ReviewsCoolersBest CPU Coolers For Core i5-12600K

Best CPU Coolers For Core i5-12600K [All Tested In 2024]

After spending weeks on hands-on testing, we have narrowed it down to 6 best CPU coolers for Core i5-12600K.

Expert Verified By

The Core i5-12600K is no doubt a solid CPU. It packs more than enough performance to handle all sorts of 1080p and even 1440p gaming to this day. However, with a 125W TDP, the cooler can also generate quite a bit of heat, and that’s why it is necessary to pair it with the right cooler. To help you out, our team has tested a bunch of different coolers that are just perfect for the i5-12600K, and I have picked the top 6 of them to share with you.

Let’s take a comprehensive look at all the narrowed-down coolers for Core i5-12600K:

Cooler
Noctua NH-D15S
Noctua NH-U12S
Lian Li Galahad AIO 240 – White
MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB
NZXT Kraken X53
EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB
Looks
Noctua NH-D15S, Premium Dual-Tower CPU Cooler with NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan (Brown)
Noctua NH-U12S chromax.Black, 120mm Single-Tower CPU Cooler (Black)
Lian Li GA-240A Galahad AIO 240 RGB White CPU Liquid Cooler - GA240A.01 (with LGA 1700 Bracket) GA-240A WHITE
CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2, Close-Loop AIO CPU Liquid Cooler, Gen3 Dual Chamber Pump, 240mm Radiator, SickleFlow 120 PWM ARGB, AMD Ryzen AM5/AM4, Intel LGA1700/1200 (MLW-D24M-A18PC-R2)
NZXT Kraken X53 240mm - RL-KRX53-01 - AIO RGB CPU Liquid Cooler - Rotating Infinity Mirror Design - Improved Pump-Powered By CAM V4-RGB Connector-Aer P 120mm Radiator Fans (2 Included), Black, X Gen 3
EK AIO Elite 360mm D-RGB All-in-One CPU Liquid Cooler with EK-Vardar High-Performance PMW Fans, Water Cooling Computer Parts, 120mm Fan, Intel 115X/1200/2066, AMD AM4, AM5
Award
The Best CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Best Value CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Best White CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Best Budget CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Best 240mm CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Best 360mm CPU Cooler For i5-12600K
Fans
1 x 120mm
2 x 120 mm
2x 120 mm
2 x 120 mm
1 x 120 mm
6 x 120mm
Fans Speed
1500RPM
2000 RPM
2200 RPM
1800 RPM
1500 RPM
2200 RPM
Noise
24.6 dB(A)
21 to 36 dB(A)
21 to 36 dB(A)
8 – 27 dB(A)
22.4 dB(A)
21-36 dB(A)
RGB
Material
Aluminum (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating, Copper (base and heat-pipes)
Plastic (Cap),Copper (CPU block), aluminum R)
Black nickel (cap),Copper Cold plate (CPU block), aluminum (radiator)
Plastic (Cap),Copper plate (CPU block), Aluminum (Radiator)
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminum (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Black nickel (cap), Copper Cold plate (CPU block), aluminum (radiator)
Height
165mm
123 mm
120 mm
120 mm
158 mm
120 mm
Width
150mm
275 mm
395 mm
277 mm
125 mm
395 mm
Depth
135mm
30 mm
27 mm
27 mm
71 mm
27 mm
Cooler
Noctua NH-D15S
Looks
Noctua NH-D15S, Premium Dual-Tower CPU Cooler with NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan (Brown)
Award
The Best CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Fans
1 x 120mm
Fans Speed
1500RPM
Noise
24.6 dB(A)
RGB
Material
Aluminum (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating, Copper (base and heat-pipes)
Height
165mm
Width
150mm
Depth
135mm
Amazon
Cooler
Noctua NH-U12S
Looks
Noctua NH-U12S chromax.Black, 120mm Single-Tower CPU Cooler (Black)
Award
Best Value CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Fans
2 x 120 mm
Fans Speed
2000 RPM
Noise
21 to 36 dB(A)
RGB
Material
Plastic (Cap),Copper (CPU block), aluminum R)
Height
123 mm
Width
275 mm
Depth
30 mm
Amazon
Cooler
Lian Li Galahad AIO 240 – White
Looks
Lian Li GA-240A Galahad AIO 240 RGB White CPU Liquid Cooler - GA240A.01 (with LGA 1700 Bracket) GA-240A WHITE
Award
Best White CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Fans
2x 120 mm
Fans Speed
2200 RPM
Noise
21 to 36 dB(A)
RGB
Material
Black nickel (cap),Copper Cold plate (CPU block), aluminum (radiator)
Height
120 mm
Width
395 mm
Depth
27 mm
Amazon
Cooler
MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB
Looks
CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2, Close-Loop AIO CPU Liquid Cooler, Gen3 Dual Chamber Pump, 240mm Radiator, SickleFlow 120 PWM ARGB, AMD Ryzen AM5/AM4, Intel LGA1700/1200 (MLW-D24M-A18PC-R2)
Award
Best Budget CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Fans
2 x 120 mm
Fans Speed
1800 RPM
Noise
8 – 27 dB(A)
RGB
Material
Plastic (Cap),Copper plate (CPU block), Aluminum (Radiator)
Height
120 mm
Width
277 mm
Depth
27 mm
Amazon
Cooler
NZXT Kraken X53
Looks
NZXT Kraken X53 240mm - RL-KRX53-01 - AIO RGB CPU Liquid Cooler - Rotating Infinity Mirror Design - Improved Pump-Powered By CAM V4-RGB Connector-Aer P 120mm Radiator Fans (2 Included), Black, X Gen 3
Award
Best 240mm CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Fans
1 x 120 mm
Fans Speed
1500 RPM
Noise
22.4 dB(A)
RGB
Material
Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminum (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Height
158 mm
Width
125 mm
Depth
71 mm
Amazon
Cooler
EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB
Looks
EK AIO Elite 360mm D-RGB All-in-One CPU Liquid Cooler with EK-Vardar High-Performance PMW Fans, Water Cooling Computer Parts, 120mm Fan, Intel 115X/1200/2066, AMD AM4, AM5
Award
Best 360mm CPU Cooler For i5-12600K
Fans
6 x 120mm
Fans Speed
2200 RPM
Noise
21-36 dB(A)
RGB
Material
Black nickel (cap), Copper Cold plate (CPU block), aluminum (radiator)
Height
120 mm
Width
395 mm
Depth
27 mm
Amazon

