The Intel Core i7 8700K is an impressive CPU even with new Core generations already out, but it is known to hit high temperatures. Only a top rated cooler can help with the cooling of your system, and that’s why in this article you will learn what the best AIO Liquid and air coolers in the market are.
Just want the TL;DR? Alright, then the best option for you in 2023 is the NZXT Kraken X73 AIO Cooler. Another cooler with great specs and excellent cost-benefit is the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT.
Best CPU Cooler For i7 8700K: Quick Comparison
NZXT Kraken X73 AIO Cooler
Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT Liquid Cooler
Noctua NH-D15 Premium Air Cooler
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L
EVGA CLC 280mm Liquid Cooler
Scythe Mugen 5 Air Cooler
Top Rated AIO Liquid & Air Cooling For Intel Core i7 8700K
1. NZXT Kraken X73 AIO Cooler
Best AIO Water Cooler For 8700k
“AIO” stands for “all-in-one”, meaning this is a premium type of cooler that you should get for a computer that will get too hot while gaming or handling other types of heavy applications.
Considering that the Core i7 works at high temperatures (as you can read in the FAQ below), getting an AIO cooler is a great investment.
Alright, but what about this model?
This Kraken X73 model is located at the top of the pyramid with 360mm in length, which means that only very specific (and large) cases have space to accommodate it.
The whole device consists of the 360mm radiator, three 120mm fans (Aer P120) that are attached to the radiator, the water pump that goes on top of the CPU, which is attached to the radiator, and the power and connection cables.
This Kraken X73 has a head (which can be rotated in 30-degree intervals) customizable with the lighting colors through the NZXT CAM software. If you do not have it installed or configured the light will be just white.
The app also allows you to create customized cooling profiles for each situation. In case you have more RGB NZXT devices, they can all be synchronized through the application.
A very important aspect is that the warranty with the manufacturer is 6 years, something to consider when you are buying. That is a very long period that should cover any mishap.
Moreover, it is compatible with all current sockets from Intel and AMD, so if you change your processor, you don’t need to buy another cooler.
- Amazing cooling performance
- You can configure it through software
- Solid build
- Does not have a display
2. Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT Water Cooler
Best Water Cooler For i7 8700K
The radiator of the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT is responsible for cooling the liquid that circulates throughout the closed circuit of the system.
This version with a 280mm mounting format measures 322mm long, 137mm wide, and 27mm thick.
That is, we could say that it is about 3mm narrower than the fans themselves, which are obviously 140mm nailed. Adding the fans, the total thickness will be 52mm, a measure suitable for almost all PC cases.
The manufacturer never specifies the maximum TDP that the heatsinks support, but being a 280mm system and compatible with Threadripper, 280W is assured, and surely it rises to around 300W or more.
For this reason, it is a quite versatile system in the sense of the variety of sockets, since it offers a performance similar to a 36 mm system, being more compact and also more economical.
It is important to take into account the measurements of your case to see if it supports 140 mm fans.
As for the fans, they have pulse width modulation (PWM) control capable of rotating in a range between 400 and 2000 RPM. At the maximum speed, they generate noise of 37 dBA.
These fans are optimized for mounting on heatsinks, as they have a fairly high static pressure of 3mmH2O, in turn generating a maximum airflow of 97 CFM.
- Excellent performance
- Integration with ICUE
- ARGB pump illumination
- Lack of RGB fans
3. Noctua NH-D15 Air Cooler
Best Air Cooler For i7 8700k
It’s already been a few years since Noctua released this air cooler, but it is still one of the best models in the market when we consider its cost-benefit.
When you buy it right now, its dissipator is still compatible with any processor from Intel or AMD, so if you like to try different processors, you can keep this cooler for a long time.
The heatsink can perfectly perform passive functions on locked processors (non-K versions) or without overclock. Every good heatsink must come well equipped with good fans, and this one includes two fans (PWM NF-A15 Premium).
Each fan has dimensions of 140 x 150 x 25 mm, being capable of working from 300 RPM to 1500 RPM. This maximum RPM is a bit low if we compare it to some AIO coolers, but this cooler still does a great job because of its size.
The Noctua NH-D15 is a high-end dual tower heatsink with excellent capacity and efficiency in processor cooling. It is ideal for people that seek the utmost silence and freshness in their processor.
Its fins are designed in aluminum, while the base is made of copper with a semi-mirror-shaped effect.
