The Intel Core i5-11600K is one of Intel’s most solid desktop processors. It can handle most of the daily home and office computing tasks flawlessly. It also features a thermal design power of 125W.
However, it does not have the required thermal solution, and the maximum allowed temperature is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. For a processor as powerful as this one, you may need a CPU cooler.
To make its performance sustainable, you may have to invest in the best CPU cooler for i5. This way, you can ensure you get the maximum efficiency from your PC.
In this article, we shall look at some of the best CPU coolers for i5-11600K available in the market. Let’s dive into it!
Quick Tips for Shopping Cooler for Your i5 11600k
Before we indulge in the choices, let’s understand how to pick the best CPU cooler for i5. Here are some important factors you must look for when shopping for this product.
Thermal Design Power
Thermal Design Power or TDP is a vital factor to consider before purchasing a CPU cooler. TDP refers to the amount of heat a CPU produces when it works at its base clock. The TDP of this particular processor is 125 W.
Hence, check the thermal design power of the cooler before purchasing it. In many cases, the air and liquid coolers specify the rating in their listing. However, if they do not, you can look up about them online.
If you buy a cooler with a lower TDP rating, the fan will function loudly, and the CPU may throttle. It can be damaging to the system in the longer run. So, it is wise to invest in a cooler with higher TDP ratings that run soundlessly and lower your CPU’s temperature significantly.
Types of Coolers
Primarily there are two types of coolers that you can choose from for your CPU. They are air coolers and water coolers.
Air coolers can be an amazing choice for you if you have a custom desktop or laptop. Moreover, air coolers are the most popular kind of additional coolers when you need more than a stock cooler.
Generally, air coolers are larger than water coolers. Hence, it can not fit perfectly with multiple PC cases. Further, most air coolers, especially aftermarket ones, run at higher speeds and make louder noises.
Water coolers or liquid coolers are an upgrade to air coolers. Usually, they perform better than air coolers at maintaining the temperature of the processor. Plus, they are available in a wide range of sizes to fit almost any system size.
However, you can avoid this if you do not use your system frequently and do not overheat all that much. Moreover, water coolers can be more expensive and potentially hazardous if the liquid ever leaks.
Integrated Heat Spreader
Integrated Heat Spreader or IHS is the name for the top silver cover part on a CPU. It is a flat copper plate that protects the core of the CPU. So, why does IHS matter?
It is important because IHS provides a pathway for heat exchange between the cooler and the CPU. It also protects the processing silicon. Usually, soldered IHS is better than unsoldered since it provides a better path for heat exchange.
Thermal Interface Material
Thermal Interface Material or TIM is a very smooth component that bridges the IHS and the cooler. The smoother it is, the better the conductibility of the unit. However, it is very difficult to manufacture a completely smooth TIM. Hence, they use conductive or non-conductive pastes to smoothen it artificially.
Most people prefer a quiet operating system over a noisy one. It is especially true if you are a gamer, graphic designer, or content creator. You would prefer to work in an environment with fewer noisy disturbances.
Therefore, it is a good factor to look for when buying a new cooler for your PC. Moreover, most high-quality coolers ensure to incorporate quiet operation as a feature.
CPU coolers usually stand out in the crowd of numerous components. Hence, it is safe to say the style of the coolers is an important factor to consider. So, do not forget to choose a cooler based on its style after its performance.
Moreover, there are many types of coolers available in the market. They come in a multitude of sizes, shapes, colors, and designs. So, pick what you like so the aesthetic will be pleasing every time you see through the case window.
Many people prefer a color with an RGB customization option. If you are one of them, you should definitely go for it! You can choose from a wide variety of RGB coolers that offer RGB lighting and fans.
Additionally, it is important to ensure you can turn on and off the RGB whenever you want to. It can have a built-in controller or a compatible motherboard header while you plug it in.
Nonetheless, it can be helpful when you can turn off the RGB lights without turning off your system.
How Do I Know What Cooler Will Fit in My System?
No matter which type or style of cooler you are opting for, you need to ensure it fits your system. So, how can you know if the cooler you like fits your CPU?
Firstly, you must check for the CPU socket and any potential chassis limitations for cooler height or radiator size for i5 11600k. A socket is a part that provides an electrical and mechanical connection between the motherboard and the processor.
You can check the “Socket Supported” in the CPU package, its official website, or the product listing. Then, compare the socket information, the TPD of the i5 11600k, with the socket info on the cooler.
If it matches, you know the cooler is going to fit in your system. Moreover, the socket supported for i5-11600k is FCLGA1200.
