AMD only dipped its performance goals for the Ryzen 7 3700X by a small amount compared to its more powerful 3800X variant, but it's still a capable CPU with eight cores and sixteen threads. Even with the stock cooler, it doesn't get too toasty, but any desire to overclock or push this processor to its limits will require a beefier CPU cooler.
Best air cooler
The NH-D15 is an all-time great air cooler from Noctua, more than capable of cooling the 3700X, but it's big. The heatsink is 150mm wide, and 2x 140mm fans are attachable on both sides, so make sure you have enough clearance.
Another chunky option but with a focus on silent running, our Dark Rock Pro 4 review praised its PWM fans, offering subtle thermal control without getting noisy. Capable and best suited to a larger PC case designed for efficient airflow.
The Hyper 212 Black Edition RGB variant provides the classic gamer aesthetic with built-in fan lighting and easily cools the 3700X. Adjustable via a motherboard header or the dedicated controller, it's still a chunky option.
The 240mm ML240L features 2x 120mm PWM ARGB fans and an illuminated pump head for effortless style and effective AIO liquid cooling. Affordable and capable for the 3700X.
One of the most popular AIO coolers in recent years, the H100i Elite Capellix ramps up the color-shifting RGB aesthetics to 11 with 2x 120mm PWM radiator fans capable of spinning up to 2,400 RPM.
Choosing the best AMD Ryzen 7 3700X CPU cooler
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Thankfully, the Ryzen 7 3700X doesn't get too hot, and the stock cooler provided by AMD is a reasonably capable option. It's a no-frills choice, though, and it's not particularly exciting to look at through a PC case side panel, nor is it exceptionally quiet. If you have the space, any of our air coolers are more than enough to keep your CPU chilled, with the Noctua NH-D15 coming out on top as my favorite.
To keep things extra hushed, the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is similarly chunky but is practically unrivaled in its ability to operate in a whisper tone. For smaller builds or cases with spare mounting space for a radiator and clearance for fans, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2 is an ideal all-in-one liquid cooling option for the 3700X. Corsair's iCUE H100i Elite Capellix ramps up the RGB if you're aiming for a truly hype gamer aesthetic.
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Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or share opinions.
- Rich EdmondsSenior Editor, PC Build