These days CPU coolers are a must-go-to thing for the majority of processors. The reason for this change is nothing but the increased power consumption of the processors. For example, core i9-9900K discharges more heat in the surroundings while doing complex mathematical and geometrical calculations. Not only this, but the TDP for each new chipset is exponentially incrementing. This whole lot of heat can reduce the lifespan of your components.
On top of that, you experience shutters, degraded performance, and drying components. For that reason, CPU coolers came into action. Well, the advent of coolers remarkably reduced the soaring temperatures by three folds. Many users reported positive findings regarding the installation of a high-end CPU cooler in their build.
It’s time to cut the chase and bring in the best cheap CPU coolers to get hold of in 2021!
Without any further ado, let’s begin!
List of 6 Best Budget CPU Coolers Overview (Summarized table)
|Best Customizable Budget Air Cooler||4.9/5||Check Price|
|Best Versatile Budget liquid Cooler||4.8/5||Check Price|
|Best Silent Budget liquid Cooler||4.7/5||Check Price|
|Best Performance Budget Air Cooler||4.6/5||Check Price|
|Best Premium Budget Air Cooler||4.6/5||Check Price|
|Best Budget Liquid Cooler||4.5/5||Check Price|
Best Customizable Budget Air Cooler
Cooler Master MasterAir G100M houses a sophisticated geometrical design. The design might be complicated, but what comes with it is phenomenal. The cooler gathers the warm air at the bottom and then unleashes it through the heatsink attached. The design of the cooler is on-fleek and looks enticing every time your gaze falls on it. You can connect custom heat pipes as per your will. Be it four, six, eight, ten. It depends on what sort of air system you want inside your case.
Not to mention, the implemented LED on the cooler makes, the cooler look something out of this world. To turn on the LED, what you have to do is plug it on the RGB header/CPU stock cooler slot on the motherboard, and you are good to go. It just doesn’t end here. Below the LED, there are stashed aluminum fins that help in heat dissipation. As you know that metal helps in heat conduction, the usage of aluminum as ridges is nothing but to use them as a heat conductor.
How convenient is the whole process of heat radiation? Well, MasterAir G100M uses enough heat column so that the heat directly transfers to the heatsink. Kudos to the 41.2mm diameter for the contact surface. The size proposed is unparalleled for what the product costs. It’s worth mentioning that the 41.2mm diameter is seven times bigger than traditional heat pipes; thus, encouraging the hot air to channel through the medium efficiently. The only setback is the instruction manual, which makes the cooler hard to mount on the CPU.
Should you go for it?
The product is astounding. You don’t get to see many, to be honest. In my opinion, it’s efficient and beautifully designed. What else do you want?
|Compatible Intel CPU sockets: LGA2066, LGA2011 v3, LGA2011, LGA1151, LGA1150, LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1366|
|Compatible AMD CPU Sockets: AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1|
|Noise level: 30.0 dB|
|Fan Speed: 22.63 CFM|
- Alternatives heat pipes
- Large CPU contact area
- Efficient heat column
- LED lighting for aesthetics
- Not easy to mount
Best Budget Versatile liquid Cooler
Corsair is known for pitching in quality products, and surprisingly so is the case with Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO liquid cooler. The cooler is self-contained; thus, requiring less maintenance. It’s worth putting in that the design is on-fleek with an attachable liquid that you need to put separately. The process of mounting is easy to come by. Just mount the fan on the CPU, and the rest will be done by the cooler and heat pipes. Astoundingly, the temperature difference witnessed was around 30 degrees. The temperature difference is highly appreciated and needs to be put up for a show for overclocking enthusiasts. Since it uses liquid nitrogen, helium, or water, the temperature plummets quickly without you requiring to change the thermal paste every once in a while.
Also, the need for replacing the coolant is not mandatory and can be changed in a couple of years.
