What is the best CPU cooler for under $100


With the Australian summer well underway, I thought it might be a good idea to upgrade my stock cooler for my CPU as it on average is hitting temperatures of 80*c. I also plan to do some rendering with it, so keeping it cool would be optimal.

Anyway, I was wondering if it is worth buying a cooler for it, and if so what is the best cooler to purchase under $100.

My CPU is an i7 2600, and my motherboard is a 1155 socket.

EDIT: My case is a Sharkoon T9, which is a ATX MIDI Tower.
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  1. Best answer
    Phanteks PH-TC14PE would be the best air cooler IMO. Close competitors are the Noctua NH-D14 and the Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E. But I personally think the Phanteks looks the best out of all three. Noctua is the quietest IMO (but you are unlikely to hear any of them running). In terms of cooling, I would say the difference is so small between all three that it is negligible.

    Alternatively, you can go for a liquid cooling route. The H100i is $10 above your budget, but it would work nicely. There's also the H80 to consider. CLCs are not as good as true water cooling solution, and they cool to about the same as one of the high-end air coolers that I mentioned above.

    Unfortunately, true water cooling will rack up that budget.
  2. Best depends on your case and what it can support. Some coolers are just too tall for many cases. If you decide you want a closed loop cooler, you have to have the necessary fan support. As an example, the NZXT 40 requires a 140mm fan opening on the case. The H100i needs 2, 120mm fan openings right next to each other.
  3. What is your case anyway? We don't want to recommend you a product that would ultimately not fit or install into your case.
  4. I would get the Noctua NH-D14 myself. However, I'm not sure if that would cost under $100 AUD.
  5. @MOG2020: not that cheap in Australia. ;)
  6. Hi, sorry for the delayed responce but my case is a Sharkoon T9.
  7. Get a Noctua NH-D14 if it fits your budget, otherwise a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo will do good too, and it's a lot cheaper.

    Also, if your i7 is overclocked tell us to what extent, base frequency, voltage and temps at idle/load. Some people overclock but set voltage beyond what the CPU needs, resulting in abnormally high temps.
  8. ^ that.

    The Phanteks PH-TC14PE unfortunately will not fit inside your case. The Noctua NH-D14 and Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO will. The Noctua NH-D14 is much better. Another option is a H80i, which you can mount it to the rear.
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