Best CPU Coolers for i7 11700K

Enthusiasts PC builders and diehard gamers often spend a lot of money selecting processors, graphic cards, and motherboards to make the best possible performance machine for extreme gaming. Even a hefty sum is spent on a PC case to construct the best-looking build. The most underrated component that is often left behind is the CPU cooler. A CPU cooler makes substantial performance differences in CPU temperatures, noise level, and performance by keeping these parameters within limits. A poorly matched CPU cooler results in subpar performance, higher CPU temperatures, and ultimately reduced CPU life or burnout.

Intel’s 11th gen processors are out with a bang offering PCIe 4.0, offering the highest clock speeds, higher single-core results, and overall better performance than predecessors and competitors in CPU-intensive games. The new Intel Core i7-11700K ( Amazon ) is a high-end gaming processor with eight cores and 16 threads. The CPU can boost its clock speed from 3.6 GHz to a tremendous 5.0 GHz. Under load, the CPU quickly gets hot and has a TDP of 125W, which can go up to 250W when fully overclocked. We need the best CPU cooler for i7 11700k to keep the CPU thermals within limits and let them perform optimally even during extreme overclocking.

Here are some quick shopping tips to help you choose the best CPU cooler for i7-11700k, suiting all of your requirements.

Quick Shopping Tips:

Usage: If you are building a PC for general use or casual gaming, it’s not required to spend money on high-end coolers. A stock cooler or a basic CPU cooler would do the job. But if you plan to push your machine to its limits and enjoy resource-hungry games in maxed-out settings, you would need a high-performance cooler to sufficiently and efficiently cool your CPU.

Cooler Type: CPU coolers generally come in two types: air cooler and Liquid cooler (custom and AIO). Air coolers are most suitable for mid to high-level gaming builds and provides a great price to performance ratio and better value for money. On the other hand, liquid coolers are more suited for extreme performance rigs where the CPU is pushed to its limits and requires an intensive cooling strategy but comes at a premium cost.

TDP Rating: TDP (Thermal Design Power) is the maximum heat generated by the CPU on full load. It is safer to buy a CPU cooler with a cooling capacity greater than the CPU’s TDP for optimum cooling under all scenarios. Otherwise, the CPU will throttle speed on higher workloads (which surpasses the cooler’s TDP) due to thermal constraints and reduce performance.

Clearance: Your cooler’s height must be compatible with your PC case to avoid inconvenience and ensure comfort fitting.  Furthermore, Its RAM clearance should be enough to allow the installation of all or most RAM types. The radiator clearance must also be checked as not every PC case can fit all radiator sizes.

Noise: Apart from performance, another reason why people buy aftermarket CPU coolers is the noise level. People who build a home entertainment PC and want a quiet system or gamers who find noise disruptive during their immersive gameplay opt for silent or low noise CPU coolers.

Best CPU Coolers for i7 11700K at a glance:

  1. Noctua NH-D15
  2. ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280
  3. Scythe Fuma 2
  4. be quiet! Pure Loop 280
  5. Scythe Mugen 5 Rev B
  6. Noctua NH-U12S
  7. Phanteks PH-TC14PE
  8. Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

The Best CPU Coolers for i7 11700K You Can Buy Today

Noctua NH-D15 (Image credit: Amazon)

Noctua NH-D15

Best Air Cooler for i7-11700K

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 165 x 150 x 161 mm | Base Height: 165 mm | Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 | Weight: 2.86 pounds | Fans: 2 | Fan speed: 300-1500 RPM | Warranty: 6 Years

REASONS TO BUY

Low noise fans

Best price to performance ratio

multi-socket secure mounting system

REASONS TO AVOID

May not fit in compact cases

Not the best-looking color scheme

Noctua has a reputation for consistently setting a high standard for their CPU coolers and improving their previous NH-D14 award winner CPU cooler. Noctua NH-D15 is a premium heat pipe cooler from Noctua with respectable performance, exceptional build quality, and good performance to price ratio. Moreover, its dual tower dual fan design offers excellent cooling and airflow while keeping the noise within an acceptable range.

It is dual 140mm PWM fans among the best performing fans on the market, coupled with vibration pads and a low noise adapter that reduces its peak speed from 1500 to 1200 rpm to reduce the noise level further. In our overclocking test, the NH-D15 maintained CPU temp below 77C and a noise level below 33 dB, which are very respectable values.

NH-D15 has a massive airflow of 82.5 CFM with a TDP of 220W, sufficient to cool the latest 11th Gen CPUs with an average TDP of around 125W. It delivers almost similar performance to liquid coolers at a very reasonable price, provides excellent value for money, and is the best CPU cooler for i7 11700k among all other air-cooled CPU coolers.

