The 12th Gen processors from Intel are super powerful, so it's critical to keep them nice and cool under heavy use. Your new Alder Lake CPU uses a modern LGA 1700 socket size meaning a few will need extra mounting brackets, so 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 in at 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 a big one, so check your space around other components.
Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280
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. It's a great alternative to air coolers if you can mount the thick 38mm radiator.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R (+ mounting kit)
Best for RGB
Cooler Master sells a $4.99 mounting kit to fit the LGA 1700 socket for your i7-12700K, so be sure to 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.
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 (+ mounting kit)
Best for quiet fans
be quiet! offers a free LGA1700 mounting kit for your i7-12700K, with proof of purchase. The be quiet! 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 a monochrome color scheme.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition RGB
So you want it all, but you don't want to spend it all? Cooler Master offers their RGB air cooler with a single PWM 120mm fan glowing 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
Building a computer is never as straightforward as you might like, especially when figuring out component compatibility. The air coolers chosen here are big and chunky, like the fantastic Noctua NH-D15. It's crucial to select the best case with enough clearance to fit your cooler and to order an LGA 1700 mounting kit from the manufacturer if you need one.
AIO coolers are an easier way 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. For RGB lovers looking to spend less, stick with the Hyper 212 Black Edition RGB with its neon fan for cheaper air cooling.
Ben Wilson is a freelance writer working for Windows Central with technical expertise and a background in electronics retail. Fueling a technology and video game obsession with coffee, you can usually find him behind one screen or another.
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