With most modern computers with a CPU, a CPU cooler is needed. A CPU cooler consists of a heat sink and a fan. If you’re into gaming and high performance systems you’ll want to get a 3rd party CPU cooler that will really get the job done. We’ve gone for the Noctua DH-D14 CPU cooler. This high performance CPU cooler has two massive heatsinks and two large fans to dissipate heat quickly even when the sustem is over clocked.
The heat sink is a piece a metal or copper with fins to help cool a device (usually devices that generate a lot of heat like a processor) by dissipating the heat to the surrounding air. The device is designed to help increase the surface area.
When choosing a heat sink, it is a good idea to get one that can transfer a lot of heat without creating a lot of noise. While the CPU cooler that comes with the processor is ok, a third-party cooler will dramatically help transfer heat from the CPU, keeping the CPU cool. With 3rd party CPU coolers, you have two options, air-cooled or water-cooled. With air coolers, you are using the air inside the computer to help cool down the processor. With a water-cooled cooler, you are using fluid to transfer heat to a remote source from the CPU to be cooled in a remote area. Before companies created a sealed water cooler, water-cooled was done by serious DIYers. Right now, most people who go the water cooling route usually get a sealed water-cooled CPU cooler.
When installing a CPU cooler to the CPU, it is also important to apply a thermal paste or thermal compound between the CPU and the CPU cooler. Thermal grease or paste is designed to fill in the air gap between the CPU and the CPU cooler so that heat can be transferred from the CPU to the heat sink and fan. When applying the thermal grease or compound, it is recommended to tint the CPU cooler to lessen the break in time for the thermal compound or grease. Also, when applying thermal compound to the CPU and cooler, take a look at Arctic Silver’s Application guide to tell you how to apply thermal compound to your CPU.