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The Best Budget CPU Cooler for your Gaming PC

The Best Budget CPU Cooler for your Gaming PC

One of the most important decisions when building a PC is choosing the best CPU cooler to keep your temperatures low. However, if you’re on a budget, you might be concerned that you will have to sacrifice quality for a lower price. 

As a general rule, a good CPU cooler ensures that the processor stays cooler for longer, allowing it to run at its highest rates as much as possible. When choosing a CPU cooler, consumers should take several things into account including, cooler style, size, and budget. 

The CPU in your computer is one of the most critical components in your system. Below, we’ll go over how to find the best budget-friendly CPU cooler for your processor, as well as what to look for when selecting a cooler for your system.

Do You Need a CPU Cooler for your Gaming PC?

In short, yes, you do need a CPU cooler in most cases. When you don’t use one, you risk throttling or damaging your processor completely.

CPUs typically have a maximum performance temperature of roughly 200 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if your CPU is constantly reaching 175 degrees or more, it will degrade quickly and may not last as long as you expect. 

Additionally, CPUs alter their performance level based on their temperature. When a CPU becomes too hot, it will either restrict its own performance or just shut down.

While most CPUs come with a stock cooler, it is possible that it will underperform for high-end tasks. If you perform a lot of heavy activities, such as gaming or video editing, and your CPU temperature rises above 175 degrees, you should consider upgrading to a more powerful cooler.

What is the Best Budget Cooler for Gaming PCs?

There are several factors to consider when selecting the best CPU cooler for your gaming PC.

The TDP rating of a cooler is one of the key aspects in deciding whether a certain cooler is adequate for your system. This is the maximum amount of heat generated by a CPU that a computer’s cooling system is able to expel. As a general guideline, you’ll want to make sure the cooler you choose has a TDP rating that surpasses the TDP specification of your CPU. This is especially important for those who intend to overclock.

Here are some of the top budget coolers to consider: 

While there are plenty of good, premium-priced coolers on the market, there is really no need to spend top dollar for adequate cooling. The coolers listed above can easily keep your CPU temperatures low without the fancy price tag. 

Things To Keep in Mind When Shopping for a CPU Cooler

There are many CPU coolers on the market to choose from. However, each device is designed with a particular purpose in mind, so it can be hard to narrow it down. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting the best CPU cooler for your needs.

How Much Can You Spend?

The first thing you should think about is your budget. If you’re simply updating your cooler, your budget will be easy. If, on the other hand, you’re selecting a cooler as part of a completely new system, it’s vital to commit the right portion of your budget to your cooler.

Keep in mind that a lower price point doesn’t typically mean lower quality. At the same time, you don’t want to skimp on your cooler and wind up with something that isn’t designed to cool the CPU you’ve selected.

More Fans Equal Better Cooling and More Noise

There are many builders out there who place a high value on creating as quiet a PC as possible. However, the coolers that move the most heated air away from your CPU and out of your case are generally the loudest.

The coolers that move the most heated air away from your CPU and out of your case are generally the loudest. If fan noise bothers you, look for a cooler that performs a decent job of balancing noise with cooling. Larger fan coolers are often quieter than smaller fan coolers. The reason for this is that larger fans do not have to spin as fast as smaller fans to generate a comparable degree of cooling.

Make Sure It Will Fit Your System

Just because you find the perfect budget cooler, doesn’t mean it will fit your system. While most CPU cooler manufacturers design their coolers to match most CPU sockets, there are some CPU coolers on the market that will only fit with a specific CPU socket.

Along with making sure your CPU cooler is compatible with your motherboard, you’ll also want to make sure that it isn’t too tall or bulky to fit in the case. So, when you buy a CPU cooler, make sure to check the spec sheet of the cooler, and of your case to make sure the cooler will fit inside of that case.

Air vs. Liquid Cooling

When choosing between air and liquid cooling, it mainly comes down to cost and compatibility. In general, air coolers offer excellent performance for the price you pay. While most high-end liquid coolers handle temperatures better than air coolers, they typically require more maintenance and have a lower price-to-performance ratio. 

One downside to air coolers is that they are bulky and aren’t always suitable for setups because of clearance issues. Unless you have additional finances or your setup’s physical limits demand it, you don’t usually need a liquid CPU cooling solution.

Bottom Line

After reading this article, you should have a good idea of what to look for when shopping around for the best budget CPU cooler for your gaming PC. It’s easy to determine whether you need a cooler; either your CPU is overheating, or it is not. If it is, you can pick a suitable cooler for your PC with a little research and implementing the steps above.