Intel Raptor Lake processors are the successors of Alder Lake processors and share the same big.LITTLE architecture. This time, however, the company’s count of efficient cores has increased to tackle AMD’s latest Zen 4 processors. Intel Core i7-13700K is the high-end offering by the company that comes with a total of sixteen cores. Eight of these are performance cores, while the others are efficient ones.
This makes a total of twenty-four threads, which is why this processor is a great competitor of AMD Ryzen 9 7900X, which comes with a twelve-core twenty-four-thread configuration and could also be a great fit for the latest graphics cards available. We are reviewing the best CPU cooler for i7 13700K in 2023.
Handling the heat output of sixteen cores is challenging, especially when eight of these are going past the 5 GHz mark. The efficient cores, too, are above the 4 GHz mark when in Turbo mode, which is why the processor’s power consumption is above 200 watts. To regulate such a large amount of power, you also need a motherboard, which is capable enough to handle that.
Even though cooling solutions have come a long way in the past decade and most high-end air coolers are perfectly capable of cooling a processor like Core i7-13700K, it would still be a better decision to go with an AIO liquid cooler, as it offers better performance in overclocking, etc.
|Best Flagship AIO Cooler Corsair H150i Elite Capellix Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Quality AIO Cooler ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 A-RGB Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Quiet Air Cooler Be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Flagship Air Cooler Noctua NH-D15 Read More||See On Amazon|
|Best Budget CPU Cooler DeepCool AS500 Plus White Read More||See On Amazon|
When we talk about AIO liquid coolers, the most important factor is the size of the radiator. Most high-end AIO coolers come with 280 mm or 360 mm radiators; some enthusiast-grade products even come with a 420 mm radiator. Fitting such large radiators can be quite an issue for those with a mid-tower case, so ensure that you have ample space in the case before finalizing the purchase of an AIO liquid cooler.
What it makes easy is that you can fit in RAM of any size with AIOs. A great thing about LGA-1700 processors is that their contact area is bigger, so it is easier to cool them than LGA-1200 or LGA-1151 socket processors.
The most prominent air cooler manufacturers are Noctua, Cooler Master, and Be Quiet!; while for AIO coolers; CORSAIR, NZXT, DEEPCOOL, Lian Li, and EVGA are among the popular manufacturers. Many quality CPU coolers were released in 2023, and we will review the top considerations for a high-end processor.
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Best CPU Cooler for i7 13700K Reviews
The H150i Elite Capellix is another in the series of liquid-based cooling solutions. Corsair provides the pricy MSRP of $190, which is too much to splurge on a CPU cooler. Price aside, the cooler provides excellent thermal performance and similar acoustics unless it operates at max settings.
With the iCue software, which can be downloaded from Corsair’s website, the colors of the RGB LEDs and fan speeds can be adjusted with multiple customization options. We toggled fan speed settings between the “Balanced Mode” and the “Extreme Mode” from this software. The software also allows you to monitor performance variables like noise and temperature.
We tested the “Balanced Mode” and the “Extreme Mode” in our fan speed settings to determine H150i’s cooling performance on our overclocked i7-13700K by running AIDA64. As expected, temperatures peaked at 67C during the Balanced Mode, lower than the best air coolers we reviewed earlier. In extreme settings, temperatures fell even further to 62C, which is quite impressive.
The acoustics of the cooler vary heavily depending on the settings. In the balanced setting, the noise level reached a maximum of 27dB, which is quite good. However, the 5C temperature tradeoff at extreme settings came at the cost of the noise level rising to 60dB, which is a bit on the louder side of things and hence not a very worthy tradeoff.
Everything about this cooler is impressive except for its price. As remarked earlier, $190 is quite a large sum and lies on the point of diminishing returns. The extra money can be better spent on adding a hard drive while going with the cheaper but, overall, similarly performing ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 A-RGB.
So, what are our concluding thoughts on the Corsair H150i Elite Capellix? If we looked at performance figures alone, we would have no hesitation in terming it the top AIO cooler, especially for overclocking enthusiasts. However, with other more competitively priced liquid coolers, it becomes difficult to recommend this one.
Coming at the affordable price of $112, the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240A-RGB is an excellent liquid cooler to push your system to its limits without breaking the bank or rupturing your eardrums.
The cooler provides decent thermal performance based on the results of running AIDA64 on our overclocked i7-13700K. The temperatures peaked at 72C. Although there is still space for further overclocking the processor, we don’t recommend doing it on this variant. You might be better off going with the Liquid Freezer II 360 A-RGB.
The fan noise during the normal operation was almost completely absent, while during the test, the acoustics for the Liquid Freezer peaked at 28dB, which is noticeable but not unacceptable. However, since you won’t constantly be running your system at 100% CPU usage, you won’t notice the presence of the Arctic Liquid Freezer most of the time.
The cooler features RGB lighting mounted on the fans. Contrary to most mainstream AIO liquid coolers, this one breaks away from the tradition and saves you from the hassle of sorting out the cable mess for connecting RGB lights. Instead, the PWM and RGB cables are covered with a single sheathing; you only have to connect the two connectors with the cooler to the motherboard.
