ReviewsCoolersBest Budget CPU Coolers In 2024

Best Budget CPU Coolers In 2024 [Hands-On-Tested]

I have tested a bunch of different coolers to round up my top budget cooler recommendations that offer the most value for money without compromising on performance.

Anyone not interested in spending an outrageous amount on a cooler will end up searching for a budget CPU cooler to meet their requirements. Thankfully, there’s been an influx in several budget coolers as of late. Well, my team and I have tested a bunch of different AIOs and air coolers to help you get the Best Budget CPU Coolers

Top Picks And Comparison Between Them

Here are all our picks, showcasing different audience focus, types, and comparisons:

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Interested in other budget components? Check out: 

Best Budget CPU Coolers

Following are our picks for the Best Budget CPU Coolers:

  1. Best Budget Air Cooler: DeepCool AK620
  2. Best Budget White Air Cooler: DeepCool AK400 White
  3. Best Budget 240mm AIO Cooler: Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB
  4. Best Budget 360mm AIO Liquid Cooler: Enermax Aquafusion ADV 360 A-RGB AIO

DeepCool AK620

Best Budget Air Cooler

DeepCool AK620 - Best Budget Air Cooler
DeepCool AK620

Cooler Type: Dual Tower Air Cooler | Dimensions (LxWxH): 129×138×160 mm | Fans: 2 x 120mm | Fan Speed: 1850 RPM | Noise Level: 28 dB(A) | Socket SupportIntel: LGA2066, 2011-v3, 2011, 1700, 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, AMD: AM4, AM5RGB: No

Pros

  • Very Quiet
  • Easy to install
  • Remarkable performance
  • Well-built

Cons

  • Limited Case Compatibility

Cooling Performance: The DeepCool AK620 makes use of two of DeepCool’s FK120 fans along with six copper heat pipes. The FK120 fans are capable of reaching speeds of 1850 RPM while managing a maximum airflow of 68.9 CFM. In my testing, the cooler maintained a temperature of 54.7°C with the Core i7-10700K running at 5 GHz.

Build Quality: During my review, the DeepCool AK620’s overall assembly showed no flaws. The heatsink uses 50 fins and both of the towers have a plastic cover on top. Furthermore, the fans utilize fluid dynamic bearings and also come with rubber pads on all four of their corners. 

Aesthetics: It cannot be denied that the DeepCool AK620 comes with a relatively straightforward dual-tower design. DeepCool has added a small cutout near the bottom of the fin stacks to improve RAM clearance. On the other hand, the fans are completely enveloped in a black coating, and RGB is completely absent on the cooler. 

The DeepCool AK620’s aesthetics stood out to me during my review. Here’s what I said about the cooler:

“The DeepCool AK620 is a sleek and visually appealing 120mm air cooler, part of the DeepCool ecosystem, with a dual-tower design and high-quality build. While it lacks RGB features, it’s excellent for neutral builds and offers compatibility with most mid-tower chassis.”

Buy It If:

Take a look at the DeepCool AK620 from my tests:

✅You want a high-performance cooler: During my tests, the DeepCool AK620 provided excellent cooling performance, especially for its price.

You want a well-built air cooler: The DeepCool AK620’s construction showed no signs of compromise. 

Don’t Buy It If:

You want better compatibility: Both RAM clearance and PC case compatibility are slightly limited with the DeepCool AK620, especially if you are building a compact PC.

What Makes It The Best Budget Air Cooler?

The DeepCool AK620 provides easy installation, solid build quality, and reasonable performance, all at a low price, which is why I have named it the Best Budget Air Cooler.

