Inside be quiet!


Read on to get an overview of all be quiet! CPU cooling solutions, that you can choose from.

CPU coolers, a critical component for any PC, ensure optimal performance by maintaining the processor's temperature. Available in two main types, as either air or water coolers, they possess distinctive features catering to various needs. Air coolers, often less expensive and easier to install, utilize heat sinks and fans to dissipate heat. They offer reliability and longevity with minimal maintenance. Water coolers, on the other hand, provide superior cooling performance, based on the size of the radiator. They also afford tidy aesthetics. Both types can include features such as ARGB lighting for a customized and individualized look. Read on to find out which CPU cooler might be the best for you and your system.

Part 1: Technology

  • Socket support
  • Form and design
  • Installation
  • Fans and acoustics
  • RAM and VRM cooler clearance

Socket support

First and foremost, the CPU cooler must be compatible with your processor and motherboard. An integral part is a mounting kit that works with the CPU’s socket. Any newer CPU will run on either socket AM5 (AMD) or LGA 1700 (Intel). As CPU cooler manufacturer, we make certain that all new cooler releases are compatible with the latest technology. For our older cooler models, we usually offer separate mounting kits when a new socket is released, to bridge the time until we can guarantee compatibility out of the box.

Some High-End-Desktop (HEDT) and workstation CPUs like the AMD Threadripper series with socket TR5 or Intel’s “Sapphire Rapid” Xeon family with socket LGA 4677 may require bespoke solutions or a separate mounting kit.

Form and design

Water coolers are very straightforward. The cooling block sits on the CPU socket to soak up the processor heat. A pump that is either located in the block or on the tubes transfers the warm liquid to the radiator, where it is cooled down by fans before it is re-introduced to the cooling block. Radiators are measured in either steps of 120mm (e.g. 240mm or 360mm) or 140mm (e.g. 280mm), referring to the fan diameter that can be mounted on them. For example, a 240mm radiator fits 2×120mm fans. Please be aware that the actual width and length of the radiator is a little higher than the area covered by the fans. However, the room for the tubes is calculated into the specs of most PC cases, so if you follow the recommendations of your case’s manufacturer, you are on the safe side.

Air coolers come in three general designs:

  • Dual-tower heat sinks feature two heat sinks that are usually connected through the same heat pipes. They feature a middle and a front fan, sometimes with an option for a rear fan, and boast the highest cooling potential.
  • Single-tower designs consist of a single tower with an intake fan and sometimes an option for an exhaust fan. The height and depth can vary, with larger heat sinks exhibiting increased cooling potential.
  • Top flow coolers are typically used where a tower cooler’s profile is too high, for example in small form factor builds. Their height ranges from just 45mm (Pure Rock LP) to 134mm (Dark Rock TF 2). The latter can obviously not be called a low-profile cooler anymore, but a bonus is that the area around the socket, e.g. the memory, is blessed with additional airflow from the downward-facing fan.



If you are not familiar with the installation of a CPU cooler and are unsure whether you would do it the right way, do not fret. Installing a cooler is easy to understand and execute. On Intel systems, most be quiet! coolers are installed with a provided backplate for added stability and secure fit. The mounting brackets onto which the mounting bridge of the cooler is screwed on are installed horizontally or vertically. On AMD systems, usually you need to remove the motherboard’s cooler retention module, before screwing in the mounting brackets and mounting bridge. The AMD mounting brackets come in two lengths, depending on horizontal or vertical alignment. CPU cooler fans are commonly installed after the heat sink is screwed onto the motherboard. Please refer to the respective user manual for any exceptions. You can also check our Youtube channel for video mounting guides for each of our coolers! The installation process is evolving from one cooler generation to the next and our latest models, like Dark Rock Elite and Dark Rock Pro 5, have one of the easiest mounting systems yet.

Fans and acoustics

With higher pump and fan speed comes higher performance - but at the cost of a higher noise level. This is where the expertise that is indicated by our company name comes into play. We utilize several features to reduce the noise emitted by our products, which are generally generated by vibrations and moving parts of the CPU cooler. Pumps are generally sound-insulated or decoupled to reduce the transmission of vibrations onto static metal parts. The fans are often 1:1 our retail fans, which are optimized for operation at low noise in the first place. If you would like to learn more about what makes be quiet! fans special, please read on here.

