Best Quiet CPU Cooler

The current-era software and games are quite advanced in nature and a computer requires high-quality components to tackle them. While doing so, the computing components like the CPU, consume a lot of power that ultimately increases the overall temperature and heat. A CPU cooler is an essential rig element since it prevents the temperature from going into the destructive bracket and keeps it as low as possible. You must pair a high-quality cooler with the processor to get the most out of the system.  

A common problem we often face from the coolers is the noise that they produce under intensive conditions. It becomes quite difficult to choose between the cooling performance and the noise-less operations most of the time. But don’t worry since this post can help you select the best quiet CPU cooler for your system. Now you can play the current-era games or do high-end content creation without worrying about the temperature increase or any type of noise.

There are hundreds of products in the market from tens of brands and it’s quite difficult to choose between so many items. Well, this post will also help you choose the right for you and for your system. There are eight best out of bests items in this post along with the in-detailed reviews and their pros and cons. All you have to do is to read the buying guide and then check all the products to get one for you. Pay attention to your requirements and then choose one according to your needs.

Quick Shopping Tips

Budget: The first and foremost important user-based factor that you have to consider is your budget. Let’s suppose, you don’t have enough money in your pocket. It doesn’t mean that you can’t get adequate performance. But you may have to compromise some flashy features like RGB lighting. In short, it’s better to allocate as much budget as you can. But even if you don’t, you must prefer the performance of a cooler rather than going for design-related features to keep the budget as low as possible.

Air or liquid cooler: After allocating the budget, the next thing you have to consider is the type of cooler; liquid or air. In general, liquid coolers are more effective in maintaining a proper temperature than air-based coolers. At the same time, they are comparatively pricey and compact in size. On the other hand, air-based coolers are perfect for those who want mediocre thermal performance at a pocket-friendly price. In short, know your budget and usage to decide what type of cooler you need. 

Check clearances before buying: Most of the time, the cooler fits on the RAM modules inside the PC case. If it doesn’t have an appropriate size, the cooler may create some fitting issues with the rest of the computer elements. To avoid all such issues, make sure to check the cooler clearance and then purchase one according to the required measurements. For your information, the coolers with RGB lighting have high profile height and need more space to fit than the ones without lighting.

Check fans-to-noise ratio: There are cooler available with single-fan formation up to triple-fan setups. But a cooler with more fans will ultimately produce better cooling but more noise as well. Therefore, we must prefer a cooler with a dual-fan configuration since it provides a mid-ground between performance and noise. The rule of thumb is to go for a cooler with a maximum number of fans while assuring that it will not produce more noise than the 30dBA bracket.

RGB lighting: The trend of building attractive RGB rigs is getting popular in recent years. Maybe because of this reason, each brand is offering a number of cooler with RGB lighting and some other flashy features. If you’re purchasing a CPU cooler with RGB lighting, make sure that you’re able to customize the lighting since not everybody likes the default settings. In addition, you must check whether you can turn off the RGB lighting using the software and without turning off the system or not.

Best quiet CPU cooler at a Glance:

  1. Scythe Ninja 5
  2. Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black
  3. Deepcool AS500 Plus
  4. Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2
  5. Noctua NH-U12A
  6. Noctua NH-D15
  7. Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2
  8. EVGA CLC 120 CL11

The Best Quiet CPU Cooler You Can Buy Today


Scythe Ninja 5
Scythe Ninja 5 (Image credit: Amazon)

Scythe Ninja 5

Best quietest CPU cooler

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Scythe | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Fan Size: 120mm | Speed: 300-800 RPM | Noise level: 4-14.5 dBA | Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.72 x 1.06 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 775, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200, 1366, AMD: AM2, 2+, 3, 3+, 4, FM1, 2, 2+

REASONS TO BUY

Excellent performance

Operates silently even at full speed

Support up to 55mm RAM modules

Quite affordable

REASONS TO AVOID

Only 800 RPM maximum speed

If you’re a gaming enthusiast and have built a system earlier, you would definitely know about the Scythe. It’s a well-known brand among the tech community for manufacturing some high-end cooling products including the air-based CPU cooler. Today, we have the Scythe Ninja 5 on the list which is the best quiet CPU cooler to keep the temperature under control during intensive overclocking sessions. It’s very easy to mount with the H.P.M.S III mounting system and offers a metal backplate.

Starting with the design specification, it’s an air-based CPU cooler that comes with two Kaze Flex 120mm fans to do the job. These fans operate in a push-pull configuration and can achieve any rotational speed between 300-800 RPM depending upon the temperature. Since these are PWM-based fans, they can automatically vary their speed according to the heat conditions. In addition, the noise level can be anywhere between 4-14.5 dBA which is quite low due to the installed thermal pads.