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 (Image credit: Amazon)

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280

Best Cooler for Overclocking the i7-11700K

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 317 x 138 x 38 mm | Base Height: 173 mm | Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 | Weight: 4.58 pounds | Fans: 2 | Fan speed: 200 – 1700 RPM | Warranty: 6 Years

REASONS TO BUY

Acceptable noise level

40mm VRM cooling fan

200W massive cooling capacity

REASONS TO AVOID

No A-RGB

Struggles at higher voltages during overclocking

After a painstaking wait of almost four years since the launch of the popular Liquid Freezer I coolers, the newest iterations of the Arctic Liquid Freezer series are out with better aesthetics and performance. The best CPU cooler for i7-11700k from the latest lineup is ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280, which has a bigger radiator to deliver the best cooling for ultimate overclockers.

Liquid Freezer II supports a wide variety of Intel and AMD chipsets, including the Thread ripper. The CPU cooler packs dual 140mm PWM fans that can deliver a massive airflow of 72.8 CFM at full speed and dissipates up to a massive 200W of heat quickly and efficiently away from the CPU. The CPU block also features a 40mm VRM fan to cool the motherboard power delivery modules for an even better overclocking experience. 

The cooler performed well above our expectations in benchmarks and kept the 9900K temperature within limits (below 79C) when fully overclocked to 5.0 GHz at 1.35V, although it struggled a bit at 1.4V. The noise levels were also very decent at 37 dBA on full load.  The CPU cooler performance successfully met all of our expectations. The Best Cooler for Overclocking the i7-11700K and a practical option for high-performance and overclocked gaming rigs at a reasonable price is undoubtedly the Freezer II.

Scythe Fuma 2 (Image credit: Amazon)

Scythe Fuma 2

Best Overall CPU Cooler for i7-11700K

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 137 x 131 x 154.5 mm | Base Height: 154.5 mm | Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 | Weight: 2.2 Pounds | Fans: 2 | Fan speed: 300-1200 RPM | Warranty: 5 Years

REASONS TO BUY

Higher RAM clearance

Comfort-Fit in most PC cases

15% better cooling than the original FUMA

REASONS TO AVOID

Higher noise level

Basic design and aesthetics

Scythe Fuma 2 is the newest addition to the Scythe lineup and offers 15 percent better performance than the original FUMA. It is designed for hardcore computing and gaming setups in mind. It features a dual tower design with two fans (25mm and 15mm) having a reverse airflow design for more significant static pressure and better cooling performance. Moreover, the provision of an additional fan is provided for further maximization of performance.

The Fuma 2 offers superb compatibility for CPUs, both AMD and Intel. Additionally, Its lower base height of 154.5mm allows it to be installed in smaller PC cases. Furthermore, it offers exceptional 55mm clearance for taller high-performance RAMs like HyperX Fury and Corsair Vengeance Modules so that you can achieve the best gaming experience. Fuma 2 is the Best Overall CPU Cooler for i7-11700K, with an exceptional performance to price ratio.

The benchmarks results turned out to be better than expected. The CPU temperature reached a max of 77C at overclocked test in the wPrime tester without ever reaching the thermal limit. The fan reached a noise level of 40 dBA, which was a bit on the higher side and had no RGBs. What makes it the best CPU cooler for i7 11700k is its meager price tag and acceptable performance during overclocking. Trust us; It is a bargain.

be quiet! Pure Loop 280 (Image credit: Amazon)

be quiet! Pure Loop 280

Best 280mm AIO for i7-11700K

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 317 x 140 x 52 mm | Base Height: 100 mm | Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 | Weight: 4.58 pounds | Fans: 2 | Fan speed: 300-1600 RPM | Warranty: 3 Years

REASONS TO BUY

Easier radiator refilling

Low noise decoupled pump

Virtually unlimited RAM clearance

REASONS TO AVOID

No A-RGB

Higher than expected noise at 100% fan speed

As the name suggests, be quiet is famous among enthusiasts and silent gamers for its low noise high-performance coolers.  The best AIO liquid cooler solution offered by the company is be quiet! Pure Loop 280 has exceptional performance, quieter operation, attractive design, and a modest price tag, making it the best CPU cooler for i7-11700k.

It features a larger 280mm radiator coupled with a decoupled pump within the tubing for lower vibration and silent operation. The radiator boasts two Pure Wings II silent fans, which deliver quieter operation without compromising cooling performance. The fans produce a massive 94.2 CFM of airflow for exceptional cooling at a maximum speed of 1600 RPM.

During our overlock test with the wPrime tester, the cooler maintained the CPU temperature at an impressive 76C and while keeping the noise below 40 dBA, which is ironically not very silent but acceptable. Pure Loop 280 is the Best 280mm AIO for i7-11700K due to its lower price-to-performance ratio and better overall performance than many high-end 280mm AIO coolers available in a similar price range.

