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You may have heard this probably a hundred times, “make sure you have the right CPU cooler”. But is a CPU cooler necessary? Do you really need it?
A CPU cooler is very important because it keeps the processor cool during load conditions. The removal of excessive heat from the processor allows it to remain efficient and provide the best of its performance throughout the time.
However, that’s not all because there’s surely a lot more to learn when it comes to CPU cooler. Let’s take a look and see if a CPU cooler is necessary or your computer can survive without that.
If you are interested in learning about coolers and their functions then keep on reading.
Cpu Cooler Basics: What And Why
Every CPU has its own maximum allowable temperature and if it exceeds the limit, then the CPU will go haywire and start malfunctioning. So to prevent this from happening, CPU cooler is necessary along with a good PC case.
To keep the processor temperature less than the maximum allowable temperature of the CPU cooler is necessary for the smooth functioning of the processor.
But one might ask does CPU come with cooler?
To know the answer keep reading!
Types Of Cpu Coolers: Air Vs Liquid!
There are many types of coolers available in the market with different pros and cons. The main difference between air and liquid cooling systems is that air coolers need a constant supply of fresh air for proper working while water-based coolers absorb the heat through convection.
Air coolers are lower in price than water-cooled ones so it’s not necessary to buy an expensive one because you can get very good quality air coolers at a very reasonable price.
Liquid cooling has many pros but has cons as well with its high price being the main con. If you have all the money in the world then you can go with liquid-cooling systems.
However, if you are low on budget then air coolers are just as good as they provide great cooling at a very low price.
How Important is a CPU Cooler?
The importance of a CPU cooler depends on how you use it. It can be very helpful if you are running some serious games that generate a lot of heat therefore the best option to go with here is a liquid-cooling system that offers maximum cooling.
Or if you’re using a CPU under $200 that doesn’t come with a cooling solution.
If you are not playing any high graphics intense game (such as Warzone, for instance), then air coolers are perfect for you as they provide a lot of cooling at a very low price.
If you are not into gaming and just use your PC for regular tasks like browsing, watching movies, etc then go with the air-cooler because it will provide good enough cooling without being too expensive.
What Makes A Good CPU Cooler?
When buying a CPU cooler, there are a lot of things that you should keep in mind. Here are some points to consider before buying a CPU cooler:
1. Size and Compatibility
First thing first, make sure whatever laptop or motherboard you have because it’s very important to buy the right size for your components. It’s also necessary to check whether the cooler is compatible with your motherboard or not.
The most important thing to consider is the price because it has a lot to do with performance as well.
You can get very good air coolers at an affordable price which are perfect for people on a budget. whereas liquid-cooling systems are expensive but provide maximum cooling, it also depends on what you are looking for.
If you want to get maximum cooling with your CPU without spending too much money then air coolers are best for you but if you want the best of both worlds then the liquid-cooling system is perfect for that.
3. Bearing Type
It’s necessary to choose a cooler which has a good bearing type like Rifle Bearing, Sleeve Bearing, and Fluid Dynamic Bearing, they provide a very smooth and quiet operation.
Brackets make installation of the cooler easy and simple but there are some small models which don’t need the brackets to be installed on them therefore it’s necessary to check whether you can install the cooler or not.
5. Heat Sink
Is a CPU heatsink necessary? Before buying a CPU, you should know that the heat sink heats up fast therefore it’s necessary to check whether there is an aluminum plate on it or not.
Aluminum provides better performance than copper because of faster heat dissipation.
6. Air Flow (CFM)
Airflow is measured by cubic feet per minute which measures the amount of air that is moved past a certain point in one minute and the higher the CFM, the better heat dissipation it provides.
It’s necessary to check how much noise it produces, as some coolers can be pretty loud because of their high CFM rate. When choosing air-based coolers, the length of the blades plays an important role.
The higher the blade size, the less will be the noise produced because it produces more cooling using less rotation.
It’s necessary to check the dimensions of the cooler because it’s necessary to see whether you will be able to install it or not.
9. Available Socket Type
Make sure that whatever socket type your motherboard has, the cooler is compatible with it, otherwise you’ll have a hard time finding a replacement.
Most of the coolers come with different voltage options which can be adjusted. Sometimes this feature is not available on some models because it’s up to the manufacturer which mostly overclocking friendly CPU cooler provide this option.
You might be thinking about how much power a CPU cooler uses. To know this you can easily check the information provided on the box of your cooler.
Checking warranty information is necessary before buying a CPU cooler because it’s better to know how long the warranty lasts before buying a product.
The above points show that there is a lot to consider when buying a CPU, and they must be checked carefully for getting maximum cooling and performance.
Which Cooler Should I Buy?
If you are low on budget, then go with air coolers but if you want the best of both worlds then go with liquid-cooling systems as they provide maximum cooling and they are very silent as well.
It just depends on how much money you’re willing to spend and what type of user you are so it’s necessary to be aware of your needs before buying a cooler for your CPU.
Is Cpu Cooler App Safe?
Nowadays, you may get a lot of ads about different apps claiming that they can make your computer faster. Some of these are even claiming that they can cool down your computer’s CPU.
