Intel has done it again with the release of its Raptor Lake architecture processors, and it looks like the market share will be in favour of Intel this time. Intel Core i9-13900K is the best processor of the generation, and it is the first Core i9 processor that comes with twenty-four cores. All of these cores do not share the same design; else, it would have been impossible to handle the heat output of the processor. Eight of these cores are performance cores, while sixteen are efficient cores. The performance cores have a Turbo clock frequency of 5.8 GHz, while the efficient cores have a Turbo clock frequency of 4.3 GHz. This article will review the best CPU cooler for i9 13900K.

The raw performance of the Core i9-13900K surpasses that of the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, and that too at a much lower MSRP, which is why Core i9-13900K is the best processor for gaming right now. The single-core performance of the i9-13900K is roughly 10% better, but due to the lower performance of efficient cores, this gap mitigates in the multi-core performance, where i9-13900K barely beats the Ryzen 9 7950X. However, the processor’s power consumption is much higher than the Ryzen 9 7950X, so buying a quality CPU cooler should be your top priority when using this processor.

Noctua NH-D15S Best Air Cooler For i9 13900K Noctua NH-D15S Read More See On Amazon
ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 Best Looking AIO Cooler For i9 13900K ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 Read More See On Amazon
DeepCool LS720 Best RGB AIO Cooler For i9 13900K DeepCool LS720 Read More See On Amazon
NZXT Kraken X73 RGB Best AIO Cooler For i9 13900K NZXT Kraken X73 RGB Read More See On Amazon
DeepCool Assassin III Best Quiet Air Cooler For i9 13900K DeepCool Assassin III Read More See On Amazon

A processor like Core i9-13900K would make little to use an air cooler, although some high-end air coolers perform as well as some of the best AIO liquid coolers. Yet most people prefer using an AIO liquid cooler with a high-end processor like this, as it is aesthetically pleasing, and the overclocking results are better.

There are many quality CPU coolers on the market right now, with CORSAIR, THERMALTAKE, NZXT, and COOLER MASTER at the top. We recommend using a 360mm or a 280mm AIO liquid cooler for Core i9-13900K, as it would require quite a powerful cooling solution to cool a processor like this.

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The 5 Best CPU Cooler for i9 13900K Reviews

Reasons to Buy

  • Reasonable price.
  • 6-years warranty.
  • Great thermal performance.
  • Elegant look.
  • Good acoustic performance.
  • Good clearances.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • None really.

The Noctua NH-D15S is one of the few air coolers with the best of (almost) everything. It comes at an MSRP of $100, the same as its rival, the DeepCool Assassin III. At such a reasonable price, the fan provides excellent thermals and acoustics, a decent look, and a 6-years warranty. Unlike most other air coolers, RAM and PCIe slot clearances were also considered during this model’s design, resulting in an asymmetric look. It features six heat pipes and a single 140mm PWM fan, a break from the NH-D15’s dual-fan design.

To test the thermals and acoustic performance, we used our i9-13900K test system and ran AIDA64 Extreme. Like most high-end coolers we review, we only tested the performance for extreme conditions like the highest noise generation and stable temperatures at different fan speeds and processor frequencies. After running each test for 20 minutes, readings were taken to ensure we got values close to real-world scenarios.

In the first test, we disabled the PWM control and made the fan run at its max rotational speed of 1500 RPM. The noise output was 47dB, slightly lower than the DeepCool Assassin III. Temperature-wise, the maximum temperature at full fan speed was recorded at 64C in the non-overclocked mode and 88C when the i9 was overclocked to 5GHz. The fan speed was then lowered to roughly ~900 RPM so that our sound meter recorded a noise of ~40dB, which is unnoticeable for most users.

At this speed, in the non-OC mode, the processor-die temperature stabilized at 66C, while in the OC mode, it stabilized at 92C. These results indicate excellent performance, especially in the tradeoff between the thermals and acoustics at 40 dB.

