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Are Intel CPU Stock Coolers Good? (Gaming)

Intel sells many of its CPUs with a stock cooler, but many people use aftermarket coolers. So, you might be wondering what’s the deal with Intel CPU stock coolers and whether they are any good.

Intel CPU stock coolers are good. The one exception is if you’re going to overclock your CPU. This causes a CPU to run much hotter than what the stock cooler is designed for so you need an aftermarket cooler. Otherwise, you can damage your CPU.

In this article, I will explain whether a stock cooler is good for more intensive tasks like gaming, as well as if Intel’s stock cooler limits its performance.

Can You Use Intel’s Stock Cooler for Gaming?

Intel stock cooler

Gaming generally puts more demand on a CPU. Because of that the CPU can get hotter and needs to be cooled more. Here’s whether an Intel stock cooler is fine for gaming.

Generally, an Intel stock cooler is fine for gaming. But, this does require the game’s graphics to be set at an appropriate setting for the CPU you have. For example, an Intel Core i3 is only capable of playing the latest games on the lowest graphics setting.

The latest computer games have a high demand for performance. Such as Dota 2, CS: GO (Counter-strike), Fallout, Fortnite, and Call of Duty. These generally require a dedicated graphics card.

A dedicated graphics card takes the performance demand from the CPU. This leaves more performance left for the CPU which allows the game to load much faster, and play much smoother.

There are different Intel CPUs such as the i3, i5, and i7. Each has better or worse performance depending on which CPU it is, and what generation of CPU it is. Intel brings out new CPUs each year.

Can You Have Overheating Problems If You Use The Stock Cooler For Gaming?

Using the stock cooler for Intel CPUs will not cause overheating problems. Stock coolers are designed to meet all the cooling demands of the CPU it came with because the CPUs that come with a cooler are locked and you don’t have the option for overclocking.

Does Intel’s Stock Cooler Limit The Performance of Your CPU?

Components on computers will improve their performance such as the RAM, and graphics card (GPU). Since there are aftermarket coolers a good question would be whether an aftermarket cooler improves a CPU performance and whether the stock cooler limits how fast a CPU can perform.

Intel’s stock cooler does not limit CPU performance. But, there is a safety feature on Intel CPUs called throttling that does limit CPU performance. Throttling is triggered when too much demand is placed on the CPU overheats. So, you need to match the CPU to your performance requirements.

Related to this is overclocking CPUs. Overclocking can get a CPU to function much faster. But, this is pushing it beyond the limits it is designed for. Therefore, you need an aftermarket fan.

Because overclocking pushes the limits of a CPU an aftermarket fan is required to stop it from overheating. However, overclocking voids the warranty of most CPUs because manufacturers can’t sign off pushing the CPU past what it was designed to do.

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I started building and fixing PCs in high school. After a couple of years of offering consultancy to a PC repair shop, I became the goto guy for all my acquaintances for PC/Laptop related buying advice or troubleshooting.