Question What kind of coolers required for a good overclock with the 7700k?


Jan 18, 2016
Hello. I'm just a bit confused, if I bought the 7700k (which I plan on doing soon), I'd like to 4.6 or maybe 5, so I'm wondering, apart from liquid coolers (which I'm not familiar with), which cooler would get my that high comfortably?

TJ Hooker

I'd say:

Noctua NH-D15/D15S for best performance (or Cryorig R1 Ultimate/Universal if you don't like how the Noctua looks). The D15S is a version that has slightly worse cooling performance but it is optimized for RAM clearance and takes up a bit less space. Same goes for the Universal compared to the Ultimate.

Dark Rock Pro 4 for quiet operation

Mugen 5 Rev. B for bang for buck

The Pro 4 and Mugen aren't quite top of the line for absolute cooling performance, but they're still very good. You'll need to figure out what case you have to see what the max supported CPU cooler size is.
How well you can oc a i7-7700K is determined by your luck in getting a good chip.
Your hopes are reasonable.
As of 6/9/17
What percent can get an overclock at a somewhat sane 1.4v Vcore.

4.9 83%
5.0 62%
5.1 29%
5.2 6%

Your limit will be either the vcore you can tolerate or the heat under stress.

Your case is important.
Any cooler needs a good source of fresh intake air to be able to do it's job. (that includes liquid coolers too)
Two 120mm front intakes will be sufficient.
Measure the height available in your case.
160mm is a common height for a good air cooler.

I love the noctua NH-D15s.
It sells for about £75


Contributing Writer
There is a common misunderstanding that AIO liquid cooling is always better than air cooling. This is not always the case and very misleading to those unaware.

Liquid cooling AIOs do not perform as well as full watercooling systems. A $100 240mm AIO will not give you the same results as a custom $600 cooling loop. The pump or CPU block alone might cost what the complete AIO might be priced at.

Liquid cooling AIOs are mostly made by the same 3-4 manufacturers and then rebranded. Pumps and radiators on many of them are EXACTLY the SAME. Most differences lie in software supporting them and fans being used.

A 120mm AIO performs differently than a 240, 280 and 360 AIO.

Just 'having liquid cooling' doesn't mean it is actually 'good liquid cooling'.

Edit: I almost want to make these kind of into a '10 commandments of liquid cooling' type of meme.


Contributing Writer

Thou shall not assume liquid cooling is always better than air cooling. Often times, great air coolers can outperform less-performing AIO coolers.

Thou shall not assume that 'having liquid cooling' means that it automatically is 'good liquid cooling'.

Thou shall not assume that an AIO liquid cooler will perform as well as custom watercooling, nor that a 120mm AIO, 240mm AIO, 280mm AIO or 360mm AIO all perform the same.

Thou shall realize that as in all water/liquid cooling, flow rate, fan speed/CFM and radiator size all play a part in cooling performance.

Thou shall realize that most AIO coolers are made by the same, few manufacturers and then rebranded, which mainly differ in software and fans used. Pumps and radiators are often exactly alike.

Thou shall realize that custom watercooling is often expensive and cutting corners with cheap no-name components might result in unknown (and unwarranted) disasters.

Thou shall reallize that you can find mounting hardware (bolts, nuts, washers) at your local hardware store if you need to customize to your needs.

Thou shall realize that you should know your cooling loop's complete TDP needs. This is not the same TDP needs your entire PC will require from a power supply...only the heat outputs being addressed from cooling blocks.

Thou shall realize that cooling loop delta-T is a result of ambient room temperature, cooling loop total radiator cooling volume, coolant flow rate, fan airflow/CFM and TDP of components being cooled. This defines the difference of coolant temperature vs. ambient room temperature. Good performing delta-T is 10C difference between room and coolant.

Thou shall realize that your reported CPU temps vs. ambient room temperature is a delta, but different than the delta-T of the coolant temperature of the cooling loop vs. ambient room temperature.