Do I need a CPU cooler?

Do I need a CPU cooler?

A CPU is one of the foremost vital parts of the computer since it manages every operation inside a system or a PC. The processor has to take on a lot of computing responsibilities and supervise the other components, so it may get overheated during the process. But you must not worry about the heat if you’re facing the same CPU-challenging issue. A CPU cooler comes into play precisely at this spot to resolve thermal mismanagement. It removes heat from the chip and keeps it as cool as possible to achieve excellent thermal conditions. 

When building a custom PC, you have to take extra care of your system’s processing unit and pair it with an adequate cooling system to get the most out of it. Still, some users are there who have reached out and texted us several times to ask, do I need a CPU cooler? Well, you have to read this exciting post until the end to get a proper answer to your query. We have spent countless hours researching and gathering every bit of information related to the topic so you can get a precise answer in no time. Let’s jump straight into the article and read it until the end!

Do I need a CPU cooler?

The quick and short answer is yes. The most apparent reason for the statement is that the CPU isn’t designed to cool itself whenever needed or comes with a built-in cooling system like most dedicated graphics cards. So, when it’s operating at its full potential and generating heat, it has to be backed up with an excellent cooler to keep everything flowing smoothly. In short, to keep the processor healthy and to perform its tasks, we have to maintain an adequate heat level. In order to achieve that ideal thermal level, we must pair a good-quality cooling system. 

Another situation when having a fine-tuned cooling system becomes necessary is when the CPU is being overclocked to achieve peak performance levels. In such a condition, the chip is fetching enormous power directly from the motherboard and indirectly from the power supply unit, and it would definitely be producing more heat than day-to-day usage. At this spot, a dedicated cooling system is the only way to beat up the temperature increase or heat production. Hence, you undoubtedly need a processor cooler if you’re a gamer or content creator.  

Plus, the machine might not even boot up if no coolers are found. Your system may be designed in a way that can’t even work out without a cooler. If it occurs, the CPU heats up too quickly, causing the device to shut down after a short time. Moreover, since the CPU requires specialized cooling systems that directly collect heat from its surface and distribute it, you cannot rely on typical cooling options, such as case fans. But you may ask, what cooler do I need out of several types? For your information, the next section is all about this, so keep reading. 

Air cooler vs Liquid cooler

Air coolers and liquid coolers are the two main categories of CPU cooling that differ in their operations.

An air cooler uses heat-conductive pipes to transmit heat from the CPU to a heatsink with a lot of thin metal fins to give a lot of surface area. One or more fans are there to enhance the airflow, together with a heat sink, heat pipes, and a fan to improve the overall heat dissipation. A liquid cooler removes heat from the CPU through pipes that are being pumped with cooling liquid. Then, this liquid is through a radiator, a block with many thin pipes running through it. The radiator’s liquid is cooled by fans that circulate air across it, causing the liquid’s heat to enter the atmosphere.

Which one should you choose? Well, it all depends on your usage and cooling requirements. A good-quality air cooler is more than enough to keep your CPU comfortable while doing mid-tier gaming, content creation, or other low-load tasks. Moreover, air-based coolers are inexpensive options that can even last longer. Meanwhile, a liquid-based cooler or AIO is slightly pricey but offers even way better thermal management than an air cooler. It’s perfect for those who do play high-end games or run top-tier content creation software. In short, pick one as per your needs. 

Stock cooler vs Aftermarket one

A stock cooler is the one that comes in the box with the processor saving you money and time to hunt for a third-party cooler. On the other hand, an aftermarket cooler isn’t within the box of a processor; you have to purchase it separately after owning a processing unit. But again, what cooler you need depends upon your needs. If you think that an air cooler can handle your CPU usage, you should definitely go for it. On the other hand, you can go for a more capable cooling solution, air-based or liquid-based, if the stock cooler isn’t enough for your utility.

For your information, only an air-based cooler comes in the box but not the liquid-based one. Since liquid coolers are not included with CPUs, you will need to get an aftermarket option if you want liquid CPU cooling. Moreover, most modern desktop processors don’t come with a stock cooler. Only AMD’s most recent generation of processors, the 5600X and 5600G, do. Even some of the older Intel processors have stock coolers, but modern, unlocked CPUs do not have one as part of their SKU identifier. In short, the stock is best only for low-tier usage. 


Your computer requires a proper thermal management system to cool down. Most likely, you need a better cooling system to achieve that dream. The way that CPUs work is highly complicated; they take commands from computer programs and do computations on them. Since nothing is ever truly 100% efficient, a CPU produces heat, just like practically all other electrical components do. Heat is the enemy when it comes to the operation of electrical parts, so coolers and heat sinks are essential specifically for this reason. 

It’s possible that you’ve seen little chips with huge finned blocks of aluminum attached to them. That is responsible for managing the heat produced by these components and removing it from the element itself. The same rules cover how a CPU cooler operates. We can say in conclusion that effective cooling solutions are necessary for any PC setup. Without excellent cooling, increased performance is impossible. Now that you know what you need, you may go ahead and buy it or construct it yourself.

Arslan Ashraf
Arslan Ashraf is a tech enthusiast and an experienced technical writer at GamingDairy. He has been writing all types of guides, tutorials, and tips for gamers, developers, and other people who use computers. His way of writing is quite unique: he starts with testing every single piece of Hardware and does a long list of experiments before writing the actual masterpiece. Well, if you have any queries, ensure to connect with him!