Let’s start with what makes i5 12600K so special and then why could you possibly need one of the best CPU Coolers for i5 12600K. Now, this recent generation of CPU launched by Intel is magnificently efficient and provides high quality performance. Intel’s i5 12600K is undoubtedly one of the best gaming CPU available with its multi core performance and targets professional content creators and high-end gaming rigs. Therefore, if you want to create or play or maybe you perform other tasks that overclock your processor then i5 12600K is what you need.
Now let’s assume that you have i5 12600K and you are on your journey of building a remarkable computer system with all other commanding components like graphic card, motherboards, and Ram’s. Another important accessory to this system is a CPU Cooler. The temperature fluctuations causes by intensive gaming or long working hours can potentially harm your system. This is why it is important to provide it with a proper cooling system.
Now that we have established that purchasing a CPU Cooler is essential, you should know that you cannot just run into a store and buy one. You have to do a thorough analysis of what options you have available and what factors you have to consider in order to choose wisely. These Alder Lake processors are available with a new CPU socket. What it means is that most air or AIO (all in one) Coolers that you will find on the market are not compatible with i5 12600K or 12th gen Intel CPUs. Keep in mind, you will be needing a Motherboard for i5-12600k, but we already have a guide, so don’t worry.
It is because of this compatibility that makes the buying process more confusing and you have to be careful and thorough with your purchase. There are several other factors that you have to stay mindful of before option for a CPU Cooler which we will be disclosing at the end of this article.
Best CPU Coolers for i5 12600K
We will now be listing below one of the best CPU Coolers for i5 12600K that are compatible with 12600K’s LGA 1700 socket. The article will cover the description of the products, the reasons why you should buy them, the cons of buying each product and their comparison with other popular coolers. In the end, we will also provide our verdict with explanation of how we reached the conclusion. Lastly, we will end the article with some important and helpful buying tips that you must go through. Without any further delay, let’s start with the first cooler on our list.
Skythe Fuma 2
Best Budget Cooler for i5 12600K
Brand: Scythe | Voltage: 12 Volts | Dimensions: 51.57 x 60.83 x 53.94 inches |Cooling Method: Air | Noise Level: 24.9 dB
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
Scythe has taken Fuma to another level with Fuma 2. Although Fuma 2 is a successor of Fuma Cooler, the idea, the features and inspiration is all new and has been improved to an advanced stage. The Scythe Fuma 2 has established itself as one of the best 120 mm with its sophisticated fans, commendable RAM plus motherboard compatibility and user-friendly installation process. To recapitulate its constructive features that users are usually interested in, Scythe Fuma 2 offers powerful twin tower radiator, total of 6 heat pipes, two heat sinks and two PMW fans. Now let’s discuss in detail why you should buy Fuma 2.
What makes Fuma 2 so unique is the asymmetrical twin tower design and orientation; this a positive characteristic because it allows more than adequate space for the memory banks and their unrestricted use. Moreover, the convenient alignment of second tower’s cooling fins result in easy operation of memory banks on either side of the CPU socket and it does not limit the productiveness of heat sink. Furthermore, extraordinarily, regardless of the expansive cooling surface of Scythe Fuma 2, the height of the cooler does not extend the limit and reaches maximum of only 154.5mm! This means that Fuma 2 can fit inside any commonly available PC case and saves you from fuss of finding a cooler with comparable size to your case.
As for the fans of Scythe Fuma 2 that were also featured in the popular Kaze Flex Series, both the fans use dynamic bearing with sealed fluid. Owing to this bearing and utilization of special oil film, compared to predecessor of Scythe Fume 2, the friction and erosion has been immensely reduced. In addition to that, the frames of the fans have rubber pad coverings. This is an enhancement because it inhibits the vibrational transmissions and minimizes noise levels.
Another interesting fact is that the direction of rotation of these two Kaze Flex fans of Scythe Fume 2 is opposite which increases the level of static pressure. This results in a airflow that is more stable. Scythe has really done their maximum to facilitate their buyers. Extra fan brackets have also been included in case someone wishes to mount a third fan to achieve more power. Thermal paste has also been included in Fume 2; Scythe Fume 2 will provide you maximum cooling performance with all of its advanced features.
