Are you an avid gamer and your system tends to get hot more than usual? Or are you just curious whether you need to go for a CPU cooler or a heatsink would be better? In either case it must be tiresome to decide which one to go for.
To decide which one to go for first you need to understand both of them and how do they work. So let’s hop onto the bandwagon of long-time discussed topic; CPU Cooler VS Heatsink.
CPU Cooler VS Heatsink: Are They Both The Same?
Basically the heatsink and CPU cooler are same in the way that both work to dissipate heat from the system. Both of the components makes the system cool and makes them efficient at the same time.
However, there is this one thing that makes them apart and that is a CPU cooler is something you have to purchase besides your system. Like it is one of the aftermarket part. Whereas, a heatsink is something that is present in all systems. Without a heatsink you will not be able to run a computer for longer sessions because it will heat up to the point it explodes.
Till now we are clear about what is heatsink and what is a CPU cooler. Now is the time we actually start our debate which one to go for when you are building your system. However which one to go for depends over your use and how much performance you need form your system.
What Is A CPU Cooler?
A CPU cooler is a sort of compact cooler that cools off the system properly while dissipating the excess of heat. most of the times these CPU coolers are installed outside or inside the system to get rid of the generated heat.
This also makes the system to remain cooler as well as work efficiently. You might be familiar with a lot of gadgets our system uses. Besides the GPU, motherboard, and other components there is another important thing that we definitely need to have in our systems.
The component is the CPU cooler. There are a lot of CPU coolers available in the marketplace. To make it simpler to choose we have divided them into the below categories.
Air CPU Cooler
An air CPU cooler is something that works on gas. Basically the gas is the air and it works on Fans to get rid of the excess heat. This is the most common way to get rid of the unnecessary heat generated by your system. The mechanism works like this; there is a metal heatsink in there.
this metal heat sink pull away the excess of heat from the CPU. Now this heat is the blown outside of the system using the fans. To purchase one you need to consider what kind of sockets your motherboard has as well as what is the airflow inside your system.
Liquid CPU Cooler
As the world is showcasing new innovations, there has been also new traditions in the industry of CPU coolers. So, the world is now gradually moving towards using liquid coolers for CPU instead of traditional air coolers.
The basic mechanism here works on the basis of a radiator. It absorbs the excess heat from the system and transfers it away from it. The transference here takes place with the help of a heat pipe or liquid and eventually is kicked out of the system with the fans.
In short the heat is transferred from the hot processor to the cooler liquid that in turn moves out from the system through a radiator that often sits at the back.
How Does A CPU Cooler Work?
Most of the time an excess of heat might burn out the internal components of the system and eventually cause a short circuit. A CPU cooler in this case helps a lot! CPU coolers absorbs the excess of heat that is usually generated by the systems and transfers it from the internal hardware to the externals.
The heat might be usually distributed to the external part using a liquid in the case of a liquid CPU cooler. whereas, in the case of Air CPU cooler the heat is transferred via fans or heat pipes. Our system does generate a lot of heat when it is in working position.
For the stance gaming and editing alone generates a lot of heat. This heat might damage your system if it is not taken care of properly.
Pros Of A CPU Cooler
CPU coolers have collectively a lot of benefits. To name a few benefits it would be injustice and to name all of them we might need a whole article for that. Fret not! We have shortlisted some of the most useful features of a CPU cooler that is just going to make you yell just have my money and bring me that CPU cooler.
First of all CPU coolers are perfect in making your system cool. They dissipate heat quickly from the system and makes the system cooler. Because the dissipation is fact and active it also ensures that performance is quick. Moreover, there is also zero compromise over the performance.
Even though a CPU cooler cools off the system quickly, it does so by giving some of the top-notch performance. So, you don’t have to worry about the quality of the performance or anything else. Furthermore using a CPU cooler will provide you a cooled CPU that is efficient and also has zero glitches or bottlenecks. We are not even kidding over this one.
Yes, CPU coolers does reduces the number of glitches to the most minimum level. And if you are an avid gamer and you love to overclock your system then you don’t have to do that at the expense of melting up your system.
A Good CPU cooler will be just the right choice for your overclocked system. It will dissipate heat instantly while giving you that smooth performance as you enjoy your favourite game.
Cons Of A CPU Cooler
In general there are no as such cons of a CPU cooler. But every garden has roses and thorns. A CPU cooler is just a blessing but this blessing can actually cost you an arm and leg. Just kidding on that. However, purchasing a good CPU cooler can actually cost you about $60.
That was just a rough estimate of the most budget friendly CPU coolers on the market. Some of the high end CPU coolers can cost you around 100-200$ and that is just incredible. With that said so, you are also going to get some high end results with the expensive ones! Besides, if you go for a liquid CPU cooler remember you will have some potential risks like leakages, or replacing the thermal liquid.
