The CPU is one of the essential components of your computer system. To ensure that it continues to function correctly, you must keep it from becoming too warm. It is possible to guarantee that your processor runs at the proper temperature by selecting the suitable CPU cooler.

However, providing a solid suggestion or an impartial response to the CPU cooler isn’t easy. Since one individual may like one choice while another may prefer something completely different, but don’t be concerned since we’re here to assist you at any time.

In this tutorial, we’ll go through how to choose a CPU cooler that is compatible with your processor and meets your needs and requirements. Let’s get started!

What is a CPU cooler?

 A CPU cooler is a device that takes heat away from the system’s CPU and other components inside the enclosure. By lowering CPU temperatures, you may enhance the productivity and solidity of your computer system.

The kind and quality of the cooler may have a significant impact on the hardware’s temperature, its performance, and even its noise. 

If you want to operate your computer at full performance without decreasing the lifetime of your computer, you need to invest in an excellent cooling system.

Types of CPU Coolers

PC Coolers are available in various forms and sizes, making it challenging to choose which one is right for you. There are four main kinds of coolers/cooling systems commonly used with PCs.

1. Aftermarket Air Coolers

The most straight forward modification you can make to your original CPU cooling is to install an aftermarket air cooler. Aftermarket air coolers function in the same way as your original cooler, but they provide a significant boost in performance.

They often feature more giant fans and heat sinks, which allow them to absorb and release heat more quickly than standard CPU coolers.

Most air coolers are equipped with an aluminum heat sink since it is cost-effective, while some of them contain copper heat pipes, 

2. Liquid Coolers

Liquid CPU coolers provide cooling via the use of a liquid coolant or water. In contrast to the air cooler, a simple mechanism uses hear via a pump and a radiator.


  • There is the obvious risk of a potential leak.
  • You will be severely restricted if you have a smaller case since they also need space for a radiator.
  • Last but not least, they tend to be a little more expensive than their air-conditioning counterparts.

3. Twin Tower Type

Typically, this kind of air cooler comprises two massive heatsinks next to one other to form a U-shape or a twin tower effect.

Heatsink fans are connected to the side of each heatsink to disperse heat away from your system actively. These fans typically align with your case’s exhaust fans at the rear, which improves cooling performance even more.

4. Low Profile CPU Cooler

It is the most compact CPU cooler available and has a horizontal heatsink with a modest width fan mounted on the top rather than on the side, as with most other CPU coolers. 

Some of them include integrated heat pipes to help disperse heat more effectively, but they are still inferior to conventional U-type CPU coolers in terms of cooling performance.

How to Choose a CPU Cooler? – 9 Factors to Consider

How to Choose a CPU Cooler?

1. Thermal Design Power – TDP

The thermal design power (TDP) of a cooler is one of the essential variables to consider when evaluating whether or not a specific cooler is appropriate for your system.

The thermal design power (TDP), is the extreme volume of heat produced by a computer chip or piece that the computer’s cooling system is intended to drain before failure occurs.

When you purchase a processor and a CPU cooler, you will see that both gears have a TDP rating. It is best explained this way: If you purchase a CPU cooler with a lower TDP rating than your processor, the cooler will not be capable to cool your processor adequately.

A good tip is to ensure that the cooler you buy has an additional TDP rating than the one allotted to your CPU. When it comes to overclocking your computer, this is very vital to remember. TDP ratings for both the CPU and the cooling can be present on their specification sheets.

2. Noise Levels

It is common for PC builders to place a strong focus on creating a computer that is as silent as feasible. One of the most audible components in a computer is the CPU cooler and, more specifically, the fans linked with the CPU cooler.

Coolers with more giant fans generally operate at a lower noise level than coolers with minor fans. More giant fans don’t have to spin as quickly to provide the same amount of cooling as smaller fans.

As a result, coolers with 160mm fans will naturally operate at a lower noise level than coolers with 130mm fans. Because more fans are trying to keep the cooler cold, coolers with multiple fans may also spin at lower speeds.

3. Compatibility with Sockets

The other essential aspect is ensuring that the cooler you select is compatible with your CPU model number. 775, AM2, and the more modern and promising 1336 socket types are the most often used socket models. 

In addition to choosing a more relaxed style, you must verify that it is compatible with the particular socket shape. 

Currently, the majority of CPU coolers are compatible with a wide variety of popular socket types, but some coolers are only compatible with a single kind of socket. 

Aside from the socket design, the shape of the motherboard will impact whether coolers will or will not work with the system.

As long as the CPU area on your motherboard is not too crowded, you should be able to put just about any suitable CPU cooler on it without trouble.