Scythe Fume 2 is capable of tackling huge CPUs and it does that without being noisy. Features have been added to the coolers with only little addition of noise and the style has been kept sleep as well. Another reason why you can unhesitatingly purchase Scythe Fume 2 is because of the brand’s reputation.
Scythe has established itself in the top charts but what the users find so magnetizing is the fact that Scythe does not charge a large sum of money for their CPU Coolers. Scythe really is praise worthy for being one of the manufacturers that provide products for which you do not have to take a loan so that you can get high quality performance.
Installation of the FUMA 2 was fairly simple. Press the back plate against the motherboard, insert the stand-offs on the opposite side, attach and screw in the mounting brackets, and finally attach and screw in the heat sink – and then add the included fans. Scythe has advised that when installing the heat sink to only push the screws to the point of resistance.
The mounting system employed by Fuma 2 has also been proven by H.P.M.S III. Spring loaded screws with the mounting bar provide balanced pressure distribution. We will also compliment the installation process of Scythe Fume 2 which we found to be extremely easy, especially due to the fact that the rubberized spacers securely held the backplate to the mainboard. As for the compatibility of this CPU Cooler, it is compatible with most of the current sockets like LGA 2066, AMD’s AM4. It is noteworthy that you will have to order LGA 1700 kit from Scythe with the cooler. However, the kit is available for use.
Overall, Fume 2 is a great CPU Cooler that can deal with overclocking at 4.9 Giga Hz. However, if you need even stronger cooling performance than refer to the CPU coolers mentioned below because at this price level this is more than you would normally get which is why Scythe Fuma 2 is considered to be one of the best Budget CPU Cooler for i5 12600K.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280 RGB
Best AIO CPU Cooler for i5 12600K
Brand: Cooler Master | Voltage: 12 Volts | Dimensions: 10.9 x 4.7 x 1.1 inches |Cooling Method: Water | Noise Level: 10 dB
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
Cooler Master MasterLiquid offers longer lifespan and duration of use compared to other coolers owing to its improved quality and industrial built. MasterLiquid ML280 RGB is an effective extension of your system; If your work or gaming hours lead to intensive overclocking or overheating, Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid ML280 boots your system’s performance by keeping your Intel processor cool for longer periods of time relative to other coolers. Continue reading to find how Cooler Master has upgraded the performance of MasterLiquid’s and what features of MasterLiquid has attracted us.
Well-known and much appreciated hardware manufacturer company, Cooler Master, is also well-recognized for “All in one” MasterLiquid series of CPU Coolers. ML280 Mirror Liquid Cooler is one of the most latest product of their MasterLiquid lineup; this 280 mm “All in one” cooler comes with mirrored pump housing and even offers addressable RGB Lighting to its users. But you probably would have heard of other Coolers that feature these characteristics as well, so let’s find out what makes Cooler Masters tactics so special.
Starting with the 27 mm thick 280 mm aluminum radiator which has a 25% increase in size compared to the radiator in MasterLiquid’s predecessor model. It seems Cooler Master has been touting advancement to its own radiators because it goes without saying that increase in surface area of the radiator results in enhanced cooling. The fin density is tight with 20 fins per inch! This provide adequate surface area and space to confine everything in this 27 mm thick radiator.
However, it is important that pairing is done with matching fans. For which reason, Cooler Master has utilized new two 140mm SickleFlow Fans for its AIO Cooler. However, the static pressure of these fans is rated to be 2.25mm-H2O, which we found to be lower when compared to other AIO Coolers with 140 mm fans.
The combination unit of CPU water block and pump is exemplary just like rest of the All in one Coolers of MasterLiquid. ML280’s new third generation dual chamber pump block has been engineered in such a way to provide next level cooling. This newly designed housing and impeller provides low noise cooling and better performance in eliminating heat – all at surprisingly quiet level. The low noise pump was planned and designed such that it operates below 10 dB which is actually quite impressive. There are not many CPU Cooler manufacturers who have been able to achieve such low noise level. However, the pump is not PWM supported which translates to it need of 3 pin pump power cable as it will only enable monitoring of pump’s speed and its powering up.
Although, Cooler Master Masterliquid ML280’s warranty is only of two years, the 70,000 hours life of this all in one Cooler means that it is capable of operating continuously for eight years! So again the durability of this Cooler Master AIO cooler brings contentment to its users.
