A cooling solution is a crucial component of a computer system that should not be ignored. Unlike most of the other components, it is not giving any direct advantage or any certain specification through which we can feel its essence, however, the computer can not work properly and efficiently without a good cooling solution. Intel Core i7-7700K is the fastest mainstream processor from the seventh generation and as the letter ‘K’ denotes, it is an unlocked processor. This means that the user can change the multiplier of the processor leading to much better processing speeds, however, also heats up much more than at the stock configurations.
There are a lot of cooling solutions available in the market but many low-end coolers would end up throttling an overclocked i7-7700K processor. For this beast of a processor, we need a high-end cooler which would not only stop its thermal throttling but also enable us to achieve low temperatures so that the life span of the processor can be increased. We will look at some high-end coolers in this article which will give you a broad idea about the thermal requirements of this processor.
1. NZXT Kraken X72
Our Rating: 9.5/10
- 6 Year Warranty
- The pump provides splendid aesthetics
- Sleek design
- Software does not work properly
- Expensive for a cooler
Socket Support: Intel LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 1151 / 1150 & AMD AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 | TDP : N/A | Dimensions (W x H x D) : 394 mm x 120 mm x 27 mm | No. of Fans : 3 | Fan RPM : 500-2000 RPM | Lightning: RGB
Kraken X72 is a masterpiece by NZXT and it is among the top performing AIO coolers in the market. The cooler provides a circular pump which is beautifully lit by RGB lights and increases the overall looks of the system by quite a margin. There is an NZXT logo at the center of the pump, which, along with RGB lighting, looks spectacular. The radiator comes with three Aer P120 fans which spin relatively faster than other coolers, thus providing better performance at the expense of noisy operation.
The base of the cooler has a smooth copper block on which there is some pre-applied thermal paste. There are two ports on the pump; a mini-B USB port and a 9-pin port. The mini-B USB port can be connected with a 9-pin USB 2.0 header cable allowing management through software while the 9-pin port can be connected to PWM splitter so that the user can also control the fans through the software.
We observed impressive cooling performance during operation and there was around 50-degrees delta temperature with an overclocked hexacore processor. The software was a bit messy and we could barely control the fan speeds, though we think this will be fixed by NZXT soon. If you want the top of the line performance and do not want to check your bank balance, then this cooler will be a perfect match for you.
2. CORSAIR Hydro Series H150i PRO RGB
Our Rating: 9.5/10
- Quieter than most of the similar AIOs
- Easy customization through software
- Cooling performance is lower than the other AIOs
- RGB lighting could have been extended to radiator
- Only a few cases support 360 mm radiators
Socket Support : Intel LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1156 / 1155 / 1151 / 1150 & AMD AM4 / AM3 / AM2 | TDP : 500W | Dimensions (W x H x D) : 396 mm x 120 mm x 27 mm | No. of Fans : 3 | Fan RPM : 0-1600 RPM | Lightning : RGB
Hydro Series H150i Pro RGB is the flagship AIO cooler by Corsair and it is the best performing cooler of the company. The pump is rectangular in shape with round corners and provides RGB lighting, which also lights the Corsair logo. The radiator comes with three ML series fans, which are known for their high static air pressure while keeping the noise very low.
The cooler’s base is similar to NZXT X72, having a copper block at the base. However, the cooler draws power through a 12-pin SATA cable while there is a micro-B USB port on the pump providing accessibility of the features through the Corsair Link software. There is also a 4-pin ribbon cable coming out of the pump which can be used to control the fan speeds through the software. This cooler also comes with pre-applied thermal paste, which is not recommended to use unless you don’t own a high-quality thermal compound.
The performance of this cooler was a bit disappointing and there was a difference of 5-7 degrees between this and the NZXT X72 while testing with similar configuration. However, due to low-noise and low-RPM fans, the acoustic levels of this cooler were noticeably better. If you care for the noise levels and want a sufficient cooling solution, this product will provide a good value to you.