Performance: 8/10 Value: 9/10
Features: 8/10 Design: 8/10

DeepCool AK400 White

Best Budget White Air Cooler

Deepcool AK400 - Best Budget White Cooler
Deepcool AK400

Cooler Type: Single Tower Air Cooler | Dimensions (LxWxH): 126×97×156 mm | Fans: 1 x 120mm | Fan Speed: 1850 RPM | Noise Level: 28 dB(A) | Socket SupportIntel: LGA1700, 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, AMD: AM4, AM5 | RGB: No

Pros

  • Low Price
  • Simple Installation
  • Sufficient Clearance

Cons

  • 2 Year Warranty
  • No RGB

Cooling Performance: The DeepCool AK400 uses a single 120mm fan with a maximum RPM of 1850 and a CFM rating of 66.47. In our testing, the cooler maintained a steady temperature of 68°C, which then grew to 69°C when operating at 90% fan speed. Additionally, the fan is completely silent even when operating at high speed.

Build Quality: I was impressed by the build quality the DeepCool AK400 White offers at its price range. It provides excellent compatibility thanks to its smaller size, and installation only requires 10 components. DeepCool has added a dense fin stack with 54 fins in total, and the fins are impressively sturdy with minimal flex.

Aesthetics: Despite a relatively simple design, the AK400 White comes with a clean white heatsink with a carefully considered layout. The top plate of the AK400 White features a checkerboard pattern with the DeepCool logo on the bottom right. As the design is kept simple, it does not include any ARGB lighting; the only touch of color comes from the logo.

I was amazed by the performance offered by the DeepCool AK400 White in its price tag. Here’s what I had to say about the cooler during my initial review:

“The DeepCool AK400 White is an excellent cooler in its budget segment offering a good balance between the thermal performance and the noise output.”

Buy It If:

Here is the AK400 in all its glory:

You have an entry-level CPU: The DeepCool AK400 White makes for the perfect cooler for entry-level processors thanks to its extremely affordable price tag.

You want a compact air cooler: The GPU clearance is excellent, even on Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX motherboards.

You are building a white PC: The DeepCool AK400 White is the ideal pick for anyone building a white PC.

Don’t Buy It If:

RGB is a must for your build: The Cooler’s lack of ARGB lighting will likely cause a few to pass on the AK400 White.

You want overclocking potential: Sadly, the DeepCool AK400 White is not designed to sustain high thermal outputs, which means overclocking will not be possible with this cooler.

What Makes It The Best Budget White Cooler?

Overall, DeepCool AK400 White is a good cooler in terms of quality and budget, dwelling well with our category of Best Budget White Air Cooler. People who prefer pocket-friendly cooling systems with decent performance over aesthetically designed high-end systems should add this cooling system to their bucket list.

Performance: 7/10 Value: 10/10
Features: 7/10 Design: 8/10

Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB

Best Budget 240mm AIO Cooler

Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB - Best Budget 240mm AIO Cooler
Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB

Cooler Type: 240mm AIO Liquid Cooler | Radiator Dimensions (LxWxH): 277 x 120  x 38 mm | Fans: 2 x 120mm | Fan Speed: 2000 RPM | Noise Level: – | Socket SupportIntel: LGA1851, 1700, AMD: AM4, AM5 | RGB: Yes

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Fantastic performance
  • Low noise levels
  • Robust build quality
  • 6-year warranty

Cons

  • Limited Intel Compatibility
  • Some motherboards are incompatible

Cooling Performance: The Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB comes packed with two 120mm P12 fans, capable of reaching speeds of 1800 RPM. The VRM cooler has also been increased in size, now covering a larger part of the block for improved cooling over a larger area. It can also reach a maximum speed of 2500 RPM.

Build Quality: The Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB’s build quality is top-notch, offering fans tuned for high static pressure along with an in-house pump design that leaves no stone unturned. You get a thick 38mm radiator with a total of 15 fins as well as rotatable tubes made out of more flexible material, making installation easier.

Aesthetics: I’m glad Arctic was designed to move away from the bulky design of the previous cooler’s pump, now shifting to a circular shape that fits in better in most PC builds. On the other hand, RGB is present on the pump head as well as the P12 fans, adding a nice touch to the overall aesthetic.

WARNING: Make sure to ensure compatibility with your motherboard since some motherboards are not compatible with the Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB.

