How to choose a CPU cooler?

Choosing the best CPU cooler isn’t rocket science, but there are some technical details that you need to know in order to make the best choice. There are many reasons why everyone who has a computer or decides to build one should use CPU coolers.

Computers that are ready-to- use usually come with built-in CPU coolers, but that doesn’t mean that it they are unbreakable. When looking to find computer parts that will help you build your dream computer, you must make sure that you know what you are investing in, so in case the cooler stops working all of a sudden, you know what the most suitable model for your needs is.

If you are one of those people who like to build their own computers, by choosing parts that satisfy your requirements, you should definitely know what to look for in the best CPU cooler.

You might wonder why we are emphasizing the importance of this spare part so much. In fact, it is one of the most important parts, as it ensures the right temperature of the CPU and helps you avoid overheating and damage.

You are interested in buying a CPU cooler that is high quality and fulfils your requirements, but you don’t know what the qualities of a good one are? Here are a few things that you should be looking for when looking for such a product:

  • The materials - an aluminum cooler will never be as good as a copper one, for instance
  • The size – not all sizes are right for all computers. Also, larger coolers perform better than the small ones
  • The compatibility - some computers require special cooling fans, so you should always check the model compatibility
  • The heat sink – some coolers come with built-in heat sinks and some don’t
  • Overclocking – if you want to manually adjust the CPU’s clock speed, you need a larger fan with better cooling abilities
  • Airflow rating

In order to help you choose the best CPU cooler for your needs, we have reviewed some of the best-selling products on the market, by highlighting both their pros and their cons. Take a look at the products below and choose the one that is best for your needs.

Corsair Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance

This CPU cooler is the right product for you if you are looking for a fan that is very powerful. It has a smart design, it comes with a 240mm dual-fan radiator and it is larger than the previous products from the same series. It has a pump design and a cold plate that are extremely efficient in cooling the CPU of your computer. More than that, it has a design that ensures that the high static pressure air delivery is efficient. Also, it has a customizable speed. It is good to know that it comes with a built-in link that helps users monitor the CPU’s temperatures, adjust the fan speed and the lighting, as well as to adjust them directly from the computer’s keys.

This CPU cooler’s sound blaster is an X-FI MB5+ALC 1220 1200b SNR HD that is compatible with Intel™ LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011 and 2011-3 AMD™ sockets FM1, FM2, AM2, AM3, and AM4 models. It has 1 GB of RAM and supports the 54g wireless type of connection. It measures 12.1 x 8.8 x 5.9 inches and it weighs approximately 4 pounds. If you were looking for a product that is easy to customize and can be easily set from the computer, this could be the right product for you.

What’s to like? What’s not to like?
It has a gorgeous design It does not include an AM4 bracket. Users who need one must order it separately
It is an improved version of previous models  
It has a good price  
It can be controlled and monitored easily from the desktop  
It provides great heat dissipation  
It has a 240 mm radiator  
It is an all-in- one liquid CPU cooler  
It is compatible with most computer models  
It has a good sound blaster  
It is able to reduce the CPU temperature quickly and efficiently, without a lot of noise  

Corsair Hydro Series H55 Quiet Edition Liquid

If you were looking for a cheaper version of the previous CPU cooler, this is probably what you are looking for. This product comes at an incredible price and although it has a single radiator, it offers value for money. It is easy to mount and does not require a bracket, unlike most similar products. It has a 120 mm fan that is low-speed and doesn’t make a lot of noise, yet it isn’t suitable is you need a powerful device. It is a practical product that is very easy to install and that has an aluminium heat exchanger.

The Corsair liquid CPU cooler is compatible with Intel LGA 1150, 1155, 1156 and 1366 models, as well as with AMD 2011, 2011-3 and sockets such as FM1, FM2, AM2, AM3 and AM4. This product is covered by a 5-year warranty. The great thing about it is that it will never need refilling, as it is a pre-filled cooler. It is great for small cases, so in case you are planning to build a computer that integrates a small CPU case, you can go for this cooler.

What’s to like? What’s not to like?
It is gorgeously designed It is not suitable for large CPU cases or very powerful computers, as it has a single radiator
It is a simple, yet efficient cooler  
It is suitable for small CPU cases  
It has a self-contained liquid system  
It has a compact design  
It comes at an affordable price  
It is easy to install  
No bracket is required during the installation  
It is compatible with a variety of systems  
It is pre-filled and does not need to be refilled  
It is silent  
It is low-speed  
It has a cold plate with great thermal characteristics  
It has a good heat exchanger  

Corsair Hydro Series High Performance Liquid

The third product on our list is another Corsair CPU cooler that has a good price, in between the first and the second coolers that were previously reviewed. This product is an improved version of previous Corsair models that comes with a single radiator, an SP120L fan, low noise and good performance for a CPU with a small case. It has excellent heat dissipation abilities thanks to its micro-fin copper cold plate. This device seems durable, resistant, flexible and easy to install. It includes mounting brackets that are compatible with Intel LGA 115x/1136/2011 and AMD AM2/AM3/AM4/FM1/FM2.

This CPU cooler’s heat exchanger is made of black aluminum. Also, it has a low-profile pump that makes the installation a lot easier for users who want to integrate the fan by themselves into their self-built computers. The sleek design of this fan makes it easy to maneuver, install and remove when necessary. The great thing about this product is that it is covered by a 5-year warranty, which makes it look reliable. If you are looking for a product that makes little to no noise and that is suitable for small CPU cases, this is one of your best options.

What’s to like? What’s not to like?
It is fairly priced It is mostly suitable for small cases, but not for powerful, large CPUs that would rather require an advanced fan with a dual-radiator
It performs unexpectedly well  
It has good heat dissipation abilities  
Its cold plate is made of copper  
It has a large diameter tubing  
It has a compact design  
It is durable  
It includes mounting brackets  
It is compatible with plenty of CPUs  
It is easy to install thanks to its low-profile pump  
It has an aluminum heat exchanger  
It has a sleek design  
It is covered by 5 years of warranty  
It is better than most air coolers  
It makes very little noise  

Conclusion

It can be difficult to choose the best CPU fan when there are so many options on the market. Before choosing the cooler that you think is best for your computer, make sure that you do the following:

  • Check out its specifications carefully and see if it is compatible with your computer
  • Find out the socket type that it uses and the size of the CPU
  • Find out the exact size of the fan and measure the space that you have available
  • Pick a cooler with a high airflow rating that releases a larger volume of air per minute for better results
  • Make sure that the heat sink includes thermal compounds that ensure a good conductive path
  • Choose an advanced product that is made of high quality materials and makes minimum noise

Protecting your CPU and other computer components from overheating is extremely important, as heat is one of the main causes of a malfunctioning device. Don’t always think that an expensive CPU cooler is the best on the market, as there are plenty of manufacturers that bring decent products at fair prices. Looking at the product’s specifications should be a priority. The price is also important, as you don’t need to pay more than necessary for an average product, but it isn’t the most important decision factor of all. Also, pay attention to the warranty that covers the product in case of damage or malfunction and choose a product that is reliable and durable.