What Cooler is best for i5 9600K?

We’ve got two different options that we can consider for this cooler: air coolers that you can get if low on budget or don’t want to spend much on coolers.

While the other option is AIO, which will give you outstanding performance and aesthetics but costs slightly higher than air coolers, there is a decades-old war that which one is best. Still, simply both of them has their advantages and disadvantages as mentioned above.

There are a couple of premium air coolers like Noctua Nh-D15, which you know is one of the best because of its bulkier design that can handle any processor you want to install, while the downside of this cooler is its extreme price. Simultaneously, Hyper 212, one of the best cheapest coolers for years, manages to get a great spot in this list, best of the low price and mid-range performance.

In AIOs, we’ve got a couple of options with single and dual fans radiators, but we tried not to cross the hundred dollars budget because above that budget, all coolers will be overkill for this processor. Long story short, it all depends on whether you prefer budget or performance.

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition

MODEL Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition
FANS 1x, Option for secondary

Those users looking to replace the missing bundled cooler of Intel Core i5 9600K can consider the Cooler Master Hyper 212. If you are not going to do some serious overclocking with this processor, this cooler will be enough to pair under budget. The Hyper 212 has a budget range of coolers where Cooler Master released two new entries in Black Edition and RGB Black Edition last year. Both of them come at nearly the same price, and you can pick the one that seems best for your build. This cooler’s aesthetics is no less than Be Quiet Rock Line, where both of them give ultra-sleek looks.

This cooler’s price to performance value will be apparent when you compare it with its competitor. Be quiet! Dark Rock Slim, where both of these coolers come with four heat sink pipes that connect the CPU block with a heatsink and a single 120mm fan. But one thing to note there is be quiet! Dark Rock Slim is roughly 60% more expensive than Hyper 212 coolers. Simultaneously, both of these coolers' thermal and acoustic performance is the same but a significant price difference. This cooler comes with Cooler Master Silencio FP 120 fan, while there is space for another fan, which you can install to make it run in pull and push configuration.

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B

MODEL Mugen 5 Rev B

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B is another option that offers features like the Hyper 212 or Be Quiet Dark Pro but for a slightly low price. It’s a single tower cooler and has a Kaze Flex 120mm fan, which comes pre-installed. The company has focused on the performance and the noise where they’ve added rubber on all sides, which reduces the collisions between the fan and the heatsink by reducing its vibration. Also, this cooler fan works on a minimal noise level even when running at full speed. There are six nickel-plated copper heatsink pipes on the cooler, which connect the CPU block with the heatsink and goes toward the top of it.

This cooler’s compatibility is also excellent as it works with all of the latest Intel and AMD processors and fits best with ATX and m-ATX motherboards. Also, you don’t have to worry about the RAM clearance because of its design. If you are looking for some more performance from this cooler, you can install a secondary aftermarket fan, which in the box there is the mounting equipment of it. There is all of the equipment you need to install this cooler, including the thermal paste, screwdriver, and installation manual.

Scythe Mugen 5 will allow you to better overclock your Ryzen processor without spending much money on the CPU cooler. If you are looking for better performance but without heatsink the fan noise, then this is one of the best options that you can consider.

Noctua NH-D15


Noctua NH-D15 is the right choice when you have to buy a CPU cooler for your build. Of course, you can’t overclock your processor at full potential with this cooler for moderate overclocking; this cooler thermal performance is enough. If you own some less powerful CPU, i.e. (under 100 TDP), this cooler will be ideal for it, and I’m sure it will amaze you with its performance. This flagship cooler comes with two 140mm fans, commonly available in the market named NF-A15, and is equipped with SSO2 magnetic bearings for better support.

As you know, fan noise is one of the significant problems in CPU coolers as with high temperatures, they go loud, and no one likes to listen to their noise. These bearings help us in taking the noise level to a minimal level as well as it also provides durability. The fans installed on this cooler operate at 1200 RPM, which outputs the static pressure of 1.50 mmH2O. The CPU block of this cooler is attached to the heatsink with six heatsink pipes, and two fans are used to chill the heatsink vents. One good thing about this cooler is the bundled NT-H1 thermal compound pre-applied to the CPU block.

