In this edition of Building your own PC, we move on to getting the right cooling system. Whether it is to run at normal speed for daily work tasks or a faster pace to accommodate heavy gaming, it will need sufficient cooling to keep your machine from overheating.
Most CPUs come with a stock air cooler installed. Most stock air coolers serve its purpose if you plan to keep your CPU at its intended performance threshold. But to further better its performance, let’s upgrade your PC a little more!
The usual CPU air coolers come with just one fan. This is great for standard users as lower to mid-range motherboards come with just one socket for CPU fans. From here, we will not need to worry about manual fan management as your motherboard will already have presets fixed for you. Simply put, your cooler will work harder under heavy loads without you having to watch your PC’s temperatures.
Pic above: A typical stock CPU air cooler. Basic, reliable, affordable if you need them replaced.
If you are a PC enthusiast looking for more performance from a CPU air cooler, many manufacturers offer after-market solutions that are really, really cool (literally). As you spend more on these coolers, you will get better and improved metals in heat sinks (metal parts), larger heat sinks for better heat dissipation, more fans, and more powerful fans.
Pic above: An air cooler with RGB lighting if you want to be Extra for your PC build. The bigger the heat sink, the heavier the cooler may be.
If you are looking to push your CPU’s performance even more, consider purchasing an All-In-One (AIO) liquid cooler. This cooler is just like a car’s radiator, only smaller. This option of CPU cooler is not for the faint of heart as even the basic units have several parts like:
- heat sink - tubes - radiator with two sides - fans - fan cables
Pic above: An AIO cooler mounted in a PC case.
Here are a couple of pros and cons between Air Coolers and AIO Coolers for your CPUs. These are only general statements and details may vary between specific CPU coolers.
More affordable & value for $$$. From about RM80
Pricey, but awesome.
From about RM200. Consider spending more for higher quality gear.
Heat sink sizes vary from small and flat to huge and blocky.
Radiator sizes vary from small (120mm squared) to long (120mm x 360mm or more)
Depending on number fans used.
Noises from the flowing liquid and fans blowing.
Great for the price.
Your temperatures has never been so low.
If large & heavy, its weight on your Motherboard must be managed properly.
We hope this will give you a rough idea of your exploration into the world of CPU cooling. If you missed the previous part of our Building Your PC series, click here to read more!
Stay tuned to our upcoming articles on more how how to build a PC. Cheers!