OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup

Retested CPU Coolers - Air Coolers/Heatsinks

OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup

Retested CPU Coolers - Air Coolers/Heatsinks

CPU cooler reviews are incomplete without plenty of hardware comparisons, which means that our selection of new coolers isn't enough to draw any firm conclusions on them. 

We need to retest some of our previously reviewed CPU coolers, and that means that we need to select a diverse lineup of CPU coolers that can cover all bases, from low-cost heatsinks to behemoth coolers. 

be quiet! Dark Rock Slim

The Dark Rock Slim is a great example of a silence-oriented air-cooled heatsink, offering plenty of surface area to adequately cool most processors while being affordable enough not to break the bank. 

There are bigger heatsinks, and there are smaller heatsinks, setting this cooler well within the mid-range of the tower heatsink market. 

  

OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup  
be quiet! Shadow Rock 3

With a 190W TDP rating, the Shadow Rock 3 is a cooler which offers PC builders more than enough cooling power to keep most processors cool and quiet, emitting a listed 24.4dB at its maximum fan speeds. 

This cooler also sits within the mid-range of the air-cooled heatsink market, with an MSRP of around £45, though prices can vary depending on your chosen retailer.  
OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition

It would be criminal to do a CPU cooler roundup without testing a version of Cooler Master's iconic Hyper 212 heatsink. There's a reason why most PC builders have heard of it, especially if you were building PCs in the late 2000s and the early 2010s. 

Today we will be looking at Cooler Master's Hyper 212 Black Edition, a £29.99 heatsink which offers new refinements to the classic design while also meeting modern aesthetic standards thanks to the unit's all-black colour scheme. 

OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup

Cooler Master MA620M

The Wraithripper for the common man, an air-cooler that aims for AIO-like performance and an RGB heatsink that's designed to deliver impressive looks and compelling cooling performance. 

With its £89.99 pricing, Cooler Master planned to deliver similar performance levels to low-cost All-in-One liquid coolers and deliver PC builders a premium aesthetic. It's not the best performing cooler in the world, but it certainly puts on a show. 
  

Cooler Master's MasterAir MA620M CPU cooler - A Mini Wraith Ripper?

 
Cryorig H5

While the company has had its supply issues in recent years, the company has remained a favourite amongst air-cooling enthusiasts, especially those who dislike Noctua's brown/beige colour scheme. 

The H5 is Cryorig's mid-range 140mm offering, which fills the same market niche as the be quiet! heatsinks above. This heatsink is designed with performance and low noise levels in mind, supporting TDPs of up to 180W while hosting a specialised fin design that isn't used by competing heatsink manufacturers. 
 

OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup  

Cryorig R1

The R1 is Cryorig's magnum opus, a huge 240W air-cooled heatsink which is designed to challenge other high-end CPU coolers. For £75, this CPU is priced well for the performance it offers, and while this cooler has been available for almost half a decade, the design is still a favourite amongst enthusiasts. 

If we are honest, we'd love to see a Cryorig R2, a next-generation premium air cooler for the 2020s, but at this time Cryorig is showing no sign of new product developments. 

OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup  
Noctua NH-U12S

Noctua is a brand that sits at the top of many PC builders "best air cooler manufacturers" lists, which comes thanks to Noctua's dedication to engineering excellence over aesthetic preferences. 

Don't get us wrong, Noctua produces beautiful coolers, but their designs are functional, performance-oriented and utilitarian. When you look at a Noctua, a tickbox is marked within our brains that say, "yes, this design is good", and over the years, Noctua has never disappointed us. 

In the mid-range of Noctua's cooling lineup sits their NH-U12S cooler, a single-tower heatsink which ships with a single 120mm fan and a well-designed mounting system. Over the past decade, most heatsink manufacturers have adopted a Noctua-like retention mechanism, again highlighting the company's engineering prowess. 

The NH-U12S has also been adapted to support CPUs like AMD's TR4/SP3 sockets, making this cooler compatible with some of the most powerful CPUs on the market today. Not bad for a £60 heatsink. 

OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup  

Noctua NH-D15

This CPU cooler requires no introductions. The NH-D15 is easily the most famous CPU cooler on the market today, offering users an impressive size, high-end cooling capabilities and performance levels that can put some liquid coolers to shame. 

For less than £80, this CPU cooler stands as one of the best on the market, securing Noctua's brand as one of the best that money can buy. That's high praise, but that's what Noctua deserves. 
OC3D 2020 CPU Cooler Roundup  

  

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Most Recent Comments

08-04-2020, 14:10:30

AlienALX
Great test. Surprised to see the Noctua so low down tbh.Quote

08-04-2020, 14:14:34

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
Great test. Surprised to see the Noctua so low down tbh.
Remember that we have a lot of AIOs in there, and loads of 360mm models.

It's doing very well, especially at low fan RPMs. Very impressed TBH.Quote

08-04-2020, 14:25:45

Jaxel
I use a Cooler Master ML240 in one of my PCs... I would not recommend this cooler to anyone. It cools fine. But every few minutes or so, it gurgles.

I also do not recommend most other AIO coolers either. I 3D print a lot of cases, and what I noticed is that for a lot of these coolers, the tolerances on the actual radiator are complete garbage. The holes are not always exact. If you have a case which has variable hole spaces, they should work fine. But if you have cases which expect holes to be exactly 105mm apart, and they are 103mm or 107mm apart instead, you will have problems.

The best tolerances on radiators I have seen are from Deepcool GamerStorm. I highly recommend the GamerStorm Castle 360EX.Quote

08-04-2020, 15:32:37

AngryGoldfish
I'm impressed at how comparable the 280mm Celsius+ is to the 360mm. Given the £30 price difference, if my case could fit the 280mm rad, I'd just go with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxel View Post
I use a Cooler Master ML240 in one of my PCs... I would not recommend this cooler to anyone. It cools fine. But every few minutes or so, it gurgles.

I also do not recommend most other AIO coolers either. I 3D print a lot of cases, and what I noticed is that for a lot of these coolers, the tolerances on the actual radiator are complete garbage. The holes are not always exact. If you have a case which has variable hole spaces, they should work fine. But if you have cases which expect holes to be exactly 105mm apart, and they are 103mm or 107mm apart instead, you will have problems.

The best tolerances on radiators I have seen are from Deepcool GamerStorm. I highly recommend the GamerStorm Castle 360EX.
In fairness, the ML240 is over two years old now. In that time pumps have improved substantially in terms of quietness. I jumped aboard AIO's a few years ago and found them to be obnoxiously noisy. I moved back to air cooling and have been very happy. But since then Asetek have released a few iterations that across the board have improved noise levels. If I were building a new system, I'd consider an AIO again.Quote

08-04-2020, 15:36:43

AlienALX
Oddly AMD recommend a 280 for Ryzen 3900x and 3950x. Maybe they have just had more R&D recently? IDK.Quote
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