Whether you’re an avid gamer or love piecing together your own a custom computer to run demanding software, you’ll need to make sure you have the best gear for the job.
As computer processors become stronger, they become hotter. Unfortunately, the hotter your computer becomes, the greater the risk there is in overheating and damage. So with increased processor capability comes the demand for high-quality cooling.
Making sure your computer stays cool is especially critical if you’re using or planning on buying Intel’s i7 series of processors. The i7 7700k and i7 8700k allow easy capability for overclocking to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck with your kit. However, if you’re overclocking, you’ll want to make sure you have a capable air cooler or water AIO liquid cooler to keep your processors running efficiently.
You can spend hours hunting online comparing different CPU coolers, trying to figure out which one to go for, or you could simply read our top 7 list. You’ll find out what the best CPU coolers for i7 8700k and the best CPU coolers for 7700k are, depending on if you’ll be gaming, or if you have a tight budget.
Without further ado, Here Are The Best CPU Coolers for i7 8700k, 7700 to Buy in 2020
Corsair H115i Hydro Pro RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
The Corsair H115i Hydro Pro clocks in number 1 on our list of the best CPU coolers for i7 8700k and 7700k. It’s the perfect all-in-one if you have a case with 280mm radiator mounts. Its ability to overclock your i7 to the maximum is the most impressive we’ve seen among CPU coolers.
It features dual NL series fans that are 140mm in diameter, providing impressive static pressure air flow.
They’re also super quiet, at 20 dBA, so you won’t hear a loud, annoying buzzing even while overclocking. Plus, you can customize the speed of the fans how you like an ideal balance of cooling and sound.
Why Buy It: It’s probably the best CPU cooler for i7 7700k and 8700k for the price. It’s able to handle overclocking with ease, it’s completely customizable with the Corsair software, plus it’s super easy to install with the mounting bracket (which doesn’t require a tool to install).
The Corsair H115i Hydro Pro is also capable of running Corsair’s link software, allowing you to monitor pump speeds, fan speeds, coolant temperatures, and also adjust the LEDs RGB however you like.
How Much it Costs: At $136.99, it’s the 2nd most expensive CPU cooler on our list, but it’s worth the money, and easily earns its spot because of how quiet and efficient it is. As an added bonus, it also includes a “zero RPM mode” which operates when your system’s temperatures are really low. It’s a nice touch that automatically turns off the fan so your system is silent.
What We Think of it: Considering the combination of performance, ease of use, customization, and how quiet it is, it’s our favorite liquid CPU cooler. It checks all the boxes in terms of performance. Plus, we love the zero RPM mode. When it does its job, it’s smart enough to turn off to eliminate unnecessary power usage and noise. Also, it does include a thin layer of thermal paste, but you could use aftermarket paste if you want.
- High efficiency
- Very quiet
- Customizable fan cooler speeds
- Zero RPM mode to eliminate noise
- A bit pricer than most similar CPU coolers
DEEPCOOL Castle 240EX, Anti-Leak Technology Inside
Deepcool has been around for about 20 years, but over the last few years have become one of the major players in PC cooling solutions. The Castle 240EX is one of the best AIO Coolers for i7 8700k and 7700k.
The main feature of the Castle 240EX is the patented anti-leak technology. It features an EPDM pressure relief bag which includes one side surrounded by coolant in the radiator and one side exposed to air.
The bag contracts to create a void when internal pressure of the radiator exceeds pressure in the atmosphere. This is great because it increases internal volume of the radiator, and thus, relieves pressure internally which lowers the chances of a leak occurring.
Why Buy It: The Castle240EX is a nice upgrade from the standard 240, featuring anti-leak technology so you won’t have to worry about a potential leak. Plus, it includes a brand-new pump which is powerful, quiet, and increases more heat absorption.
How Much it Costs: At $101.86, it’s a bit pricier compared to similar CPU coolers. For AIO liquid coolers, it’s top-notch. It’s technically a “partial” RGB, All-in-one CPU cooler, because the RGB lighting isn’t on the fans, but only on the pump. It has a similar look and feel to the standard Castle 240 RGB, but the 240EX has minor changes and improvements.
What We Think of it: Considering it was introduced as just an upgrade to the standard Castle 240, it’s quite impressive. Deepcool definitely over delivered on the 240EX, as it performs much better than the previous version (which wasn’t so bad to begin with).
- Great patented anti-leak technology
- Partial RGB (RGB lighting isn’t on the fans)
- A bit pricier than comparable CPU coolers
NZXT Kraken X52 - Performance Engineered Pump, All-In-One RGB
The NZXT Kraken X52 is NZXT’s new and improved X42. It’s almost the exact same CPU cooler, which a few minor changes. The X42 had 1 fan, and this time the X52 includes 2 fans to increase cooling. Plus the radiator got an upgrade. It includes a 120mm radiator attached to one side, with dual Aer 120 fans to push air through.