Is this the best CPU cooler for the i7 13700K? If you had to choose between the Corsair H150i and this one, we’d recommend going with this one. However, things get slightly more interesting than the air-cooling models we reviewed. For instance, the Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 provides similar performance results and comes at a lower price but takes a significant amount of area on the mainboard, blocking access to certain components on the board, like M.2 slot instance.
That said, you might be better off spending a few additional bucks on the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 240A-RGB, priced midway between this one and the Corsair H150i but allows greater leeway for overclocking.
The Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4, as its name suggests, is an extremely quiet and professional-looking CPU cooler with equally remarkable cooling performance. It comes at an MSRP of $89.90, a bit higher than its competition, and has a rated TDP of 250W.
The cooler sounds barely louder than a whisper during normal operations. However, when we overclocked our i7-13700K and ran AIDA64, the peak fan noise hovered around 27dB, which is still lower than the sound of rustling leaves (30dB).
The cooling performance of the Dark Rock Pro 4 was also remarkable. The temperatures mentioned earlier in the test leveled off at 75C, which is quite a decent number for an overclocked i7-13700K at 100% usage. Some contenders, like the Noctua DH-15, beat it by a few degrees, but they are more expensive, too.
Be quiet; this variant has a simple, elegant black-colored look without RGB lights. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder; ultimately, it boils down to one’s preferences. If the RGB aesthetic is more important for you than mere performance, then this may not be the cooler you would want to go with.
The only drawbacks of this cooler are its above-average size and price. We don’t recommend going with this cooler if you have a small form-factor CPU case. Switching removable components, such as an NVMe SSD mounted directly on the motherboard, may also become more difficult once the cooler is installed. Pricing is a bit tricky, however, in that although there are coolers that provide similar cooling performance at a lower price, they run louder, too.
So, is this the best CPU cooler for the i7 13700K? We’ll contend that, yes, it is. As CPU performances increase, their TDP rises too. This cooler shines when you want to extract every last bit of juice from your processor without melting it or making your PC sound like a vacuum cleaner. We don’t think its price will be a big hindrance when you have such ambitions.
The Noctua NH-D15 is an excellent cooling solution for those who want their computer to remain quiet while coming to the rescue during more demanding tasks. This massive, dual-fan cooler costs a slightly expensive MSRP of $109.95. Performance-wise, this is our top recommendation for high-end processors, as discussed below.
We applied the same test to all our CPU coolers to keep results consistent and reliable, running AIDA64 on our overclocked i7-13700K. The acoustic performance was remarkable at 27dB, even though the system was churning out every bit of performance it could gather.
The thermal performance of the NH-D15 was also very good. During the same test, we recorded a peak CPU temperature of 70C, which is noticeably lower than the 75C recorded with Dark Rock Pro 4. However, we must also remember that the NH-D15 is more expensive than the former.
The cooler has a simple design and does not feature any RGB lights, which may be a pro or con, depending on which side of the aesthetic aisle you belong to. The cooler has a simple, all-black finish, indicating a preference for functionality over looks.
As far as the size of the cooler is concerned, it is massive, like the Dark Pro 4 we reviewed earlier. This, in and of itself, is not a big issue, but it can limit certain options, like the ability to mount your GPU vertically. However, vertically mounting is more for showing off than anything else, and if you are going for this simple-looking cooler, looks are not that important to you in the first place. Size may be fine.
So, what are our final thoughts regarding the NH-D15? Well, the additional $20 you will pay for this cooler instead of the Dark Rock Pro 4 is peanuts considering the temperature reduction it provides over the former. For these reasons, it is an excellent cooling solution to couple with your CPU.
DeepCool released their AS500 Plus White at an MSRP of $69.99. A decently priced and stylish-looking CPU cooler that provides adequate cooling while keeping noise levels minimal.
Like most coolers, the AS500 Plus does not make any noticeable sound during normal operations. However, noise levels became more prominent when we ran our test, which involved running AIDA64 on our overclocked i7-13700K. The sound levels reached 30dB, which is higher than the Dark Rock Pro 4, but that’s forgivable since it is cheaper, too.
The performance based on our test could have been better as the temperatures rose to 82C, which is a bit on the higher side. This may not be your best bet if you consider heavily overclocking your processor without sacrificing its shelf-life.
The cooler features an ARGB light and has a solid-white finish, which is a slightly unusual design choice and not attractive or hideous. Aesthetics are subjective, however, and thus are not quantifiable. So, we won’t ramble too much about the looks of the AS500 Plus White.
The cooler’s slim profile is also a point that is worth mentioning. It is not going to take up a whole lot of real estate from your motherboard, unlike the Dark Rock Pro 4. You can rest assured that it won’t cause any clearance issues if you want to add a large heavy-duty graphics card like RTX 3080.
Another area where the cooler disappoints a bit is its need for out-of-the-box support for the LGA 1700 socket on which our processor, the i7-13700K, is based. However, additional mounting hardware can be bought; hopefully, this won’t be too big of a headache if you go with it.
So, what’s our final word? i7-13700K is a high-end processor best suited to those who want to extract as much speed as possible from their CPU. The less-than-stellar thermal performance (in overclocking mode) exhibited in our tests means this may not be the best CPU cooler for the i7 13700K.