You should also take a look at:

Best CPU Coolers For Core i5-12600K

Here are the top CPU coolers For i5-12600k: 

  • Best Value CPU Cooler For i5-12600K: Noctua NH-U12S
  • Best 240mm CPU Cooler For i5-12600K: NZXT Kraken X53
  • Best 360mm CPU Cooler For i5-12600K: EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB
  • Best CPU Cooler For i5-12600K: Noctua NH-D15S
  • Best White CPU Cooler For i5-12600K: Lian Li Galahad AIO 240 – White
  • Best Budget CPU Cooler for i5-12600K: MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB

Noctua NH-U12S

Best Value CPU Cooler For i5-12600K

Noctua NH-U12S - Value Cooler For I5-12600k
Noctua NH-U12S (Image by Tech4Gamers)

Fans: 1 x 120mm | Fans Speed1500RPM | TDP:140W | Noise: 22.4 dB(A) | Height:  158mm | Width: 125mm | Depth: 71mm | Weight: 755g | RGB Fans: No

Pros

  • Premium design
  • Fair OC capability
  • Silent

Cons

  • Unconventional aesthetics

Cooling Performance: Noctua NH-U12S stands out as a budget-friendly powerhouse in our cooler lineup, driven by its impressive Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm fan reaching 1500RPM. With a robust design featuring four copper pipes and nickel plating, it handles a TDP of 140W effortlessly per our testing, making it an ideal choice for Core i5 12600K users.

Build Quality: I can testify to the NH-U12S Noctua’s commitment to durability, featuring a substantial heatsink and well-soldered copper pipes. The nickel-plated finish adds a touch of sophistication and ensures long-lasting resilience. I also appreciate the thoughtful details like corner paddings contributing to its quiet and reliable operation.

Aesthetics: Noctua NH-U12S introduces a unique aesthetic with its signature brown color scheme, while the Chromax lineup we tested offers contemporary white and black variations. The bold design of the NF-F12 PWM fan, coupled with lightweight aluminum fins, adds visual flair and strikes a balance between aesthetics and efficient heat dissipation. 

