The Best CPU coolers for Intel Core i7-12700K

CPU coolers are a vital part of gaming, and since the launch of 12th Generation Intel processors, CPU coolers have become critical for overclocking. The Intel Core i7-12700K (Amazon) launch forced AMD to lower its prices on processors. 12700k is a fantastic bargain for the performance, but it’s a 190 W TDP processor, and it doesn’t come with a cooler. A tremendous amount of research is required to find the best cooler for 12700k. There are compatibility issues due to the new socket size LGA1700. We have compiled a list of coolers fully compatible with the Intel CPU and provide overclocking headspace from decent to the extreme. Users can easily find even the best cooler for 12900k on our list despite having the highest 5.20 GHz turbo frequency and 241W of heat generation. There is a mix of liquid, and air coolers on the list as some users prefer long-lasting and low-maintenance air-based coolers for their PC. In contrast, some users prefer a liquid-based cooler due to the high-overclocking headspace.

Intel is now consistently leading in AAA gaming performance above AMD processors at a similar price point of 20-30fps. The all-new Intel 7nm lithography offers 10-15% performance-per-watt improvement. It consumes around 158W of electricity during peak loads under its default frequency. Our list also has the best cooler for 12600k since it is also an LGA1700 socket processor. On the other hand, AMD used its long-term AM4 socket for its complete lineup for a couple of generations. Even though the CPU only releases 65 watts of heat, finding the best CPU cooler for Ryzen 5 5600x is still essential. Many items compete for the best CPU cooler for Ryzen 7 3700x since almost all the coolers have AM4 support, but our focus will remain on 12900k compatibility. Although finding a suitable cooler for your powerful rig can be tedious, this guide will simplify it. If you want to get that perfect cooling solution, scroll down and get your hands on one!

Quick Shopping Tips:

To understand the whole perspective of a CPU cooler, we recommend going through the shopping tips that we have mentioned below.

LGA1700 Socket: LGA stands for Land Grid Array, which represents the processor having no pins, contrary to the traditional pin-based processor contacts. The socket size has 1700 protruding pins out of the processor. The number of pins directly affects the dimensions of the processor; thus, the cooler needs to have a compatible base that fits on top of the processor.

Air vs. Liquid Coolers: As a user, you need to decide whether you prefer zero maintenance static air-based coolers that only have a fan as an active part of the system. Liquid coolers are complex; they have a liquid loop with a pump driving the fluid. It requires tube routing and prevention of leakage.

TDP: Thermal Design Power is a criterion through which the heat released by a processor under specific conditions is measured. Similarly, the TDP of a cooler is the amount of heat it can take from the processor. It is advised that the cooler has higher thermal power than the processor so that there is enough space for overclocking.

Heatsinks: In liquid coolers, heat is taken from the processor and cooled inside the radiator. The radiator is the heatsink for liquid coolers, and the heatsink size represents its capacity for removing heat. Air-based coolers have static fins that exchange heat with the air. The static fan pressure, flow, and RPM are specs that the user should observe.

Best CPU coolers for Intel Core i7-12700K at a glance:

  1. Enermax Liqmax III 360
  2. Noctua NH-D15
  3. Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510
  4. Noctua NH-U12S
  5. Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280
  6. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R
  7. be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
  8. Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition RGB

The Best CPU coolers for Intel Core i7-12700K You Can Buy Today

Enermax Liqmax III 360 (Image credit: Amazon)

best cooler for 12700k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Enermax | Dimensions: 17.64 x 8.07 x 5.39 inches | Base Height: 5.39 inches | Weight: 4.85 pounds | Fans: 3 | Socket Support: Intel LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA1151 & AMD AM4, AM3 | Warranty: 5 Years

REASONS TO BUY
+ High efficiency patented design + Flawless overclocking with 360W TDP + ARGB system syncs with motherboards
REASONS TO AVOID
- Screwdriver not included - No fluid-dynamic fan bearings

Enermax is a top-end company that aims to provide powerful hardware at a reasonable price. The Enermax Liqmax III 360 is a 360mm radiator-based liquid cooling system that has gained popularity due to its cost-effective RGB incorporation. It lands on top of our list as the best cooler for 12700k. It is compatible across many sockets but mainly for the 12th generation Intel processor. The company uses patented shunt-channel technology that injects the liquid right in the center of the cold plate and guides it from the minimum path to the exhaust port. The new design allows the liquid cooling kit to improve efficiency and provide high-end performance.

It comes with a dual chamber within the water block, thus isolating the pump from any heat from the processor. Only a few manufacturers can provide compatibility across multiple motherboard manufacturers, and Enermax has RGB sync with major motherboard products making it the best AIO for 12700k. The pump runs silently even at 2000rpm, and the high-quality fans on the radiator have 1.98mmH2O static pressure at max. 72.1CFM ensures low noise operation. With enough accessories, premium 400mm weaved tubing, and anti-vibration pads, this kit is the best money can buy. This product has a lot to impress the masses.

