The 12th Gen processors from Intel are super powerful, so keeping them nice and cool under heavy use is critical. Your new Alder Lake CPU uses a modern LGA 1700 socket size meaning a few coolers might need extra parts like mounting brackets and can get confusing. We've rounded up the best CPU coolers for the Intel Core i7-12700K to make the decision easier.
Noctua's gigantic, coffee-colored NH-D15 is the best cooler for the Intel Core i7-12700K. Two 140mm PWM-controlled fans spin up to 1500 RPM, with the whole unit standing at 165mm tall, so you must check your case and motherboard for clearance.
A skinny sibling of sorts to the larger Noctua cooler, the NH-U12S still measures a hefty 158mm. This time with a single 1500 RPM fan, still with PWM control and incredible sound dampening to keep the noise down. It's still big, so check your space around other components.
AIO coolers are a fantastic way to save space around your CPU with a small pump. This cooler's two 140mm fans mount to your case wherever you need the airflow, and it's a great alternative to air coolers if you can mount the thick 38mm radiator.
Best for RGB
Cooler Master sells a $4.99 mounting kit to fit the LGA 1700 socket for your i7-12700K, so order them together. Three 120mm PWM-controlled fans with a 360mm radiator blast glorious RGB colors in your case, but you'll need a lot of cable management.
Best for quiet fans
be quiet! offers a free LGA1700 mounting kit for your i7-12700K, with proof of purchase. The Dark Rock Pro 4 is another giant air cooler, but it doesn't get quieter than this with two PWM fans. A great alternative to the Noctua giants, especially if you prefer monochrome colors.
So you want it all but don't want to spend it all? Cooler Master offers their RGB air cooler with a single PWM 120mm fan, with LED lights spinning up to 2000 RPM. Still tall at just under 160mm, but a super-cheap solution for RGB air cooling.
Choosing the best CPU cooler for Intel Core i7-12700K
Why you can trust Windows Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Building a computer is never as straightforward as you might like, especially determining component compatibility. The air coolers chosen here are big and chunky, like the fantastic Noctua NH-D15.
It's crucial to select the best PC case with enough clearance to fit your cooler and to order an LGA 1700 mounting kit from the manufacturer if you need one. If you want to keep costs down, the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 proved to be the best budget option in our review.
AIO coolers make it easier to enjoy the benefits of liquid cooling with less risk, such as the affordable Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280. If RGB is your bag, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R will fulfill your gamer aesthetic desires when mounted with the appropriate bracket.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
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 @email@example.com to ask questions or share opinions.