Installing CPU Cooler for i5-11600k
To ensure you are installing your CPU cooler correctly, I am providing you a guide. Here is a step-by-step process of installing a CPU cooler.
Step #1. Apply Thermal Paste
Before you fix your cooler in your CPU, check for thermal paste. It is a thin layer of a thermal compound that removes the gap between the cooler’s base and the CPU lid. Most coolers come with thermal paste in place, yet not all of them do.
So, if it is not there, you can apply the thermal paste. Remember to apply only a small amount. All you have to do is apply a small dot of the paste in the center of the CPU lid.
Step #2. Set Up Standoffs
This step is an optional step depending on the cooler and motherboard combination. You can use a standoff that screws through the motherboard into the case or a bracket that sits behind the motherboard.
If the cooler you purchase comes with these components, attach them after seeing if they are appropriate. Also, if you are using a water cooler, you have to install the radiator in your case.
Step #3. Attach the Cooler
Firstly, line up the screws with the holes in the motherboard carefully. Then, lower the cooler into the CPU and screw in the connectors. You can use an X pattern to screw it tight.
Start by tightening loosely at first, then increase the tension as you go on. Make sure to screw in evenly across the board since it can create uneven pressure distribution if you do not. Then, attach any fans or connect them to the radiator depending on the type of cooler.
Step #4. Plug-In
Once you attach everything in the CPY, you have to plug in everything. All parts need power despite the type of cooler. The plugging varies from one cooler to another so that you can connect it according to its design.
Top 5 Best CPU Cooler For i5 11600k: Comprehensive Reviews
Here are my top 5 picks for this list of the best CPU Cooler For i5 11600k. Check out the detailed review on each of these products to know if they suit all your needs!
Best Overall – be quiet! Dark Rock 4, BK021, 200W TDP, CPU Cooler
|Dimensions||3.7 L x 5.35 W x 6.28 H inches|
|Noise Levels||21.4 dB|
The first product on my list of the best CPU cooler for i5-11600K is quiet! Dark Rock 4, BK021, 200W TDP, CPU Cooler. This cooler is my favorite cooler for a wide range of reasons. Firstly, it features 13mm PWM fans that operate virtually inaudible.
It has a highly advanced design which can be an excellent upgrade to your old coolers. It has six advanced 6mm copper heat pipes that maximize heat conductance. Moreover, it provides optimized airflow with wave-contoured cooling fins.
This cooler has a single tower layout design that provides excellent heat dissipation even in small spaces. Although only one fan is pre-installed, you can add another 120 mm fan for more cooling.
It also has an impressive 200W TDP rating that can maintain cool temperature even during my computer’s peak performance.
This cooler offers virtually an inaudible operation with a size-pole motor for less vibration. Moreover, the 200W TDP is perfect for all my requirements, including gaming and editing works.
- Virtually inaudible Silent Wings 135mm PWM fan
- Achieves only 21.4dB(A) at maximum fan speed
- Six high-performance copper heat pipes
- Airflow-optimized, wave-contoured cooling fins
Best Air Cooler – Noctua NH-D15 Premium CPU Cooler
|Dimensions||5.91 L x 6.34 W x 6.5 H inches|
|Noise Levels||24.6 dB|
Next up, I have listed a state-of-the-art dual tower cooler that is highly efficient. It has two fans and six heat pipes that provide cooling for near-silent systems and overclocking. This model is a successor to the classic NH-D14, which has an impressive design.
It has high RAM compatibility with a single fan mode. Plus, it has a single fan mode which makes it compatible with premium RAM modules. It features two NF-A15 140mm fans that offer a pretty decent performance.
Moreover, the fans comply with Noctua’s AAO standard, and they have sophisticated aerodynamic design features. It also has a secure ‘secufirm 2’ mounting system. This feature will ensure ease of use as well as safety.
Noctua NH-D15 Premium CPU Cooler has a copper and aluminum construction. Plus, it has soldered joints & nickel plating, which can make the build last longer. So, this can be a perfect choice for you if you are looking for a long-lasting air cooler.
- State-of-the-art dual-tower design with 6 heatpipes and 2 fans provides class-leading cooling performance for...
- Successor of the classic NH-D14; more than 250 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware...
- 2 highly optimised NF-A15 140mm fans with PWM support and Low-Noise Adaptors for automatic speed control and...
- Includes high-end NT-H1 thermal paste and SecuFirm2 mounting system for easy installation on Intel LGA1700...