Impressed by the quiet operation of this cooler, this is what our hardware expert, Wajih Hyder Chohan, has to comment on this cooler:

The fan remained barely audible even at full blast, with a low noise level of 28 dB, equivalent to a human whisper at 30 dB. Noise complaints are unlikely, ensuring a quiet computing experience.”

Buy It If

✅ Quiet Performance Is Priority: Opt for the Noctua NH-U12S if you seek a cooler, prioritizing a quiet computing experience with efficient thermal dissipation.

✅ You Are On A Budget: If you’re looking for a reliable, budget-friendly air cooler delivering strong performance for mid-range CPUs like the Core i5 12600K, the NH-U12S offers excellent value.

Don’t Buy It If

❌ You Have Different Aesthetic Preferences: If the default brown color scheme doesn’t align with your visual preferences, even with the option for white and black coolers, consider alternatives that match your build’s aesthetics.

❌ You Have Extreme Overclocking Needs: If you are planning extreme CPU overclocking requiring a higher TDP rating, the NH-U12S with a 140 W rating may have limitations.

What Makes It The Best Value CPU Cooler For The i5-12600K?

The Noctua NH-U12S earns its title as the Best Value CPU Cooler for the i5-12600K by balancing affordability and performance. Its efficient cooling design and a TDP rating of 140W ensure optimal temperature control for the mid-range processor, making it a practical choice for users conscious of both budget and functionality.

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

NZXT Kraken X53

Best 240mm CPU Cooler For i5-12600K

NZXT Kraken X53 - Best 240mm CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
NZXT Kraken X53

Fans: 2 x 120mm | Fans Speed2000RPM | TDP: N/A | Noise: 21 to 36 dB(A) | Height (Radiator):  123mm | Width (Radiator): 275mm | Depth (Radiator): 30mm | Pump: 800 – 2,800 ± 300RPM | Tubing: 400mm, Rubber + Nylon sleeve | RGB: Yes (Only on CPU block)

Pros

  • Good OC capability
  • Silent
  • Cool LCD

Cons

  • A little expensive

Cooling Performance: The Kraken X53 AIO cooler is a visual masterpiece endorsed by our PC hardware experts. It features a holo RGB circle on the CPU block and cap. Flexible Nylon sleeved rubber pipes ensure safe bending, while the matte black radiator with NZXT logo houses quiet Aer P 120mm fans for effective airflow. With its ability to handle up to 150W of TDP out of the box, I would say it is an excellent choice for Core i5 12600K users.

Build Quality: The Kraken X53 boasts precision engineering, which is evident in every detail. Well-protected rubber pipes, connected by oscillating pivots, ensure durability and prevent leaks. The matte black radiator, featuring the NZXT logo, houses Aer P 120mm fans for quiet yet efficient cooling.

Aesthetics: With its holo RGB circle and logo on the CPU block and cap, the Kraken X53 adds a touch of sophistication to any PC build. Being an RGB fan, I find its customizable RGB patterns captivating, allowing synchronization with other peripherals and creating a cohesive look. Flexible-sleeved rubber pipes also contribute to a clean setup, while the matte black radiator complements the overall aesthetic.

WARNING: Ensure your PC case has ample space for Kraken X53, as it may pose fitment challenges in compact setups.

Buy It If

✅ You Prioritize Aesthetics: If you prioritize a sleek and visually striking build, the NZXT Kraken X53 is an excellent choice. With careful design details, RGB customization, and an attractive CPU block, the NZXT Kraken X53 adds an elegant touch to your PC setup.

✅ You Want Integrated RGB Control: For users who appreciate synchronized RGB lighting across their peripherals, the Kraken X53 stands out. 

Don’t Buy It If

❌ You Have Budget Constraints: If you are on a tight budget and prioritize cost-effective cooling solutions, the NZXT Kraken X53, with its premium design and features, may not be the most budget-friendly option.

❌ You Have Extreme Overclocking Demands: If you plan on pushing your i5-12600K to its limits with extreme overclocking, the Kraken X53’s TDP handling up to 150 W may be a consideration.

What Makes It The Best 240mm CPU Cooler For i5-12600K?

