We all saw the launch of Intel Core i-series processors this month, and to be honest, Intel Raptor Lake processors pack quite some punch. These processors are providing even better value than their AMD Ryzen counterparts, whereas things were the opposite in the past generations. There are six processors that are released at first, i.e. Core i5 13600K/KF, i7 13700K/KF, and Core i9-13900K/KF. The four Core i5-13600K is the cheapest processor of the bunch, and it comes with six performance cores and eight efficient cores which could bring great performance to the table with the right motherboard. This article will review the best CPU cooler for i5 13600K, so stay tuned.

The Turbo clock of the performance cores is 5.1 GHz, while the Turbo clock of the efficient cores is 3.9 GHz. The processor uses an LGA-1700 socket, and the compatible chipset for 13th-generation processors are the B660, B760, H660, H760, Z690, and Z790. Even though the processor runs fine on the B-series and H-series chipset motherboards, you will not be able to overclock it on motherboards based on these chipsets, but you still could match powerful RAM with them. The Z-series motherboards can support memory and CPU overclocking, so the priority should always be a Z-series motherboard.

Noctua NH-D15 Best High-End Air Cooler Noctua NH-D15 Read More See On Amazon
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L Best Valued CPU Cooler Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L Read More See On Amazon
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Best AIO CPU Cooler Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Read More See On Amazon
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition Best Cheap Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition Read More See On Amazon
DeepCool Assassin III Best Dual-Tower Air Cooler DeepCool Assassin III Read More See On Amazon

The power consumption of i5-13600K is around 180 watts at Turbo clocks, which is quite high for a Core i5 processor but not something modern high-end coolers can’t handle. That is why this processor can easily be equipped with both air and liquid coolers. We recommend using at least a 240mm AIO liquid cooler with i5-13600K, while for the air cooler, a modern dual-tower CPU cooler will easily handle the processor, even at overclocked speeds. And the right graphics card would further enhance the experience.

There is always the risk of liquid spilling on the motherboard, which is why many people prefer using an air cooler over an AIO cooler. However, the pleasant aesthetics of AIO coolers are just exceptional. Moreover, AIO coolers these days come with advanced technologies that prevent such accidents so that you can go for an AIO cooler without any worries.

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The 5 Best CPU Cooler for i5 13600K Reviews

Reasons to Buy

  • The best performance among all air coolers.
  • Exquisite design.
  • Low noise levels.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Pricing is similar to high-end AIO coolers.
  • Quite bulky.

Coming at $110, the Noctua NH-D15 is one of the most popular CPU coolers today. This popularity owes itself to its great performance, moderate price, and Noctua’s excellent quality control standards. It is a dual-fan cooling system, with each fan size at 140mm. Fan speeds range from 300-1500 RPM, and the PWM control means automatic speed adjustment of these fans. The fan’s performance is very close to what Noctua has advertised, as we learn from the tests in our review.

We test each product’s acoustic and thermal performance and base our recommendations on performance, price, and durability. For the thermal test, we recorded temperatures under different load conditions. These included temperatures at stock frequencies and overclocked settings at idle and full-load conditions. The full-load condition consisted of running AIDA64 on our PC. So, onto the actual testing!

At idle, without overclocking, the temperatures hovered around 29C. After AIDA64 was allowed to run for 20 minutes, the temperatures stabilized at 57C. When the same tests were conducted after overclocking our i5-13600K to 4.5GHz, the idle temperatures became stable at 32C while the full-load temperatures peaked at 75C, which is remarkable.

The noise was only measured for full-load conditions, once in non-overclocking mode and once when we overclocked our CPU. These turned out to be 37dB and 44dB, respectively. To make sense of the noise, anything below 40dB is mostly unnoticeable.

So, where does this cooler lie on our recommendation scale? Well, there is no doubt about its excellent AiO-challenging thermal and acoustic performance. Despite this, price is an important consideration for most buyers. Considering this aspect alone, we might have recommended the Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4, which retails at $89.99, over it.