How to Buy a Cooler for i7 13700K
Processors have become quite influential in just a couple of years, which also signifies the use of more power, especially on the flagship level, and a great cooler is the need of the hour. So, let’s see how to get one!
Air vs Liquid Coolers
First, you must decide what type of cooler you’ll get, depending on personal preferences and other factors like future proofing and visuals. You get to see mainly two CPU coolers, the old-school Air Coolers and the other the Liquid Coolers, also known as AIOs. It is always preferred to use the already included stock air cooler if the chip you’ve bought is a budget one that doesn’t take too much power, which indicates less heat.
And if that’s not the case, just like in this article, you should look at some high-end coolers. Both types offer some of the best top-tier cooling solutions and exclusive aesthetics, and of course, quite a big difference in the prices of each. Air Coolers are mostly quite big and could become a problem in memory clearance due to the small motherboard or the cooler itself being too darn big.
Also, for a chip like the i7 13700k, there are few options available in air coolers. But the available ones do a great job. As for liquid coolers, those come in various sizes like 120mm, 240mm, 280mm, and so on. For i7 13700k, a 240mm radiator is the bare minimum. As for cooling, AIOs are preferred more as they have more room for torture than most air coolers.
Socket compatibility of the cooler with the motherboard must be considered, as without it, there’s no chance you’re getting your build to work. Coolers, whether air or liquid, come with a support bracket for many sockets from both manufacturers. Intel’s latest 13th-generation platform works with the LGA1700 socket, and that’s a little different than previous ones. However, many new competitive coolers come with the required support bracket right out of the box, or if not, then cooler manufacturers like Noctua offer free bracket delivery if needed for your required socket.
Now it’s up to you which path you prefer: either getting a cooler with a support bracket already included or your favorite cooler without the LGA1700 socket bracket. It would require a word with its manufacturer to send you one.
Check Clearances Before Buying
Clearance is a major problem when building the rig of your dreams; people usually get the parts they love and mostly end up running into component clearance issues. This is why you should check for clearance issues - but how? That’s another problem, well it’s pretty easy. You should check the spec sheet of the components where the dimensions are mentioned, and that could tell you whether it will be compatible with other components.
In the case of air coolers, you would have to be certain about chassis compatibility as well as the memory modules because most of the powerful air coolers are pretty humongous in size that would not allow the memories to be placed, which are tall because of the heatsinks, and the RGB LEDs. However, that’s not an issue for the liquid coolers, but still, you would have to check clearance in the chassis for the radiator.
More Fans = More Noise
Fans greatly improve your PC’s airflow and reduce the temperature significantly. While more fans mean better thermals, on the other side, it also means more noise. Which could be problematic for many and must be addressed. What you have to do is get fans that are of superior quality, and Noctua fans are a prime example of that. Their fans are effective, and the noise levels are minimal. But the design might not be your favorite, so you could get fans to be quiet! Or Corsair. The same thing also must be considered for the coolers; get a cooler with great quality fans that would keep the acoustics within bearable limits.
Now, this last bit is entirely subjective, and you do not necessarily need it because it doesn’t affect cooling in any possible way. RGB is just for the build’s aesthetics, but it affects the coolers' price. If you’re a sucker for RGB, you should look at AIOs from Corsair, as they make pretty decent-looking RGB-lit AIOs. Many air coolers also feature RGB, which is controllable via recommended software. And if you’re not into these fancy things and like non-RGB-themed builds, you can turn it off or go for a cooler that lacks RGB. Noctua and Be Quiet! have many options for the non-RGB guys.
Now that we’re done with almost everything, let’s get over with the conclusion too. The coolers reviewed above are some of the competitive ones we picked for the i7 13700K because of their performance, aesthetics, and price. We know people with different preferences and try to give each one his type of cooler to keep him from being down in looks and performance.
We have included AIOs like the Corsair H150i Elite Capellix, one of the biggest if not big AIOs of Corsair you could purchase. It has everything a modern-day PC builder wants, like exceptional thermal performance and the ARGB implementation on the fans and the pump. This AIO is one of Corsair’s premium offerings that are well received. But if you’re on a budget and RGB doesn’t matter to you, then have a look at the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240: a 240mm AIO that has grey and dark-themed looks to blend in most of the rigs pretty easily and also takes great control over your CPU’s thermals while being quite affordable if you ask me.
For traditional air cooling fans wanting a non-RGB premium CPU cooler, you can choose from be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 and Noctua NH D15. Both are excellent in thermals and acoustics and have distinctive looks, making them exclusive to two groups of people. Note that both coolers are from the premium air cooler category, so a premium demand is inevitable.
For the white color lovers who would happily pick a relatively cheaper cooler than the others mentioned above at the cost of a bit less thermal performance: DeepCool AS500 Plus White is a great pick. This one also has RGB on the top for those who endorse it and are on the run of building a white-themed or black-and-white-themed PC build. Each cooler holds the power to cool down the likes of the i7 13700K, so that’s all about it for now, and I hope you pick the right one!