. Apply a thin layer of thermal paste over the CPU and clean off any residue on the cooling block that will make contact with the processor. Place the cooling block over the CPU, press it down and screw it in. 

The procedure is identical for liquid AIO coolers except for the radiator. Your PC case must have support for radiator mounting of that size.

To conclude – What’s the best CPU cooler for i7 9700k?

It was a tough road narrowing down our choice to these eight coolers for i7 9700k. There are plenty of solid products on the market, but we believe our choices stand out in the crowd.

Noctua’s NH-D15 is a reference high-end air cooler and our top overall pick, while coolers like Cooler Master Hyper 212 offer tremendous value at budget prices.

Liquid AIOs in our list did not lag, with Corsair’s H150i PRO RGB that shined as our pick for the best overall AIO cooler, while gamers should get excited for Thermaltake’s Floe Riing RGB 360 TT.

Andrew Smith