Best CPU Cooler for i9 9900K

Intel is clearly trying to win against some of AMD’s recently launched processors with its 9th generation family. One of these processors is the Intel Core i9-9900k which comes with 8 cores and 16 threads along with Hyper-Threading technology. Further, it’s an unlocked chip so can overclock and underclock the clock speed according to requirement. But it produces a lot of destructive heat especially when it crosses the 5GHc clock speed mark.

But you can tackle any type of thermal mismanagement and control the produced heat with the help of the best CPU cooler for i9 9900k. A cooler is an important element to support the processing unit in performing its duties without any effect from temperature increase. However, it’s quite difficult to find one since the tech market is crowded with hundreds of products from tens of brands. So, read this post until the end to make a better decision.

Quick Shopping Tips

Air vs liquid: The first question you have to ask yourself is what type of cooler you really need; air or liquid. Most of the time, liquid coolers are smaller in size but provide way better performance than air-based coolers. If you’re comfortable with spending a little more bucks, I suggest you go for a liquid cooler. In contrast, those who don’t need extreme cooling but rather want a pocket-friendly cooler with mediocre performance can choose an air cooler. 

Brand: Since there are several brands manufacturing cooling solutions, users often get confused while choosing a name. Generally, performance and cooling efficiency are way more important than the brand name. Additionally, the non-famous brands also have quite good coolers but at the same time, they offer them at a reasonable price. So, I suggest choosing the performance over the brand name plus saving bucks as much as possible. 

Noise/performance ratio: A cooler with more fans or more performance often produces more noise than one with lesser fans. This is where the noise/performance ratio can help us out. You must choose an air cooling solution with a dual-fan setup rather than single or triple configurations. In contrast, liquid coolers are already ideal in terms of cooling output. They produce much less noise than air-based coolers plus provide more performance.

Compatibility: At the end of the buying guide, I would like you to check the form factor or size of the cooler you’re buying. Then, match it with the space available inside your PC case and check whether the cooler can be accommodated in that space or not. If yes then you’re good to go. Otherwise, you can move towards liquid coolers or check some other compact air-based cooler on the list. In short, you must check the size compatibility of the cooler.

Best CPU cooler for i9 9900K at a Glance:

  1. Noctua NH-D15
  2. Zalman CNPS20X
  3. Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
  4. Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT
  5. Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition
  6. Deepcool Assassin III
  7. Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB
  8. Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Liquid

The Best CPU Cooler For i9 9900K You Can Buy Today


Noctua NH-D15
Noctua NH-D15 (Image credit: Amazon)

Noctua NH-D15

Best Premium CPU cooler for i9 9900k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Noctua | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Number of fans: 2 | Fan Size: 140mm | Speed: 1500 RPM | Max noise level: 19.2 dBA | Dimensions: 5.91 x 6.34 x 6.5 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2011-3, 2011-0, 2066, 1700, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1200, AMD: AM4, 3, 2, FM2, 1 |

REASONS TO BUY

SecuFirm2 mounting system

Two Low-Noise Adaptors

PWM support

NT-H1 thermal compound included

REASONS TO AVOID

No RGB

Taller

Noctua is the most well-known brand in manufacturing cooling solutions for all types of processors. Today, we’re starting this list by introducing you to the Noctua NH-D15 which is one of the excellent air-based coolers from the brand’s NH-15 series. It’s the best premium CPU cooler for i9 9900k featuring a bunch of breath-taking features while replacing the NH-14 series. It’s quite an advanced cooling solution with everything the CPU may need. 

What do we get?

First, I’ll start by putting some light on the cooler’s structure and overall form factor. It has 165mm in height which is on the higher side and 150mm in width when you install the fan on the cooler. Make sure to buy a RAM kit with the appropriate height so it can fit with the cooler without causing any issues. Other than that, the cooler comes with a pair of 140mm high-class PWM-based fans that can self-adjust their speed as required.

In addition, these fans can rotate with a 1500 RPM velocity and can produce up to a 24.6dBA noise which falls to 19.2dBA with low noise adaptors at peak operations. It’s the best CPU cooler for i9 9900k with such low-noise performance and effective operations. If we closely look at the cooler’s structure, it’s built with high-quality material to make it durable and long-lasting. Other features include effective heat dissipations, copper heat pipes, and carefully soldered joints. 

