The Intel Core i9 9900K was one of the most potent processor of 2019, with impressive performance for most of the latest AAA titles with a good graphics card. Though when it comes to the best CPUs of 2020, this processor might not be the winner but still gets a great spot on the list. To get the most out of this processor, you need to get some powerful aftermarket cooler because this CPU lacks the bundled one. The heat produced by this processor is also much, which causes it to run at high temperatures especially if using some weak cooling solution. We’re here with a guide of best coolers for i9 9900K, which you can get for everyday use and serious overclocking the processor.
This processor’s general specifications are impressive as it comes with eight cores and sixteen threads, which are enough to max out any latest title at high resolutions. The base clock of this processor is 3.6 GHz, which is normal, but the 5 GHz of boost clock makes it compelling in front of enthusiasts, and the tremendous overclocking power makes it one of the best processors for casual gaming and high end builds.
Now there is a question that what cooler you need for this processor as there are two different options, i.e., air cooler and liquid cooler. There is a decade-old war that which cooler is best, and I’m not going to start support any one of that; instead, both have their advantages and disadvantages. Air coolers are good when considering the price and not willing to spend much on the cooler, while liquid coolers are good to get when you have to do overclocking, ignoring the limits. Some air coolers match the power of liquid coolers for less price, but again, they have their pros and cons, which we will discuss below as I’ve picked the top coolers of 2021.
What cooler is best for i9 9900K?
Before getting started with the list, there is a common question that most of the users think that should they need to go with air coolers or AIOs? Comparing them both, the answer is straightforward; you can go with the one that is offering you more performance and value. Air coolers are good to get when you are low on budget or build a PC that doesn’t support AIOs. Simultaneously, liquid coolers are best for serious OCers or looking for low noise with pleasing aesthetics in your build. Overall they have their advantages and disadvantages, and we can’t compare the performance of them.
Some premium air coolers like Noctua NH D15 or Deep Cool Assassins III can easily beat 240mm radiator liquid coolers in performance and cost a lot less than that. While if you compare them with 120mm AIOs, they’re slightly expensive but offer much better performance. If you’re willing to overclock your processor above 5GHz, you need some high-end liquid cooler because their air coolers can’t do the job done. So I’ve mentioned a couple of air coolers and liquid coolers, and you can select the one you think can do its job perfectly in your PC and don’t exceed your budget.
Our Recommendation for Best CPU Cooler for i9 9900K
The coolers list fit excellent with the i9 9900K, and you can select the one for your build according to your budget and the requirements. Below there is a small guide that either you have to go with the air coolers or the AIO or we’ve mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of both of them. So before starting the coolers reviews, look at the list to get an idea of what you are looking for.
|Product Image||Product Title||Product Description||Check Price|
|Noctua NH-D15||Best Premium Cooler||CHECK PRICE|
|Zalman CNPS20X||NH-D15 Alternative||CHECK PRICE|
|Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4||Best Silent Cooler||CHECK PRICE|
|Deep Cool Assassin III||Best NH-D15 Competitor||CHECK PRICE|
|Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT||Cheapest But Yet Powerful||CHECK PRICE|
|Corsair iCUE H100i||Best AIO Cooler For Price||CHECK PRICE|
|Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB||Best Powerful AIO||CHECK PRICE|
|NZXT Kraken X73||Best Cooler For Overclockers||CHECK PRICE|
|EK-AIO 360mm||X73 Alternative||CHECK PRICE|
Best Air Cooler For i9 9900K
Most users like to go with the air coolers while selecting a CPU cooler, while a few consider liquid coolers. Taking care of this, we’ve picked the six best coolers for i9 9900K so that you will get a wide variety of the most premium one, best quality cooler, best cooler in terms of low noise, and such other options. So we are giving out a list start with the first cooler, which is Noctua NH-D15 below.
When you are looking for a high-performance cooler ignoring the price and the aesthetics, Noctua NH-D15 is the one that might have no other competitor yet. No matter what processor you have, this cooler is enough to handle all of the latest processors, and you can get it without looking for reviews if you want something premium in Air coolers. It has a dual heatsink design and comes with two pre-installed fans, which cools down the heatsink vents.
This cooler comes with six heatsink pipes, which starts from the first heatsink, connects the CPU block with it, and goes towards the second heatsink. This allows maximum heat dissipation and gives an exceptional cooling performance so that you can overclock your processor.
Of course, you will not see this cooler small with all those things, but it comes in a bulkier design that needs at least a mid-tower case. What makes users confused about this cooler is the RAM clearance, but you need to know that it is designed to come compatible with all of the-ATX and ATX motherboards and doesn’t conflict with the memory sticks. Though we’ve seen compatibility issues of this cooler in a few computer casings with the most common one, it goes well when it comes to this cooler’s performance; it cut-offs some of the budget AIOs with the low noise level and better performance.
This cooler’s biggest downside is its extreme price because it’s even expensive than some of the budget AIO coolers. A few other things that users don’t like in this cooler are the brown color scheme and the bulkier design, but we can skimp all these issues regarding its performance.
