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Are Stock Coolers Good Enough to Cool Your CPU? [Answered]

We often view freebies with a hint of skepticism, assuming they’re low quality or not worth our time. This sentiment tends to extend to PC components as well, particularly when it comes to stock coolers – those free cooling solutions bundled with CPUs.

But are these stock coolers really just subpar add-ons, or can they effectively meet your computer’s cooling needs?

Let’s dive into this article to find out whether these stock coolers are worth keeping or not!

What Is a Stock Cooler?

AMD stock cooler running

Sometimes, when you buy a new CPU, it comes with a cooling device, called a stock cooler.

The stock cooler is typically a combination of a heat sink and a fan. The heat sink, usually made of metal like aluminum, absorbs heat from the processor.

The fan then blows air over the heat sink, carrying the heat away from the processor and out of the computer. This process helps maintain a safe operating temperature for the processor.

Benefits of a Stock Cooler

Benefits of a Stock Cooler

Now that we have an idea of what a stock cooler is, let’s explore its benefits. Here’s a list of the advantages that come with using a stock cooler:

  1. Cost-Effective: Stock coolers are included with the processor, so there’s no extra cost. They offer a functional cooling solution without adding to your expenses.
  2. Compatibility: These coolers are designed by the processor manufacturer, ensuring perfect compatibility with your CPU. You won’t have to worry about size or fit issues.
  3. Ease of Installation: Stock coolers are often easier to install compared to aftermarket options. They usually come with pre-applied thermal paste and straightforward mounting systems.
  4. Compact Design: Stock coolers are generally smaller and more compact than many aftermarket options.
  5. Sufficient for Average Use: For everyday tasks like browsing, document editing, or watching videos, a stock cooler provides adequate cooling.

Drawbacks of a Stock Cooler

Black stock cooler

Having explored the benefits of stock coolers, it’s equally important to consider their limitations. Here are the key drawbacks of stock coolers:

  1. Not Suitable for Power-Hungry CPUs: Stock coolers may struggle to keep up with the heat generated by power-hungry CPUs, especially during gaming or heavy workloads.
  2. Limited Overclocking Support: If you’re interested in overclocking – pushing your CPU beyond its standard speed for better performance – a stock cooler might not provide adequate cooling, leading to potential overheating risks.
  3. Performance in Hot Climates: In environments with higher ambient temperatures, stock coolers might not be efficient enough to maintain optimal CPU temperatures, causing them to spin at max speed all the time.
  4. Aesthetics: Stock coolers are often not as visually appealing as aftermarket options. They usually have a basic design and lack features like customizable RGB lighting, which might be a downside for users who prefer a more personalized or stylish PC build.

Should You Use Your Stock Cooler?

Deciding whether to use your stock cooler depends largely on the type of CPU you have and how you’re planning to use it.

For Intel Users

Intel stock cooler

If your usage revolves around casual browsing, office applications, or gaming, the stock cooler that comes with Intel processors (mainly the Laminar RM1 & RS1) should suffice for the i3 & i5 gen.

However, with certain demanding games as well as video editing, an Intel stock cooler might fall short, especially when paired with an i7 or an i9. In such cases, investing in an aftermarket cooler is advisable for better performance and longevity of your CPU.

For AMD Users

AMD Stock cooler

While AMD stock coolers are often seen as superior to Intel’s, it’s crucial to note that they may not always provide optimal cooling under heavy loads. These coolers are designed to handle moderate use effectively, and with proper PC airflow, they should suffice for the average user who isn’t overclocking their CPU.

However, environmental factors can significantly impact the cooler’s effectiveness. For instance, in regions where ambient temperatures exceed 25 degrees Celsius, you might observe your AMD CPU running at higher temperatures during intensive gaming or software use.

Therefore, while AMD stock coolers are capable, they may not always prevent your CPU from running hot under certain conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the stock cooler good enough for gaming?

For light gaming, a stock cooler can be adequate, particularly if your PC has good airflow and you’re not in a hot climate. However, it’s not ideal for intensive gaming sessions that put a high load on the CPU, as it might not provide sufficient cooling to prevent overheating.

How long do stock CPU coolers last?

A typical stock CPU cooler can last between 3 to 5 years, depending on usage and environmental conditions.

Is a stock CPU cooler better than a liquid cooler?

No, a stock CPU cooler is not better than a liquid cooler. All-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers provide superior cooling by efficiently transferring heat away from the CPU. They are especially beneficial for high-performance tasks and overclocking scenarios.


With this guide, you now have the essentials about stock coolers at your fingertips. We hope this information helps you make an informed decision about your cooling needs.

Do you have any experiences or questions about stock coolers? Feel free to share them in the comments below. We love hearing from you and are here to answer any queries you might have. Also, don’t forget to check out our article on different types of CPU coolers for more insights.

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Hi, I’m Abdelkader, a gamer and the founder of Gamer Around. I’ve been into gaming for the past 20 years and I love to share my passion and experience with you. Throughout these years, I managed to build a decent amount of knowledge and experience in PC hardware, but I’m always learning and improving.

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