When it comes to unleashing the true gaming power of your rig without breaking the bank, choosing the right CPU cooler is crucial. A high-performing CPU cooler not only keeps your processor running at optimal temperatures but also enhances overall gaming performance. In this blog, we’ll explore the best budget-friendly CPU coolers that offer top-notch cooling efficiency and ensure a smooth gaming experience.
It can be difficult to choose the best cheap CPU cooler among the many options that are available. Building a gaming PC always involves an interesting stage involving inexpensive CPU cooling. Because the product can impact both the functionality and longevity of your equipment, this is one of the areas where you need to be really wise in your choice. Due to the abundance of pricey liquid coolers and large air coolers available nowadays, CPU cooling can also be costly. Another issue that needs to be avoided is underspending on your cooling system because it might cause serious performance and longevity problems in the future.
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition
- Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2 Black
- DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX GT A-RGB
- Noctua NH-U12S Redux
- DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX400
- Best Overall Budget CPU Cooler
- Best Performing Budget CPU Cooler
- Best RGB Budget CPU Cooler
- Best Value CPU Cooler
- Best Entry-Level CPU Cooler
The greatest approach to regulate the temperature of your CPU without going broke is with inexpensive CPU coolers. Due to increased competition over the past few years, there are now many excellent alternatives available within the $30–$60 price range. While you won’t be able to get a sophisticated AiO water cooler within this price range, you can buy a respectable air cooler that will work well and let you experiment with CPU overclocking. Visit our cooler review section for more guides and details on CPU coolers. Here are our top recommendations for inexpensive CPU coolers that you should take into account.
1. Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition
- Great Bang-for-the-Buck
- High Cooling Performance
- 4 Heatpipes
- Nice Black Aesthetic
- Quiet Fan
- Not for Serious Overclocking
- No Lighting
Fans: 1 | Fan Connector: 4-pin PWM | Heatpipes: 4 | Height of Cooler: 159mm | Noise Level: 26 dB | Lighting: None
Best Overall Budget CPU Cooler
The renowned Cooler Master Hyper 212 is currently one of the greatest low-cost CPU heatsinks available. This CPU is one of the least expensive aftermarket air coolers available, in addition to having efficient thermal and acoustic characteristics. The Hyper 212 Black Edition is an improvement over the basic Hyper 212 and it now has a new, sleek-looking black fan and heatsink. This is a seriously good air cooler that can be considered the best overall budget CPU cooler on our list.
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 stands as a legendary contender among budget CPU coolers. Its excellent heat dissipation, coupled with a quiet CPU cooler fan, keeps temperatures in check during intense gaming sessions. With its easy installation and impressive performance, this cooler is an all-time favorite. For PC enthusiasts looking to enhance their gaming experience further, pairing the Cooler Master Hyper 212 with the best graphic cards on the market would create a formidable gaming setup.
The price-to-performance ratio has always been the Hyper 212’s calling card. No exception, the Hyper 212 Black Edition offers excellent cooling performance for the majority of current CPUs. The most recent Core i5 or i7 processors from Intel, as well as comparable Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 processors from AMD, will work flawlessly on this cost-effective air cooler. When used with these CPUs, the Hyper 212 also provides respectable overclocking headroom, however the amount is determined by the CPU’s power consumption. Consider the cooler’s 159mm height before making your purchase.
The acoustic performance of the Hyper 212 series’ previous models has also been excellent, and the Hyper 212 Black Edition is no exception. This air cooler’s fan is surprisingly quiet, with a peak sound level of 26 dB at full fan speed. Another plus for this cooler is how quiet and tolerable the sound level is, especially within a closed chassis. The Hyper 212 Black Edition does not have the loud, whiny fans that many other heatsinks in this price range do, which can be bothersome when the CPU is put under load.
