The best CPU fan coolers help dissipate the heat generated from your processor. Since the processor is the heart of your gaming rig, it’s essential to keep it cool as much as possible. If the cooling effect doesn’t work correctly, your processor might underperform thanks to the heat. Using a CPU cooler will keep your processor’s heat dissipation in control and help it function properly.
When you’re buying the best CPU fan coolers for your budget, you have to consider certain factors. Things such as the cooling type to your budget determine how good your CPU cooler will be. We’ve listed a few key factors that you should remember when making your purchase to make things easier.
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What Are The Factors I should Know When Buying The Best CPU Fan Coolers?
As mentioned earlier, quite a few factors determine your purchase. You shouldn’t be going for a very expensive CPU cooler if your cabinet has enough space to dissipate the heat. Moreover, CPU coolers tend to make sounds. If you prefer a noiseless system, you’ll have to consider the amount of sound that may be generated as well. Without further ado, let’s look at the crucial points in detail.
This might seem like an obvious point. However, many people often underestimate or overestimate the budget that they need to buy a CPU cooler. If you’re upgrading your older hardware, the budget will be straightforward. However, if you’re adding the CPU cooler as a new component for a new rig, you need to know the budget you’ll need for this purpose. The rule to remember here is that the better the CPU you buy, the more power it will use and the more heat it will generate. So, if you’ve spent a relatively large amount on a processor, ensure that you’ve got enough money for a good CPU cooler.
The type of CPU fan cooler that you buy will also be dependent on what you’re going to use your PC for. If you’re a gamer who wants to play the latest games and push the computer to its limits, you should allocate a healthy amount of money for your CPU cooler.
If you’re a gamer who plays casual games and has a good gaming rig for mid-range gaming, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a CPU cooler. A cheaper CPU cooler will do fine in most cases. As long as you don’t overclock your CPU, cheaper CPU coolers will work best.
Finally, if you’re not a gamer, there’s no need to buy an external CPU cooler. The stock cooler with most modern CPUs will be more than enough for your needs.
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There are usually two types of CPU coolers – air cooling and liquid cooling. While liquid cooling has become more famous in recent years, thanks to game streamers, air cooling is still a good option.
With liquid cooling, you don’t have to worry about the computer’s internal components. The liquid cooling will run along with the cabinet instead of coming into contact with the other parts, causing damage. Moreover, these cooling setups can be customised the way you like them. Overall, they achieve far better cooling than air coolers. The only major issue with this type of cooling is that it’s costly.
With air cooling, there’s an excellent price to performance ratio. For most price segments, you get good cooling options. In any case, they’ll be comparatively cheaper than liquid cooling systems. Furthermore, air coolers don’t require too much maintenance. Cleaning them is also hassle-free. However, they do have their disadvantages. Air coolers aren’t efficient for high-end gaming setups with very powerful processors.
While the market for CPU coolers is pretty standardised with the CPU sockets present in modern processors, you should still be careful in this regard. Many high-end CPU coolers use specific designs and can only fit with particular CPU sockets. Therefore, it’s a good option for you to check both your motherboard and processor to understand if your new CPU cooler will fit or not.
TDP (Thermal Design Power)
Like most other internal components of a computer, CPU fan coolers have a particular TDP rating. This TDP rating, for other components, determines the amount of heat generated when they’re being used. However, the TDP rating works differently for CPU coolers.
Ideally, it would be best if you got a CPU cooler with a TDP rating that’s the same (or higher) as your CPU’s TDP rating. On a general note, it’s always better to go for CPU coolers with a higher TDP rating than that of your processor. In such a scenario, it will help you keep the processor cool even when you’re overclocking it.
If you hate any sort of noise emanating from the computer, you’re better off getting a liquid cooling system. Regardless, if you’re installing a CPU cooler, you’ll have to be wary of the fan size. The fans in a CPU cooler produce the maximum amount of sound.
A good rule of thumb to follow would be installing a CPU cooler with bigger fans. The larger the fans, the lower the sound produced. Since bigger fans require less spinning to dissipate heat, this would be a good option.
