CPU coolers are the most important part of any PC setup if you’re looking to get good performance out of your computer, especially if you want to play very recently released games. A lower temperature PC is a more reliable PC so let’s have a look at the best different types of cooler.
Air coolers are the most common types – they use a fan and a heat sink to absorb and ventilate the PC. Liquid cooling systems are rarer and more appropriate for more complex builds – it involves thermodynamics and cycling of heat through a liquid unit to cool down the heat.
Of course, it all depends on what your machine is built for. Graphically demanding games and software, the likes of Final Fantasy XV, VR titles like Subnautica, and the Adobe suite of products can often insist on sophisticated cooling systems, while a Flash-based title or casino game might not trouble even the cheapest air cooler.
In fact, let’s be honest; your average desktop gamer probably has no idea what’s heating or cooling their machine. And, with MMOs and gaming websites like Party Casino increasingly running proprietary software to streamline the gameplay experience, it doesn’t always matter. There’s a full article explaining casino software available online but, for now, let’s take a look at the very best cooling systems available at the moment, regardless of what you want to play.
NZXT Kraken X62
Having been available for nearly two years, the Kraken X62 has developed a strong reputation with its aesthetic appearance, with an infinity-mirror design in the pump head that accentuates the RGB lighting. Also, NZXT was one of the first companies to introduce all-in-one liquid coolers to the market, so they’re a pioneer in that sense. Its position at and around the top of the charts since its release is a testament to its reputation.
While this air cooler is one of the more expensive ones (which shows how expensive liquid ones can be in comparison), it’s justified as the NH0D15 is a top-end performer. Composed of a fan and heatsink, it outperforms its competitors in performance, but also in noise levels – important if you can’t afford a liquid cooler but are worried about the sound that an air cooler would make while you are gaming.
EVGA CLC 240
The CLC coolers from EVGA are a strong mid-range pick, matching up to the performance of Corsair and NZXT models at a cheaper price, albeit at the cost of some features. Noise reduction is one of them – at full performance, the cooler is known to get loud, but hopefully it won’t need to reach this level at any time. Apart from that, most of what’s missing compared to competing models are some aesthetic features, namely the lack of addressable RGB lighting.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
This very wallet-friendly offering from Cooler Master is a cooler veteran, having been around for well over ten years. While that might seem like cause for concern, it’s a testament to its affordable performance. The 212 Evo is a further evolved version of the tried and tested format, with four direct contact heatpipes, an improved aluminium heatsink and a 120mm high airflow fan. It’s also only slightly bigger than a stock cooler, meaning that at the price it retails for there really isn’t any point holding onto your stock cooler.
Of course, not everyone needs a cooler for gaming – some people will look past this full article on high-performance coolers to look for places to game online. But in short, if you’re a hardcore gamer, then liquid coolers will be what you want, but if you’re more interested in keeping your computer just going for a longer time, then an air cooler will do just fine.