Best CPU Coolers For i7 6700k – 2020 Review

Being an avid computer user is no easy feat. Whether you are a die-hard gamer or an employee using a computer for official work, i7 6700k is a great system to get. But overclocking even the best PC results in overheating. With the CPU heating up, your PC starts stalling or emits strange noises. The only way to stop it from happening is to replace your built-in stock CPU cooler with one that meets the demands of your usage. 

Now that you have invested in an i7 6700k, why not upgrade its CPU cooler to a better one? Doing so will not only improve its performance but will also decrease its noise output. If you know what you need, good for you. But if you don’t have an idea what might work for you, worry not. We have compiled a list of the best CPU coolers for i7 6700k. You can go through the guide and select a CPU Cooler that you think will meet your requirements better. 

Comparison Chart of the Best CPU Coolers For i7 6700k

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Noctua NH-D15

  • Equipped with one of the most powerful fans
  • It has a monstrous dual tower heat sink
  • Comes with one of the best mounting kits
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be quiet! Dark Rock 4, BK021, 200W TDP

  • Features a 200W cooling power
  • Has a high-quality built and design
  • Topped with an anodized, brush-aluminum plate
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Cooler Master MasterAir G100M

  • Best for the money
  • It is a low profile CPU cooler
  • Has a cool RGB ring and fan
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CORSAIR HYDRO Series H115i PRO

  • Best Liquid CPU Cooler For i7 6700k
  • It is an All In One RGB liquid CPU cooler
  • Features two magnetic levitation fans
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Noctua NH-U14S

  • Top model of Noctua’s classic U-series single tower CPU coolers
  • It changed the game of CPU Coolers with its noiseless operation
  • Editor’s pick
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What Does a CPU Cooler Do

We all know that the CPU is the brain of any computer device. It is the hub where millions of processes like calculations, documentation, and storage take place. All these processes produce heat that can be harmful to the delicate circuits. Each computer device is produced with a preset CPU clock speed. In simple words, it is the speed at which your CPU processes information. If you overload it with work or keep it running for longer periods of time without letting it cool, the heat produced due to overclocking starts throttling its performance. 

Occasional overclocking does not hurt, but doing it regularly may overheat your system. Overheating sometimes results in complete system failure. To prevent this from happening, CPU Coolers are installed inside the processing unit. 

As the name itself says, a CPU cooler is a device designed to keep your CPU from overheating. It dissipates all the heat generated to maintain a favorable temperature inside the processor. They are an indispensable component without which a system cannot function properly. We have listed some advantages of a CPU Cooler below. 

Keep the CPUs Temperature Under Control

All CPUs have a factory-installed cooling unit inside them, but hardly any of them can withstand major overclocking. That’s where CPU coolers come handy. If you are a frequent overclocker, you should consider installing a CPU cooler in your CPU to inhibit the threat all the excess heat poses to your processor. 

be quiet! Dark Rock 4, BK021, 200W TDP

Ensure Noiseless Operation

Overclocking a CPU results in the emission of strange noises. A CPU cooler, with its cooling capacity, keeps all these noises at bay. It ensures a quiet and noiseless working environment for you to work peacefully. 

Extend the Life of Your System

CPU coolers are responsible for extending the lifetime of your device. They dissipate the heat and provide a safe operating temperature for all the components. They protect it from the unnecessary strain that reduces the life of your system.

Improve Overall Performance

CPU coolers greatly improve the overall performance of your system. Overclocking a computer device tends to heat up the internal temperature, which in turn throttles it. This causes the system to delay information processing, thus decreasing the performance. A CPU cooler plays an important role by maintaining the internal temperature within favorable working limits to improve the overall performance of the system.

Brings System Stability

An overclocked processor is bound to be unstable. Factory-installed coolers work fine when your device runs at stock timings. But they fail once you start overclocking. All the strained working under a heated environment makes it very unstable. Installing a proper cooling device inside your processor not only cools it down, but it also helps the system regain its stability. 

