CPU Overclocking – What Cooler to Use?

If you want to get the absolute most bang for your buck out of your CPU, overclocking is the only way to do it. But overclocking in 2014 is not like your grandpa’s overclocking – it’s far easier, safer and simpler, provided you have the right cooling solution for your situation.

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo/X

One of the most cost effective CPU Coolers on the market today is the Hyper 212 EVO by Cooler Master. The feature set includes a tower fin design that should fit snugly in your case, a heat pipe layout, and upgraded fans and fan brackets that provide fantastic value for end-users of all types. We tested the universal version of the cooler, which supports Intel’s latest chipsets as well as pretty much all Athlon 64s and above (Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon II, Phenom, Phenom II.) The cooler does not require installation of a motherboard backplate for use.

The cooler is smaller in size compared to its more expensive competitors, which is somewhat of a boon if you’re operating in a smaller case, which also means it’s easier to install. As far as performance goes, testing this cooler on an i7 3770 overclocked to 4.3Ghz yielded decent results, with the core temperature stabilizing at around 60-65 degrees Celsius.

Noctua NH-D14

This is the big daddy of current generation CPU coolers. Undeniably the best aircooler available today, it fits every modern CPU socket and positively sucks the heat away regardless of your setup. For example, running at lowest RPM, with an aged Q6600 overclocked to 3.4Ghz @ 1.5v, the CPU idles at 29-31C. Under load, it goes up maybe 10 degrees.

With mounting hardware for every current CPU socket, 2 top-of-the-line fans, and high quality thermal paste included, this is truly an all-in-one kit.

ThermalRight HR-02 Macho

We used this for a silent build including the Silverstone ft 03 case, i5 3570 K, rosewill fanless power supply, gigabyte ga z77mx d3h. At 1100 rpm (running prime 95), ramped up, you can barely record any rise in temperature. We’d recommend this piece of kit without hesitation. The average idle temperature is about 25 degrees.

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