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How to choose a CPU cooler

by Linda D. Yelverton

PCs have become an integral part of every home. The Central Processing Unit, abbreviated as CPU is like the brain of your computer. The CPU generates a lot of heat, which is quite an obvious thing.

However, too much of thermal output can spoil the system. Also, if you are planning to overclock, you should find a way to drive off the heat and to make sure that the CPU functions at an appropriate temperature.

CPU Cooler does the task efficiently. It not only draws heat away from the processor but also crucial to avoid throttling and to attain the PC’s full potential.

tech cooler

Factors to Consider while choosing the right CPU Cooler:

Before making the purchase you should be aware of the factors that need to be taken care of and how it actually the cooler works. CPU cooler comes at several shapes, sizes and price. Finding the one that is compatible with your processor and caters to your needs is critical.

  1. Actual heat generated by the CPU:

Unless you know the amount of heat generated by your processor, you can conclude whether you require a bigger or a smaller CPU cooler. You would be lucky if you still have the CPU box sitting safely at your loft. You can read from there the amount of heat generated by the CPU. Else, you can figure it out with the model number. A few numbers of websites are available to help you with this. For instance, 65-watt heat is generated by the Intel Core 2 Duo processor. So, a small or a medium-sized CPU cooler works well with Intel Core 2 Duo. If your CPU is greater than 70 watt, you need to pick a bigger cooler.

  1. TDP rating matters:

TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating is an important factor that helps to determine whether a particular cooler suits your CPU or not. Both the CPU and the CPU Cooler comes with the TDP rating. For the cooler to carry out its job satisfactorily, go with the one whose TDP rating is higher than that of the processor.

  1. Type of Cooling:

Two types of cooling options are available to choose from; Air Cooling and Liquid Cooling. Each cooling option has its own pros and cons. The biggest challenge lies in picking one between the two.

  • Air CPU cooler: It consists of a heat sink, which dissipates heat from the processor to the surrounding air and a fan. They function in concurrence with the system and are found to increase the airflow. 100% leak-proof and the price is cheap compared to that of its counterpart. Though it doesn’t require any periodic maintenance, the installation itself is difficult owed to its big size.
  • Liquid CPU Cooler: It consists of a heat sink and a radiator sitting on the enclosure. A specific type of liquid that circulates through the pipes in the heat sink transmits the heat generated from the CPU to the radiator. This, in, turn, radiates the heat away from the system into the surroundings. Again, the liquid flows back inside and the whole process continues. The cooling potential is exceptional and hardly you experience any clearance issues with the socket. The possibility of leakage is greater and liquid cooler need regular maintenance. Price is also on the higher end.


  1. Layout and socket types:

It is essential to know the socket type of your motherboard. Some of the common socket types are 775, AM2 and 1336. You should choose the cooler compatible with the socket. A lot of coolers are there that are compatible with most of the socket types; yet, there are few which supports only a specific type of socket. You can look for the specification on your processor and in the specification sheet of the CPU cooler. In addition, the layout of the motherboard also influences the choice of your cooler.

  1. Noise level:

Customers emphasis on building a PC as quiet as possible. The fact is that the CPU Cooler is the loudest part of the system. It is quite contradicting that the larger fans are less noisy than the smaller ones. Larger fans don’t need to spin as fast as the smaller ones to generate the same level of cooling. Coolers with a fan dimension of 140 mm are actually quieter than the ones with a fan dimension of 120 mm. Some coolers come with multiple fans. They are way more noiseless than the usual ones as more fans are there to drive off the heat.

Budget and aesthetics are other things that need to be considered before buying the CPU cooler.

PC Cooler

How to cool GPU?

If CPU is the brain of your computer, you can regard the Graphics Processing Unit, GPU as its heart. GPU is actually the processor of the graphics card, which is indispensable for graphics rendering. It has a large number of transistors than a CPU actually has. Thus, the amount of heat dissipated is two or three-fold higher than in CPU. It has a built-in cooling system comprising a fan and a heat sink. By making simple changes to your system and performing simple maintenance tasks, you can make sure that the GPU and also the CPU functions at the right temperatures.

  • Vacuum your computer case often. If dust has accumulated in the case, the outward and inward flow of air is hindered. Clean the fan blades to ensure that they spin properly.
  • Are you an avid gamer who loves to play high graphics game on PC? Then, you should install an additional case fan as GPU intensively gets heated up while you play. You can attach it to the computer chassis and connect it to the external power supply.
  • PCI fan card also eliminates heat from the GPU to the external environment.
  • You can look for GPU coolers in the market. They are big in size and dissipate a maximum amount of heat from the GPU and keep it cool. Pick the one which is in the perfect size to be clipped with the GPU.

Final Words:

PC is a big investment. Taking proper care of the vital components of your PC is essential for its longer life. Any damage that is done to CPU affects the entire system. So, you should make sure that appropriate provisions are there to keep the CPU cool and to preserve its functionality. GPU also needs to be taken care of so that your system’s graphics output will be maintained.

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