How to Install CPU Cooler Correctly

How to Install CPU Cooler Correctly
How to Install CPU Cooler Correctly

A CPU cooler is a tool that draws heat away from the processor CPU and other enclosure parts. Lowering CPU temperatures with a CPU cooler increases processor performance and reliability. Its purpose is to move the heat produced by the CPU away from the CPU, allowing it to run within its thermal limits. A CPU cooler may be a heat sink with one or more fans, a heat sink alone with no fans, or a liquid pump and separate radiator with one or more fans.

As the success of PC gaming grows, more beginners are putting together their first gaming setups. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to make it easier for you. We’ll go into how various processor sockets operate and how to install CPU cooler correctly.

Choose The Appropriate CPU Sockets

Before we go over how to mount the processor better and the CPU cooler, let’s go over what CPU sockets are. The socket, as the name, suggests, houses and secures the CPU. The processor is housed in the socket, which holds it in place. you can choose the appropriate sockets according to your CPU.

a. ZIF Sockets

Most modern processors have special sockets that allow you to insert the chip with “zero insertion force.” Rather than providing tight-fitting plugs like a memory chip socket or a PCI card port, these ports allow you to drop the CPU chip in. You spin a lever that holds the CPU in place until it’s in place. To detach the chip, twist the lever in the opposite direction and lift it out.

b. Ball or Pin

There are two kinds of CPU sockets: ball-grid array and pin-grid array. The PGA sockets resemble a checkerboard of several squares. They’re made to house a CPU chip with a slew of pins protruding from the rim. BGA and LGA sockets, commonly used in laptop computers and research applications, are designed to accommodate CPU chips without pins. BGA sockets often necessitate soldering the CPU in place.

c. Pin Numbers and Arrangements

The number of CPU pins that a socket will accommodate varies. Modern CPU chips send 32 or 64 bits of data to the computer’s memory, graphics device, storage, and other systems billions of times per second, involving hundreds or thousands of physical connections to facilitate the transfers. As a result, if your processor has 1155 pins, you’ll require an 1155-pin port. In most instances, a CPU chip with fewer pins cannot be plugged into a socket with more pins because the CPU’s pins would not meet up with either the actual socket or the internal wiring.

d. Intel LGA Sockets

Many Intel processors use the LGA socket, which stands for Land Grid Array. The LGA socket is made up of a grid of pins attached to the processor’s bottom contacts. Examples include LGA 1150 (4th and 5th generations), LGA 1151 (6th generation and up), and LGA 2066 (Intel’s extreme processors).

Intel LGA 1156 Socket

Intel LGA 1156 Socket
Intel LGA 1156 Socket

e. AMD PGA Sockets

AMD more widely uses a Pin Grade Array (PGA) setup. It indicates that the pins are located on the CPU rather than the port. The processor is inserted into a grid of holes in the socket AM4 (Ryzen 1st gen and subsequently) and AM3+ (FX 6300, FX 8350, and so on) are two examples.

AMD AM3+ Socket

AMD AM3+ Socket
AMD AM3+ Socket

You’ll need a different bracket to install the cooler if you have a different plug. It’s crucial to figure out the socket, and you’ll need to know which bracket to use.

How To Install Liquid CPU Cooler

Remove the old cooler and any extra mounting brackets it might have had before proceeding with the installation. To remove some old thermal grease, spray the CPU heat spreader with a bit of rubbing alcohol or another appropriate cleaning solution. If you’re mounting the AIO CPU water cooler right out of the package, it’s the grease that has already been added. Otherwise, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying thermal grease.

To Check Before You Install the Water Cooler

Remove the old cooler and any extra mounting brackets it might have had before proceeding with the installation. To remove some old thermal grease, spray the CPU heat spreader with a bit of rubbing alcohol or another appropriate cleaning solution.

If you’re mounting the AIO CPU water cooler right out of the package, it’s the grease that has already been added. Otherwise, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying thermal grease.

1. Start With Removing The Motherboard

Almost any AIO CPU water cooler requires a unique backplate. 

That means you’ll have to find a way to the Motherboard’s backside. For this purpose, modern tower cases also have a window in the panel where the Motherboard is placed.

If your case doesn’t have a port, you’ll have to disassemble the device entirely. 

Enough to remove the Motherboard.

2. Mount The Backplate

The mounting procedure usually is straightforward. It’s only a matter of screwing the water block into the backplate mount until the CPU heat spreader and water block surfaces are ready.

Tighten each screw until the touch is secure and the weight is distributed uniformly across the CPU surface.

3. Install The Radiator

  • After your water block is mounted, connect the power as directed in the cooler’s manual. 
  • The CPU fan header is connected to the pump. 
  • A device fan header attaches to the fan.
  • If necessary, reinstall the Motherboard. Install the radiator after the CPU has been placed where it should be. 
  • Now is also the opportunity to double-check if the computer’s pipes aren’t obstructing airflow.
  • They will typically swivel motherboard but don’t yank on them or trigger kinks.

4. Check Few Things When First Time Start The Pc After Installation Of Liquid CPU Cooler

  • When you turn on the system for the first time, check to see if the radiator fans are rotating and the pump is running. 
  • Many coolers have a light on the block, so it can vibrate if you hit the top of the block. 
  • Can also hear a faint buzz coming from the cooler. 
  • Until you start using the system, check your BIOS to make sure the two fan header settings are correct according to the manual for your cooler. 
  • Be sure the pump isn’t making a clacking sound, which might indicate a low rpm.
  •  If it grinds or clacks at some speed, it may be a faulty machine, and you can contact customer service. If not, you’re all set!

