You have the fastest processor you can afford. You added a top-quality graphics card. Your PC is bursting at the seam with memory, PC lighting, and hard drive storage. Has the paint started to blister on the case from all the heat?
That might be stretching reality a little, but not by far. A fast processor, great graphics card, and accessories pump a lot of heat into the computer case. That heat can cause components to fail faster, your PC to lock up, and even make your PC run slower. You need to keep everything cool for optimal performance.
On the reverse side, you don’t want your PC case to compete with an F-22 Raptor spinning up its jet engines. You want your PC to run cool and quiet at the same time. Choosing the right air PC coolers for your computer will accomplish the task.
CPU Coolers – Getting The Heat Off The Processor – Stage 1
The first step is keeping your processor running cool. If it overheats, you PC can crash or even fail completely. A great example of an air cooler which performs quietly and effectively is the Noctua NH-D15. It keeps the noise level under 25 decibels while still having a variable speed from 300 to 1500RPM. When your CPU starts to heat up, the fan speeds up to get it back down into comfortable ranges. It is a little higher priced running around $75.
If you need to keep the price down and are willing to have a little more noise, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is another good option. It is priced under $40. It will spin up to 2000RPM and stays under 36 decibels. It is a little noisier but is impressive in its cooling power.
Case Fans – Getting The Heat Out Of The Case – Stage 2
The heat from the processor, graphics card, and other gear needs to get out of the case fast to keep your PC running cool. Using case fans lets you vent the air out of the case quickly. You can find case fans in several different sizes. As you expect, a larger case fan can move more volume. Check to see what size case fans your case supports and buy the largest possible.
You want to choose a case fan which runs quietly. Check the CFM rating of the fan to see how much volume of air it can move per minute. Higher is better. Case fans can serve dual purposes. They can be used to draw air out of the case and dump the heat into the room, or they can be used to pull air into the case for cooling. Remember, it is better to have two fans doing the same function than having one push and the other pull. If one fan is sucking in air, while the other blows it out, it does not increase airflow. When they both blow the same direction it doubles the airflow.
Choosing the right air PC coolers for your CPU and PC case will keep your computer running cool even during the most intense gameplay.