The NZXT Kraken X53 earns its title as the best 240mm CPU cooler for the i5-12600K due to its meticulous design, user-friendly features, and impressive cooling capabilities. Boasting a visually appealing RGB-accented CPU block, it adds an elegant touch to your PC build. With a practical TDP handling of up to 150 W out of the box, it strikes a balance between aesthetics and high-performance cooling for the i5-12600K.

Performance: 9/10 Value: 7/10
Noise: 9/10 Design: 9/10

EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB

Best 360mm CPU Cooler for i5-12600K

EK AIO Elite 360 D-RGB - Best 360mm CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
EK AIO 360 D RGB (Image by Tech4Gamers)

Fans: 6 x 120mm (for push-pull) | Fans Speed2200RPM | TDP: 280W | Noise: 21 to 36 dB(A) | Height (Radiator):  120mm | Width (Radiator): 395mm | Depth (Radiator): 27mm | Pump: 1000–3300RPM | Tubing: 400mm, Ultra-Low Evaporation Rubber with Nylon Braided Sleeve | RGB: Yes

Pros

  • Comes with RGB and fan hub
  • High-speed pump
  • Elegant CPU block
  • 6x EK-Vardar S 120ER D-RGB fans

Cons

  • High price point

Cooling Performance: The EK AIO Elite 360 impresses with 6 RGB fans and a striking CPU block with D-RGB lights. Despite the size and performance, I found it ideal for silent builds in my testing. High-quality rubber piping ensures flexibility, and the included EK-Hub controller facilitates easy RPM management and syncing with other components through platforms like MSI Mystic Lights, Asus AuraSync, and Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0.

Build Quality: The EK AIO Elite 360 boasts quality construction, flexible rubber piping, and a visually striking Chrome Nickel CPU block featuring D-RGB lights. The EK-Hub controller, which includes seven addressable RGB LED headers and 4-pin PWM fan headers, ensures efficient organization and syncing with other components.

Aesthetics: EK AIO Elite 360 stands out in our lineup with a flashy CPU block and 6 RGB fans, offering an elegant aesthetic. The Chrome Nickel CPU block, adorned with D-RGB lights, adds sophistication. Customizable lighting modes and the EK-Hub controller provide flexibility for synchronization with other components, making it a visually appealing choice for i5-12600K builds.

Sajjad Hussain, our hardware review expert, has the following thoughts on this cooler:

“The tubing is remarkable, using EK’s “Ultra-Low Evaporation Rubber with Nylon Braided Sleeve.” It features a strong yet flexible criss-cross pattern and measures 400mm in length, making it easy to install at the front of most cases with the tubes entering at the radiator’s bottom.”

Buy It If

✅ You Want Premium Liquid Cooling: If you desire a top-tier liquid cooling experience without the complexity of a custom DIY setup, the EK AIO Elite 360 is an ideal choice.

✅ You Are An RGB Enthusiast: For users who appreciate vibrant RGB lighting, the EK AIO Elite 360 excels with its flashy CPU block, 6x RGB fans, and customizable D-RGB light modes. 

Don’t Buy It If

❌ You Have Budget Constraints: If you’re on a tight budget, the EK AIO Elite 360, with its premium components and extensive features, may be on the higher end of the price spectrum.

❌ You Have Compact Case: For users with compact PC cases, the 360mm radiator of the EK AIO Elite may pose challenges in terms of space. 

What Makes It The Best 360mm CPU Cooler For i5-12600K

The EK AIO Elite 360 stands out as the best 360mm CPU cooler for the i5-12600K, combining EK’s liquid cooling expertise with premium components. Boasting a dazzling design with a flashy CPU block and 6x RGB fans, it caters to enthusiasts seeking a vibrant aesthetic. The inclusion of the EK-Hub simplifies cable management and offers easy control over fan RPM. With compatibility with popular RGB control platforms, the EK AIO Elite 360 provides a complete liquid cooling experience.

