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OCC'S Top 3 Coolers of 2016

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Category: CPU Cooling
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As 2016 comes to a close, it is time for me to talk about the top three coolers. After reviewing many coolers throughout the year, the line blurs and it is really hard to pick, since they are all quite so good. None of them are bad, and it often comes down to price or maybe a certain color scheme that gets my attention. Testing coolers is fun - you get to see what the various manufacturers are doing to set themselves apart from each other. Sometimes it is a new pump design or maybe some new ultra-quiet fans. Fancy lighting effects seem to be the thing now, and I have to say I like every one I have seen. Regardless, let's take a run though the OCC Top 3 Cooler list for 2016 and see if any of them catch your eye.

 

#3 Cooler: OCC Review of the FrostFlow 240L by ID-Cooling

We'll start off with number three, the FrostFlow 240L from ID-Cooling. ID-Cooling is somewhat new, and it is certainly leaving a mark in the component world with its wide range of air coolers. Now, ID-Cooling is dipping into liquid coolers. The FrostFlow 240L is a nice AIO (All-in-One) liquid cooler that comes with two 120mm PWM fans. Each fan has a cool red trim ring and the pump has a "comet tail" LED that chases around the pump top when powered up. I really like the red and black theme, but if red isn't your thing, then the FrostFlow 240L also comes in blue or white. So, you have three options for color. Performance was typical for a radiator this size and the fans were fairly quiet. If you really want to add some zing, ID-Cooling offers some great LED fans in a variety of colors that look great in any case. Article link here.

 Check out the video review:

 

 

#2 Cooler: OCC Review of the Dark Rock TF from be quiet!

The DarkRock TF is a great top flow cooler from be quiet! There is a massive top (horizontal) fin stack that dominates the view with its attractive dark nickel finish and stylish heat pipe termination caps. The twisting and turning heat pipes wrap around to a smaller, secondary fin stack to give heat a one-two punch. While I am a big fan of liquid cooling, this cooler really does it for me, and you can't beat the simplicity and reliability of an air cooler. The DarkRock TF comes with two 135mm PWM SilentWings® fans and they can really move some air. One cool (no pun intended) thing about a top flow cooler is that all that air gets pushed down across your motherboard components, so you get the benefit of some extra cooling. The fit and finish on this cooler is top-notch, which is no surprise coming from be quiet! Article link here.

 

 

#1 Cooler: OCC Review of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 280

And here we have number one. This new cooler from Cooler Master really puts the heat away with its enormous 280mm radiator. The radiator frame and side tanks are rock-solid. The heavy, dual chambered pump is illuminated with a cool blue LED and the cooling lines are now covered with a nice, braided sheath. And those 140mm PWM fans - they actually have a three-postion switch that gives you a spread on the top range of the RPM limit. How many fans can do that? Cooler Master employs something called FlowOp Technology, which is a combination of features including (per Cooler Master): "an exclusive pump and dual chamber design with ultra fine microchannels, Braided Sleeve tubing, square fin radiator design and MasterFanAir Balance fans." So there is a lot going on with the new MasterLiquid Pro 280, and the performance numbers prove it. Like I said, it is not easy to choose, but everything comes together with this cooler to make it the number one pick! Article link here.

 Check out the video review:

 

So there you have it - OCC's Top 3 Coolers of 2016. You can't go wrong with any of them, so if you are in the market for a new cooler, then check 'em out!




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