RAM and VRM cooler clearance

An air cooler heat sink or its front intake fan may hang above the RAM slots and therefore limit the height of the memory modules. This is an important consideration, especially when the RAM features LEDs, which may not be visible too well underneath a massive heat sink. If you are going for fancy LED RAM, a water cooler with its much discrete cooling block design, may be the way forward for you. Nonetheless, our air coolers either feature cut-outs or an asymmetrical layout, and the option to adjust the installation height of the front fan to account for RAM with large heat spreaders or LEDs on top.

VRM cooler clearance is a rare but potential issue with older air coolers in combination with some high-end motherboards. Sometimes a VRM cooler or even a decorative motherboard element would encroach on the heat sink’s space. This is solved with careful consideration of the heat sink placement on the socket, heat pipe layout, and cut-outs on the heat sink corners.

Both RAM and motherboard compatibility of our be quiet! CPU coolers can be checked beforehand in our CPU Cooler Check tool.

Part 2: Which cooler for which CPU?

  • Water coolers
  • AMD Ryzen 5-9 & Intel Core i5-i9
  • High-end platforms
  • Small form factors

Water coolers

When talking about water cooling, we exclude custom loops for the purpose of this article, as they require a lot experience to set up properly and are more expensive than what we know as all-in-one or closed loop coolers. Water coolers started out as an exotic idea, but have become a staple in CPU cooling over the last decade. They can give a high-end processor the thermal headroom required for long periods of heavy load calculations and are simply aesthetically pleasing. For water coolers, space needs to be a consideration: The radiator can be installed somewhere else than right above the CPU, giving small form factor builds more room and flexibility to work with.

  • Silent Loop 2*
  • Pure Loop 2 FX
  • Pure Loop 2

* not available in the USA

You can also look up all you need to know about water cooling in this video:

AMD Ryzen 9 and Intel Core i9

AMD’s and Intel’s flagship models feature many cores and threads that need to be kept cool under heavy loads to unfold their full performance potential. Many be quiet! water and air coolers are excellently suited for the job.

  • Silent Loop 2*
  • Pure Loop 2 FX
  • Pure Loop 2
  • Dark Rock Elite
  • Dark Rock Pro 5
  • Dark Rock 4
  • Dark Rock Slim

*not available in the USA

AMD Ryzen 7 and Intel Core i7

A cooler that works with a flagship CPU also works with lower core counts at lower RPM and noise. Any cooler that was listed in the segment above is perfectly suitable and on top of that, we recommend the following:

  • Dark Rock TF 2
  • Shadow Rock 3
  • Shadow Rock Slim 2
  • Pure Rock 2 FX
  • Pure Rock 2

AMD Ryzen 5 and Intel Core i5

The requirements of these CPUs are much more forgiving, so you can get away with a smaller heat sink. On top of what was already a great choice for the AMD Ryzen 7 and Intel Core i7 series, mainstream CPUs also work fine with:

  • Shadow Rock LP
  • Pure Rock Slim 2
  • Pure Rock LP

High-end desktop platforms

At the time of publishing this article, our coolers only support AMD’s Threadripper platform in the high-end desktop segment. Both socket TR5 and TR4 use the same mounting, so you may use the same coolers. Please note that the cooling requirements are massive, so we strongly recommend a water cooler with a large radiator for the top-end models.

  • Silent Loop 2* - Requires optional mounting kit
  • Dark Rock Pro TR4

*not available in the USA

Small form factor

Small cases limit the size of all components and CPU coolers are no exception. If the case allows installation of a radiator, a water cooler with a small radiator may be a good solution. Assuming airflow through the case is possible, a low-profile cooler can also do the job.

  • Pure Loop 2 120mm
  • Shadow Rock LP
  • Pure Rock LP

If you would like to dive deeper into which cooler might be the best for your PC, please check out our CPU Cooler Check tool. Not only does it give you an indication about the rare instance of a conflict between certain coolers and motherboards, you can also put in your CPU to receive performance-based cooler recommendations, tailored to your choice. Once your PC is built, we are looking forward to seeing photos on social media. Please do not forget to tag our handles: