How Do I Choose a CPU Cooler?

CPU Cooler

I’m guessing you’re here because you’re seeking a cooler that is quieter and more efficient but isn’t certain which one is right for your needs. You might have looked through the selection available on our site but become overwhelmed by the variety that is available, in which case this article is for you.

this is superior to the information below. The tutorial was published in 2008 but we’re keeping it on this site together with the latest Guide because the steps you must take to pick the best CPU cooler for Ryzen 9 3900x are still in use to the current day.

The first How to Choose a CPU Cooler article

I’ve attempted to make the information as universal as possible so that this post is still relevant within 10 years when all the current sockets and CPUs are obsolete.

Before I get started, I’d like to send a note to Dell owners at the moment of writing, Dell uses a lot of non-standard components in their computers, making it difficult to change your CPU’s cooler. The CPU socket could be different, as may the connector for fans.

In this first installment, I’ll describe what you’ll be aware of before even looking for a new cooler.

Step 1. What is the amount of heat my processor generate?

The first question you need to ask yourself is because when you don’t have a clear idea of the amount of heat generated, you’re not aware whether you require an average, small or large size CPU cooler.

Step 2. What size of CPU cooler do I require?

Coolers for CPUs come in all sizes and shapes and it’s quite safe to say that in general, the larger the heatsink, the better it will be. If it’s equipped with the best CPU air cooler, the larger the fan, the better. Large fans rotate at a slower speed but still move a lot of air. Also, because they are slower generally, they’re quieter.

Step 3. Do I require an air-tight 3-pin or 4 pin (PWM) fan?

The majority of motherboards today have a 4-pin CPU fan header mounted on the motherboard. This is to allow you to determine the speed/temperature ratio that the CPU fan is running within the BIOS or via supplied utility software included with many motherboards.

Step 4: The motherboard Socket layout and types

The first thing you should be aware of is the motherboard’s socket’s type (see the first step if aren’t sure). The most popular socket types at the present (Nov 2008) are AM2, 775, and the newest, emerging 1336. Also, when selecting a cooler, you should select one that is compatible with your specific socket type.

Step 5 – Be reasonably certain that the cooler is suitable.

It is possible to reach the point that you need an exact CPU cooler. However, when you look at the motherboard you have. It may not be clear if a cooler is compatible and you’d prefer one that fits the first time. So that you’re not returning it to get another cooler that is more likely to fit.

Step 6 – Ensure that the case fits inside the case

A common reason that I see processor coolers that are returned to me is that they are too large to fit into cases. The images on our website could be misleading, and some coolers are actually quite tall (15 centimeters!) So, it’s recommended to measure a few inches inside the case and compare them. With the measurements on the site prior to you making an order. Read more about the best video card for AMD fx 6300 for best performance.

7. If you’re not sure…

If everything else fails and you’re not sure what to do contact QuietPC technical support. Provide the most complete information you can regarding your computer (see the second step) motherboard model. The CPU model, and should you be able to, send an image of the inside of the case.

Related: How to Choose a CPU

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