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Best CPU Coolers for Intel Core i7-12700K: Budget, Air Cooler, AIO

December 1, 2021 0

Best CPU Coolers for Intel Core i7-12700K: Budget, Air Cooler, AIO

The Core i7-12700K seats in the middle of the 12th generation Alderlake CPUs, and it offers a new level of gaming and workstation performance. It also delivers a competitive edge against AMD Ryzen CPUs – and according to Techpowerup, it runs at a total speed of nearly 15% faster than the previous generation Core i7-11700K and up to 10% compared with its direct competitor AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. This processor has been found to be only 5% slower than higher models like the Ryzen 9 5900X in terms of performance, making it even more appealing value-wise.

For sure, gamers and content creators will love this new i-series of CPUs. The Core i7-12700K is powerful and has a lot of potential for the future as it’s already supporting the latest PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 technology, making it an excellent choice to get started with building your own PC or upgrading from previous generations. However, this CPU has a 125W TDP, so it tends to produce a lot of heat. So, if you’re looking for a good and reliable CPU Cooler to keep your Intel Core i7-12700K cool, here are some of our top picks below.

Best Aftermarket Coolers for Intel Core i7-12700K: Our List

NH-U12S chromax.BlackNoctua NH-U12S Chromax.Black

  • Size: 2.8 x 4.92 x 6.22 inches
  • Type: Air Cooler
  • Brand: Noctua
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NH U12S ReduxNoctua NH-U12S Redux

  • Size: 1.77 x 4.92 x 6.22 inches
  • Type: Air Cooler
  • Brand: Noctua
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Dark Rock Pro 4be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

  • Size: 5.3 x 5.7 x 6.4 inches
  • Type: Air Cooler
  • Brand: be quiet!
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MAG CoreLiquid C240MSI MAG CoreLiquid C240

  • Size: ‎12.24 x 8.66 x 5.87 inches
  • Type: AIO
  • Brand: MSI
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  • Size: 12.48 x 8.07 x 5.39 inches
  • Type: AIO
  • Brand: MSI
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  • Size: ‎18.46 x 10.24 x 6.06 inches
  • Type: AIO
  • Brand: Gigabyte
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Entry-Level CPU Cooler – Noctua NH-U12S Chromax.Black

Noctua NH-U12S chromax.Black

The Noctua NH-U12S is a 120mm air cooler with excellent cooling performance, a perfect entry-level cooler for the Intel Core i7-12700K.

It features a slim design with a height of 120mm that fits even in most mid-tower cases. You will not have to worry about RAM compatibility, because the 120mm fan doesn’t overhang the RAM slots and you won’t block any PCIe expansion cards like GPUs on it either.

The Noctua NH-U12S also comes with a patented NF-F12 Focused Flow fan which provides outstanding cooling performance; this is backed up by PWM support for automatic speed control through the motherboard-based system or via Fan Header (with Low Noise Adapter). This way, it can be controlled automatically depending on CPU load too! The 5 heat pipes are designed for optimal heat transfer, which results in an excellent cooling performance.

In terms of design, the Chromax.Black theme gives the Noctua NH-U12S a great look with a black fan and heat-sink covers making it more suitable for any type of PC build powered by the Core i7-12700K. All of these make the Noctua NH-U12S an excellent CPU cooler to pair with the Core i7-12700K CPU.

Budget CPU Cooler – Noctua NH-U12S Redux

Noctua NH-U12S Redux

This air cooler is almost similar to the above reviewed Noctua NH-U12S, but it comes with a few main differences.

First of all, the Redux version is more affordable which makes this an excellent choice for those on a budget who want to have a great cooling performance from their CPU cooler. This cooler also features the NF-P12 PWM fan that provides outstanding cooling performance even at lower RPMs and noise levels. Moreover, this model is a slim 120mm size which makes it compatible with most tower cases and does not block the PCIe on most ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards.

Another great thing about this product is that it comes with 4x NA-AVP1 chromax.grey anti-vibration pads which can be used in order to decouple the fan from mounting surfaces and keep vibrations away from other components. This way, even if you use higher RPMs your system will remain quiet since all of its parts work together without making any noises or significant vibration sounds.

All in all, if you are looking for an excellent CPU cooler but, on a budget, then this is definitely worth considering. Coming from such a reputable brand like Noctua who have been making top quality products since 2005 so you can be certain of its performance and durability!

Best Silent Air Cooler – be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

If you want to achieve both high cooling performance and low noise levels, the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is the perfect solution.

Be quiet! brand has been known for its quality silent PC components for years. Their new flagship CPU cooler, the Dark Rock Pro series is no exception to this reputation.

The Dark Rock Pro 4 features a large heatsink and a 120mm Silent Wings PWM fan. The fan is actually two fans rotating in opposite directions which cancels the respective oscillations, so there are no vibrations. This technology allows for a massive reduction of noise levels to 24dB(A). There are also seven high-performance heat pipes are passing through the massive nickel-plated copper base plate. The heat is dissipated across the entire surface for efficient cooling.

The overall dimensions of this cooler are 5.7 x 5.35 x 6.40 inches (LxWxH). It fits in most modern PC cases and has no problems with RAM modules due to its asymmetric design. Overall, it is an excellent CPU cooler for high-end gaming PC builds.

Best RGB CPU Cooler – MSI MAG CoreLiquid C240

MSI MAG CoreLiquid C240

Of course, we have a CPU cooler recommendation for people who loves RGB. We have here the MSI MAG CoreLiquid C240 as the best RGB CPU cooler to pair with the Core i7-12700K CPU.

The MSI MAG CoreLiquid C240 includes a 2x 120mm Addressable RGB PWM fan, which can be controlled using MSI Mystic Light. The fans also support a customizable speed through MSI App.