There are a couple of things that we were missing in the Noctua NH-D15, like the aesthetics, and the major downside of that cooler was the too high price. Though there, we’ve got a cheaper option of that cooler that you might also like to get, and it offers more than NH-D15 except for the performance. There are RGB fans on this cooler, and it comes in a completely black color body, which looks compelling in color coordinate builds and gives excellent aesthetics. Like the aforementioned cooler, this one also has two heatsinks connected and the CPU block with six heatsink pipes.
The two fans of this cooler produce significant RGB effects, but sadly, they go a bit loudly when the CPU runs high on loads. Though your casing is well closed, this might not affect you because that noise is not too much. This cooler’s bulkier size allows maximum heat dissipation and gives decent cooling performance when you are overclocking some high-end processor.
Most of us can easily install the cooler, while few non-techy guys may find it hard to install because of the large size. I would recommend you properly check out this cooler’s manual before putting your hands to install it. The memory clearance of this cooler is adequate, and you are not going to face any issue unless you are using some tall memory sticks which can block the cooler. The cooler’s biggest downside reported by the users is cleaning it as its size is slightly larger than others, so it’s hard to clean the cooler. Overall, it’s one of the best options you can consider for your build regarding this cooler’s performance.
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
|Model||Dark Rock Pro 4|
Next on the list is another excellent alternative of NH-D15 but as the name suggest this cooler is one of the quietest one and with it, you are not going to listen to any fan noise. Lowering this cooler’s noise doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on the performance because it’s comparable to most premium coolers while it comes slightly lower than them.
If you are looking for an absolute silent cooler, this one is made for you, and I’m sure that it will never disappoint you in terms of performance or noise level. There are two fans on this cooler, which runs at 1500 RPM and has two heatsinks connected with seven heatsink pipes. This cooler’s size is slightly larger than standard coolers, and you may face some problems while installing or removing it and need to be careful about that. One thing that impressed me about this cooler is the aesthetics as it doesn’t have RGB lights, but the black colored body of it picks colors to form RGB lights installed in the casing and makes it compelling in RGB builds. This cooler’s weight is more than a kilogram, which can cause problems while installing the processor, and I would recommend you remove your motherboard from the casing during the installation.
The impressive design and low noise make this cooler one of the appealing choices for users who are tired of listening to fans' loud noise from their computers. Be Quiet played well in the game and made this cooler comparable with some of the premium air coolers in the market, and I would say it’s one of the best coolers for i9 9900k.
Deep Cool Assassin III
Those users who don’t like the color scheme of Noctua NH-D15 or are willing to get something different can try the Deep Cool Assassin III, as this cooler is an excellent alternative. This cooler’s performance is not equaled t that cooler nor better than that; instead, it is somewhere close to it, and we can compare both of them for the same price. D15 has a significant advantage because the noise level as that cooler runs at absolutely zero noise while this one has little noise problem when running high on loads.
Like all the coolers mentioned above, this one has the same installation problem. It is tremendous in size and has dual heatsinks, making the installation process difficult, especially for non-techy users. I like the most about this cooler because its performance is similar to a 289mm AIO, while it’s a lot cheaper than that, which allows the same overclocking support for flagship processors. Overclocking i9 9900K to 5K is quite tricky with this cooler, and you need to go with some better options. Still, under 5GHz can be achieved easily, and you will enjoy your processor’s performance in games and applications.
Aesthetically this cooler is pretty straightforward, and you are not going to see compelling components or RGB lights on it; instead, there are simple black colored fans and a silver heatsink. The two heatsink pipes are connected through heatsink pipes and connect the CPU block with them, which dissipates much heat. Overall for performance, it’s a great choice that you can consider for your gaming build.
Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT
|Model||Le Grand Macho RT|
The aforementioned coolers are slightly expensive for a mid-range build, so I’ve researched a bit more and got the cheapest option that you can also pair up with the i9 9900K without compromising on the overclocking. Le Grand Macho RT from Thermalright is one of the cheapest coolers for high-end processors and offers excellent performance and noise dumping. This cooler has a large heatsink and a single non-RGB fan that comes pre-installed on it.
This cooler’s heatsink is connected with the CPU block with seven heatsink pipes, which also helps take away heat from the lower section to the upper one. Then a 140mm fan blows air on the heatsink vents to make it cool down, and this makes an excellent and efficient cooling process that allows you to overclock your processor. The compatibility of this cooler is excellent enough. You can put it on any Intel or AMD socket, but the installation is a bit challenging because of its bulkier size. When it comes to RAM clearance, you will not face any problem unless you do not use tall memory sticks, but the expansion slot clearance could be much better. There are several variants of this cooler, as you can get it with fans or without fans or get two pre-installed fans with it, so it’s good that you can get it according to the budget and needs.
The downside of this cooler is that the expansion slot clearance is not as good as it needs to be because of the large-sized heatsink, and while installing or removing it can damage the graphics card; it’s good to remove the GPU first before removing it. Also, the manufacturers are giving only 1-year of warranty while we’ve seen other manufacturers giving up to 10-years of warranty.