However, the NH-D15 also comes with a 6-years manufacturer’s warranty for just another $20. 6 years is practically the entire lifespan of your PC. Therefore, considering all the important factors, it is easy to believe that the NH-D15 is the best air cooler if quietness, performance, and long life are important to you.

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent performance for the price.
  • RGB lighting on the pump feels amazing.
  • Sickleflow fans are great for high airflow.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Not as quiet as competitors

The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L is the proverbial average-looking liquid-based CPU cooler that gets the job done without any too-fancy looks or promises of ultra-high performance. It comes with an MSRP of $100, on the lower side for a liquid cooler. This is especially true when companies like Corsair, for example, charge close to $200 for their liquid coolers. That being said, cheaper air-coolers offering better performance exist.

The cooler has a TDP rating of 260W, which is good enough for overclocking the i5-13600K to some degree. Our test didn’t involve any overclocking, however. To test temperature limits with this cooler, we ran AIDA64 while allowing the cooler to adjust fan speeds automatically. Once speeds and temperatures stabilized, the reading levelled off at 57C.

The pump noise, which is already unnoticeable at sub-15dB, wasn’t measured. However, the fan speeds for the previous test turned out to be 31dB, which is close to the advertised upper limit. Since quietness and good heat dissipation are the two main performance parameters for any CPU cooler, we feel that the MasterLiquid ML240L performs quite well in these areas, provided you have no intention of sucking every last bit of juice from your processor.

Design-wise, the cooler features, the Cooler Master logo on the fan head and RGB lights on radiator fans, can be controlled from the PC after connecting the cooler to the motherboard. Although a wide variety of colors can be displayed at a time, only one color can be displayed. The radiator features 2x120mm fans, meaning the system can be mounted on any PC case with 2 fan slots on its front or top side.

So, is MasterLiquid ML240L the best CPU cooler for i5 13600K? For its price, it is a very good cooler that offers just good enough performance while leaving some headroom for overclocking. However, unless you have a Small Form Factor PC, you can get similar performance from air-cooling-based Dark Rock Pro 4, which saw a peak temperature of 57C while giving even lower decibels at 25dB.

Reasons to Buy

  • ARGB fans look fantastic.
  • Available in both white and black theme.
  • Great software application for controls

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Quite expensive for a 240mm AIO cooler.
  • Fan speeds are dependent on the coolant temperature.

The H100i Elite Capellix is the 240mm variant in Corsair’s iCUE range of liquid cooling systems. It comes at the above-average price tag of $146.70. If you can absorb the initial shock caused by its price, everything else will be smooth sailing. Chief among these is introducing the Zero RPM profile and the 5-year warranty. The former completely stops the fans if temperatures are not too high. The latter means that practically for the entire life of your system, Corsair would come to your rescue should the H100i cause you any trouble.

Three fan profiles come with Corsair coolers: Quiet, Balanced, and Extreme. Since this is a very expensive cooler, we tested its effectiveness in cooling down our overclocked i5-13600K running AIDA64, so only Balanced and Extreme Settings were used. In the Balanced mode, temperatures touched 70C, while the Extreme Mode brought them to 65C. However, this came at the cost of an unacceptable rise in loudness, jumping from 41dB to 53 dB. A point of note here is that loudness doubles for every 3dB increase. So, in our case, loudness increased by a factor of 16.

As far as the design of the Corsair H100i is concerned, it features an extensive array of RGB lights, and Corsair’s iCUE software gives users a lot of granular control to customize the look of their cooler according to their wishes. This is done by creating custom profiles in the iCUE software. To get an idea of control, every LED’s color can be controlled if desired.

So, onto concluding remarks. Is this the top cooler for i5 13600K among those we reviewed? As cliché as it sounds, best is relative. However, if, for you, best means no compromise in performance and aesthetics, whatever the cost, then we highly recommend going with this beast of a cooler. Even from a warranty perspective, few companies are so confident about their products that they slap a 5-year warranty, which means that this cooler is very unlikely to cause any issues throughout the time you use it.

Reasons to Buy

  • One of the cheapest quality air coolers.
  • Fans are capable of high airflow.
  • Low weight.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Not so good for overclocking.
  • Uses only four heat pipes.