Performance: 9/10 Value: 7/10
Noise: 10/10 Design: 9/10

Noctua NH-D15S

Best CPU Cooler For i5-12600K

Noctua NH-D15
Noctua NH-D15S

Fans: 1 x 120mm | Fans Speed1500RPM | TDP: 220W | Noise: 24.6 dB(A) | Height:  165mm | Width: 150mm | Depth: 135mm | RGB: No

Pros

  • Dual heatsink design
  • 6 heat pipes
  • Quiet
  • Can attach up to 3 fans
  • OC capability

Cons

  • Price

Cooling Performance: Noctua NH-D15S stands out for superior RAM and PCI-e clearance in its dual-tower heatsink design. Initially equipped with a single NF-A15 PWM premium fan, it can accommodate up to three fans in a push-pull configuration for efficient cooling. With a remarkable 220W TDP rating, it’s an excellent choice for Core i5 12600K, in my findings, offering both overclocking capability and thoughtful design.

Build Quality: Tailored for optimal clearance, the NH-D15S boasts a robust dual-tower heatsink design. The inclusion of an NF-A15 PWM premium fan, expandable to three, allows versatile cooling configurations. The split heatsink design ensures efficient heat dissipation, while the NF-A15 PWM fan guarantees airflow, acoustic performance, and minimal vibrations. 

Aesthetics: Noctua NH-D15S is known for its signature Noctua design, with a brown color scheme. If you are not satisfied with the default brown color, you can also opt for the Chromax lineup, which I personally prefer our brown one. Nevertheless, Noctua’s coolers are recognized for their premium build quality and distinctive color scheme, catering to varied aesthetic preferences.

After taking a closer look at the cooler, Wajih Hyder Chohan, our hardware review expert, was surprised by its performance. This is what he commented:

“The D15 performed impressively, maintaining low noise levels even under load. Noctua’s reputation and the D15’s top-notch cooling make it a great choice, especially for cases with space for large dual heatsinks.”

Buy It If

✅ You Need Superior Cooling Performance: With its dual heatsink design, 6 heat pipes, and the capability to attach up to 3 fans, it ensures efficient heat dissipation, making it an ideal choice for the demanding requirements of the i5-12600K.

✅ You Want Quiet Operation: If you value a quiet computing experience, the NH-D15S is a quiet performer with its premium NF-A15 PWM fan and vibration pads, contributing to a noise level as low as 24.6 dB(A).

✅ You Want Overclocking Capability: For users looking to push the limits of their i5-12600K through overclocking, the NH-D15S, with a substantial TDP rating of 220 W, provides headroom for such endeavors. 

Don’t Buy It If

❌ You Have Budget Constraints: If you are on a tight budget and prioritize a more cost-effective cooling solution, the Noctua NH-D15S might be on the higher end of the price range.

❌ You Have Space Limitations: For users with compact PC cases, the sizable dimensions of the NH-D15S may pose challenges.

❌ You Want RGB Lighting: If you prefer a CPU cooler with RGB lighting for aesthetic customization, the NH-D15S, lacking RGB elements, may not align with your visual preferences.

What Makes It The Best CPU Cooler for i5-12600K

The Noctua NH-D15S stands out as the best CPU cooler for the i5-12600K, offering exceptional cooling with its dual heatsink design, 6 heat pipes, and overclocking capability. Known for its quiet operation and efficient heat dissipation, it provides an optimal balance between performance and silence. While the higher price might deter budget-conscious users, its overall design and TDP rating of 220 W make it the best choice for users seeking top-notch cooling for the i5-12600K.

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

Lian Li Galahad AIO 240 – White

Best White CPU Cooler for i5-12600K

Best White CPU Cooler for i5-12600K
Lian Li Galahad AIO 240 – White 

Fans: 2 x 120mm | Fans Speed1900RPM | TDP:  N/A | Noise: 32 dB(A) | Height (Radiator):  123mm | Width (Radiator): 240mm | Depth (Radiator): 27mm | Pump: unknown RPM | Tubing: 400mm, Rubber with Nylon Braided Sleeve | RGB: Yes

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Great for white builds
  • Fully controllable RGB lights
  • Best thermal performance
  • OC capability

Cons

  • Little expensive

Cooling Performance: Equipped with two high static pressure fans reaching 1900RPM, powered by an industrial-grade motor lasting 40,000 hours, I find the Lian Li Galahad AIO 240 excelling in maintaining temperatures at stock clocks and handling overclocking scenarios.

Build Quality: The Galahad AIO 240 boasts robust construction with high static pressure fans and an industrial-grade motor. Even during peak usage, I found it very quiet. The addition of RGB patterns on both fans and the CPU block enhances its overall build quality and visual appeal, making it a standout AIO cooler.

