The cooling system of any PC plays an important role. It can be as cheap as $30 for a standard CPU fan or you could pay $140 for a liquid cooling system.

In any case, if a computer is not properly cooled, all the components (CPU, PSU, GPU, storage devices, motherboard, …) will suffer negative effects as they all have an optimum working temperature. An overheated computer will consume more power, will perform worse and the components lifespan will be reduced dramatically.

In fact, some CPUs have a critical temperature that once it’s reached, the computer will shut down itself automatically. The temperature is a critical aspect when it comes to design a Gaming Build. With this guide, you will learn how to choose the proper cooling system for your computer.

Here you will learn what are the most important features you must look for when choosing a cooling fan system, so you can optimize your budget while not putting in danger your whole computer.

If you see errors, misleading information, or you just don’t agree with me I would really appreciate your comments so we all can improve this post together. Try to be nice with each other and be collaborative.

How To Choose The Best Cooling Fans

So what’s this about? How do you refrigerate the computer case? What kind of coolers are there? These are some of the questions I’ll try to answer in this part of the guide.

There are a couple of things I would like to emphasize before starting to dig in:

  • There are only two ways to refrigerate a computer: with CPU and Cabinet coolers.
  • Both air and liquid cooling systems involve the use of at least one fan to extract the inner hot air or insert fresh air from the outside.
  • If you want to overclock your CPU, you can use either a good quality Air cooling system or a Liquid one. You don’t necessarily need liquid refrigeration for this purpose.
  • All the CPU cooler systems compatible with the Intel’s 1150 Socket are also compatible with the Skylake socket (1151).

CPU Coolers

Air Systems

This is the standard type of CPU cooling system. Why? Simply: they are cheaper and easier to install than liquid systems. They are usually built from a heat conductor metal block which dissipates the residual heat generated by the CPU through some heat pipes and then a fan dissipates the heat from the heat sink to the computer case’s air exit.

Air cooling systems cover low to mid-high computer builds. So, unless you want to highly overclock your CPU or want your computer case’s inside to look cleaner, you will be fine with this type of coolers.

Here are some things you need to know before buying any Air Cooling System:

  • The maximum CPU Cooler height that your case supports.
  • The Cooler dimensions. Be sure to check out if your RAM’s heat pipes could be in contact with the cooler or if they could interfere the cooler space requirements.

Liquid Systems

Liquid coolers are not a magic solution that refrigerates your entire computer without any noise. There is a lot of magic involved, that’s for sure, but you won’t get rid of the fans. Liquid cooling systems have fans and they can be as noisy as Air coolers.

The difference lies in the refrigeration process. The CPU heat is extracted by the coolant and driven to the fans, which are usually located at one of the computer case’s air exits, commonly located at the top or rear sides.

Remember that liquid systems are needed only if you want to overclock your processor and keep it safe. They are also used just for aesthetic purposes, as the computer case interior will look much cleaner and empty, which also helps to reduce the overall temperature.

Buying Guide

CPU Coolers

Air Systems

From $20 to $60
From $60

Liquid Systems


Products Added

  • March 19, 2018: EVGA CLC 120, EVGA CLC 240, Jonsbo CR-201, be quiet! BK008
  • June 10, 2017: Cooler Master GeminII M4, Cooler Master Vortex Plus, upHere Liquid CPU Cooler, Corsair Hydro Series H55 Quiet Ed.

Products Removed

  • August 1, 2017: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 EVO


How did you find this guide? What coolers are you using in your badass build? Are liquid cooling systems as cool as they seem? What problems did you face installing CPU fans?

Comment Below!

Remember that you can use Disqus without signing in!

*Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer: Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated in each product and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on or your Amazon's country specific site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of the product.


Adrian Benavides

I've been always an avid gamer with limited resources. This led me to learn how to build the best gaming computers within tight budgets. Now, I want to share the knowledge I've acquired over the years with the world!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *