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How to Choose a Cooler for an i7 8700k PC for Gaming?

BY SOUMYA JHA: Building a PC is one of the most fulfilling tasks a gamer can undertake. Assembling every component to make a masterpiece of your own is highly rewarding, but it needs a lot of prior research. All the parts going into your case are equally important and help the PC to run smoothly.

Many people have very common questions in mind when building PCs, often around the coolers.  Is having a cooler necessary? How do you choose the best one? What features should you check to make sure you’re purchasing the right one?

Having a cooler is very important as it helps to protect the processor, one of the most important parts of a PC.

As the i7 8700k is a high-end processor mostly used for gaming, having a cooler is very important as the processor can get very hot.

The absence of a cooler can be disastrous. Any PC would need a good heat dissipation system to maintain the right temperature, but none more than an overclocked i7 running everything on ultra.

The processor won’t work properly when it gets overheated. So, having a decent cooler crucial to keep the processor cool and ensure smooth performance.

Here are some things to keep in mind about choosing the right cool for you.

1. Budget Limitations 

First, you need to set the budget limit for the cooler because there are so many different coolers out there with various price ranges.

The budget might differ depending on whether you are assembling a new computer or upgrading an existing one. If you are making a new one, then the budget should be fixed.

Mostly the budget of a cooler is based on power, and you need to choose power based on the CPU. If you have i7 8700k, then you will need to pair it with a powerful cooler. There are many other factors for choosing the cooler, which you will learn in this article.

2. Purpose of the PC

Choosing a cooler depends a lot on the using purpose of the PC. Many people use their PC for only general-purpose like listening to songs, watching movies, doing some work in the Microsoft Office, and many other normal tasks.

All of these functions do not make the CPU heat to the degree that a specialist cooler is required, so a normal cooler will work just fine, for example, the stock cooler. But if you are picking up an i7 8700k for gaming, which is very common for this processor, then you need to have a high-end cooler that can keep the CPU cool even with extreme gaming in mind.

It will also help you to overclock the processor and reach its maximum potential for maximum performance. So, if you are using your processor to get maximum performance, then you will need to spend the extra money on a cooler.  But, which type of cooler?

3. Air Cooler or Liquid Cooler? 

One of the most asked questions while choosing a cooler is – air cooler or liquid cooler? Both of them come with a unique set of benefits and disadvantages.

You will need to choose one based on what benefits you are looking for to go best with your i7 8700k processor. You will also need to check the size of your PC case If you are using a compact ATX case, you’ll have to buy a cooler that fits inside that.

Pros of an Air Cooler  

  • Air coolers are very cost-efficient, giving great performance at a low price.
  • Compared to liquid coolers, the air cooler runs longer and require almost no maintenance.

Cons of an Air Cooler 

  • Generally, air coolers are not very good for extreme cooling and high-end setups.
  • Air coolers weigh more which causes issues while clearing the motherboard components, fans etc.

Pros of a Liquid Cooler

  • Compared to high-end air coolers, high-end and custom liquid coolers can control the temperature better.
  • Liquid coolers are very compact in size compared to air coolers.
  • Liquid coolers often look a lot cooler (no pun intended, but, yeah).

Cons of a Liquid Cooler

  • The performance and price ratio is lower compared to air coolers.
  • Liquid coolers have the risk of leaking, and also it requires frequent maintenance.

4. Matched with the CPU socket

Before choosing the cooler, you need to be sure that the cooler is compatible with the CPU socket that you have. Most of the manufacturers create them in a way to fit in anywhere, but some high-end coolers might not fit into the general socket.

If you are using an i7 8700k Intel processor for gaming purposes, then you will need to pair it with a high-end cooler, and it might not fit with the normal sockets. So, make sure to keep this in mind while making the combination of motherboard and processor.

5. TDP Rating 

While choosing the cooler for your PC, the TDP rating is one of the important things that you need to keep in mind. TDP rating helps you to know that the cooler is perfectly matched with your CPU or not.

You can check your i7 8700k processor for the TDP rating while purchasing it, and the coolers also have TDP ratings. If you choose a cooler that has lower TDP points than your processor, then it will not do the best job of cooling.

So, if you are pushing your i7 8700k to an extreme level or overclocking, then you will need to find a cooler with a higher or equal TDP rating. You can find the TDP rating of the components at the spec sheets.

6. Noise Levels

It is one of the most common issues with coolers for many PC users. The coolers produce a very high noise that not only interrupts workflow but also causes headaches. You will need to buy a cooler that produces little-to-no noise.

Generally, the coolers with short fans produce a lot of noise as they have to spin faster to keep the system cool. On the other hand, the coolers with larger fans produce a very low sound as they have to run slowly compared to short fans.

Also, coolers with more than one fan also produce a low sound. Make sure to look for a fan with 1400mm fans to get the best cooler for your i7 8700k processor with low noise.

7. Cleaning Purpose

Also, you need to make sure that the cooler is compact in size, height, and weight. It makes it easy to clean all the components of the motherboard. As most coolers need frequent maintenance, you need to make sure that it is compatible with the motherboard socket.

That’s It!

These are the factors you need to keep in mind while choosing coolers for your PC with i7 8700k processor.

We hope you must have enjoyed reading this post. Do share your views in the comments section below.  We would be happy to resolve your queries.