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev B (Image credit: Amazon)

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev B

Best Mid-Tier Budget Cooler for i7-11700K

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 130 x 154.5 x 110mm | Base Height: 154.5 mm | Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 | Weight: 2.9 pounds | Fans: 1 | Fan speed: 300-1200 RPM | Warranty: 2 Years

REASONS TO BUY

120k hrs long fan life

Great value for money

Precise mounting system

REASONS TO AVOID

Only two-year warranty

Not suitable for extreme overclocking

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev B is the upgraded version of the original Mugen 5 award-winning CPU cooler. Scythe has redesigned the mounting system, and It now supports the latest AMD AM4 processor. Moreover, its asymmetrical design allows for greater (55mm to be precise) RAM clearance so that you can install your favorite passive heatsinked memory modules for an even faster gaming experience. Mugen 5 is the Best Mid-Tier Budget Cooler for i7-11700K due to its lower price tag.

Scythe has used a single 120mm Kaze flex fan famous for its low noise operation and longer lifespan (120k hours). The Mugen 5 features an asymmetric tower design with nickel-plated heat pipes for increased thermal efficiency and performance. A supplementary 120mm fan can be installed on a push-pull principle if an additional performance boost is required.

Mugen 5 is a great-looking CPU cooler with moderate cooling capacity and quieter operation. It can efficiently cool the latest Intel processors on full load without a hitch, but if you push the CPUs to their extreme, it will start struggling. But that’s out of its intended market anyway, as it’s a budget-oriented best CPU cooler for i7-11700k and offers above-average cooling performance for most scenarios other than extreme overclocking.

Noctua NH-U12S (Image credit: Amazon)

Noctua NH-U12S

Best Value Cooler for i7-11700K

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 158 x 125 x 71 mm | Base Height: 158 mm | Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 | Weight: 2.24 pounds | Fan: 1 | Fan speed: 300-1200 RPM | Warranty: 6 Years

REASONS TO BUY

Lower noise level

6-year long warranty

High thermal conductivity TIM

REASONS TO AVOID

Love it /hate it color theme

Reduced performance compared to NH-U14S

Noctua NH-U12S is the newest entry in the award-winning Noctua’s classic Single Tower Air coolers, the best cpu cooler for i7 11700k overlocking and maximum performance. The S stands for slim in the NH-U12S model with only 45mm fins which offer greater RAM clearance. This allows for RAM modules with heat spreaders or additional cooling fans, even when two fans are installed on the CPU cooler. 

The Cooler base height is 158mm, which is low enough to be installed in most PC cases, although mini-ITX might not do. Moreover, the Cooler width is only 125mm allowing additional space for multi-GPU setups in smaller rigs. Its concentrated flow 120mm fans are famous for superior heat transfer capability and low noise operation. The fans can go even quieter when the low noise adapter is activated, which reduces its speed by 20%. 

NH-U12S is the Best Value Cooler for i7-11700K due to its balanced performance, lower noise operation, and bargain price. It offers exceptional compatibility for AMD and Intel processors for older sockets like LGA775 and the newest LGA1200 sockets. Moreover, with SecurFirm 2 mourning system, the installation is hassle-free, safe, and robust. To top it all, Noctua provided an extended Six-year warranty with this cooler that assures the level of confidence in their product.

Phanteks PH-TC14PE (Image credit: Amazon)

Phanteks PH-TC14PE

Best All-Round Cooler for i7-11700K

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 159 x 140 x 171mm | Base Height: 140 mm | Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 | Weight: 2.13 pounds | Fans: 2 | Fan speed: 700-1200 RPM | Warranty: 5 Years

REASONS TO BUY

Can support up to 3 fans

Enhanced thermal efficiency

Physical Anti-oxidant Thermal Shield

REASONS TO AVOID

Noisy operation

High price for an air cooler

Phanteks is a world-renowned brand for its remarkable PC cases and high-performance CPU coolers. Phanteks PH-TC14PE is the most popular and the best cpu cooler for i7-11700k, from Phanteks having a dual tower design. The tower contains a Physical Anti-oxidant Thermal Shield known to improve heat transfer efficiency and thermal performance. The heat pipes and the fins are attached with patented Cold plasma coating for increased thermal efficiency.

The Phanteks cooler packs dual 140mm fans that can do up to 1300 rpm (limited to 1200 RPM in PWM mode) and provides 78 CFM of airflow each that is enough to cool your infuriated CPU in the most loaded scenarios. The fans also feature a low noise operation in addition to excellent cooling thanks to its UFB (updraft floating) bearings. It is presumably the Best All-Round Cooler for i7-11700K in all our selections.

