The Temperature Difference Between Stock And Aftermarket CPU Coolers


When you build a PC, your processor usually comes with a small cooler — but people often recommend upgrading to a large aftermarket cooler for cooler, quieter operation. How much does it actually help? The folks at Linus Tech Tips put three coolers to the test to find out.

Most of the tests showed just about what you’d expect: an aftermarket heatsink like the Cooler Master T4 or Hyper 212 EVO decreased temperatures significantly. Specifically, they showed about a 10 degree drop at stock speeds in their tests, which is nice, but not completely necessary unless you’re overclocking, in which case that extra cooling will give you more headroom. An all-in-one water cooling loop will give you even more headroom, but at that cost, it might make more sense to buy a better processor in the first place.

Of course, it’s not just about temperatures, either — even if you’re just running your CPU at stock speeds, an aftermarket cooler is going to be much quieter than those noisy stock Intel heatsinks, which may make it worth the upgrade for some.

Again, none of this is particularly new, but it’s good to see some numbers behind the products, so as you build your PC, you can make sure you’re buying the best parts for your rig. Check out the video to see more.

Is Aftermarket CPU Cooling Worth It? – Overclocking Examination [Linus Tech Tips]


  • I’m an advocate for stock coolers on most systems. If it’s not over clocked the stock cooler will do just fine. Manufacturers have reputations and chips have warranties they’re not going to sell you crap.
    As for noise yes I’ve had quite aftermarket coolers but also louder ones too. Once in the system with power supply and graphics cards it’s hardly considered loud compared to the rest.
    Except for my corsair sealed system water cooler. It literally sounds like an aquarium pump.

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