Geeks in Phoenix

Geek Blog


Tips for choosing the right CPU cooler for your custom-built computer

Are you looking for ways to keep your computer running smoothly and prevent overheating? The CPU (Central Processing Unit) cooler is a critical component that plays a significant role in keeping your computer cool. Choosing the right cooler that meets your needs and keeps your system from overheating is essential. In this article, we'll explore some tips for selecting the right CPU cooler for your custom-built computer.

Tips for choosing the right CPU cooler for your custom-built computer

Shopping for a CPU cooler can be a daunting task due to the overwhelming number of options available. To choose the right CPU cooler, you will need to take into consideration the type of CPU, available space, noise level, and whether you prefer an air or liquid cooler. Aesthetics may also play a role in your decision. Let's look at some of the things you must consider when choosing the right CPU cooler.

Compatibility and size: The first thing to consider in choosing the right CPU cooler for your custom-built computer is compatibility. Most CPU coolers will fit the majority of motherboards on the market, but if the CPU is relatively new, the coolers that support it may be limited.

The second thing you need to consider is the size of the CPU cooler. With CPU coolers, you must look at the space required for the heatsink (air) or radiator (liquid). For air coolers, is there enough room between the CPU on the motherboard and the side panel on the case? For liquid coolers, is there enough room in the case for a radiator and fan assembly?

Air or liquid: When it comes to CPU cooling, there are two (2) primary options: air or liquid cooling. Air coolers use fans to circulate air over a heatsink, while liquid coolers use a closed-loop system to circulate coolant over the CPU and through the radiator. While both options can provide excellent cooling performance, liquid cooling is typically more efficient and quieter than air cooling.

A manufacturers stock air CPU cooler

Now, some CPUs will come with a standard air cooler included. These work perfectly fine for surfing the web or checking email, but if you plan on putting the CPU under a heavy load, an air cooler with a larger heatsink or liquid cooler might be the best bet.

A performance air CPU cooler

Many years ago, Intel used to have different warranty periods for CPUs that came with and without their cooler (3 years with / 1 year without), so checking the warranty coverage is recommended. Also, remember that liquid cooling can be more expensive and challenging to install, so it's essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

With liquid cooling, there are two (2) types of systems: All-In-One (AIO) or a custom loop. AIOs are sealed and are not serviceable.
A all-in-one liquid CPU cooler
Custom loops are open and can be serviced.
A custom loop liquid CPU cooler
AIOs are easier to install but can not have any of the parts repaired or coolant replaced. Custom loops can be repaired, and coolant can be replaced, but use hard acrylic lines that must be cut and bent to the specific application.

Noise levels: The noise level is another critical factor to consider when choosing a CPU cooler. Some coolers can be loud, especially if you over-clock your CPU, which can be distracting and annoying when trying to work or play games. If you're looking for a quieter option, consider a liquid cooler or a low-noise air cooler. Be sure to check the specifications and reviews to get an idea of how loud a particular cooler is before making a purchase.

Remember that an air cooler with a large heatsink and multiple fans or a liquid cooler with a large radiator and multiple fans will cool much better than the manufacturer cooler. But with more fans comes more noise, so check the specifications of any cooler you are looking to purchase.

Cooling performance: One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a CPU cooler is the cooling performance. The cooler's ability to dissipate heat from the CPU significantly affects the overall system temperature. A high-performance cooler will keep your CPU running at optimal temperatures, which can improve system stability and prevent damage to your components.

Be sure to look for coolers with a high thermal efficiency rating and a high airflow rate for maximum cooling performance. Remember that with a large surface area, like with a large heatsink or radiator, you will get better cooling performance. And with plenty of airflow, your CPU will keep its cool even when throttled to the max.

Your budget: Finally, it's essential to consider your budget when choosing a CPU cooler. CPU coolers can range in price from as little as $20 to as much as $200 or more. While more expensive coolers may provide better cooling performance, they may not be necessary for your system. Be sure to weigh the features and benefits of each cooler against its price to find the best option for your needs and budget.

