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KITGURU SHORTLISTS: THE BEST COOLER OF 2020

Last updated on September 14th, 2020 at 09:04 am

Gone are the days when a cooler’s only requirement was to keep your CPU at a safe temperature. With the advent of liquid cooling, RGB and advanced control systems, coolers can be a thing of beauty.

NZXT Kraken X73 & Z63

Taken as a whole, the latest generation of NZXT Kraken coolers is highly impressive. Thermal performance is simply the best we have seen on our test bench to date and will be the benchmark we use to compare all future coolers against. Even during our noise normalised testing, the Kraken X73 and Z63 easily came out on top and visually the coolers perform great too.

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Zalman CNPS20X and CNPS17X

We have two coolers from Zalman that share the designation CNPS which stands for Computer Noise Prevention System. The cheaper Zalman CNPS17X is rated at 200W and employs a single 140mm fan, while the Zalman CNPS20X is rated at 300W and uses a dual tower design with two 140mm fans. The fans are PWM items that are rated to 1,500rpm with Fluid Dynamic Bearings and they also include Digital 5V RGB lighting.

 

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Deepcool Castle 280EX

Taken as a whole, the Castle 280EX is an excellent all-round package. The combination of the minimalistic appearance to the fan design and the hint of RGB lighting works really well, I would certainly recommend adding the Castle 280EX to your CPU cooler shortlist for future system builds, especially for those with a tight budget but looking for maximum thermal performance.

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Arctic Freezer 34 eSports DUO

The Freezer 34 eSports DUO is one of Arctic's more recent coolers. Compared to more expensive air coolers of late, the Freezer 34 is a compact design with four heat pipes and fifty-four fin configuration.

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Arctic Liquid Freezer II

The Liquid Freezer II is a follow up to Arctic's original Liquid Freezer range of AIO coolers. With some interesting features on show, the Liquid Freezer II will attempt to knock our current best performing all-in-one cooler, the Deepcool Castle 240EX off its throne when we put it through its paces on our test bench later.

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