Noctua NH-D15 (Image credit: Amazon)

best air cooler for 12700k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Noctua | Dimensions: 5.91 x 6.34 x 6.5 inches | Base Height: 6.5 inches | Weight: ‎2.86 pounds | Fans: 2 | Socket Support: Intel LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA1151 & AMD AM4, AM3 | Warranty: 6 Years

REASONS TO BUY
+ Compact design with 165mm height + Low noise adapter for quiet operation + Advanced self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing
REASONS TO AVOID
- Low overclocking headspace - No support above 32mm RAM height

If there is one CPU cooler that we recommend to our readers is the Noctua NH-D15. Despite being an 8year old design, it has the potential to overthrow any air-based cooler from the throne. Its 183W TDP is enough to make it the best air cooler for 12700k. Noctua uses a copper base and heat pipes welded with a twin tower-based design, which uses two fans in a push-pull configuration for smooth airflow. Its top performance is the result of using high-quality material and manufacturing technology. NH-D15 does not compromise on the analysis of its product and uses fluid dynamics engineering to improve its product iteratively.

The complete assembly produces 24.6dBA noise at max RPM, which is incredible considering the TDP to noise ratio. The whole package comes with an NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound and two NF-A15 PWM premium fans with advanced self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing for long-lasting performance. It comes with 6years of warranty that indirectly represents the manufacturer’s confidence in their device’s operation. The Noctua mounting system works across Intel and AMD sockets; that is why it is the best CPU cooler for i7 12700k. Generations do not matter for this device. Noctua’s SecuFirm2 makes sure that every processor from the past and future can utilize the NH-D15 performance.

Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510 (Image credit: Amazon)

best runner-up cooler for 12700k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Thermaltake | Dimensions: 6.28 x 4.87 x 3.98 inches | Base Height: 6.28 inches | Weight: 2.40 pounds | Fans: 2 | Socket Support: Intel LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA1151 & AMD AM4, AM3 | Warranty: 2 Years

REASONS TO BUY
+ Asymmetric Fin Design + 2.41mm-H2O static pressure fans + Direct contact 6-copper heat pipes
REASONS TO AVOID
- Two-year warranty - No white color model

If you are looking to use the i7-12700K in a manner where you are rarely going to reach the peak frequency of 5.0GHz, Thermaltake TOUGHAIR 510 is ideal for you. It comes in a single tower two fan configuration. The fans are powerful with 2.41mmH2O static pressure, which is incredible for a single fan. 120mm is a standard dimension for a fan, and their potential to reach 2000 rpm adds extra potential to the mix. We will name it the best runner-up cooler for 12700k. This cooler does not come with an extended warranty; however, a two-year warranty is not bad.

The advantage of having a high flow and high-pressure air-based cooler is that it blows air over the motherboard. Other components of the motherboard also remain cool. There is no RGB on this best cooler for 12700k, which some people might like, and its all-black theme easily fits any enclosure. The item consists of 6 copper heat pipes that come directly in contact with the CPU and provide the most rapid response to heat production. Its acoustic noise level is 23.6dBA, and at full load, each fan takes 5.76W of input power. So, in short, this item is worth trying.

Noctua NH-U12S (Image credit: Amazon)

best overall cooler for 12700k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Noctua | Dimensions: ‎6.22 x 2.8 x 4.92 inches | Base Height: 6.22 inches | Weight: 1.28 pounds | Fans: 1 | Socket Support: Intel LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA1151 & AMD AM4, AM3 | Warranty: 6 Years

REASONS TO BUY
+ Premium built quality + Easy and premium mounting + Quiet operation under Low load
REASONS TO AVOID
- Bland looks - No second fan

If you are looking for a compact air-based cooler with no limitation to RAM height, then the Noctua NH-U12S with a single tower heat fins will work best for you. The mounting system supports the latest LGA socket for 12th generation Intel processors. Users have reported the installation process of this best overall cooler for 12700k to be very easy. It comes with a premium quality NF-F12 120mm fan that, with the PDM technology, works between 1500 to 1200rpm. The low noise adapter with the cooler reduces the noise by lowering the fan speed. That is an excellent advantage of this item, especially for those who want a hushed environment to work.

This air-based cooling manufacturer is known for quiet products, and NH-U12S only produces 22.4dBA of noise at maximum load. The color theme is not ordinary, which is intentional to make sure that your friends know that there is the best CPU cooler for i7 12700k made by Noctua inside your gaming beast. Its premium quality fans are estimated to last 150000 hrs which is enough for a person’s lifetime. Unlike a liquid cooling system, the only failure in this system would be degraded paste or fan malfunction. Otherwise, it will keep working over the years. The company has managed to keep the standards high.

Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 (Image credit: Amazon)

best all-in-one cooler for 12700k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: ARCTIC | Dimensions: ‎13.35 x 6.81 x 6.26 inches | Base Height: 6.26 inches | Weight: ‎3.47 pounds | Fans: 2 | Socket Support: Intel LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA1151 & AMD AM4, AM3 | Warranty: 6 Years

REASONS TO BUY
+ Unique VRM cooler + High energy efficiency + Densely packed, thick radiator
REASONS TO AVOID
- No maneuverability of tube joint - No side protection provided while packaging

Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 is the most successful Arctic cooling system due to its unique features that no other product on our list provides. This product is hands down the best all-in-one cooler for 12700k that comes with a thick 38mm radiator fitted with two Arctic P14 fluid dynamic bearing-based 140mm fans. The fans have high static pressure so that the noise level stays below 22.5dBA during the maximum loaded conditions. You wouldn’t want to miss a clear headshot due to stuttering caused by thermal throttling in Fortnite. The cooler will ensure that your processor temperature stays way below 90°C.

The Arctic trump card which makes this cooler the best AIO for 12700k is the VRM cooler integrated into the water block. It makes sure that your processor remains overclocked and running at its maximum potential. They are the most susceptible component on the motherboard to damage under overclocking conditions. The pump and fan are both VRM controlled; thus, they adjust the speed concerning load. Many cables are required for operation, but they have beautifully hidden all the wires under the sheath, thus making cable management easy. It is fully compatible with the latest LGA1700 socket size but ensures that your chassis has enough space for installation.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R (Image credit: Amazon)

best rgb cooler for 12700k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Cooler Master | Dimensions: 15.5 x 4.7 x 1.1 inches | Base Height: 1.1 inches | Weight: ‎5.61 pounds | Fans: 3 | Socket Support: Intel LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA1151 & AMD AM4, AM3 | Warranty: 2 Years

REASONS TO BUY
+ Premium RGB features + High overclocking headroom + Low noise for Intel Core i7-12700K
REASONS TO AVOID
- No VRM cooling - No compatibility with small chassis

If you are looking for an AIO cooling kit that is aesthetically stunning and runs at very low noise, then Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R will land on top of your list. It’s a massive 360mm cooler with RGB lighting on the fan drive and the water block, so it is the best RGB cooler for 12700k; it can sync with MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock, and Asus motherboards. It can also run independently through manual control. The water block is made from a copper plate with microchannels that ensure that the heat is dissipated as quickly as possible. It provides a rapid response to heat removal requirements.

Having a densely packed radiator with a large size does not help to improve the heat transfer rate. Cooler Master focuses on a design that ensures air flows with minimum resistance, thus reducing noise and improving efficiency. Due to its large cooling capacity, it won’t run at 100% capacity with Intel Core i7-12700K overclock, making it the best cooler for 12700k, resulting in low noise and low-temperature operation. However, the warranty is limited to 2 years, probably due to many active components. The fans are specified to have a working life of 160,000hrs. They can speed up to 2000rpm and produce a 2.34 mmH2O static pressure.

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 (Image credit: Amazon)

best quiet cooler for 12700k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Be quiet! | Dimensions: 5.7 x 5.35 x 6.4 inches | Base Height: 6.4 inches | Weight: ‎2.49 pounds | Fans: 2 | Socket Support: Intel LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA1151 & AMD AM4, AM3 | Warranty: 3 Years

REASONS TO BUY
+ Low power consumption + Massive 250W air cooler TDP + Premium brushed metal aesthetics
REASONS TO AVOID
- No direct contact heat pipe - Limited 40mm RAM support

Finding a long-lasting product that is fully compatible with your device and provides a premium quality finish is hard. be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is unbelievably low priced for its performance. Most gamers find it hard to believe that the best quiet cooler for 12700k is humbly priced. The dual-tower setup has two fans designed to push air delicately across the fins. The cooler will sit beautifully on top of the processor and seamlessly blend in with the theme. Seven high conductivity copper heat pipes carry heat load to the fins. These things show that the manufacturers have done a perfect job making this item.

Its TDP of 250W provides overclocking headroom for the processor to increase its frequency. It’s very light on your power supply and consumes only 2W of electricity for its fan operation. Since the cooler has more heat removal capacity, it can operate at lower fan RPM. Thus this item is the best CPU cooler for i7 12700k and results in quieter operation. The main issue with a high-capacity air cooler is that they are massive and cause hindrance to the RAM slot. Larger RAMs won’t fit underneath the cooler unless you displace the fan, which will decrease the cooler’s efficiency and increase the overall height of the cooler. Overall it’s a great economical product ideal for large cases.

