Building a personal computer – selecting a CPU cooler

I already discussed some about the CPU cooler. There are essentially three different choices you can make

  • Air cooled
  • All in one
  • Custom water cooled

The aircooled cooler is pretty much just as it says. It is a fan that is connected to a heatsink which is attached to your CPU and when it runs it keeps it cool. There are two other somewhat similar air cooled options

  • U-Type
  • C-Type

Both of these CPU coolers have some pipes full of liquid in a heatsink. Attached to this heatsink is one or two fans. The fanes pull the heat out of the heatsink and essentially into your case which is why your case needs to a way to dispose of this heat. The actual name “U” Type comes from how the heat pipes are relative to the rest of the heatsink. In the case of “U”, they are oriented like a U relative to the CPU.

An all-in-one cooler is actually similar to a air cooler on steroids. It has its own radiator full of liquid and pipes that lead directly to the pump which is connected to the heat sink that is mounted on the CPU. The pump pulls cool liquid to the CPU to cool it and sends off the warm liquid to the radiator. The radiator typically has multiple fans which will blow cool air over the warm radiator and thus draw the heat out so it can then return to cool the CPU.

There is really not much sense in me discussion a custom water cooled solution. This tends to be a highly customized solution that is built by the user. They select parts that will fit together and essentially assemble something similar to an all in one cooler. Yet this is only similar, the main difference is that custom water cooled solutions need to be monitored and maintained.

It is possible that an all-in-one solution, after a few years in service, may begin to evaporate. This is a slow process and over time and if this become a problem the entire all-in-one cooler will need to be replaced.

The air cooled solution may not be able to cool as high of a load (think bit coin mining or extensive video editing) but if the fan starts to go, it can be removed and replaced with a new fan. In this situation the heatsink will remain to cool the CPU although less effectively – you mileage may vary.

Dark Rock Pro 4 – installation and review

Note: Make sure that your cooler supports the socket type for your CPU. This might require purchasing additional mounting hardware.

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