So, what’s our verdict regarding the NH-D15S? As we said earlier, packing the best of everything, the NH-D15S makes one think if Noctua designed this cooler by putting themselves in the shoes of customers and resolving their frustrations, such as RAM clearance, as best as they could. We believe the NH-D15S is one of the best CPU coolers for i9 13900K, provided you don’t overclock your processor too liberally.

Reasons to Buy

  • Decent thermal performance.
  • Unique design.
  • 6-year warranty.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Prohibitively expensive.

The ASUS ROG Ryugin II 360 is an unusual CPU cooler. The main things that make it unique are its one-of-a-kind design and a similar price tag of $380 (and we thought Corsair was ripping its customers off). The Ryugin II performs barely as well as most other LCS coolers. The main highlight and unique design feature of this cooler is its large 3.5" LCD on top of the pump unit, which is highly customizable and is likely to be the main reason for its over-inflated price. The cooler also comes with a 6-year warranty, which should be expected for such an expensive LCS cooler.

The cooler’s thermal performance was gauged using AIDA64, free software that can benchmark a processor’s thermal performance under a highly computationally-intensive workload. We recorded the maximum stable idle and load (with AIDA64) temperatures. The operation was then repeated with our i9-13900K overclocked to 5GHz. We kept ambient temperatures at ~25C.

At default settings, the idle temperatures stabilized at 32C, while on running AIDA64, they became stable at 81C. When we overclocked our processor, the idle temperatures remained roughly at the same level at 34C while the load temperatures climbed to 90C, which is rather high, even for a liquid cooler.

In terms of noise, too, the performance of this cooler is alright. At full fan speed, the loudness levels reached 53dB, which is unacceptably loud. That said, fan speed and noise levels can be reduced to 40dB without appreciable performance compromise.

So, what are our closing thoughts on the ASUS ROG Ryugin II 360? Well, we would be the first to admit that there are better coolers for the i9-13900K, and the main reason for this is its monumental price of $380, one at which even high-end processors can be bought. At least, for most buyers, this is unacceptable, especially when it does not justify itself with a similar performance improvement. Still, even then, a CPU cooler can only be priced so high, no matter how well it performs.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great thermals.
  • Reasonable price.
  • 5-year warranty.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Noisy at high fan speed.

The DeepCool LS720 is an all-in-one liquid cooler with a reasonably affordable MSRP of $140. Like most other higher-end coolers, this one, too, features RGB LEDs and consists of 3x120mm radiator-mounted fans. The LS720 performs solidly where it matters; thermals, that is. However, our only quip is that it runs too loud at ~50dB at full-fan speed.

To test the thermal performance, we mounted our LS720 on our i9-13900K system and ran multiple tests, altering different settings. These involved checking temperatures in idle and stress modes, with overclocking enabled and disabled. The stress mode involves running AIDA64, the software of our choice for testing thermal performance, which is a CPU torture test, in simple terms. Each mode lasted 20 minutes to provide ample time for temperatures to reach their steady state.

The temperatures recorded in the non-overclocked settings came out to be 28C for idle mode and 59C for stress mode. When the processor was overclocked to 4.5GHz, the figures turned out 32C and 68C for idle and stress mode, respectively. Considering the amount of burden we are loading the CPU, the 68C temperature figure is quite remarkable.

The acoustic performance, measured only for stress mode (with and without overclock), is a mixed bag. In the overclocked settings, fans spun at their max speeds (2250 RPM) and were quite loud at 51dB, which is borderline irritable. However, under the non-OC stress test, noise levels took a huge dip to 40dB, which is nearly unnoticeable. Since most users’ workloads fall well below AIDA64 levels, noise is not something you should be too concerned about.

So, what’s our final word on the DeepCool LS720? We believe it is one of the best CPU coolers for i9-13900K, if not the best, based on its price and thermal performance. Even the much more expensive AIOs like the Corsair H150i Elite get loud if pushed to their limit. So, noise is not a uniquely DeepCool problem. Last but not the least, the 5-year warranty is the cherry on top of the cake should you run into any troubles with the LS720.

