Choosing the best cheap CPU cooler is not a walk in the park. There are several of them in the market, and it is so easy for one to get confused. Should you go for air or liquid coolers? Which size? Brand A or B? These are some of the questions that might not have a single answer. While the best CPU cooler for your PC differs, a perfect cooler increases your processing power significantly. Here is a guide to help you figure out the exact cooler you need.
Types of CPU coolers
There are two main types of CPU coolers in the market, as discussed below:
1. Air coolers
Air cooling is the typical type of CPU cooling. Most CPU coolers with this type of cooling are quite affordable and versatile. It is the most preferred type of CPU cooling among a good number of users. This type of CPU cooling makes use of a fan that collaborates with a heatsink. The heatsink then absorbs heat from other heat-producing components of a computer. The CPU fan works to dissipate the heat and brings about cooling each time the components get too hot. The best air CPU coolers are perfect even during extreme processing. These coolers are also low- maintenance.
2. Liquid coolers
Liquid CPU coolers Feature a better cooling performance than that of air coolers. Most of these coolers are designed elegantly to meet the desired aspects of a perfect cooler. Unlike air coolers, these coolers offer extra heat reduction, making them the ideal option for dedicated gamers or power users. The coolers use the thermodynamics technology; what this means is that heat moves from the warmer components to the cooler ones. All the energy produced by a CPU is channeled into the liquid medium where processing and cooling take place. The process repeats itself as long as the PC components keep producing heat.
Liquid coolers need maintenance; they are more likely to rust and leak. However, there are best pocket-friendly liquid coolers that feature closed-looped systems making the liquid inside the last longer, this means that you do not have to change the fluid at any given time. Liquid or air coolers? How do you choose between the two? Both of these coolers are perfect at their job. Regardless of the cooler you choose, remember that it needs to take care of your rig needs.
What should you consider when shopping for the best budget CPU coolers?
CPU cooler size
Most CPU shoppers are not keen on the size of the cooler, which is one of the most vital factors to look into before buying any CPU cooler. CPU coolers range from 120mm to 140mm, and each offers different cooling solutions. The correct size of a CPU cooler is the one that is compatible and fits your PC. It is essential to ask yourself if your PC shall get impended by the RAM or video card during more cooling installation. It is crucial to remember that the size of the cooler does not have a direct impact on its performance. This means that the biggest coolers may not be the best for your PC since most feature excess noise that is not needed during gaming or any other extreme task.
Blade design majorly influences airflow. There are several fans with an improved blade design to enhance maximum airflow. You should consider CPU cooler with the modern blade design to meet your PC cooling needs from the start.
The standard fan measures 4.7 x4.7 inches. Coolers with such dimensions effortlessly fit into most PCs. Coolers with dual fanning systems come with double the size requirements. Fan capacity is paramount when it comes to the cooling capability of a cooler. It is, therefore, necessary to look into the one that correctly fits your PC
Heat pipes are vital when it comes to CPU cooling. They are responsible for conducting heat as compared to the other components of a cooler. Most cooler boasts conductor pipes that are an excellent option for excellently conducting heat.
CPU cooler installation
CPU cooler installation is another vital aspect to look into before buying any cooler. Best coolers feature a simple installation that needs no professional assistance. Most of the installation time might be spent on removing the only system and cleaning the thermal paste. The most common problem experienced during installation is attaching the flimsy fin clips to the fan. One may also face issues when they are trying to install an oversized cooler. In any case, you should seek the services of a professional not to damage your units during installation unintentionally.
10 Best Budget CPU Coolers
1. Cooler Master Hyper LED CPU cooler
The Cooler Master Hyper LED CPU is one of the most affordable and productive CPU coolers in the market. The cooler is designed for extreme performance.
The Cooler Master Hyper LED comes in standard dimensions of 4.7 x4.7 inches, making it possible to accommodate a good number of PCs. This cooler alternates active cooling with passive cooling to keep your PC in a good state all through. The CPU houses four strategically built pipes to help increase the surface to surface thermal transfer.
This Cooler Master Hype LED CPU cooler has a unique design; thus, the best option for any user looking for a stylish yet functional cooler. The cooler’s fan is made with spectacular wave-shaped blades that provide enough free flow of air to keep your PC cooled. The fan design is focused on reducing the temperatures by 25 degrees, which is impressive.
This cooler is among the best you can get at such a price. It is designed to offer the CPU cooling that your PC needs at an affordable price.
2. Cooler Master MasterAir G100M
The cooler Master MasterAir G100M comes in several versions that feature heat column operation. This is a customizable affordable cooler, not many of such coolers come at such a price.
This Cooler Master MasterAir G100M has a sophisticated design for its price. It features a heat column technology that offers an impressive CPU cooling. As told earlier, this CPU cooler comes in different versions, and you can choose one with two, four, five, six, or eight pipes. This cooler Master MasterAir G100M features aluminum fins for better heat dissipation. It also features a unique LED lighting display that is an excellent add on to your working space.
