How to choose a cooler for the processor

Not only depends on the performance of the cooling system speed, but also the performance of the computer.

How to choose a cooler for the processor: what to look for

How to choose a cooler for the processor

When choosing a cooler for a processor, you should pay attention to following parameters:

  1. CPU socket

  2. CPU heat dissipation;

  3. Radiator design;

  4. Number of heat pipes;

  5. Base material of the radiator;

  6. Fan specifications.

Many processors supplied with the BOX package already have cooler included. However, its capacity is not enough for good cooling. It is advisable to use the stock cooler only for not very productive processors with heat dissipation (TDP) of 60 watts or less.

Processor socket


The processor socket type determines the socket design for radiator mounts – including the location of the holes on motherboard. Therefore, buying a new cooling system is worth make sure that it is fully compatible with your chip.

Usually socket information points directly to packaging and in the technical characteristics of the radiator.

CPU heat

CPU heat

The cooling system must be sufficiently productive, to ensure that the processor operates in the normal range temperatures even under high load. And since the intensity heating a chip depends on its power, when choosing a cooler it is necessary to pay attention to the value of the maximum dissipated im power.

In this case, it is desirable that the maximum power dissipation, which is measured in watts, was more than heat dissipation (TDP) the processor. In this case, even if the cooler becomes clogged with dust, it will not reduce the performance and durability of the chip.

Almost all modern Intel processors (including i3, i5 and i7) and AMD work in one of three power options – 60, 95 or 125 watts From this parameter and you need to build on, choosing cooler.

Radiator design

Radiator Design

Radiators in modern cooling systems are presented in following designs:

  1. Aluminum structure. Such radiators are the cheapest, but due to the low thermal conductivity of the material are not suitable for powerful processors;

  2. Stacked aluminum or copper plates. Radiators like designs are efficient enough for most small processors or medium power, but now they’re almost never found, because they require high fan performance;

  3. Horizontal radiators with heat pipes (thick copper handsets). They most efficiently remove heat from processors and therefore, they can be used even in high-power systems. Not less, they have a drawback – due to horizontal fan placement hot air is vented to the mother circuit board, which can lead to damage;

  4. Vertical radiators in heat pipes. Such radiators are better most suitable for high-power processors (for example, the most 2017 productive gaming chip Intel Core i7-7700K). The disadvantage of the design is its bulkiness – it is very high, so it may not fit in a standard case.

Thus, for low-power processors, aluminum is suitable radiators or models from composing plates, for medium power – horizontal with heat pipes, for high-power – vertical with heat pipes.

Number of heat pipes

In vertical and horizontal coolers with heat pipes copper tubes are designed to divert heat from processor surface. And the more of them, the more effective it is. cooling system. However, an increase in the number of ducts leads to a rise in price of the cooler.

For medium power processors (such as i3 and i5, and similar from AMD) coolers with two heat sinks will do. For more productive chips (i7, AMD Ryzen 7) need configurations with three handsets.

Radiator Base Material

Radiator bases are of two types – solid and through. They differ in the area of ​​the contact area and features placing plates. For solid base radiators the contact area is large, and all the plates are directly above her, not going anywhere in the horizontal plane. Through the base is equipped with a small plate, and the plates fit it from all sides.

Solid base radiators are preferred as they are easier to clean from dust and have a large contact area with the housing the processor.

The base can be made of aluminum, have a copper insert or a complex structure with the contacts of the tubes of the heat pipes.

Aluminum base coolers are only suitable for low power processors. Radiators do a little better with the cooling task, which are equipped with a copper plate – but they are also undesirable use with high performance processors. For chips level of Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 coolers are better suited in which implemented “direct contact” – when on the contact pad the basis of the heat pipes is derived.

Fan characteristics

Fan Specifications

The most important characteristics of the fan are:

  1. The size. The bigger, the better. And quieter;

  2. Bearing. The most optimal are hydrodynamic and ball;

  3. Turnovers. A big cooler with 1500 rpm is better than a small one with 4000;

  4. Integrated Speed ​​Controller (PWM). Great, but only if the motherboard also supports PWM;

  5. The number of contacts. If the motherboard has a 4-pin connector for a cooler, it is worth taking just such a fan;

  6. Noise level. Less is better. Among the quiet include 25 dB fans;

  7. Airflow Intensity (CFM). For powerful processors the bigger, the better.


Among the best manufacturers of cooling systems include CoolerMaster, Deepcool and Thermalright. However their coolers differ in relatively high price.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose a processor for the computer and the secrets of choosing a processor Intel

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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