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.
|Best Overall CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D15 Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best White-Themed Cooler DeepCool AS500 Plus White Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best RGB Cooler Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Budget Liquid Cooler Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Budget Air Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Performance for Price Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240 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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Best CPU Cooler for i5 13600K Reviews
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.
Coming at an MSRP of $69.99, the DeepCool AS500 Plus White is an upper midrange air cooler. The color looks like it has been bathed in white paint. The white coating, which is a rather rare choice of color among CPU coolers, is particularly noticeable if you have black colored chassis. Personally, I don’t like this color on a CPU cooler, but it might look okay if you have an all-white chassis.
The cooler uses dual-fan configuration with a fan speed that ranges from 500-1200 RPM. DeepCool does not mention any TDP rating which, truth be told, has actually turned into a meaningless marketing buzzword. So, kudos to DeepCool for not including it. The cooler was easy to install and didn’t pose any GPU and memory clearance issues either, which is often the case when you go with an air cooler. Now, let’s see how the AS500 fares on our performance tests.
First off, the thermals. We ran AIDA64 at both stock CPU settings and in overclocked mode. In the non-overclocked mode, we got a stable temperature of 52C after running the test for 10 minutes. In the overclocked mode, however, the temperatures rose to as high as 84C. To be fair AIDA64 is a rather unrealistically demanding load compared to other programs. Still, the 84C peak temperature suggests that you should go with an AiO if you want the best performance without worrying about thermals.
Now, onto the noise test. For this, we adjusted the fan speeds to 50% (600 RPM) and 100% (full fan speed) settings. At half speed, we got a maximum noise of 39 dBA while on the higher setting, the sound meter measured a noise level of 47 dBA. While the difference between the two is drastic, 47 dBA is still almost as quiet as light rain. In other words, it is not particularly noticeable even at full fan speed.
So, should you buy the DeepCool AS500 Plus White cooler? Based on our tests, this is one of the best CPU cooler for i5 13600K processor. It has all the features that are the hallmark of any good CPU cooler: cheap without compromising on acoustics or thermal performance, and easy to install. Highly recommended!
The Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE LCD is one of Corsair’s most expensive offerings in the CPU coolers market. The LCS cooler comes in at $300 (we’ll see if this price is justifiable, later) and comes with a 5-year warranty. The cooler features a 2.1” LCD on its pump block. The LCD displays real-time temperatures and fan speeds. However, Corsair does give us the option to customize it to display images (and even GIFs) of our choice too.
The radiator block consists of 3 120mm fans that have a rotational speed of 400-2000 RPM. The material used for the radiator is aluminum while that for the base of the pump block is copper. Now, let’s get to the testing part where we check the maximum noise and CPU temperatures in the non-overclock (non-OC) and the overclocked (OC) mode.
We ran AIDA64 on our i5-13600K system in open-bench settings at an ambient temperature of 25C. In the non-OC mode, we reached a peak temperature of 62C at 100% usage. This is pretty respectable considering the fact that the processor under consideration has a TDP of 125W. In the OC-mode, we increased CPU frequency to 4.5GHz and temperatures touched 75C. However, that is still 80C, and is thus an acceptable temperature.
The Corsair iCUE app gives three fan settings: Quiet, Zero RPM, Balanced and Extreme. We chose balanced and extreme for our noise test. Then, we used our sound meter to test the noise levels in the balanced and extreme settings and got noise levels of 31dBA and 34dBA respectively which is quite quiet.
While the cooler does offer respectable noise and temperature results, it is not hugely better than its competitors. For example, the $160 Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360-A RGB provided similar temperatures in the OC mode. So, the $300 price tag is still a bit too steep. If it were not for the price, we would have gladly termed it as the best CPU cooler for i5 13600K. Plus, at $300, it is only fair to expect a 5-year warranty from Corsair. Thus, we recommend that you should only buy this cooler if money is not a problem for you.
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.
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.
With an MSRP of $110, the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240 is one of the most reasonably priced LCS coolers that also offer excellent performance. The radiator features 2x120mm fans that have a speed of 1000-3000 RPM. Thermal paste is not pre-applied like in the Corsair H150i. However, the box does come with a syringe containing the thermal paste. Installation process is also fairly simple and should take you between 10-20 minutes at max.
Unlike other LCS coolers, the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240 also features a small fan on top of the pump block. This helps to dissipate heat away from the voltage regulation modules around the processor unit, improving overall CPU performance in the process. Arctic has also been quite liberal with the thickness (~4cm) of the radiator block. So, you might want to invest in a larger chassis before considering buying this cooler.
Now, onto the testing part. In AIDA64 Extreme, the temperatures hovered around 63C in the non-OC mode. However, once the i5-13600K CPU was overclocked to 4.5 GHz, the core temperature stabilized at 71C. Both of these temperatures are well within the zone of temperatures which are quite acceptable for a fully loaded CPU.
Noise was also measured for full fan speed and 50% fan speed and the results were measured at 33.6 dBA and 32.7 dBA, respectively. Don’t let the small difference in dBAs fool you however. An increase of 3 dBA in noise level means that noise intensity has doubled! Despite these differences, even in absolute terms, a noise level of 33.6 dBA is still very quiet.