Doing so is not a hard task but is often considered a hassle. But do lookout for the leaks from time to time. A slight leak in the heatpipes can make your whole system electrocuted so be aware. For the Air cooler there is not much to say. It has a bit annoying maintenance game but every gadget has that and we can’t complaint much about that.
Often you will have to dust the heat sink or the fan fins and that’s it. However, make sure you don’t bend or impact the hardware as if once the shape is altered the CPU cooler might not work the way it is supposed to.
What Is A Heatsink?
Now as we have discussed what is a CPU cooler in depth, now is the time we talk about the heatsinks. Because if we want to discuss the real battle about CPU coolers Vs Heatsink it is important to get to know both of them first. so what actually is a heatsink?
In general a heatsink is a sort of heat exchanger or you can say heat transformer from one medium to another. A heatsink usually sits under the CPU fan and might be made up of aluminium or some other conductive metal. In terms of a CPU we can call heatsink as a stock CPU cooler.
Now how is that so? See a heatsink is always present in your CPU. The main purpose of this heatsink is to exchange the heat generated by the system to a medium that later expels it out of the system.
How Does A Heatsink Work?
Guess the short introduction was enough to understand what a heatsink basically means. However, the way it works is slightly different from those CPU coolers. It works by the virtues of the surface available. For example larger the surface area increased will be the heat flow from a hot system.
Basically a mechanism of heatpipes is used. This mechanism is usually seen in laptops or notebooks or even compacts systems. The heatpipes are in direct contact with the components of the CPU.
The fluid in these heatpipes collect the heat from these components and then later get rid of it through the fans. This is an essential part of a CPU. And we assume that without a heatsink a system will burn itself up into flames.
Pros Of A Heatsink
Heatsinks have this great advantage that they get rid of the excess of the heat from your system that too without using any extra aid. It does so by increasing the surface area to make heat dissipation quick and straightforward.
It helps to dissipate the heat not only from inside the system but it also works over the components of the system. In short you will get a system that is cooled in a much quicker way.
Cons Of A Heatsink
However, heatsinks do have a bit negative points to it. Many people might not find this as a negative point but we as a gaming enthusiast or even as professional overclocker might not like the idea of the heatsinks. First of all a large heatsink might get a lot of space in your system.
Now you might be thinking that a CPU takes a lot of space as well. But that is not the case. A heatsink has to be spacious enough so the conduction of heat takes place in a proper manner and that might not be possible in all cases. Secondly a large heatsinks means a loud system.
Yes, A spacious heatsink does generate a lot of noise. So beer in mind to have your CPU sound like an aeroplane when using a heatsink. We are dead serious here!
What Is Good For Overclocking Your System A CPU Cooler Or A Heatsink?
While heatsinks now a days are very efficient and have a great power to dissipate heat quickly yet we do not recommend it buying for overclocked system. The reason behind is that overclocking generates a lot of heat. When you have overclocked your system it works on the top peaks and provides a high performance up to the point it is possible.
With such powerful performance it is obvious that it would emit a lot of heat. To have your system run at stable speed and do not face any glitches or short-circuits you need to have it cooled to the normal temperatures.
This excess heat cannot be dissipated by traditional heatsinks. A good CPU cooler will work wonders here to say goodbye to that extra heat. Plus they are compact and efficient so you will not have to worry about the space or anything.
Can I Stick To The Heatsink For Watching Movies?
Yes, you can use a system with heatsink for watching movies. If you are going to use your system for entertainment purposes and leisure activities then we would suggest you stick to the heatsink. a heatsink in general is powerful enough to get rid of the normal day to day task heat. However, for heavy purposes it would be good to purchase a good aftermarket CPU cooler.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Heatsink
While going for a heatsink remember to go for the one that has a good conductive metal base made of aluminium or copper. Besides that make sure you are aware of the maximum air flow and temperature inside your system case
Also note the fin size and materials are proper enough to go for or not. Most importantly look out for the size and compatibility of the heatsink. Most of the times systems are already present with built-in heatsinks and you do not need to purchase an extra one.
If by some unfortunate chances your system doesn’t come with a heatsink then you can purchase one as well.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A CPU Cooler
As compared to heatsinks, a CPU coolers have a lot of things that needs to be considered while purchasing one. first of all you need to make sure that the sockets are compatible with your motherboard or not. Next thing you need to keep in mind is that to buy a CPU cooler that can fit into your system.
If it cannot fit in that might not be an issue either. But for a clean setup we suggest to have it inside your PC case. Also make sure what are the TDP ratings and lastly the looks are killer with a pin drop silence operations.
CPU Cooler VS Heatsink: Final Verdict
To sum it up whether you go for a CPU cooler or heatsink it all depends over your use and what kind of performance you are expecting. for the stance heatsinks are as important as a good CPU cooler.
However, if you are expecting to overclock your system and still want to use it to the full potential then consider purchasing a good CPU cooler. Hopefully we have made everything clear about heatsinks and CPU coolers and you have already made your mind which one to go for. Best of luck!