Undoubtedly, it’s the best quietest CPU cooler with a massive heatsink, larger surface area, noise-less fan movements, and effective performance. If you have any of the latest processors from the Intel or AMD family, you will enjoy its impressive thermal management capabilities. Structure-wise, it features a single-tower heatsink and has a 155mm profile height. You can pair all the memory kits with up to 55mm height without worrying about compatibility or performance.

Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black
Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black (Image credit: Amazon)

Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black

Best low-profile quiet CPU cooler

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Noctua | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Fan Size: 140mm | Speed: 1800-2500 RPM | Noise level: 14.8 dBA | Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.7 x 1.5 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200, AMD: AM4 |

REASONS TO BUY

Highly compact

Easy to install

Excellent performance

Thermal paste included

Quiet operations

REASONS TO AVOID

Incompatible with Intel’s 65+ TDP chips

Price

The next CPU cooler is from Noctua which is the most famous brand in the market for making excellent cooling solutions. There are numerous liquid-based coolers under the hood of the brand along with many air-based ones–the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black is one of them. It comes with SecuFirm 2 mounting system and is quite easy to install with a wide range of sockets like AM4, LGA 1200, and more. In short, it’s a perfect combination of attractive aesthetics, compact size, and effective performance.

The cooler is powered by an NF-A9x14 fan along with PWM support that enables it to rotate according to the temperature level. The fan can achieve 1800-2500 RPM speed while producing 23.6 dBA noise which decreases to 14.8 dBA with low noise adaptors. If we compare these readings with the previous, the Scythe Ninja 5, the NH-L9i plays well since it produces almost the same noise but can go up to 2500rpm speed. No doubt, this cooling solution can help you get the most out of the processor.

Interestingly, the cooler has only a 37mm profile height which makes it the best low-profile quiet CPU cooler for almost all the current-era chips. Now, you can pair it with almost 100% memory kits and build a perfect SSF and HTPC system with a mini-ITX motherboard. On top of that, the NT-H1 thermal compound is combined with the heat pipes and intelligent aerodynamics to boost heat dissipation and airflow. If the price isn’t an issue then this cooler is perfect for you.  

Deepcool AS500 Plus
Deepcool AS500 Plus (Image credit: Amazon)

Deepcool AS500 Plus

Best all-rounder quiet CPU cooler

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: DeepCool | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Fan Size: 140mm | Speed: 1800-2500 RPM | Noise level: 29.2 dBA | Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.0 x 6.5 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2011, 1200, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200, AMD: AM4, 3, 2, FM2, 1

REASONS TO BUY

Known for great value

Effective cooling performance

Excellent build quality

Low noise level

REASONS TO AVOID

No con at all

DeepCool has been in the market for decades and has become one of the industry’s heavyweights. The brand produces all DIY-type products like PC cases, power supplies, heatsinks, and all-in-one liquid and air-based coolers. The DeepCool AS500 Plus is an upgrade to the brand’s original AS500 with the addition of one more fan, excellent cooling performance, and more at one spot. If you’re looking for the best all-rounder quiet cooler, this is the perfect item for you.

It’s a single-tower air-based cooling solution with a pair of 140mm PWM-based fans. These fans can automatically vary their rotational speed depending upon the temperature and surrounding heat for a better output. In addition, these fans can achieve a maximum of 2500 RPM while making a maximum of 29.2 dBA of noise depending upon the outer conditions. It seems that there are no low noise adaptors in the box. But you can buy third-party ones and use them to further decrease the noise.

Other than that, there are five heat pipes in the structure along with attractive ARGB lighting that mixed beautifully into the eye-catching top-plate design. Its best value for money is another reason to go for this masterpiece. It gives tough competition to the competitors with an affordable price tag despite being a dual-fan ARGB supporting cooler. In short, it’s a perfect combination of good value for money, excellent performance, and attractive aesthetics with RGB lighting.

Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2
Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2 (Image credit: Amazon)

Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2

Best affordable quiet CPU cooler

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Be quiet! | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Fan Size: 120mm | Speed: 1500 RPM (maximum) | Noise level: 26.8 dBA | Dimensions: 2.4 x 4.8 x 6.1 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2011, 20111-3, 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, AMD: AM4, 3 |

REASONS TO BUY

Affordable

Operates silently

Attractive all-black design

Excellent build quality

Simple mounting system

REASONS TO AVOID

Not that efficient at low speed

Be quiet! is one of the enthusiasts’ favorite brands for producing a long list of record-breaking silence-focused computing products. It’s famous for having records in making PC cases, power supplies, and cooling solutions. The Pure Rock 2 is the brand’s excellent addition to the market and says everything about the excellency and mastery of the manufacturer. It falls in the category of the best affordable quiet CPU cooler and becomes the perfect product for budget-conscious users.

