If you’re looking to upgrade your gaming setup this 2020, there are several things you can do. Get a new processor, jazz up the motherboard, or simply improve on your graphics card. Those are the obvious ones. Whatever you do, though, it’s important that you don’t get too caught up in getting all the best components without considering the cooling situation of your desktop.
Air cooling in high-end computers is a must in order to get the best out of your rig. You can have a monstrous set-up that lets you game in 240 frames per second without choking, but if you don’t have the right cooling system set-up, then good luck. Getting the best CPU coolers is like getting insurance – you’re making sure that your investment is protected. Here are three of the best air CPU coolers in 2020.
A stalwart in many budget PC builders out there, the Noctua NH-U14S is not only top-notch in air cooling, but it’s also a cut above the rest in noise levels and is even more effective in cooling than some liquid coolers out there. For most people, the $60-$70 range for its price is an expensive, borderlining premium, but for the quality and benefits you get – there’s no question about it – it’s a steal.
This fan and heatsink cooler type is compatible with most set-ups, from Intel LGA 1150 down to AMD AM2(+), FM1 to FM2(+). It’s not the lightest out of the best air CPU cooler though, weighing in at 1kg with fans. The edge of the NH-U14S lies in its ability to be quiet even at full capacity, with noise levels at only 24.6dBA. That means, even if you are gaming with an emulator, your set-up will process it with no sweat, and no overheating.
GamerStorm Deep Cool Assassin III
This CPU air cooler has quite the following among the gaming community because not only it is affordable; it also ticks most of the boxes that gamers want in their cooling system. It’s quiet to a fault, compatible with most AMD setups, and it can reduce temperature for up to 40%. That’s via independent testing, and the company says results can and will vary.
It’s also one of the fan and heatsink type coolers that have exceptional thermal performance. It has two cooling towers, 140mm fans, and an impressive seven heat pipes. Don’t expect RGB lighting, though, so if you’re into that psychedelic effect, this might not be a no-go for you. Trust us when we say that when you’re a gamer but on a budget, this is the air cooler you want to invest in.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
One of the most affordable air coolers, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is a great fan and heatsink setup perfect for starter builders. The line has been around for more than a decade now, and the latest iteration is outfitted with the best technologies that the manufacturer could muster.
Although the Hyper 212 EVO is quieter than its predecessors compared with the other air coolers in this list, it’s still one of the loudest. It can reduce heat by at most 20%. That’s not nearly as impressive as the other ones, but at this price point, that’s the best you can hope for. Surprisingly, the Hyper 212 EVO also doesn’t have the RGB lighting that most of its siblings have.
For serious PC builders out there, the importance of a top-notch CPU cooler can’t be overstated. If you want to get the most bang out of your bucks, get any of the listed coolers above. We assure you, you won’t be disappointed. Happy PC-building!