From a value perspective, air coolers are far superior to water-cooling; that's largely due to the fact that they're a lot more expensive than most air-coolers. From an absolute-performance standpoint, there's not a lot that beats out closed-loop coolers - see both of TH's benches
, as well as FrostyTech's latest charts
Liquid coolers are not quiet, though - if you want quiet, you'll definitely want something like the Noctua NH-C14
or Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme
, if you're looking at the high-end of air-cooling.
Back to the value position, I'd say the Hyper 212 EVO
and Xigmatek Dark Knight II
are your best options there.