Corsair Hydro Series H60 uses out-of-the-box conventions to promote heat reduction. The concept is daring and loving at the same time. Well, the cooler uses micro-fins copper plates that help in radiating the heat articulately. The plate is wonderfully responsive to temperature and takes immediate action when the cooling system is required. Not to mention, the cooler is compact and portable, making it easeful for the user to mount it on the CPU. I can understand that no one loves sitting in bulky coolers, which is the case with most of the AMD liquid coolers out there. So here it is, your savior hydro series.
It just doesn’t end here. The noise levels are considerably low; hence, enabling you to work for prolonged hours without going deaf. The only problem that sinks in with this cooler is the necessity to use the proprietary software of corsair to control the cooler. You will need to adjust the preferences accordingly every time you open the PC. Other than this, it’s a bang on a 10/10 liquid cooler.
Should you go for it?
Since the temperature allotment for the cooler is enormous, you definitely should be rooting for this product. No ifs and buts, go and buy it already!
|Compatible Intel CPU sockets: LGA 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011|
|Compatible AMD CPU Sockets: AM2, AM3, AM4, FM1, FM2|
|Noise level: 28.3 dB|
|Fan Speed: 600-1700 RPM|
- Low maintenance
- Large diameter tubing
- Compact and portable
- Minimum coolant evaporation
- You need the software to control the coolant
Best Silent Budget liquid Cooler
I’ll be honest with you; this is my favorite liquid cooler. It has all the essential things a person looks in a cooler without spending hundreds of dollars. Well, NZXT Kraken M22 is one of those silent liquid coolers that perform at its peak without compromising on lifespan. The cooler uses a unique mirror design and is painted with a potpourri of vibrant colors for aesthetics. It uses LED to project light that can be toggled on and off as per your will. Unfortunately, the architecture chosen by the developers is only compatible with Intel sockets only. So, if you have an AMD processor, then you better not buy this liquid cooler. Notwithstanding, the cooling system of the NZXT Kraken M22 is phenomenal and produces zero noise levels; thus, making it the best Budget cooler for gaming. You get a 6-year warranty, which is a cool thing to have!
NZXT Kraken is an impressive cooler to get hold of. You will need CAM software to change all the preferred settings accordingly whenever you turn on the PC. That’s the only bummer that comes with the cooler; otherwise, it’s outstanding. Also, you don’t have to change the coolant frequently. Everything is manufactured so smartly, believe me when I say this. The software can only be used on Windows 10 PC, so keep in mind before purchasing the cooler.
Should you go for it?
Yes, it’s an excellent choice for intel sockets. You get a consistent and powerful cooling system, what else do you want, eh?
|Compatible Intel CPU sockets: Intel Socket 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 2011, 2011-3, 2066 Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron|
|Compatible AMD CPU Sockets: Null|
|Noise level: 21-38 dBA|
|Fan Speed: 3000+ RPM|
- Infinity-mirror styling and RGB lighting
- Powerful and robust
- Cam software gives you total control over your CPU temperatures
- Can only be used on Intel sockets
Best Performance Budget Air Cooler
The measurements of the Cooler Master Hyper LED are 4.7 x 4.7 inches, which perpetuates compactness and portability. You can house in the cooler inside any motherboard variant since the space bracket is enormous for this cooler. Cooler Master Hyper LED 212 EVO uses alternative active cooling in conjunction with a passive cooling system. It means that the fan won’t start cooling until the temperature reaches a given threshold. With this cooler, you get four heat pipes that are in continuous contact with the CPU. The purpose of implementing heat pipes is nothing but to allow surface-to-surface thermal conduction.
If you want to take in pride the cooler, then Cooler Master Hyper LED 212 EVO could be your shot. It has a sleek and on-fleek design that is compelling and enticing to look at. The cooler stands out in the pool of flagship models because it offers. Even the blades are made from a unique wave-like structure that helps in propelling the air at its highest. It has been statistically recorded that the fan can lower temperatures up to 25 degrees, which is again unparalleled when compared with other contemporary models.
All in all, the cooler saves you from the hurdle of changing the thermal paste.
Should you go for it?
