Choosing the best CPU cooler for your i7 8700k is essential to keep your processor cool. The right choice can provide you with years of performance with just slightly upgrade, while a bad one can result in hardware failure and data loss.
This post will help you decide which CPU cooler is best for performance. The coolers are rated on their performance, noise level, and compatibility. We also included a buyer’s guide to help you find the perfect fit for your needs.
Why do you need an air cooler
CPU air cooler is an essential part that helps to reduce processor temperature which results in increased GPU performance and can perform more tasks efficiently.
The primary reason for choosing an air cooler is its price. It’s much cheaper to cool your graphics card with air cooling rather than water cooling which will cost more than air cooler.
Another benefit is the ease of installation, with no requirement for high maintenance or water level checking. You can even choose different colors fans for better looks and improve airflow inside the case at the same time.
Choosing a CPU cooler
Choosing the best cooler for CPU might be quite difficult because among too many air CPU coolers it is challenging to choose. So we made a list of the best coolers and ordered them according to performance and availability in the market.
CPUs come in three form factors: ATX, Micro ATX, and mini ITX where ATX has the largest size and room to accommodate multiple cooling fans and radiators (water cooling) while ITX offers limited options in this department. Another factor you need to be aware of is compatibility.
What are the best CPU coolers?
If you are ambagious by choosing between liquid cooler vs air cooler for intel i7 CPU. As each cooler has its own level in its performance like most of the tech experts suggest that water coolers for GPU are more efficient than normal air coolers. Some might not be compatible with the size of your case and others will steal space that you can utilize somewhere else.
As for the CPU cooler, we have water cooling, standard air cooling, and last but not least all-in-one liquid coolers which provide both features in a single package. But when it comes to the best CPU cooler for i7 8700k we will discuss all the best coolers for core i7 8700k.
Air Coolers VS Liquid AIO Coolers :
The choice between the two is actually a personal preference. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. If we talk about air coolers, they are usually cheaper than liquid coolers but take up more space in your case. You can add multiple fans to make sure you maximize airflow inside the case and improve performance further.
On the other hand, a liquid CPU cooler offers much better cooling capability at same noise levels when compared with air coolers because it uses water to dissipate heat from CPU or GPU which emits much less amount of noise and creates a better environment for working with the best graphics card.
Another thing that you need to consider while choosing an air vs liquid CPU cooler is compatibility issues because many cases do not support all kinds of coolers in market, so you need to make sure your CPU and case is compatible.
Best Liquid coolers for i7 8700k CPU
Liquid coolers come in two forms all-in-one or custom loops. All-in-one is made of one block which consists of pump, radiator, and fan whereas the custom loop is composed of multiple blocks called the pump, reservoir, tubing, water block/pump top combo, radiator(s), fans with shrouds. Both have their own advantages but choosing one only comes down to personal preferences.
Custom loops provide better cooling capability at same noise levels when compared with all-in-one coolers because they use water to dissipate heat from CPU which emits much less amount of noise and creates a better environment for working with graphic cards or verify sockets for best motherboards.
Although it is mentioned that you can use any kind of liquid cooler for your graphics card but if you are planning to use an AIO cooler it’s better to choose the one that is made of the copper base which will provide enough contact with GPU.
Since liquid coolers are meant for more serious gamers or PC enthusiasts who want to squeeze every bit of performance out of their chips, therefore they might not be suitable for everyone because they require higher maintenance and water level checking. You also need to make sure your case support radiators before choosing one.
If you cannot mount a radiator on top of your case then AIO liquid coolers are perfect for you because all-in-one liquid coolers do not require any special installation like custom loops that hang lower than the case’s width so the radiator can fit inside without any issues.
Corsair H100i PRO RGB:
As you have seen many times that Corsair is on number one position in case compatibility because it offers all types of cooling fans, radiators, and water coolers compatible with every case or motherboard which makes their products more versatile than other competitors.
This specific product comes with two SP120L High Torque 120mm fans to offer better heat dissipation from CPU at 40 dBA noise level which means it can be used without affecting your concentration during gaming and overclocking session and won’t create any kind of disturbance like loud noises.
This water cooler has a unique design that allows radiator integration into the case and has an addressable RGB lighting system so you can adjust its color according to your rig look which is a very nice feature. Corsair H100i Pro Liquid Cooler features a 240mm radiator with 2 tubes of high-performance liquid coolant.
That takes care of the cooling process in best way possible. It uses intelligent software to control the fan speeds and monitor CPU temperature in real-time which means it will be easy for you to configure according to your needs without spending much time on configurations because this product will do everything by itself based on the configuration you have selected.