The RGB head unit is once again very stylish as the X42 was. Plus the same CAM software is included which allows you a ton of control over anything NZXT with one launcher.
The radiator, which is 275mm long and 123mm wide is made from aluminum. Copper is used for the cold plate and plastic is used for the hardware, clamps for the tubing, and the top cover of the head units.
Why Buy It: The NZXT Kraken X52 is one of the best water coolers on the market. If you got to test out the X42, you’ll love the upgraded X52 with dual Aer 120 fans and an upgraded radiator. The CAM software lets you change the control modes of the pump and fans. Plus, the software also lets you customize the RGB LED display of the head unit. The software allows you to double the spin rate of the fans which provides excellent cooling.
How Much it Costs: It’s a bit pricier than most, at $129.99, whereas the X42 was $20 less. However, for the upgrades in the fans and the radiator, you would be getting a great improvement with the X52. The 6-year warranty is also a nice bit of added assurance which makes the price hike reasonable.
What We Think of it: Considering the improvements made from the X42 to the X52, it’s an impressive CPU cooler. For a water cooler, it’s one of our favorites. It’s still up for debate whether it’s worth spending $20-$40 more than other similar CPU water coolers in the $80-$100 range, but it is definitely efficient.
- Customizable CAM software
- Dual fans
- 36 dB of noise at full speed
- 6 year warranty
- Pricier than similar CPU coolers
Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 - All-In-One Liquid Cooling System 3X High Efficiency Radiator CPU Cooler
The Thermaltake Water 3.0 360 All-In-One Liquid Cooling System is one of the higher-end CPU coolers on the market. The design is its most impressive caveat since it features an impressive ARGB set up. If you’re a fan of RGB lighting, you’ll love the look of this AIO closed loop cooler by Thermaltake.
It offers the most extensive capabilities with RGB lighting effects, with an easy-to use ARGB controller to change the color and speed that the LED lights are displayed. However, it only really “shines” when the lights are on. Nothing really stands out aesthetically when the lights go out.
As far as performance goes, it swings just as hard as some of the best CPU coolers on this list, which makes sense since it includes a triple fan stack.
Why Buy It: As Thermaltake’s best-designed and possibly best-performing CPU cooler to date, the Water 3.0 360 offers a great overall user experience. It has impressive customization options, making it easy to tweak the fans and lighting easily. Not only that, it’s easy to install since the fans “daisy chain”, and the pump head mounting clip makes the job a breeze.
How Much it Costs: Coming in at $179.99, it’s the most expensive CPU cooler on our list. It’s certainly not the cheapest CPU cooler on the market, but most CPU coolers don’t offer what this one does. Considering the extensive RGB lighting effects, coupled with the stellar performance, it’s probably justified.
What We Think of it: Considering the function alone, it’s a solid CPU cooler. It performs just as good as any other CPU cooler on our list. It’s customization options are great as well. Where it stands out is in the aesthetics and customizable lighting. As far as paying an extra $30-$70 goes, that’s more of a matter of preference. The lighting is superior to most CPU coolers, which definitely makes it unique on the market.
- Best lighting aesthetics
- Best lighting customization
- Impressive temperature control
- Impressive overclocking potential
- Most expensive cooler on our list
Noctua NH-D15 Premium CPU Cooler with 2x 140mm Fans
Noctua is one of the better-known brands when it comes to high-performing CPU coolers. They’re known for their colorful, brown fans and big, bulky coolers. The Notcuta NH-D15 Premium CPU Cooler matches the same description and is possibly the best air cooler we know of.
The air cooler comes equipped with 2 NF-A15 fans. One of the fans sucks cool air in from the front end, while the other fan is used in-between the dual-style cooler towers.
The NH-D15 comes with its own Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste, which is arguably one of the top thermal pastes available.
Why Buy It: If you have the space, and map out your set up correctly, then you should definitely consider buying the Noctua NH-D15. It’s big, it’s bulky, but it is one of the most reliable, durable, and high-performing coolers available. It’s also one of the most popular coolers, and it’s also nice knowing you’ll be backed by a trusted industry leader in Noctua.
How Much it Costs: Noctua is probably the most underpriced CPU cooler on the market. At $89.95, this impressive heatsink offers just as much (if not more) than other coolers in the $120-$150 range. It’s extremely reliable, and the low price makes for an incredible deal. Yes, it’s bulky, and won’t work for everyone, but if you have the space, it’s an all-around great CPU, especially in 2019.
What We Think of it: The cooler is especially heavy, adding quite a bit of weight overall. One downside is the cooler is also very large, making it difficult to fit next to your RAM (especially after you attach both fans). If your RAM sticks are taller, then you can remove the front fan (though this would negatively impact performance). However, these downsides mean nothing compared to the performance and reliability offered by Noctua’s NH-D15. It’s probably the CPU AIR cooler with the best value.