Now you might be thinking about whether these apps or legit or not. Should you use them? Are they even safe for your computer? Well, to answer this let’s tell you how these apps work in the first place.
These apps are pretty simple. All they do is monitor your CPU’s temperature and if it goes above a certain point they make the CPU work at a lower voltage which reduces its heat production however, this does not affect performance in any way.
These apps reduce heat production but what you’re thinking can actually happen if you manually under volt a CPU and that’s basically what these apps do.
You might be wondering why CPUs don’t come with this feature, then? That’s because it is very dangerous for your CPU to under-volt it manually.
CPUs are manufactured in a specific way that they work best at their factory settings which are the default settings of voltage for each model.
It is not recommended to manually change these settings as you might decrease the life of your CPU if you under-volt it.
Now come to the question of whether these apps are safe for your computer. Well, they are safe but only up to a certain point because if you reduce voltage too much or go beyond default settings then your CPU might get damaged.
But if you use them right and don’t change the voltage manually then your CPU is completely safe.
You might also want to check our guide on 15000 rpm hard drive vs SSD.
Is Stock CPU Cooler Enough For Gaming?
In today’s world, you can’t play games without a proper CPU cooler as CPUs have become powerful and some of the high-end video games need so much processing power that they turn into heat very soon.
The question is, is a stock CPU cooler enough for gaming? The answer to this question depends upon your needs. For intensive gaming, they aren’t as good but for normal use yes, they can work.
But don’t worry! you can buy aftermarket CPU coolers that can be installed on your computer without any problems because most of them come with a mounting system.
So whenever you are buying a new cooler make sure it supports Intel or AMD sockets otherwise this won’t work on your computer.
Also, if your stock CPU cooler is working fine then there’s no need to buy an aftermarket one because not only are they very expensive but also they waste space in precious computer cases.
Speaking of gaming, is 8ms good for gaming? Check this article too!
Can I Use a Liquid Cooler As an Air Cooler?
This is another question that comes to the minds of many gamers and people who want to overclock their CPUs. Well, to answer this, let’s see how liquid-cooling systems work in the first place.
Liquid cooling doesn’t cool your CPU directly but rather cools down a radiator that has water or an alternative solution inside it and the water absorbs the heat from the radiator through convection thus making your CPU cooler.
Now if you want to use a liquid-cooling system as an air cooler then you won’t be able to do that because it doesn’t work like that.
So, if your CPU is working fine and there’s no problem with your stock CPU cooler then don’t replace it with a liquid cooling system unless you want to spend the extra money and also make some room for your radiator.
Should I Buy An Aftermarket CPU Cooler?
Now there are hundreds of aftermarket CPU coolers available on the market. You might be thinking about whether they are safe or not. Should you buy any of them?
Well, it depends on your needs. If you are not planning to overclock then there’s no point in buying an aftermarket CPU cooler because the stock cooler which comes with your computer is enough.
If your stock CPU cooler is making too much noise or not providing enough cooling for your upgraded processor then you should buy one but do remember that buying a CPU cooler is not going to increase your performance at all.
If you just want extra cooling for your computer then there’s no need to buy one because stock coolers are enough to do that job.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a CPU cooler?
This is the most important question and our advice: No! if you don’t need a CPU cooler then you should not buy one because it’s useless investing in something that doesn’t provide any benefit to your computer.
It’s always better to spend money on upgrading old hardware than buying an overpriced CPU cooler that will only make noise and use up space inside your precious computer case.
CPUs have become really powerful and you don’t need a CPU cooler for gaming unless you are overclocking it or using an alternative cooling system like liquid-cooling which requires additional fans to cool the radiator.
What happens if you run a CPU without a cooler?
If you don’t have a CPU cooler then the temperature will go up and your computer will stop working. This is a major problem because there are chances that your motherboard or other internal parts can also get damaged due to overheating your CPU.
Now it’s better to buy one from the market but make sure you buy an aftermarket one because they are much better and safer for your computer and of course the environment.
Do you need a CPU cooler for gaming?
Generally speaking, you don’t need an aftermarket CPU cooler for gaming purposes. Why? Because most processors are very powerful and can easily handle modern-day games.
Apart from that, the stock cooling systems are more than enough in most cases. However, if you are planning to overclock then you might want to consider buying one because that can increase your performance by a drastic amount.
Does a CPU cooler make a difference?
Yes, a CPU cooler makes a lot of difference to the performance of your computer because it keeps the temperature of your processor low. The lower your processor’s temperature is, the more stable it will be and the longer it will last.
If you are planning to overclock then there’s one thing that you must know i.e. with high frequencies comes high temperatures, which is why overclocking processors require extra cooling systems.
Should I buy a CPU cooler? If you don’t need one, then no. The stock cooling system that comes with your computer is enough for most cases and if it’s not, there are many aftermarket ones to choose from.
While overclocking does require additional fans and processors do get hot when they’re running at high frequencies. The point of an aftermarket CPU cooler isn’t just about keeping cool. It also helps keep stability by lowering temperatures which can help extend the life of your processor.
So, the question of whether you need a CPU cooler or not depends on what kind of computer games you play and how much overclocking do you plan to do with your processor.
If none then there’s no point in buying one because it won’t increase your performance at all.