No wonder, the cooler earned the best performance title. If you are one of those people who value performance over aesthetics, then sure go ahead with the product.
|Compatible Intel CPU sockets: LGA 2011, 1366, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156|
|Compatible AMD CPU Sockets: FM2+, FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, AM1, AM4|
|Noise level: 9-36 dBA|
|Fan Speed: 600-2000 RPM|
- Compatible with another 120mm cooler
- Outstanding air power
- Unique 4-pipe cooling design
- You will need to buy thermal paste separately
Best Premium Budget Air Cooler
Have you heard of fans being low-profile? If not, then welcome Noctua NH-L9i premium CPU cooler, compact, and have a low-profile setup. It’s worth adding that Noctua doesn’t care about aesthetics and design, so if you are into plain, cheap CPU coolers, you can rely on the NH-L9i premium cooler. Surprisingly, the cooler is eligible to sit in HTPCs, ITX, and small form factors quickly without causing you any problems. Let’s congratulate the optimized NF-A9x14 slim 92mm diameter fan of high-quality, which can preserve your CPU for years. It also features PWM support with continuous feedback.
On top of that, you get minimum noise levels. That’s wonderful, isn’t it? Well, it’s because of the automatic fan speed control that takes place on the motherboard.
Moreover, you don’t have to worry about the heat column at all. The CPU cooler has a 95mm x 95mm measurement that can be fit in without curbing the space (RAM and PCIe slots).
The Noctua NH-L9i premium is easy to come by. All you have to do is use the screws to mount the cooler, and that’s all. Two minutes installation! It’s because of the SecuFirm2 mounting system that doesn’t require complications. It’s worth noticing that the cooler also has NT-H1 thermal paste to help in heat dissipation. The product also gives you a 6-year warranty, which is outstanding!
Should you go for it?
Well, the Noctua NH-L9i is a portable cooler with advanced features on it. If you are looking forward to buying the best budget CPU cooler, then this is your only shot. You are getting so many improvements on the cooler, what else do you want?
|Compatible Intel CPU sockets: LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156|
|Compatible AMD CPU Sockets: AM4|
|Noise level: 23.6 dBA|
|Fan Speed: 1800-2500 RPM|
- Compact cooling system
- 6-year warranty
- Low profile fan
- Easy to mount
- Limited to a few sockets only
Best Budget Liquid Cooler
Arctic liquid freezer 120 has something for you in the stash. Although it lacks the bells and whistles of all the extravagant and pricier products in the market, it never fails to amaze the user. The design is simple and coherent with the prescribed details mentioned on the menu. The blade design helps propel the air at a higher rate; thus, plummeting down the soaring temperature of the case. Surprisingly, it comes with an enabled liquid cooler, which is self-contained and doesn’t require you the user to tend to it frequently. It’s worth mentioning that there isn’t any RGB system enabled with the cooler, so it’s better if you don’t get your hopes high in aesthetics.
Moreover, the 120mm measurement easily fits on the processor without causing any congestion inside the case.
You don’t have to run around to read from the manual for setting up the cooler. All you have to do is simply mount the cooler with the help of a few mounting screws, and you are good to go. Even the requirement for changing coolant is around 2-3 years, so yeah, that’s the thing.
Should you go for it?
Well, if you are looking forward to having something budget-friendly and still provide you top-notch efficiency, then Arctic liquid freezer 120 is your shot.
|Compatible Intel CPU sockets: LGA 2011 – 2066|
|Compatible AMD CPU Sockets: AM2 – AM3+, FM1 – FM2|
|Noise level: 22.5 dBA|
|Fan Speed: 1350 RPM|
- Strong performance
- Lacks a few advanced features
Types of CPU Coolers
The complexities start from here onwards. Now you have two types of coolers to choose from. Let’s shed some light on the different types of coolers you can get hold of, and which type is suitable for your processor.