The CPU cooler efficiently managed to keep the CPU within thermal limits even during extreme overclocking bouts. Still, all this sheer cooling power comes at the cost of a somewhat noisy experience. But considering its wider compatibility, superior thermal performance, and super-efficient cooling towers make it a well-rounded choice for performance users and hardcore gamers.

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 (Image credit: Amazon)

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

Quietest CPU Cooler for i7-11700K

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 146 x 136 x 163 mm | Base Height: 163 mm | Socket Support: AM4, LGA1200, LGA1151 | Weight: 2.49 pounds | Fans: 2 | Fan speed: 600-1500 RPM | Warranty: 3 Years

REASONS TO BUY

Easy to install

Massive 250W TDP

Quietest operation at 24.3 dBA

REASONS TO AVOID

Only 40mm RAM clearance

Higher cost to performance ratio

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 ought to be the most famous Be quiet CPU cooler with having a massive 250W of cooling capacity. It is more than enough to quench the thirst for any modern high-end CPU and almost inaudible operation, ensuring it’s the Quietest CPU Cooler for i7-11700K. It is the most suitable choice for all types of high-performance systems and the most demanding overclocked rigs.

Dark Rock Pro 4 features a super quiet dual fan with optimized blades called Silent Wings. The front fan is a petite 120mm variant with 1200 RPM top speed, while the center fan is a larger 135mm variant that can go up to 1500 RPM. Both work in unison to provide massive airflow while keeping the noise level barely audible. Its immense cooler power can easily tame the 125W TDP of most modern gaming CPUs, claiming its place as the best cpu cooler for i7 11700k.

Thermal efficiency is thoroughly built into the design with seven 6mm heat pipes and contoured dotted fins for maximum heat transfer and high efficiency. The dual tower heatsink has a cutout at the bottom to allow RAM clearance up to 40mm for high-performance modules. Still, you can’t use the taller Xtreme performance RAM modules like Corsair dominator or Vengeance PRO, but most people don’t use them anyway. Overall it’s the most suitable choice for hardcore gamers craving a noise-free environment.

Conclusion

Conclusively speaking, a CPU cooler is the most essential component for the CPU to maintain its temperature within limits and perform at the best optimum level. An underpowered CPU cooler will not be able to cool the CPU in all load conditions, and the CPU will keep throttling at higher loads whenever it touches its thermal limits, which may reduce the CPU life or even damage it. So the best cpu cooler for i7-11700k would be a CPU cooler with greater than 125W TDP and have sufficient room for absorbing the heat spikes that can go up to 250W during extreme overclocking periods. 

The best CPU for overclocking the i7 11700K is the Phanteks PH-TC14PE, with an overall well-balanced thermal profile and offers massive cooling flow to accommodate even the most demanding workloads. It also offers extensive CPU compatibility and can support up to 3 fans for additional cooling capacity. But if you are an occasional gamer and packs a high-performance rig that is not intended for pushing your CPU to the limits, then we would recommend you to buy Scythe Mugen 5 Rev B, which is suitable for maximum CPU loads in stock condition, taking overclocking out of the question. It’s almost half the price of the Phanteks cooler.

Frequently Asked Questions

What cooler should I get for i7 11700K?

It depends on your usage of the CPU. If you are a performance user and consistently push your CPU to limits for enjoying your intense gaming sessions or high-end productivity work, the best CPU cooler for i7 11700k would be ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280. It offers the best cooling performance and a supplementary VRM cooling fan for ultimate overclocking ability.

Is air cooling enough for i7 11700K?

If you plan to use your PC for a less stressful workload, you can even go for an average CPU cooler. Or you opt for a high-performance air cooler with a higher TDP than 125W to sufficiently cool your CPU at maximum load and overclocking sessions. Scythe Fuma 2 offers sufficient cooling to keep your 11700K within acceptable limits and comes at a bargain price.

Do I need a CPU cooler for i7 11700K?

Intel i7 11700K is a high-end gaming processor designed for exceptional performance and gaming prowess. It has an unlocked multiplier to allow easier overclocking and spikes as high as 250W (TDP: 125W) when pushed to its limits. It isn’t offered with a stock cooler, so you need a high-performance cooler like Noctua NH-D15 to fully utilize its firepower and achieve the best possible performance.

What cooler do I need for i7 11700K?

If you want to achieve mid to high-level performance from your CPU, an air cooler will do just fine. But if you plan to push your CPU to its boundaries, then the best CPU cooler for i7-11700k is ‘be quiet! Pure Loop 280’ that keeps your CPU within acceptable thermal limits during ultimate overclocking and your action-packed gaming sessions without making too much noise.