The Black Edition of the Hyper 212 is noticeably more attractive than the regular Hyper 212 in terms of appearance. In addition to making the fan look stunning, the heatsink’s actual fins also look fantastic when painted in matte black. The embossed Cooler Master emblem printed on a black top plate and the tops of the heat pipes make the cooler’s top attractive and covert. Although there is no RGB lighting, we can’t really criticise given the price.
Overall, the Hyper 212 Black Edition is currently among the best low-cost air coolers available. You simply can’t go wrong with this cooler from Cooler since it combines gorgeous looks with excellent thermal and acoustic performance.
2. Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2 Black
- Relatively Affordable
- Clean Aesthetics
- Superb Performance
- Very Quiet Operation
- Black Heatsink
- Lack of Lighting
- Very Tall Cooler
Fans: 1 | Fan Connector: 4-pin PWM | Heatpipes: 4 | Height of Cooler: 155mm | Noise Level: 27 dB | Lighting: None
Best Performing Budget CPU Cooler
The Be Quiet! is our next pick, and we suggest it. A cost-effective choice is the Pure Rock 2 CPU cooler, which is available for little under $50 at the time of writing. To achieve the ideal mix of thermal performance and acoustics, the Pure Rock 2 has a tower-style design with a single 120mm fan at the front.
The Pure Rock 2 Black by be quiet! is another worthy addition to our list. Designed for silent operation, this cooler strikes the perfect balance between cooling efficiency and noise reduction. Its sleek black design adds an aesthetic touch to your gaming setup, making it an appealing choice for gamers on a budget.
In terms of thermal performance, the Be Quiet Pure Rock 2 CPU cooler is a great contender. Even under heavy workloads, it can control temperatures and handle high-end processors with ease. In order to maximise the cooler’s capacity for heat dissipation, 4 copper heat pipes are used, making direct contact with the base plate.
The Pure Rock 2 cooler also runs very quietly, even when it is under stress. It has a 120mm Pure Wings 2 fan that provides outstanding cooling performance while running quietly. This makes it a fantastic option for people who value silence when working or playing video games. As implied by the brand name, Be Quiet! goods are undoubtedly strong in acoustics.
Regarding the appearance, the Pure Rock 2 cooler has a straightforward and modern appeal, and its black heatsink complements most PC designs beautifully. It doesn’t have any lighting, though, which can be a drawback for certain people who wish to add RGB to their designs. The cooler’s only major drawback is that it is relatively tall, which might make some cases incompatible.
People who prefer their system to seem tidy and straightforward may find the absence of RGB lighting to be appealing. Additionally, this cooler is a great choice for today’s trendy all-black PC designs. Thanks to its mounting kit and compatibility with a variety of PCs, the cooler is very simple to set up and clear instructions.
Before making a purchase choice, you might want to confirm that the Pure Rock 2 is compatible with your specific situation. It’s not the biggest air cooler available, but at 155mm height, it’s still fairly tall and might bump into your case’s side panel. Additionally, you might want to confirm that it is compatible with your memory modules.
Of course, compared to other coolers in its class, the Pure Rock 2 cooler is fairly reasonably priced. It offers outstanding value for the money because to its superb performance and quiet operation. It may not be the best cooler for extreme overclocking on expensive CPUs, but it surely works in the majority of situations without being prohibitively expensive.
In conclusion, the Be Quiet! Anyone looking for a high-performance, quiet cooler at a reasonable price may consider the Pure Rock 2 CPU cooler. It has excellent thermal performance, runs quietly, and has a straightforward, elegant design. Although some users may find its lack of lighting and towering profile to be drawbacks, ultimately it offers excellent value for the money.
3. DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX GT A-RGB
- Good Cooling Performance
- Nice RGB Lighting
- Black Top Cover
- Decent Acoustics
- A Bit More Expensive
- Only One Set of Fan Clips Included
- Quite Tall
Fans: 1 | Fan Connector: 4-pin PWM | Heatpipes: 4 | Height of Cooler: 155mm | Noise Level: 26 dB | Lighting: A-RGB
Best RGB Budget CPU Cooler
The DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX GT A-RGB is the only affordable air cooler you need if you want stunning RGB lights. This is an excellent cooler that complements mid-range CPUs perfectly and has the splash of RGB that your setup craves. The GT A-RGB costs a little more than the Hyper 212 Black Edition or the Cryorig H7, but if you want a cooler that looks better, it may be worth the extra money.
The DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX GT A-RGB not only offers remarkable cooling performance but also adds a touch of flair to your rig with its dazzling RGB lighting. This cooler’s optimized heat dissipation design and easy installation make it a popular choice for budget-conscious gamers looking for both style and substance.
The GT A-RGB tower cooler, which measures 155mm tall, can interfere with case clearance in low-cost cases. The GT A-RGB is yet another top-notch inexpensive air cooler with great performance that can be utilised to cool mid-range processors while still providing some opportunity for overclocking. Thanks to its four copper heat pipes that directly contact the CPU heat spreader, this cooler operates identically to the Hyper 212 Black Edition. For a tower heatsink like the GT A-RGB, the cooler operates at a relatively quiet operating temperature of 26 dB.
This cooler’s A-RGB fan is unquestionably its best feature. The cooler’s 120mm fan operates on the more recent “aRGB” 5V 3-pin standard rather as the more dated “RGB” 12V 4-pin standard. The GT A-RGB can display an even wider variety of colours thanks to this more recent specification. Additionally, because of the ARGB, the fan can show a wide variety of lighting effects and animations that are not feasible with standard 12V RGB signalling.
The GT A-RGB undoubtedly delivers on several levels in terms of appearance. Given that modern PCs are more than ever focused on customization and aesthetics, its 120mm RGB fan is a significant plus. With the help of this fan, the user is able to add some illumination to their construction that they may personalise and even coordinate with the colour scheme. Apart from the fan, the cooler’s fin array is very ordinary because DEEPCOOL chose to use a normal silver fin stack. But it has a wonderful touch that the top of the CPU cooler is black.
Due to its RGB implementation and effective cooling capabilities, the GAMMAXX GT A-RGB is one of the best budget air coolers available, but its cost is also slightly higher. The purchaser must determine whether or not the additional cost for some RGB lighting is appropriate. It presents itself as the best RGB budget CPU cooler on our list.
4. Noctua NH-U12S Redux
- Slim Form Factor
- Great Performance
- Silent Fan
- Clean Design
- No Lighting
- Height Compatibility
- Difficult Installation
Fans: 1 | Fan Connector: 4-pin PWM | Heatpipes: 4 | Height of Cooler: 158mm | Noise Level: 25 dB | Lighting: None
Best Value CPU Cooler
With its high-quality cooling products, Noctua is quite well-liked by enthusiasts, and the NH-U12S Redux is a continuation of that pattern. It is a high-performance choice with a reasonably low cost that is targeted at mid-range and value-conscious PC builders. The Redux is a small improvement over the standard U12S that improves it in every way.
When it comes to thermal performance, the Noctua NH-U12S Redux CPU cooler is a top performer. It is a fantastic option for high-end processors because of its small form factor, which doesn’t compromise cooling performance. It is capable of controlling temperatures even while under heavy workloads. The cooler’s four heatpipes are in direct touch with one another, which is a great method for dissipating heat.
The Noctua NH-U12S Redux performs exceptionally silently as a result of its silent fan in addition to the thermals. It makes use of a 120mm NF-P12 Redux fan, which produces little noise while providing outstanding cooling performance. According to Noctua, the fan can reach a maximum noise level of 25 dB, which is extremely competitive with the other CPU coolers in this price range. In this aspect, it is unquestionably a very well-tuned cooler.