How does it perform?

The NH-D15 performs impressively despite what processor you pair with it. It doesn’t show any lag to overclock any of the high-end processors with its better air-cooling capabilities. If we compare it with the other cooler on this list, it wins from the DeepCool Assassin III in terms of performance but loses from the beQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 in terms of silence but not in thermal efficiencies. It’s also easy to install and totally justifies its price tag.

Zalman CNPS20X
Zalman CNPS20X (Image credit: Amazon)

Zalman CNPS20X

Best RGB cooler for i9 9900k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Zalman | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Number of fans: 2 | Fan Size: 140mm | Speed: 800-1500 RPM | Max noise level: (29 dBA without noise adaptors) | Dimensions: 6.77 x 5.5 x 6.5 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 2011-V3, 2011, 1200, 115X, AMD: AM4, 3+, 3 |

REASONS TO BUY

Affordable

Offers best value for money

Excellent performance

Work perfectly with high-end CPUs

No memory compatibility issues

RGB lighting

REASONS TO AVOID

Noisey performance

The previous Noctua NH-D15 is a great air-based cooling solution but it lags in terms of bad beige and brown aesthetics and competitively higher price. If you don’t want these issues, you can check out this Zalman CNPS20X which offers similar performance but at a lower price. Remember, it does not exactly compete with the NH-D15 in terms of performance but reaches a close level. In addition, it clearly wins in terms of aesthetics and overall look.

What do we get?

The CNPS20X comes with a pair of 140mm PWM-powered fans that can automatically adjust their speeds according to the requirements. In addition, these look great while rotating due to the addition of eye-catching RGB lighting. The rotational speed can vary between 800-1500 RPM and the noise level can bump up to 29.0dBA at peak speeds but without any low-noise adapter. Overall, these fans make this the best RGB cooler for i9 9900k and other chips.  

Other structural features of the cooler include two large-sized heat sinks with unfinished touch and excellent heat dissipation. The body of the cooler is made of plastic to keep the price low but the fans with the black and silver color scheme look quite eye-catching. No doubt, you can enjoy a good level of performance while overclocking the CPU up to maximum potential. Further, you will note any type of incompatibility related to its size.

How does it perform?

If we look at the performance benchmarks, the CNPS20X can’t compete against the NH-D15 and Assassins III plus it produces much more noise. However, when we look at its price tag, it totally justifies its capabilities. In addition, the heat dissipation of the cooler is not lesser than any other cooler on the market. You can overclock the Core i9 9900k up to 5.0GHZ and get a stable gaming output. Well, if noise isn’t an issue, you can go for this cooler.

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 (Image credit: Amazon)

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

Best quiet CPU cooler for i9 9900k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: be quiet! | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Number of fans: 2 | Fan Size: 1x 140mm, 1x 120mm | Speed: 1500 RPM | Max noise level: 12.8-24.3 dBA (without noise adaptors) | Dimensions: 5.3 x 5.7 x 6.4 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 1700, 1200, 115X, 1151, 1151, 1150, AMD: AM5, 4 |

REASONS TO BUY

All-black attractive design

Quietest operations

Seven heat pipes

Oppositely rotating two fans

REASONS TO AVOID

No anti-vibration pads

Be quiet! is the most famous brand for manufacturing the quietest CPU cooling solutions as the name suggests. The Dark Rock Pro 4 is one of the brand’s masterpieces with the best cooling performance for all types of processors. It’s the best quiet CPU cooler for intel i9 9900k with a strong competitive performance as the Noctua NH-D15 and even the Assassin III. If you want an all-rounder type of air-based cooler, this item is perfect for you. 

What do we get?

The cooler has a pair of Silent Wings 3 fans where one has a diameter of 120mm while the other has 135mm in size. Like the previous coolers, this one is also PWM based and can control the fans’ speed as per requirement. As far as the speed matters, these fans can set their speed up to 1500 RPM while producing a 12.8-24.3 dBA noise depending upon the other external conditions. You will barely hear this noise during your workflow or gameplay.

As per the rule, we can pair a cooler with a CPU only when it has the default TDP equal to or higher than the CPU’s ratings. Well, this cooler features a 250W default TDP so make sure to pair it with a CPU accordingly. Design-wise, the cooler has a brushed aluminum-made top and an all-black body that looks great. Moreover, the seven heat pipes along with a nickel-plated copper base and large heatsinks ensure a good level of heat dissipation.