This cooler’s benchmarks are pretty great, and even while overclocking, this cooler doesn’t exceed temperature up to 70 degrees Celcius. Noctua NH-D15 is excellent in all aspects, but one thing that slightly disappoints me is its premium price, but of course, it appeals to me for all these features.

BE QUIET! Dark Rock Pro 4

MODEL Dark Rock Pro 4

When you are considering performance and noise level simultaneously, Be Quiet coolers stand at the top of the list. More specifically, we have the Dark Rock Pro 4, which runs at minimal noise level even when the processor is running on full loads, and the performance of this cooler matches somewhere the NH-D15. The performance somewhere matches the NH-D15, but the D15 has an advantage when you are overclocking or using some high-end processor.

Two fans come pre-installed with this cooler and run a 1500 RPM, which gives air to the heatsink vents and makes them cool down, but the interesting thing is even at that speed, that doesn’t make any noise, which gives a tough completion to NH-D15.

Seven heatsink pipes connect the heatsink with the CPU block there; you can see all of them from the front side except two because they are bent inside the heatsink. The bulkier design of this cooler gives enough cooling performance, especially when you are overclocking the processor. This cooler’s pure black color makes it much appealing in RGB builds and makes the build color compelling. The large design makes users confused about the RAM clearance, but you don’t need to worry about it because the manufacturers have designed it so that it doesn’t conflict with memory sticks.

That’s what good in this cooler but let’s talk about a couple of things that users mostly don’t like in the Dark Rock Pro 4 and look for other options. Firstly, this cooler’s price is almost equaled to NH-D15, where that cooler has a performance advantage over it. We’ve also seen many users facing difficulties while installing this cooler because of its bulkier design. If you are looking for something cheap but similar, you can even try the Le Grant Macho RT, which is the same in design but comes at a much low price.

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240

MODEL Liquid Freezer II 240

The Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240 is one of the best and cheapest AIO cooler that you can get for i5 9600K for normal use and overclocking. This cooler comes with two fans and a 280mm radiator while the fans run at 200-1800 RPM, which gives enough cooling to the radiator without making any noise. The fans of this cooler require a 4-pin converter, which comes fully covered along with the tube pipes and doesn’t affect the aesthetics. The reason why I’m putting this cooler there is it can easily handle a TDP of 300W, and you can overclock your i5 9600K at its full potential as this CPU supports significant overclocking levels. From appearance to performance, you will find everything in this liquid cooler, and I’m sure it will never disappoint you and worth the money.

This cooler is compatible with all of the current generation sockets, including the Intel 115x and AM4, and there are bundled trays for both Intel and AMD CPU sockets. The downside of this cooler is it doesn’t contain any RGB lights effects; while some users might be fair, a few users will get disappointed. The radiator’s weight is not that much, and you can easily install while another good thing is its fans don’t make any noise while spinning. Overall, if you are looking for performance in a cheap AIO cooler Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240, you can consider it an excellent option.



When you are considering performance for some mid-range processor overclocking but don’t want to spend much on the cooler, a 120mm radiator cooler would be best. The cheapest offering in this category is the Cooler Master Liquid ML120L RGB V2, which comes with a single fan that operates at 1800 RPM. The most exciting thing about this AIO cooler is the low operating noise level and the RGB lights on the fan, and the CPU block gives excellent aesthetics and makes it one of the compelling choices for budget and mid-range users.

This cooler is compatible with all of the known Intel and AMD sockets. You will not see any compatibility issue with it as there are CPU trays available for current-generation Intel and AMD sockets. The additional RGB controller that comes with this CPU cooler allows you to produce different effects.

MASTER LIQUID ML120L RGB V2 comes in two different variants where one comes with a single fan while the other has two fans, and you can select the one that can give you enough performance for your processor. For processors like i5 9600K, I would recommend you to get the 120mm cooler because it’s enough to overclock the processor, and you can save the additional money for some other component. The third generation of Dual Chamber Pump technology and AIO cooling features give exceptional performance in this cooler. The annoying thing in this cooler regarding the RGB lights is the RGB controller doesn’t control the RGB effects very well. Overall, this cooler’s performance is excellent enough, and if you are looking for a cheap AIO cooler, you can get it for your i5 9600K.