Noctua NH-D15

When considering an air cooler for a mid-range processor, I always try to put the NH-D15 top of the list because of its price to performance value. The great thing about this cooler is it can easily beat some of the liquid coolers for a great price difference. This cooler is the more advanced model of NH-D14, which you know was also considered the best cooler in its time, but these days NH-D15 is worth considering.

Although this cooler is best in performance, there’s one thing that makes users not consider it. That’s the looks as it comes in a brown color scheme which seems weird in modern RGB builds, but those who don’t care about the looks can enjoy the performance of AIOs from a decent-priced air cooler. Even if you consider this cooler for an RGB build, a black-colored variant is released later and offered the same performance as the original one.

This cooler comes in a dual tower design which connects with the help of six heatsink pipes, and they allow heat dissipation across the whole heatsink area. Along with that, there are two 120mm fans on this cooler which throws the air in an alternative way so that the heatsink can be cooled down within low time and users can enjoy the great overclocking power of this cooler.

The CPU block of this cooler is also connected with both heatsinks through the pipes and dissipates heat on both sides of the cooler. The fans come pre-installed on this cooler, and the great thing about that is they work very silent and doesn’t make noise even when the processors like Intel Core i5 10600K are running at their full load or is overclocked to some great extent.

One problem that most users face with this cooler is the installation, as it’s not too easy to install this large-sized cooler. Suppose you have ever installed a CPU cooler before. In that case, you will get it easily but still need to take out the motherboard from the casing to install it without damaging any other component on the motherboard, as some users faced this issue before.

The price of this cooler is slightly higher than any other option in the market, but the great performance from an air cooler justifies its price. Also, when it comes to buying an AIO, which comes at a double price while offering similar performance for half, I think it’s not a bad deal to pick this one. Even if it looks expensive to you, there are a couple of other options that you can consider.

Be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

Some users don’t like to hear the noisy fans of a CPU cooler, and as the temperature goes high while playing video games, fans start spinning fast and become annoying, which can ruin the whole gaming experience. For that case, the best cooler for i5 10600K would be the Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4, and as the name suggest, it’s the quietest cooler we’ve ever seen for mid-range and enthusiast builds.

The performance of this cooler might not be the same as the Noctua NH-D15, but it somewhere reaches it for almost the same price. There are seven heatsink pipes on this cooler that connects both heatsink towers and the CPU block for maximum heat dissipation, and a single fan comes at the front while the other one comes sandwich between the dual heatsinks giving great airflow to the heatsink.

The company uses their specially designed fans on this cooler, and they run at 1500 RPM and still don’t make any noise but don’t compromise on the cooling. Unlike the cooler mentioned above, which you know is very straightforward in aesthetics, this one comes in a completely black-colored finish that looks great in modern RGB builds, but still, it lacks RGB fans or any other lights on it.

Like any other large-sized cooler, this one also has to install problems as it weighs more than a kilogram which is very hard to install, especially if you don’t have prior knowledge on installing a CPU cooler. It comes with all of the necessary things that you need to install it, and the manual is well written, which also helps you install it more efficiently, but I would recommend you to watch some tutorial videos first.

There are a few things that users don’t like about this cooler from which the most common one is its high price. This cooler is not recommended for any budget build, as in that case, most of your money will be spent on the cooler alone, leaving other components behind. The cooling potential of this cooler is not like the prior versions, as they tend to cool down faster.

If you consider Intel or AMD processors, this cooler is good to consider because of its great performance and low noise. Thread rippers users may get disappointed as this cooler doesn’t support that socket, and you need to look up some other option. Overall it’s a good cooler with the excellent build quality and great support to modern processors, but a price cut down will be much appreciated.

DeepCool AS500

Deepcool is known for its durability and sturdiness as the company has released some of the premium coolers like Assassins III and potent power supplies. The performance of this cooler is somewhere identical to the Noctua top-of-class NH-D15, but there we’ve picked something cheaper for you. We have got the Deepcool AS500 which is a reasonable priced cooler for mid-range builds like i5 10600K.

The company manufactures air coolers, power supplies, liquid coolers, fans, and much more and got an excellent reputation because of its products. The AS500 might be the slimmest cooler we’ve ever seen, and the company has efficiently installed a 140mm fan on it, which works quietly and gets its job done while at the same time also prevents the coolers from memory or PCI clearance issues.

Looks-wise this cooler is not too great, but the RGB lights under the top cover make it a little appealing, while at the same time, the unfinished touch on the heatsink seems bad. It comes with an A-RGB controller, which allows you to change the RGB lights and makes it look more appealing. Users have a problem with heatsink pipes as they come up from the top side, but the top cover hides them under it. 

The fan installed on this cooler is one of the quietest in its class and works at minimal noise levels even when the CPU runs high on load. The noise of the fan never exceeds the 26dB while giving a massive airflow of 70 CFM. The price of this cooler is roughly 40% cheaper than most of the dual tower coolers but gives almost the same performance and allows users to overclock like the way they want.

Some users will found this cooler a little low in performance as their overclocking needs might be higher, which it can’t afford. In that case, you can consider the Deepcool AS500 Plus, which comes with dual fans and offers better performance for overclocking the mid-range processors. The two fans work alternatively and blow air into the heatsink vents and make them cool down within no time.

Overall it’s a great cooler to consider for mid-range builds, but there are some flaws we’ve noticed in it, and that makes users a little disappointed. Firstly we’ve seen this cooler limits the expansion slots in some of the motherboards, especially the compact one. Also, the heatsink size is about 165mm, which is taller and doesn’t fit in the ITX builds, except that it’s the best CPU cooler for i5 10600K.

Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240mm

The premium performance and silent operations make the users consider the Arctic Liquid Freezer II for their mid-range builds. Several flavors available in Arctic Liquid Freezer depend upon the radiator size, and the fans and users choose to consider the one that matches their requirements and budget as we don’t need to spend the extra money on a cooler for a mid-range processor.

The smallest one is the Liquid Freezer II 120mm, and as the name suggests, it comes with a 120mm radiator. In comparison, the biggest one comes with a 420mm radiator and gives an exceptional overclocking performance. Though we don’t need that expensive cooler for i5 10600K, the mid-range one like 240mm is good as it offers an excellent balance between the price and performance, which makes it appealing.

The dual-pass radiator design and the cross-flow between them make the cooler gives exceptional overclocking performance to the mid-range processors. The dual nylon hose that connects the CPU block with the radiator is durable and doesn’t cause any problem. In addition, a 40mm VRM fan cools down the voltage regulators to give better power to the CPU and other components on board.

The fans on the radiator are one of the silent fans we’ve ever seen, and they spin at a maximum of 1800 RPM giving 56.3 CFM airflow to the radiator. The performance of this 240mm version is similar to the 280mm coolers, while it’s slightly cheaper and allowing you to save money for other components. If you are willing to burn some more cash, I recommend you get the 280mm version.

The difference between 240mm and 280mm radiator might not be noticeable with Intel Core i5 10600K, but when it comes to some power-hungry processor like Intel i9 10900K, you will see a clear difference. The company focused much on the memory clearance of the CPU block as it’s not going to cause any issue with memory sticks, while the other side has fans that directly blow air on the VRM section.

The extended six years of warranty is a thing that attracts me much towards this cooler however it’s a norm these days because air or liquid coolers hardly get damage. The no support for thread ripper processors is a little disappointing for the users, but the more disappointing thing is the slightly high noise of the fans when the processor is running high on loads, but this can be overcome with a closed PC casing.