You don’t need anything else to start this system except for few screws and you are good to go, so you can say this product is great value for money because it will save your time on searching components for liquid cooling setup. It offers every kind of feature without any disturbance or loud noise that might affect your concentration during games or overclocking sessions.
If you want your i7 8700k to perform at its best then Corsair H100i pro Liquid Cooler might be the best choice because I personally use this product in my rig which has specs i7-8700k, 1070 Ti, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, Z370 motherboard with Corsair H100i Pro Liquid Cooler attached to it for great comfort.
Corsair Hydro Series H115i Extreme:
As you have seen above that I am using the same cooler which is also from Corsair but this product has few more features and advantages than other products like low noise, high performance, and better cooling capacity which makes it stand out of the crowd and become one of the best liquid coolers for i7 8700k.
This water cooler comes with two different models 240mm and 280mm radiator both offer great heat dissipation from CPU at very low noise level as well as high airflow. The memory compatibility of this product is limited because you cannot attach RAM sinks directly on the cooler even if they are compatible because there is no space available to place them, but if you make a custom fan mount for this purpose then it will work fine.
Corsair Hydro Series H115i Extreme Liquid Cooler uses a 280mm radiator with 2 tubes of high-performance liquid coolant that takes care of the cooling process in the best way possible. It has a larger radiator and fans for better efficiency which also enhances overall stability as well as reduces temperature under heavy load conditions. Corsair Hydro Series H115i Extreme Liquid Cooler comes with an addressable RGB lighting system so you can adjust its color according to your rig look which is a very nice feature.
Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro:
If you are looking for RGB lighting system then this product is also offering you that feature, but it has a smaller radiator compared to other models which might downgrade its cooling capacity. Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro Liquid Cooler comes with 240mm radiator and an addressable RGB lighting system so you can adjust the look of your rig according to your needs without spending much time on it.
It offers great compatibility because you do not need any adapter or bracket in order to mount this cooler on top of CPU so if you don’t have enough space in your case because of RAMs or motherboards then this water cooler will be best fit for your system because there won’t be any turbulence while installation. Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro Liquid Cooler uses low noise fans for better performance and to reduce turbulence which also enhances overall stability because noise can affect the cooling process.
The control system of this water cooler is just amazing because you can easily adjust its fan speed from software as well as hardware controls that will help you a lot when you are going to overclock or tweak your CPU for demanding games or applications.
Corsair Hydro Series H150i Pro Liquid Cooler comes with two different sized tubes that allow it to work on both small systems like ITX build and large motherboards, but there is one more interesting thing about this product that I want to tell you which makes it even more special than other coolers.
It gives full control to users in order to expand the lighting system according to their needs by attaching an RGB strip which is a really great feature.
Corsair iCUE H100i ELITE CAPELLIX
This water-cooled is specially designed for large CPU coolers because of its larger radiator and tubes, but it still has an option for including RGB lighting strips if required. Corsair Hydro Series H100i V2 Liquid Cooler uses a 240mm radiator with two fans to provide better cooling efficiency and reduce noise as well as turbulence while working under heavy load conditions.
If we talk about Corsair iCUE software then it is also compatible with the H100i V2 water cooler that allows you to set RGB colors and effects in order to make your PC look great in every place like in the bedroom or working areas because Corsair Hydro Series H100i V2 has three different lighting modes; static mode, breathing mode and wave mode that will allow you to enjoy different looks according to mood.
This water cooling unit comes with two 120mm fans that are designed for low noise operation and turbulence-free airflow that means if you want better cooling capacity then increase fan speed, but make sure to provide enough space around the radiator.
Moreover, you can also adjust the lighting effect of this cooler as well as its fan speed from hardware or software controls which makes it more convenient for users. Corsair Hydro Series H100i V2 Liquid Cooler is compatible with all modern CPU sockets and requires an open 3 pin connector on the motherboard in order to control fan speeds according to system temperature.
Cooler Master Glacer 240L:
This water cooling unit is specially designed for small systems, but it comes with high-performance radiators and fans that provide maximum heat dissipation at lower noise levels.
You can simply attach this water cooler to CPU by using quick-mount system that makes installation process easier, but just make sure to check out reviews of previous users before buying this product.
It uses an aluminum radiator along with a copper base where cold plates will come in direct contact with CPU surface in order to offer better thermal conductivity. This water cooling unit is compatible with all modern CPU sockets in order to provide maximum compatibility.
