Photo by Mélanie THESE
The cooling systems you use is an often overlooked part of building a gaming computer. A good cooling system for gaming is one that allows you to push your processor and graphics card to the max. However, your cooling system can vary widely depending on if you’re using water, all in one, or air. These coolers depend on how much you’re looking to push your PC, as sometimes it can be overkill when compared to the default option. Here is a comprehensive rundown of the best CPU cooling for gaming.
Types of Cooling
You have a massive array of cooling options, but the best cooling system for gaming PC is a custom loop. A custom loop is also the best water system for cooling. This is because you do everything yourself, and you can customize it to fit your own needs. Many things can go wrong, but a custom loop will ensure you have the best CPU cooling for gaming. A custom loop will almost always beat the best air cooling for gaming PC, so if you’re looking for the ultimate in cooling, it is impossible to beat the system. A custom loop just means you create all the cabling yourself. For example, you have your own pump, and then you create your own fittings for the processor and graphics card, and then you can fill that system with water before ensuring that it works correctly. When this system works correctly, your processor and graphics cards always receive a constant stream of cool water to keep temperatures down.
The next type of system is the all in one. This is a type of water cooler that houses everything in a complete unit. It has the fan, radiator, and then the cooling hose is connected to the CPU mount. For people who are less technically inclined, this is going to be the best cooling system for gaming PC. It might also be the best water system for cooling, since you never need to fill anything up, and you also don’t have to interact with the system at all. This is the type of cooling system that you install and forget about. Depending on the model you buy, it might also be the best cooling system for PC gaming.
The Best Air Cooling
Air cooling is often the easiest and most cost-effective way of cooling your PC. The best air cooling for gaming PC often performs on par with a water-cooled system. Whether you choose an all-in-one or an air cooler will depend on your technical skills and budget. Both make a good cooling system for gaming, but there are other factors that will determine how far you can push your system. Air cooling is often a small upgrade over the cooler your processor comes with. It is usually bigger, and it is made with premium materials to dissipate the heat. This size and often interfere with your PC case, and it might look ugly for those that care about aesthetics. When it comes to pricing, it is often a better value than water cooling for most people.
Best Air Cooling Solution
The Noctua NH-D15 is not only one of the best air cooling solutions available, but it is an overall good cooling system for PC gaming. It is an overall great system that combines the price of an air cooler with the functionality of an all-in-one. This has two 140 mm fans, and these fans are run at a low RPM. This means you get a great cooling solution that is also very quiet. For people who don’t want a lot of noise from their PC, it makes a great solution that isn’t that expensive.
Best AIO Cooling
For people who want a step up, the best water cooling system for cooling PC isn’t hard to find. The name of that system is the NZXT Kraken Z63. What sets this system is a part is that the company that makes it is known for clever engineering and optimizations. It works for almost all Intel and AMD platforms, so you can be sure that it will work on your microprocessor. It can also cool systems that are over 125 W. It doesn’t matter how much power your processor uses, you don’t have to worry about overheating or thermal throttling. This all-in-one cooler will allow you to push your system to the maximum possible. The main downside is this is a premium cooler, so you’ll be paying over $191 for it. It also does not cool your graphics processing unit, so you might not get the maximum performance out of that.
Best Water Cooling
The best water cooling system for cooling PC is a custom loop from EKWB. A custom loop will require a lot of technical skills and expertise, so it might make sense to have a professional install it for you. A custom loop will also be a lot more expensive than an all-in-one system. If you have the budget and know what you’re doing, the custom loop is the way to go for maximum performance and noise levels. It requires you sizing and gathering all the parts required to put it together. A custom loop will require a lot of different tubes and the main pump. It will also require a water block for your graphics processing unit if you are cooling it. You have the choice of acrylic and soft plastic for tubing, and you also have the choice of adding different colors to the water to give it a custom look.
Cooling for a Gaming Laptop
A laptop is a special case since it is very difficult to find a great cooling solution. The best cooling system for gaming laptop is almost always going to be a cooling mat. This is a device you put under the laptop, and it has multiple fans to dissipate the heat. Water cooling on a laptop is almost nonexistent, and even if it did exist, you wouldn’t want it in the first place. The havit HV-F2056 15.6″-17″ Laptop Cooler Cooling Pad is the most common choice for people looking for the best cooling system for gaming laptop. It has three powerful fans and will get the job done in almost all situations. A laptop will never have the performance and cooling of a desktop PC, so you have to weigh the pros and cons of gaming on one. It is best to buy or build your own custom gaming PC if you are looking to game and do nothing else. It also retails for about $33, so you never have to worry about the price.
Conclusion and Roundup
The cooling system you use has a profound impact on how your processor performs, and how smooth your games are. Figuring out the best solution inside your budget will help you enjoy your games at the maximum levels possible. A good cooling system will also keep your temperatures and noise levels down. Here is a list of cooling solutions depending on the type, and you can find the best one for your own needs.