What to Look For When Buying a CPU Cooler i7 6700k

Buying a CPU cooler can be a daunting task, especially if you are a newbie in this field. Having some prior knowledge about the product you are interested in is always good. It helps you narrow down potential products so you can decide which one will suit your needs better. The same rule applies to CPU coolers. There are a number of things you should look for in a CPU cooler for your i7 6700k.

Budget

Consider products that come within your budget range. It should always be your number one priority, not just for a CPU cooler for your i7 6700k but for everything else too. There is a huge variety of options available in the market, each directed to address the different needs of different people. You should look for a product that not only satisfies your needs but also comes at a cost that does not leave you broke. 

Size

CPU coolers come in a variety of sizes. Since you are looking to replace the stock cooler of your i7 6700k, you should look for a product that comes close in proportions. Considering the dimensions of the product is important because you have to install it inside your CPU. If you get a cooler that is larger than the recommended size, it might not fit inside, may bump with other components putting them at risk, or cause the outer casing to bulge or not close properly.

Cooler Master MasterAir G100M

Noise Level

CPU coolers use small fans to dissipate heat away from the system. These fans make noise when in use. The amount of noise produced varies from cooler to cooler. Choose a product whose noise level is tolerable for you. There are products that claim a noiseless operation. You can look into them as well.

Number of Fans

CPU coolers have built-in fans to blow away the heat from the system. The number of fans varies from product to product. Some also have a feature of adding more optional fans. More fans generally mean more effective function but more noise too. Look for a product whose number of fans is suitable for your overclocking requirements. If noise is an issue, look for a cooler that balances cooling and noise generation.

Appearance

A lot of CPU coolers these days come with flashy lights or RGB fans to add to the appearance of your system. Installing one of them will surely customize the look of your i7 6700k. However, it can get irritating after a while. So if you want to get one of those CPU coolers, consider getting one whose lights can be disabled via a controller without shutting down the entire system. 

Quick Take - Best CPU Coolers For i7 6700k

Just looking for the three best CPU coolers for i7 6700k? Here they are:

  1. Noctua NH-D15
  2. be quiet! Dark Rock 4, BK021, 200W TDP
  3. Cooler Master MasterAir G100M

Review of the Best CPU Coolers For i7 6700k

When you head out to buy a CPU cooler for your i7 6700k, you will find a diverse range of products available. All of these products are directed to address the unique needs of their consumers. 

How do you choose one that will serve you best? Simple. We have listed some of the best coolers below to facilitate you in your quest for the best CPU Cooler For your i7 6700k. You can look through these to select one that better suits your requirements and becomes the partner in your crime of overclocking. 

Best Overall:
Noctua NH-D15

Noctua NH-D15, Premium CPU Cooler with 2X NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fans (Brown)

PROS

  • Designed with a dual-tower heat sink
  • Highly compatible with high-end RAMs
  • Acclaimed to have the quietest operation 
  • Uses a pair of high-quality fans to dissipate heat 
  • Comes with a 6-year manufacturer warranty coverage for the entire package

CONS

  • It is a heavy unit
  • Pushpins require some effort to engage
  • Larger fan design limits installation options

What Recent Buyers Report

People who recently bought this unit are generally very satisfied with is performance. Some buyers have complained about their units missing some parts. Other than that, recent buyers are impressed with its cooling capacity and overall performance and recommend others to buy it. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit stands out as the best overall CPU cooler for i7 6700k. Manufactured by the heat sink game-changer Noctua, there is no doubt about its quality. The dual-tower heat sink, combined with a larger fan, creates the most effective heat-dissipating system you could ask for. It is highly compatible with even the most high-end RAMs. These features certainly set it apart from all the competition.

Who Will Use This Most

Noctua NH-D15 is the best CPU cooler for i7 6700k. So people who own it will definitely benefit from installing it in their systems. Fanatic gamers and people who are habitual overclockers will also find this a very useful unit. People who have noise tolerance issues will also find its quiet operation a reason to consider using it.

Bottom Line

This product has certainly won hearts with its high-quality make and performance. To top it all, it comes with a 6-year manufacturer warranty to prove that it is certainly the best Noctua product. There is no doubt about its high-quality components. A large heat sink combined with larger fan design certainly contributes to its advanced cooling capacity. You should seriously consider this as the top contender for your choice of CPU cooler.

be quiet! Dark Rock 4, BK021, 200W TDP, CPU Cooler

PROS

  • It can be mounted from the top
  • Compatible with current CPU sockets
  • Has an extreme cooling performance 
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty coverage 
  • Operates on a nearly inaudible sound level 
  • Comes with an easy-to-install Black Installation Kit 

CONS

  • It is a costly unit
  • A bit complicated to install
  • Not as quiet as other coolers 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have reported it to be an excellent CPU cooling unit. It has certainly managed to impress people with its sleek and stylish appearance. Some people are in awe with how it handles noiseless operation even on max speeds. Although a bit pricy, people are in agreement that the quality and performance of this unit justify its high price. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Be quiet! Dark Rock 4 is the runner-up on our list. It stands out because of its 200W cooling capacity. The high-frequency fans ensure even dissipation of system generated heat. It has the lowest sound levels, even at maximum speeds. It is compatible with most of the current CPU sockets, making it one of the best cooling units. 

Who Will Use This Most

Overclockers and enthusiast gamers will surely use this product the most. Also, people who are on the lookout to get the best looking and high performing hardware for their custom-built PC system will put it to great use. People who admire noiseless equipment will also benefit from installing this unit inside their processors. 

Bottom Line

This unit is one of the best CPU coolers. A high-quality device with a smart appearance, this product is bound to captivate your attention. It does come at a premium price. But once you buy it, it will make sure that you have the quietest and smoothest experience every time you turn on you i7 6700k.

Cooler Master MasterAir G100M RGB Top Down CPU Air Cooler w/ Low Profile, Mini ITX , Copper Heat Column Base, Aluminum Fins,  92mm RGB Ring Fan, Intel LGA1151, AMD AM4/Ryzen

PROS

  • Has a stylish UFO-shaped design
  • Illuminated by an RGB ring and fan
  • Features a low profile, top-down design
  • Colors and effects can be controlled with the provided controller
  • Utilizes Cool Master heat column technology for exceptional heat transfer

CONS

  • LEDs have a short lifespan
  • Installation instructions are lacking
  • Mounting leaves a lot to be desired 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have mixed reviews about this cooling unit. It is reported to be good performance-wise, but people have faced difficulties with its installation. The RGB ring and fan have certainly impressed buyers. The low profile design has also managed to gain public attention. It is declared as a great product for its price. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out to us for two reasons. These include the RGB light and fan. It certainly adds a certain cool factor to your system with its customizable colors and effects. The second reason is the low profile design that makes it viable for the smallest chassis. 

Who Will Use This Most

Because of high compatibility, people who have i7 6700k will greatly benefit from installing this cooling unit in their system. People who have smaller systems will also use this the most. Plus, those who want to add a cool touch to their system will also put this product to advantageous usage. 

Bottom Line

This is the best CPU cooler for its money. With a stylish UFO-themed design and an RGB ring and fan, this is sure to mesmerize you with its appearance. Performance-wise, it does what it promises and dissipates the heat away from your system to ensure a smooth and effective operation.

Best Liquid CPU Cooler for i7 6700k:
CORSAIR HYDRO Series H115i PRO

Corsair Hydro Series H115i PRO RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler, 280mm Radiator, Dual 140mm ML Series PWM Fans, Advanced RGB Lighting and Fan Software Control, Intel 115x/2066 and AMD AM4 compatible

PROS

  • Installing it is an easy task
  • Excellent RGB lighting function
  • Bigger, bolder and brighter appearance
  • Compatible with nearly all recent CPU sockets 
  • The fans and pumps can be switched to operate on different modes
  • Has a built-in Zero RPM Mode which stops the fans completely at low temperature

CONS

  • It is an expensive unit 
  • Has a lousy customer care service 
  • Doesn’t tighten properly on the CPU

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are impressed with the performance of this cooling unit. The RGB lighting is the most loved aspect of this product. People have reported as one of the best liquid coolers with its noiseless operation and effective cooling capacity. People have reported instances of non-cooperation from its customer service. Otherwise, it is regarded as a highly rated unit in terms of efficiency.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This cooling unit stands out to us because of its customizable operation modes. You can choose between a Quiet, balanced, and Zero RPM mode to switch between low noise and moderate operation. On Zero RPM mode, you can completely turn off the fans when the temperature drops. It is priced high, but considering its awesome features, it is a great liquid cooling unit you should consider getting for yourself. 

Who Will Use This Most

People who live in colder regions will find this multiple mode operating product of great usage. Those who have to keep their systems on for longer periods of time will also benefit from installing this CPU cooler. People who are fond of fancy lighting effects will also use this unit the most. 

Bottom Line

Corsair Hydro Series H115i PRO is the best liquid CPU cooler. With its multi-operation modes and RGB lightning function, this unit surely stands out against all competition. It has an eye-catching appearance, which also adds to its appeal. All in all, it’s a great product to consider for your i7 6700k.

Editor's Pick:
Noctua NH-U14S

Noctua NH-U14S, Premium CPU Cooler with NF-A15 140mm Fan (Brown)

PROS

  • Simple and easy to install
  • Operates on a lower noise level
  • Has a premium quality quiet fan 
  • Can support a second optional fan
  • Excellent performance in cooling down the system

CONS

  • Huge in size 
  • It is a costly unit
  • Can cause issues with adjacent oversized RAM sticks

What Recent Buyers Report

People who recently bought this product are very impressed with its performance. It is reported to be as good as any All In One cooler in terms of efficiency and quietness. Most users found this the best air CPU cooler because of its cooling capacity and high quality built. It has certainly managed to satisfy buyers with everything from its packaging to performance. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product is our editor’s pick for the best CPU cooler. And why can it not be? This is a Noctua product. The name itself means quality. With its single tower heat sink, it effectively dissipates heat away from the system. It operates quietly even when burdened with maximum overclocking. The simple, easy, and secure installation also makes it stand out as one of the best CPU Coolers for i7 6700k. 

Who Will Use This Most 

People who put their PCs through a lot of work will definitely find this the most useful CPU cooler. Gaming enthusiasts and regular overclockers will also benefit from installing this unit in their systems. People who prefer a quiet operation without any disturbing noise emissions are also most likely to use this product. 

Bottom Line

This is one highly recommended product on our list of the best CPU coolers. You will certainly benefit from installing this in your i7 6700k system if you do decide to buy it. With an efficient cooling performance combined with noiseless operation and high quality built, you have the perfect product at your disposal.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying

CPU coolers come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, and cooling capacities. They are designed after paying careful consideration to the unique needs and requirements of the consumers. When you choose a good cooler for your i7 6700k, pay careful heed to your wants. You don’t want to end up with a massive unit that does not fit. It is also not good to spend a huge amount if you don’t overclock much. Here are some aspects you need to know before buying a CPU cooler.

Types of CPU Coolers

CPU Coolers are generally categorized into 3 types:

  • Air
  • Close-looped or All In One (AIO) setup 
  • Open-looped or custom setup

Air coolers consist of a combination of metal heatsinks and fans to dissipate heat generated by the system. They come in a variety of cooling capacities. 

Close-looped or All In One coolers are liquid coolers that have become increasingly leak-resistant with time. They utilize a radiator for cooling down your system. 

CORSAIR HYDRO Series H115i PRO

Open-looped or custom coolers are the most complicated and expensive coolers to set up. We recommend foregoing them. 

When buying a CPU cooler, the first and foremost thing you must know is what kind of cooler will meet the demands of your usage. AIO coolers are much quieter and effective than air coolers, but they tend to be a bit more expensive too. Carefully consider what type is more compatible with your overclocking potential. 

Price

Like any other product, CPU coolers also come in varying price ranges. From low-cost ones to high-end expensive ones, you should consider your budget before deciding on a specific unit. Usually, high-performance coolers that can handle most overclocking come at reasonable prices. Consider the more expensive ones only if you cannot find a pocket-friendly alternative to meet your demands. 

