A CPU cooler is a device that helps to keep your computer’s CPU (central processing unit) from overheating. It works by dissipating the heat generated by the CPU so that it doesn’t damage the other components in your computer. This way, a CPU cooler becomes essential to any PC system and can help keep your computer running smoothly.

Key Takeaways

  • A CPU cooler is essential for any PC system as it prevents the CPU from overheating, which can damage other components.
  • There are three main types of CPU coolers: air coolers, liquid coolers, and all-in-one coolers. All of them work differently to dissipate heat away from the CPU.
  • Read below to deeply understand the working phenomenon for each CPU cooler type.

How CPU Coolers Work?

In general, the answer to how CPU coolers work is quite simple. It consists of two main parts, a fan and a heatsink; the heatsink is a large metal block attached to the CPU, and the fan is placed on top of the heatsink. The fan takes in air from outside and blows it over the heatsink. The heatsink then dissipates the heat away from the CPU so it doesn’t overheat. 

Note: There are different types of CPU coolers, and the working phenomenon of each type varies. The section below will teach you more about the types, differences, and their working.

How Different CPU Cooler Types Work?

The following are the most popular types of CPU coolers.

Air Coolers 

Air coolers consist of a metal heatsink attached to the CPU via screws and thermal paste and a fan on top of the heatsink to provide cooling. The fan draws in air from outside the case and uses it to cool the CPU. Air coolers are often considered the least expensive option but also the least efficient due to their reliance on ambient air temperature.

Liquid Coolers

Liquid coolers, or AIO or closed-loop liquid coolers, use a combination of water blocks, radiators, tubing, and fans to create a closed-loop cooling system. 

  • The water block is attached to the CPU with thermal paste and then connected to the radiator via tubing. 
  • The radiator has fans that draw in air and push it through the radiator fins, cooling the water inside and transferring the heat away from the CPU.
  •  Liquid coolers are more expensive than air coolers but offer superior cooling performance.

All-in-one Coolers

All-in-one (AIO) coolers, also known as liquid coolers or closed-loop coolers, use a combination of liquid coolant and a pump to dissipate the heat a CPU generates. A typical AIO cooler comprises three main components: a water block, a radiator, and a fan.

The water block is a small metal block placed on top of the CPU and serves as the contact point for the liquid coolant. The liquid coolant is circulated through the water block by a pump typically located on the radiator. The pump pushes the liquid coolant through small tubes that run through the radiator.

The radiator, typically mounted on the top or rear of the computer case, is a large metal block with many small fins. The liquid coolant flows through these fins, and the fan blows air through them, dissipating the heat absorbed from the CPU into the surrounding air.

How to Improve CPU Cooler Performance?

CPU Contact With the Heatsink.

The first step is to ensure that your CPU has good contact with the heatsink, which can be done using thermal paste or thermal pads. This paste helps dissipate heat away from the CPU, ensuring it is adequately cooled.

Attach the Fan to the Heatsink’s Surface Properly.

Ensure to properly mount the fan on top of the heatsink. This ensures air is properly circulated across the heatsink, allowing maximum cooling performance. It is essential to ensure the fan is secured properly, as an improperly mounted fan can cause noise or reduce airflow.

Ensure Adequate Airflow.

Finally, you need to make sure that your CPU cooler has adequate airflow around it. This means that there should be no obstructions blocking airflow, such as cables or components. It also helps to keep your case clean and dust-free, as dust can clog up fans and reduce their cooling efficiency.

Note: By following these steps, you can ensure your CPU cooler can properly disperse heat away from your CPU and keep it running at optimal temperatures. With proper maintenance, your CPU cooler will keep your computer running smoothly and reliably for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Choose a CPU Cooler?

When choosing a CPU cooler, you should consider how many fans it has and how big it is. Depending on the size of your computer, you may need more than one fan to keep your CPU cool. You should also consider the type of heatsink that the CPU cooler uses.

Zohaib Hassan
Zohaib Hassan is a staunch tech enthusiast and has been writing about his interactions with computers for years. He has been serving the UpdatedPC as a content manager along with experimenting and testing numerous tech masterpieces. Indeed, he often forgets about eating his spicy snacks when has his head on the computer screen.