When it comes to a contact size CPU, it is advisable to go for a heat column. The Cooler, Master MasterAir G100M is 41.2mm in diameter and is quite superior to many with any other budget-friendly cooler in the market. The cooler’s diameter is, in fact, 7 times the size of ancient heat pipes. You will love cooler’s fast heat transfer.
There is no doubt that the heat column of the Cooler Master MasterAir G100M is out of this world. It is hectic to find another more refreshing than can do such an impressive job at the same price range.
3. Deepcool Gamaxx 400 CPU Air Cooler with 4 Heat pipes
This is a modern classic cooler with an impressive heat management system. It is the best option for those looking for an easy to install the CPU cooler.
This CPU cooler is designed with direct heat pipes, thus making it one of the most reliable CPU coolers on budget. Its rapid heat transfer is a result of direct pipe contact with the CPU. It is also the best option if you are looking for hardware to use for a long time to come. Its pipes are fitted in copper to enhance topmost functionality and durability. The fins are made of aluminum to increase heat dissipation.
One of the selling points of this Deepcool Gammaxx 400 CPU Air Cooler is its specialized fan clips. The cooler’s fan clips fit strategically near the heatsink. These clips are extremely easy to install; you can also remove them depending on what you prefer. One thing you have to know is that you can easily install the cooler without having to remove the motherboard. The cooler’s excellent performing PWM fan is designed with high static pressure, thus producing a higher amount of airflow than most of its competitors.
With its simple installation process and excellent fanning system, we can conclude that the Deepcool Gamaxx 400 CPU Air cooler is complete cooling hardware.
4. EVGA CLC 120 CL11 Liquid/Water CPU cooler
This EVGA Liquid/ water CPU cooler is among the best self- contained water coolers in the market today.
EVGA CLC 120 CL11 is, without doubt, one of the cheapest liquid/ water coolers you can find in the market. It is accessible to install and talks less of your time. It is the best option for any user looking for a non-complicated yet effective cooler for their PC.
One of the most convenient features of this cooler is its 120mm radiator. You can mount this cooler directly on the Intel chipset since it fits most computer cases. The EVGA CLC 120 CL11 cooler has durable tubing, unlike most of its competitors. You will not have to worry about installing the cooler with the tubing. The tubing can withstand heavy use without any issues.
To enable you to entirely control the set the intensity of the cooling process, the cooler features flow control software. This is a great feature that can be customized basing on the uses of the PC. Most gamers find this cooler more effective than most affordable options that lack the flow control software. Most water coolers are costly, but this cooler makes an excellent alternative for those on budget.
This CPU cooler is durable and features excellent functionality. It is a great pocket- friendly choice for intel chipset.
5. Noctua NH-L9i Premium CPU cooler
The Noctua NH-L9i is an ultra-compact premium CPU cooler. It is 39mm, making it a perfect option for custom builds with any other hardware such as ITX, HTPCs and more
You will love this CPU cooler’s highly optimized NF-A9X14 slim 92 mm fan that is of excellent quality. The cooler also features a PWM support that is characterized with less noise. The automatic speed control helps reduce the noise of the system significantly. This hardware is compatible with PCle and RAM because of its standard dimensions of 95x95mm footprints that do not overhang the PCle or RAM slots. The hardware is specifically designed for the small form factors and Intel LGA115X systems. It offers full compatibility with the VGA cards on the mini- ITX mainboards.
The Noctua CPU cooler is easy to install. You do not need any knowledge of technology to use the SecuFirm2 mounting system. The NT-H1 thermal compound fuses close everything, thus making it a great add on.
You can rest assured knowing that this CPU cooler is from a reliable manufacturer. It comes with a 6-year warranty to back up these claims.
6. Noctua NH-D156 Heat Pipe With Dual NF-A15 140MM fans
This CPU cooler is designed with serious gamers in mind. It has several features to keep your PC cool during those long hours of gaming or use.
The Noctua NH-D156 CPU cooler comes with unmatched cooling capacity and amazing durability. It is easy to assume that with its 140mm diameter, the cooler does not effectively lower the PC temperatures. The cooler’s PWM and automatic speed control to help you customize it to fit your daily needs. For reliable heat dissipation, the cooler combines the six heat pipes and dual fans.
You can keep your PC temperatures at 2400 RPM using when using this CPU cooler. This is one of the reasons why it’s a great alternative to water CPUs, which are quite costly. Additionally, the hardware seamlessly manages temperatures below 75 degrees Celcius during extreme use and at below 45 degrees during regular use.
This cooler comes with excellent features to match your needs. Its improved cooling system makes it an excellent choice for gamer users or those with extremely demanding software
7. Be quiet BK021 DARK Rock 4 CPU Cooler
The be Quiet BK021 ROCK 4 CPU cooler features several robust functions to meet the cooling demands for gamer PCs and demanding software.
