What Is CPU Cooler? Its Types, Parts & Brands Broken Down!

From modern computing devices to the ancient yet enormously lazy computers, CPU coolers have always been a must-have thing for PC manufacturers. For ages, a CPU cooler has been used to control the soaring internal temperature of super-fast computing machines to ensure all the hardware components remain fully functional.

what is a cpu cooler
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Besides knowing the basics about the CPU coolers, if you want to equip yourself with additional information, keep reading the blog until the end. It will enhance your knowledge about the CPU coolers and help you make the right decision to buy one.

To the point, this blog is a complete package featuring a list of the main types of CPU coolers in detail, their components, and a brief explanation behind their use in computer systems. So, let’s get started!

What Is A CPU Cooler?

A CPU cooler is a heat-sinking electronic device that comes attached to the motherboard. This electronic device, which covers a considerable space of the motherboard, features a sophisticated cooling system supported by a fan.

Yes, the fan that seems to be resting on your motherboard tummy is what we are talking about. If you are still clueless about it, unlock your PC case, and you will find a rotary device fixed to the motherboard. While a CPU cooler features a powerful fan, it also features an Aluminium or Copper made heat-sinking structure that sits beneath the fan.

What Does A CPU Cooler Do?

A CPU cooler regulates the rising temperature of the hardware of a computer and specifically the CPU or the Central Processing Unit. Since a Central Processing Unit is the heart of a computer running continuously to perform all the small and big tasks, it uses an extensive amount of power which causes the computer to heat up.

The heat caused by the CPU needs to be released from the internal surroundings of the computer to avoid an unintended shutdown. So, here comes a CPU cooler whose ultimate job is to drive the heat out of the computer system and keep the Central Processing Unit cool enough to operate.

Is A CPU Cooler Necessary?

Ask yourself, can you afford to let your computer hardware die at the hand of unbearable heat caused by the CPU? Of course, not at all. So, yes, you need a CPU cooler to maximize your computer hardware’s life and avoid an unexpected shutdown that may happen without warning.

Even if the heat-up doesn’t cause damage to the hardware, it can lead to frequent unexpected shutdowns causing more pain than anything else. Think of it this way, you are working on an important business project, and suddenly the shutdown occurs. You lose the unsaved progress and start all over again. It hurts, no? So, now you know the answer!

History Of CPU Coolers

Surprisingly, CPU coolers are as old as supercomputers and date back to the 1950s. One of the earliest CPU coolers relied on the water-based process requiring tons of tubes to sink the heat out of the enormous heat-generating computers. Designed specifically for supercomputers that were built for the United States government, it remained out of the commercial market for decades.

It wasn’t until the late 90s when the concept of commercial CPU coolers made it to the international PC market with Intel’s decision to use a cooling system for its i408 microprocessor. Introduced in 1997, i408 carried what you can call the first-ever modern CPU cooler which gave birth to the necessity of an active cooling system in the PCs for the years to come.

As the computer systems started getting advanced with newly added and upgraded hardware like Graphics Processing Unit, the need for cooling fans rose up. Thus, more and more PC brands worked on developing advanced versions of the CPU coolers. In less than half a decade, the Platinum 4 computer appeared in the international market with a built-in cooling system to expel the heat.

As the demand for conventional air cooling systems skyrocketed in the early 2000s, hybrid cooling systems jumped into the international market as a potential replacement for the former. However, this changed nothing and both the air and hybrid cooling systems co-existed for the next four years.

In 2005, the monopoly of air and hybrid cooling systems was challenged by IBM’s commercially manufactured CPU water-cooler for its ahead-of-the-time computer called Power 575.  The water-based system cooler was the first of its kind which triggered a race for the development of the best liquid cooling systems.

Types Of CPU Coolers

While the tech experts classify Central Processing Unit cooling systems into many, the main ones are of two types which can later be subdivided into many other types. What type of cooling system would suit your new PC depends upon multiple factors including the Graphics Processing Unit and CPU capacity and the overall system configuration. The two types of cooling systems are listed below.

Air CoolersThis type of cooler drives processor-generated heat out of the computer system using copper and aluminum structure fixed beneath the cooling fan
Liquid CoolerA Liquid cooler features a systemic way of grabbing the heat out of the computer using distilled water for this purpose. The liquid cooling system is considered to be more efficient and quieter than the air cooling system

Components And Parts Of CPU Cooler

A modern CPU air cooling system is a combination of the various components that team up to make this electronic device workable. These components together maintain the optimal status of the cooling system to keep the PC temperature under control. So, what are these parts or components? Let’s dig into it.


A heatsink is a metallic structure of small towers made of copper or aluminum below the cooling fan. These small towers ensure the transfer of heat generated by the processor.


Heatpipes are basically the metalloid structures of multiple long pipes designed to release the heat out of the computer. These heatpipes contain a chamber to store the heat-caused liquid and gas.

The purpose of the heatpipes is to convert the heat-caused liquid into a gas and cool it down. Later on, the gas is again converted into a liquid only to be converted into a gas again. The process completes multiple cycles which keeps the CPU cooler at optimal status.


The fan sits on top of the structure of a CPU cooler which acts as a tool to drive the hot air out of the heatsink tower. It rotates at a godspeed and requires heavy power supply usage to keep the heatsink from getting warm.

All CPU Cooler Brands

When buying a cooling system for your computer, there are trillions of brands to choose from in the international PC market. However, since we are running out of space to cover them all in the blog, only the best ones have been listed below.

NoctuaThanks to the super-popular NH-D15, the Austrian CPU cooling device manufacturer is ranked top in the list of best cooling system providers
NZXTNZXT is a big name in the world of CPU coolers and is the manufacturer of the in-demand Kraken Series of cooling devices.
CorsairFrom single to triple radiator liquid coolers, Corsair provides some of the finest cooling solutions
CryorigEver heard of the highly successful H7 cooling system? Cryorig is the name behind it
Be QuietBe Quiet as the name suggests, owns a fine series of some of the quietest CPU coolers in the world
MasterLiquidMasterLiquid is a reputable liquid cooling solution provider for elite gamers
ArcticArctic offers a classy range of water-based coolers which are guaranteed to make you obsessed
CoolerMasterThe Taiwanese cooling solution provider influences the Asian market of CPU coolers by offering superior cooling systems at affordable prices
GigabyteGigabyte engineers exceptional liquid coolers to better serve the needs of the elite gamers
AlphacoolThis cooling device manufacturer owns a number of futuristic CPU coolers

How Much Is A CPU Cooler?

CPU coolers come with different price tags due to the distinctive range of features they offer. However, in general, you can find an average air cooling by paying $50-$55. For an average liquid cooler, the price could be double and could be as much as $120 – $125. Add more features to both types of coolers for a high-end use and the price would increase.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

Whether you are an average computer user or a professional gamer who is obsessed with playing super-visual videogames all day, you need to have an advanced CPU cooler, either air or liquid-based, for sustained internal temperatures of the computer.

Like most of the other hardware components of a computer system, a Central Processing Unit cooler is a must-have accessory for a smooth and uninterrupted computing experience. Just a quick tip here! And you better keep in mind, that the lower the hardware temperature, the longer its life span. Hence, when getting a CPU cooler, make no compromises at all.

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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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