Cooler often is the limiting factor to your CPU’s maximum achievable performance. If you are the guy who likes to overclock his rig or often put it under heavy loads, you should keep the noise factor in mind too. So, buying the right cooler that can handle your thermals while maintaining a certain noise level is extremely important. But how to check CPU cooler compatibility? In this article, we’ll explain how.
If you were wondering, do all CPU coolers fit all cases? The answer is no. they come in dozens of shapes and sizes. Depending on your casing and CPU model, they vary. But that’s not the only thing that sets the variables. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can check for compatibility when buying a new cooler for your CPU.
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Checking CPU Cooler Compatibility
There are three big things you need to look out for. First, CPU coolers can vary in design from CPU to CPU. Second, you need adequate space to accommodate your cooler inside with ease. Third, your usage pattern will tell what kind of cooler you need. Let us explain.
1. Check by CPU Model
The easiest and most straightforward way to check for CPU cooler compatibility is to check your CPU model. Now if you didn’t know what CPU you are using, don’t worry, you can find it easily. The easiest way to do that is to go to the task manager. Press the Windows button and type task manager.
There go to the Performance tab as shown in the picture. Under the performance tab, you’ll see your CPU model.
Now go to the manufacturer’s webpage or google for the socket size for that particular CPU. Depending on the model, your CPU can use either a 3-pin or a 4-pin fan. Now you can google for that particular CPU fan with pin count, as shown in the picture.
But what about the size? Let’s assume you’ve made your decision on buying one. but will it fit in your existing casing? That’s what you should consider next.
2. Check for the Cooler’s Diameters
If you are not a power user and need just a normal air-powered CPU fan for your CPU, then you don’t have to worry about anything. There’s always enough space in any regular-sized casing for regular CPU coolers. So, you can choose both the 120 mm and the 140 mm square-sized fans.
But for power users and heavy gamers, whose CPUs often chunk out a large amount of heat all the time, regular cooling won’t be sufficient. So if you were thinking of getting a shiny new liquid cooler, hold your horses, please. Liquid coolers are often way bigger and heavier than regular air coolers. So you’d need both a more secure mounting point and a bigger space inside your casing. Not to mention, bigger liquid coolers require more wattage supply from your power supply unit.
Make sure to check for the diameters of your chosen cooler on the manufacturer’s website. Also, check for how much power they require to function properly.
3. Your Use Case Scenario
We’ve already covered that some people like gamers and power users need bigger coolers for their CPUs. But for an average Joe, how should one decide if he or she needs a better CPU cooler? Anything above 80 degrees Celsius or 176 degrees Fahrenheit is considered too hot and you should look into it.
First, check what kind of CPU cooler you have. But how to tell what CPU cooler I have? Unfortunately, you can’t do it without peeking into your computer casing. Inside your computer casing, take a look at the CPU cooler, you’ll find.
Once you’ve found what cooler you are currently using, google if it is sufficient for your processor model. If you are experiencing excessive heating, chances are the cooling mechanism is insufficient. Now google for recommended coolers for your CPU. Depending on your situation and available legroom, you can either get a high-end air cooler or go all in and get a liquid cooler.
Frequently Asked Questions And Answers
Are LGA 1151 and 1200 coolers compatible?
All CPU coolers supporting LGA 115x can also support LGA 1200. So yes, they are compatible.
Is LGA 1700 cooler compatible?
LGA 1700 is not mechanically compatible with LGA 115x or LGA 1200 CPU coolers. However, anything released after mid-2022 is fully compatible with 1700.
How do I know if a cooler is compatible?
You can compare the TDP (Thermal Design Power) values and the socket information on the manufacturer’s website.
Whether you want to overclock the CPU to its maximum potential or want to prevent CPU throttling, choosing a compatible and most importantly cooler is always important. For regular users, sticking to the stock cooler is what we recommend. Otherwise, inspect your TDP requirements and invest in a good quality cooler that will fit inside your casing.