The integrated pump, which has a magnetic levitation system helps reduce the noise level. Also, it is made with a ceramic bearing, which allows it to last up to 100,000 hours of use.

In terms of thermal dissipation, the pump has a split pathway through the radiator to effectively dissipate heat. So, it delivers not only good aesthetics but also great cooling performance. As I have researched before, MSI is not just a gaming brand but also known for high-quality hardware. This is why they are one of my top choices when it comes to computer products because you will be getting quality and aesthetics at the same time.

240mm AIO Cooler – MSI MAG Core Liquid 240R


For the best 240mm AIO cooler, we have here the MSI MAG Liquid 240R. This is a high-performance liquid cooler that can outperform traditional air coolers. The radiator is large enough to provide maximum airflow and its design prevents your CPU from overheating even in the heat of battle or overclocking.

The motor ceramic bearing has been designed to stand up to 100,000 hours of life expectancy. The included RGB fans support custom speed with PWM fan and customizable lighting through software. It features a rotatable cap that allows the cold plate to be mounted in any orientation you want, turning it up for maximum airflow or down for silent operation when not gaming.

The pump is integrated into the radiator, allowing sound dampening and noise reduction while maintaining optimal performance. And because the core functions are handled by electronics instead of being mechanical, it can dispense with messy oilless maintenance. The MSI MAG Core Liquid 240R maintains superior cooling performance without compromising on size or aesthetics!

360mm AIO Cooler – AORUS WATERFORCE X 360


If you want the best when it comes to cooling performance for your Core i7-12700K Processor and you got the money to spend, the AORUS WATERFORCE X 360 is your best bet.

This is a 360mm high-performance all-in-one CPU cooler that is suitable for extreme overclockers as it provides exceptional cooling performance. It features a new high-performance pump with a low-noise level and Graphene Nano Lubricant ARGB fans that efficiently dissipate heat from high-end CPUs like the 12th gen Intel processors. Also, the 3x 120mm ARGB Fans can achieve speed from 800 to 2500 RPM (16.92 – 60.07 CFM).

The unique 60x60mm circular full-color LCD can display real-time clock and temperature, fan speed, and usage status. And the adjustable screen orientation can be rotated 330 degrees. Plus, it supports RGB fusion that gives you the freedom to customize light effects as per your choice. To be honest, it is one of the prettiest and most customizable coolers I have reviewed.

The AORUS WATERFORCE X 360 provides exceptional cooling performance and it is one of the best high-end all-in-one liquid cooling solutions out there simply because it works well and looks awesome!

Core i7-12700K Aftermarket Cooler Quick Buying Guide


The budget should be the first thing that you consider when choosing the best CPU Cooler for your needs. This is an important factor since you want to get a good price-to-performance ratio, ensuring that you’re not spending more than needed on something extravagant or unnecessary.

Noise Level

The noise level of a CPU Cooler is another thing that you should keep in mind when choosing the best product for your Core i7-12700K. You want to get something silent and effective. There are some good-performing coolers with low noise levels out there, so this shouldn’t be too difficult as long as you avoid those cheaper ones made from poor-quality materials.

Socket Compatibility

Another thing to consider when shopping for the best CPU Cooler is its compatibility with your motherboard socket. Core i7-12700K compatible motherboards feature the LGA 1700 socket. So, make sure that you pay attention to this detail, otherwise, it will be impossible for you to install the product later on after opening the package since not all of them are compatible with every Intel socket type. However, all CPU coolers included in this guide support the latest LGA 1700 socket so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues here.

RAM Clearance

RAM clearance is another thing to take into account when choosing a CPU Cooler. Ensure that the product you choose doesn’t have any RAM height issues, especially if your PC comes with high-profile memory modules or tall heatsinks on top of them. If the cooler is too tall it may collide with the RAM, making it impossible for you to install all of them on your motherboard.

All of the coolers included in this guide have enough clearance for even the tallest memory modules or heatsinks. So, you shouldn’t encounter any RAM height issues.

AIO vs. Air Cooler: Key Differences

Air coolers are the most commonly used type of aftermarket coolers for CPUs, but recently AIOs are becoming more popular. To help you decide which one is better for your needs, check out this guide to find out more about its features. Also, these two come with pros and cons.

Air coolers are the cheaper option. They are easily obtainable and aren’t complicated to install, even if you haven’t done it before. They are less maintenance-demanding and free from leaking issues. However, air coolers are loud sometimes if they are under load. Also, some air coolers are bulky, which is often an issue for most PC builders.

AIOs, on the other hand, are more expensive than air coolers, but they come with better performance and offer superior cooling potential. Those who use them claim that their temperatures are lower under load than those obtained by air coolers without increasing noise level too much. They also offer better compatibility since some of them support memory modules that come with taller heatsinks. However, they aren’t as easy to install as air coolers and their maintenance requirements may vary depending on the chosen one.


The Core i7-12700K is indeed a great CPU that will surely work with both gaming and workstation PC builds.

If you’re in the market for a new CPU cooler to pair with it and don’t know where to start, this article will help clarify your decision. AIO coolers are great if they fit your budget and needs, but be sure to do some research on them before making a purchase so that you can make an informed choice. We recommend researching different brands of air-cooled solutions as well because there is no one best option when it comes down to cooling needs.

Though it may seem like a hard task at first, considering how many options are out there can make your head spin! We’ve done all the work for you and found some awesome budget cooler picks as well as high-end AIO liquid cooling solutions that will keep your Core i7-12700K running smoothly no matter what type of usage spikes occur from time to time when playing games or performing intensive tasks such as video editing. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found the information helpful.

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