4. Size

Air coolers may be large and heavy, but their weight is concentrated in a single location rather than spread throughout your system. With an All-in-One (AIO), on the other hand, you’ll want to make area for the radiator, as well as take into consideration problems such as the correct placement and alignment.

On the other hand, an oversized air cooler may not be the most outstanding choice while working in a smaller space. A low-profile air cooler or an All-in-One (AIO) with a tiny radiator can better serve this situation.

Check that you have enough room for your cooling system of choice and that the case you choose is compatible with the gear you want to use when planning your upgrade or to purchase a new computer case.

5. Aesthetics

When it comes to choosing a CPU cooler, appearances are significant. AIO coolers are popular among builders because of their low-profile design. Because of their outward look, liquid cooling systems are popular with other customers. 

If you’re still not sure which kind of CPU cooler you want, have a look at photos of finished projects and decide which type of CPU cooler you believe looks the best in those pictures.

6. Budget

First and foremost, although this may seem like an obvious point, you’ll want to think about your budget before anything else. If all you’re doing is updating your cooler, your budget will be straightforward. It is what it is. You have to spend your money on a good CPU cooler.

Those assembling a new system to devote the proper portion of their money to the cooler want to purchase or construct. 

You don’t want to spend too little money on your cooler and wind up with something that isn’t adequate for the task of cooling the processor.

7. Fans

The use of powerful fans may significantly impact performance, but adding more power isn’t always the most fantastic choice for your system.

High power may negatively affect noise levels, causing your equipment to be much louder than you may have originally planned.

If you have a problem with noise, it may be helpful to select a cooler that has several fans rather than just one. The greater the number of fans (and the greater the size of each fan), the slower each fan must spin.

8. Clearance of the CPU Cooler

Once you’ve identified a cooler compatible with your CPU, the next thing to consider is clearance. Some air coolers, particularly those with two or more fans, may grow very substantial in size.

It’s critical to determine whether or not the cooler will fit inside the case and whether or not you will be able to install your CPU cooler.

The interior of the front panel of your air cooler should not be in direct contact with it. Therefore the height of your air cooler should also take into account.

 In addition, your heatsink mustn’t interfere with your RAM slots’ ability to function.

When it comes to liquid coolers, the radiator must have enough space to breathe and install correctly.

9. Type

All CPU coolers are not forming equally. The units are accessible in a range of shapes and sizes. The most often seen kinds are the air and liquid ones. As their names suggest, these units chill your device by using air or liquid to cool it, depending on your preference. 

Both provide distinct benefits to their respective consumers. As a result, you should evaluate which type best fits you before deciding which kind to choose.

Air Vs Cooling Water System

If cost and convenience of installation are your key considerations, an air cooler is likely to be your best option in this situation.

On the other hand, a water-based cooler is the best choice if you want a quieter PC with lower CPU temps. 

  • Set-Up

Finally, there’s the issue of putting it all together; the general rule of thumb is that the smaller the component, the simpler it is to put together. Installation of a decent CPU cooler may be more stimulating because it is more complex. 

When set up new cooling, it is often compulsory to take out the entire motherboard from the case. 

If we do not want to or cannot dismantle the computer in its entirety, it is essential to pay attention to such considerations. 

However, this is not a rule since, in most cases, a home CPU cooling system can install quickly and inexpensively.

How Do I Know Which CPU Cooler is Compatible?

Maximum number of CPU coolers are well-suited to a wide range of various sockets and layouts. Still, it is always simple to determine whether or not the cooler you want to purchase will fit into your particular socket. 

There will be a listing of your motherboard sockets somewhere in the box order manual you purchased with your motherboard. 

Once you’ve identified the socket, you may check to see whether the cooler in question is compatible with that socket.

The second essential thing to do is to double-check your motherboard. Which motherboard are you currently using? Choose a cooler model that is compatible with your motherboard.

Does the CPU Cooler Matter?

No matter what you are doing on your computer, keeping it cool is essential since heat is harmful and shortens its lifespan.

As long as you’re not using a slim case and don’t overclock your computer, the cooler that comes with it should be sufficient.

An aftermarket cooler is a good investment if you overclock your computer or use it in a compact case.


A decent CPU cooler is essential for everyone, whether you’re an expert overclocker looking for the best performance or someone who doesn’t want their processor to overheat in extreme conditions like gaming.

Consider the space and TDP requirements before settling on the most appropriate option for your device. 

In conclusion, I hope this post has been helpful to you in choosing the most appropriate CPU cooler for your computer and ensuring that it operates as quietly and effectively as possible.

Video Guide:

Saqib Ali

Saqib Ali, A passionate blogger and Computer Geek help people to build their dream PC. He spends hours in research to pick the right products and then test them and suggest people in guides on Finest Desktop.