Best CPU Cooler

Computer stuff loves cold. The cooler you keep your hardware the better. Lower CPU temperatures provide improved stability, efficiency and reliability. The cooler that comes with your CPU is likely to be a pretty basic affair. Investing in a cooler is likely to see lower CPU temperatures, reduced noise and it could potentially make your CPU run a touch faster too.

Why I need a CPU Cooler

You need to have a CPU heatsink even if you are not overclocking or the CPU will burn up. If you are not overclocking you can use the stock heatsink and you will be fine, but if you are getting an OEM CPU that does not come with a heatsink they you must buy one.

The stock cooler is enough when you are not overclocking. When you overclocks then your cpu gets more hotter than its normal temperature, then to keep it cool , you need a different cooler rather than stock cooler. But stock cooler is built for non-overclocked CPUs.  It would still be a good idea to have a few fans, yes. They will be acting as exhaust fans so at least one or two intake fans in the front of the case would be a good idea. The motherboard still has components that need cooled by airflow through the case.


Best CPU Cooler : Noctua 14cm U-series Single Tower CPU Cooler


  • Comes with wonderful instructions, a heat sink, and all the components needed to get up and running cpu cooler
  • Quiet and effective: the large 150mm design utilizes premium components including powerful fan pads and sturdy hardware.
  • With a near perfect consumer rating you can rest assured this is one of the best CPU fans on the market.


  • Large design will not work with many builds; be sure to check and compare your mount size against any potential cooler.

Verdict: The Noctua Single Tower CPU Cooler is arguably the best cooling fan on our list. Offering a superior experience at a great price, the Noctua Single Tower is certain to meet all your needs.


When a CPU Cooler Requires

With the increase in magnitude of the usage of computers to more than 18 hours a day, there are additional demands placed on the processor. The processor then starts generating a lot of heat which is caused by the internal electrical energy of the components, and gets warmer the harder the components have to work.

Improper maintenance of heat and overheating of the processor can reduce the lifespan or cause irreparable damage to the components in the processor, including components like circuits, microchips, RAM, or hard drives, and makes the computer inoperable. In order to avoid damaging the components and prevent loss of data, it becomes essential to have good cooling equipment like a CPU fan. The CPU fan is critically necessary to ventilate the heat generated from the components, and actively cools the processor by bringing in cooler air before the heat damages the computer components.

The aluminum heat sink fan is a cooling device that works on its own to efficiently draw heat away from the components into its large surface area to transfer cooler air into its fin-like aluminum structure. This cooling device works in unison with all the major components of the computer.

The fan is attached to this fin-like structure and improves the transfer of hot air by pulling the hot air from the electrical heat generated by the components and pushing in cooler air between the aluminum fins, thus keeping the processor cool.

More fans and more surface area give a CPU cooler even greater capacity. Liquid cooling allows enormous radiators that wouldn’t fit over the motherboard to instead be mounted to a panel on the case. The CPU is topped with a component called a water block, which transfers heat to the liquid. A pump, seen mounted on the side of the radiator depicted above moves water (or coolant) through a series of channels on the radiator and water block.

CPU Cooler Choosing Steps :

Step 1 – How much heat does my CPU generate?

If you are lucky and still have the CPU box, it may tell you on there how many watts of heat it generates. If not, you need to know the model number. For instance, at the moment the Intel Q6600 generates 95w of heat while most of the Intel Core 2 Duo’s only generate about 65w of heat. At the other extreme end of the scale, the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ generates 125w of heat.

Step 2 – What size CPU cooler do I need?

Well, CPU coolers come in all shapes and sizes and it’s safe to say that in general, the bigger the heatsink, the more efficient it is. If it is fitted with a fan, then the bigger the better. Large fans can rotate slowly while still moving a lot of air and being slower, they are usually much quieter.

If you only have a low wattage CPU, say 40w to 70w there really isn’t much point in going for the largest cooler available, you would be better going for the cheaper, small to medium sized CPU coolers.

If you have a CPU around or greater than 70w then you want to go for the bigger, more efficient CPU coolers.

Step 3 – Do I need a 3-pin fan or a 4-pin (PWM) fan?

Most if not all motherboard these days have a 4-pin CPU fan header on the motherboard. This is so you can set the temperature/speed ratio of the CPU cooler in the BIOS or through supplied utility software that comes with most motherboards.

For instance if the your maximum CPU temperature is 70 °C, you could say in the BIOS that the CPU fan can run on its lowest speed until it hits 65 °C and then turn up the speed to say medium or high when it gets too hot.

With his method, you do tend to notice the fan revving up and down so you do need to play about a bit with those temperature/speed ratio’s until you get the balance right.

Also, the amount of control you have over the fan speed may range from not much to quite a lot. Generally the more expensive the motherboard, the more control you have. On a good board, you can have the fan speed typically anywhere between 40% and 100% of full speed. On a cheaper board you may only get the option of slow, medium or fast!

3 Pin CPU Fan

Many people still prefer 3-pin fans because of the amount of control they offer. If you have a 3-pin fan it means that the fan spins at a constant speed or (by using a fan controller) you can change the speed of the fan. They even work on a 4-pin fan header. Usually, you want to turn the fan speed down as far as possible while still ensuring the fan is spinning fast enough to ensure it doesn’t overheat, no matter what you are doing.

If you have say 4 cores on your processor, run 4 instances of the program and adjust the fan speed so that the CPU temperature doesn’t go over it maximum (but perhaps is 5 – 10 °C lower than maximum). That way no matter how much load your CPU is under, you know it can handle it. When you have done setting the fan, it will be running slower and quieter than it would have been at full speed.


Step 4 – The motherboard – Socket types and layout

The very first thing you need to do is know about your motherboard is your socket type (see step 1 if you are not sure). Popular socket types at the moment (Nov 2008) are 775, AM2 and the new, up and coming 1336. So as well as choosing a cooler you must also choose one that is compatible with your particular socket type.

Currently, a lot of CPU coolers are compatible with most of the popular socket types although there are some only support one socket type.

Beside the socket type, the layout of the motherboard can also determine which cooler’s will or won’t fit. Take this board for example:

Many cooler which appear quite large have fins which are just far enough away from the base of the cooler to clear the surrounding heat pipes. Some manufacturers even have a list of popular compatible motherboards on their website for each of their CPU coolers although they are few and far between and don’t get updated regularly.


Step 5 – Being reasonably sure the cooler will fit.

You may get to a point where you want a certain CPU cooler but looking at your motherboard, it might not be obvious if a cooler will fit and you would rather get one that fit’s first time around so you are not messing around sending it back and getting another more likely cooler. So what do you do?

Step 6 – Ensuring it fits in your case

One common reason I get CPU coolers returned is because they were too big to fit in a case. Some of the images on our website can be deceiving, some cooler are in fact pretty tall (15 cm plus!) so it’s always a good idea to take a few measurements inside the case and compare those to the measurements listed on the website before you place an order.

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