Now regarding the main highlight of this cooler that we found to be stunning were the lighting display effect as Cooler Master has used Infinity Mirror to set forth rainbow of colors which brightens your system. Many gamers enjoy modifying colors to match their moods, this addressable RGB LED controller makes it possible even without any addressable RGB motherboard. However, the lighting modes are quite limited. There are only three modes f lighting available, namely, Rainbow, Static and Color Cycle.
As far as the installation process is concerned, it has been easy and hassle-free with flexible cooling lines. Both of the cooling lines come with twirled fitting that renders their installation much easier. The installation of fans is super easy as well. The thermal paste has not been pre-applied to the MasterLiquid ML280 but Cooler Master has chosen to instead a tube of MasterGel Pro. We actually think this method is more appreciable as you can keep on re-installing the MasterLiquid Cooler on different systems and you will not have to worry about getting the thermal paste.
One thing that we found the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280 lacking in was the short tubing length between the pump housing and the radiator. We would have appreciated if the tubing length was longer which would have resulted in greater flexibility as far as mounting is concerned. Nevertheless, the short tubing length does not result in any problem in allowing the radiator to reach top of the PC case.
Cable management can also be a problem during the installation of MasterLiquid ML280 because of the orientation of the SickleFlow fans with respect to their power cables. However, this problem can also be avoided if you mount the fans in such a way that the cables will be between motherboard tray and fan frames.
Overall, Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280 RGB does not have any serious lacking. Although we were a little disappointed considering all the hype that was created by Cooler Master of its infinity mirror and Addressable RGB controller and it was not up to our expectations. Nevertheless the effective functionality of Cooler Master MasterLiquid RGB outperforms its looks.
Considering that Cooler Master has made immense overall enhancements by improving the dual chamber low noise pump which is also durable, a greater surface area of the radiator, and a commendable fin density which enables efficient airflow and utmost heat dissipation paired with the famous Sickle Flow fans – all of this surely marks Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280 RGB as the AIO Cooler For i5 12600k winner in our books.
Thermaltake Floe RC360
Best CPU Cooler for i5-12600k
Brand: Thermaltake | Voltage: 5 Volts | Dimensions: 17.91 x 10.31 x 5.51 inches |Cooling Method: Water | Noise Level: 32 dB
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
Specialty of Thermaltake’s Floe RC360 is that it is a first ever Cooler that combines Memory and CPU Liquid Cooling. This All in one Thermaltake Liquid Cooler provides remarkable performance by not only keeping your CPU cool and functional but it tends to your RAM as well. To encapsulate what this Thermaltake Flow RC360 CPU Cooler has to offer is a radiator, three 120 mm high air flow fans, a water block and an addressable RGB controller.
The qualities that make Thermaltake Floe RC360 so effective and popular are its highly efficient radiator, highly reliable pump and a high quality performance water block. This Floe RC360’s fin density is designed in a way that it can integrate the high air volume provided by the three 120mm Riing Plus fans. This boosts the cooling performance of RC360. The high static pressure fan accelerates the heat dissipation from the system. The water block utilized in Thermaltake’s Floe RC360 allows utmost circulation of water throughout the system.
This constant flow keeps the copper base plate cool and it further enhances the conduction of heat out of the system. Thermaltake Flow RC360 really made an impression on us through its never ending list of improvements and enhancements that Thermaltake has incorporated into RC360. Even the coolant is pre-filled and it saves the users from bother of replenishing the liquid. In addition to all that, the tubing is further protected from damage through heavily durable reinforced sleeved cables.
Now as for the highlight of this, The Floe RC360’s water block and fans have numerous addressable LEDs that can also be accessed through Riing Plus without having to install any other extra software. The software of Riing Plus is immensely useful and can be used to assess your processor’s fan speed or even track the temperature of your CPU. Thermaltake Flow RC360 enables its users to take full control of its color and RGB lighting effects.
Other than that, you get seven preset lighting options which also include full light, ripple, RGB spectrum pulse, blink and wave. There are four lighting stripes contained in memory block with 16.8 million RGB colors! Moreover, there are bright ALEDs which lead to even further beautiful RGB illumination. Flow R360 is compatible with motherboards with 5V ARGB connector.
Commendable RGB is just an added feature of Thermaltake Flow RC360. Another positive characteristic of Thermaltake Floe RC360, is that the design of cooling flow is well planned and skillfully patterned in such a way that it thoroughly runs through memory water block, CPU water block and the radiator. This ensures optimized cooling of the RAM and CPU with ultimate efficiency and draining of heat.
With the exceptional cooling performance provided by Thermaltake Floe RC360, A CPU and Memory Liquid Cooler, you can achieve unparalleled gaming experiences. Along with the fact that RC360 provides marvelous cooling, the installation and functions for long durations without any need of maintenance and it does not even require much space in the framework of your gaming PC set up.
The only drawbacks of purchasing Thermaltake Floe RC360 is that it is obvious that Thermaltake cannot manufacture separate kit with this cooler then different memory for every memory capacity or different speed as per consumer needs; therefore, the users will have to purchase memory separately. Unfortunately, there is also restriction to what memory you can use, it cannot just be any random memory. You are bound to use Thermaltake’s RC line which is similar in specifications to TOUGHRAM. Moreover, compared to its competitors, Thermal Floe RC360 provides warranty of only 2 years which is quite few compared to processors that are providing 5 years of warranty like EVGA CLC 120mm All in one and Galahad AIO.
Nevertheless, these lacking are not major and do not effect the performance and effectiveness of Thermaltake Floe RC360. Since it is the functionality and quality characteristics of a CPU Cooler that matter the most, for which Flow RC360 checks all the boxes. The radiator, the cooling flow design, the high pressure fans, availability of an easy to use software for the addressable RGB lights, an effective water block with pre-filler coolant – Thermaltake Floe RC360 has got it all. The CPU Cooler that not only provides optimized cooling but also provides the aesthetics and looks along side it. Considering this we can easily say that Thermaltake not only deserves to be on the list of one of the best CPU coolers for i5 12600K but it is actually one of the best over CPU coolers mentioned on the list.
Best Value CPU Cooler for i5 12600K
Brand: Noctua | Voltage: 12 Volts | Dimensions: 2.8 x 4.92 x 6.22 inches |Cooling Method: Air| Noise Level: 22.4 dB
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
When it comes to Noctua’s classic CPU Cooler series, it is unlikely that you will not hear of awards, accolades and recommendations. The acknowledgment and recognition that Noctua has received from its users is what lays the foundation of trust in potential new customers. When you know that Noctua’s NH U12S has received over 400 recommendations and awards from international press, then you really start taking their word for it. However, there are more reasons than its popularity and admiration as to why we have titled NH U12S the best Value CPU Cooler for i5 12600K. We will now be discussing these reasons in detail.
Who should choose Noctua’s NH U12S? Users who mostly opt for NH U12S are the ones that are noise-conscious PC users wishing to attain quiet operations. They can also be industry clients or even those that are interested in integration of their system. This is because getting Noctua’s product means obtaining faultless and exemplary quality and functionality.
The customer service is also excellent. Now that we have established that with Noctua NH U12S you will get class leading cooling performance while adhering to quiet and comfortable operations, let’s break down features of NH U12S and what makes them so distinctive.
To give an overall preview, Noctua NH U12S CPU Cooler is a single tower CPU Cooler that comes with high compatibility with most memory modules. It also features Noctua’s award winning NF F12 fan that is PWM supported and grants speed controls and silent operations. You will also be getting AM4 socket bracket mounting kit coupled with Noctua’s very own NT H1 thermal compound. So how did this CPU Cooler work for us and what are our comments on it? Continue reading to find out.
Let’s start with Noctua’s NF F12 fan that has received over 150 hardware publications. The premium quality and features that have given world wide enthusiasts to this 120 mm Focused Flow NF fan are its ability to combine remarkable static pressure, superb performance of heatsink and astonishingly silent operations. The SE-AM4 heatsink employed in NH U12S utilizes a single tower design which allows installation of up to two fans including the above mentioned NF F12. The fan is special because it uses self-stabilizing oil pressure bearing which is Noctua’s own design.
This design ensures self-stabilizing of rotor axis with hydrodynamic bearings and additional magnet. This is a huge enhancement because once the axis have been stabilized with the aid of magnetic field, it ensures higher precision and longer durability. This all leads to even better stabilization, accuracy and longevity of NH U12S.
