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. Overclock this CPU and you can use it for any kind of gaming. 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 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. We kept most of our recommendations, which you can check out in the best cooler for 10900K article, but we changed the size of AIO coolers. Also, with 10600K you can achieve excellent overclock results even with air coolers.
So, here we can recommend air coolers for those who want to try reaching 5GHz with the Core i5-10600K. Remember, with air coolers you can easily reach 4.8GHz. 5GHz not only asks for the best air cooler on the market, but it also asks a bit of luck. If you cannot reach 5GHz with an air cooler, maybe it isn’t their fault.
Finally, before we begin, we’ve 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. Now, it’s cooler time.
Best CPU Coolers for i5-10600K – Our Picks
|Best Overall Air Cooler for i5-10600K||Noctua NH-D15|
|Best Budget Air Cooler for i5-10600K||Scythe Fuma 2|
|Best Silent Air Cooler for i5-10600K||Be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4|
|Best Low-Profile Cooler for i5-10600K||Scythe Big Shuriken 3|
|Best Overall AIO Cooler for i5-10600K||ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240mm/280mm|
|Best Budget AIO Cooler for i5-10600K||EVGA CLC 24/28|
|Best RGB AIO Cooler for i5-10600K||Corsair H115i RGB Platinum 280mm|
|Best Silent AIO Cooler for i5-10600K||Corsair Hydro Series H150i PRO RGB 360mm|
Best Air Coolers for Core i5-10600K
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 and we have the three best air coolers at the moment. We also have the best low-profile cooler for those who want to build a 10600K-based SFF machine.
Best Overall Air Cooler for i5-10600K
This legendary cooler is the perfect choice for users who want to do some serious 10600K overclocking. 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 is considered the best air cooler on the market for a reason. And the reason is, the NH-D15 can cool the CPU as good as many AIO systems while being noticeably quieter.
You could go with the Deep Cool Assassin III but we wouldn’t recommend that one to 10600K owners. It’s even bigger than the NH-D15, it’s more complicated to mount, and it’s more expensive. Sure, it shaves a couple of degrees of the CPU compared to the NH-D15, but if you own a 10600K those results aren’t relevant since you can overclock the CPU without issues with the Noctua model.
What we can recommend over the NH-D15 is its single fan cousin, the NH-D15S. It’s almost as good but costs less and you can also combine it with an OCed 10600K. Next, the Noctua NH-U14S is another single fan cooler that should do a pretty good job of cooling OCed 10600K. This one’s also noticeably cheaper than the NH-D15. Finally, if you care about the design get the NH-D15 cromax.black.
Best Budget Air Cooler for i5-10600K
If you want to try reaching the 5GHz mark but don’t want to pay a premium for the NH-D15, get the Scythe Fuma 2. You’ll get almost the same performance as the most powerful air coolers of today for a noticeably lower price. You also get a huge body and dual fan design, which will take some time to install.
But overall, this cooler’s great and is worth the price and the installation time. It’s also pretty quiet for its performance. Looking at budget alternatives, there’s the excellent Scythe Mugen 4 Rev. B. It’s even cheaper than the Fuma 2 and it features a single fan design. Nevertheless, the Mugen 4 Rev. B. should provide excellent performance when combined with lightly overclocked 10600K. And thanks to its modular design you can add the second fan and try reaching the highest stable clock possible.
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 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 finished setting it up, you’ll hardly hear the cooler even when putting your 10600K under extreme stress tests.
What we really 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. As for the alternatives, we can recommend the regular Dark Rock 4 cooler. It has only one fan but its performance will be more than enough for stock or lightly overclocked 10600K.
Best Low-Profile Cooler for i5-10600K
The Big Shuriken 3 from Scythe is the best low-profile air cooler you can find. 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.
The alternative is the Noctua NH-L12S. It offers almost the same performance as the Big Shuriken 3 while emitting just a bit less noise. Whichever of the two you end up with, make sure you can actually fit them inside your Mini-ITX case. They are quite tall for low-profile coolers, with 70mm (NH-L12S) and 69mm (Big Shuriken 3) max height. They are also pretty wide. So, before you order them, check out official specs for both and do some measuring of your case and height of your RAM sticks.
Best AIO Liquid Coolers for Core 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 go with 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.
Best Overall AIO Cooler for i5-10600K
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. For the 10600K we would recommend the 240mm variant of this cooler. 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 is coming with a small VRM fan placed on the CPU cover. While this can make a noticeable difference when using the power-hungry 10900K, combined with the 10600K this feature is a gimmick.
Best Budget AIO Cooler for i5-10600K
The EVGA CLC line of AIO liquid coolers 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.
When it comes to alternatives, we recommend the Fractal Design Celsius line of AIO coolers. The Celsius S24 is great for stock clocks and light overclock. But, if you want to overclock the 10600K, go with the Liquid Freezer II or CLC 28. Celsius S36 is too large for the 10600K but you can get it for lower noise compared to smaller radiators.
Best RGB AIO Cooler for i5-10600K
The Corsair H115i RGB Platinum is the ultimate choice for fans of RGB effects. 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. As for the alternatives, we’ve had NZXT Kraken X63 in our 10900K article. We recommended it because, while expensive, it offers solid performance and very cool infinity mirror RGB effects. Now, the Kraken X53 (240mm radiator) variant comes with subpar performance while costing as much as many 280mm AIO coolers. We cannot recommend that one so if you have the money to burn, get the Kraken X63. It’s expensive and probably too much for the 10600K but it looks rather nice and has an excellent cooling performance.
Best Silent AIO Cooler for i5-10600K
Now, let’s talk about overkills. First of all, a 360mm AIO cooler is an 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. 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 Hydro Series H150i PRO. 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.