What Are Air Coolers? The Most-Used CPU Cooling Devices!

Imagine yourself living in a house with no ventilation. Sounds scary enough, right? That’s the case with high-end performance computers as well. It is quite scary for them to operate without a proper cooling system. Computers that perform heavy tasks need to be supported by a cooling system.

what are air coolers
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Otherwise, the computer will be exhausted and would shut down unexpectedly.

In many cases, a computer without a cooling system may lose some of its components leading to additional charges for repairs. There are two types of coolers designed for computers.

The first is Air Coolers and the second is Liquid Coolers. While I have penned a separate article on the latter, the former will be discussed in the following article. Scroll down to start learning about Air Coolers with a simple definition.

What Are Air Coolers?

An Air Cooler is a device to drive the heat out of the computer. Installed inside the computer system, an Air Cooler lowers the temperature of the CPU to improve its performance. It keeps the various components of a computer system from being overly hot to the point of malfunction.

Supported by an active fan, an Air Cooler is the oldest and most conventionally used type of computer cooler. It comes with a structure of copper or aluminum for heat dissipation. Air Cooler is the predecessor to the advanced Liquid Cooler that is gradually securing its dominance in the PC market.

It is an inexpensive cooling solution for general-purpose computers. Since Air Coolers come with a bigger form factor, they take more space for installation than Liquid Coolers.

How Does An Air Cooler Work?

An Air Cooler works in a similar way as a Liquid Cooler. Although there is a bit of difference in the working principles of the two, it doesn’t make that much of a difference. Before unlocking the working mechanism of the Air Cooler, it is important to learn about IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader).

Installed right on the CPU, IHS is a shield that protects the former from the heat. IHS acts as the first defensive line in the process of heat dissipation. When a CPU gets hot, the IHS absorbs the heat to maintain its temperature.

In the case of an Air Cooler, IHS plays the role of a middle man between the former and the CPU. When the temperature of the CPU rises up, the Air Cooler takes the heat away from the IHS and transfers it to the metalloid structure of copper or aluminum called the baseplate.

After performing the initial task, the Air Cooler transfers the heat from the baseplate to the attached pipes. Now comes the turn of the pipes to take the charge. These pipes move the heat to the heatsink made of metal fins.

The heatsink allows the heat to be exposed to cooler air for heat absorption. When the cooler air absorbs the heat, it gets converted into hot air and the fan of the Air-Based CPU Coolers drives it out of the system.

Features Of Air Cooler

Following are some of the main features of Air Coolers.

Multiple Fans

Primarily, Air Coolers come with a single fan for a computer. However, as technology is advancing, one can witness more and more fans being added to the Air Coolers. The combined force of multiple fans improves the overall ability of an Air Cooler to maintain the temperatures.


The process of temperature maintenance heavily relies on the speed of the Air Cooler’s fan. In a general case, an Air Cooler’s fan is powered by a speed of 600–2000 RPM. These numbers are quite good to cool down the CPU and lower the temperature of other components of a computer system as well.

Heat Sinks

Air Coolers can’t operate with proper heat sinks. While some Air Coolers are backed with a single Heat Sink, others come packed with at least a couple of them. Like fans, the more heat sinks, the better the cooling process.

Advanced Bearings

CPU Air Coolers come with advanced bearings that support the fan’s blades during the spinning process. These bearings allow the blades to spin without any trouble resulting in enhanced performance. Thanks to the advancement in the world of technology, Air Coolers now have more types of bearings than ever before.

Average Price Of An Air Cooler

Air Coolers are considerably cheaper than Liquid Coolers. If you are on a budget, you can grab a good quality Air Cooler while saving a few bucks. Ever since Liquid Coolers have been popularized, their prices have further dropped.

The prices of Air Coolers vary based on the number of fans and heat sinks. For example, an Air Cooler supported by a single fan and a single heat sink can be priced at $40-$50. Whereas, a quality Air Cooler by a reputable brand with double the number of fans and heat sinks can cost you as much as $80-$110.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

Since Liquid Coolers are increasingly popular, Air Coolers may have to meet their end in the next few years. Regardless of the good or bad fate, they are the best CPU cooling solution for PC users with a limited budget. If you can’t afford to spend extra bucks on a Liquid Cooler, an Air Cooler is probably the best option to keep your computer system cool.

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Bilal Khan
Bilal Khan

Bilal might look like a Bearded Caucasian right out of a Viking movie but trust me he's a native Pakistani. He has a long list of hobbies among which staying updated on the Latest Technology and Hardware happens to be on the top. If you are looking for detailed hardware explanations through no tricky terminologies, follow him to read Tech Content curated perfectly for the human brain.

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