Hi-Tech articles 2021: hardware, software, phones & gadgets reviews

How to pick a CPU fan for PC – step by step guide

How to pick a CPU fan for PC in 2021 – a common question for beginners who decided to build their first PC. Cooler is used to reduce temperature of CPU, which tends to overheat during operation.

It usually consists of two parts a fan and a radiator. Article will describe features of this equipment, which will allow you to choose most suitable model for yourself.

How to pick a CPU fan for PC in 2021
How to choose a cpu cooler

So, how to pick a CPU fan in 2021, 5 tips:

  1. Main thing is that cooler is compatible with your motherboard socket;
  2. Check whether your “tower” is suitable in height and whether you can freely close case of your PC;
  3. Choose largest possible fan diameter – larger cooler, less noise;
  4. Select cooler so that you can freely insert RAM bar, so that radiator with cooler does not interfere;
  5. It is desirable that radiator that sold with a cooler usually, has copper tubes.

Almost every processor has a special mount for cooler. In addition, these devices differ in heat generation. Basic principle is that larger equipment, more impressive it requires a cooler.

Most common CPU with 2 cores can be equipped with coolers that have an aluminum radiator and a fan up to 10 cm. For such weak devices, such components will be more than enough.

  • Size of cooler directly depends on degree of cooling. Larger it is, less processor will overheat. Speed of cooler depends on noise that computer makes.

Asking yourself – how to pick a CPU fan for your PC– think about whether a small noise is important to you or whether it should not be in principle.

Lower speed, quieter PC runs. Keep in mind that different processors require specific coolers. You can check this information in device specifications.

There are several companies whose products can be installed on almost any processor. One of these companies is Deepcool.

Coolers designed

Coolers designed for more powerful PCs are usually universal and suitable for almost any processor. Most high-quality and inexpensive models are produced by Zalman.

  • When buying a cooler, you need to pay attention to presence of a mount. Usually it is included in package, but there are cases when this item needs to be purchased separately.

Low-power processors from Intel or AMD can do with a fan up to 12 cm with several heat pipes. More modern processors of 3-5 generations should be equipped with a larger fan with at least 3-5 tubes.

Processors that have 6 cores will require a fan size of about 12-14 cm and about 6 tubes. A good solution is to purchase equipment from Deepcool. You can learn more about characteristics and features of coolers later in article.

Cooler included

AMD fan for PCProcessor often comes with a cooler, which, according to manufacturer, is most suitable for this equipment. Usually, if fan is included in price, abbreviation “BOX”is indicated on package.

If you see label “Tray or OEM” on box, it means that cooler will need to be purchased separately.

  • Most expensive CPUs are not sold with cooler, although corresponding designation is present on box. Carefully read package of cpu In any case, package must contain information about presence of fan.

Box cooler, which is included with CPU, copes with its cooling. Equipment manufacturers try to select most optimal size of cooler for their equipment.

Unfortunately, standard models are very noisy and do not allow overclocking CPU, as they only support normal hardware operation. If you plan to increase power of your PC, it is advisable to buy a more impressive cooler for it.

CPU characteristics

How to pick a CPU fan in 2021? – in order to choose a cooler, you need to know socket and degree of heat dissipation of CPU. These parameters are described in more detail below.


Socket is a special port on system Board, where processor and, accordingly, cooler are inserted. It can have many different mounting options for this equipment.

Heat dissipation

You can find out this characteristic of processor on official website of hardware manufacturer. High-quality online stores also indicate this information near each device.

Parameters of cooler

Main characteristics of any cooler include heat transfer that equipment can work with, and types of sockets supported.


Each cooler model is only suitable for certain sockets. It is guaranteed that you will not be able to install this component in wrong connector. Usually, information about this parameter is specified by manufacturer in instructions or on package.

How to pick a CPU fan – TDP

Unfortunately, most hardware manufacturers and stores where it is purchased do not specify this parameter in characteristics of component. You can find out degree of heat release on official website of Noctua. Resource provides a fairly detailed table with information about each cooler.

  • In addition, you can check value of this parameter for most popular models on internet. Many users post characteristics of different models based on their personal experience.