Buy It If:

Here are a few shots of the Liquid Freezer III 240 from our in-house test bench:

You want the best possible value: The Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB provides incredible performance for its price.

✅You want a silent 240mm AIO: Both the pump and the fans make little noise, which is impressive considering the performance they manage to provide.

Don’t Buy It If:

You want better compatibility with Intel sockets: Compatibility with Intel sockets other than the LGA 1700 is very limited at the moment, which is disappointing.

You want the best motherboard compatibility: The larger pump head design means some motherboards won’t be compatible with the Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB.

What Makes It The Best 240mm AIO Liquid Cooler

The Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 continues down the path of the previous coolers from the Arctic, showcasing unmatched price-to-performance, which is why I have crowned it the Best 240mm AIO Liquid Cooler.

Performance: 9/10 Value: 9/10
Features: 9/10 Design: 9/10

Enermax Aquafusion ADV 360 A-RGB AIO

Best Budget 360mm AIO Liquid Cooler

Enermax Aquafusion ADV 360 A-RGB AIO -Best Budget 360mm AIO Liquid Cooler
Enermax Aquafusion ADV 360 A-RGB AIO

Cooler Type: 360mm AIO Liquid Cooler | Radiator Dimensions (LxWxH): 394 x 120 x 27 mm | Fans: 3 x 120mm | Fan Speed: 2000 RPM | Noise Level: 32.6 dBA | Socket Support:Intel: LGA 1700, 1200, 115x, 2066, 2011, 2011-3, 1366 AMD: AM5, AM4, AM3+, FM2+, FM1 | RGB: Yes

Pros

  • High-Quality cooling performance
  • 380W TDP Rating
  • 5-years warranty

Cons

  • Complex RGB wiring
  • Loud Fan noise

Cooling Performance: In our tests, the AQUAFUSION ADV 360 maintained its excellent AIO cooling performance up to 60% PWM cycle while operating at 40% of its rated speed. As for its specifications, the pump can rotate at a maximum speed of 3200 RPM and uses ceramic bearings. while the fans also reach a maximum speed of 2000 RPM. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the feature set offered by the Enermax Aquafusion ADV 360 despite not costing a premium. Here’s what I stated during my review:

“Enermax is providing a comprehensive performance-packed and feature-rich cooling solution at pocket-friendly pricing with a generous 5-year warranty.”

Build Quality: The AQUAFUSION ADV 360 comes with a well-built radiator that has an FPI count of 20. Additionally, the pump is designed on the Enermax Patent dual chamber mechanism, which allows it to work steadily. The water hose also ends at two adjustable joints on the pump block, providing users with flexibility when positioning the radiator

Aesthetics: While Enermax is using the same design as previous models, they have added multiple new elements to the cooler, including a black heat exchanger, a glassy logo, and two large notches on each side. The cooler’s pump block also has an ARGB ring and a mirror featuring the Enermax logo on its lid.

PRO TIP: Tune fan curves to get a better noise-to-performance ratio with the Aquafusion ADV 360.

Buy It If:

We captured  some shots of the Enermax Aquafusion ADV 360 A-RGB during our review:

You want excellent cooling: The cooler’s dual chamber design, central coolant inlet, and shunt channel technology all contribute to quicker and longer-lasting heat transmission.

You want a budget-friendly 360mm cooler: This cooling system offers flexibility, longevity, and efficiency, making it a value-for-money product and a better choice than others.

Don’t Buy It If:

You want a silent cooler: The slightly higher noise level of the fans at high speed can be a dealbreaker for some.

You want an uncluttered experience: The RGB wiring is quite unorganized and is very difficult to hide, which is very unusual in the case of an RGB cable system.

What Makes It The Best Budget 360mm AIO Liquid Cooler

If you’re looking for the Best Budget 360mm AIO Liquid Cooler, look no further, as Enermax Aquafusion ADV 360 A-RGB AIO stands unchallenged on the spot.