So, how does the Arctic Liquid Freezer II compare with other CPU coolers? In our opinion, this is one of the overall best CPU cooler for i5 13600K and other processors that dissipate huge amounts of power. Both the thermals and acoustics were remarkable, especially at the $110 price point. If you don’t want to spend too much money on your CPU cooler but still want one of the best thermal and noise performance, we highly recommend buying the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240.
How to Buy a Cooler for i5 13600K
Regarding budget processors, the i5 13600K has a well-known reputation there because of its superior performance at a significantly lower price. The processor delivers in-game performance that matches and even beats the old flagship i9 12900K. While it’s beating flagships, it’s also generating a lot of heat that needs adequate cooling and you must consider the following before buying a cooler for this processor.
Air vs Liquid Coolers
This is one of the most discussed and confusing factors when buying a cooler for your processor: whether to get an air cooler or go with the liquid cooler. Both coolers are great in their own way and have distinctive pros and cons that make balances out each other. With a liquid cooler, you get more cooling comparatively if you go for a higher-end variant of the AIO that has at least a 360mm radiator attached to it. The thing is that no doubt the AIO perform really well but they also cost more for that extra performance.
Moreover, sometimes if you get a defective unit or you’re going for a custom loop setup, then there’s a chance of the coolant leakage which would damage your PC but that’s a rare thing nowadays because of the higher quality material that manufacturers use for the AIOs. As for the Air Coolers, those are still very much popular and the go-to choice for many either because of budget constraints or simply for personal reasons. The only problem with many air coolers is that some of them are manufactured in such a way that they take over the memory DIMM slots and only allow low-profile memories to be mounted.
Just like a key only fits well with its respective lock, a cooler works and fits well with its compatible socket. This is one of the key reasons why you should not take this lightly and must consider it before grabbing whatever fancy cooler you look at. The socket compatibility issue is not as big as you might think because most of the coolers coming out nowadays or released a few years ago is compatible with both platforms and a number of sockets. However, there will be a lot of exceptions in terms of the LGA1700 socket which the 13th uses. So, check the cooler before buying and if you have already gotten yourself one that is not compatible then get in touch with the cooler’s manufacturer - they will most probably send a compatible bracket that will allow your existing cooler to be mounted onto the new platform.
Check Clearances Before Buying
Relatively new PC builders often face space issues mostly with coolers and casings. Either they buy a pretty big cooler or end up getting a smaller chassis, this stops the whole build process which no one would like. So, what can you do about it? Well, the solution is quite simple, whenever you’re buying a cooler, check its height, width, and all that whether it’s an air cooler or an AIO. After that, check your case’s size compatibility. If it matches the criteria then great, otherwise, look for a different cooler or a new chassis whichever seems more feasible to you.
More Fans = Better Cooling, But More Noise
Big-size chassis can house so many fans simultaneously and along with that, a pretty chunky cooler too that has a number of fans to deliver exceptionally great results. There’s no second thought about better performance, but there will also be more noise when the system is on heavy load and the fans are spinning fast to keep the thermals in great numbers. So, if you’re a guy who uses headphones and a little more noise doesn’t bother you, then by all means grab a cooler with more fans for better cooling results. Do note though, coolers with more fans cost more than the ones with a lesser number of fans.
Fancy lighting or RGB lighting is a part of the PC builds now, almost every component now features RGB or ARGB lighting for cosmetic reasons. This doesn’t affect performance but leaves an impression in terms of looks - however, that varies from person to person. Some like it, and some do not. Although, ARGB lighting seems more appealing as it’s controllable so you can change it however you like or simply turn it off. Coolers nowadays are heavily influenced by this and almost every cooler comes with static or ARGB lighting alongside the non-RGB more old-school ones. This leaves room for choice so you can grab the cooler that you prefer more instead of forcefully grabbing something that you do not like.
Final Words on Best CPU Cooler for i5 13600K
Tech has been becoming more powerful and aesthetically pleasing and the journey would go on, however, as for the coolers for the i5 13600K, it has come to an end for now. We discussed many great budget and premium options for the new budget king i5 13600K. Each cooler is powerful enough to handle this chip and make the experience worthwhile. We included a total of 6 coolers in this article; half of them are AIOs and the other half contains air coolers for those who prefer.
Starting with the most cost-effective air coolers, which include the decade-old and still-in-running Cooler Master Hyper 212 and DeepCool AS500 Plus White. Both coolers are cheap and provide performance and aesthetics on a budget and don’t look cheap by any means. Furthermore, if you have a little higher budget of around 100$, then you can grab a Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L or the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240 - both are AIOs and would perform much better than the previous budget options. The only difference both have is that the Arctic’s AIO lacks any kind of RGB lighting which is present in the Cooler Master AIO. Other than that, there’s no major difference in price or performance.
Lastly, those who would like to have a little more room for overclocking as well as the processor upgrade and are fine with spending a little more premium once and for all, then in that case, they can choose from the Noctua NH-D15 or the Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE. Noctua is obviously an air cooler while the Corsair one is a 360mm AIO. Both of them are comparatively more expensive than all the aforementioned coolers and fall into the premium cooler category. Which speaks volumes about their much richer build quality and cooling performance. However, these coolers are not recommended if you do not plan to overclock your chip to an extreme level or upgrade to a much higher-end CPU.