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent thermal performance.
  • Very good acoustics.
  • 6-year warranty.
  • RGB Aesthetics for those who like them.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Slightly expensive.

The NZXT Kraken X73 RGB comes with an MSRP of $185. It is a fancy-looking LCS cooler featuring RGB fans on its fans, unlike its predecessor. There is a wide range of speeds at which both the pump (800-2800 RPM) and fans (500-1500 RPM) can operate. NZXT claims a peak noise level of 33dB, and we are here to test the integrity of this claim. The fan life is rated at 60000 hours (roughly 6 years), and NZXT backs it up with a 6-year warranty.

We didn’t measure idle temperatures and noise levels as they are meaningless for high-end LCS coolers mounted on high-end processors. We conducted three tests and used i9-13900K as our processor and AIDA64 as the benchmarking tool.

The first test checked the maximum noise when fans ran at full speed. The second test was two-part and recorded maximum temperatures at the maximum fan and pump speeds for default clock settings and overclocked settings. The third test was also two-part: recording max temperatures at inaudible fan noise in both default and overclocked modes.

So, onto the first test. We changed the BIOS settings so that the fans ran only at maximum speed, irrespective of the load. The peak fan noise turned out to be 49 dB, which is a bit loud. The temperatures recorded in the non-overclocked mode turned out to be 60C, which is quite acceptable, while in the overclocked mode (5GHz), it stabilized at 84C. 84C is pretty good, too, as you rarely push your CPU to upper limits. In the third test, when fan speeds were adjusted to produce a maximum noise of 40dB, the peak temperatures were 63C and 88C for default and OC modes.

So, should you buy the NZXT Kraken X73? This LCS performs fairly well in the thermal and acoustics departments while providing excellent middle-ground. Pricing is a bit high, which might be off-putting for some buyers. However, in higher price brackets, aesthetics become more important than pure performance numbers, and if money is not an issue for you, this is one of the best coolers for i9-13900K that you can buy.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great thermal performance.
  • Simple and decent-looking design.

Reasons Not to Buy

  • Noisy at full fan speed.

The DeepCool Assassin III is supposed to be the direct competitor of Noctua’s NH-D15, which seems to have found a lot of acceptance in the enthusiast segment of PC builders. It comes at an MSRP of $100, slightly higher than similar air coolers like the Dark Rock Pro 4. Design-wise, DeepCool kept things simple and elegant. It has a black-metallic finish features dual 140mm fans with PWM control capability. DeepCool claims a TDP of 280W for this model, while our processor has a max TDP of 253W. Let’s see how DeepCool’s claims hold up.

We mounted the cooler on our i9-13900K CPU. The mounting process was simple and easy, even for novices, and took roughly 20 minutes. Once everything was set up, we ran multiple stress tests on the Assassin III without our AIDA64 Extreme. These included measurement of maximum temperature, maximum noise level, and maximum temperature at 40dB noise level to see if there is a drastic tradeoff between acoustic and thermal performance.

The maximum fan noise turned out to be 48dB when the fans spun at their fastest 1400 RPM speed, which is loud but not too uncomfortable. The maximum stable temperatures at this noise level were recorded at 62C in the non-OC mode and 87C when the i9-13900K was overclocked to 5GHz.

When the speeds were reduced to achieve a noise level of 40dB, the temperature readings reached 65C in the non-OC mode and 91C in the OC mode. 91C lies in the dangerous territory of temperatures, and we don’t recommend pushing your processor too much, especially if you want low fan noise.

Based on these tests, we recommend this cooler if you want the maximum bang for your buck in elegance and performance. The i9-13900K is an extremely powerful processor, generating a lot of heat. It is not DeepCool’s fault that the temperatures crossed 91C; it is simply a matter of physics if you choose to go with air coolers. We believe it is one of the best air coolers for i9-13900K due to its reasonable price and great thermal performance at stock clock speed settings.

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Zain Rao
Zain Rao

Just a business student trying to keep up with his passion for PC hardware. I love building rigs and writing about them.