It requires an open 3 pin connector on motherboard in order to control fan speed, but if you want better cooling capacity then increase fan speed because it has PWM control which allows users to change voltage according to system load.
Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE CAPELLIX:
Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE CAPELLIX is the best liquid CPU cooler with a smart fan sensor and has noise level of 36dB. It has a Heatsink with a micro fin copper cold plate and pumps base to hold the coolant. Dual SP120L PWM fans are used for airflow. Corsair Link Digital integration provides monitoring and control of performance, lighting, and fan speed, etc.
This water cooling unit offers great performance and comes with features that make the installation process easier.
This water cooling unit is compatible with all modern CPU sockets in order to provide maximum compatibility and it requires an open 3 pin connector on a motherboard in order to control fan speed, but if you want better cooling capacity then increase fan speed because it has PWM control which allows users to change voltage according to system load.
It should be noted that the installation process of these water cooler units should be done by a person who has a good knowledge of water cooling units, because not every user is an expert so professional installation is highly recommended.
For those who have no idea about how to install these water coolers simply go online and look for video tutorials because different companies provide installation videos on their official websites so you can check them out before buying one.
Thermaltake Floe Triple Riin:
This brand is known for its high-performance Liquid Cooling Systems and they offer a number of products that provide high heat dissipation at lower noise levels but make sure to check out reviews of previous users before buying this product because some people complained about durability issues.
Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer Series Liquid Cooling System is specially designed for small form factor cases and offers high-quality components that deliver maximum thermal conductivity at affordable prices, but most important thing is that this water cooler has an easy installation process you can install on your CPU by using a quick-mount system without any extra effort.
Thermaltake Floe Triple Riing RGB 360 TT Premium Edition PWM TR4 LGA2066 Ready AIO CPU Cooler with patented Ring Plus RGB Software Enabled. The world’s first and only patented liquid cooling system that combines the patented circular 256 color LED lighting, 3 changeable LED lighting modes, 4 addressable RGB LED strips, and 5 fan speed control modes. All of this, combined with the patented ring radiator and the Floe Riing RGB software for instant control to sound and lighting modes.
The Latest Thermaltake Floe Triple Riing RGB 360 TT Premium Edition Is updateable via free download of Ring Plus Software – For Windows Users , while Intel Haswell Haswell Refresh Support Refresh Retail Haswell Processors Like Core i5-4690K/i7 4790K .
Cooler Master MASTERLIQUID ML240L RGB :
This brand is popular for its exclusive technology and they offer a number of products that are best in cooling performance, but before buying this product make sure to check out reviews of previous users because some people complained about noise issues.
Cooler Master MASTERLIQUID ML240L RGB comes with 240mm radiator along with dual fan system that delivers maximum heat dissipation at lower dBA noise level which makes it perfect for overclocking without worrying about the heating problem, but I would recommend you increase speed of fans if you are planning to overclock your CPU because it comes with PWM control.
Both fans on this cooler are capable of producing low noise levels up to 20 dB but keep in mind that RPM speed is increased if you increase fan speed so if you want better cooling capacity then simply change the RPM speed of both fans either through BIOS or software.
If you are planning to overclock your i7 8700k then this product is definitely for you, also keep in mind that Cooler Master MASTERLIQUID ML240L RGB comes with an easy installation process so you won’t face any problem while installing it on your CPU.
Best air CPU coolers for i7 8700k
Noctua NH-D15S provides great cooling performance along with low noise levels and if you want to achieve maximum thermal conductivity then make sure to read the manual because it comes with multiple clips for Intel and AMD sockets, but make sure to check out reviews of previous users before buying this product because some people complained about installation issues.
This water cooling solution comes with dual 140mm fans that can produce up to 150 CFM airflow without generating too much noise, but most important thing is that this water cooler has an easy installation process you can install it all by yourself without any extra effort.
Noctua NH-D15S is a great product and comes with dual fans to provide better airflow throughout your motherboard and it will definitely improve the performance of your CPU, make sure to visit the official website before buying this product or read reviews of previous users because some people complained about installation issues.
be quiet! BK031 Dark Rock TF 2:
be quiet! BK031 Dark Rock TF 2 is the best air cooler when it comes to cooling capacity and offers top-notch performance at lower noise levels so if you are looking for a cheap cooler but still provides good performance then this product will be perfect for you.
It’s not meant for overclocking so never use it while overclocking otherwise it might damage your CPU because this product doesn’t come with any fan to increase airflow throughout your motherboard hence I would recommend you set the RPM speed of fans to the maximum in MSI BIOS.
