Best Quiet CPU Cooler

Best Quiet CPU Cooler

The current-era software and games are pretty advanced, and a computer requires high-quality components to tackle them. While doing so, the computing components, like the CPU, consume much power, ultimately increasing the overall temperature and heat. A CPU cooler is an essential rig element since it prevents the temperature from entering the destructive bracket and keeps it as low as possible. But, a common problem we often face from the coolers is the noise they produce under intensive conditions. It becomes challenging to choose between cooling performance and noise-less operations most of the time. 

But don’t worry. This post can help you select the best quiet CPU cooler for your system. But since hundreds of products are in the market from tens of brands, it’s difficult to choose between many items. This post will also help you choose the right one for you and your system. There are eight best out of bests items in this post, along with the in-detailed reviews and their pros and cons. These coolers are perfect mixtures of performance and lesser noise. 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

Air or liquid cooler: First, you must decide the type of cooler you need; liquid or air. Liquid coolers are more effective in maintaining a proper temperature than air-based coolers. At the same time, they are comparatively pricey and compact. 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.

Budget: One of the foremost critical user-based factors you must 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 possible. 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.

Check fans-to-noise ratio: Cooler available with single-fan formation up to triple-fan setups. But a cooler with more fans will produce better cooling and more noise. 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 maximum fans while assuring that it will not produce more noise than the 30dBA bracket. 

Check clearances before buying: Most of the time, the cooler fits on the RAM modules inside the PC case. The cooler may create some fitting issues with the other computer elements if it doesn’t have an appropriate size. To avoid all such problems, check the cooler clearance and 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.
RGB lighting: The trend of building attractive RGB rigs is getting popular in recent years. Maybe because of this, each brand offers several coolers 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 without turning off the system.

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As I mentioned, we test all types of PC components and peripherals to give the users some truthful information. You can see the same thing in this article. We tested several but reviewed a few perfect products that met our standards. If you want a high-end CPU Cooler with all the current-era features, we have the Scythe Ninja 5 for you. On the other hand, you can go for the EVGA CLC 120 CL11, which is a satisfying staff choice. But the Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2 is for budget-conscious users.

The Best Quiet CPU Cooler You Can Buy Today


Scythe Ninja 5

Best quietest CPU cooler

Scythe Ninja 5
Scythe Ninja 5

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 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 effortless to mount with the H.P.M.S III mounting system and offers a metal backplate. 

Regarding design specifications, it’s an air-based CPU cooler 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 relatively 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 Intel or AMD family processors, 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.

EVGA CLC 120 CL11

Best budget 120mm liquid quiet CPU cooler

EVGA CLC 120 CL11
EVGA CLC 120 CL11

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. 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, only a pair of tubes connect 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.  

The pump with this CLC 120 CL11 is more cost-effective than the rounder-square one 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 perfectly combines 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.

Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2

Best Affordable quiet CPU cooler

Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2
Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2

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 that produce 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 best affordable quiet CPU cooler category and becomes the perfect product for budget-conscious users. 

Remember, it’s not for the top-notch high-end CPUs but enough to keep the mid-tier processors in good shape. It has two 120mm Pure Wings fans to vary the rotational speeds intelligently. 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 does it wins in 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. The cooler features a subtle all-black design, making 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.

Deepcool AS500 Plus

Best all-rounder quiet CPU cooler

Deepcool AS500 Plus
Deepcool AS500 Plus

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 in one spot. This is the perfect item for you if you’re looking for the best all-rounder quiet CPU cooler

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 mixes 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.

Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black

Best low-profile quiet CPU cooler

Noctua NH-L9i Chromax-black
Noctua NH-L9i Chromax-black

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 relatively 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 NF-A9x14 fan powers the cooler 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. This cooling solution can undoubtedly 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 combines heat pipes and intelligent aerodynamics to boost heat dissipation and airflow. This cooler is perfect if the price isn’t an issue, but performance is your primary concern.

Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2

Best quiet liquid CPU cooler

Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2
Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2

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 issues. 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.

Noctua NH-D15

Best 140mm quiet CPU cooler

Noctua NH-D15
Noctua NH-D15

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 | 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, the 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 at a 1500 RPM speed while producing a 24.6 dBA 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 a 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 a 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.

Noctua NH-U12A

Best overall quiet CPU cooler

Noctua NH-U12A
Noctua NH-U12A

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 creates not only high-end liquid coolers but also excellent air-based coolers as well. One such is the Noctua NH-U12A, 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 their speed can vary depending on the surrounding area’s temperature and heat. 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 the Noctua NH-L9i chromax.black offers, but you won’t feel it when playing games or creating content.

The cooler is 100% RAM compatible and allows all 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.

Conclusion

A processor supervises the overall performance of the computer but it performs as expected only when a good-quality cooling solution supports it. But you have to know several factors to find a good one out of hundreds 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 focus on your productive work.  

As far as this post matters, there are eight different types of coolers and 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 the DeepCool AS500 Plus—both are excellent. Those who don’t settle for an air cooler but want a liquid cooler can choose between Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2 or the EVGA CLC 120 CL11.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a cooler for my CPU?

Yes, you need a cooler for your CPU if you 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 gaming or content creation system, you can work it out only when there is a good-quality cooling solution. For your information, you can read this post to choose one.

How to choose a CPU cooler?

Selecting a CPU cooler is quite easy if you know a few crucial 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. 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

Which is the best quiet CPU cooler?

The Scythe Ninja 5 is one of the quietest CPU coolers for many 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 memory module with up to 55mm profile height.

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.