- Operates very quietly
- Solid, durable performance
- Includes high-end NT-H1 thermal paste
- Best value for CPU cooler
- Bulky, hard to fit
- Aesthetics don’t match most themes
Be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4, BK022, 250W TDP
The be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is one of the best air coolers available, especially for the Intel Core i7 7700k / 8700k processors. To start off, its air cooling performance is incredible. Whether you’re overclocked or running on stock, it performs wonderfully.
The Dark Rock Pro 4 has an impressive build compared to most CPU coolers. Plus, if aesthetics is important to you, you’ll be happy to know it has one of the best looking designs on the market. While most air coolers can be quite noisy compared to liquid coolers, the Dark Rock 4 is different. It’s one of the quietest air coolers available on the market.
One bonus is that it also has support for nearly every CPU socket, making it probably the best CPU cooler for i7 7700k or 8700k as an air cooler.
Why Buy It: Overall, the be quiet! Dark Rock 4 air CPU cooler is one of the best air coolers available. Considering its impressive build, beautiful design, and support for nearly every CPU socket, it’s a great CPU cooler. It’s one of the best air coolers available, especially considering how quiet it is.
How Much it Costs: At $89.90, it’s a bargain (compared to CPU coolers in general). However, compared to typical air coolers, it’s on the expensive side. At this price, you could upgrade to a decent liquid cooler. But, liquid coolers do have added risk and maintenance than air coolers. So if you prefer a bit less risk and less maintenance, this is probably your best bet.
What We Think of it: Considering the build, it’s impressive. Yes, it’s an air cooler, which means more potential for noise, but it’s one of the quietest air coolers available. The one issue is that for the same price, you could get an entry-level liquid cooler. But, again, it all comes down to preference. If you’d rather do less maintenance (and less risk of a leak), then it’s one of the best options.
- Impressive build quality
- Beautifully designed
- Very quiet for an air cooler
- Supports almost all CPU sockets
- Expensive for an air cooler
Cooler Master MA410M MasterAir - Addressable Gaming Edition RGB CPU Air Cooler
The Cooler Master MA410M is a solid air cooler that’s easy on the budget. Considering the price, it’s one of the best-performing CPU coolers available. It’s a pretty small CPU cooler, so you won’t have to deal with any clearance problems that you might find when trying to fit an average-sized CPU next to a taller RAM.
One awesome feature of the MA410M is the thermal probe. It tells you the temperature through the RGB lighting to give you a reading that’s quite accurate.
Why Buy It: It’s a great air cooler that’s also budget-friendly. It’s versatile and can fit in almost any set up since it’s on the smaller end of CPU coolers. The feature that stands out the most is the thermal probe that gives you a visual temperature reading through your RGB lighting which is quite impressive (and accurate).
How Much it Costs: At $59.99, it’s the cheapest CPU on our top 7 list. If price is a major factor for you, then you’ll definitely want to go with this CPU cooler. The one major downside is the fact that it is on the louder side (which you’ll find with cheaper coolers), though it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker.
What We Think of it: Cooler Master recently made a comeback in the cooler market. Since then, they’ve been putting out really impressive air and liquid coolers. The Cooler master MA410M is one of their air cooler releases, and it’s definitely put them back on the radar.
- Great value for an air cooler
- Aesthetic RGB lighting
- Thermal probe
- Fans are loud
How To Choose The Best Cpu Cooler for i7 8700k / 7700k: Recommendations
The Intel Core i7 8700k and 7700k processor is a powerful processor. However, with great processing power, comes great heat. In order to make sure your processor doesn’t overheat, you’ll need to make sure you have a high-performing CPU cooler.
So how do you pick the right cooler? This question is best answered by determining whether you should get an air cooler or liquid cooler.
Liquid AIO Coolers - Pros & Cons
Liquid all-in-one coolers have become more popular over the years, since they provide an efficient, compact cooling solution for high-performing processors.
They’re made up of a few main parts: the radiator, pipes, cold plate, and fans. As the processor heats up, the liquid heats up as well. Then, the liquid flows through a pipe to the radiator.
Then, the liquid flows through the top of the radiator while the fans cool it. Next, the liquid flows back to the bottom of the radiator. When it reaches the pipe, it flows back down as cooled liquid.
- Usually outperform air coolers
- Quieter than air coolers
- More expensive
- Potential risk of leaking
Air Coolers - Pros & Cons
Air coolers are the original CPU cooler, and are still very popular considering how well they perform while being cheaper than liquid coolers. If you don’t care much or aesthetics and just want a good cooler that performs well and is easy on the budget, then an air cooler is your best bet.
- High value to performance ratio
- Easy to maintain
- Easy to set up
- Less risky (no potential leaks)
- Fans are loud
- Usually larger, harder to fit
- Not as efficient as liquid coolers