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What Are The Best CPU Fan Coolers To Buy In 2022?
The best CPU fan coolers provide the best value for money. When buying a CPU cooler, you need to keep the points mentioned above in mind. Even then, ultimately, the best CPU fan cooler is one that will fit your budget and use case. We’ve curated a list of the best CPU coolers for different price segments and budgets considering these points.
Cooler Master MasterAir MA624 Stealth
For those of you who have been gaming for quite a long time, Cooler Master needs no introduction. This company has brought forth one good product after another for our CPU cooling needs. The MasterAir MA624 Stealth brings some of the best CPU cooling you can find. While it comes at a premium price, it still gives you excellent value for money. There are no RGB lights in this CPU cooler, so if you want to add an RGB-style cooler to your cabinet, this may not be it. However, this cooler has plenty of merits and is worth looking at. It’s easy to install, very silent during operations, and provides a smaller 120mm fan if you have clearance issues.
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Deepcool Gammaxx L240 V2
With this entry, we move into the world of liquid cooling. This CPU cooler from Deepcool is placed in the 240mm category. The company itself is renowned for providing effective cooling solutions at affordable price ranges. The Gammaxx L240 V2 is no different – this is one of the best 240mm liquid coolers you can find at this price range. This cooler comes with RGB lighting, which will fit nicely into the newer gaming rigs that rely on good lighting.
The company also states that this cooler comes with their patented “Anti-leak technology”. This technology helps the cooler maintain a good balance of pressures for the liquid inside the loop. In addition, the Gammaxx L240 V2 is excellent at cooling most CPUs. It’s also very silent during the cooling process. However, this won’t be very effective if you’ve got a processor with a high TDP or an overclocked chipset. For all other scenarios, this is great!
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If you don’t have much space inside your cabinet and want a low-profile CPU cooler, this is the one to buy. The Noctua NH-L9 comes in at a fan size of only 92mm. You might think that a 92mm cooler won’t be able to handle the load from the CPU. However, the cooler comes with an added heatsink to dissipate the heat. You might be surprised when you see this little beast perform.
Moreover, the company, Noctua, is based in Austria and is famous for its coolers. Add this to the fact that you get the manufacturer’s six-year warranty, and it becomes a great steal. If liquid cooling isn’t for you, go for this CPU cooler with your eyes closed!
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NZXT Kraken Z-3
This liquid cooler is for those who have a substantial amount of money to spend on a CPU cooler. It comes in two variants – 360mm and 280mm. One of the unique aspects of this liquid cooler is that it comes with a 2.36-inch LCD screen. This LCD screen can be customised according to your liking. You could either use a picture of your favourite gaming protagonist or a funny GIF – the choice is yours.
Coming to the performance, this liquid cooler is so powerful that it can cool even an AMD Ryzen Threadripper. The LCD screen mentioned earlier can also be used for changing the cooler’s settings according to your liking. Of course, this is a big CPU cooler, and you need to ensure that it fits into the cabinet. Moreover, you have to pay a premium price for this fantastic performance.
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Zalman CNPS10x Performa Black
This CPU cooler is meant for those gamers who are budget-conscious. While it comes at an affordable price, its performance is good enough for the latest multi-core, mid-range processors. When you look at the CPU cooler, you’ll notice that it has a minimalist aesthetic approach and is meant for silent operation. In fact, this is what it’s good at – operating in almost total silence.
The CPU cooler comes with four heat pipes and a single 135mm fan to dissipate the heat produced by the CPU. It’s a significant component to spend on, especially if you’re saving money to upgrade or build a new gaming PC. However, I’d recommend not using this CPU cooler for the latest and best processors. The TDP of high-end processors may be too much for a budget CPU cooler to handle.
CPU coolers are often overlooked when building a PC or going for an upgrade. However, buying a compatible and balanced CPU cooler could make a world of difference to the computer’s performance. We’ve provided five options for the best CPU fan coolers and liquid cooling solutions with this list. Unless you plan to overclock your CPU, you could go for the fan coolers. If overclocking is a viable option, liquid cooling can be a better alternative.