The air-cooling solution is the typical type of cooling system used for the processor these days. They are versatile and affordable. Air coolers use discrete heatsinks, which are made of good quality metal; this metal conducts heat and dissipates it from the processor to the surrounding. That’s the job of the heatsink. But it doesn’t end here. The heatsink is directly mounted below an air cooler (Air thruster), which pushes the air away from the processor. The heat is radiated with the help of the air; hence, reducing the temperature of the CPU. It’s worth keeping in mind that these coolers are not workable for overclocked processors. It’s a known fact that overclocked CPU dissipates heat by a factor of 2. For that, you will need liquid coolers, which we shall discuss in the next type.
Liquid Coolers are for those people who are extremely into powerful overclocking and high-end gaming. They are elegant and beautiful, with RGB enabled to sync with the 3rd party software or motherboard. Apart from this, liquid coolers use a particular type of liquid. It’s either liquified nitrogen or helium. Well, the reason for cherry-picking nitrogen and helium is because of chemical properties. The liquid coolers mount themselves with a tube that connects with the CPU. Well, the hot air channels through the machine to the liquified container. The air that cools down is pushed back to the CPU, so it remains below the given temperature threshold. The process is intricate and shouldn’t concern you, but for an overview, we put it out there.
Additionally, liquid coolers do need maintenance. They can leak and rust away because of the liquid. To minimize the problem, either keep tending to the liquid cooler or get a pocket-friendly cooler that features a closed-loop system. Well, the closed-loop system uses a packed version, where the cooling effect takes place from tube to tube without any significant leakage, thus protecting your CPU.
What features to look into before buying any CPU Cooler?
It’s similar to buying fans. When you get a fan, you do consider their sizes. Well, the same is the case with buying CPU coolers. They come in a plethora of different sizes that need to be checked before fitting it on the CPU. In most cases, vendors sell away the coolers without letting the customers know the size of the cooler. To eliminate the possibility, how about you educate yourself on the matter? You get the CPU coolers in two sizes. One is 120mm and the other 140mm. You are also supposed to look into your case and measure the size yourself because, at times, even the smallest size can cause problems in RAM insertion. Yes, RAM slots are just near your CPU. Even more massive fans produce high noise levels, so plan accordingly.
These pipes are usually found on liquid coolers. They are a prerequisite for your cooler to function. As long as you are buying a high-quality cooler, the pipes will work efficiently without melting down. It’s worth mentioning that it’s better to test the heat pipes for any sort of leakage before buying the cooler. If by chance, you end up with ruptured pipes, you are in a bad position.
A standard fan measures 4.7 x 4.7 inches. If you are buying a cooler with these dimensions, then yes, you did the right thing. It’s known that the fan can fit in quickly if it had the measures mentioned above.
Whenever you plan to choose a CPU cooler, always ensure that it has decent fan blades. Why? The fan blade design helps in propelling gusts of winds out of the heatsink at a higher rate. If, by chance, you stumble upon a ruptured/out-of-date design, then expect the temperatures to rise drastically.
Your ideal goal should be to get hold of a CPU cooler that it is not expensive. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a cooler, which is just mesmerizing in looks. You need performance too, and for that to happen, you have to set a budget margin. Don’t drool over the facade, because, in the long run, they won’t benefit you at all. Plan wisely!
After reading the comprehensive guide to finding the best budget CPU cooler for your processor, you must be fully aware of how the cooling system works, and what product to go for. If you are still indecisive, and waiting for someone to push you, then I guess my advice will turn out to be valuable for you. I will recommend you to root for Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler. The reason is nothing but the cooler being versatile and perfect in every aspect. I always recommend people to choose the best CPU cooler, regardless of the price tag. But if you are looking forward to something cheap and considerate, then Arctic liquid freezer 120 might cater to your needs.
What questions do people ask about CPU coolers?
Hey, I’m Muhammad Bilal. I’m a tech fanatic (also read: Gamer), who loves scrutinizing fine details. I aim to strive hard in my respective fields (as a writer and software programmer). Before pursuing my majors in a university (right now in A-levels), I want to spend time exploring and reviewing the latest technology.