How to Determine Your PC’s Cooling Needs (IT Toolbox Blogs)



Generally, if you want a high-powered PC that goes beyond what standard desktop models offer, the best way to go about it is to build a custom one. This allows for future upgrades, and you can invest in specific components that work for you. You also don’t have to worry about your machine becoming obsolete the moment you buy it. You can always upgrade individual components for more power.

 

However, you do have to know what you’re doing! The more powerful your PC is, the more heat it will generate, so you have to account for that by buying the proper PC cooling fan. But, how do you choose the right cooling solution for your PC? There are many types of cooling fans and configurations on the market. So, let’s go over which one may be right for you.

 

Your CPU Socket


The type of CPU fan you choose will depend on the type of processor you decide on, so you want to select your CPU first and then go from there. After you’ve picked out a CPU, you’ll want to look at the socket type. AMD CPUs are pretty flexible with their fans, but if you get an Intel chip, you will probably be looking at an 1155 or LGA775 socket type. Once you find out what the socket needs to be, you can choose a compatible fan.

 

Looking at Thermal Power


CPU-World defines thermal design power (TDP) as the maximum amount of heat that a CPU dissipates as it runs software. The higher the TDP, the more work your fan needs to do dissipating that heat. So look at the TDP of the CPU you’ve chosen, and pick a fan that can meet or exceed the TDP.

 

Fan Speeds


There are different types of speed settings on cooling fans. For example, four prong fans will actually adjust their speeds as a CPU heats up or cools down. However, if you get a three prong fan, the fan will run at one speed and you need to figure out at what speed you want it to be running.

 

The more powerful your CPU, the faster the fan speed should be. Keep in mind that faster fan speeds typically mean that they run louder. This isn’t a huge issue if you are playing video games or listening to music with the audio up, or you’re using headphones. For instance, if you’re utilizing a video card with more than 256 mb onboard, you should think about investing in a video card fan. However, if you’re editing audio, or you’re just sensitive to loud fans, you may want to consider a quieter fan. Alternately, you can explore liquid cooling for computers as a way to cut down on noise without sacrificing temperature control. Water is known to transfer heat much more effectively than air, so if you’re interested in an efficient, yet quiet way to stabilize your computer’s temperature, then liquid cooling may be right for you.

 

Measuring


Finally, you want to make sure that your fan is going to fit in your computer case. Measure from the base of the CPU to the top of the computer case, and then measure the space around your CPU. You want to make sure that your fan will fit both vertically and horizontally around the CPU, without bumping into the top of the case or the components around the CPU.

 

Start Building


These are the most important considerations for determining your PC’s cooling needs. From this point, you can start shopping around for the best parts before putting together your own PC or modifying a factory-built one. If you get everything put together and you notice your PC is freezing a lot or shutting down, you may need a more powerful fan.

Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ May 3, 2017 at 11:12AM

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