Additionally, the fan has 4 pin PMW connector. The length of the cable is approximately 205 mm; the mounting holes have rubber mounts which further prevent the noise of vibrations. The speed of the fan is adjustable and the maximum speed can be lowered from 1500 rpm to 1200 rpm with the help of Low-noise Adaptor which is supplied and allows even quiet operations.
The assembling of the fan has been made extremely easy owing to the neatly designed mounting clips. Furthermore due to the additional rubbers in the corners that are anti-vibrational, the overall noise has been further reduced. The heatsink is also commendable not only because of the tight fin density, but also because of the fact that it is compatible with almost all of the cases available. This is because of its ideal height and perfect width. It does not even reach the RAM modules even if you have fan installed. Owing to the slim design and small fin depth, the users have complete and easy reach to the memory modules for all CPU sockets.
The 50 aluminum fins are run through by 5 heat pipes that are copper plated. However, these heat pipes also run though the base of the cooler but they do not make any contact with the CPU. This problem is also resolved thanks to the large base which is also nick plated; since it is quite thick it makes appropriate contact with CPU.
As far as the mounting is concerned, Noctua has included SecuFirm2™ for NH U12S. This why the mounting of this cooler is pretty straightforward. The contact pressure is also perfect. Noctua undoubtedly deserves props for such simple implementation of mounting system. It does not just end there as Noctua is also providing a 6 year warranty which is a lot compared to only 2 year warranty of Thermaltake Flow RC360.
To conclude, NH U12S will pass the test of time and functions for long durations even under heavy use. Noctua’s product lines are known for their outstanding longevity and the same goes for its NH U12S CPU Cooler. The NF F12 fan employed in this cooler has an MTTF rating of around 150.000 hours.
We also found the sound of fans to be barely audible even when it was working on full blast. Indeed the 28 dB is quite low, it is a given that you will not be having any noise complaints. Lastly, the size of the 120 mm tower is ideal and has great overall compatibility. It is short enough to be compatible with most of the higher end tower cases available in the market. Therefore, size is not an issue with NH U12S.
The only negative point of NH U12S would be the aesthetics. It is a simple beige brownish color which is mostly not people’s favorite. Furthermore there is not much customizable RGB options available either. Nevertheless, the positive enhancements of Noctua’s NH U12S far outweigh these two trivial drawbacks. Thus proving it is truly one of the best CPU Coolers for i5 12600K.
Noctua NH D15S
Best Air Cooler for i5 12600K
Brand: Noctua | Voltage: 12 Volts | Dimensions: 5.32 x 5.91 x 6.3 inches |Cooling Method: Air| Noise Level: 24.6 dB
Reasons to Buy
Reasons to Avoid
The best thing about Noctua, other than its world wide recognition and popularity, is that it always releases new series with enhancements and improvements to its previous models. Similar is the case with Noctua NH D15S. It is a single fan version of Noctua’s earlier flagship model, NH D15, that has also won awards. NH D15S has been tailored to offer even superior compatibility compared to its predecessor NH D15. This new version of NH D15 is more compatible to RAM and other motherboard components such as memory, graphics and storage. Owing to the asymmetrical design of NH D15S, most of the space is clear for top PCle slot for most µATX/ATX motherboards.
Although NH D15S’s setup is of single up and lower fins have been recessed which provides you sufficient compatibility for RAM and memory modules; however, if you still have enough space leftover you can further upgrade your cooler’s front fin stack with either 120 mm or 140 mm fan.
This will further enhance your optimized performance of CPU Cooler with a double fan system. Since the lower fins are recessed on either sides of the heatsink, this makes it super compatible for LGA 2011 as well along with LGA115x and AMD, as LGA115x has RAM slots on dual sides of socket.
The major change from NH D15 is that NH D15S now uses asymmetrical design. What this does is that it offsets the cooler to single side. This factor increases the compatibility of motherboard expansion slot to even greater level. The build of with bare aluminum NH D15S is as impeccable as ever although it is prone to fingerprints but it is not much of an issue.
