Purpose of a CPU Cooler: Everything You Need to Know {2021}

Purpose of a CPU cooler

Every computer has a Central Processing Unit (CPU), which is essentially the “brain” of the PC. CPU components are prone to temporary malfunction or permanent failure if overheated. Such components include, although not limited to, integrated circuits such as central processing units (CPUs), chipset, graphics cards, and hard disk drives. Your device must have a reliable cooling system. CPU coolers come in several forms: air cooling, water cooling, passive cooling, liquid immersion, heat sinks, waste heat reduction, heat chambers, and thermoelectric cooling systems. Below, we review two of the most common CPU coolers.

What is a CPU Cooler?

What is CPU cooler

  • A CPU cooler is a device meant to draw excess heat away from the system CPU and other computer components.
  • Using a CPU cooler to maintain CPU temperatures improves and ensures efficiency and stability of the system
  • The cons are that it increases the noise produced by a computer
  • The components produce minimal heat. PCs and OS’s have a unique design to keep power consumption and heat production at the least.
  • Despite all these efforts, overheating is still prevalent.
  •  The use of heatsinks cooled by airflow goes a long way in reducing the temperatures resulting from overheating.
  • Computer fans are mainly utilized along with heatsink fans to curb temperature by actively exhausting hot air.
  •  Liquid is equally effective.
  • Contemporary processors have an advanced mechanism. They reduce their voltage or clock speed if and when the internal temperature of the processor goes past the limit.

Purpose of CPU cooler

What is the purpose of using a CPU Cooler?

A CPU cooler is vital for the optimal performance of a computer. Integrated circuits, the CPU, and the GPU are the primary generators of heat in today’s PCs.

The primary purpose of a CPU cooler is to maintain the temperatures at the level required to keep the computer’s optimum performance. Heat build-up in the components slows down the performance of a computer. You do not want your laptop to be bugging when you urgently need to send your work CV.

Another reason why a CPU cooler is essential is to keep the computer’s components in the right conditions. Heat can temporarily ruin your graphic card. Even worse, constant overheating of your laptop can cause permanent damage to your Central Processing Unit.

Some computers have thermal sensors integrated into the CPU, motherboard, chipset, or GPU. They shut themselves down when the overheating is detected.

Throttling is also frequent. It reduces operating frequency and voltage of an integrated circuit, preventing overheating and consequential damage.

Air CPU cooler vs. Liquid CPU cooler: Which one should you use?

Air CPU cooler vs Liquid CPU cooler

Air CPU coolers are less common than liquid CPU coolers.

  • They utilize a fan when natural convection isn’t enough to eradicate heat. The fan is usually attached to the computer case or fixed to CPUs, GPUs, chipset, PSU, or hard drives.
  • Fans come in all sizes ranging from 40, 60, 80, 92, 120, and 140 mm. High-performance computers may utilize 200, 230, 250,and 300 mm fans.
  • Air CPU coolers may also utilize heat sinks or both heat sinks and fans. Fans typically force air to move. It blows away the hot air from the overheating components and expelled from the desktop.
  • By placing the fan on top of the heat sink, the hot air is blown away from the heat sink and CPU, maintaining optimal temperatures.
  • Integration into the power supply is also standard. When placed on laptops, the CPU cooler blows hot air out of a placed air vents. On desktops, they usually are used to blow air out of the desktop’s air vents.

Liquid CPU coolers

Liquid CPU coolers are standard in most PC’s. Also known as water cooling, it is more effective than the use of fans.

  • With liquid CPU cooling, a pump that runs water through tubes in your PC’s case.
  • The cool water absorbs heat as it moves and leaves your case, where a radiator radiates the heat outward.
  • The cool liquid runs back through the system to the CPU, where it continues the process.
  • Liquid CPU coolers are easy to set up but will cost you a little more
  • Liquid CPU coolers are preferred to air CPU coolers because water transfers heat much more efficiently than air does.
  • It is a risky system, however, since leakages could cause irreversible damage to your PC.
  • Overclocking, a process of setting a CPU multiplier at a higher frequency to speed up your processor and other components is also possible with liquid cooling as opposed to air cooling.
  • Besides, liquid cooling is a silent cooling mechanism as opposed to the use of fans.
  • Liquid CPU coolers take lesser space than the big fans.
  • Water cooling is also useful for high-performance GPU’s

Don’t forget to check this ultimate post on CPU water coolers.


Maybe you are looking to fix your broken CPU cooler system, integrate a new one, or you are building a new PC. Perhaps you want to get a new laptop but can’t decide what features you are looking for. It is vital to recognize what you are looking to achieve. High-performance computers work better with liquid CPU coolers. Regardless of your choice, you must ensure that your CPU cooling system is fully functional and reliable. Doing so ensures that your PC does not unnecessarily slow down or that you do not lose your device through damage.

Also, read our post on the best laser printers with scanner.

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