In conclusion, choosing the right CPU cooler for your computer is critical to keeping your system running smoothly and preventing overheating. By considering factors such as compatibility and size, air or liquid cooling, noise levels, cooling performance, and budget, you can find the perfect cooler to meet your needs and keep your computer cool. Be sure to do your research, read reviews, and compare options to make an informed decision and keep your computer running at its best.

Tips for choosing the perfect case for your computer

Are you building a new computer or upgrading an existing one? The computer case is one of the most essential components you'll need to consider. In this article, we'll go over some tips to help you in choosing the perfect case for your computer.

Tips for choosing the perfect case for your computer

When it comes to finding the perfect computer case, you have to remember that not only does it protect your components, but it also affects your computer's cooling and noise levels. With so many options on the market, choosing the right computer case can be overwhelming.

Size matters: The first thing you will need to consider is the motherboard that you are going to use. The most common sizes are ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX. Make sure you choose a case that fits your motherboard size.
A home theater computer case
Beyond that, you'll also need to consider the size of your graphics card(s), power supply, CPU cooler (air or liquid), and drives you plan to install.

Airflow and cooling: Proper airflow is crucial for keeping your components cool and extending their lifespan. Look for a case that has plenty of ventilation and supports multiple fans. You may also want to consider a case with liquid cooling support if you plan on overclocking your CPU (Central Processing Unit) and/or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). Remember, a larger case will give you more room for expansion, but it will also take up more space on or below your desk.

A gaming computer case

If you plan on using a liquid cooler for your CPU and/or GPU, you will need to take into consideration the size of the radiator(s) and cooling fans. The mounting depth for a cooling radiator with fans attached can vary, so definitely make sure you have plenty of clearance in the case where you plan on mounting the cooling system. Remember that a case with more fans will generally be louder than one with fewer fans, so you'll need to find a balance between cooling and noise levels.

Noise levels: Speaking of noise levels, consider the noise output of your case. If you're building a home theater PC or a workstation that needs to be quiet, look for a case with sound-dampening materials and low noise output. On the other hand, if you're building a gaming PC that will be under your desk, noise may not be as much of a concern.

Cable management: A clean and organized interior not only looks better but also helps with airflow and cooling. It also comes in handy when it comes to maintenance. Look for a case with plenty of cable management options, such as routing holes and tie-down points. Some cases even have built-in cable channels to help keep everything tidy.

Build quality: Next, consider the build quality of the case. You want a sturdy, well-made case with no sharp edges or flimsy panels. A good case will also have easy-to-remove panels to access your components easily.

Some 'no name' generic cases have a tendency to have metal edges that are not deburred, leaving them extremely sharp, which will lead to cuts on your hands as you assemble your computer. Since a good quality case can last for years, spending a little more on a quality case is just good sense.

Serviceability: With living in a dry environment like Phoenix, we have an extreme amount of dust and need to clean our systems on a regular basis. Having a computer case that can be easily cleaned of dust is essential.
An open-design computer case
Remember that most computer cases also come with dust filters that need to be cleaned, so having side and top panels that can be easily removed is handy.

In addition to these tips, you'll also want to consider the overall style and design of the case. Do you want a sleek and minimalist look or something with more RGB lighting and flashy designs? Ultimately, the right case for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

For more information on building your own computer, check out the following articles.

How to build a computer

How to find compatible computer parts online

Things to keep in mind when building a custom-built computer

Common problems to avoid when building your own computer

Free computer diagnostics

Repairing a PC can sometimes be expensive, and that is why we offer free basic in-shop diagnostics. Give one of our professional and experienced technicians a call at (602) 795-1111, and let's see what we can do for you.

Check out our reviews

Geeks In Phoenix LLC, BBB Business Review

Customer service is #1

Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. We aim to give the highest quality of service  from computer repair, virus removal, and data recovery.

Bring your computer to us and save

Repairing a computer can be time-consuming. That is why we base our in-shop service on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes for your computer to work! From running memory checking software to scanning for viruses, these are processes that can take some time.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at (602) 795-1111  and talk with one of our Geeks. Or you can send us a message from our contact page contact page , and one of our Geeks will get back to you as soon as possible. Or you can stop by and see us. Here are our hours and location.

Like Geeks in Phoenix on Facebook

Follow Geeks in Phoenix on Twitter

Watch Geeks in Phoenix on YouTube