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How To Install Air CPU Cooler

The fundamental thermodynamic theory behind CPU cooling is convection, which is how CPU air coolers operate. As a hot object transfers some of its heat to air molecules on its surface, it cools slightly. These hot molecules will move out while the air moves, allowing colder air to replace them and consume more heat.

1. How To Install CPU Cooler Bracket

Some coolers can have more than two brackets, so look for the one that matches your socket.

The bracket is attached to the Motherboard’s rear.

At the front of the CPU, there should be four holes.

From the back, align the bracket such that the pins poke into the holes. By now, I should loosely attach it. We consider doing this outside of the situation once more.

Place the bracket on top of the motherboard box and lower the Motherboard until the bracket’s pins peek through the gaps. It is the most straightforward method.

Grab the support screws for the matching bracket until that’s finished.

To find the correct screws, consult the manual. The bracket is now fixed by screwing these support screws onto the four pins.

If your CPU cooler is directly screwed into the bracket, you’ll even need to add bolts on top of the reinforcement screws.

To locate the correct bolts and screws, consult the directions guide.

2. Cleaning Up and Thermal Paste Application

It is a crucial move that many people overlook, and it’s imperative if you’re updating.

Clean the heat spreader of the processor with isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber rag.

The thermal paste comes pre-applied on most new coolers, so if yours does, you can skip to the next level.

If not, dab a tiny amount of thermal paste in the middle of the CPU’s top.

This thermal paste should be around the size of a rice grain.

3. Mount The Air Cooler

The cooler does not obstruct your RAM slots, nor should it be so tall that it brushes against your case.

The assembly process for each cooler would be different.

If your CPU cooler is directly screwed in, align the screws with the bolts you previously connected and begin screwing.

So that the cooler fits properly, tighten them on opposite corners.

If the supporting screws on the bracket on your CPU cooler have holes, you’ll need to match the screws with these holes. Begin attaching the bolts on opposite corners until the screws have passed cleanly into the holes. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to tighten these bolts properly.

4. Connect The Fan

Many air coolers come with a fan already mounted. If you wish to substitute the fan with a personal one, now is the time to do so.

Locate the holes on the cooler and line up the fine with them on the heatsink’s front side.

Locate and correctly tighten your fan screws.

All that’s left to do now is screw in the fan. The fan cable connects to a four-pin header on the Motherboard. “CPU-Fan” is a standard mark for this header.

If your cooler has adjustable lighting, add the connector to a four-pin 12V RGB header on your Motherboard, or use the provided controller if your Motherboard doesn’t have one.

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How To Replace CPU Cooler

The CPU cooling fan is significant because it keeps the machine cold and prevents it from overheating and slowing down. Its replacement will extend the life of your CPU and reduce e-waste.

1. Remove The Side Panel Of The Desktop.

Remove the screws from the backside of the machine case that locks the side panel in place.

2. Unscrew The Cooler

If the cooler is attached to the motherboard by a wire, unplug it.

Remove the screws that lock the more remarkable in place at the corners of the CPU.

Remove the more relaxed and position it, underside up, in a convenient spot.

3. Removing The Radiator

Locate the radiator and the screws that lock it in place.

As the last screw comes off, remove the screws and hold both the radiator and the fan.

Remove the radiator as well as the fan.

4. Cleaning The CPU and  CPU Cooler

Should apply a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to the microfiber.

Remove any remaining thermal paste from the CPU.

Clean the cooler in the same manner as the CPU if it doesn’t come with its thermal paste or if you want to apply improved thermal paste.

In the middle of the more excellent, apply a tiny amount of thermal paste.

5. Placing New CPU Cooler

Place the new cooler on top of the CPU and align it with the four corners where the old one was.

As you screw in the coolers, start at one corner and work your way diagonally to the next, forming an “X” pattern.

It doesn’t have to be snug, as long as the refrigerator doesn’t shift because both the cooler and the CPU are in contact.

Connect the cooler’s electricity to the same outlet as the previous cooler.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it difficult to set up a CPU cooler?

Any good coolers are simple to set up if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be silent dark rock pro 3, Intel Stock cooler E Z P Z, and best of luck. My part was by far the most difficult to mount. Mainly due to its size and the difficulty of tightening it.

What is the best way to mount a CPU cooler?

When mounting case fans, air travels over the open side towards the side with the defensive grille, as shown: For intake fans on the front or bottom, the open side of the fan should face outside the case, and for fans on the back or top, it should face inside the case.

Is it possible to mount a CPU cooler without having to remove the Motherboard?

Installing an air cooler without removing the Motherboard is feasible. The AMD lineup of stock coolers, for example, all depends on the plastic clips that come preinstalled on a motherboard.

Is it worthwhile to invest in a CPU cooler?

CPU Coolers protect your processors from overheating and extend the longevity of the other PC components by keeping them at a stable temperature when in use, protecting them from being stressed by heat, which would shorten their lifespan.

Is it true that cooling the CPU improves performance?

Yes, it will travel faster, and the hotter it is, the easier it is for electrons to flow through because there is less resistance. As a result, achieving maximum clock speed or much higher is even faster. If a CPU is now overheating and slowing down, it won’t go any further.


Your computer’s processor could melt if you don’t have a CPU cooler built. While heat control is a significant issue in heavily used machines, even a typical business machine sits in a cube all day and does little. Still, email and word processing will overheat if it doesn’t have a CPU cooler.

Hopefully, this guide has been of assistance to you and has made your life a little simpler. Just keep an eye on those thermals now and then see how your cooler is doing its job.

I am a computer science graduate, and I love to play games. As an offline and online marketplace seller of computer hardware, I have the opportunity to help people make informed decisions about what they can use for their needs.