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The Core i5-10600K is the best gaming CPU for most users at the moment. It offers excellent gaming performance for the price, and since the CPU is quite easy to overclock, it can reach 10900K-like gaming performance with the 5GHz overclock. Out of the box, it’s perfect for high refresh rate gaming, both at 1440p and 1080p. Reaching the 5GHz mark with the 10600K requires a quality motherboard. It also requires a quality cooling solution. Luckily, since the 10600K is less of a power hog than the 10900K, you can reach 5GHz with a quality air cooler and a bit of luck in the silicon lottery.
When it comes to AIO liquid coolers, even a quality 240mm radiator should provide enough cooling power for serious overclocking. You can use a 280mm radiator for better thermals and going over the 5GHz mark. 360mm radiators are here for complete silence, for users who like their PCs to purr quietly. All things considered, the Core i5 10600K is much easier to cool than its bigger cousin, which was helpful during the process of picking the best CPU coolers for i5-10600K.
We kept most of our recommendations, which you can check out in our best CPU coolers for i9-10900K article, but we changed the size of AIO coolers. Also, with the 10600K, you can achieve excellent overclock results even with air coolers. While you’re here, you could also read our list that includes the best motherboards for i5-10600K as well as our guide for the best graphics cards for i5-10600K.
1. Noctua NH-D15: Best overall air cooler for i5-10600K
This legendary cooler is the perfect choice for users who want to do some serious 10600K overclocking. The NH-D15 is hands down the best air cooler for the 10600K. You can reach 4.8GHz without issues, and there’s a chance of reaching stable 5GHz by using the NH-D15.
Sure, the cooler is immense and quite heavy, but it is considered the best air cooler on the market for a reason. And that reason is simple: the NH-D15 can cool the CPU as well as many AIO systems while being noticeably quieter.
The main issue when trying to install a giant slab of metal that is the NH-D15 is the motherboard and memory clearance. A heat sink as large as this will prevent you from easily accessing the motherboard.
Also, make sure to have low-profile RAM before getting the NH-D15. If you need so buying recommendations, check out our best low profile RAM kits.
2. DeepCool AS500: Best value air cooler for i5-10600K
It’s not a budget choice, but the DeepCool AS500 is noticeably cheaper than the heavy hitters in the form of the NH-D15, Dark Rock Pro 4, and the DeepCool Assassin III. While being about 40 percent cheaper than the dual tower trio, it achieves almost the same cooling performance while staying exceptionally quiet.
If you need the best value air cooler for the 10600K (or maybe the 11600K), get this one. You also have the AS500 Plus version that comes with the second 140mm fan. You’ll get slightly lower temperatures, but if you cannot find the Plus version, just get the base version and slap another 140mm fan on it.
The cooler does have two issues. Firstly, it’s 164mm tall, which might be too tall for many mid-range cases. Next, the brackets that keep the cooler stable may come in contact with certain components on some board models, so watch about that.
3. be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4: Best silent air cooler for i5-10600K
When it comes to excellent cooling performance combined with a very quiet operation, the Dark Rock Pro 4 is from be quiet! is our prime choice. It’s as big as the NH-D15, and its installation can be a proper pain in the ass. But once you’ve finished setting it up, you’ll hardly hear the cooler even when putting your 10600K under extreme stress tests.
What we like about the Dark Rock Pro is its design. The stealth black color scheme combined with excellent-looking fans makes this cooler the prettiest of the bunch. This cooler can provide enough performance for medium overclock.
But, you can also use it to push the limit of your CPU if you have excellent airflow inside your case. If you want to improve airflow inside your case, check out our list of the best 140mm case fans.
4. Scythe Big Shuriken 3: Best low-profile cooler for i5-10600K
The Big Shuriken 3 from Scythe is the best low-profile air cooler for the 10600K. It’s pretty powerful for a low-profile cooler and won’t have a single issue with cooling the stock 10600K.
Again, we cannot recommend overclocking a CPU paired with a low-profile air cooler, but you can try it. Just be ready to live with laptop-like CPU temps.
This cooler is potent but also a bit chunky and tall for a low-profile unit. Before you get it, make sure you can fit them inside your Mini-ITX case. The max height is set at 69mm.
5. Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280: Best overall AIO cooler for i5-10600K
Instead of going with 280mm and 360mm AIO coolers, as we did in the best CPU cooler for the 10900K piece, here we are recommending almost exclusively 240mm and 280mm models.
The thing is, a 240mm AIO can reach almost the same performance as a 280mm model. Especially if the 240mm model has a thicker radiator. You should get 280mm models if you want to cross the 5GHz limit or if you want great cooling performance with less noise.
360mm models are only for those who want zero noise coming from their AIO coolers. Just remember that 360mm AIO systems are overkill for the 10600K. Get those only if you’re a fan of total silence.
The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II is an affordable cooler without any gimmicks. But, this is also one potent AIO cooler that will provide the best performance for your CPU, no matter the overclock level.
The Arctic Freezer 240 is the best AIO cooler for the i5-10600K you can find right now. It should provide similar results as most 280mm AIO coolers since its radiator is very chunky compared to other models.
The 280mm model isn’t that much more expensive and if you have some cash to burn and want the best possible performance, get the 280mm version. The 280mm version of this cooler will also be very quiet during normal gaming loads, so there’s that.
Finally, the cooler comes with a small VRM fan placed on the CPU cover. While this can make a noticeable difference when using the power-hungry 10900K, VRMs should get too hot when using the 10600K so the VRM fan won’t have anything to cool off.
6. EVGA CLC: Best budget AIO cooler for i5-10600K
The EVGA CLC AIO cooler lineup is the best budget choice at the moment. They have excellent performance; they also have a small RGB LED array on the CPU cover, all that for a budget price.
If you don’t care about RGB, get the Liquid Freezer II, it sells for almost the same price. Again, the CLC 24 is the best bet for most users. You’ll get plenty of performance for less money. Those who want serious OC results get the CLC 28.
7. Corsair H115i RGB Platinum: Best RGB AIO cooler for i5-10600K
The Corsair H115i RGB Platinum is the best RGB AIO cooler for the 10600K. You get a nice CPU cover that includes a thick RGB border. You also get a set of two amazing RGB fans that you can tweak with numerous RGB effects.
Now, this AIO system doesn’t offer astounding levels of performance, but that’s okay because this one’s all about those sweet RGB effects. The performance is satisfying, especially since these fans aren’t made for full-on 12V max RPM workloads.
This is why we are recommending the 280mm version of this cooler. With a larger radiator, you can let the fans purr in low RPM mode while providing enough performance for medium overclock. You can use this cooler for heavy overclock but remember, it will be on the noisier side.
8. Corsair H150i PRO RGB: Best silent AIO cooler for i5-10600K
Now, let’s talk about overkills. First of all, a 360mm AIO cooler is overkill for the 10600K. Next, its price is another overkill. It’s too damn high, no matter the size. But we have to recommend the 360mm version of this cooler because it’s so damn silent.
Overall, the Corsair H150i PRO RGB is the best silent AIO cooler for the 10600K. The cooler’s already silent when paired with flagship CPUs such as the 10900K. Now, imagine how silent this cooler would be while cooling the 10600K and not some flagship CPU that can cause a power outage in an entire building?
Yes, you’ve guessed it, the cooler will be inaudible. This is why we recommend the Corsair H150i PRO RGB. And if you decide to buy this one, definitely get the 360mm version.
It’s just a bit more expensive than the already overpriced 280mm version while offering good enough performance to be inaudible at all times, except if you reach 5.1GHz with the CPU and put it to an hour-long torture test.
i5-10600K & Intel MCE
We’ve already talked in length about the Intel MCE setting found on Z490 motherboards. MCE can push Intel CPUs over their power limits. In short, MCE can allow CPUs to reach better performance, but it does that by making them run hotter and making their power limits go through the roof.
Since the 10600K isn’t as power-hungry as the 10900K, it’s much safer to use MCE with the 10600K. You can even cool it down with a decent air cooler. But, if you encounter any system instabilities or other issues, turn off the MCE immediately.
Unlike the situation with the 10900K, air coolers are perfectly fine for running overclocked 10600K. Of course, you need a quality air cooler for overclocking this CPU, something such as the NH-D15S from Noctua. If AIO is your thing, any 240mm and 280mm unit should be fine for overclocking.
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