Compatibility

CPU coolers are manufactured in varying shapes and sizes. You should choose a unit that is the most compatible with your i7 6700k. Since you are going to install it inside your CPU, choose a product that can comfortably sit inside the confines of your CPU without bumping with other components or blocking the outlet windows. Also, make sure that it does not push against the outer casing, causing it to bulge or pop out unexpectedly. 

Ease of Installation

It is also advisable to consider a unit that is easy to install and remove. You can have a professional install it for the first time, but you cannot run to him every time you want to clean it or to have it serviced.

Maintenance

Admit it; nobody wants to spend a lot of time maintaining electronic devices. You do it readily when it’s new, but with the passage of time, it becomes a nuisance. You should look for a CPU cooling unit that requires little maintenance and is easy to do so. As with all gadgets, go for one that needs maintenance, but after longer usage and with little effort.

Warranty

Good products always come with great warranty coverage. Warranties are a surefire way of knowing that you have one of the best products. Companies who are sure of the quality and high performance of their products back them up with extensive warranty programs. We recommend that you carefully consider the kind of warranty backup you are getting with your CPU cooler. This not only ensures you have a high quality product in your hands but also if that unit malfunctions, you can easily have the faulty parts replaced. 

Noisiness

Coolers are one of the noisiest components of a CPU. You should consider how much noise you can withstand when buying a CPU cooler. Air coolers tend to be noisier than All In One coolers because of their fans. If you have low noise tolerance, you should opt for an AIO cooler.

How to Install a CPU Cooler

Installing a CPU cooler in your system is not a difficult task. You don’t need an engineering degree to accomplish it. However, it does involve some subtleness on your part. Proper installation is important because it has a huge impact on the stability and overall performance of your i7 6700k system. It also makes sure that your system is completely cool and quiet.

A cooling system can be simply latched in to start working. However, we recommend doing some prep work before finally installing your CPU cooler as it will work much better that way. 

Prep work involves cleaning and preparing your CPU. A step by step guide to prepping and installing a cooler to your system is given below:

  1. The first thing you must ensure before installing your cooling unit is that your CPU is properly darted in its socket. If this isn’t the case and you go ahead with the cooler installation, it might not work properly and result in reduced performance of your system. 

  2. Next, clean the contact surfaces of the heat sink and CPU’s integrated heat spreader. It is important for both the surfaces to make optimal contact for a cooler to work properly. Use a lint-free cloth to clear all particles and dust. Make sure you also get rid of any lingering adhesive traces.

  3. Now prime both surfaces with thermal paste. Priming is important to fill in any grooves or bumps that may have developed. Apply a small amount on both the surfaces and rub as though polishing it. 

  4. Once you have primed both surfaces, apply the thermal interface material in the center of the CPU’s integrated heat spreader. We recommend using high-quality silver-based or ceramic thermal paste for this purpose. You have to be very calculative in doing this. You cannot have the material oozing down the sides, and you cannot also leave air gaps. Both surfaces have to be in complete contact with each other for optimal performance, so make sure to get an adequate amount on the heat spreading surface.

  5. Now comes the most important step, mounting the cooler in position. To mount the cooler, carefully lower it on top of the integrated heat spreader of CPU. Be sure to align it parallel to the surface so that the thermal interface spreads evenly in all directions. Once set in position, insert the plastic fasteners completely around the mounting holes placed around the socket. Gently press with one hand to keep the heat sink flat and engage the pushpins in a crisscross manner with the other hand. Now check to confirm that the heat sink is in complete contact, and the fasteners are also locked in place. 

  6. Once everything is secure, engage the fan’s connector with the fan header in the motherboard. And you are done. 

If you still have difficulty understanding the method, you can use the link below for a video account on how to install a CPU cooler in your i7 6700k system. 

Conclusion

Now you know everything about CPU coolers. You know what they are, how they work, and why they are important. We also filled you in on how to install one. If you tend to push your system to the limit that it starts begging for mercy, definitely consider getting one for yourself. They not only keep your processor from heating up but also ensure that it is stable and running smoothly. We have also listed the best CPU Coolers for i7 6700k. You can go through the list and choose a product that you think will be compatible with your kind of usage.