The Noctua NH-U12S Redux CPU cooler is visually appealing, featuring a silver and grey colour scheme that complements the majority of PC designs. It lacks lighting, which can be a drawback for certain users who might like a dash of illumination to liven up their design. For individuals with limited case space, however, its small form factor is a benefit. Noctua, renowned for its high-quality cooling solutions, delivers the NH-U12S Redux as a cost-effective powerhouse. With its premium-grade fan and superior build quality, this cooler ensures that your CPU runs cool under heavy gaming loads without compromising on durability.
The sole drawback is its height, which can make some PC cases incompatible. Its height of about 158mm can be an inconvenience if your PC case isn’t particularly small. Before making a final purchase decision, it is a good idea to double-check the compatibility of your CPU cooler with both your case and your memory modules.
The horrible brown and cream colour scheme that is so characteristic of Noctua products is abandoned in the Redux version of the NH-U12S in favour of a much more subdued and elegant grey. Without a layer of powder coating, as we have seen on many contemporary CPU coolers, the heatsink is still present. Even so, the overall aesthetic is fairly tasteful and contemporary.
Along with its characteristics, the Noctua NH-U12S Redux is reasonably priced in comparison to other coolers in its category. It offers high performance at a reasonable price because to its silent operation. Additionally, it has Noctua’s reputation for dependability and quality, which is unmatched in the PC building industry’s cooling market.
In conclusion, anyone searching for a competitive CPU cooler from Noctua at an inexpensive price point should strongly consider the Noctua NH-U12S Redux CPU cooler. The NH-U12S operates silently even while under load and provides excellent cooling performance in the majority of situations. However, some users might find that its lack of lighting and height compatibility concerns are drawbacks. The installation procedure can also be a little challenging.
Nevertheless, it offers great value for the money. If you’re looking for a CPU cooler that will give you the most bang for your buck, you might want to shortlist the NH-U12S Redux.
5. DeepCool GAMMAXX AG400
- Low Price Point
- Jet Black Fan
- Decent Performance
- Wide Compatibility
- Not for Serious Overclocking
- Lack of Lighting
- Mediocre Acoustics
Fans: 1 | Fan Connector: 4-pin PWM | Heatpipes: 4 | Height of Cooler: 151mm | Noise Level: 31 dB | Lighting: None
Best Cheap CPU Cooler
The DeepCool GAMMAXX AG400 CPU cooler, a mid-range solution that offers reliable thermal performance for high-end processors, is our final pick of the day. It has a 120mm PWM fan that is excellent at cooling while also running quietly, making it a great choice for individuals who value both performance and noise levels.
The GAMMAXX AG400’s four copper heat pipes with direct contact technology are one of its most notable characteristics. Lower CPU temperatures are the result of this design’s improved thermal conductivity and effective heat dissipation. If your case has good airflow, the AG400 works well to cool most recent desktop CPUs at factory settings.
The majority of regular consumers will find the AG400 to be a good choice, but enthusiasts who want to overclock their CPUs will find it to be less than ideal. This CPU cooler has a low thermal performance and is designed for budget computers. If you intend to couple it with a high-core-count CPU from recent AMD or Intel generations, it does not offer much room for overclocking. If you want to maximise the performance of this cooler, you might also wish to optimise the airflow in your computer case.
Air is effectively moved through the heatsink array by the lone 120mm fan. It has an airflow capacity of 75.89 CFM and a maximum speed of 2000RPM, which is a rather good combo for an air cooler in this price range. However, this cooler has a peak noise rating of 31 dB, which is a little bit higher than the alternatives in this price range. This cooler’s overall acoustic performance can be a little lacklustre.
The GAMMAXX AG400 appears to have a contemporary design with a black and silver colour palette. The fan’s black frame and blades contrast stylishly with the cooler’s silver heatsink, and the entire aesthetic is streamlined and understated. It lacks RGB lighting, which can be a drawback for certain users who want a more vibrant and adaptable design.
Aside from the absence of RGB lighting, some customers might also be let down by the heatsink’s lack of powder coating. The practice of matching the fan’s and heatsink’s colours has gained popularity recently, but Deep Cool opted against it in this model, likely to reduce production costs.
