[SOLVED] What is the best CPU cooling method?

What is the best CPU cooling method?

  • Air

    Votes: 6 60.0%
  • AIO

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Water (Open loop)

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10
Dec 3, 2021
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Hello, this is for some primary research for a project I am currently completing.

Just need a quick preference on what is the best CPU cooling method in general in your opinion based on price, performance, efficiency and convenience.

I am aware of the many variables that come with this question but please base any replies off any builds you have personally used.

Please specify your type of build and which cooling you found to be the best match, for example:
-Gaming build, AIO + Air
-High performance build, custom water loop
-Productivity, Air etc

By responding to this poll and/or questionnaire, you are giving permission for me to use the information in my written report. Any replies are greatly appreciated.

Thank You!
 
Last edited:
Reactions: Archaic59
Hello, this is for some primary research for a project I am currently completing.

Just need a quick preference on what is the best CPU cooling method in general in your opinion based on price, performance, efficiency and convenience.

I am aware of the many variables that come with this question but please base any replies off any builds you have personally used.

Please specify your type of build and which cooling you found to be the best match, for example:
-Gaming build, AIO + Air
-High performance build, custom water loop
-Productivity, Air etc

Any replies are greatly appreciated.

Thank You!
It depends. The chassis has a lot to do with it. If airflow is poor through the chassis an AIO may be the best method. Some prefer the cleaner looks of an AIO. In most cases a good tower air cooler is sufficient for CPU cooling and represents the least chance of failure due to its simplicity.

Liquid coolers are still using air to cool. They transfer the heat to another location (radiator) and cool it from there with fans. By installing a pump, radiator and hoses you're adding several potential failure points to the system. If an AIO is set up as an intake it can increase GPU temps by blowing hot air into the chassis. If the AIO is set up to exhaust air it will use hot air from inside the case possibly limiting its effectiveness. Motherboard VRM temps can increase if there's no airflow to cool them.

I use my system for everything including browsing, productivity apps, game design and light gaming. I prefer to keep things simple, so a tower style heatsink and fan works just fine and has been very reliable. Maintenance is simple. Once a month a quick blast with a can of compressed air and it's good to go. I run an app called 'core temp' and the temp of each core is displayed on my taskbar at all times giving me constant vigilance (with the exception of fullscreen apps that hide the taskbar). I almost never shut my system off, so running 24/7 it makes the most sense, IMO, to use an air cooler.
 
Hello, this is for some primary research for a project I am currently completing.

Just need a quick preference on what is the best CPU cooling method in general in your opinion based on price, performance, efficiency and convenience.

I am aware of the many variables that come with this question but please base any replies off any builds you have personally used.

Please specify your type of build and which cooling you found to be the best match, for example:
-Gaming build, AIO + Air
-High performance build, custom water loop
-Productivity, Air etc

Any replies are greatly appreciated.

Thank You!
It depends. The chassis has a lot to do with it. If airflow is poor through the chassis an AIO may be the best method. Some prefer the cleaner looks of an AIO. In most cases a good tower air cooler is sufficient for CPU cooling and represents the least chance of failure due to its simplicity.

Liquid coolers are still using air to cool. They transfer the heat to another location (radiator) and cool it from there with fans. By installing a pump, radiator and hoses you're adding several potential failure points to the system. If an AIO is set up as an intake it can increase GPU temps by blowing hot air into the chassis. If the AIO is set up to exhaust air it will use hot air from inside the case possibly limiting its effectiveness. Motherboard VRM temps can increase if there's no airflow to cool them.

I use my system for everything including browsing, productivity apps, game design and light gaming. I prefer to keep things simple, so a tower style heatsink and fan works just fine and has been very reliable. Maintenance is simple. Once a month a quick blast with a can of compressed air and it's good to go. I run an app called 'core temp' and the temp of each core is displayed on my taskbar at all times giving me constant vigilance (with the exception of fullscreen apps that hide the taskbar). I almost never shut my system off, so running 24/7 it makes the most sense, IMO, to use an air cooler.
 
Jan 23, 2022
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It depends. AIOs will provide lower temps. However, they will never be as reliable as air coolers. The only part of an air cooler that can break is the fan, at which point you can replace it. When an AIO fails, it is usually the pump, and that could have catastrophic effects. However, if an air cooler's fan fails, then the big slug of metal on the CPU still does its job.

I personally don't bother with AIOs as I don't see the point in switching a perfectly fine, extremely silent, Noctua cooler for a louder AIO just to have slightly less degrees in temperature. I don't monitor temperature when I use my PC, I do my tasks and play games.
 
I switched to liquid AIO coolerr for high performance PCs for several reasons. One is that air coolers for such PCs tend to be huge and heavy often interfering with RAM and accessibility to other components (GPU, M.2 SSD etc). Liquid cooler radiators can be mounted out of the way and their fans become part of case cooling lowering number of case fans. Not all large CPU coolers can be mounted in a best position for their best performance.
240 or some 280 AIOs are neck to neck with best air coolers, above that AIOs have better performance.
If there's no need for exceptional cooling like for most 2 -4 core or cooler running 6 core processors and relatively small air coolers would do. than air coolers may be more practical. Just have to provide good case cooling for their optimal performance..
Most new AIO coolers have long life (5 years+), failure rates are very small and have long warranty and insurance against any leaks including damage to other parts. Besides, in most cases coolers attached to a PC will be obsolete together with PC in more than 5 years and everything may be due to upgrade.
Most of modern PC cases, including SFF ones can accommodate an AIO of proper size, but may have problems with high and bulky air coolers.
 
Reactions: alexbirdie
Jan 27, 2022
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Ultimately the CPU cooler you get ultimately depends on what CPU you get.

For low heat CPU’s - budget air cooling is the best value for money.

For medium heat CPU’s - AIO cooling or medium-end air cooling is the best option.

For high heat CPU’s - Liquid cooling or high-end air cooling should do the job.
 

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