Aesthetics: Besides its stellar performance, the Lian Li Galahad AIO 240 shines with a stunning white color scheme, making it an eye-catching centerpiece for white-themed rigs. The aesthetic finishing, along with various RGB patterns, further cements its position as the best white CPU cooler for the i5-12600K. 

PRO TIP: Choose a CPU cooler that aligns with your overall build aesthetics. Whether you prefer a classic design, a sleek white build, or vibrant RGB lighting, selecting a cooler that complements your visual preferences enhances the overall look of your PC.

Buy It If

✅ You Want Elegant White Aesthetics: With its elegant white design and RGB patterns on fans and CPU block, it adds a visually stunning touch to your PC setup, making it the best choice for those seeking a white CPU cooler for the i5-12600K.

✅ You Need Fully Controllable RGB Lights: For users who appreciate customizable RGB lighting, the Galahad AIO 240 offers fully controllable RGB lights on both the fans and CPU block. 

✅ You Require Excellent Thermal Performance: Capable of handling demanding processors like the i9-12900K, it ensures efficient cooling for the i5-12600K even under overclocked scenarios, making it an ideal choice for users seeking both performance and aesthetics.

Don’t Buy It If

❌ You Are On A Budget:  If you are on a tight budget, the Lian Li Galahad AIO 240 may be on the higher end of the price range.

What Makes It The Best White CPU Cooler for i5-12600K

The Lian Li Galahad AIO 240 White earns its title as the best white CPU cooler for the i5-12600K, offering a perfect blend of elegant aesthetics and top-tier performance. With fully controllable RGB lights, excellent thermal capabilities, and a stunning white color scheme, it stands out as the ideal choice for users aiming to achieve a visually striking, white-themed build while ensuring efficient cooling for their i5-12600K processor.

Performance: 9/10 Value: 7/10
Noise: 9/10 Design: 9/10

MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB

Best Budget CPU Cooler for i5-12600K

MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB CPU Liquid Cooler

Fans: 2 x 120mm | Fans Speed1800RPM | TDP: 200W | Noise: 8 – 27 dB(A) | Height (Radiator):  120mm | Width (Radiator): 277mm | Depth (Radiator): 27mm | Pump: unknown RPM | Tubing: 400mm, Rubber with Nylon Braided Sleeve | RGB: Yes

Pros

  • Classic design
  • Great for black builds
  • Fully addressable RGB lights
  • Good thermal performance
  • Cheaper

Cons

  • Gets noisy on peak load

Cooling Performance: Cooler Master Liquid ML240L V2 RGB stands out in our lineup for its enduring reliability and community-driven improvements. The V2 version excels in thermal performance, bringing style and illumination to the PC case with a classic-looking plastic CPU block. Enhanced leak-resistant pipes contribute to its performance. With a budget-friendly price and a TDP of 180W, I find it a very powerful yet affordable choice for i5-12600K users.

Build Quality: Cooler Master Liquid ML240L V2 RGB, a testament to reliability, features continuous improvements, and a classic appeal despite the entirely plastic CPU block. Enhanced pipes with improved leak resistance contribute to its overall build quality. The affordability, coupled with abundant attachments, makes me crown Cooler Master as one of the best value coolers for standard usage.

Aesthetics: The Cooler Master Liquid ML240L V2 RGB brings style and illumination to the PC case with its classic-looking plastic CPU block featuring the Cooler Master hexagon mark and RGB backlight. Enhanced pipes and RGB-illuminated fans at 1800RPM enhance its visual appeal. As the best budget CPU cooler for i5-12600K, it offers style and performance for budget-conscious gamers.

PRO TIP: Consider your budget constraints while aiming for the best performance within that range. Coolers like the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB offer a balance between affordability and performance, making them suitable for budget-conscious users.

Buy It If

✅ You Want Budget-Friendly Cooler: With a budget-friendly price tag, it provides good thermal performance and RGB lighting, making it an excellent choice for users on a tight budget.

✅ You Need Fully Addressable RGB Lights: For users who enjoy customizable RGB lighting, the ML240L V2 RGB offers fully addressable RGB lights on both the CPU block and fans despite being a budget cooler.