What can a cooler consist of?

Each component can be made of different materials and has a unique design depending on company of developers and equipment model.

Radiator made of aluminium

It is equipment made of this material that is considered most inexpensive. Average fan size is about 8 cm, and shape may vary depending on manufacturer of component. Usually, Intel processors are equipped with round – shaped coolers, and for AMD-rectangular.

Radiator made of plates

How to choose cpu cooler fan
How to pick a CPU fan

To date, such equipment is practically not used and is not produced. It has long been replaced by more modern models. Radiator in such coolers is assembled from separate plates made of copper or aluminum. Such equipment copes better with CPU cooling than classic models discussed above.

Horizontal cooler

It is horizontal models with heat pipes that are considered most popular and reliable of all. Often, such equipment is included in kit for an expensive CPU. Such coolers cool computer much more, but at same time hot air gets on system Board, which can negatively affect this equipment.

This option is great for installation in small computers, but if size of device allows, it is better to consider a more efficient model.

Vertical cooler

Such components have a more convenient and efficient design, which is often called a tower. Hot air is blown by them towards rear exhaust port, and not on system Board.

This type of hardware is ideal for high – power PCs that will be overclocked in future. Their cost is significantly higher than that of previous models, but this is fully compensated by efficiency and reliability. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that you will be able to install such components in a small computer case, since it has quite impressive dimensions.

How to pick a CPU fan – Heat pipe

Quality and power of cooler depends on number of heat pipes. 100 W computers need about 3 tubes, and 200 W already needs 6 tubes. If desired, you can find exact value in network by entering model of your CPU.

Cooler instructions rarely provide information about how many tubes are provided in device. Their number is easy to calculate yourself. To do this, you need to determine number of outgoing ends and divide this number by two.

Base of cooler

Base is platform that is directly adjacent to CPU. Power of cooler often depends on material and quality of this element.

Radiator made of aluminium

In these models, platform is radiator itself. In this case, cooler platform can be through or solid. Latter option is more practical, since larger junction area, better cooling system works.

Devices with a through design can get dust, which negatively affects performance of computer, and it can be very problematic to remove it. To do this, you will need to completely disassemble cooler.

Copper inserts

Some models have a special element made of copper, which serves as base of cooler. Such products are more effective in comparison with aluminum models.

Base made of copper

In such coolers, copper base is solid, whereas in previous model, this material consisted only of a separate segment of base. This design is considered very effective.

How to pick a CPU fan – Absence of a platform

How to pick a CPU fan for PC - step by step guideManufacturers of some models of coolers do not use an additional base at all. Its functions are taken over by tubes themselves, made of copper. In terms of practicality, this option is practically no different from previous cooler.

Material and design of radiator

Quality of equipment depends not only on tubes, but also on material and structure itself.


Products made of this material are considered simplest and cheapest. This type of equipment overheats very much and makes too much noise, because heat is distributed unevenly.

Copper and aluminum

This design is a little more practical, but today it is practically not used.

Copper plate

Coolers in which radiator consists of separate copper plates are of high quality and efficiency. They have a large heat capacity and distribute temperature well.

With their help, you can achieve significant cooling of processor, and most importantly – they work almost silently. Unfortunately, these products have a high heat inertia, which causes cooler to cool down for a long time. Despite this, these models are used in media centers because of their size.

How to pick a CPU fan – only aluminum plate!

These models are considered most effective to date. Despite relatively low speed of fan itself, cooler cools processor very quickly. This is achieved by using a low heat capacity of product.

Nickel plating

Some coolers manufacturers cover with a special material that prevents oxidation. Thus, these models are more durable and practical, since oxide does not interfere with equipment to remove heat. Nickel covers mostly most expensive models.

Dimensions of radiator

Now you know how to pick a CPU fan. You should pay attention to size of cooler first. First, power of equipment depends on it, and secondly, components may simply not fit into PC case.

Usually  size of a standard radiator does not exceed 16 cm. Also for you there is an article on how to choose a processor for home PC.


How to pick a CPU fan in 2021 – step by step

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