Best CPU coolers for Intel Core i5-12600K Windows Central 2022

The Intel Core i5-12600K is a powerful CPU ready to be overclocked and power your next gaming rig. Pairing it with an appropriate cooler keeps the temperatures under control to prevent overheating, so we found the best CPU coolers for Intel Core i5-12600K using socket LGA 1700 to match your budget and keep things cool.

Noctua NH-D15

Best overall: Noctua NH-D15

Staff pick

Air coolers are usually big, as with the Noctua NH-D15. At 165mm tall, it's a behemoth that needs plenty of clearance in your PC case. Fortunately, its two 140mm PWM fans running at 1500 RPM provide super-low temps without being noisy, making it the best CPU cooler for Intel Core i5-12600K.

$100 at Amazon
Noctua NH-U12S

Runner-up: Noctua NH-U12S

Being slightly slimmer than its Noctua counterpart doesn't stop this chocolate-colored cooler from providing cool temps. The NH-U12S still measures 158mm tall with a single 1500 RPM PWM fan and includes the same noise-dampening adapters as the NH-D15. Perfect if you need to save space.

$70 at Amazon
Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280

Best all-in-one: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280

If you can't spare the space around your CPU, then AIO liquid coolers are the perfect alternative. The Liquid Freezer II features a slimmer pump heatsink, keeping the dual 140mm PWM fans mounted to your case on its 38mm-thick radiator.

$103 at Amazon
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R

Best for RGB: Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R (+ mounting kit)

To get the best RGB AIO cooler, you'll need to spring for the $4.99 LGA 1700 mounting kit from Cooler Master to fit your i5-12600K. Order it together and enjoy super-bright gamer aesthetics, controlled alongside its three 120mm PWM fans on a 360mm radiator. Just beware of some fiddly cable management.

$156 at Amazon
be quiet! Dark Rock 4 Pro

Best for quiet fans: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 (+ mounting kit)

Very generously, be quiet! offers a free LGA 1700 mounting kit for the Dark Rock Pro 4 with proof of purchase, ensuring compatibility with your i5-12600K. It's another big air cooler with two PWM fans, but it doesn't get any quieter than this.

$90 at Amazon
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition RGB

Budget friendly: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition RGB

On a budget, you can pick up this RGB air-powered CPU cooler with a single gorgeous 120mm LED PWM fan spinning up to 2000 RPM. Of course, being air-cooled means it's another big one at 160mm tall, so check your case space.

$55 at Amazon

Choosing the best CPU cooler for Intel Core i5-12600K

Splashing out on the powerful i5-12600K CPU means you'll want to take good care of it, so you'll need the best cooler to keep it healthy. Since air coolers are so often monstrously large, you need to choose the best PC case to ensure you have enough clearance over other components. If you can spare the space, the Noctua NH-D15 has incredible cooling performance without being noisy.

Should it be a little more cramped around your CPU, AIO coolers bring the same benefits of liquid cooling with less risk by using a smaller heatsink pump. The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R, with an additional LGA 1700 mounting bracket, provides beautiful RGB lighting and super-low temperatures, as long as you have the space elsewhere for a triple-fan 360mm radiator.

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