The GAMMAXX AG400 may be installed quite easily thanks to a universal mounting kit that works with the majority of the existing CPU sockets. It is important to keep in mind that the cooler is about 151mm tall, which could make it incompatible with some compact cases. Before purchasing this cooler, it is advised to measure your case.
The DeepCool GAMMAXX AG400 is a reliable mid-range CPU cooler that has a sleek design, good thermal performance, and silent operation. Its direct contact heat pipes and colour scheme enhance its value proposition, and its reasonably low price makes it an excellent choice for people on a tight budget.
How To Buy The Best Budget CPU Cooler
When you want to reduce the temperature of your CPU without fully blowing your budget, budget CPU coolers are frequently the best option. You would not be able to find any fancy AiO water coolers like beQuiet in a reasonable budget around $50! Pure Loop 240mm AiO, which is acceptable given the abundance of high-quality air coolers in this area. To find the finest inexpensive CPU cooler for your build, you should have a look at some of the criteria you need to take into account.
Value For Money
Of course, because they are inexpensive CPU coolers, you must also evaluate their value. Check out various CPU cooler solutions that cost a little bit more or a little bit less than the one you selected before committing to a purchase. A better-performing CPU cooler is frequently available for not a lot more money, therefore it makes sense to get that cooler to get the most value for your money. Avoiding unnecessary elements like RGB lighting in this area would be wise because they frequently come with a catch.
The top cheap CPU cooling options you should think about are now complete. With some research and price comparison, you are sure to discover a solid alternative for your specific design as the market for inexpensive CPU coolers has advanced significantly in recent years.
Selecting the best CPU cooler is essential for an unforgettable gaming experience without burning a hole in your pocket. From the Cooler Master Hyper 212 to the DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX400 and more, these budget-friendly cooling options prove that you don’t need to sacrifice performance for affordability. Upgrade your gaming rig with any of these top-notch CPU coolers and unlock the full potential of your gaming prowess without overheating your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is a CPU cooler, and why do I need one for gaming?
A CPU cooler is a device that helps dissipate heat generated by the processor during operation. Gaming places a heavy load on the CPU, leading to increased heat production. A quality CPU cooler is essential to maintain optimal temperatures, preventing performance throttling and potential damage.
Q2. What makes a CPU cooler the best choice for budget gaming?
The best budget CPU coolers offer a balance of price and performance. They efficiently cool the CPU without breaking the bank, enabling gamers to enjoy enhanced gaming experiences without compromising on system stability.
Q3. How do I install a Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU cooler?
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 features an easy-to-follow installation process. Typically, it involves attaching the backplate, securing the mounting brackets, applying thermal paste, placing the cooler on the CPU, and fastening it with screws. Detailed instructions are provided with the cooler for hassle-free installation.
Q4. Does the Pure Rock 2 Black CPU cooler support overclocking for gaming?
Absolutely! The Pure Rock 2 Black is designed to handle moderate overclocking, providing better performance for gaming and other demanding tasks. However, it’s essential to ensure your CPU and system are adequately cooled before attempting any overclocking.
Q5. Can the Teso CPU cooler fit in compact gaming cases?
Yes, the Teso CPU cooler is designed with a compact form factor, making it suitable for smaller gaming cases. Its size ensures compatibility with a wide range of setups, including those with space constraints.
Q6. Is the DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX GT A-RGB CPU cooler compatible with all major CPU sockets?
The DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX GT A-RGB supports various CPU sockets, including Intel LGA1200, LGA115X, and AMD AM4, among others. It offers broad compatibility, making it suitable for most mainstream gaming CPUs.
Q7. Does the Noctua NH-U12S Redux CPU cooler come with a warranty?
Yes, the Noctua NH-U12S Redux CPU cooler comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, ensuring peace of mind for your purchase. Be sure to check the warranty details provided by the manufacturer for specific terms and coverage.