While overclocking to make sure you get maximum performance while overclocking, but for gaming it’s perfect because it comes with dual fan system that means better airflow throughout your motherboard and it reduces noise levels up to 30% which is really cool.
All I can say about this product is if you are looking for a cheap cooler then be quiet! BK031 Dark Rock TF 2 will be perfect for you because it comes with low price tag along with great cooling performance, simply change the RPM speed of fans according to your need and enjoy the best possible performance.
NZXT Kraken M22
NZXT Kraken M22 is the all-in-one liquid cooler that provides silent operation and cooling performance, it’s not much expensive as other all-in-one solution but still offers great performance while playing games or doing something else.
It comes with a 120mm radiator that has dual fans to provide airflow throughout your motherboard has an only a noise level of 25dB and if you don’t have space on your case then NZXT Kraken M22 will be perfect for you because it has a compact design so just install it on top of your CPU and enjoy maximum possible cooling.
The AIO features CAM software for monitoring and control with ease. It has Advanced Lighting Modes which allow users to customize their PC lighting experience using the built-in Hue+ controller or through CAM’s intuitive interface.
Easy installation process Powerful cooling system Silent operation Compact design. The installation process of this cooler is really easy and doesn’t take much time, make sure to read manual before installing it because you need to know how to work with different brackets etc.
If you want more cooling capacity then NZXT Kraken M22 water cooler will be perfect for you because it comes with high quality fans that can produce up to 2000 RPM without creating too much noise.
Scythe FUMA 2
Scythe Fuma 2 is a dual tower CPU air cooler with 120 mm fans. It’s 15% better in performance to noise ratio than the original FUMA.
This new design uses 6 x 6 mm copper heat pipes and a copper plate that has been used for their high thermal conductivity and stability, which makes it possible to cool down even the hottest CPUs.
Fuma 2 also features PWM fans rotating in opposite direction, generating higher static pressure as well as stable airflow thus pushing cooling performance to maximum and noise level about only 1dB. Asymmetrical design allows unrestricted use of any memory modules and guarantees 100% compatibility with AMD and Intel platforms.
Great cooling performance PWM fans provide better airflow Rubber clips and anti-vibration fan mount Easy installation process. Scythe Fuma 2 is a great product that can improve the performance of your CPU, it comes with high-quality fans that can produce up to 2000 RPM without creating much noise, also you don’t need any additional accessories during installation because it comes with rubber clips for extra grip on your motherboard.
The NH-L9i is a premium quality quiet CPU cooler for Intel LGA115x (also compatible with LGA2011 and 1366). The 92mm slim fan supports PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the motherboard.
Topped off with Noctua’s award-winning NT-H1 thermal compound and a full 6 years manufacturer’s warranty, the NH-L9i forms a complete premium-quality solution that combines outstanding performance, superb acoustics and excellent compatibility.
With the NT-H1 thermal compound pre-applied to the cooler base and heat pipes, installation is easy with no further treatment required. The NT-H1 is a hybrid compound that combines the exceptional performance of liquid metal with the ease of use of a conventional thermal grease. It is ideal for most Intel CPUs and AMD CPUs (see application note).
Great cooling performance Low noise level Easy installation process Extra accessories included Noctua NH-L9i fits perfectly on most types of motherboards.
It comes with anti-vibration fan mounts that reduce the noise level by 2 dB compared to other similar products on market, also you will get extra accessories like Quiet Low-Noise Adaptor which decreases maximum speeds but reduces noise levels as well.
CPU Cooler by Noctua comes with dual NF-A15 140mm fans that can offer 95% cooling capacity at 40 dBA noise level which means it is best air cooler for i7 8700k. It’s a huge cooler but gives you top-notch performance if you want something more than air coolers.
Then this is the best choice as one fan can be used for intake airflow and other for exhausting out of the case. You will not be needing any extra fan because this double fan system will increase heat dissipation from the CPU efficiently.
This air cooler also allows you to upgrade in the future without spending much money, so it will be cost-effective in long run. It is a high-end air CPU cooler best for overclocking and offers its service at a very reasonable price which might increase your budget a little bit but it’s worth spending money on this beast if you are an enthusiast gamer.
Double fan system to avoid overheating Best cooling capacity 95% Case compatible Great performance Inexpensive Heavyweight Noiseless.
Not meant for gamers only Limited availability Noctua NH-D15 is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to overclock their Intel i7 8700k or any other CPU.
Because it can handle heavy tasks even when overclocked with ease and won’t overheat during the process. It comes with various features that define it as the best air cooler on our list of best air coolers for i7 8700k.
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