Is A CPU Cooler Necessary For My PC? [Explained 2024]

Written By Farhan Max

The tech specialists all over the world declare the CPU or Central Processing Unit as the brain of a PC. It operates every single function your PC does and increases its efficiency. You need to keep it always cool.

It’s pretty obvious to raise the question in your mind if you need a CPU cooler or not. It is a little bit confusing for new buyers considering the budget or the usage of the PC.


I faced the same problem when I bought my first PC about ten years ago, and some advised me to buy a better cooler for the CPU and vice versa. After that, I purchased three more PCs. And I struggled with the same problem until the last PC I built a few weeks ago, and I researched for about 10 hours to come to a conclusion.

Does a CPU come with a cooler?

Yes, almost all CPUs have their own cooler. But you can do moderate or light work using this, and if you want to do gaming, or 3D rendering and video editing, you have to buy an aftermarket cooler.

Now it is time to find out the importance and use of a CPU cooler. Stick to this article to find out the vital things you need to know before buying a cooler for the CPU.

Does My PC Need A CPU Cooler?

Yes, you need a CPU cooler for your pc, be it stock or aftermarket. It is a vital part of the CPU as it helps to cool down the PC and allow the PC to provide the best possible performance.

So you see, you cannot start a PC without a CPU cooler. Because if you do, there’ll be consequences.

Overheating Problems

There is nothing to worry about the heat produced in the PC, and almost every computer warms up after using it over a longer period. The generation of heat depends on the model, power supply, and, most importantly, your usage.

The problem arises when the PC warms up extremely. Though, you can utilize the methods to lower the CPU temp. This extreme heat is a slow poison for your PC, and it gradually damages the components of the CPU and it also lowers the performance of the PC.

Continuous overheating may cause permanent damage to thermal throttling and overclocking. So the heat needs to dissipate, and a CPU cooler helps in this regard. The main function of a CPU cooler is to draw away the heat produced in the CPU to keep the optimum performance.

Imagine gaming with your friends, you are about to attack your enemy, and the fps drops suddenly. How will you feel then? Or when you are doing your project work, you face a sudden shutdown of your pc. Isn’t it depressing?

If you do not have a good cooler, you may struggle with different problems. Your PC may shut down all of a sudden without any indication, and it might get slow and unstable. As a result, you will not be able to do your work properly.

There have been cases where users faced burning or smoking for avoiding a CPU cooler. So Without struggling with these problems, it is better to buy a good quality CPU cooler.

Why Does My PC Experience Extreme Heat And What to Do?

Production of heat is normal, but excessive heat production is not. This may depend on various reasons, and the presence of dust is one of the most important causes of high heat. Dust acts as a thermal insulator, and it hampers the airflow. As a result, the cooling system collapses. Changing the case and cleaning regularly may help to prevent dust.

Another reason for extreme heat is poor airflow. If your cooling system is not good enough or the CPU cooler is going bad, the heat remains inside the CPU, leading to the formation of extreme heat. You may prevent this problem by designing a good case and using a good quality cooler. For more information, check the complete PC airflow optimization guide.

How Much to Spend in A CPU Cooler?


Suppose you bought a cheap quality cooler for a high-end PC. Do you know what will happen? The cheap cooler will not handle the produced heat, which will result in a performance drop, and your PC will fail even if it has a high configuration. It is disappointing.

On the other hand, you are willing to build a mid-range CPU with a good quality cooler. You will be surprised to know that this mid-range pc will give the same performance as the high-end without a cooler.

But I’d still recommend a high-quality, expensive CPU cooler in case you want to overclock the processor or reduce the fan noise. Also, these coolers will boost the performance. So it will feel like you are using a PC of high configuration.

Right now, you may be thinking – how expensive a cooler will be!

Actually, a CPU cooler does not cost that much compared to your other computer parts, and it is a part with high efficiency and a low budget.

Do I Need an Aftermarket Cooler?

After the discussion, we understood we need a CPU cooler for the best performance. Now the question stands if a stock CPU cooler will do the job or not. The answer to this question depends on your working range.

The CPU coolers may be stock or aftermarket. So let me explain it a bit.

  • Stock Cooler: A stock CPU cooler is attached to the CPU. It prevents the PC from overheating quite well. If you are a light or moderate user, a stock cooler will fulfill your requirements.
  • Aftermarket Cooler: The aftermarket CPU cooler is a blessing for your pc. The stock coolers cannot cool down the PC if it is a matter of heavy work. We recommend aftermarket coolers for gaming, designing, video editing, and other heavy works. It will help in overclocking and give you a smooth experience.

Should I buy a new Cooler for the CPU?

Now you want to upgrade your CPU and are thinking about whether you need to buy a new CPU cooler or not. Generally, it is not necessary to buy a new cooler with the CPU upgrade if you have a good quality cooler.

Make sure the old CPU cooler is compatible with the new CPU. Check the cooler if it fits the CPU socket and make sure the CPU cooler is seated properly.

Monitor the CPU temperature and verify your old cooler is capable of cooling down the new CPU successfully.

But if you do decide to buy a new one, let’s see what you can do with the old CPU cooler.

Air Cooler or Water Cooler?

A good quality air cooler may be more effective than a water cooler. However, a water cooler has a high cooling capacity and functions more quietly than an air cooler. So if you want a quiet system, you may buy a water cooler. But the problem is that it is more costly, and besides, it can damage other components due to leakings.

An air cooler has a friendly price range. There is no issue with maintenance and leaks. So the other components stay safe. It is also capable of doing heavy duties.

In summary, if you have a moderate price range and want easy installation, you may buy an air cooler. If your price range is high and you need a quieter cooling system, you may purchase water coolers.

How many coolers do I need?

You do not need many CPU coolers for the PC. As almost all CPUs have stock coolers, buying 1 or 2 CPU coolers will perfectly do your job. It is better to get extra airflow through the case. So you may purchase the second one if you want. It will benefit your thermal pastes of CPU, GPU, and the motherboard chipset.

Final Thoughts

We can conclude by saying an effective cooling system is necessary for the PC, and it not only saves the essential components and boosts the performance. We advise you not to run a PC without a CPU cooler.

Hope you find this article useful. Now you can move a step forward in buying a CPU cooler. If you have further questions then feel free to share. Happy reading!

About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.

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