If you're picking up this powerful 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12600K for your next gaming rig, it'll handle overclocking for increased performance if paired with an appropriate CPU cooler. Keeping temperatures under control prevents disastrous overheating, so we've rounded up the best CPU coolers for Intel Core i5-12600K using the LGA 1700 socket to match various budgets and help keep things cool.
One of the larger air coolers, the NH-D15, features a sandy brown color iconic of Noctua and stands 165mm tall. It'll need plenty of clearance inside your PC case with enough space for RAM, but its 2x 140mm PWM fans spinning up to 1500 RPM provide controlled temps without getting too noisy.
A little thinner than its D15 counterpart, the NH-U12S still provides impressive cooling via its single chocolate-colored PWM fan running up to 1500 RPM. You get the same noise-dampening benefits from Noctua, so it's ideal for saving space.
To preserve even more space, an all-in-one liquid cooler like the Liquid Freezer II features a slim heatsink pump. The 2x 140mm PWM fans are mountable in an appropriate PC case with a 38 mm-thick radiator handling the temperature control.
Best for RGB
To use this RGB AIO option, Cooler Master sells a separate LGA 1700 mounting kit for $4.99 to fit the i5-12600K. Order it simultaneously to enjoy the multi-colored gamer aesthetics alongside its 3x 120mm PWM fans on a 360mm radiator.
Best for quiet fans
On the air-cooling side, be quiet! generously includes a free LGA 1700 mounting kit with proof of purchase of the Dark Rock Pro 4 for i5-12600K compatibility. It's another chunky option with 2x PWM fans, but it's your quietest option.
For an AIO budget option, you can grab the multi-colored Hyper 212 RGB variant with a single 120mm PWM fan hitting up to 2000 RPM. It's another chunky air-cooler at 160mm, so check your case clearance first.
Choosing the best CPU cooler for Intel Core i5-12600K
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If you want to push your 12th Gen i5-12600K to its limits, you'll need to control temperatures with a CPU cooler best suited to your PC case. Comparing our choices of sizeable air coolers to the slimmer AIO options, you'll need to select the best PC case to determine whether you have enough clearance over nearby components like RAM modules. If you can comfortably fit the Noctua NH-D15, it provides superb performance without pushing up the noise.
On the other hand, all-in-one (AIO) coolers bring similar benefits to liquid cooling with fewer complex setup steps and less risk. Their compact heatsink pumps are perfect if space is lacking inside your case. Pairing the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R with its LGA 1700 mounting bracket keeps temps low with fancy RGB lighting if you have space for the 360mm radiator.
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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.
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