✅ You Have Classic Black Build: Its classic design, along with the RGB backlit hexagon mark on the CPU block, makes it suitable for users aiming for a sleek and stylish appearance.

Don’t Buy It If

❌ You Are Noise Sensitive: If you are particularly sensitive to noise and prioritize a quieter PC environment, note that the ML240L V2 RGB may become noisy under peak loads. 

❌ You Want Premium Aesthetics: For users looking for premium aesthetics and materials in their CPU cooler, the ML240L V2 RGB, with its plastic CPU block, may not meet those expectations.

❌ You Need High-Performance Overclocking: If you plan on pushing your i5-12600K to its limits with extreme overclocking, you might want to explore coolers with higher TDP ratings to ensure optimal performance under heavy overclocked conditions.

What Makes It The Best Budget CPU Cooler for i5-12600K

The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB earns its title as the best budget CPU cooler for the i5-12600K, offering a combination of affordability, good thermal performance, and customizable RGB lighting. With improvements in the V2 version and a classic design, it caters to users on a budget who seek a reliable cooling solution without compromising on style and illumination within their PC case.

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

Our Tested Benchmarks

We tested a bunch of different CPUs to bring you the top picks for i5-12600K, here are our benchmarks:

How We Choose The Best CPU Cooler For i5-12600K?

Us or anyone, while picking the best CPU cooler for i5-12600K, should look out for the following things:

  • Cooler Brand: Choosing a reputable CPU cooler brand is crucial for reliability and efficient temperature management, especially for a power-hungry processor like the i5-12600K with a high TDP. Our curated list ensures products from trusted brands, attested by reviewers and backed by solid benchmarks.
  • Thermal Performance and TDP Compatibility: Our recommendations prioritize efficient thermal management, which is crucial for the i5-12600K’s elevated TDP. The selected coolers excel in dissipating heat during stock operations and offer ample headroom for overclocking scenarios, ensuring both optimal performance and compatibility with the processor’s thermal demands.
  • Socket Compatibility: Since the i5-12600K doesn’t come with a stock cooler, selecting an aftermarket cooler requires consideration of LGA 1700 socket compatibility. We’ve compiled coolers compatible with the i5-12600K, ensuring a hassle-free upgrade process.
  • Space Constraints: Balancing cooler size with other components like RAM, GPU, and PCIe SSD is vital. Bulky air coolers may impact space, and AIO radiators might pose installation challenges. Our recommendations consider both air and AIO coolers, optimizing space without compromising performance.
  • Cost Consideration: While the CPU cooler may seem less critical in the overall budget, allocating resources wisely ensures longevity for your CPU. We provide options ranging from budget air coolers to more elaborate AIO setups, catering to diverse budgets without compromising on quality.
  • RGB Sync Support: Enhancing the visual appeal, coolers with RGB lights can sync with other components for a cohesive look. Compatibility with popular RGB sync technologies like AuraSync, Mystic Lights, or RGB Fusion is considered, adding a stylish touch to your overall build.

Frequently Asked Questions

What CPU Cooler Is Best For I5-12600k

The Noctua NH-D15S is the best CPU cooler so far for Intel Core i5 12600K because of its TDP rating and a greater headroom for overclocking.

What Type of CPU Cooler Should I Use For I5-12600k

Any CPU cooler with a TDP rating of a minimum of 125 W will work fine with stock clocks. If you are planning to overclock, then go for an AIO cooler.

Does I5-12600k Overheat?

Alder Lake is engineered to be more power-hungry because of the cores & threads count with other fresh attributes. With a TDP of 125 W, the Core i5 12600K runs hot, as was the case with its predecessor with a similar TDP.

Are AIO coolers better than Air Coolers?

Air coolers are much better than AIO coolers in price-to-performance ratio, but AIO coolers require less visible room than the bulkier air coolers and also run much cooler.

Can I fit my old CPU cooler over the LGA 1700 socket processor?

Yes, you can, but with the help of the LGA 1700 support bracket, which you need to buy separately, or you can have it free in the new batch of most CPU coolers.

Recent Updates


  • February 22, 2024: Added thermal benchmarks from our in-house tested individual cooler reviews.
  • February 9, 2024: A few text and grammar changes to improve readability. No products were changed.

 
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