There are several different ways to keep your PC cool, but one of the most basic and affordable is using air. With a decent air cooler like the Cryorig R1 Ultimate (opens in new tab) on your CPU, you'll still get great performance and, in the right circumstances, room for overclocking.
With "ultimate" in the name you'd be hoping for big things from this cooler, and thankfully it doesn't just blow smoke. For under $100, the R1 Ultimate is very large and heavy, but it's also one heck of a cooler.It's universal to Intel and AMD sockets, packs 140-mm fans, 6-mm heat pipes and a sleek black finish that'll look stellar inside your build. It isn't the quietest, and it's a lump for sure. But it's also an awesome cooler, and that's what matters.
If there were such a thing as a legend in the arena of CPU cooling, the Hyper 212 Evo from Cooler Master would stake a claim to the title.Why's it so good? Firstly, it's absurdly cheap for something of this quality. Its four heat pipes contact directly with the CPU for maximum effect, and it's extremely well balanced despite its size.The Hyper 212 Evo is also super simple to mount and can even be had in a variant with LED lighting, for extra razzle-dazzle.
It may not look like much, but the Silverstone Argon AR-06 is one of the best low-profile CPU coolers money can buy.It's perfect for smaller PC builds thanks to its near-silent operation, solid build quality, and top-notch cooling performance. It's a little fiddly to install, but if you're only doing it once it shouldn't be much of an issue. Those four heat pipes are direct-contact for maximum effect, and it supports both Intel and AMD sockets with a 95W TDP.
Be Quiet built its brand around offering performance parts for PC enthusiasts that also crave a more silent experience. This sleek, all-black hunk of metal and fan delivers on that front.This is one for the serious PC builder, with a whopping 250W TDP support, dual-tower design, seven heat pipes, and two 120-mm fans. With all that cooling power it's still whisper-quiet. How? We don't know, but your PC will love it. And so will your ears, though you'll pay for the privilege.
Don't let the appearance of this Noctua cooler put you off because while it's less showy than others, it's all business where it matters.Six heat pipes and a pair of 140-mm fans make this a sizeable yet impressive cooler. It's a premium quality solution that costs a bit, but it is backed up by one of the best warranties you'll find.
The name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but this is an excellent cooler from Phanteks that comes in a choice of colors to match your build.It isn't the most expensive cooler you'll find, and while it's not the outright quietest either, it strikes a strong balance between cooling performance and noise.It packs four heat pipes along with a pair of 120mm fans to get the job done while adding some premium style to your build.
Whatever your PC build, there's a great air cooler to go in it. Whether you need a low-profile choice like the Silverstone Argon AR-06 (opens in new tab) or want silence from something like the Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 (opens in new tab), there's something out there for you.
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.