Performance: 10/10 Value: 9/10
Features: 8/10 Design: 9.5/10

Thermal Benchmarks

To help you figure out exactly which budget CPU cooler performs up to your standards, we tested all of them for separate reviews. Here are our benchmarks.

Important CPU Cooler Key Terms

I’ve added some important CPU key terms you should keep in mind be when reading my guide.

  1. AIO: All-in-one liquid coolers consist of a pump unit, radiator, and fans, all in a single package.
  2. Heatsink: A cooler’s heatsink is a component comprising numerous fins that are used to facilitate heat dissipation.
  3. Heat pipes: Heat pipes are used to transfer heat from one point on the cooler to another. They are usually connected to the heatsink and baseplate.
  4. Thermal Paste: Thermal paste is a conductive material designed to narrow the gap between the baseplate of the cooler and the CPU to allow for better transfer of heat between the two bodies.
  5. Noise Level: The amount of noise generated by the cooler is referred to as the noise level.
  6. Socket Compatibility: The CPU Socket the coolers are compatible with is known as socket compatibility. The list of compatible sockets is usually mentioned on the manufacturer’s website.
  7. Overclocking: Overclocking is the act of increasing a processor’s clock speed past the original speed designated by the CPU manufacturer. It is a great way of increasing the processor’s performance.
  8. FPI: As suggested by the name, fins per inch refers to the amount of fins within one inch of a radiator.

How We Selected The Best Budget CPU Coolers

For your convenience, we’ve mentioned and explained a couple of crucial points to brood over while attempting to complete your quest for handpicking the Budget CPU cooler in accordance with your unique workflows.

  • Compatibility: It’s essential to cross-match your desired Budget cooler’s support for the components you’re planning to pair it with. For your convenience, I have already highlighted all the CPU sockets that are supported by each of the Budget CPU Coolers.
  • Thermal performance: We are focused on judging the cooler’s airflow and heat dissipation ability. The mechanical design that helps heat dissipation and prolongs the cooler’s life is also brought into the discussion.
  • TDP Configurations: The lower the amount of TDP required, the smaller the cooler. This relationship works across all coolers. In fact, higher TDP usually means more coverage area, speed, and fans, as more TDP generates more heat.
  • Noise: As the CPU ramps up its temperatures under load, its fan automatically gains more speed when controlled by the motherboard to cool the system down, producing noise that can be very off-putting. So the noise that a cooler produces is a very important factor when choosing the right product.
  • Build Quality and Aesthetics: Aesthetics like RGB LEDs, mechanical features like the build material that helps in heat dissipation, and apparent build quality matter a lot if you are buying one of these in person. My list includes well-built coolers, with each cooler offering varied visuals.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What to look for in a low-budget CPU cooler?

You should look for a well-rounded CPU cooler that gets the job done. Do not prioritize fancy build quality and RGB set-ups. Target great airflow and good mechanical design, and if possible, try to go with a fan that does not make much noise.

Are budget CPU coolers worth it?

Yes, Anything that gets your work done and is easy on your wallet is a great CPU cooler. Buyers should focus on performance and compatibility first. Then, the performance needs to be compared to other CPU coolers at a similar price point. If a CPU cooler performs the best in its category and is within your budget, that is worth it.

Which is the best budget 360mm CPU cooler?

The Enermax Aquafusion ADV 360 A-RGB AIO is the best budget 360mm CPU cooler. The cooler is rated for 380W TDP and has great performance.

Recent Updates


  • March 5, 2024: Along with a few text changes, I have also replaced the DeepCool GAMMAXX GT with the DeepCool AK620 due to its superior thermal performance. Similarly, I also swapped the Arctic Liquid Freezer III 240 A-RGB with the SilverStone Technology VIDA 240 Slim, thanks to its better design and lower price.
  • February 23, 2024: Added thermal benchmarks from our in-house tested individual cooler reviews.
  • August 18, 2023: Few text changes to improve readability. No products were changed.
  • June 26, 2023: Few text changes to improve readability. No products were changed.

 

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