Best Liquid Coolers
There we end up with the air coolers and are moving towards the liquid coolers, which tend to perform better than any air cooler and cost more. All of these air coolers come compatible with the Intel Core i9 9900K, and you will like their performance while overclocking this processor, so let’s put our hand on the first cooler, which is from Corsair, a well-reputed brand.
Corsair iCUE H100i
When you are considering an AIO, most users look for two things: the premium performance and the other is the aesthetics. Corsair gives both of them at the same place with their iCUE H100i, where you are likely to see the decent performance while overclocking high-end processors and RGB lights make this cooler pleasing in builds. The fans' noise is not compromised because this cooler is one of the most silent working on among the competitors. Comparing it with other alternatives in the market, you may feel a slight performance difference, but it leads the game to the noise level of fans.
With all these great features, this cooler’s price is slightly higher than the competitors, at least the MSRP, but you can get it for cheap at some deal if looking for a silent AIO. Also, this cooler’s overclocking performance for i9 9900K makes its price understandable and makes it a worthwhile deal for this build. There is iCUE software that comes bundled with this cooler, and it helps you produce different RGB effects from the RGB lights on it and change the thermal performance of this cooler according to how much you are willing to overclock your processor. We’ve tested some temperature tests in this cooler, and they might probably help you while deciding the cooler. The boost clock of i9 9900K can be easily achieved with this AIO, and you are not going to listen to fan noise even at that frequency.
This cooler’s price might be slightly higher than others, but with all of these features, it’s understandable, and it will be a worthwhile deal for i9 9900K. The iCUE software allows you to manage the cooler lights and thermal controls, and you don’t need to go with some third party software for it. When i9 9900K is overclocked to 5 GHz, this cooler’s temperature goes to 82 degrees Celsius, while at full loads and stock clocks, it doesn’t go over 74 Celsius. The idle temperature of this cooler is 38, which is pretty impressive for a flagship processor. This cooler’s major downside is the extreme price, while a few users feel it awkward to see small screws securing the fans at the radiator.
Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB
|Model||Hydro H150i Pro RGB|
The aforementioned cooler was not that good in terms of performance. Still, if you are looking for something similar to the better performance, we’ve got another consideration for you from the same manufacturer. There is Hydro H150i Pro RGB from Corsair that’s the same as this cooler mentioned above in term of aesthetics and noise level but offers better performance than that, which gives it an advantage for the same price, and you can consider it if looking for more thermal performance to overclocking your i9 9900K at some great extent.
This cooler comes with two RGB fans, which produces excellent effects while spinning, and you can customize the RGB lights to make them match the impact of other RGB lights on the build. The CPU block of this cooler also comes with RGB lights, and the build quality of it is impressive, which most of us expect from Corsair as it’s a well-reputed brand. The most exciting this about this cooler is it comes in three different variants, which vary the radiator size, and you can select the one that fits best under your budget and your needs. The fans of this cooler run at the max speed of 1600 RPM but still don’t make any noise, and we need this speed usually when the CPU is overclocked or running at full load. If you are looking for a budget cooler, it’s not for you because of its high price. Long story short, it’s a great cooler that you can consider for your gaming build that allows you to do some serious overclocking with your processor.
Summary of Best Coolers for i9 9900K
End up with the coolers list, and there is a small note on each of the cooler above you; if you are in a hurry, you can easily get what cooler is best for you without reading the review of each of them.
Noctua NH-D15: When you are looking for premium performance ignoring the price, Noctua NH-D15 strands top of this list as this cooler doesn’t care that what processor you are using, and it can easily overclock most of the high-end processors without any sweat.
Zalman CNPS20X: In case if you were unable to find NH-D15 or looking for some RGB cooler that performs the same as the aforementioned cooler, you are good to go with the Zalman CNPS20X as this cooler can perform somewhere equals to that, but the RGB effects and slightly lower price gives it an advantage over it.
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4: Pairing an air cooler with some high-end processor makes your PC produce some weird noise, while when you consider Be Quiet in such case, you are not going to listen to that as it’s one of the most silent working cooler in this list.
Deep Cool Assassin III: Overclocking an i9 9900K with an air cooler is slightly challenging, but not with Deep Cooler Assassins III. This cooler can easily handle flagship processor heat and allows you to overclock the processor to a great extent.
Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT: All of the above-mentioned coolers are expensive, and not everyone can afford that, so there is the cheapest choice which you can consider if you can compromise a little bit on the performance as this cooler is not like them but still one of best for its price. Corsair iCUE H100i: Slightly expensive liquid cooler as compared to its competitors, but when it comes to performance, aesthetics, or noise level, there might be no one that that can beat it, and it can easily take your i9 9900K to boost frequency.
Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB: Almost same as the iCUE H100i but slightly better in performance while the aesthetics and looks are pretty identical; 360 mm radiator cooler is pretty good in performance, but you are willing to take the clocks of your processor to 5 GHz.