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition RGB (Image credit: Amazon)

best budget cooler for 12700k

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Cooler Master | Dimensions: 6.29 x 3.93 x 9.09 inches | Base Height: 6.29 inches | Weight: ‎2.06 pounds | Fans: 1 | Socket Support: Intel LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA1151 & AMD AM4, AM3 | Warranty: 2 Years

REASONS TO BUY
+ RGB LED controller + Unique fins on the cold plate + Snap and play fan installation
REASONS TO AVOID
- No PWM splitter for a second fan - Cable management could improve

Compact designs with high TDP are challenging to manufacture, but Cooler Master efficiently dissipates 190W of Intel Core i7-12700K heat with their Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition RGB. Its unique design even has fins on top of the cold plate to improve passive heat removal. The fans of this best budget cooler for 12700k cool the single tower heat fins and are RGB enabled with the capability to sync with any modern-day motherboard. Heatpipes run throughout the fins and end on top of the heat sink, capped beautifully to keep the cooler aesthetically pleasing. Nickel coating is used on the heat sink, which improves heat transfer via radiation.

The four heat pipes are direct contact design, allowing for improved heat transfer capability. Its SF120R fan provides a 57.3CFM flow rate and 2mmH2O static pressure, enough for a single tower unit. Generally, compared to our best AIO for 12700k, air coolers are challenging to install, but their compact size makes them easy to install and connect to your motherboard. RGB lighting causes the fan to consume slightly more power than its competitors but overall, the product provides excellent value for money. Its excellent price/performance ratio makes RGB-based high-end coolers available for anyone’s reach. This cooler is potent enough to make it to the list of top items on the market.

Conclusion

Gamers and high-end computational devices like the best cooler for 12700k go hand in hand. Manufacturers started to push their engineering capability to meet the processing demands of all the latest games. The Matrix Awakens is a highly CPU-intensive creation platform that utilizes the Unreal Engine 5. Its ability to copy facial expressions and city dynamics is currently unparallel in the gaming industry. These massive advancements have led CPU manufacturers to introduce overclocking capability and variable frequency CPU operations. Increasing the CPU’s frequency leads to heat production, and CPU coolers are the only thing that can ensure that the CPU remains operational by removing its heat. Our list had coolers strictly designed for performance, while we also had coolers designed for aesthetics with the bare minimum operation. Our quick shopping tips section explained how air and liquid coolers are different but unique in function.

As a gamer willing to go the extra mile and play with 4K resolution on Unreal Engine 5, liquid coolers should be your top choice. They have high overclocking headspace and take heat away from the CPU directly without transferring heat radiatively to the other components on the motherboard. Unlike the air-based CPU coolers, the radiator is relatively far from the motherboard components and releases hot air directly outside the chassis. Air-based coolers release the air inside the chassis, but it’s ideal for people looking for low-cost, low-maintenance solutions. In the end, it’s up to the user to decide which product works best for them. We elaborated on how the TDP can affect the processor and what factors make each cooler unique. All of them can support the LGA1700 socket and TDP of Intel Core i7-12700K under base frequency. If we talk about the turbo frequency, make sure you buy the cooler with high-overclocking headspace.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is air cooler enough for 12700K?

If we take a beefy, be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 as an air cooler example for 12700K. It will maintain the temperature of the CPU well below its throttling temperature. The processor only has 190W of heat production, whereas this air cooler can efficiently dissipate 250W into the air. The seven heat pipes and massive heatsink ensures that the processor remains well below 90C.

Is 12700K good for gaming?

Intel Core i7 12700K is excellent for gaming. Its 12 cores and 20 threads make any gaming load look like peanuts. The heat that comes with its high gaming performance requires removal from a powerful cooler like the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280. Currently, it’s an overkill for above 95% of the AAA games in the market as players are still getting used to 1440p resolution gaming.

What is the best cooler for 12700K?

We consider a cooler that runs quiet and provides excellent value for money to be the best cooling solution for the 12700k. Noctua NH-D15 is a german designed air cooler that looks elegant and performs beyond expectations. Users have reported the fan operations to be inaudible even when up close. It comes with low noise adapters to further decrease noise.

What is the most reliable AIO cooler for 12700K?

Enermax Liqmax III 360 can be easily considered the reliable cooler for 12700k due to its massive overclocking headspace. Considering the growing interest of gamers in lighting, it provides ARGB that syncs with any motherboard sync software. It has a high-quality patented water block technology for low-noise high-performance operation. The basic look dominates its aesthetics, and its minimalist approach makes it look pleasing.