Buyers Guides CPU Coolers

Best CPU Coolers for the Intel Core i5-13600K

FI_Best CPU Cooler Intel Core i5 13600K

Introduction

The Intel Core i5 13600K is one of the best mid-range CPUs on the market, offering an excellent value-proposition versus other SKUs available at a similar price point. The 13600K is perfect for gaming, and can handle a variety of workstation applications.

So what does this mean for consumers looking to pick up a CPU cooler? In this article we’ll be answering this very question with a roundup of the best CPU coolers for the 13600K. We’ll be breaking down cooler compatibility, which type of cooling is best, along with all of our recommendations.

Our Recommendation: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Elite

PRT_Corsair H100i Elite

📸 View the Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Elite gallery.

Our in-depth testing of CPU coolers crowned the Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Elite as our pick to pair with the Intel Core i5-13600K. It boasts excellent thermal regulation for a 240mm AIO, ensuring the 13600K stays cool under our most intense benchmarks. The H100i RGB Elite is capable of all of this, while running extremely quiet under load, and this alone makes the iCUE H100i Elite one the best coolers for the i5-13600K.

Design: 4.1/5

Performance: 4.5/5

Value for Money: 4.2/5

Our Verdict: 4.3/5

Skip to the full testinggallery and where to buy the Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Elite. ⬇️

All CPU Coolers in Our i5-13600K Testing Roundup

Deepcool AK500

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Halo

Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black

Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240L Core ARGB

Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Elite

Best CPU Coolers for the Intel Core i5-13600K – Our Top Picks

1. Deepcool AK500

MPI_DeepCool AK500
$49.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

First up in our test of CPU coolers is Deepcool’s AK500. The AK500 is a bit of an underdog in the cooler space, as it often ends up being pushed out of the limelight by it’s larger sibling, the AK620. Nonetheless, the AK500 is still an excellent option if you’re looking for an excellent budget cooler for the i5-13600K. Coming in at around $50, this cooler is excellent for those with a restrictive budget to work with. Performance wise, this cooler is also pretty quiet overall, with a max decibel rating of 31.5. That means, even at load, this cooler should run quiet. It is a little bit lacking when it comes to aesthetic, but I’d argue that the price and performance will be the main determiner for the majority of consumers when shopping for the top cooler.

Key Specs

The AK500 is a pretty chunky cooler, and with the 120mm fan, the size of this tower cooler only increases. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t have any clearance issues with RAM and other components before you decide to install the AK500.

Deepcool’s AK500 is one of the best budget coolers on the market right now offering strong thermal performance with a very competitive price point. It isn’t the best looking option you can find, but I’d argue that most consumers with a restrictive budget will definitely want to consider this cooler for a cheaper or mid-range PC.

Pros

Cons

Our Ratings:

Design: 3.5/5

Performance: 4.3/5

Value for Money: 4/5

Our Verdict: 3.9/5

2. Cooler Master Hyper 212 Halo

MPI_Hyper 212 Halo White
$37.53 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Halo is one of the best CPU coolers for the i5-13600K, especially for those looking for a sleek design with RGB and multiple colour options. The Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition has been a well known feature on the GeekaWhat YouTube channel and website, and for this reason we decided to offer up the alternative ‘halo’ edition to spice things up a bit. The Hyper 212 Halo builds upon the success of the original Hyper 212 offering solid thermal capability, a sleek design, and easy installation. The Hyper 212 Halo is one of the more competitive options on the market sitting at $50 or so. Based on the performance metrics, this makes it pretty comparable to the Deepcool AK500 and AK620.

Key Specs

It is also easy to install minimising the amount of extra parts needed. Consumers can expect to have this tower installed within minutes, streamlining the building process!

As a rule of thumb, coolers that have more heatpipes perform better as they can equally disperse the heat around the entirety of the cooler. However, the Hyper 212 Halo only has 4, which will hinder thermal performance contrasting to some other options we’ve looked at. Although I do quite like the circular halo fan, I do understand how it might feel out of place. For consumers that prefer the more traditional fan look, we’d recommend looking at the original Hyper 212 RGB tower!

Pros

Cons

Our Ratings:

Design: 4/5

Performance: 4/5

Value for Money: 4/5

Our Verdict: 4/5

3. Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black

MPI_Noctua NH-D15
$119.95 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

Noctua’s NH-D15 is one of the best high-end coolers for the i5-13600K, due it’s large dual tower heasink and sleek aeshtetic. We’ve featured this incredible cooler a significant number of times in various buyers guides. Noctua have retained the ‘top-dog’ spot for quite some time when it comes to air coolers and remains one of the best CPU coolers for the Intel i5-13600K available. The Nh-D15 has been updated a number of times to match the current socket mounting, with Noctua including AM5 and Intel’s LGA 1700 sockets. The NH-D15 is one of the best performing options, giving many Liquid AIOs a run for their money. This cooler can easily handle overclocking on the lower-end chips, and has decent tolerance with multi-core programs.

Key Specs

Not only this, but the NH-D15 will also remain silent while under load, maintaining constant pressure, but not adding any annoying whirring or buzzing sounds. Although it is lacking on the RGB front, I feel most consumers will put this aside, considering how strong this cooler is in most fields.

Due to popularity and stocking, the price of the NH-D15 has risen significantly in recent years. Although it isn’t the most expensive cooler we’ve seen, it is still above the $100 mark, which puts it somewhat out of the reach for budget consumers. The NH-D15 is one of the biggest air coolers on the market, sporting 140mm fans, and a dual-tower style. This does mean you might have clearance issues with other fans and components dependent on what you’ve picked out.