How does it perform?

As I mentioned earlier, this cooler falls in the quietest category of coolers and stipulates the exact mastery of the brand. But it doesn’t mean you have to compromise the performance anyway. You can overclock any mid-to-high-end processor with this cooler and get an optimal performance level. Interestingly, the first tower fan blows the air into the heatsink vents with the help of the second fan to boost the heat dissipation and effective thermal management.

Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT
Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT (Image credit: Amazon)

Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT

Best value CPU cooler for i9 9900k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Thermalright | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Number of fans: 1 | Fan Size: 150mm | Speed: 300-1300 RPM | Max noise level: 20dBA (without noise adaptors) | Dimensions: 5.98 x 5.79 x 6.26 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1366, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150,775, AMD: AM4, 3, 2, FM2, 1 |

REASONS TO BUY

Affordable

Great performance-to-price ratio

Operated quietly

Impressive cooling output

REASONS TO AVOID

Bigger size

We have reviewed the bests out of bests cooler earlier in this post but those are slightly expensive for some users. If you’re one of those users, you would like the Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT since it’s quite affordable. It’s one of the perfect coolers to pair with the Core i9 9900k and enjoy a fine-tuned overclocking and performance level. It’s the best value GPU for i9 9900k with impressive efficiencies but without RGB to save some bucks.

What do we get?

Interestingly, seven variants of this cooler are available in the market where you can choose between one-fan, dual-fan, and fan-less additions according to your needs. But the current model on the list features a single 150mm PWM-based fan with a top rotational speed of 300 to 1300 RPM. The cooler offers a long list of socket compatibility to pair with pretty much all the processors. Anyhow, the 20dBA noise isn’t that much to disturb you during working hours.

For your information, the cooler comes with Haswell-E optimized base, VGA clearance, seven heatsink pipes, and a massive heatsink. All of these features allow this cooler to efficiently work with a wide range of processors and provide the right type of cooling with effective airflow and heat dissipation. There are no RAM incompatibility issues but since the cooler has a larger heatsink, it may damage the graphics card during installations so be careful.

How does it perform?

It not only can fit with a large number of processors but also performs well with all of those. You can use this cooler to power up any Intel and AMD chips without underrating the performance and overclocking output. Its effective cooling methodology along with high default TDP allows it to be the best CPU cooler for i9 9900k and be the best partner in gaming. On top of that, the black nickel color of this cooler gives another reason to go for it.

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition
Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition (Image credit: Amazon)

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition

Best modern CPU cooler for i9 9900k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: CoolerMaster | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Number of fans: 1 | Fan Size: 120mm | Speed: 650-2000 RPM | Max noise level: 8-30dBA (without noise adaptors) | Dimensions: 4.7 x 3.1 x 6.3 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150,  AMD: AM4, 3+, 3, 2+, 2, 1 |

REASONS TO BUY

Improved performance

Easy installation

Quiet fan movements

Attractive black design

In-fan RGB lighting

REASONS TO AVOID

Competitively underperforming

The next product on the list is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB which is the best cooler in terms of value for money just like the previous Le Grand Macho RT. It’s one of the reliable cooling solutions on this list with well-balanced cooling operations and a reasonable price. Despite the lower price tag, the brand hasn’t compromised on any of the required features and technologies. If you want an affordable and small-in-size cooler, this is for you. 

What do we get?

Like the Le Grand Macho RT, this cooler also comes with a single 120mm PWM-based fan. This can automatically adjust its speed according to the temperature in the surroundings and give way more effective performance. If I further dig deep into the specifications, the rotational speed can vary between 650-2000 RPM. As far as the noise level of the man matters, it can be adjusted anywhere between 8-30 dBA depending upon the speed.

Build-wise, the manufacturer has done a great job to make it not only attractive but also well performing in all conditions. If you look at it closely, there is an aluminum top cover for protection, nickel-plated fan fins, sleek structural finishing, and more in one spot. Many of the users are often worried about the compatibility of the RAM modules with the cooler, well, this one comes with a 158mm profile height so make sure to buy one according to the given length.

How does it perform?