- Excellent cooling performance
- Easy to assemble
- Impressive build quality
- Six-year warranty
- A bit expensive
4. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L AIO Cooler
Cheap RGB AIO Cooler For i7 8700K
Those that want to go with an AIO cooler but don’t want to spend much can rely on the cooling performance of the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB.
Its fans can operate from 650 up to 1800 RPM. These two fans combined, according to Cooler Master, have a loudness of 27dBA, which is not too loud.
Both fans have a PWM connector, so the control of the two fans will be on your hands all the time. Additionally, both fans have an RGB connector that will allow you to control the lighting.
This cooler features a high-performance dual camera.
That offers a very good liquid flow because if you increase the capacity of the radiator, you have more liquid. That, in turn, improves heat diffusion, so you can keep your whole system at safe temperatures.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best options that you can find in the market given its price.
- Great performance for its price
- Standard square frame fans
- Easy installation
- 4-pin Molex connector required for RGB controller
5. EVGA CLC 280mm Liquid Cooler
Best Cheap Liquid Cooler For i7 8700K
The EVGA CLC 280 has a radiator of 280mm with a thickness of 25mm that is cooled by two 140mm fans.
The CPU block includes an attractive RGB LED lighting system that will give your equipment a more personalized touch.
You can change the color of the light through the PrecisionX software (thanks to the presence of a USB connector for the motherboard).
The block is attached to the radiator by Teflon tubes that help prevent leaks and are visually pleasant.
This cooler was the first venture of EVGA in the world of coolers, and it delivered a great result. Even if this is a cheap option, this water cooler figures among the most popular for PC gamers.
- Excellent cooling performance for its price
- Compatible with any CPU
- Supports overclocking temperatures
- A bit noisy
6. Scythe Mugen 5 Air Cooler
Best Cheap Air Cooler For i7 8700K
Size does matter and that’s why the Scythe Mugen 5 is a high-performance device that features a large tower of aluminum foils with six U-shaped nickel-plated copper heat pipes.
The heatsink has a height of 154.5 mm, offering good compatibility with most of the best-selling PC cases on the market.
It has a total weight of 890 grams, being a large capacity unit that will offer you quality cooling for a long time.
The Scythe Mugen 5 includes a Kaze Flex fan with a diameter of 120 mm and with PWM operation that allows you to regulate its rotation speed between 300 RPM and 1300 RPM, generating a noise level between 4 dB and 24.9 dB.
Also includes anchorage to add a second fan.
- Very quiet
- Good cooling
- Only one of these might not be enough
Good CPU Cooler For Intel Core i7 8700K FAQ
Does i7 8700K Need Liquid Cooling?
The Core i7 8700k has been reported to be an overheating processor, so liquid cooling is a great option to keep your system cool. However, you need to know why liquid cooling matters in such a case.
A single liquid cooling system is capable of cooling multiple components, while when using air cooling you need to apply specific coolers and heatsinks for each piece of equipment.
Although it is necessary to install heatsinks that transmit the heat from the piping component to each part of the computer to be cooled, it is not necessary to have specific reservoirs, pumps, and radiators for each chip or board.
In places where the ambient temperature is very high, air-cooling systems are less effective, since the temperature difference between computer parts and the air used to cool them is smaller, also decreasing the efficiency of heat exchanges.
Does The i7 8700K Run Hot?
Yes, this processor has been reported to run above 80ºC easily.
How Hot Is Too Hot For i7 8700K?
When this processor hits 100ºC, it begins to throttle. The ideal scenario would be to never let it hit such a temperature. If you will constantly game with the Core i7 8700K, it is nice to build a system that doesn’t run above 90ºC, or either your parts will be damaged and your whole gaming PC won’t last too long.
What Is A Good Cooler For Intel i7 8700K?
- NZXT Kraken X73 360mm
- Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT
- Noctua NH-D15
- Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L
- EVGA CLC 280mm
- Scythe Mugen 5
Is Stock Cooler Enough For The Intel Core i7 8700K?
Unfortunately, it is not. As already explained, this processor runs very hot. The stock cooler that comes along when you buy this processor won’t help keep it at safe temperatures. To build a reliable system, you really should invest in getting a good third-party cooler.
Final Words About The Best Cooler For i7 8700K
Finding the perfect cooler to go with your Intel Core i7 8700K in 2023 is not a hard task. Plenty of options are available, starting with the AIO Liquid cooling of the top rated NZXT Kraken X73 Liquid Cooler. Right behind with also attractive features is the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT With Dual 140mm PWM Fans. Now, if going cheap is what you desire, the air cooling of the Noctua NH-D15 can manage to keep your CPU at safe temperatures too.