3. Noctua NH-D15
Our Rating: 9/10
- Best performance in air coolers
- Very quiet operation
- Comes with High-end NT-H1 thermal paste
- Looks do not match most of the themes
- Quite heavy
Socket Support : Intel LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 1151 / 1150 & AMD AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 socket | TDP : N/A | Dimensions (W x H x D) : 150 mm x 160 mm x 135 mm | No. of Fans : 2 | Fan RPM : 300-1500 RPM | Lightning : N/A
Noctua is a well-known brand when it comes to CPU coolers. The first thing that comes to mind after hearing Noctua is their brown-themed fans along with beefy coolers. Noctua NH-D15 fits perfect to such a description and it is probably the best air cooler that has been tested. There are two NF-A15 fans, where one of them sucks the cool air from the front end and the other one is used in-between the dual-tower style cooler.
The cooler is quite heavy, especially after attaching both fans and as it can be guessed, the cooler does not provide a good enough RAM clearance, which is why you need a RAM with a low height if you want this cooler. If you own RAM sticks having a big height, then you can alternatively disassemble the front fan, in which case it will have an impact on the performance. The cooler also comes with its own thermal paste Noctua NT-H1, which is considered as one of the best thermal pastes.
Surprisingly, this cooler provided much closer thermal results to the 360 mm AIOs, which was unexpected, although things could have been a bit different if the testing was performed on a delidded processor. If you are afraid of the risks being brought by AIO coolers and still do not want to compromise on the thermal performance, this cooler will fulfill the duty finely, although make sure that you think about the theme of your setup before considering it.
4. CRYORIG R1 ULTIMATE
Our Rating: 8.5/10
- Very similar to NH-D15 in performance
- Provides one of the best looks for an air cooler
- Adjustable fan height
- Fans are a bit noisy
- Needs lower profile RAM sticks
Socket Support : Intel LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 1156 / 1155 / 1151 / 1150 & AMD AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 socket | TDP : 250+W | Dimensions (W x H x D) : 140 mm x 168.3 mm x 142.4 mm | No. of Fans : 2 | Fan RPM : 700-1300 RPM | Lightning : N/A
Cryorig is a company founded lately but their products provide unique features. The products of this company are known to be designed with passion, as the company is built by PC overclockers and enthusiasts. Cryorig R1 Ultimate is their flagship air cooler which provides a great competition to the king of coolers, NH-D15. Although with a similar dual-tower design, this cooler provides much better aesthetics, as the XF140 fans are black in color and look much better.
The height of the front fan can be adjusted to allow better RAM clearance. A maximum of 35mm clearance can be obtained, which still, is not enough for some high-end RAMs. In this case, Cryorig sells a thinner fan, XT140 which can be used instead of the front XF140 fan, thus avoiding any clearance issue.
This cooler provided us with slightly higher temperatures than the NH-D15, which was almost within the error range. The cooler comes with CP-7 thermal paste, which is a bit below the NT-H1 thermal paste but still gets the job done efficiently. If you are annoyed by the color theme of Noctua, then this cooler can be your best bet.
5. COOLER MASTER MASTERAIR MA620P
Our Rating: 9/10
- Extremely cheap
- Best bang for the buck
- Light-weight design
- Performance is barely suitable for overclocked processors
- Build quality could have been better
Socket Support : Intel LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 1151 / 1150 / 775 & AMD AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 | TDP : 200W | Dimensions (W x H x D) : 116 mm x 165 mm x 110.1 mm | No. of Fans : 2 | Fan RPM : 600–1800 RPM | Lighting : RGB
Cooler Master MasterAir MA620P is a budget CPU cooler which provides a dual-tower design, although the size of this cooler is much smaller than the previous two coolers. This series of coolers is recently released by Cooler Master and despite being available at a cheap rate, it provides great results. One of the reasons for that is the patented Continuous Direct Contact 2.0 technology, due to which the heat-pipes make direct contact with the IHS of the processor. This is a revision of the technology used in the famous Hyper-212 cooler and MA620P can be coupled with high-end processors without breaking a sweat.
The cooler comes with two MF120R RGB fans, whose lighting patterns can be controlled through the provided RGB controller. Also, there is space for a third fan which can be bought additionally, increasing the efficiency of cooling. The RGB lighting can also be synced with many motherboard lighting systems such as ASUS AuraSync and Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion.
The performance of this cooler was lagging quite a bit behind the NH-D15 and R1 Ultimate with a difference of 7-8 degrees. This gap can be reduced by adding a third fan, which might reduce the temperature by a couple of degrees. Overall, we will recommend this cooler to you if you do not want extremely high clocks and prefer an RGB cooler.
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