Best Liquid Cooler – Corsair Hydro H100 x 240 mm Liquid CPU Cooler
|Dimensions||4.72 L x 1.06 W x 10.83 H inches|
|Cooling Method||Fan and liquid|
|Noise Levels||2 dB|
Corsair Hydro H100 x 240 mm Liquid CPU Cooler is a fantastic cooler that offers excellent performance. This cooler is one of my favorites since it has one of the most powerful PWM cooling. It has two CORSAIR SP series 12mm PWM fans.
It offers lower CPU temperatures with a 240mm high-density radiator. Hence, if you want to experience maximum cooling surface area and performance, this cooler can be an excellent choice. It also maximizes airflow and minimizes noise.
Moreover, it has a white LED illumination pump head. It adds a touch of beauty and sophistication to your system build. It also has an impressive thermally optimized cold plate.
This cooler has a brilliant LED lights pump head, an excellent cold plate, and provides impressive cooling. Plus, the low noise pump offers a quieter performance. This cooler is a full package which makes it an excellent investment.
- 240mm High-Density Radiator: Experience lower CPU temperatures with a 240mm high-density radiator for maximum...
- Powerful PWM Cooling: Two CORSAIR SP Series 120mm PWM fans that run from 600 RPM to 1,700 RPM, making it easy...
- LED-Illuminated Pump Head: White LED-lit pump head adds a touch of brilliance to any system build. Powerful...
- Efficient Cold Plate and Pump: Thermally optimized cold plate and low-noise pump design for more efficient,...
Best RBG Cooler – MSI MAG Series CORELIQUID 240R, RGB CPU Liquid Cooler
|Dimensions||12.48 L x 8.07 W x 5.39 H inches|
|Cooling Method||Water and fan|
MSI MAG Series CORELIQUID 240R, RGB CPU Liquid Cooler has a lot to offer. In this review, let me tell you some of my favorite things about this cooler. Firstly, it is one of the most long-lasting coolers in the market.
It has a durable three-phase motor that generates minimal vibrations. Hence, it works for a longer time with lower noise levels. It includes an RGD support fan which you can customize.
The fans also have a custom speed with PWM fans using the software. You can mount the cold plate at any angle you prefer. Plus, the pump integrates with the radiator for noise reduction.
This cooler can be a perfect choice for you if you want a high-performing fan with customizable RGB. Moreover, it has an increased life expectancy than most competitive coolers.
- Long Lasting Reliability: A durable three phase motor at the core of the pump generates minimal vibrations for...
- Total RGB Fan Control: The included RGB fans support custom speed with PWM fan and customizable lighting...
- Rotatable Cap: Mount the cold plate in any orientation, turn the cap up to 270 degrees to keep it upright.
- Radiator Pump Design: The pump has been integrated into the radiator for noise reduction as well as increased...
Best Budget Cooler – Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition CPU Air Cooler
|Dimensions||4.7 L x 3.1 W x 6.3 H inches|
|Noise Levels||26 dB|
Last, I have an impressive cooler with four heat pipes and direct contact technology on this list. Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition CPU Air Cooler is an excellent cooler that provides high performance.
This cooler has an array of fin that ensures limited airflow resistance. This feature can ensure cooler air passes through the heatsink. Further, it prevents jam protection using a smart fan sensor.
So, the cables may never sag or muck up. Plus, it has nickel-plated jet black fins for more efficiency. It also has a distinctive fan bracket design that makes upgrading the fan an easy task!
This cooler is highly efficient with various advanced technology. Moreover, it looks stunning and has a durable construction. If you are looking for a budget-friendly cooler, I recommend this one.
- Direct contact technology: 4 Heat Pipe with exclusive direct contact Technology effectively provides excellent...
- Precise air flow: Stacked fin array ensures least airflow resistance which allows cooler air flow into the...
- Smart fan sensor for jam protection: Never worry about your cables getting snagged or components being mucked...
- Snap and play: Intuitive fan bracket design makes upgrading and removing the fan a breeze
The winner is to be quiet! Dark Rock 4, BK021, 200W TDP, CPU Cooler! This CPU cooler is top on my list of CPU coolers for i5-11600K for multiple reasons.
It offers a high level of performance at lower decibels of 21.4 dB, which is lesser than most other coolers. However, some coolers produce less than 21.4 dB at high speed, yet they can not match this cooler’s performance.
Moreover, it has an excellent single tower layout which makes it highly compatible with i5-11600K. Further, the TDP rating is better than other coolers, and it is at 200W. Hence, it is an optimal cooler if you want your computer to perform at its peak levels.
This cooler offers easy installation, which is not common in high-end coolers like this one. Plus, it has powerful wave-contoured and airflow-optimized cooling fins.
All these factors make this cooler the best CPU cooler for i5-11600K available in the market!