Remember, it’s not for the top-notch high-end CPUs but enough keeping the mid-tier processors in a good shape. It comes with a pair of 120mm Pure Wings fans along with PWM support to intelligently vary the rotational speeds. If we consider the fans running at their top speed, 1500 RPM, the cooler produces a maximum of 26.8 dBA noise which is quite hard to hear. Not only it wins in the low-noise performance but its high build quality is another reason to go for it.

The Pure Rock 2 offers a full memory capable design which means you can pair any memory kit with these cooling solutions. Since the cooler comes with a 150W rated TDP value, make sure to have a chip with either equal or lesser value. Design-wise, the cooler features a subtle all-black design which makes it the best quiet CPU cooler for any system. Additionally, the cooler uses four heat pipes unlike the Shadow Rock 3 which has an extra one–overall, it’s a great affordable pick.  

Noctua NH-U12A
Noctua NH-U12A (Image credit: Amazon)

Noctua NH-U12A

Best overall quiet CPU cooler

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Noctua | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Fan Size: 120mm | Speed: 2000 RPM | Noise level: 18.8 dBA | Dimensions: 4.41 x 4.92 x 6.22 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 2011, 1700, 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1200, AMD: AM4, 5 |

REASONS TO BUY

Wide-range socket compatibility

Anti-vibration pads

Provides the best value

140mm performance in 120mm size

Improved thermal performance

REASONS TO AVOID

Beige and brown color scheme

As I mentioned earlier, Noctua is the most famous brand in the tech market for manufacturing all types of cooling solutions. It not only creates high-end liquid coolers but also excellent air-based coolers as well. One of such is the Noctua NH-U12A which is the best overall quiet CPU cooler from the Noctua’s 5th generation NH-12 series. There are also some other coolers in the series but this one offers extra performance headroom than the rest—overall, it’s a great choice.

If we look at the specifications sheet, the cooler comprises two 120mm industrial-grade fans. These are PWM-powered so can vary their speed depending upon the temperature and heat in the surrounding area. According to the performance statistics, these fans can rotate with 2000 RPM of rotational speed and 18.8 dBA of noise during peak cooling output. The noise level is higher than what the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black offers but still you won’t feel it when playing games or doing content creation.

The cooler is 100% RAM compatible and allows all types of current-era memory kits to sit and work properly. Interestingly, you can even pair the taller module with significant heat spreaders. In addition, this cooler comes with seven heat pipes, more fin surface area, and improved heat dissipation. Other than the beige and brown color combination, this cooler has no downside at all. It’s even more effective than the “S” variant with a premium-grade soldered interface and more.

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

Noctua NH-D15

Best 140mm quiet CPU cooler

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Noctua | Cooling Type: Air | Power Connector Type: 4-pin PWM | Fan Size: 140mm | Speed: 1500 RPM | Noise level: 19.2 dBA | Dimensions: 5.91 x 6.34 x 6.5 inches 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

We have already seen the NH-U12A from Noctua which is a great air-based cooling solution, best value, effective performance, and more. Now, we have the NH-D15 from the NH-15 series which is a more modern alternative to the all-time favorite, the NH-14 series. Coming back to the NH-D15, it is a great air-based cooler with the same or even better cooling performance as the liquid-based coolers. It’s an advanced cooler with pretty much everything that may need to tackle the CPU temperature.

The cooler comes with a pair of 140mm premium-class fans that are PWM-based and can automatically vary the rotational speed according to the temperature. These fans can rotate with a 1500 RPM speed while producing a 24.6dBA sound. But when you use the given pair of low noise adaptors, the maximum noise level is reduced to 19.2dBA which is quite difficult to feel during the workflow. In short, it’s the best 140mm quiet CPU cooler and perfect in terms of performance.

Besides so many advantages, there is one downside as well—it has 165mm with-fan profile height and 150mm width. Such dimensions may cause some clearance issues with the memory modules. But you can avoid these issues by purchasing the kit with smaller height or without RGB lighting. Build-wise, the brand has used high-quality material to ensure durability and effective heat dissipation. There are properly soldered joints, copper heat pipes, and more to enhance heat dissipation.

Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2
Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2 (Image credit: Amazon)

Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2

Best quiet liquid CPU cooler

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Corsair | Cooling Type: Liquid / Water | Power Connector Type: 3-pin | Fan Size: 120mm radiator | Speed: 600-1700 RPM | Noise level: 28.3 dBA  | Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 6 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 1151, AMD: AM4 |

REASONS TO BUY

Fast and efficient

Durable and easy to install

Looks great

REASONS TO AVOID

No second fan

After so many of the air-based coolers, now, we’re entering the section of liquid-based coolers or AIOs in the post. The first liquid cooler in the post is the Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2 which is an all-in-one CPU cooler. Corsair is a master in designing AIOs but is more famous for manufacturing other tech products like PC cases, RAM kits, power supplies, and more. It’s the best quiet liquid CPU cooler with a bespoke mounting system with four mounting holes instead of the stock mounting bracket.