Pros

Cons

Our Ratings:

Design: 3.8/5

Performance: 4.6/5

Value for Money: 4.5/5

Our Verdict: 4.3/5

4. Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240L Core ARGB

MPI_Cooler Master 240L Core ARGB
$84.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

Next on our testing roundup for the 13600K is the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240L Core ARGB. This 240mm AIO CPU cooler has proven to be a reliable choice within the office, featuring in a number of different mid-range gaming PC builds. Using a newer duel chamber pump, this CPU cooler keeps the liquid flowing to make sure that the heat is removed before the i5-13600K gets too hot to handle. Unlike the previous Cooler Master product featured in this roundup, the MasterLiquid 240L Core ARGB includes two 120mm ARGB fans, which provide a whopping amount of airflow that will be able to keep the temperatures of most CPUs down. In terms of design, this CPU cooler adopts a fairly conventional design, so there won’t be much issues when slotting this cooler into your next gaming PC.

Key Specs

The two ARGB fans packaged with this CPU cooler reach a max of 1750RPM, allowing heat to be pushed out of a system at an impressive pace. Therefore, you can expect the CPU temperatures to stay nice and chilly when paired with this cooler. Along with a more efficient method of transferring heat, liquid coolers provide a more natural fit within modern PC cases compared to air coolers. This means there is less concerns when positioning this CPU cooler into most gaming builds.

It’s no surprise to see that the improved efficiency and additional parts on liquid coolers comes with an hike in price. As a result, this may not be the most ideal option for those looking to build a budget-friendly gaming PC. Another factor to consider when picking up a liquid cooler is the additional complications with the installation process. This shouldn’t be an issue for more experienced builders, but novices may want to consider an air cooler if they are worried about costly errors.

Pros

Cons

Our Ratings:

Design: 4.2/5

Performance: 4.3/5

Value for Money: 4/5

Our Verdict: 4.2/5

5. Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Elite

MPI_Corsair H100i Elite
$139.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-05-23 16:45:36 ET

Corsair’s iCUE H100i RGB Elite is a great liquid cooled option for the i5-13600K. Even though this model is one of Corsair’s least expensive 240mm AIO coolers, it still provides the high-quality features we’ve come to expect from Corsair products. We’re always impressed with the consistent blend of style and substance that Corsair provides throughout their selection of products, and the H100i RGB Elite is no exception. As the name suggests, this CPU cooler includes RGB lighting on the water pump, but it bizarrely excludes any colour on the fans. The resulting appearance when placed into a build is bound to divide opinions, but we enjoy the distinct look this cooler provides.

Key Specs

Thanks to the powerful water pump and low-noise fans, this CPU cooler will keep the i5-13600K nice and cool without making too much noise, allowing gamers to focus on the task at hand. This alone makes the iCUE H100i Elite one the best coolers for the i5-13600K.

In a similar way to the previous entry featured on this list, the H100i RGB Elite comes with the caveat of a higher price tag that may be out of the targeted budget for a lot of mid-range PC builds. Whilst a lack of RGB fans is fairly common for a CPU cooler, it is strange to exclude when there is RGB on the water pump. Because of this, you’ll either love or hate how this cooler impacts the overall aesthetic of your build.

Pros

Cons

Our Ratings:

Design: 4.1/5

Performance: 4.5/5

Value for Money: 4.2/5

Our Verdict: 4.2/5

Core i5-13600K – Air or Liquid cooling?

If we have to be blunt, you don’t need a liquid cooler for a PC that includes an i5-13600K processor. But like most considerations when building a gaming PC, the truth is more nuanced than a simple yes or no. Both air and liquid coolers have their advantages, with the best choice often coming down to the needs of the consumer.

PI_Corsair H150i Elite LCD In Build

Air coolers tend to be the preferred choice for price-conscious consumers looking to save the pennies when building their PC, whilst liquid coolers are the go-to for those wanting the best performance possible, as well as all the bells and whistles that comes with it.

How We Tested The Best CPU Coolers for the Intel Core i5-13600K

In order to test and evaluate the range of CPU coolers that are compatible with the i5-13600K, there are a number of factors that we take into consideration, which include:

  • Cooling performance
  • Compatibility
  • Design
  • Value for Money

Frequently Asked Questions

RR-Question-Mark New

Do I Need a CPU Cooler for the Core i5 13600K?

Yes. A cooler will stop this CPU from getting too hot, which helps to avoid any catastrophic damage to the CPU or any other components within a gaming PC.

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Is the Core i5 13600K Worth Buying?

Intel’s i5 13600K is a great CPU for a mid-range gaming PC, as it will have no problems running all the latest titles at both 1080p and 1440p.

RR-Question-Mark New

Can I Overclock the Core i5 13600K?

Yes! Any Intel CPU that includes a ‘K’ within its name can be overclocked, allowing for improving performance. However, anyone looking to overclock their i5 13600K should pick up a powerful CPU cooler to keep temperatures down.

Conclusion

PRT_Corsair H100i Elite

Best Overall CPU Cooler for Intel Core i5 13600K: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Elite

Corsair’s iCUE H100i RGB Elite is one of the best options for AIO’s to pair with the Intel Core i5 13600K, as it offers excellent thermal regulation, runs very quiet and is RGB customisable with Corsair’s leading iCUE technology. While it may be more expensive for a budget build, it’s one of Corsair’s cheapest AIO’s available at the moment.

GeekaWhat Rating:

editor
Jay Harris is an expert in everything PC hardware! With a degree in Cybersecurity, and a PC hardware background Jay has all of the technical knowledge required to make informed recommendations. Jay is an avid keyboard builder and gamer, with a major passion for tech. In fact, Jay's personal rig boasts a white RX 7900 XTX graphics card, inside of the Lian O11D Mini - a true enthusiast's dream!