This cooler has a sturdy construction; has six copper heat pipes that are strategically fitted. The copper pipes make it possible for the cooler to disperse heat exceptionally even during those high demand episodes. The cooler’s fans are a wave- contoured to improve heat dissipation they also have small dots on the service to create an ergonomic design that users love
The Be Quiet BKO21 Dark Rock 4 CPU cooler includes ceramic coating, a technology excellent for heat transfers. The 120mm single towers work just fine, but you can easily add another one for a much better cooling ability. The cooler functions under PVM, meaning that the speeds may vary as compared to the voltage-controlled fan. The PVM feature highly leads to a significant reduction of PC temperatures. Additionally, it maintains the noise at a lower level so that you have ample time doing what you love. The Cooler’s Intel 17 chipsets make it possible for the CPU to remain at 33 degrees, a position necessary for maintaining high performance.
This is quiet Dark 4 CPU cooler is one of the most reliable coolers that do the job well. For less than $100, the cooler offers more than what other affordable coolers do.
8. Cryorig H7 Tower cooler
The Cryorig H7 tower cooler is another best cheap CPU cooler you can buy in 2019. The cooler is a mixture of performance and reliability.
This fan features a unique cooling system known as Hive Fin System. It is useful when it comes to optimizing airflow and reducing air turbulence. The cooler has quite a large dispersion surface area for optimal cooling. With only 140mm fitting, this might not be the most compact cooler in the market. It is therefore advisable that you fit your case before finally paying for it.
The cooler’s performance can be matched with that of an expensive CPU cooler. Its three copper heat pipes work excellently to balance the cooling system. The Cooler features a Quad Inlet technology that, when combined with the bearings, significantly increases the air intake. The fan is also reliable, thus giving you the performance you need. The hardware is not easy to install. Unlike most coolers that can set up in minutes, the Cryorig H7 Tower Cooler demands that you evenly apply the thermal paste to the processor. You will also have to ensure that the old paste is thoroughly removed from the processor. The hardware has a 6-year warranty upon purchase of this hardware.
9. Corsair Hydro Series H60 AI0 Liquid CPU Cooler
The Corsair Hydro Series H60 AI0 CPU Cooler features a unique engineered blade for optimal cooling. This is an affordable CPU cooler that the job surpassingly.
The cooler’s sophisticated engineered blades can reduce the overall AMD or Intel CPU to about 35 degrees, which is extremely impressive. You will also love the fact that the system needs very little maintenance because it comes as a self-contained. The cooler’s water comes as already filled, so you only need to install this Corsair Hydro series Cooler and watch it work correctly.
There is no doubt that you will appreciate the modern micro- fin copper plate that boasts innovative features. It is a perfect ad on to the cooling system thanks to its heat-responsive ability. You will not have any trouble fitting this cooler into your CPU, and it’s quite compact than most coolers in the market. It perfectly fits into your CPU case. You will have no issue with the noise level the hardware produces. This cooler might not be the best option for anyone who might not remember regularly runs the software to manage their preferences. The cooler will take some considerable amount of your PC space. However, it is not so space consuming with any modern Intel or AMD chipset.
This CPU cooler is small in size and comes with a sealed cooler. Its micro-fine fiber plate makes it reliable for most needs at a pocket – friendly price
10. Deepcool Captain 240EX White A10 Liquid CPU Cooler
This CPU cooler is a compact dual-Fann self- contained cooler to you can buy less than $100. It comes with a see-through computer casing to add vibrancy to your working area.
The Deepcool Captain 240EX White Cooler features two 120mm coolers to enhance cooling while also reducing the noise produced. This water cooler comes with long-lasting pipes that are versatile and flexible enough to withstand any pressure, thus avoid breakage. The hardware also boasts an anti-explosion rubber, which makes a better fit than most coolers.
This Deepcool cooler features a cold copper plate, which increases heat dissipation. Additionally, the hardware also comes with aluminum fins that also play a significant role in heat dissipation. This hardware is compatible with AMD and Intel Chipsets. It comes with a three-year warranty upon purchase.
This Cooler can be trusted to offer excellent cooling to any PC. It combines two coolers, and durable water pumps to do the job as desired.
Other factors to consider when shopping for best budget CPU coolers
Resolution per minute
Resolution per minute explains the speed at which the fan is spinning. Most people tend to think that a higher resolution per minute translates to excellent cooling. However, the size of the fan and heat sink are other factors that affect the cooling capacity of a CPU cooler. A large heatsink translates to better heat dissipation, while a more massive fan results in increased airflow even when the resolution per minute is low. Additionally, it is worth noting that lower RPM results in less noise, which is also a vital factor to consider when buying any CPU cooler. It is ok to conclude that a lower Resolution per minute is much better since it makes the CPU cooler run without noise. There are other factors that can help gauge the efficiency of a CPU cooler other than its RPM.
Is socket compatibility important?
Most of the modern coolers are compatible with every socket. Different sockets from AMD to Intel have a direct effect on the cooler socket and mechanism of installation. It is important to carefully check whether the version of the cooler you want to pay for is compatible with the current CPU; this ensures that you remain on the safer side.
As you can see from our guide, you do not have to spend so much to get a high- performance CPU cooler. Additionally, you do not have to be so knowledgeable about computers, so to buy the best cooler for your PC. Most coolers are also easy to install; you can seek help from a professional or make use of available online tutorials. Whichever CPU cooler you go for, we hope that it takes care of your needs entirely.