Coming at an MSRP of $39.99, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition is one of the cheapest CPU coolers you can get your hands on. The maxim, “Form follows functions”, suits well on this, with its basic, black-coloured, get-the-job-done design, without any fancy RGBs. Of course, it goes without saying that it would also be a tad bit unfair of us to expect any stellar thermal performance at such a price. With that out, let’s get back to our review.

For recording temperatures, we mounted the Hyper 212 on our i5-13600K CPU. We took multiple temperature readings, four to be precise. These were Idle and Load without overclocking (OC) and with overclocking. We kept the system in each state for 20 minutes to get stable values.

At Idle without OC, the temperature remained at roughly 30C, while on running AIDA64 (Load), the temperatures stabilized at 59C. When we overclock the processor to 4.5GHz, the readings turned out to be 35C for Idle and 88C for Load. The 88C is very close to the upper limit at which CPU damage becomes very likely.

The noise levels in overclocked load mode levelled off at 27dB, which is roughly at the same level that Cooler Master has given in its spec sheet. These are unnoticeable unless you have a particularly quiet room.

Design-wise, the cooler is basic. The top of the fan has a brushed aluminium finish, while the fins and heat pipes and fins are coated with nickel, which gives it a refined and industrial look. To conclude, should you buy this cooler? Well, you should if you can manage to rein in the speed junkie inside you because, as our readings show, the cooler performs well, thermally and acoustically, provided you don’t push your luck too hard and start overclocking your processor.

And what’s more, where other performance coolers generally start at around $80, this one feels like a steal. Therefore, based on the above considerations, the Hyper 212 Black Edition is the most suitable cooler you can couple with your i5-13600K.

Reasons to Buy

  • One of the beefiest-looking coolers.
  • Supremely quiet.
  • The black color theme suits most builds.
  • Excellent thermal results.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • The frequency of noise sometimes causes headaches.
  • Quite pricey for an air cooler.

The DeepCool Assassin III is a dual-fan, simple-looking air-cooler with a slightly expensive price of $89. However, this price is on par with its main competitors, like Noctua NH-D15 and Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4, offering similar thermal and acoustic results. Its maximum height is 170mm, which means that you will not have a lot of trouble finding a chassis to house this cooler, as it can fit inside most of them.

To test the cooler’s performance, we tested its peak temperatures and noise levels under different conditions. We will also include its competitors' performance to help you make more informed decisions. The conditions under which we recorded temperature readings are Idle (with and without OC) and Load (with and without OC). Idle means closing every application except for the temperature recording utility, while Load means running AIDA64. We let the PC be for 20 minutes for both conditions to stabilise the readings.

Under Idle conditions without overclocking, the temperatures remained roughly around the 28C mark. However, when Load was applied, the temperatures began to rise and stabilise at the 58C mark. Then, we overclocked our i5-13600K to 4.5GHz. At this point, the temperature readings at Idle came out to be 34C while those with Load applied came out to be 73C, which indicates this cooler does indeed deliver.

For noise, the two 140mm fans ran at full Load under non-overclock mode and overclocked mode. In the former, they remained around the pretty quiet 31dB. In the latter, they settled at 47dB, which is noticeable but not uncomfortable. At OC Load, it loses to NH-D15, which generated a max noise of 44dB, half as loud as the Assassin III.

So, to wrap up, from a value perspective, is the DeepCool Assassin III the most reasonable cooler for Intel Core i5 13600K? If overclocking is your thing, then we’d contend that you won’t go wrong with this one or the Noctua NH-D15. However, if you want to run your system at its default clock speeds, might we suggest going with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition, which comes at less than half the price of this one?

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Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq

Umar Farooq has developed a passion for computers ever since the time his father brought home the first family computer in 2002, a time when broadband internet was still in its infancy and almost every PC component was at least an order of a magnitude less powerful than the typical ones available today. Recently, he decided to start writing on this website to help tech rookies not be too enticed by overly hyped marketing terms they barely understand and get the best deal for their money.

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