NH D15S also features Noctua’s NF A15 with super sophisticated aerodynamic design which complies with their AAO standard. NF A15 has really built strong reputation among users and is considered to be among the best 140 mm fans available in the market. Similar to Noctua NH U12S that we mentioned previously, NH D15S fans also possess SSO bearing that supports self stabilization, higher accuracy and longer durability. This NF A15 premium fan is PWM supported and provides its users with automatic speed controls via the motherboard.
You can also reduce the speed from 1500 rpm to 1200 rpm and you can also use Low Noise Adaptor to ensure quiet operations. The fan is large in size and extends below fin stacks, this further ensures efficient cooling of the processor and the massive airflow from this considerably large fan also enables thorough cooling of all other CPU components as well.
To top it all of, Noctua also provides for the mounting system the globally recognized SecuFirm2™ multi-socket. Noctua has also provided the proven professional grade NT-H1 thermal compound that offers least thermal resistance and is easy to use. Overall, this is undeniably one of the best air coolers for i5 12600K respecting that it provides so much clearance for those users that are looking for ways to attach this huge cooler to their mini ITX motherboard or micro ATX motherboard.
Noctua is also providing full 6 year warranty with NH D15S as well and thus it is a total premium package solution to all your thermal dissipation problems. Noctua’s NH D15S offers efficiency of dual tower coupled with optimized compatibility. The only drawback of purchasing this CPU Cooler would be that considering its premium features, it can definitely be a little heavy on your bank.
How We Picked The Best CPU Cooler For i5 12600K?
As we mentioned in the introduction, opting for a particular CPU Cooler is a critical decision to make. Especially considering the limited compatibility of i5 12600K. While compiling this Best i5 12600k Cooler list we have taken special note of each Cooler’s compatibility. If you were to choose any CPU from this list you will not be facing any trouble regarding limited compatibility. To put it namely, Intel i5 12600K supports LGA 1700 socket. For your ease we have specifically opted for compatible with i5 12600K. Other than compatibility, we have assembled this list on basis of space the coolers require as well. Space is an important aspect to consider as even though large and bulky coolers provide more effective cooling performance, it is essential to consider the other components of CPU as well like RAM, and GPU among many other.
We have also taken into account the brand name and reliability. All the Coolers you will find on this list will have established and well recognized brands with recommendations and awards. This way you will find it easier to find a more trustworthy item that has already been tested and reviewed for you. You will find in the list Air Coolers, AIO Coolers with specific thermal compound. Thermal compound is another important feature to consider as it determines the convenience of heat dissipation.
Some of the coolers mentioned support RGB while some do not. We have covered both of these type of Coolers as choice of RGB is rather subjective. Not having RGB does not dissuade some users from buying a CPU Cooler.
You can refer to this article for further details of how to choose an appropriate CPU Cooler.
Why Trust GamingExpert?
As you probably can already tell from having read this i5 12600k Cooler article, GamingExpert provides thorough, detailed and well research information. The data covered in each article is not just word of mouth but it has been tested by us and countless others whose reviews we also take into account. A lot of research went into finding out the best CPU Coolers for i5 12600K which resulted in organization of this list. We hope this article proved helpful for you in making a purchasing decision. You can also refer to the relevant articles below:
It is important to consider several factors to reach a final product of CPU Cooler for i5 12600K. Our verdict for what you should choose would be Thermaltake Floe RC360 RGB that we have also titled as Best Overall CPU Cooler for i5 12600K. It is better than rest of the coolers mentioned in the list as not only provides efficient and optimized cooling performance, it also excels aesthetically with its addressable RGB lights.
The close competitor of Thermaltake Floe RC360 from this list would be Noctua U12S, also titled as Best Value Cooler for i5 12600K. Noctua U12S also brags every premium functionality with the only drawback being lack of aesthetically pleasing looks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which CPU Cooler is best for i5 12600K?
Thermaltake RC360 RGB or Noctua NH U12S are one of the best CPU coolers for Intel i5 12600K
Does i5 12600K Overheat?
Just like the predecessor of i5 12600K, this processor is also power-hungry and tends to get hot due to its new features and cores.
How should I choose best CPU Cooler for i5 12600K?
You can choose any CPU Cooler that has TDP rating of at least 125 W. Furthermore, take care of compatibility and if you are going for overclocking then you should choose an AIO Cooler.