There is a 120mm low-noise radiator given in the cooler along with a white pump head with LED that looks quite beautiful. The fan can achieve any rotational speed between 600 rpm to 1700 rpm depending upon the temperature and heat in the surroundings. When it’s running at its peak speed, there is a 28.3 dBA noise which is nothing for such a liquid cooler. No doubt, the H60 comes with pretty much everything that you may need to effectively keep the CPU cool and fast.

If you have a chip with any of the sockets, LGA 2066, LGA 1151, or AM4, this cooler can fit without causing any issue. The brand has given the thermal compound in the box which is enough for regular use. But if you want to get the most out of the thermal compound, you can go for something like an IC diamond or metallic compound. Interestingly, there is an efficient thermally optimized cold plate to ensure effective low-noise performance and the right heat dissipations to support cooling.

EVGA CLC 120 CL11
EVGA CLC 120 CL11 (Image credit: Amazon)

EVGA CLC 120 CL11

Best budget 120mm liquid quiet CPU cooler

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: EVGA | Cooling Type: Liquid | Power Connector Type: 3-pin | Fan Size: 120mm | Speed: 500-2400 RPM | Noise level: 16-39.9 dBA  | Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.72 x 1.18 inches | Socket: Intel: LGA 2066, 2011, 2011-v3, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, AMD: AM4, 3, 2, FM1, 2, TR4 |

REASONS TO BUY

Affordable liquid cooler

Enough for mid-tier chips

Solid and simple design

REASONS TO AVOID

Noisey performance

The last CPU cooler and the second liquid-based cooler on the list is the EVGA CLC 120 CL11. It’s a no-frills thermal solution with a basic structure and lacks all the flashy features like RGB lighting or such colors. It seems the brand has tried its best to remove all the unnecessary features and keep the price as low as possible. Due to all these reasons, it becomes the best budget 120mm liquid quiet CPU cooler with all required technologies to keep the CPU temperature low.

This closed-loop cooler comes with a 120mm radiator just like the previous Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2. Other than the radiator, there is only a pair of tubes that connects the radiator with the mounting plate and the pump. The pump can push the air at a 58.9 cubic feet per minute rate and produce noise between 16 dBA to 39.9 dBA depending upon the temperature. The only downside of buying this cooler is its 39.9 dBA noise which is the highest on this list. 

For your information, the pump with this CLC 120 CL11 is more cost-effective than the rounder-square one given in the original CLC series. As I mentioned earlier, there is no RGB lighting so the price could be as low as possible. Overall, this cooler is a perfect combination of the improved coolant flow rate, higher surface area, improved heat dissipation, and more. In short, if you can’t afford some expensive liquid-based coolers but want similar performance, this cooler is for you.

Conclusion

A processor supervises the overall performance of the computer but it performs as expected only when it’s supported by a good-quality cooling solution. But you have to know a number of factors to find a good one out of hundreds that are available in the market. Most importantly, you have to go for a cooler that provides excellent cooling performance while being the best quiet CPU cooler. It may be strange but a quiet cooler is better since it won’t disturb your concentration when you are focused on doing your productive work.  

As far as this post matters, there are eight different types of coolers together with their in-detailed reviews. If you have already spent a bunch of bucks on the rest of the PC elements, you can go for the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 since it’s an affordable cooler on the list. In contrast, if budget isn’t an issue, you can choose the Noctua NH-U12A or can go for the DeepCool AS500 Plus—both are excellent. Those who don’t settle down for an air cooler but rather want a liquid cooler can choose between Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2 or the EVGA CLC 120 CL11.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best quiet CPU cooler?

The Scythe Ninja 5 is one of the quietest CPU coolers for a wide range of processors. An impressive fact about the cooler is that it provides impressive performance without producing much noise. In addition, it’s affordable and can be yours without spending many bucks. You can pair it with any type of memory module with up to 55mm profile height.

How to choose a CPU cooler?

Choosing a CPU cooler is quite easy if you know a few important steps. First of all, you have to decide how much bucks you can spend on the cooler. Then, check the slot available for the cooler, take its measurements, and match it with the cooler you want to buy. After checking all the above factors, read this post, check the in-detailed reviews of the products, and choose one without worrying about the performance.

Do I need a cooler for my CPU?

Yes, you need a cooler for your CPU if you really want to take things up to the next level. A CPU cooler keeps the temperature at a moderate level so the processor can perform at its peak level. On top of that, if you’re building a system for gaming or content creation, you can work out only when there would be a good-quality cooling solution in your system. For your information, you can read this post to choose one.

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.