This cooler is the best modern CPU cooler for i9 9900k since it provides competitive performance and enough to tackle the current-era chip. The stack fin array design, four heat pipes, and large heatsink, all work together to get the most out of any processor. You can further enhance its thermal management by pairing another fan so the cooler can work in a push-pull configuration. Overall, it’s a great way to keep things flowing in the right way.   

Deepcool Assassin III
Deepcool Assassin III (Image credit: Amazon)

Deepcool Assassin III

Best performance CPU cooler for i9 9900k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: DeepCool | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Number of fans: 2 | Fan Size: 140mm | Speed: 400-1400 RPM | Max noise level: 29.5dBA (without noise adaptors) | Dimensions: 6.34 x 5.51 x 6.5 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1700, 1200, 1155, 1151, 1150,  AMD: AM5, 4 |

REASONS TO BUY

Competitive cooling

Excellent performance

Easy to install

Sharp and attractive design

REASONS TO AVOID

Pricey

AMD and Intel are the most famous CPUs manufacturers throughout the globe and are trying their best to beat each other. The processors are getting better and processing power is touching the sky. So, you need a cooler that can support these chips and is the best performance CPU cooler for the i9 9900k and other processors. The DeepCool Assassin III is one such cooler with competitive thermal efficiencies with excellent technologies.            

What do we get?

The Assassin III is built with a twin-cooling dual-tower design with dual 140mm fans to get way better airflow than the single-fan coolers. These fans can rotate with a 400 – 1400 RPM of speed while producing a 29.5 dBA noise. In contrast, if you purchase third-party low-noise adaptors, you can significantly reduce this noise up to a very low level. If such a level of noise isn’t an issue for you, you’re good to go for this masterpiece with adequate performance.

Structure-wise, dual tower heatsinks are linked with a large CPU block via seven heat pipes for effective heat dissipation. Look-wise, the combination of an unfinished silver-color heatsink with black fans looks outstanding in the system. No flashy feature is there like RGB lighting to cut the price and make it affordable for all types of users. It’s compatible with a wide range of CPU sockets and can accommodate pretty much all the RAM modules. 

How does it perform?

The DeepCool Assassins III is the best air-based cooling solution for a wide range of current-era high-end processors. It gives strong competition to the Noctua NH-D15 and provides excellent thermal management to deal with overclocking CPUs. Since there are seven heat pipes with nickel-plated structures, the heat dissipation is very efficient. In short, this cooler is a perfect combination of fine-tuned thermal management and great value at the same time.

Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB
Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB (Image credit: Amazon)

Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB

Best simple liquid cooler for i9 9900k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Corsair | Cooling Type: Liquid | Power Connector Type: 3-pin PWM | Number of fans: 3 | Fan Size: 120mm | Speed: 2400 RPM | Max noise level: 25dBA (without noise adaptors) | Dimensions: 18.66 x 5.75 x 7.28 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150,  AMD: AM5, 4, 2 FM2, 1 |

REASONS TO BUY

Magnetic levitation fans

Low noise performance

Customizable backlight

Easy to manage

REASONS TO AVOID

Non-competitive pricing

A liquid or hydro cooler is undoubtedly a beast against any of the air-based coolers and provides effective cooling performance. After reviewing several air coolers, finally, we have reached the section of liquid coolers. The Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB is the first one and is the best simple liquid cooler for i9 9900k and other high-end processors. If you are serious about gaming performance and want something extraordinary, this is for you.

What do we get?

The cooler comes with three 120mm ML series magnetic levitation radiator fans that are enough for high-intensity airflow. These can rotate with a maximum 1500 RPM of speed and can produce up to 25dBA of maximum noise. If we look at the above specifications, the cooler has everything to give an enormous amount of airflow and keep the temperature and heat under control. You won’t have to worry about any lag, thermal mismanagement, or any other issues.

If you set up all components of the cooler, it looks quite huge but at the same time, plays a key role in the cooler’s overall performance. The simple and good-looking RGB addition to the pump looks great. In addition, we can customize the lighting and the fan’s speed with the help of the software. The only downside of this cooler for some users is its price. If it’s not an issue for you, you must go for this cooler to get maximum cooling potential.

How does it perform?

I have already added some of the best air-based coolers before this H150i RGB Pro AIO cooling solution. But it beats all of them in terms of thermal performance being a liquid cooler. It offers the most excellent thermals to control the temperature of any high-end processor and take it to its peak overclocking potential. Overall, this is your best gaming partner and your CPU’s best friend to get the most out of content creation.

Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Liquid
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Liquid (Image credit: Amazon)

Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Liquid

Best liquid cooler for i9 9900k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Corsair | Cooling Type: Liquid | Power Connector Type: 3-pin PWM | Number of fans: 2 | Fan Size: 120mm | Speed: 400-2400 RPM | Max noise level: 10-36dBA (without noise adaptors) | Dimensions: 10.91 x 4.92 x 4.71 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 2011, 1700, 1366, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150,  AMD: AM5, 4 |

REASONS TO BUY

Perfect to sculpt a white system

Impressive 240mm AIO cooling

Excellent performance

Redesigned water block

Attractive RGB lighting

REASONS TO AVOID

Noisy fans at full speeds

At the end of the list, we have the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Liquid which is the best liquid cooler for i9 9900k and other high-end processing units. If you want to follow the trend of building an all-black system with colorful RGB lighting, this cooler can help you do so. Other than that, it’s from the brand’s renowned Hydro series which is known for having some of the great cooling masterpieces. Overall, it’s a great cooler but with a higher price. 

What do we get?

We get a long list of excellent features and specifications to enjoy the peak potential of any chip and get a true gaming thrill with this cooling solution. There is a pair of ML120 Pro RGB radiator fans with a standard 120mm size. Being PWM-based magnetic levitation fans, these can automatically, silently, and effectively rotate depending upon the temperature. To put things into order, these fans rotate with 400-2400rpm and produce 10-36dBA noise.

There is a 240mm radiator consisting of aluminum along with 21 fins-per-inch density to work effectively with the linked fans and tubes. The brand has redeveloped and redesigned the older version’s water block into a more good-looking part to make it aesthetically nice. That’s why you can enjoy better heat dissipation output along with multi-zone RGB lighting. Interestingly, you can purchase between 280mm and 360mm radiator sizes according to your usage. 

How does it perform?

My experience with the H100i Elite is optimistic since it’s an outstanding mixture of low-noise operations, adequate cooling performance, attractive RGB lighting, an all-black design, and more. You can get decent thermal management while effectively overclocking the high-end processors to reach the optimal computing level. In short, if you want to build a high-tier system for gaming and content creation, this cooler is your necessity.

Conclusion

The Intel Core i9-9900k is an excellent mid-to-top-tier processing unit with excellent features. It comes with hyper-threading to help in multitasking together with the unlocked multiplier to adjust its power according to the load. But in the process, it may face some serious heat production and thermal mismanagement. Therefore, we need the best CPU cooler for i9 99900k to pair with the processor and deal with all such issues. Further, such a cooler will help you get your ideal gaming and content creation performance. 

At the end of the article, we would like to mention some of our favorite products from the list. The budget-friendly users can choose the Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT or can go for the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4—both are known for the best value for the money. In contrast, if you want an extreme cooling performance, liquid coolers are perfect for you. We have added two AIOs to the list where the first one is the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Liquid and the second is the Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB–you must check these.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best CPU cooler for the i9 9900k?

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition is one of the best air-based CPU coolers for the i9 9900k. It comes with improved performance than its predecessors and offers noise-less thermal operations. On top of that, it’s quite easy to install without any issues. Most importantly, its black design together with in-fan RGB lighting looks great.

Does i9 9900k need liquid cooling?

The short answer is yes. The i9 9900k is an excellent gaming and content creation processing unit with an impactful performance. It can work out with an air cooler if you don’t put it into heavy loads. In contrast, if you want to use the CPU for top-tier heavy workloads, you have to put some bucks into owning a good-quality liquid cooler.

How to choose a CPU cooler?

Choosing a CPU cooling solution is quite a task if you follow some basic steps. First of all, you have to decide what cooling type you need; air or liquid—you can do so by looking at your usage. Then, find a cooler with adequate cooling capabilities without getting influenced by the brand name and make sure that it’s size-wise compatible with your system.

Zohaib Hassan
Zohaib Hassan is a staunch tech enthusiast and has been writing about his interactions with computers for years. He has been serving the PCIdeaz, GamingSilk, and BesTechReview as a content writer and manager along with experimenting and testing numerous tech masterpieces. Indeed, he often forgets about eating his spicy snacks when has his head on the computer screen.